In my opinion the best One Piece character of all time is Blackbeard and no other character even comes close, some of the reasons why I like him so much are related to his great fighting abilities, but since this is not a power level discussion i will avoid talking about that for now and instead I will talk about why I like Blackbeard as a character, here’s some of the main reasons:
HE IS A TRUE PIRATE
No other character bears a resemblance to real pirates by personality or by looks as much as Blackbeard does, he is confident, cheerful, he is not bound by any rules and is always ready to do anything to achieve his goals and fulfill his dreams, he will even challenge the whole world if that’s what’s standing in his way.
He has the same goal as Luffy, but his path to the top is what separates him from Luffy and in my opinion is the reason why Blackbeard is a better pirate than Luffy will ever be, Blackbeard is willing to do absolutely anything that is needed for him to be able to become the Pirate King, while Luffy will do only the things that don’t break his moral rules to reach his goal, One Piece is a story about pirates and pirates should be completely free, Luffy is bound by his moral code while Blackbeard is completely free to wreak havoc on the world if he wants to.
His speech in Mock Town was probably one of the greatest moments in One Piece, this speech truly says what being a pirate means, even if everyone laughs at your dreams and undermines your effort, you are still free to do whatever you want, and if you don’t stop believing, you will eventually fulfill your dreams even if the whole world has turned against. Love or hate Blackbeard, there’s no denying that his speech in Mock Town motivates every one of us to never give up and that through sheer willpower we can overcome anything that stands in our way.
HE IS UNIQUE AND MYSTERIOUS
Even in the world of One Piece where we can see many interesting characters in action, Blackbeard still continues to amaze us by showing us things we didn’t even think were possible.
The first time we ever saw him in a fight, he used the power of his Darkness Fruit which was completely unique even for a Logia Devil Fruit, what was even more interesting is the fact that even though not many people differentiate one Devil Fruit from the other and usually eat the first Devil Fruit that they come to contact with, Blackbeard seems to know how do differentiate them, he used that knowledge and waited for years, possibly passing out on many different Devil Fruit, just so he could have the chance of consuming the strongest Devil Fruit out of them all.
If everything said so far doesn’t make him stand out enough, than his “irregular body” as said by Marco surely will. He is the only person in One Piece so far that can use two Devil Fruits, which was previously thought to be impossible as eating more than one can surely kill a normal man.
He is almost completely mysterious, we don’t know much about his backstory and motivations, the best we can find out about his backstory is that he probably didn’t have good childhood as we can see him crying under the moon while he was a child and that he was more than likely born in some Winter Island based on his inability to sleep, as we know that people born on Winter Islands will die if they fall asleep.
The most interesting thing about Blackbeard is that even with so little info we have about him and his early life he still continues to impress us as a character and I’m sure he will become even more interesting when we learn more about his past and his true motivations.
HE IS A PERFECT VILLAIN
Blackbeard is a great villain, threatening, powerful, intelligent and never without a plan. Some villains are so evil that we see them as monsters and can’t even relate to them in any way, this is where Blackbeard is completely different and is one of the reasons why he is a perfect villain, he is not a heartless monster, he is just a man that is chasing his dream and will do anything to catch those dreams, I’m sure most of us can relate to that, his speech at Mock Town would never make us guess that he is a villain.
Blackbeard’s introduction was perfectly executed, when we saw him in Mock Town his speech made us think that he is a guy that will become an ally of the Straw Hats and could possibly become a member of the Straw Hats, but we were all blown away when we found out that the person that backed Luffy and Zoro up when they avoided a fight was the same person that Ace is trying to hunt down.
Even though Blackbeard is the only man that can use more than one devil fruit and he even has two of the strongest devil fruits we know, that’s not his most dangerous ability, the most dangerous ability he has and the reason why he is such a threatening villain is his ability to plan his course of actions without flaw. Everything he has done so far was done according to his plan unlike Luffy who mostly makes instinctive decisions which sometimes put him and his crew in great danger.
Blackbeard was willing to wait for many years just to be able to follow his plan which helped him secure the Devil Fruit he always wanted, he managed to trick the marines and gather extremely powerful crew members, he even turned the Marineford War in his favor, so in the end he was the sole victor of that War, no other One Piece villain had a plan on that scale that actually succeeded in the end, because of his great intelligence and devious plans it took Blackbeard a short time to become what many other Villains in One Piece dream of becoming.
Blackbeard’s role in One Piece is being a antagonist while Luffy’s role is being a protagonist, even though they share similar traits from the D in their name to similar goals, I can surely imagine a better protagonist than Luffy and I can even find many protagonists from other series that are very similar to Luffy, so similar that they could even replace Luffy and only minor things in the story would change because of that, but after seeing what Blackbeard did in the story up until now and what he has the potential to do later on, i'm sure i could never think of a better and more interesting antagonist than Blackbeard in this story.
I'm looking forward to Zara's post about Luffy, thank you all for reading!
A lot of people consider Blackbeard to be a dark or evil version of Luffy, and by extension a lot of people consider the Blackbeard Pirates to be a dark or evil version of the Straw Hat Pirates. That couldn't be further from the truth. Maybe in Two Piece are Luffy and Blackbeard comparable, but certainly not in One Piece. Comparing Blackbeard to Luffy is like comparing grade school teaball to the New York Yankees. Comparing Blackbeard to Luffy is like comparing tepid off brand generic cola to classic coke. Comparing Blackbeard to Luffy is like comparing Papua New Guinea to the United States of America. Comparing Blackbeard to Luffy is like comparing Thriller Bark to Worst Gen. Let me be crystal clear to everyone so that there is no misunderstanding, Luffy is without a doubt the greatest character in One Piece. How can any character in One Piece possibly be compared to Luffy?
Luffy is by far Oda's greatest character. Luffy is so good that I'm shocked the WG staff didn't consider disqualifying him from the Royal Rumble. I mean, what character could possibly pose a threat to Luffy? Luffy shines with the golden light of providence. Luffy is literally the messiah of One Piece. Everywhere Luffy goes, he liberates said location from tyranny. Luffy will defeat every Shichibukai. Luffy will defeat every Admiral. Luffy will defeat every Yonkou. This is the Luffy show. All the planets in the solar system revolve around Luffy. Luffy is going to be the Pirate King. Luffy is going to defeat the World Government. Luffy is going to be the savior of the D clan. Arlong's sister is literally having visions of Luffy because she know's that Luffy is the best. Literally every other One Piece character is a mere background character of varying degrees next to Luffy. Only Luffy matters. Only Luffy is relevant. Want proof that this is the Luffy show?
Explain why none of the other Straw Hats or the citizens don't appear in the sky with Luffy? Because they don't matter. Only Luffy does. Luffy is the Messiah whether you like it or not, that is obviously Oda's goal when writing him. Ask yourself why Zoro hasn't shown his full power yet even though the timeskip started a decade ago? Why is Sanji being used as a hype tool for a villain in every arc? Why is the last time Robin has had a 1v1 fight during the Skypeia arc? I could go on, but you get the point. Oda literally only cares about Luffy. So I find it very strange that the WG mods think I need to prove that Luffy is the better character. The real challenge is everyone else in this tournament proving their character even has 1% of the character greatness that Luffy posses. Let give me you all a clear visual of how Oda clearly sees Luffy in his mind.
Now personally, I believe the best way to determine how good a character is by determining how they fit into their specific role that Oda has assigned for them. There are many characters in One Piece and they all fill different roles. Some characters fill the role of an arc villain, some characters fill the role of a main character. Some characters fill the role of a final villain. Some characters fill the role of an endgame villain. I could go on but I hope you get the point. In this post, we will be analyzing how well Luffy fulfills his role as a main character.
What makes a Great Main character in a Shonen Manga?
There are a lot of required traits for a great main character in a Shonen manga. According to a Harvard 2019 study on what requirements are needed to be an excellent main character in a Shonen manga, here are the traits several Harvard researchers came up with: representing the overall theme of your story, being stupid, being charismatic, aesthetics, being funny, being fearless, showing character growth, how you compare to your peers, showing intelligence once in a while, having strong relationships, having lot's of supporters, having a ton of fangirls, and achieving all your dreams. Luffy meets all these requirements and more. Let's analyze them one by one, shall we?
Representing The Overall Theme of Your Story
The theme of One Piece is dreams and freedom. Dreams is self-explanatory, basically a lot of characters have a dream/goal they will risk their life to achieve them. But what does freedom mean in One Piece? Luffy is literally the one who gives us the definition of what freedome means, so of course he represents the overall theme of the story better than anyone else.
Being stupid is an important part of being a main character in a shonen manga. Ask Naruto, Ichigo, Goku, ect, ect. They are all stupid as fuck. Luffy can be very stupid at times so he meets this requirement for being a great shonen main character as well.
Being charismatic is an important part of being a main character in a shonen manga. You need charisma to recruit the best crewmates, to get allies, and to get subordinates, and to just succeed in life. Multiple characters in the series confirm that Luffy has the best charisma in the entire series.
Whether you use the term swag, drip, sauce, or any other slang word that means fashion, it's crystal clear that being aesthetic is extremely important for a main character. You have got to be looking good if you want us to tolerate your presence for an entire series. Luffy looks extremely good.
Opened up red shirt showing off his sexy abs? Long black coat hanging off his shoulders like a badass? The body of a Greek god? An extremely handsome face? A sexy scar? You couldn't even photoshop a more sexy character if you tried. It's not just Luffy, the entire Straw Hat crew is sexy and they always make sure to dress in the latest fashion trends.
What shonen main character isn't funny? Luffy fills this role quite well. His imitation of Sanji and other crew members are iconic hilarious One Piece scenes.
Luffy is completely fearless. He was willing to challenge the entire world just to rescue one friend. What character has even close to the courage that Luffy has?
Showing Character Growth
Luffy has shown tremendous character growth throughout the series. In East Blue, we never see him taking fights seriously and always choosing to have "warm ups" with his opponents. However as the series goes on, we see Luffy choosing to never hold back anymore at the start of fights which shows tremendous character growth.
How You Compare to Your Peers
How a character compared to other characters is very important, just look at the constant fighting in the Battledome section to see that is true. But I won't compare how Luffy compares to everyone, that will just make us enter a powerlevel debate and that isn't what the Royal Rumble is about. Instead, I will only compare Luffy to his peers. The reason I say peers is that peers are supposed to be on the same level strength wise, so that means we won't run the risk of turning this into a powerlevel discussion. Instead, we will only be focusing on how well Oda treats Luffy as a character among his peers. For example, if you wanted to do this with Kizaru, you would compare how Oda has treated Kizaru compared to other Admirals. If you wanted to do it with Big Mom, you would compare how Oda treats Big Mom compared to the other Yonkou ect, ect. In this case, Luffy's peers are the Supernova, so let's compare them.
I think it's fair to say that Luffy completely outshines all his peers. You could combine all the accomplishments of every Supernova excluding Luffy, and I doubt they can even compare to 1% of the things Luffy has done. Name one Supernova that has done anything close to what Luffy has accomplished in this one panel alone. I'll wait.
Showing Intelligence Once in a While
While it's true that I said Shounen main character are stupid, everyone knows good Shonen characters have their IQ magically reach triple digits and have magical big brained moments at rare moments in the series. Luffy is no exception to this literature rule. The most iconic example is when Vivi came up with the most naive and unrealistic plan of all time and big brain Luffy-sama put her in her place.
Having Strong Relationships
A good shonen main character has strong relationships. Luffy has the strongest relationships in the entire series. Luffy literally has two guys arguing over which one of them will die for him. Both Zoro and Sanji didn't hesitate to sacrifice their lives to Kuma for Luffy's sake. The Messiah does it again. How can any other character possibly compare?
Having Lot's of Supporters
Nobody has more supporters in One Piece than Luffy. Luffy can literally convert everyone to his side. Literally every place that Luffy has visited has multiple people supporting him for the rest of the series by the time that he leaves. Multiple people have volunteered to become his subordinate. Even Fujitora choose to get into a shouting match with Akainu because he refused to kill Luffy. Literally nobody has supporters than Luffy.
Having a Ton of Fangirls
Having fangirls is extremely important for a shounen main character. Shipping wars generate a lot of discussion in anime communities, and a good main character will have a plethora of beautiful woman lusting after him in order to make the shipping wars more fierce. I'm not going to post a panel of every girl who has shown a romantic interest in Luffy, because we can only include 40 images in a post and that alone would take 500 panels. But I will show the most recent example. Luffy is without a doubt the biggest ladies man in One Piece. If Luffy had Instagram, the comments under his pics would literally be women spamming the heart emoji and the eggplant emoji. One Piece fans are obssesed with discussing which woman Luffy will end up with at the end of the series. The Luffy shipping wars generate a lot of discussion for the One Piece community.
Achieving All Your Dreams
A shonen main character achieving his dream is very important. For example, Naruto's goal was always to become Hokage and have the Leaf village acknowledge him, and Naruto successfully accomplished his dream. Luffy's goal is to become Pirate King and he's obviously going to accomplish that. But what separates Luffy from every other character in existence is that not only is Luffy going to accomplish his own dream, but he's literally going to accomplish everyone else's dreams as well. I wasn't lying when I said Luffy is the Messiah and that this is the fucking Luffy show.
Luffy is going to become Pirate King = Luffy's dream
Luffy is going to defeat the Celestial Dragons = Revolutionarie's dream
Luffy is going to be order the Thousand Sunny to All Blue at some point = Sanji's dream
Luffy is going to open up Wano's borders = Oden's dream
Luffy is going to defeat Kaido = Scabbards' dream
Luffy is going to defeat Big Mom = Lola and Capone's dream
Luffy defeated Doflamingo = Law’s dream
Luffy does whatever Joyboy wants = Joyboy’s dream
At this point, I'm starting to think Luffy can just pick up some random sword on the ground and accomplish Zoro's dream as well. There is honestly nothing that Luffy can't do.
So as you can see, Luffy has successfully met every requirement of the Harvard 2019 study on what requirements are needed to be an excellent main character in a Shonen manga. Luffy is without a doubt the greatest character in One Piece and you better recognize who the fucking GOAT is.
Zara continues to impress me with his mad debating skills as usual, i agree with many of the points he addressed, but now i will talk about the things i disagree with or things that i don't necessarily think are good about Luffy.
Here's some of the points that Zara mentioned that i disagree with or points that i simply disagree with:
Representing The Overall Theme of Your Story
I talked about this in my first post, while Luffy is a good example of a character that represents the overall theme of the story he is not completely free, for example, Luffy would rather give up on a dream then kill an innocent, this is exactly why Blackbeard is a much better example of complete freedom, even if Blackbeard needs to do some despicable deeds, he won't give up on his dreams.
Luffy is no doubt fearless, but being fearless is a double edged sword which can lead him and his crew to grave danger, here's some examples of what being completely fearless rewarded Luffy and his crew with:
Only Luffy matters?
I do not think that Oda cares only about Luffy, Blackbeard achieved so much in such a short time that we could even go as far as to say that Oda cares as much or even more about Blackbeard than Luffy, we've even never been able to see Blackbeard fail to do what he planned, while Luffy lost fights and failed multiple times, Blackbeard even made an unbelievable bounty leap from 0 to 2,247,600,000 in a short time, on top of all that Oda's favourite real life pirate is none other than Blackbeard, so it would make sense that one of the characters that he cares about most in One Piece is Marshall D. Teach.
Here's some of the amazing achievements of Blackbeard:
Disclaimer: alright so i had a long post filled with memes and panels typed up, dont have access to that long post now. Drago/nat insist i post something now. On mobile. Gonna summarize my post. There wont be any memes/panels/jokes due to mobile and time constraints since im on my lunch break. If there are any typos then oh well lmao, dont care 💁♀️
basically long story short, there are three main final villains in one piece: world government/akainu/blackbeard. 2/3 are good final villains. one of them is an awful final villain
we’ll start with the theme of the story. If you recall from my luffy fangirl post from above, the theme of the story is freedom. You out here on these streets either trying to achieve freedom for yourself (pirate king), trying to achieve freedom for others (revos), or trying to take other peoples freedom away (world government). Blackbeard doesnt follow the theme of the story because he wants to get freedom for himself (pirate king), but volunteers himself to be a government dog (shichibukai). A contradiction. Imagine akainu and the gorosei saying they want to become the pirate king? Lmaoo blackbeard is a joke
next we will talk about blackbeard’s low iq. He’s actually really stupid. Now a final villain is not supposed to be stupid, they are supposed to display a high amount of intelligence, cunning, and good planning. Blackbeard’s plans are honestly the dumbest plans ive ever seen from any final villain in my life. Now a lot of blackbeard’s plans end of working out, but just because a plan works out in the end doesn’t change the fact that it’s an awful fucking plan. You can’t just look at the end result. You got to analyze every step of the plan.
Homeboy out here spending DECADES of his life on whitebeard’s for a chance to get the yami yami no mi. Do i really gotta explain why wasting decades of your life for a slim chance is stupid? Especially in a series where people become top tiers without devil fruits? Look at luffy, dude has one of the worst devil fruits in the series but it wont stop him being the strongest character. Blackbeard plan to wait decades on whitebeard’s ship for the chance at getting the yami is a wack ass plan
next let’s look at his plan to recruit the impel down prisoners. Holy shit what an awful plan lmao. so as you know when blackbeard shows up, he has luffy and all the prisoners distracting the impel down force, but take into consideration that blackbeard original goal was to offer luffy to the WG for a shichibukai spot, not ace. Meaning blackbeard would have tried to break into impel down without there being a prison break taking place...meaning blackbeard would have never made it through the front door...what an awful plan. Next we need to take in that blackbeard didnt even know what magellan looks like...isnt even aware of magellan’s poison fruit....and well...you know how that encounter ends...entire crew got one shot. Look at our high iq final villain
Blackbeards next big brain plans are to try and sink marineford and that fails, and to get a ship from the marines, and that fails even harder . Its clear that blackbeard is incapable of coming up with a single good plan and thats embarrassing for a final villain
Next we’re gonna look at aesthetics. You expect a certain amount of aesthetics from final villains, no? Blackbeard pirates be looking like homeless crackheads from the streets of Baltimore. Blackbeard got missing teeth and cant afford a dental plan. Doc q be half dead. Doc q’s horse be even more dead. The only woman on the crew looks like the zombies from the Thriller music video. They sail around in a wooden ship, not even mihawk and his coffin is that ghetto (no offence wordyworm). Remember the fake straw hats at the start of the timeskip and how ugly they are? Oda only makes joke characters ugly and the entire blackbeard pirates are ugly, confirming them as a joke
next is how blackbeard provides zero threat, zero tension, zero fear. When you see a final villain, you have to always wonder how the main character is going to win. A classic example being aizen blocking ichigo’s sword with a finger and splitting him in half. You’re left wondering how ichigo will ever defeat him. Or the world government lasting for 800 years, you wonder how they will be defeated. Or akainu beating the fuck out if everyone at marienford and you’re left with the feeling like he’s unstoppable.
You dont get this feeling with blackbeard, because literally half the cast has alresdy made him scream like a bitch. Even luffy punched him once and blackbeard was covered in blood. In fact people say they cant take big mom and kaido seriously because of all their Ls but blackbeard got more Ls on his resume then big mom and kaido do combimed.
tried chasing the straw hats at the beginning of skypiea, knock out stream destroys their ghetto log ship and sinks them. Attacks from ace making him scream like a bitch. One punch from luffy covering him in blood. Magellan one shotting the entire crew. Half dead whitebeard destroying him. Failing to defeat sengoku. Failing to sink marineford. Running away from shanks. Running away from akainu. Running away from rob lucci (a final villain running away from a defeated pretimeskip villain 😂😂😂😂)
this loser is supposed to fill the final villain role the same way akainu and the world government are? The other yonkou dont even give a shit about blackbeard. Kaido made a speech that him and big mom are interested in finding ancient weapons and defeating the world government. Shanks prefers cutting off kidd’s arm because he considers him a bigger threat than blackbeard. None of the yonko care about blackbeard. He’s the buggy of the new world. Hes a clown. Akainu even looked bored when blackbeard was saying this age belongs to him. Blackbeard doesnt provide any sort of threat or tension. We all know luffy is gonna punch him once and blackbeard gonna be screaming and covered in blood as usual. Yawn.
next is the lack of fangirls. This is the first time ive ever seen a final villain with zero female fans. You wanna see akainu’s fangirls? Just open any admiral vs yonko thread and they all screaming in there. Blackbeard? Havent seen one female WG member stan him. Even the women in one piece dont respect him. Blackbeard asked bonney to be his girlfriend and she kicked him in the face. Next time we see bonney, she is excited that a real final villain like akainu is here to rescue her. Then we see bonney at reverie having the time of her life. I know we got a panel of blackbeard with a few girls post timeskip, but those are not named characters. Blackbeard probably paid them to take a picture with him the same way dan blizerian be paying insta models to take pics with him
long story short, blackbeard is an awful
Final villain. Akainu/world/government and the final villains in every manga are much better