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One Piece: 10 Saddest, Most Heartbreaking Deaths

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  • Posted on 05th Aug, 2022 13:15 PM

One Piece is widely popular for its lovable characters and amazing fights, but the anime also features many emotional, gut-wrenching deaths.

The much-anticipated release of Netflix’s live-action reimagining of One Piece, due to release sometime in 2023, has many fans in the anime world excited as it will provide a fresh and modern take on one of the most popular anime of all time.

As One Piece is one of the longest-running anime series, the show has had many characters come and go throughout the show's 23-year (and counting) run. This has led to many emotional deaths that are sure to garner some big emotions from the audience.

Gol D. Roger

In One Piece, Gol D. Roger is the legendary pirate who became the first King of the Pirates after he conquered the grand line. His last famous last words right before his execution set in motion the entire show to this point. But what made this death much more emotional was his seemingly cheerful and carefree attitude during his execution.


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Seeing such a legendary character in the anime executed like this was not only interesting for fans but also brought several emotions, as he is able to joyfully accept death in a way that seems near impossible. While it may initially seem like a fall from grace, Gol D Roger's death serves as a reminder to cherish life for what it is.


As one of the best and fan-favorite characters in One Piece, Pedro stood out from the other characters not just because of his jaguar features but also because of his boundless loyalty and over-the-top violent nature.

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His death in the Cake Island Arc combined both of these attributes as a character with such a violent nature ends up being the one to make the sacrifice so that his comrades can escape. This death tugs on the heartstrings, as Pedro goes out with a monologue about loyalty and the importance of the Straw Hat's mission.


The ongoing Wano Arc is shaping up to be one of the best (and longest) arcs in all of One Piece, and the story of Oden largely contributes to this, as the samurai forms a rebellion to overthrow the ruthless pirate Kaido, who has the highest bounty on the show. This rebellion would, unfortunately, fail, causing Oden and his fellow rebels to be sentenced to execution by boiling oil.

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What makes this more than the typical anime death is that while in a pot of boiling oil, Oden held a wooden plank on his head so that the other rebels could sit on it. Now known as "The Legendary Hour," Oden single-handedly saved his crew despite being boiled alive.

Zephyr (Z)

In the One Piece Film: Z, fans are introduced to the extraordinarily powerful vice-admiral Z, and although he and Luffy exchange blows several times throughout the film, his best moments come near its end when he decides to fend off the Kizaru-led Marines so that Luffy and the rest of the pirates can escape.

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Aside from the emotionally resonant arc of a Marine seeing the good in a pirate he once deemed irredeemable, Z would die defending the pirates and showed that beneath his muscular and macho attitude, there was a soft heart, making the moment all the more touching.

Dr. Hiluluk

When Chopper was first teased as the next member of the Straw Hat Pirates, there was a lot of skepticism from fans about the character, but this was soon eradicated as his emotional backstory concluded in One Piece with the tragic death of his father figure, Dr. Hiriluk.

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As he is already dying, Dr. Hiriluk drinks an exploding potion as he confronts the tyrant king King Wapol, but not before giving a heartfelt speech about the meaning of life and legacy. His death not only brought tears to Chopper’s eyes but made fans just as emotional as they saw Chopper do everything is his power to unsuccessfully prevent Dr. Hiluluk's death.


In the One Piece world, Whitebeard is a legendary character on the same level as the likes of Gol. D Roger, but despite his fierce nature and reputation, Whitebeard is beloved by his crew and fans because of the compassion he has for others. Whitebeard met his end when he was attacked by Blackbeard and his entire crew in one of the best episodes of One Piece.

Whitebeard’s death showed just how tough the pirate was, as he was shot countless times and died standing. But it also proved to be very emotional as he spent his last moments reflecting on his time and love for his crew.


Bell-mère not only served as a great character who helped flesh out Nami, but her story served as one of the most emotional moments in the earlier episodes of the show as she died at the hands of Arlong the Fish-Men.

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After not offering enough tribute to pay for her and her two daughters, Bell-mère decided to sacrifice herself instead and was shot point blank in the head. Even though Nami and Nojiko have no biological relation to Bell-mère, she still decided to die protecting them instead of disowning them.

Donquixote Rosinante (Corazon)

Corazon is one of the few One Piece characters who have the goofiness and enthusiasm to match Luffy, but he also proved to be just as heroic when he died protecting Law and ensuring that he could escape.

What adds more tension to his final moments is that he actually dies at the hand of his brother, Doflamingo, but even though the end of his life is tragic, Corazon went with a smile on his face, as he was able to protect Law from the evils of the Donquixote family.

Going Merry

Throughout the earlier seasons of One Piece, both the characters and fans became attached to the Straw Hat’s first ship Going Merry as they went on their earliest and most popular adventures on the ship. However, all of the adventures took a toll on the ship and Going Merry could no longer be the vessel the Straw Hats needed to sail the Grand Line.

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The Viking-style funeral for the ship allowed for a very emotional moment, as Luffy’s “eulogy” combined with the scene of many of the Straw Hat Pirates in tears, causing audiences to share the same emotions, as the first era of the show was at an end.


One Piece isn't an anime known for killing off main characters, but many fans of the show were absolutely shocked when Ace sacrificed himself for his brother, Luffy. Aside from the shock of this death due to Ace's strength as a devil fruit user, this moment brought tears to the eyes of many fans Luffy‘s level of heartbreak was something never seen yet on the show.

Seeing a hero sacrifice himself for their comrades is always something that brings on heavy emotions, but seeing such a lovable and likable character sacrifice himself for his own brother made this one of the most emotional moments in the entire show.

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