Top 12 Most Badass Characters in One Piece

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One Piece is one of the most celebrated and widely renowned manga/anime series of all time.

What makes it so great is that it’s one of the very few shows that captures the true essence of a Shounen anime.

It has action, drama, comedy, slice-of-life moments, and even a little bit of what I would call the “spice melange” of anime (a.k.a fanservice).

Unironically, it truly has a little something for everyone. Combine all of its charms with some of the most memorable characters in anime, and you have yourself a definite hit.

And on the topic of memorable characters, One Piece has tons of them.

Even some unapologetically badass ones that we’re about to go through right now.

 

12. Donquixote Doflamingo

Donquixote Doflamingo From One Piece Screenshot

Doffy not only has a wicked sense of style.

But he’s also, well, wicked in a more literal sense.

He’s the most infamous black-market arms dealer/broker in the world – and was one of the Seven Warlords of the Sea up until his eventual capture.

Say what you will about this guy, but you can’t deny how fly he’s always lookin’ with his glasses on, especially with the cocky smile that’s almost always plastered across his face.

It’s pretty obvious that he’s one of the most badass villains that Luffy has ever faced so far.

And coincidentally also one of the toughest.

Seriously, this guy just won’t go down without a fight.

I mean, why else would the Marines keep him chained from head to toe in Impel Down?

 

11. Monkey D. Garp

Monkey D. Garp From One Piece Screenshot

Speaking of the marines, we have Monkey D. Garp, who also has quite the list of cool feats under his belt.

He’s the hero of the Marines, the father of the notorious revolutionary leader Monkey D. Dragon, and the grandfather of Monkey D. Luffy and Portgas D. Ace.

Furthermore, he’s also one of the few marines who were still on duty back when absolute titans like Shiki, Roger, Rocks, and Whitebeard had complete dominion over the seas.

Not exactly the best time to be a member of the Marines… but then again, when is it ever?

Though to me, what makes him a badass isn’t the strength that allowed him to grow old in a profession where young men usually die young.

I think what truly makes him shine is his infallible sense of duty and justice that persists, even under the employ of a mostly corrupt and tyrannical establishment.

 

10. Dracule Mihawk

Dracule Mihawk From One Piece Screenshot

Mihawk has one of the coolest character designs not only in One Piece, but in Shounen anime in general.

He was introduced from the get-go as the “World’s Strongest Swordsman”.

And true to his title, he’s about as badass and lethal as anime swordsmen come.

Like Doflamingo, he’s one of the Seven Warlords of the Sea.

Although unlike Doflamingo, Mihawk prefers to spend his time alone.

I mean, he’s so dedicated to keeping to himself that he usually just sails alone in a (very) small ship. He has also lived in his spooky mansion alone until Perona and Zoro came along.

He’s the classic calm and quiet lone wolf-type character that I personally want to see more of in future episodes.

 

9. Smoker

Smoker From One Piece Screenshot

There are only two types of people in the world:

Those who smoke, and those who don’t.

And Smoker (hence his name) is among the former.

He’ll smoke whenever and wherever the hell he wants, even when he’s on-duty and arresting criminals left and right.

His nonchalant attitude about smoking aside, Smoker is also aptly called “The White Chase” as he’s one of the best Marines when it comes to pursuit-and-capture missions.

Barring a few notable pirates like Luffy and Ace, Smoker has put a lot of criminals in Impel Down – and is currently serving as one of the Marines’ best officers to date.

 

8. Silvers Rayleigh

Silvers Rayleigh From One Piece Screenshot

Sadly, there are very few moments in the anime that shows off just how badass the “King of the Pirates” really was.

Fortunately for us fans, Roger’s First Mate is still alive and well, along with a few other of his crew members.

Not only that, but Rayleigh often gets plenty of screen time — most of which he uses to show us fans just how great a former member of the Pirate King’s crew really is.

He’s so powerful that even the admirals and the Yonko are wary of him — as they should be.

After all, the feats this man has accomplished are no joke at all.

One time, he swam in the Calm Belt for days on end after being shipwrecked, and didn’t even look the least bit winded as soon as he got to shore.

And that’s just one example of just how amazing this seemingly unassuming old man is.

 

7. Kaido

Kaido From One Piece Screenshot

Dragons will almost always be considered as badasses no matter what anime/movie/TV show/book they’re in.

Come to think of it, they’re more or less the universal symbol for “awesomeness”, and the very same word comes to mind whenever Kaido is brought up…

Like most of the characters on this list, he’s not without a prestigious title of his own.

After all, he’s always been touted as “The World’s Strongest Creature”, and is also one of the Four Emperors that has dominated the New World for ages.

We’ve already seen firsthand just how powerful this absolute monster of a man truly is in the anime – and it’s something that we’ll surely get to see more of the Wano Arc.

 

6. Roronoa Zoro

Roronoa Zoro From One Piece Screenshot

He’s the First Mate of the Straw Hat Pirates and is undoubtedly one of the most badass anime swordsmen of all time.

I mean, who else wields three frickin’ swords?

Kirito and the other dual-wielders have nothing on this guy.

In addition to being a badass visually through and through, his actions in the anime tell us just about the same story, if not even more.

Zoro is an upstanding, hardworking, and loyal man who more than deserves his spot as Luffy’s right-hand man.

After all, he’s exactly the kinda guy who’s more than willing to take all of his captain’s accumulated pain, with no hesitation, just to save his own crew.

Sheesh, what a mad lad!

 

5. Trafalgar Law

Trafalgar Law From One Piece Screenshot

Law has been a fan favorite ever since he was introduced as one of the “Worst Generation” Pirates — and for good reason.

He’s arguably the strongest of the Supernovas alongside Luffy, Zoro, and Kid.

And it’s no surprise that he is, considering he has a pretty overpowered Devil Fruit ability.

Granted he never looks for fights he can’t win – and unlike Luffy, he rarely fights based on emotion.

What makes him badass in my book is that he doesn’t hesitate to do what must be done — whether that be cutting enemies into pieces mercilessly, or leaving them for dead.

He’s a silent but driven man who’s not afraid to get his hands dirty if necessary.

You know, like a surgeon? Heh.

 

4. Portgas D. Ace

Portgas D. Ace From One Piece Screenshot

Admittedly, Fire Fist Ace has one of the coolest-looking Devil Fruit abilities in the entire series.

Combine that with his swagger and his playful charisma, there’s just no denying that he’s one of the more memorable characters who have sadly met their end too soon.

Just like his captain, Ace is a very caring man towards his subordinates — even to the point where he doesn’t even hesitate to give his life to save theirs.

He was a complete badass who backed down from nobody, even while facing inevitable and utter defeat.

Ace’s flames must’ve burned out all too quickly, though it was nonetheless exceedingly bright and full of color — much like the impression he’s left on us fans.

 

3. Shanks

Shanks From One Piece Screenshot

Shanks might’ve been the newest addition to the Yonko prior to Blackbeard joining their ranks, but he’s by no means a pushover.

Right from the very beginning of the series, Shanks stood to me as one of the most badass non-protagonist characters I’ve ever seen in anime.

Not only is he the very first character in the series to have ever used Emperor’s Haki, but he’s also the only man to have ever confronted both Whitebeard and Kaido utterly unfazed.

Seriously, this man is so badass that weak-willed pirates would just drop like flies whenever he’s around.

It’s pretty obvious just why the Marineford War ceased as soon as Shanks intervened.

It’s because the Marines just didn’t want all that smoke against this man.

 

2. Monkey D. Luffy

Monkey D. Luffy From One Piece Screenshot

It would be a crime not to include the protagonist of his own series on this list – and I’m not about to commit that offense.

After all, who can even say that Luffy isn’t a badass?

No one, I’d imagine (or at least I hope so).

Sure he comes off as goofy and airheaded sometimes — scratch that — most of the time.

But no one can tell me this guy doesn’t have his moments.

It’s only when somebody is going through critical moments in life, that’s when a person’s true character comes out.

And there’s nothing more badass than an angry Luffy, I’ll tell you that.

He just becomes a completely different person whenever he gets serious and mad, especially in a fight.

And I have to say, his badass look in his Gear Fourth definitely helps with that too.

 

1. Edward Newgate (Whitebeard)

Edward Newgate From One Piece Screenshot

For our top spot, we have “The Strongest Man in the World”.

The Emperor that was both respected and feared by the other three Emperors (yes, even in his old age).

The man that made the Marines tremble whenever they heard his name.

The legend that could’ve taken the seat of the Pirate King for himself, but chose not to.

As some of you can probably guess, putting Whitebeard at the very top of this list was a fairly easy decision for me.

Whitebeard’s overall actions and his strong, crew-centered philosophy (his crew is his One Piece) make him more than just a badass in my eyes.

Whitebeard, for me, is a badass amongst badasses — someone who had the greatest and most badass send-off in anime history.

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