The 10 best ‘One Piece’ fights
Spanning 20 seasons and over 1000 episodes, One Piece is one of the most influential and beloved anime of all time. One Piece is considered among the top three giants of anime, along with Naruto and Bleach, and is known for its character development, long-term story arcs, and intense battle scenes.
The limitless creative potential of the genre allows for epic fight sequences, and the show’s creative team is one of the best in harnessing that potential. In One Piece, the pirate-centered characters receive extraordinary powers by eating the forbidden Devil Fruit of various trees, including the show’s main character Luffy. After ingesting a Gum-Gum fruit, Luffy becomes a rubber man, which allows him to stretch his limbs much like Mr. Fantastic. This unique power set has led to some of the most memorable and hard-hitting fights in anime history.
10. Straw Hats vs. Oars
In one of the literal biggest fights in One Piece history, the entire protagonist crew must band together to defeat the massive monster Oars. The straw hats have a difficult time against the kaiju-like giant, as each member gives their enemy their best shot with little success. The pirate crew even links up to form a six-pieced robot, but even their united strength is not enough.
After entering his Nightmare state, Luffy is able to release a barrage of strikes that sends Oars crashing down, but the gargantuan is not out. Luffy and his crew once again opted for a team attack, and the straw hats were able to defeat Oars.
9. Sanji vs. Jabra
The superior kicking power of Sanji is taken to a whole new level as he unleashes his Diable Jambe technique for the first time in this battle. The fire-footed Sanji is usually cooking up the heat in the kitchen, but the Going Merry’s premier chef is able to fight when necessary.
In this clash with the wolf-man Jabra, Sanji’s motivation is to rescue fellow straw hat, Robin. While Sanji is not known for his prowess in battles like Luffy and Zoro, his fight against Jabra shows that he is a formidable opponent for anyone that challenges him.
8. Zoro vs. Pica
One of Zoro’s most impressive skills is his ability to cut almost anything in half, an ability he has been developing over the course of the show. This talent comes in very handy when facing the shape-shifter Pica, who can absorb an entire country into his body mass. After training for years to perfect his craft, the swordsman must attempt to slice Pica into two and is eventually successful. The way that the straw hats react to Zoro’s accomplishment is wonderful, and a reminder that One Piece is really about friendship.
7. Luffy vs. Usopp
Closer than friends, Luffy and his crewmate Usopp are practically brothers, and sometimes brothers fight. This is perhaps the most emotional battle in all of One Piece, as two of the most foundational characters of the anime fight each other instead of the normal villains. Usopp is not known for his physical strength and is no match for Luffy in that department. Instead, Usopp relies upon his ingenuity and trusty slingshot when forced into a fight.
The two’s fight occurs because of an argument about the pirate crew’s ship the Going Merry. The battle-tested ship is almost like a crew member after carrying the straw hats on adventure after adventure, which is why Usopp is so determined to repair it. Luffy disagrees, which leads to the emotionally heavy battle. Usopp is impressively game for the fight but ultimately cannot beat Luffy. The two emerge from the confrontation even closer than before.
6. Zoro vs. Ryuma
In his quest to be the greatest swordsman in history, one of Zoro’s most fearsome tests comes against the undead samurai Ryuma. Usually equipped with at least three blades, Zoro must summon the strength to face the God of Swords with just two blades. Zoro is one of the most intense characters in One Piece, and this level of fire is matched by his opponent.
The two masters of the sword have a deep level of respect for the other, which just adds to this unforgettable clash. In the end, Zoro is rewarded for his victory with a legendary new sword named Shusui, showing the respect Zoro has gained from the former master. While this fight is incredible, it does leave fans wondering what would happen if Zoro and Ryuma fought in the samurai’s prime.
5. Luffy vs. Crocodile
The rubber-man generally lets life bounce off him with a smile, but Luffy’s anger comes out full force in his trilogy of confrontations with the dastardly Crocodile during the Arabasta arc. Luffy and Crocodile is one of the earliest boss fights in One Piece and continues to stand as one of the best.
The biggest challenge for the hero is Crocodile’s home-field advantage, as he has the power to manipulate sand and the battle takes place in a vast desert. One of the elements that make this classic fight so memorable is the score. As “Dvorak Symphony Number Nine” plays, Luffy finally vanquishes the hated Crocodile.
4. Luffy vs. Doflamingo
As One Piece progresses, Luffy’s power and the show’s animation style improve dramatically. By unlocking his Fourth Gear mode of attack, Luffy somehow becomes bigger, stronger, and bouncier than ever. Not to be outdone, the strategic Doflamingo uses his ranged string attacks to wear Luffy down.
The pink-feather coat-clad villain is also able to use his strings to stitch together his internal organ damage. As is a tradition in anime, this battle spans several episodes, but the pacing of the entire fight is never slow or boring. The end of this collision is truly a spectacle, as both men are willing to exert as much energy as possible to secure a victory.
3. Whitebeard vs. Akainu
One of the greatest fights that don’t involve the main group of characters, this deeply personal battle showcases the top-tier world-building that has made One Piece an anime foundation. The villain of this confrontation is Akainu, a high-ranking member of the World Government and one of three admirals of the Marines.
He is responsible for one of the most gut-wrenching deaths in the anime’s history, as he murders the beloved character Ace. Ace’s father, Whitebeard, is consumed by grief and in his rage attacks the stronger the opponent in Akainu. The older Whitebeard is not in the prime of his physical power like Akainu and suffers major injuries during the fierce battle. Fueled by a parent’s love, Whitebeard continues to fight with relentless passion. The experience and toughness of Whitebeard is enough for the old pirate to do just enough to beat Akainu in a truly unforgettable fight.
2. Zoro vs. King
Once again, Zoro must face a master swordsman from Wano, and once again an incredible fight occurs. King is one of the most terrifying characters ever designed in the long volume of One Piece, and has the power and fighting power to match. Zoro is always undaunted in the face of mortal peril and faces the All-Star without trepidation.
To Zoro, King is just another stepping stone on his path the becoming the ultimate sword-user, and he will cut King down like anything else in his way. Besides his ability with a blade, King possesses the power to control fire. This provides some difficulty for Zoro, but the wielder of the three blades is able to use his trio of swords to strike down the devilish flame of King.
1. Luffy vs. Katakuri
One of the strongest villains the leader of the straw hats ever had to face was the razor-toothed Katakuri. After eating the mochi-mochi fruit, Katakuri gained powers similar to Luffy’s. Both fruit eaters gained the power to elongate their bodies, and like two boxers who have trained together, the pair match shots blow-for-blow.
The visuals of this showdown are unreal, such as the striking blue and red and purple background and mirrors give the fight a uniqueness from other famous One Piece battles. This hard-hitting contest also features some classic One Piece humor, as Katakuri’s love for doughnuts plays a key role in the villain’s eventual loss. Luffy must use his leveled-up Gear Four mode to eventually defeat Katakuri in what could be considered the best fight in One Piece history.