One Piece has been a really long journey for most anime fans; with over 900 chapters and 800 episodes, you know that the story has to have something compelling about it. There have been plenty of long anime series in the past, but One Piece has always reigned supreme with it’s never ending arcs full of amazing detail and storyline. There are so many colorful characters and small, individual stories that make up a bigger picture; the world-building has always been an incredible part of the series.
With all these interesting arcs and complex characters, it only stands to reason that we see a lot of amazing plots and scenes. One thing One Piece has always been good at is their heartbreaking stories. When we’re first introduced to this series, we think it’s an adventure full of lighthearted events revolving around Luffy becoming king of the pirates. Instead, we get heartbreak after heartbreak as characters go through literal hell, journeys for justice, and vengeance along with stories of total and complete loss. It’s been one of the show’s strongest aspects and a large reason that it’s been going strong for so long. We’ve looked through dozens of heart-wrenching moments for One Piece, but here are 15 of the absolutely devastating scenes we’ve ever had to watch from the show.
Ace's death is known as one of the saddest moments in One Piece because we not only lose a beloved character but also because we see Luffy pushed to his very limits. Ace was considered Luffy's brother and died trying to protect him from Akainu. It was such a tense moment seeing Akainu lunge for Luffy and then realizing Ace had been punched straight through his chest. No one ever really recovered from this in part because we've not seen his death avenged yet.
This was perhaps one of the saddest deaths for a character we barely got to see much of. Corazon, the thought to be the mute brother of Doflamingo, revealed to a young Trafalgar Law that he was, in fact, able to speak. Through a series of events, Corazon finds out about Law's illness and stops at nothing to cure him. We find out that he was actually working with the Marines in hopes of stopping his brother; a truth he would later be killed for. Before passing on, he smiled at Law telling him that he was loved.
The Going Merry is where our journey truly began; most of the crew was already together by the time we got it and we saw the entire East Blue with it. As a gift from Kaya, this became the first home the Straw Hat Pirates shared together for countless chapters and episodes. But, after a long life full of damage, she could go no further with us. We saw the Straw Hats give her the Viking funeral she deserved after Enies Lobby. With her end came a new start, but it was still heartbreaking to watch this first ship go.
In the Whole Cake Island arc, we found out about Sanji and his horrific past with his blood-related family. His father was abusive, his brothers were cruel and his sister had no choice but to follow in order to survive. Luffy is determined to get his chef back, but the two have to fight it out - a result that was heartbreaking for fans. Luffy clearly holds back and Sanji feels that, if he fights hard enough, Luffy and the crew will leave the island, saving themselves. The fight ends with a beaten captain and Nami, in anger, slapping Sanji across the face. The Straw Hat captain then gets up and declares that he will starve himself, unthinkable for someone as hungry as Luffy, until Sanji comes back.