One Piece has without a doubt some of the saddest, most emotional moments in anime. On the surface it may seem like a happy-go-lucky series about a wacky pirate crew with superpowers, and although I won’t deny that it is, the show has some downright depressing moments and tragic backstories that’s made so many of us bawl out crying. Eiichiro Oda has mastered the art of a backstory throughout the serialisation of One Piece and does a fantastic job of hitting us right in the feels. Here are some of the saddest and most emotional moments in One Piece.
Before you continue, I must warn you that this post is going to be full of spoilers so please proceed with caution.
Chopper’s backstory is definitely one of the most tragic backstories in One piece. Chopper has one of the kindest hearts in the show and to see what he went through to get a poisonous mushroom that he thought would take care of Dr. Hiriluk terminal illness was just so tragic. Not to mention that he was discriminated and hunted by both reindeer and humans and cast out to die.
The arc also featured one of the most inspiring quote from the kind-hearted Dr. Hiriluk before his death. Dr. Hiriluk embodied what it meant to be a true pirate and taught this to Chopper despite him not even having a crew.
His death was extremely sad and I believe most would agree that this is one of the most emotional moments in One Piece.
Hey… When do you think a person dies? When a bullet from a pistol pierces his heart? No… When he’s attacked by an incurable disease? No… When he eats a deadly poisonous mushroom soup? No! A man dies when people forget him…
It also helps that Chopper’s also the cutest character in all of One Piece.
Buster Call in Ohara
We were all quite confused by the addition of Robin into the Strawhats pirates. She didn’t have a tragic backstory like the rest of the members and she was quite a bit older than them to be relatable. We were given hints that she simply wanted the knowledge of the history of the One Piece world. We didn’t know why or what for but as we discovered the more corrupt nature of the World Government and the Void century, we had a general understanding.
The incident of Ohara is quite depressing and possibly the darkest the show has ever gotten. Robin, an orphan with no friends and victim to domestic violence, had finally found new friends and family in the Tree of Knowledge. Not to mention she met her new friend, Jaguar D. Saul, only to find out later that the World Government was planning a buster call on the island.
The reunion of Robin and her mother which was cut short, the death of her new friend Jaguar D. Saul, the deaths of the archaeologists, and the innocent human lives that were taken away by the hands of the Marines and World Government. All this, witnessed by an 8 year old girl who now had a 79,000000 bounty on her, had forced her to believe that life wasn’t worth living.
Honorable mention – Robin shouting “I want to live!”.
Think of the manliest man you know. Now double that and double it again and keep doubling that until you finally get Whitebeard. He wasn’t only the strongest, most feared and respected character in all of One Piece, but also a kind-hearted and loving father to unwanted children who had no homes.
Whitebeard didn’t want fame, money or power, heck he didn’t even want to be the pirate king. All he wanted was a family he never had as a child. In a lot of ways he’s very similar to Luffy.
In the marineford arc, we got to see just how much love Whitebeard has for his children and what he’s willing to do to save just one of them. The more we learned about whitebeard, the more we understood why Ace loved him.
The man was respected by Roger, Garp, Oden, Sengoku, Shanks, Mihawk. Basically all the legendary figures we know in One Piece. We also got to see the coolest and most powerful paramecia devil fruit on display.
Knowing all this about Whitebeard, it was definitely sad to watch Blackbeard betray him and in the end kill him. However, he didn’t die without getting one of the greatest last words and narration.
One Piece, does exist!Whitebeard
Even in death, his body did not fall. His figure, taking down enemies while losing half of his head, was truly monstrous. The total number of sword wounds he received in this battle was 267. He was shot by 152 bullets and was hit by 46 cannonballs. And despite all this, his proud back, over the course of his entire life as a pirate, never received a single scar from running away!Narrator
Oh.. and he did all this while he had a sword wound in his stomach WHILE having poor health condition WHILE being old!
Roronoa Zoro’s Sacrifice
Zoro’s sacrifice is without a doubt one of the most badass and emotional moments in One Piece. The absolute respect Zoro has for his captain and what he’s willing to do for Luffy was shown on full display in Thriller Bark.
This was the same Zoro who told Luffy in episode 2 that he’ll always follow his own ambitions and that if Luffy ever stops him from pursuing his goal, he would kill him. One Piece really doesn’t get any better than this. It’s rare to see such level loyalty and respect even in One Piece.
At the time when we didn’t know the true motivations of Bartholomew Kuma so I truly thought that this was the end for Zoro. When everyone wakes up and Sanji finds Zoro’s still alive, it gave me goosebumps. Zoro refuses to die. He’s been stabbed and cut over and over again and has always been the one that takes the heaviest blows for the team.
Whole Cake island was a period of time when One Piece was taking a very unique and different way of storytelling. The entire arc had a dark tone where Oda was really challenging some of the already established ideas and storytelling techniques in the usual formula.
This was a moment where the audience truly felt there was a possibility that a crew member could die at anytime. Big Mom was far too strong. The Strawhats were in a Yonko territory now and were clearly outclassed by the Big Mom pirates.
However, it was still hard to believe that someone would actually die! I mean this is Oda. He hates killing off characters right? So I believe I can speak for everyone when I say that we were all caught off-guard by Pedro’s sacrifice. For someone who knew so little about the crew, Pedro understood how important Luffy and co was for the entire world.
Pedro understood that Luffy was the man Roger was waiting for. The fact that he didn’t question his decision and died smiling, knowing he did what was best for the world was truly one of the greatest, saddest and most emotional moments in One Piece.
Vivi says goodbye
Vivi is without a doubt a part of the Strawhat crew. In the duration of the time she was in the crew, she was loved by everyone. Vivi was someone who had to shoulder so much burden all by herself. Despite the fact that she was always sad and stressed out by her duties as the princess of Alabasta, she always remained kind and caring.
One of my favourite moments in all of One Piece was when she knew that saving Nami from her illness was the correct course of action. Vivi knew that she need to get back to Alabasta as fast as possible but she also knew that saving her friend should be her number one priority.
Vivi brought so much entertainment to the story alongside her pet Carue. I especially liked the way she called Zoro, Mr. Bushido. She will be missed but as we know One Piece, she’ll definitely be making a return and I can’t wait!
Luffy gives Nami his straw hat
It’s quite rare to see Luffy get serious as he’s usually seen goofing around with Usopp and Chopper. In the moments that he does get serious however, is a sight to behold. Luffy does not mess around.
If anyone dares harm somebody close to him like what Arlong did to Nami, you can bet that Luffy will kick their ass. The fact that he gave Nami his most treasured Straw Hat to hold onto, showed the level of respect Luffy has for Nami and was truly one of the most emotional moment in One Piece.
Nami had been a prisoner to Arlong since she was a child. She was subject to physical and mental torture and forced to draw maps for the Arlong pirates. To say Nami had a tough childhood is an understatement.
The woman has arguably the most tragic childhood in all of One Piece; witnessing one of the very few people that truly loved her die and getting enslaved right-after.
Usopp leaves the crew
There’s no denying that Usopp and Luffy are best friends in the crew. There’s no one else in the crew that understands Luffy’s immaturity quite like Usopp. Cracking jokes, playing pranks, goofing around are the things only Usopp and Luffy like to do.
Watching them fight each other was extremely heartbreaking. Usopp’s insecurity of being weak in a crew full of monsters was very touching and understandable. What Usopp didn’t realise is that he’s also an extremely talented individual who’s saved the crew multiple times. Not to mention he made Nami’s weapon and took extremely good care of the Going Merry. It’s fair to say the crew wouldn’t have made it this far without the help of Usopp.
It’s worth mentioning that One Piece would be a lot less funny without Usopp. He’s provided us some of the most hilarious scenes in the show. Without Usopp, One Piece wouldn’t be One Piece.