The pirate world of One Piece knows how to balance contrasting tones very well. The versatility of this story, which ranges from cartoon characters and shenanigans to light-hearted adventures and thrilling action, is part of what has kept it going for so long. Although the anime is often bright and colorful, Luffy and the crew occasionally venture into dark territories, some of which can be considered as pure fuel for nightmares.
Whether it’s because a character is exerting overwhelming force on the good guys or because the subject matter is extremely disturbing, these moments are downright terrifying, to the point where it seemed like not even the Straw Hats would come out alive.
10 Mihawk hits Zoro with a knife
Dracule Mihawk is known around the world as the strongest swordsman, practically untouchable with a sword in hand and capable of taking down entire fleets of ships on his own. Since Zoro’s goal is to become the strongest swordsman in the world, he was always going to have to fight Mihawk for that title. Surprisingly, he got his chance very early.
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During the “Baratie Arc”, Zoro fights Mihawk in hand-to-hand, who defends himself against his three swords with nothing but a small knife and easily defeats him. This moment demonstrated the kind of dangerous and powerful people that awaited the Straw Hats on the Grand Line and how much Zoro would have to strengthen himself to defeat Mihawk.
9 Blackbeard and his multiple devil fruits
Throughout the series there are many different Devil Fruits, with very different effects on who eats them. However, only one Devil Fruit can be consumed by a single person. This has been the case for everyone except Marshall D. Teach (aka Blackbeard). Currently, Blackbeard is the only known case in which someone has two Devil Fruit powers simultaneously, the Dark Fruit and the Shaky Fruit.
After Whitebeard’s death, Blackbeard decides to take advantage of the situation and steal Whitebeard’s seismic powers. Though it’s unclear how he did it or how his body can handle it, Blackbeard shows off his newfound power by destroying what’s left of Marineford without breaking a sweat.
8 The cruelty of the Sabaody archipelago auction
There is a darkness hidden under the fun and colorful atmosphere of One Piece, and the live auction during the “Sabaody Archipelago Arch” is a good example of that darkness. Here, living things can be auctioned off to become slaves of those who have enough money to buy them, such as the Celestial Dragons, who are reputed to buy and abuse many slaves.
The auction is practically a spectacle, and anyone who tries to escape is killed, although some would rather die than be sold. The mermaid Camie was about to be auctioned after being captured, and the cruelty suffered by her and her captive companions was beyond inhumane.
7 The decimation of the island of Ohara
The influence of the World Government can be felt throughout the world from One Piece, controlling the world and its people with iron control and willing to do anything to maintain that control. This includes a ban on any research on the legendary “Age of the Void” and related pongilphs. The consequences of doing so are catastrophic.
The inhabitants of the island of Ohara were discovered by the World Government for studying the Age of the Void. As punishment, the island itself was completely destroyed with a Buster Call, with Nico Robin being the only survivor. Whatever happened in the Void Century, the World Government didn’t just kill all the researchers studying the Void Century, but wiped out Ohara from the map to bury the secret.
6 the story of doctor Hogback and Cindry revealed
When viewers meet Dr. Hogback and his assistant Cindry during the “Thriller Bark Arc,” they are mostly interpreted as comic relief, mostly because of Cindry’s hatred of dishes and disrespect for the doctor. However, as the story progresses, the truth about their origins and their relationship turns out to be anything but funny.
It is revealed that Cindry was a deceased actress that Hogback had a crush on and that he revived in zombie form with the help of Moria. The zombie Cindry had a different personality than the original, although Hogback cared little that he continued to abuse her and show that his feelings for her were superficial obsession, not love.
5 No one is safe from the devilish power of sugar
Devil Fruits come in many different shapes and sizes, and some can be as powerful as they are terrifying. The power of Sugar’s Hobby-Hobby Fruit is one such example, as it allows him to turn anyone into a living toy. Furthermore, by doing so, it erases all memories of the victim’s existence from anyone who knew her.
During the “Dressrosa Arc”, Sugar’s powers are on full display, as she uses them as a key component of the Kingdom of Doflamingo, as slaves without free will, except for Kryos. No one is safe from her either, and at one point, Robin herself becomes a toy and is completely erased from the Straw Hats’ memories.
4 The tragedy of the Donquixote family
A World Government nobleman can live quite comfortably, a life most of them live happily even with their bad reputations. The Donquixote Familia renounced their status as Celestial Dragons to live on an equal footing with the common people, a choice that ended in bloodshed and tragedy.
The commoners who had suffered at the hands of the Celestial Dragons did not look favorably on the Donquixote Family being of World Noble ancestry. Consequently, they attacked and tortured the family as revenge, even crucifying them over the flames. The Donquixote Familia was despised by the masses for their former status and, despised by the other Heavenly Dragons for their compassion, leaving them alone to suffer and slowly die.
3 The infernal side effects of smile fruit
SMILE is an artificial devil fruit that allows a low percentage of those who consume it to acquire powers similar to those of animals. However, most of those who do are not so lucky and experience horrible side effects instead. The many who end up being failures, known as “Pleasures,” are left with a permanent smile and are deprived of the ability to experience negative emotions of any kind.
The Pleasures are forced to go through hell every day, unable to do anything but smile and laugh, like when Toko’s adoptive father, Yasuei, was killed right in front of her. Toko could only cry between giggles as he tried in vain to bring his father back to life.
2 Big Mom The Cannibal
As one of the most feared Four Emperors, Big Mom (aka Charlotte Linlin) already has a terrifying presence thanks to her immense strength and insatiable appetite. These qualities were present even in her first and most innocent days as a child and surprisingly led her to commit one of her most disturbing acts on the series.
Forced to leave Elbaf with Mother Carmel and her orphaned companions due to her appetite, the group heads to celebrate Linlin’s sixth birthday, who excitedly begins to eat in a hurry. When she finishes, she discovers that Carmel and the other orphans have completely disappeared, implying that she has accidentally eaten them all.
1 Lily absorbs the Straw Hat crew
Has beenenough movies of One Piece They’ve reached interesting places, but the darkest by far has to be Baron Omatsuri and the Secret Island, for his villain who is nothing short of haunting. With the motivations of the titular Baron and Lily Carnation revealed, Luffy rushes to save his crew, but is confronted by Lily’s true form.
The seemingly pretty flower turns into a horrifying monster that has already assimilated to the Straw Hats. Luffy watches in horror at the lifeless bodies of his friends protruding from the grotesque plant, and he too nearly dies shortly after.