The 10 Most Well-Written One Piece Characters, Ranked
A play produced over a thousand characters in its two decades of runtime. Many of them have been lucky enough to gain the appreciation of the public, whether they are heroes or villains, as long as they are convincing. Being a recurring character is usually advantageous for this purpose, as more screen time provides a greater opportunity to be liked.
However, only a handful of individuals can be considered the best written in the entire series. By identifying them and why they are so well told, it becomes easier to appreciate the characteristics of good character and what has been done well.
10/10 Luffy is entertaining but static
As the main protagonist of the series, it is essential that Luffy is well written. To be fair, he’s charismatic, entertaining, and just flawed enough to be believable without being unlikable. However, Luffy’s biggest problem is that he is a static character who has only grown in strength.
He hasn’t changed significantly during his adventures or after Ace’s death. Even a two-year time jump didn’t add much to make him more mature, as evidenced by his loud parties and decidedly rude demeanor.
9/10 Kuma is shrouded in mystery
Kuma is by far the best written of the Seven Warlords. He was the only character to simultaneously operate as a rebel, a pirate, and a member of the World Government. Additionally, his actions in Sabaody suggested how much humanity remained in him, especially as he defended the Thousand Sunny for years thereafter.
However, Kuma is also a tragic figure since the World Government effectively lobotomized him and forced him to work for the Celestial Dragons. Kuma’s tentative allegiances and uncertain future make him one of the show’s most captivating characters, and his Devil Fruit is criminally underrated.
8/10 Senor Pink moved fans through her backstory
Superficially, it’s easy to mistake Senor Pink for a unique side villain with a silly thing. However, his backstory was explained during his fight with Franky, which reveals just how deep the man really was. Haunted by guilt over his wife’s accident, he dressed up as their aborted child in hopes of bringing joy back into his life.
Despite being in a coma, it was the only thing that made her smile. Pink shrugged off ridicule from around the world just so she could correct her mistakes, and the Donquixote family are surprisingly respectful of her costume choice.
7/10 Oden set a precedent for all following
In many ways, Oden’s story paralleled Luffy’s. Many pushed him towards a fate he didn’t want, forcing him to run away for a life on the high seas. Eventually, Oden found a wife, had his fill of adventures, and returned to Wano to stabilize the region and establish themselves.
However, he has been missing for so long that Orochi managed to spread his corruption. Oden’s choice to spare Orochi for the sake of his people was a noble one, though it ultimately resulted in two decades of disaster that could have been avoided.
6/10 Doflamingo is a powerful player on the world stage
What makes Doflamingo such a well-written character is how many people his actions have influenced. He traumatized Trafalgar Law with the death of Corazon, dominated Dressrosa for years, terrified the World Government due to the knowledge he possessed, and even sold Devil Fruit to the monstrous Kaido.
Despite his many crimes, he was also far more sympathetic than most of the other antagonists. After being forced to leave Marie Geoise against his will, Doflamingo was nearly killed by an angry mob as a child. This helps explain his misanthropic behavior even if it is not justified.
5/10 Whitebeard has added a nuance to the world of hacking
Most pirates in the series seek either the One Piece or the aimless adventure. However, Whitebeard’s sole ambition from the start has been to cultivate and protect the crew who have become his “family”. He was so diligent in their defense that he forgave Squard for betraying him in the Battle of Marineford.
He also risked and ultimately sacrificed his own life to save Ace, though this act of heroism proved tragically futile. If Whitebeard had wanted to, he could have easily headed for Laugh Tale due to his connection to Roger.
4/10 Katakuri was Big Mom’s honorable enforcer
In general, A play does everything possible to make the bad guys as despicable as possible. Katakuri is a rare exception since his only ambition is to protect his family and maintain a reputation as the invincible guardian of Whole Cake Island.
Until his encounter with Luffy, there hasn’t been a single instance of Katakuri being forced onto his back. He was shown to be so committed to a fair fight that he deliberately hurt himself when one of his sisters gave him unsolicited help.
3/10 Nico Robin is the most important member of the Straw Hats
Ironically, Nico Robin is more essential to the Straw Hats’ chances of finding the One Piece than Luffy himself. Her knowledge of the poneglyphs makes her an invaluable character, and her mature personality helps complement the overall boldness of the crew. Robin also had a powerful personal journey.
She managed to overcome decades of abandonment issues in the Enies Lobby arc, declaring to the world that she wanted to live. This encouraged the Straw Hats to save her and conveyed the message that one should never give up finding a place where they belong.
2/10 Fisher Tiger was a revolutionary Fish-Man
Fisher Tiger was by far the most morally complex Fish-Man in the series. Unlike Arlong, who thought humans should be enslaved, or Jimbei, who thought humans shouldn’t be universally judged, his philosophy fell somewhere in between.
Intellectually, Tiger realized that not all humans were the same and could not be considered as such. However, he viscerally could not forgive them for enslaving and betraying his own people. On his deathbed, Tiger begged the Sun Pirates to be better than he ever was.
1/10 Usopp is the most realistic Straw Hat Pirate
Skepticism about Usopp’s ranking as a A playThe best written character is understandable. However, he is an extremely realistic depiction of how an ordinary person would react if thrust into a world of supernatural pirates and hulking monsters. Usopp has had an incredible journey, going from a simpering coward to a man who can distract Big Mom herself.
Many of his lies also eventually come true, such as encountering gigantic fish (as seen in Little Garden) or commanding legions of men (as he did at the end of the Dressrosa conflict). Of all the Straw Hat Pirates, he is the closest to achieving his goal of becoming a brave sea warrior.
NEXT: 10 One Piece Characters Who Would Rather Be Loved Than Feared