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The Greatest Villains in ‘One Piece,’ Ranked

Sir Crocodile smoking a cigar

A story is only as good as its villains, and luckily for fans of One Piece, this story is chock full of them.

That shouldn’t be too surprising. After all, One Piece is one of the Big Three for a reason. The villains are just that good! You wanna know how good? Just watch any of the top five episodes of the show. Why are they so great? Because they’ve got GREAT FIGHTS against GREAT VILLAINS. We’ve got dudes that turn into dragons! Dudes that turn into lava! Dudes that dress as clowns! As monsters! As confectionery treats! One Piece has every great kind of villain known to man and several known to fish-people!

To celebrate One Piece‘s exemplary rogues gallery, we’ll be counting down the top 10 evil-doers in the whole piratical shebang.

10. Arlong

Arlong laughing with his lackies in 'One Piece'
(Toei Animation)

Coming in hot is one of the first-ever major villains of One Piece, the dreaded Arlong himself! We have to give credit where credit is due for this guy, because if it wasn’t for him, Nami wouldn’t have joined the Straw Hat Pirates in the first place. After all, she wanted revenge against the fishy bastard for killing her mom practically enslaving her, and the Straw Hats were just the people to doll it out.

9. Big Mom

Big mom on the warpath in 'One Piece'
(Toei Animation)

Monkey D. Luffy can effortlessly take on hoards of nobody pirates, but the matriarch of the Charlotte family has stuck her thumb in the young pirate’s pudding more times than we can count. Big Mom is one of the most powerful people on the planet, holding the title of Emperor alongside three of the other most powerful villains in the series. She is BAD NEWS. Exhibit A: She attempted to kill Sanji’s ENTIRE FAMILY by organizing a FAKE WEDDING between the Charlottes and Vinsmokes. I mean, who could be so evil to kill people at a WEDDING? Big Mom, that’s who.

8. Charlotte Katakuri

Katakuri from One Piece looking ticked off
(Toei Animation)

While he lacks Big Mom’s pedigree, Charlotte Katakuri is one of the most feared fighters in all of the sea. Katakuri and Luffy’s brawl is one of the finest fights in the entire series, and saying that Katakuri puts up a bit of a challenge for Luffy would be the understatement of the Void Century. Luffy had to invent NEW POWERS to beat this guy. To be fair, he does that in almost every fight, but Katakuri’s raw strength stretched the rubbery little pirate to his absolute limit.

7. Rob Lucci

Rob Lucci with is bird on his shoulder in 'One Piece'
(Toei Animation)

If you want an example of why the World Government and the Marines are terrifying, look no further than Rob Lucci. Despite his unassuming name, Lucci is one of the most extraordinarily powerful antagonists that Luffy has ever faced. His Cat-Cat devil fruit gives him the rare powers of a Zoan transformation, and his Rokushiki martial arts skills are head and shoulders above the other Marines. Plus, he was trained to be a killing machine ever since he was a KID. I mean, Luffy’s on that grind right now, but Rob was doing it way before the wannabe Pirate King was born.

6. Kaido

Kaido from One Piece ready to attack
(Toei Animation)

Kaido is called the World’s Strongest Creature for a reason: because it’s true. The former Emperor has spent years stockpiling weapons, soldiers, and resources to throw at his endless war on the world. Yet despite having a private army, the King of Beasts isn’t afraid to get his own claws dirty. I say “claws” because Kaido has the power to turn into a MASSIVE DRAGON—which really gave Luffy and the crew a headache.

5. Sir Crocodile

Sir Crocodile smoking a cigar in 'One Piece'
(Toei Animation)

Crocodile is the first One Piece villain to truly pose a threat to Luffy and his friends. Arlong was a bump in the road; Crocodile is a giant pothole where the road should be. Crocodile is a formidable mix of brains AND brawn, and concocted an elaborate scheme to take over the Alabasta Kingdom. And he almost got away with it too, if it weren’t for those meddling Straw Hat kids and their weird deer-antlered doctor puppy.

4. Fleet Admiral Akainu

akainu with a cigar yelling
(Toei Animation)

This man is the ultimate narc and the antithesis of everything the Straw Hats stand for. Akainu is essentially a powerful pawn of the tyrannical World Government. He’s a very big lapdog with very sharp teeth. At his lowest, Akainu murdered the beloved Portgas D. Ace, the adopted brother of Monkey D. Luffy. He punched a literal hole in Ace’s chest, and an emotional hole in ours.

3. Blackbeard

Marshall D. Teach, a.k.a. Blackbeard in 'One Piece'
(Toei Animation)

Blackbeard’s pirates may be the most reprehensible of all of the pirate groups in the Grand Line, and Blackbeard himself sets an evil example for them all. This man’s ambition is boundless. He has fought against other pirate captains, the World Government, and the Revolutionary Army. Blackbeard is loyal to no side but his own and jockeys for power against some of the most dangerous groups on the planet.

2. Donquixote Doflamingo

Donquixote laughing and looking evil in 'One Piece'
(Toei Animation)

While Donquixote Doflamingo might not be One Piece‘s most powerful villain, he is certainly one of the most diabolical—and stylish, don’t forget about stylish. When he was a boy, he presented the World Government with the gift of his own father’s head. That’s just stone cold. After being denied a seat at the Celestial Dragons’ table, Doflamingo decided to take his evil business elsewhere. He facilitated drug and weapons trading across the world, and even turned living people into toys! Heartless.

1. Im

The face of Im in silhouette in 'One Piece'
(Toei Animation)

Im might just be the most cold-hearted villain in the entire series. After all, they once ordered a Buster Call (the One Piece equivalent of a nuclear strike) against an archipelago for attempting to uncover the secrets of the world’s history. They may be the only One Piece villain guilty of GENOCIDE. Plus, you could argue that all the world’s suffering stems from Im. If Im is the de facto ruler of the world, then the corrupt actions of the Marines and the World Government are all Im’s responsibility. What a total jerk.

(featured image: Toei Animation)

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Jack Doyle (they/them) is actually nine choirs of biblically accurate angels in crammed into one pair of $10 overalls. They have been writing articles for nerds on the internet for less than a year now. They really like anime. Like... REALLY like it. Like you know those annoying little kids that will only eat hotdogs and chicken fingers? They're like that... but with anime. It's starting to get sad.