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The 15 Saddest Backstories In One Piece, Ranked

One Piece has plenty of fun moments, but it also delves into some deeply miserable topics. Often, these are in the form of character backstories.

What are some of the saddest One Piece backstories? Let's take Nico Robin, whose island home was destroyed by the World Government to prevent them from learning the secrets of the Poneglyphs. There's also Trafalgar Law, whose town and family were destroyed when the World Government instituted a violent quarantine to contain a disease that wasn't even contagious. Boa Hancock and her sisters endured slavery and torture. 

Because One Piece is such a vast and complex series, we can't include every sad backstory that deserves to be on the list. But all of the tales listed here are absolutely miserable. 

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  • Sanji's father, Vinsmoke Judge, is without question one of the worst dads in anime history. Judge wanted his kids to be emotionless powerhouses, so he forced his pregnant wife Sora to undergo surgery that would alter her unborn children's brains. Sora took medication to prevent the surgery's effect, but she was only able to help Sanji, not the other three children.

    As a result, Sanji's brothers were incapable of feeling empathy and constantly tormented Sanji, who was obviously different from them. Judge considered Sanji to be a failure, and treated him with contempt and abuse, literally putting an iron mask on him and locking him in a dungeon. Sanji managed to escape his imprisonment, but he ended up stranded on an island and nearly starving before he finally found somewhere he could belong. 

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  • Trafalgar Law hails from Flevance, a town that was ravaged by a disease called Amber Lead Syndrome. It would have been bad enough if the disease simply ran its course - he would have lost his sister and would have suffered from the disease himself, likely losing his own life in the process. But things were dramatically worsened by the involvement of the World Government, who started burning down hospitals and shooting people in an attempt to quarantine the residents - a cruel tactic that didn't do anything to contain the disease since Amber Lead Syndrome was not contagious. He managed to escape under a pile of bodies being shipped from the city.

    After that, Law was filled with rage towards the world and wanted to cause as much damage as possible. This attitude led him towards the Donquixote Pirates. With them, he intended to destroy as many people as he could in the three years he had left to live - but his mind and his survival chances were changed by his friendship with Corazon.

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  • When Nico Robin first joins the Straw Hats, she does so because Luffy saved her life when she wanted it to end. 

    She likely felt that way because of her miserable backstory. Robin was born on the island of Ohara. Her mother was an archaeologist who left her with abusive relatives when she was two. Not only was she shunned by her family, her peers found her Devil Fruit Powers terrifying. 

    With little love or support in her life, Robin took solace in studying at The Tree of Knowledge. There, she actually met the requirements to become an archaeologist herself. Her days of studying ended abruptly when Marine battleships showed up to destroy Ohara and prevent the archaeologists from understanding the Poneglyph they were studying. With help from a giant named Saul, Nico is able to escape - but Saul is annihilated in the process, and Robin never gets to see her hometown, her mother, or the Tree of Knowledge again. 

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  • 4

    Tony Tony Chopper Lost The First Person Who Accepted Him

    Even as a normal reindeer, Tony Tony Chopper was an outsider in his community. But when he ate the Human-Human fruit, things became a million times worse. Shunned by reindeer and humans alike, he fit in absolutely nowhere.

    His life changed after he met Dr. Hiriluk, a doctor who most people saw as a useless quack. Dr. Hiriluk rescued him after he was shot, and nursed him back to health. When Chopper recovered, he began helping Dr. Hiriluk with his medical work. Dr. Hiriluk taught him to believe that all diseases could be cured, and that the jolly roger was a symbol of hope and healing.

    But that would soon come to an end - Dr. Hiriluk's own health was rapidly worsening, so he kicked Chopper out so he wouldn't have to watch him pass away. When Chopper found out about Dr. Hiriluk's illness, he tried to heal him but ended up using poisonous mushrooms due to his association with a skull and crossbones.

    Dr. Hiriluk ate the mushrooms out of gratitude, then ended up passing away while trying to offer aid to the doctors at Wapol's castle. Chopper found out from Dr. Kureha that the medicine he'd lovingly prepared was poisonous, a fact that was just as devastating as Dr. Hiriluk's demise. 

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