Thanks to the Devil Fruits, various abilities, and strange landscapes of the Grand Line, one piece it has some of the most interesting and unique shonen battles. It could be said that each match has an element that gives it a distinctive touch, such as impediments to certain abilities or a newly introduced component.
To up the ante, some encounters are further complicated by personal loyalties, conflicting emotions, and unexpected outcomes. These factors contribute to creating memorable battles that drive the story and character development forward while incorporating noteworthy new features.
10 Luffy Turns His Golden Obstacle Into An Advantage
When the Straw Hats travel to Skypeia, they meet Enel, the near-immortal being who rules Angel Island with a tyrannical flair and a Rumble-Rumble devil fruit. With his heightened awareness and his control of lightning, Enel is believed to be unbeatable. Enel is even able to revive himself by using his abilities to restart his heart. Ironically, his electricity-based abilities make Luffy and his gummy body the only ones who can defeat him. Luffy uses the giant golden ball that Enel melts in his hand as a weapon to stop him. This move kicks Enel out of Skypeia forever and rings the Shandorian bell as a reward.
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9 Nami shows off her Clima-Tact
Although Nami is the voice of reason and the Straw Hats’ navigator, she does not possess the same combat skills as Luffy, Sanji, or Zoro. However, her confrontation with Miss Doublefinger of Baroque Works marks a turning point in Nami’s ability to defend herself effectively for prolonged periods.
Using Usopp’s makeshift tool and her in-depth knowledge of the weather, Nami is able to manipulate the device’s capabilities, including strange outputs such as temperature bubbles, fake birds, and drizzles of water. As a result, Nami defeats a Baroque Works agent and goes on the run.
8 Luffy Grows Up To Outpace A Devil Fruit CP9 Operative
Luffy’s Gum-Gum Devil Fruit makes him a respectable opponent in battle. However, Luffy can be outmatched by other powerful Devil Fruits. This makes his fight with Lucci in Enies Lobby all the more impressive, as the latter is a CP9 agent trained in Rokushiki martial arts, with a Cat Devil Fruit. Lucci pushes Luffy away and forces him to switch to Gear 2 and Gear 3, whereupon he almost used up all of his energy before emerging victorious. This fight also cements Robin’s status as the official Straw Hat Pirate.
7 Mihawk Challenges Zoro To Be Better
Before the Going Merry enters the Grand Line, Zoro meets Dracule Mihawk, one of the Seven Warlords of the Sea, and the strongest swordsman in the world. An early sign of what awaits them on the Grand Line, Mihawk single-handedly decimates the Krieg Pirates’ army before Zoro challenges him. Impressed by Zoro’s determination, and his desire to die if he cannot win, Mihawk deems Zoro worthy and spares his life. Mihawk orders the Straw Hats to tell Zoro to find him and challenge him again when he improves his ability. This fight is part of Zoro’s desire to be the best swordsman in the world and leads him to swear that he will never lose again.
6 Aokiji Outdoes Robin And Brings A Warning
Aokiji’s arrival foreshadows Robin’s story and the events of Water 7. Aokiji incapacitates Robin in an attempt to arrest her, and cleanly disarms the Straw Hats with his Ice Devil Fruit. He only leaves after Luffy outwits him with a play on words. Aokiji is an imposing threat, only kept at bay because he decides to retreat. He is also responsible for CP9’s actions in Water 7. The Straw Hats’ encounter with Aokiji also establishes how far they will go to protect Robin, as they take her back to the Going Merry to thaw her out.
5 Mr. 3 Almost Killed With His Dramatic Wax Devil Fruit
The Little Garden Arch featured Baroque Works agent Mr. 3 and his partner, Miss Golden Week. Mr. 3 trapped Vivi, Nami, and Zoro on top of his wax monstrosity with his Wax Devil Fruit as he rained down more substance from above to suffocate them to death.
Luffy is severely inhibited by Miss Golden Week, who is able to affect his moods and actions with her powerful paint colors. It takes Usopp’s ingenuity and Karoo’s quick work to free the trio from Mr. 3’s control and give the Straw Hats a fighting chance, with Zoro nearly severing their legs beforehand.
4 Sabo Proves His Worth As Ace’s Successor
Sabo was presumed dead for several years. To the surprise of fans, he reappeared alive and well in the Dressrosa Arc. After consuming the Flame Fruit, Sabo gained Ace’s former powers and battled Jesus Burgess, one of the Bullfight Coliseum’s competitors. In events mirroring those of Marineford, Sabo rushes to defend Luffy from Burgess and is pushed into a fight when Burgess insults Ace’s memory. Unlike Ace, Sabo is able to defeat Burgess while demonstrating Burgess’ abilities with his new Devil Fruit, stating that he is a worthy successor.
3 Luffy Impresses Katakuri Even When He Defeats Him
Big Mom’s son Charlotte Katakuri is one of Luffy’s biggest opponents. With his Mochi-Mochi Devil Fruit and his amazing strength, Katakuri invades the Thousand Suns through the Devil Fruit traveling through Charlotte Brûlée’s mirror. To ensure his friend’s escape, Luffy forces Katakuri into the Mirror-World and breaks the mirror to trap them in the dimension. The fight lasts for a while and Luffy has to temporarily retreat more than once to get Haki back from him. During the match, a mutual respect grows between the two rivals. Luffy emerges victorious, but Katakuri holds him in high esteem and wishes him well.
2 Usopp shows his fighting ability for the first time
Ussop and Luffy’s battle is one of the most emotional confrontations in OnePiece. This conflict marks the first major rift between the Straw Hats. Feeling useless after being robbed of his Skype treasure, Usopp takes it personally that Luffy opts to get a new ship in Water 7 instead of fixing the Going Merry.
As Usopp is unable to admit that Merry is seriously compromised and Luffy is not choosing his words well, Usopp leaves the crew and challenges his captain to a duel for Merry’s property. Despite being used as comic relief, Usopp’s attack, Stars and Dials, does surprisingly great damage against Luffy, who is hesitant to harm Usopp.
1 Ace And Luffy Support Each Other At Marineford
At Marineford, the brothers’ association is shown on screen, allowing viewers to see the duo fighting together as adults. Flame and Rubber work in perfect tandem to fend off the Marines once Ace is freed, providing an impressive climax to the tension built since Ace was captured. Although Ace and Luffy’s teamwork gives him an advantage, the fight is also defined by its tragic outcome. About to escape, Ace is forced to rejoin the fight after Admiral Akainu insults Whitebeard. As Akainu’s Magma-Magma no Mi is more powerful, he ends up killing Ace, who is protecting Luffy. The death of this fan favorite is easily one of the most iconic and heartbreaking moments in history.