Thanks in large part to its Devil Fruits, One Piece has featured some of the fiercest and most powerful villains in all of anime. However, there’s one among them that might just stand head and shoulders above the rest: Donquixote Doflamingo.
Let’s breakdown who he is and his time as a main antagonist of the Straw Hat Pirates.
Originally introduced in One Piece Chapter 233 (Episode 151), Doflamingo’s importance didn’t become apparent until much later. Doflamingo was one of the Seven Warlords. The main antagonist of the “Dressrosa” arc, he ruled the titular country with an iron fist, and the Donquixote pirates served beneath their brutal captain and king. Doflamingo himself has an iconic appearance — which includes blond hair, sunglasses, a bright pink feather boa scarf, a white cardigan and pink leopard print pants — makes him immediately stand out.
Doflamingo uses the String-String Fruit, which falls under the Paramecia Devil Fruit category. With it, Doflamingo is able to create “strings” from his body. These strings are razor-sharp and, when used creatively, Doflamingo is able to puppeteer his victims by manipulating their actions, though he can just as easily eviscerate them.
At a glance his string-string abilities may not seem threatening; however, their versatility is intimidating. Not only can he manipulate people and inanimate objects, but he is able to summon strings in his immediate environment. Also, he is able to use his strings as a means of transportation by attaching them to clouds to travel mid-air.
However, Doflamingo’s powers don’t end at the String-String Fruit. As a former warlord, he is able to use the “Conqueror’s Haki.” In the One Piece universe, haki is a sort of power that allows users to access a deeply powerful spiritual energy inside of themselves. However, only a few are able to utilize its power. One must inherently have the Conqueror’s Haki, as it cannot be earned or obtained with training. This haki is defined by the user’s being able to influence others with a glance.
Using his string-string abilities, Doflamingo created a cage, which began to close in and cut the objects (and people) it touched, telling Luffy it would converge in an hour. In response, Luffy attacked, employing his own haki against Doflamingo. However, things didn’t look good for the hero, as his attacks looked either too weak or too slow.
The only way Luffy was able to overcome Doflamingo was to ascend to a new “gear,” which enhanced the hero’s overall strength and speed. Named “Gear Fourth,” or “Boundman,” the transformation saw Luffy becoming even more massive and muscular. After activating Gear Fourth, Luffy breaks through Doflamingo’s strings and propels him with so much force that his iconic sunglasses break. Though Luffy is knocked unconscious, the stringed bird cage comes down, and Luffy is declared the winner against Doflamingo. With this defeat, Doflamingo was stripped of his titles as warlord and king.
Thanks to his incredible skills, combat abilities and Conquerer’s Haki, Doflamingo proved a terrifying and formidable foe. While the villain was defeated, Luffy needed to access a whole new form just to stand a chance against the villain, who was willing to do whatever it takes — and brutally — to win. While Doflamingo’s flamboyance may cause some to underestimate him, his fighting prowess and ruthless ferocity cause him to rank among anime’s fiercest foes.
One Piece is available to read with Viz Media or watch on Crunchyroll.
Doflamingo, a One Piece antagonist, is anime’s fiercest foe. His Devil Fruit power, history and status as a pirate warlord make him a major threat.