The success of an anime series lies in how well it can keep fans hooked. One Piece is no stranger to that.
A part of its success lies in showcasing moments that are so shocking that, when watched, keeps fans on the edge of their seats.
Seeing as how the One-Piece story line has reached the 80% mark, we feel that it’s high time to talk about the top 10 most shocking moments of One Piece.
So, without further ado, let’s begin with number 10.
10. The truth About Cipher Pol 9:
In terms of the plot and character design, Water 7 is an arc that connects the old One Piece to the new one.
The most wholesome part about the arc was the introduction of the hardworking carpenters of the Galley-La Company led by Iceberg.
From the Straw Hats meeting Kaku to Rob Lucci returning them their stolen money, the CP9 operatives looked like a sincere bunch at first.
But that changed when they transformed into the brutal and ruthless intelligence officers that they were trained to be since childhood.
The betrayal to Iceberg, Paulie, and the rest of the Galley-La crew was a real shocker since. Because, at the surface, it looked as though the arc would be a small one with Franky being the main antagonist.
How little we knew. Oh, how little we knew.
09. Aokiji Saves Smoker From Being Killed By Doflamingo
“Whoa Whoa. Excuse me, young man. Could you step aside? That is my friend!”
I agree Aokiji’s entrance was a given since we saw a small frame of him sailing about on his Penguin, supposedly on his way to Punk Hazard.
But his entry made me jump on my seat. Even today, as I watch clips of his entrance, I get goosebumps. It was totally unexpected the way he arrived and saved Smo-yan.
I was like, “IT’S AOKIJI, HE’S HERE!”
While the scene itself was a shocking moment, what Doflamingo said when he was leaving was even more exciting:
“There is a difference between the look of an ordinary vagabond and that of a determined man.”
At the time, we didn’t know what he was doing here, and what his overall plans were. We still don’t, but we can rest easy knowing that he’s allied himself with the big fish (the BB pirates) for now, and there will be a time when we will see his plans fully unfold.
08. Black Beard and Two Devil Fruits
Before Blackbeard’s revelation, One Piece fans the world over thought that one user equals one devil fruit.
Blackbeard’s antics and his eventual dual fruit reveal changed the general perception.
When we first saw him pre-Skypiea arc, BB was a nice-looking character, equipped with the same enigmatic streak as Red-Haired Shanks. Still, over time, we have all developed a general dislike of the way he conducts his piracy.
Nevertheless, Blackbeard’s dual devil fruit led to the circulation of several theories matching his original devil fruit ability as a “Hydra” type that gives him the ability to hold three devil fruits. A theory that can be true since BB’s Jolly Roger does embody three skulls and six crossbones.
07. Sogeking’s Return and God Usopp
When it comes to shocking moments, Usopp doesn’t look like much of a contender. But oftentimes, he surprises us in his own reluctant ways.
While Sogeking’s arrival at the Sea Train during the Water 7 arc was a real treat to watch, it was only seconded by his return at Thriller Bark. When all the chips were down, and it looked as though Perona’s Kumashi would beat Usopp, Sogeking came to the rescue and took Perona down.
What Perona was to Moriah, Sugar was to Doflamingo.
Again, Sugar’s Devil Fruit ability landed the allies in an awkward position. If they wanted to take down Doffy, then they’d have to get Sugar first. But getting in contact with Sugar was challenging itself since the threat of being turned into toys was a risky move.
In his own comedic fashion, Usopp was able to defeat Sugar. But what came after was even more exciting.
Being hailed as a “God” among the revived toys, and then gaining first place in Doflamingo’s wanted list was a shocker not only for Usopp, but for us as well.
06. Kuma’s Condition
The Reverie arc had its fair share of shocking moments. While there was one moment that trumped all the rest (which we will be discussing below), the second biggest shock was Kuma’s degradation from a revolutionary, to Shicibukai, to a slave of the Tenryuubito.
If there is one person who became the catalyst towards ensuring that the story keeps moving forwards, it’s Kuma. But his sacrifice and demise were genuinely saddening.
Another event that was equally shocking and arose out of Kuma’s condition was the presence of the Revolutionary Army at Mariejois.
At this point, we do not know what happened to them, but their presence indicates that the pot was at a boiling point in Mariejois.
05. Kaido’s Scar
When first introduced, the narrator gave a short summary of what kind of person Kaido was:
“People often say, “If it’s one-on-one, Kaido will win.” On land, sea, and air… among all living things, he is a pirate who is known as the “strongest creature”!!!”
At the time, it seemed as though there was no person on earth capable of defeating Kaido and his brute strength. The narrator’s monologue was even more solidified when Kaido one-shotted Luffy showcasing the difference between him and the rest of the enemies Luffy faced previously.
All of that was changed during Kozuki Oden’s flashback arc where we saw Oden going head-to-head against Kaido, and injuring him.
While he was a crazy guy throughout his life, Oden Kozuki annihilated the notion that Kaido could be injured at all. If Kaido was at least honorable, then it wouldn’t have been much of a difficulty for Oden to take him one-on-one.
But sadly, life was indeed unfair to Kozuki Oden.
04. Brook Standing Up To Big Mom
In both Fishman Island, and Punk Hazard, we saw our jolly musician change gears into a badass fighter. While epic, nothing was shocking about it since he did it mostly out of necessity.
But all of the changed when Brook went to Big Mom’s lair for a copy of the Road Poneglyph during the Wholecake Island arc. When his trademark sneak wasn’t an option, Brook found himself confronted with the overpowered Big Mom. Upon hearing Sanji being belittled by Big Mom, Brook started:
Face-to-face with a Yonko, Brook stood his ground and, for the first time, went on a monologue that shocked us to the core and displayed his dedication to the Straw Hat Pirates.
Another powerful contender for this category could be Jinbe standing up to Big Mom. Still, I felt that Brooke standing up to her was a lot more shocking.
03. Shanks at Marineford
This one needs no introduction at all. It’s a scene etched in the minds of One Piece fans the moment it happened.
The thing is that it wasn’t on the books. Therefore, it was a shocking moment to both the fans and the characters fighting in the war.
Nobody expected it since the fans were generally reluctant towards seeing Shanks since he was involved in a skirmish against Kaido. A fact that was noted by Admiral Momonga before the war began.
But it wasn’t just his arrival that shocked everyone. It was also the amount of power he projected as a Yonko at Marineford, even though he was of average stature compared with the rest of the Yonko.
Other than that, the shocking thing was that Shanks was able to arrive just in time to save Luffy, Jinbe, and the WB Pirates from annihilation but sadly not in time to save Ace. Moreover, he did all that while apparently deterring the Beast Pirates from arriving at Marineford.
02. Minks Bowing Down To The Wano Samurai
Raizo was a hot button issue back in the Wano arc. So much so, that both Jack and the Minks fought to protect him. Well, at least that’s what we know now.
During the arc, however, the Minks fought against Jack and the onslaught of the Beast Pirates. They consistently denied that they were harboring the Ninja Raizo, but Jack didn’t want none of that. The mammoth hung both Nekomumashi, and Inurashi at a cross and left Zou. Upon his departure, it looked as though the Minks carried a sincere hatred for the Samurai of Wano.
Fast forward to when Kinemon and the Straw Hats arrived at Zou, and the Minks saw Kinemon and Kanjuuro.
The Straw Hats were worried about what would happen when they got in contact, and when they did, they got even more perplexed. But what happened next was a shock to the Straw Hat crew and the fans.
01. Shanks at Mariejois
This one deserves the top of my list since, at its core, it was a shocker unlike any other. The best part about this was that it left more questions than answers. At this point, we still don’t know who that “certain pirate” he was talking about is, but fans have made speculations and theories about this a lot.
Regardless, it was a shock to discover that he was this close to the World Government that he could just come in unannounced and talk about world affairs with them. All of this makes us appreciate Shanks for the powerhouse that he is.