In the One Piece Universe, there have been characters that have had their moments of redemption, and some have had moments of prominence.
In both scenarios, we’ve seen Eiichro Oda demonstrate the potential the individual character can have on the story line.
But there are certain characters that promised so much, or had a past connected with the major players, but their story line didn’t follow up on them, or give them the limelight to shine.
Let us look at five of these characters and how much of their potential was wasted.
The first one is as controversial as they come!
Buggy: His Powerful Past and His Pitiful Present
If there is one guy that is the epitome of lost potential in the OP story line, it’s Buggy the Clown.
A former member of THE ROGER PIRATES, he could have been so powerful, yet he lives up to every letter of his surname.
If only he developed Armament and Observation Haki, he would be a powerhouse.
He could split himself up and utilize his Haki to attack the enemy with Armament from a variety of different directions.
As far as his Observation is concerned, that would be a treat to watch as well.
He would be able to observe an attack coming at him from a mile away.
With his detachable body parts, he could give swordsmen, and other trained fighters a run for their money in all honesty.
With proper training, he could utilize his devil fruit in a variety of creative ways.
Similar to Luffy, his Paramecia levels can provide him with significant leverage over his combatants even without Observation Haki.
When given the chance to awaken his devil fruit, he could cause some serious havoc.
From what we know of the Devil Fruit Awakening phenomenon, the user can influence his surroundings to a high-degree.
For buggy, it would mean that he can affect not only his surroundings but also his own body. He can use his body parts as well as his surroundings to fight against any enemy.
The only issue with Buggy is the fact that he doesn’t train, which results in his weak persona.
He’s travelled so much, and has seen the world better than no one else as a member of the Roger Pirates. Yet, he is a comic relief.
What a tragedy.
Sanji’s Decline Over the Years
Yes, you read it right. I’m going to include Sanji in this list because over the years, his character arcs have been half-heartedly developed.
There was a time when I used to look at Sanji as part of the Monster Trio. While officially, he may still be a part of it, the fans (myself included), don’t consider him as such.
There are only a few moments when we’ve seen Sanji shine. After the fight against Enel, we’ve seldom seen such moments except in tiny increments.
In addition to his lack of “shine”, his fights aren’t that special either. Take the fight (or clash) against Doflamingo. Though he bravely saved Nami and the rest, the fight didn’t have the special flare I expected.
His character was killed the moment we didn’t see anything epic after he took on Big Mom.
Against Page One, more expectations were broken down. It seems as though Sanji has jumped down from significant prominence.
His fighting prowess have just been “bumps” and “boosh” moments that just redeem him for a point in time, but don’t offer anything more beyond that.
Rebecca’s Return to Royalty
Born a princess, Rebecca faced the most uncertain of circumstances, and that too in her home country.
When first introduced, Rebecca was the ridicule of the world. Even though she was one of the strongest fighters in the Corrida Colosseum, she was constantly berated due to her royal heritage.
On the battlefield, however, Rebecca proved to be a show stopper, the main-event fighter. Her excellent speed, rapid attack stats, and ability to dodge attacks instantly made her a force to be reckoned with.
The biggest show of display was when she was fighting Hakuba (Cavendish) and he was able to block his attacks with relative ease.
After the events at Dressrosa, she obeyed her father’s wishes and gave up the sword in exchange for the crown.
While that is good enough character development, it meant that her potential as a fighter was sidelined for her to return to her role as a princess.
What a buzzkill. She is now very similar to Vivi, who gave up the guns at Alabasta for returning to the throne.
Hopefully we might see some power-up for Rebecca in the future.
Kuina’s Controversial Death
I personally feel that because Tashigi, Kuina’s doppelganger, was introduced so early in the series, Kuina has been the subject of fan theories from the very beginning.
Realistically speaking, Kuina has wasted potential, who had to die off for Zoro to get a dream.
When she was first introduced, Kuina had been a talented fighter, perhaps more so than Zoro.
If given proper training, she would have made into a supreme fighter. Why do I say this? Because, on top of her skills as a fighter, she also had the blood of the Shimotsuki Clan running in her.
What happened at the end though?
Her death was caused by falling off the stairs. I’m not going to be talking about theories because her death is just too easy to be true.
In the official records, she is now dead. Sad really.
Portgas D. Ace and Luffy’s Progression
I saved the best for last.
Seriously, the death of Portgas D. Ace was heart wrenching to watch. While on one end, Ace’s death left a serious mark on many fans, it made many speculators get saddened by the death of such a superior character.
Ace’s potential as a pirate warrior was wasted hands-down. When he was first introduced, he had all sorts of Haki at his disposal. Not only that, he had a monstrous Devil Fruit that really set him apart from the rest of the fighters of his era.
If that wasn’t enough, his whole journey was on a different level. In just a couple of years, he was able to meet Shanks and take on Whitebeard. As a commander of the Whitebeard Pirates, he was a tour de force in maintaining the influence of Whitebeard as a Yonko.
But above all else, he was the only son of Gol D. Roger. Damn, that should have been reason enough to keep him alive. Yet, he died, and his potential as a character alongside him.
In retrospect, it may have been a good decision, but I personally feel that he could have had more of a character arc before he died off.
For now, Sabo has taken his mantle and his will of fire lives within him. Let’s hope he lives up to the ASCE fighter trio.