“Sometimes, the comrades we make along the way are worth more than what we hope to gain by the end of our journey.”
There are very few characters in anime who embody this statement to the same extent as Monkey D. Luffy.
He’s a lovable, yet very stubborn guy who’s exceedingly selfless when it comes to protecting his Nakama and their well-being.
And I think we can all agree that he’s among the best pirate captains in the series – and is also the one who’s most likely to become the next Pirate King.
With all that said, just how strong is he compared to other anime characters?
Well here are some characters that are likely capable of beating this iconic shounen MC.
Anime: My Hero Academia
First on our list is the former Number 2 Hero himself — Enji Todoroki, otherwise known for his hero name Endeavor.
“Why isn’t the Number 1 Hero here instead?”
It’s because Endeavor is a better matchup against Luffy than All Might, specifically because of his Quirk.
Being a rubber-based Paramecia Devil Fruit user, Luffy actually has quite a few elemental weaknesses that might hurt his chances in battle.
And if we factor in actual science, his weaknesses should include vulnerability to heat; therefore making Endeavor and his Hellfire a huge problem for Luffy.
14. Noelle Silva
Anime: Black Clover
From one character who can exploit our favorite Shounen MC’s weakness onto the next, we have Noell Silva, whose water magic might just be enough to beat Luffy.
Once again, Noelle might prove to be too difficult of an opponent for Luffy because of another weakness that comes with his Devil Fruit abilities.
Yep, you’ve probably guessed it already.
He can’t swim.
And Noelle — bolstered by her immense mana reservoir — has been shown to have the ability to control massive amounts of water with her magic.
Unless Luffy finds a way to strike first, strike hard, and with no mercy (hats off if you understood that reference), then Noelle has him beat as soon as she casts her first spell.
Anime: Hunter X Hunter
We all know it.
Hisoka is one crazy-ass dude.
What’s even scarier is that he doesn’t act like it often – and is actually quite smart and calculating when he needs to be.
The perfect high-functioning psychopath, through and through.
Oh, and did you know that his Bungee Gum has both the properties of rubber and gum? Pretty sweet huh?
All memes aside, Hisoka’s and Luffy’s abilities might be slightly comparable, but there’s no denying that Hisoka has him beat when it comes to craftiness and sheer ruthlessness.
In the case of these two “rubber men”, I’m going to have to lean lightly on Hisoka’s favor, as he’s just simply the more dangerous and lethal of them.
12. Juvia Lockser
Anime: Fairy Tail
Julia might’ve spent most of her screentime simping over Gray, but trust me when I say that you do not want to mess with this girl.
And if you’ve seen what she looks like and what she can do whenever she goes full-on yandere mode, then I doubt you’d say otherwise.
Naturally, this warning goes double for Luffy, because of his natural weakness against large bodies of water.
And considering Juvia is one of the best water manipulators in her series, I’d be willing to bet that she would have no trouble exploiting Luffy’s weakness with her expertise at all.
Anime: One Piece
Now I know for sure that Kuzan isn’t the strongest character in One Piece.
In fact, he arguably might not even be in the top 5! (This might be a bit of a controversial take, but I digress.)
What I consider Admiral Aokiji to be, however, is one of (if not the) worst characters Luffy could ever go up against in his own series.
As I’m sure most of us already know, rubber doesn’t exactly do well in the cold.
Case in point, Kuzan was fortunate enough to obtain one of the most powerful Logia-type Devil Fruits that lets him generate and control ice.
And it’s something that essentially provides him with the perfect countermeasures for Luffy’s own Devil Fruit ability.
10. Alibaba Saluja
Even without his Djinn Equip, Alibaba is still a force to be reckoned with.
He is, after all, a great swordsman – and a good battle tactician all on his own.
But once he’s armed with his Djinn Equip, he becomes an instant threat to even the most powerful of enemies including Luffy.
With it, he gains significant physical stat boosts, and the ability to generate and control intense white-hot flames.
Combine that with his expert swordsmanship and he’s sure to give Luffy a very hard match all the way.
9. Toshiro Hitsugaya
Much like Alibaba, Toshiro has two advantages over Luffy with regards to the weaknesses he can exploit.
The first is obviously his ability to overwhelm Luffy with his vast array of ice techniques.
The second advantage is not exactly a “weakness” per se, but it still hurts Luffy’s chances.
Luffy, simply put, just lacks the range to keep up with both Toshiro and Alibaba, who can attack from afar.
Toshiro is also fast enough to keep up with Luffy’s movements, which lowers the chances of an upset by speed blitzing.
8. Natsu Dragneel
Anime: Fairy Tail
When it comes to Shounen anime, Natsu is rightfully known as the fire guy.
And by that, I mean he’s arguably the most well-known fire user in anime, who’s also the main character.
Natsu is a Dragon Slayer, and he has almost every awesome trait that a dragon can have.
Namely he can manipulate fire, is immune to fire, has insanely high durability, is physically strong, and many more features.
The fact that Natsu has an elemental advantage against Luffy is already enough for me to bet on him, though Natsu still has a chance to win even if we factor that out.
7. Genryusai Shigekuni Yamamoto
I have to admit that I was tempted to put Whitebeard in Kuzan’s place, to give some older characters a chance.
But this captain will have to do.
Representing all the badass old people who can also kick some major ass, we have Captain Yamamoto who burns the competition to nothingness.
Equipped with the oldest and the most powerful element-based zanpakuto in his series, this old guy can give anyone in anime a run for their money.
Yamamoto not only counters Luffy with his fire techniques, but he can also keep up with Luffy’s speed.
This makes this matchup far beyond an uphill battle for Luffy, and I’m sure he’d need more than just the power of friendship to overcome this one.
Anime: Akame ga Kill!
When it comes to ice users who can beat any anime character, you’d rarely see this ruthless ice-waifu being left out of the conversation.
I mean, she’s just way stronger, faster, more agile – and more overpowered than most anime characters.
For example, she’s been shown to be capable of freezing immensely wide areas with her ability, in addition to being able to freeze time itself.
Esdeath’s creed loosely states only the only strongest survive, and I have no doubts as to who would come out alive in this particular matchup.
Anime: One Punch Man
It’s no secret that Genos has gotten his butt handed to him many times in the show.
In fact, I would even go as far as to say that he gets trashed way more often than him doing the trashing.
But then again, we have to remember that it’s not that Genos is weak. It’s just that the enemies he tries to contend with are too damn strong.
However, I don’t believe this would be the case in a match against Luffy.
After all, Genos has evolved his parts to a degree that his speed, strength, and overall destructive capabilities exceed that of the man to beat.
Anime: Seven Deadly Sins
Escanor must be every anime fan’s favorite confident and prideful character.
And more notably, he’s someone who would obliterate most anime characters.
What, haven’t you heard? This guy claps both demons and angels for breakfast!
His strength, speed, durability, and badassery are all broken on so many levels that I feel he might be too much of a challenge for Luffy.
If he’s not careful enough, Luffy might just find himself on the receiving end of a Cruel Sun that’ll more than likely end the battle in an instant.
Anime: Fate Stay Night
Although Luffy’s Devil Fruit ability gives him some degree of immunity against blunt force trauma, he’s still as vulnerable to any bladed weapons as everyone else.
Enter Gilgamesh, who has more than a dozen Noble Phantasms at his disposal — an incredible feat that makes him the strongest character of his series by far.
With his Gate of Babylon, Gilgamesh can overwhelm Luffy from afar with his weapons without even lifting a finger.
And although it can be argued that Luffy has Armament Haki to protect him from such attacks, it’s a fact that Noble Phantasms are vastly different from any other weapons.
They’re the World’s Treasures, after all, and a ton of them are under the control of this half-god, half-human, overpowered beast of an antagonist.
2. Sasuke Uchiha
With how powerful and versatile Sasuke is, this match should be a no-brainer.
While Luffy might be immune (or at least resistant) to Chidori, Sasuke just has too many hax-tier jutsus at his disposal to compensate.
For example, he has Amaterasu that’s even hotter and more of a pain to deal with than just any other kind of fire.
He’s an expert (kind of an understatement) when it comes to Genjutsu and Taijutsu, which means he can tango with Luffy either face to face or from afar.
It doesn’t matter where, when, and how.
Sasuke wins this battle 10 times out of 10.
Anime: Dragon Ball
Never mind the Saiyans.
Our favorite “villain-turned-good-guy” Namekian is enough of an overwhelming opponent for Luffy as it is.
I know he might’ve spent an increasingly large part of his screen time out of the spotlight recently, but Piccolo’s strength still isn’t something to be overlooked.
Luffy is no joke as well.
But no amount of Armament Haki would protect him from one of Piccolo’s Special Beam Cannons, as they can literally drill a hole through anything.
Then again, I’m pretty sure cannons don’t just drill through things last time I checked.
Meh. That’s what makes the move special, I suppose.
I mean, who are we to question this guy’s naming sense, right?