Fans of One Piece know it as a show overflowing with optimistic characters, hilarious comic sequences and epic face-offs. Unlike series like Naruto, Attack on Titan or Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, major character deaths rarely occur in this anime.
But when they do, Eiichiro Oda sets it in a way such that it would have a lasting impact on the story. The rarity of character deaths in One Piece makes it that much more heartbreaking and impactful.
On that note, let's rank the 6 most important deaths in One Piece.
Remembering six crucial deaths in One Piece
The daimyo of the Wano country, Kozuki Oden lived for five years as a pirate before returning to Wano as successor to his father. But he found the throne usurped by Orochi.
He had to lay aside his pride as a samurai to protect the citizens of Wano from Orochi, humiliating and degrading himself in the eyes of his subjects. Oden was executed by Orochi and Kaidou, first torturing him by leaving him in boiling water and then shooting him to death.
Donquixote Rosinante, or "Corazon" was the undercover Marine Commander who not only took Trafalgar Law away from the Donquixote pirates but also saved his life when he was dying from Amber Lead Syndrome. He was killed by Doflamingo when his cover was blown. Corazon's death was a huge blow to Law and he swore vengeance against the Donquixote Pirates because of it.
4) Going Merry
Though technically not a person, the One Piece fandom universally considers the ship Going Merry as part of the Straw Hats crew. The ship had been a constant companion to the Straw Hats through thick and thin, but finally met her end after helping the Luffy and his crew escape from Enies Lobby. A Viking funeral was absolutely fitting for this marvelous ship.
3) Gol D. Roger
The Pirate King Gol D. Roger, captain of the Roger Pirates, died a death as glorious as his life. The legendary pirate was the only one who managed to conquer the Grand Line and after disbanding his crew and surrendering himself to be executed, declared that whoever can find his treasure, One Piece, can claim it, thus starting a new era in piracy. He was also the biological father of Luffy's sworn brother Ace.
Edward Newgate, nicknamed "Whitebeard", was the captain of the Whitebeard Pirates and was considered the "Strongest Man in the World" and the "Man Closest to One Piece" after the demise of the Pirate King. Whitebeard met his end at Blackbeard's hands while trying to protect Ace from Akainu. His death dealt a heavy blow to the One Piece universe.
One of the most devastating deaths in the series would definitely be the death of Portgas D. Ace. The biological son of the Pirate King and sworn brother of Monkey D. Luffy, Ace was a much-loved character in the series. Ace's death, while protecting Luffy from Marine Commander Akainu, was traumatic for the viewers and even more so for Luffy. It was the prime trigger for Luffy's growth in the series.
One Piece is a series that manages to remain mostly optimistic despite the somber backstories and dark conspiracies, and charms its fans with its several entertaining and adorable characters. Oda is known to dislike killing off characters very often though, so fans will hopefully keep seeing many more of their favorite characters in the future.