One Piece is host to a wide variety of characters, but the female characters in particular are some of its best. Host to tragic backstories aplenty and triumphant moments of success and dominance, they’re capable of carrying the fandom’s interest with ease (and not merely due to Eiichiro Oda’s “specific” choices in character designs). Of the many shown throughout the series though, these are our picks for the top 10 best One Piece female characters.
10. Jewelry Bonney
The only female member of the Worst Generation, Jewelry Bonney is one of the more mysterious members of this list.
Capable of altering both her own age and the ages of those she touches, she’s an expert at manipulating others through unique tactics. She’s not afraid to trick her foes into believing she’s a harmless child, only to render them incapable of fighting back by making them ancient octogenarians or sniveling brats.
Unlike many of the other characters on this list though, we still don’t know her full backstory or what she’s after. All we do know is that her father is Bartholomew Kuma, and all her deeds as a pirate were done so that she could eventually find a way to free him from his modifications.
This intrigue surrounding her, and the fact that she’s finally taking center stage in the Egghead Island arc, earn her a tentative bottom slot on our list. She could easily move further up depending on where her story goes, and we can’t wait to see what happens.
The spry centenarian medical expert of the snowy Grand Line kingdom Drum Island, Doctorine Kureha is exemplary of the senior single lady dream.
Hailed as a witch who can save most anyone from any malady, she goes where she wants when she wants. People fear and respect her, which makes perfect sense given she can pulverize even those with Devil Fruit powers through her sheer strength alone.
And yet, she’s far from some grand-standing megalomaniac. She cares deeply for anyone and anything that lives on her home island, protecting and nurturing those she finds potential in so that they can contribute to everyone’s longevity. Should they prove skilled enough to help the world at large, she’ll readily push them toward achieving their dreams and aspirations; even if it means wounding her own heart in the process.
If not for the fact that she only appears in a brief transitional arc, she would have certainly risen even higher up our list. All the same, she holds a solid lower slot and puts so many other contenders to shame.
One of the more interesting One Piece characters in general, Perona is a bit of a wild card when it comes to her goals and aspirations.
Once a leading member of Gecko Moria’s crew, she wields the ability to incapacitate all but the most negative and pessimistic people via her ghostly servants. This can turn even the most powerful opponents into heartbroken messes on the ground, and ensure she escapes threats without a scratch on her gothic head.
Despite this impressive power though, she’s more concerned with finding a nice, gloomy place to kick back and relax at. Such is how she comes to live with Hawkeye Mihawk, and how she ends up taking care of Zoro during his training. One might think she does so because she likes the directionally challenged swordsman, but it’s also because she’s not nearly as villainous as she was initially made out to be. So long as no one gets in the way of her goals, she’s happy to live and let live.
We can’t help but respect her determination to do what she wants and how she wants. If not for her somewhat wasted potential as a powerhouse given her abilities, she would have risen even high among the ranks of the best female characters in One Piece.
7. Curly Dadan
Who was brave and kind enough to nurture Luffy and Ace into the men they became? Why, the bandit chief Curly Dadan of course!
Though she might not be as powerful as other characters on this list — and only took them in initially as a favor to Luffy’s grandpa Garp — Dadan had the patience and kindness of a saint. No matter how obnoxious they acted or how often they came back maimed by their training, she was always there to patch up and beat some sense into the brothers so that they’d at least live long enough to set out on their adventures.
Adding to her merits is her courage. It didn’t matter if they were a low-level thug or a Vice Admiral of the Navy; if they threatened or failed to protect Luffy and Ace, she’d come at them with enough rage to leave them bloodied on the ground and seriously contemplating their life choices.
She may not be present or powerful enough to climb any higher on this list, but the brief moments she does appear are enough to lock her in near the middle of our list of the best female characters in One Piece.
6. Boa Hancock
Gags about her being hopelessly in love with Luffy aside, Boa Hancock remains one of the best female characters in One Piece by a wide margin.
The impossibly beautiful leader of the women-only island nation of Amazon Lily, she set out into the world to find wealth for her homeland and beat back any threats that might come near it. This was made all the easier by the fact that she wields the Mero Mero no Mi that lets her turn anyone who is attracted to her to stone with short and long range attacks; which, thanks to her beauty, includes almost anyone and everyone she meets.
It was through these strengths that she became one of the seven Warlords of the Sea, and earned the backing of the World Government. With it, she was able to rule her nation largely unabated by the monolithic entity and deal with her adversaries as she sees fit.
And yet, she hides a grim past behind these strengths and accomplishments. Shortly after originally setting out to sea, she was captured and enslaved by the Celestial Dragons, who forced her Devil Fruit powers upon her and subjected her to many an indignity. Though she may be free now, these memories haunt her and fuel her ruthless nature toward almost anyone that resides outside Amazon Lily.
Seeing her story play out — and watching as she finally starts to move forward from her past traumas thanks to the Straw Hats — is a delight, and makes every appearance she makes throughout the series that much better. She’s a multifaceted and layered member of the series’ cast who wears her motivations on her sleeve. Most other female One Piece characters couldn’t hold a candle to her, and that isn’t likely to change anytime soon.
5. “Big Mom” Charlotte Linlin
The only female Yonko in the One Piece series, Big Mom is one of the more captivating female characters in the wider series.
A giant capable of imbuing the life force of others into inanimate objects through her Soru Soru no Mi abilities, the prolific matriarch is not one to be trifled with. Everything around her, from her weapons to the ground her enemies walk on, can be made all the more deadly by bringing them to life as subservient allies.
This, paired with the sizable crew she has amassed through alliances and threats, have ensured she remained at the top of the sea’s food chain. And that’s meant rather literally: Linlin has always had a ravenous appetite, and is willing to eat anything and anyone once her cravings are strong enough. To prevent her devouring everyone she comes across, both her rivals and the government elected to appease her with food and steer clear of her as much as possible.
Amid all this ruthless carnage, though, is a character arc tinged with sadness. Due to her ravenous and destructive nature, Linlin was abandoned early on by her birth family and accidentally devoured her adoptive family in a fit of hunger. This led to her ceaseless desire to surround herself with family and sate her appetite, forever covering the pain she felt early on.
She’s an interesting character even among the wild cast of One Piece, and holds fast at the center of our rankings.
4. Nefertari Vivi
Ever since she was first introduced so many years ago, fans have been begging for Princess Nefertari Vivi to be made an official member of the Straw Hat crew, and for good reason.
Determined to protect her country no matter the cost to herself, she’s unafraid to fight her way through whatever problems she faces. This remains true whether she’s dodging assassination attempts by the Baroque Works and World Government or staring down a Warlord of the Sea, and won’t change no matter how serious the risk to her life is.
And why does she do all this? Simple: As the country’s ruler-to-be, she views the lives and wellbeing of her people as her responsibility. Where other royals would take advantage of their position for their own gain, she wants more than anything to ensure it is used to better the existence of anyone who resides within her domain.
This is what allowed her to hit it off with the Straw Hats so quickly, and their like-minded desire to help anyone they can makes Vivi feel like a perfect addition to the crew the entire time she’s with them. She empathizes with their goals, and bounces off of them with antics and a zaniness that is hard to find outside of the core cast.
It’s no coincidence, then, that Oda tried to replicate her success with several other female characters as the series went on, but they never quite captured the same magic. Vivi is just that good, and easily ranks among the best female characters in One Piece as a result.
There have been plenty of female One Piece characters tied to its many films, so it should say something that Uta stands out as both the best among them and one of the best in the series period.
The adopted daughter of Red Haired Shanks, she was destined to be a top diva of the world from an early age. Her singing skills are unmatched, and she has a natural caring for others that motivates her to use her voice to help them through all the world’s many issues and hardships.
This isn’t hyperbole either. Thanks to the abilities granted to her by the Uta Uta no Mi, she can transport those who hear her voice to a dream world where they’re treated to whatever illusions she wishes. Aside from being incredibly powerful, this pairs perfectly with her popularity and empathetic nature, luring others in long enough for her to ensnare them with little hope of escape.
She’s likewise capable of summoning the Tot Musica, a demon which can only be brought forth by those who have the abilities of the Uta Uta no Mi. Though not entirely subservient to her, it can fight off anyone who tries to take her on in both the waking and dream world, and can go toe to toe with even the strongest Pirates or Marines.
Rounding all of this out is the fact that her story makes her one of the less cartoonishly evil villains in the franchise. Her earnest desire to protect others, while misguided, makes her overall goal understandable and inevitably tragic. Though she may be dead and gone, it’s unlikely she’ll be forgotten by the One Piece fandom anytime soon.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the female members of the Straw Hat crew clinched the top slots, and the Cat Burglar Nami comes in narrowly with the second place slot.
A money-minded genius when it comes to navigation and analyzing the weather phenomenon of the vast oceans of the world, Nami is the brains that keeps the Straw Hat crew moving toward their goal. She utilizes this not only in directing their ship toward its next goal, but also in battle via her Sorcery Clima-Tact gadget. By manipulating the moisture, temperature, and wind currents around her, she can create perfect illusions and bring lightning down upon her enemies’ heads in no time flat.
While this might sound like impossibly powerful magic, she doesn’t actually have any special powers. She’s a normal human, and uses tricks and science to get by even among the super-powered behemoths of the Grand Line and New World.
This is impressive enough, but it becomes even more commendable when one sees the journey she takes to reach this point. Though she might have started out as a loner only out to protect herself and her loved ones, she regained her compassion for others through her adventures with the Straw Hats. Through every victory, defeat, and struggle she had alongside them, she grew as a person and emerged from past traumas stronger than ever.
She’s an epitome of what the best female characters in One Piece can be, and if not for her fellow female crewmate, she could have easily taken the top slot on this list.
1. Nico Robin
Of the two leading ladies from the Straw Hat crew, Robin narrowly emerges as the standout and arguably best female character in One Piece.
Forced to fend for herself at the age of eight due to a Buster Call annihilating her home island, the Child of the Devil learned how to live on the high seas fast and has utilized this to become one of the more versatile members of the Straw Hat crew. This is doubly true when one factors in her Hana Hana no Mi, which allows her to turn copies of her limbs into titanic weapons or makeshift wings in the blink of an eye.
And that’s just what she can do in combat. As one of the smarter and more experienced members of the crew, she can act as the voice of reason that sees them to safety; protect her friends from the more dangerous members of an enemy force; or join in with the zaniest of plans in equal measure — all while rarely breaking her calm and collected demeanor.
Adding to all this is the fact that she’s the most intrinsically linked to one of the biggest plot threads in the series. Her skills as an archeologist mean she’s one of a select few people who can translate the Poneglyphs, making her one of the most crucial characters to the wider plot. Each new discovery or step forward in her character arc drives the plot forward in a big way, and makes both that much more interesting to watch play out.
We could keep going, but the fact of the matter is that Robin is the peak of One Piece female characters. And, given the fact that she’s not going anywhere, there’s little doubt she’ll continue to develop and entertain viewers until the credits roll on the legendary series.