18 Best Anime Pirate Characters Of All TimeThis post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
Arrr ya ready kids? It’s time to look at some real swashbucklers who dare sail the seven seas in the pursuit of bounty.
When it comes to anime, there’s a certain show that dominates the pirate theme. I’m sure you can guess what I’m talking about.
But there are some pretty good pirate characters in other shows as well. And they deserve a bit of love too.
So today we’ll be ranking the best pirate characters in all of anime, even outside the One Piece universe.
Anime: Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet
We’re going to start the list off with the pirate queen herself, Lukkage.
It doesn’t take long to figure out how she attained such power on the sea, as she’s absolutely brutal and would choose death over defeat any day of the week.
She also stays true to the pirate stereotype as she has butt-kissers at her beckon call, female ones at that, while also keeping her eye on the male bounty as well.
She might not want to share the ocean with anyone, or share her gold with anyone. But she definitely allows for her lust to spread around.
Anime: Queen’s Blade: Rebellion
Here we have another pirate queen, and I dare say she’s even more stubborn than the last.
Liliana would never choose to surrender. But it seems that even death can’t hold her down for long.
As she meets her fate in Davy Jones’ locker, only to come back under the Witch’s command and start causing even more trouble… only this time she has a phantom crew.
It’s also worth mentioning that she’s the most eloquent pirate you’re likely to ever see. She acts more like a noble with a pirate hat than a blood thirsty rebel.
16. Donquixote Doflamingo
Anime: One Piece
You knew it was only a matter of time before One Piece came up.
Doflamingo was one of my favorite antagonists in the series, just because he was built up so well.
I mean, just look at this guy. How is he rocking that outfit so hard?
Why does he never stop smiling, and how can one smile contain so much bloodlust?
And the man was not all talk, as his pink and feathery behind sat at a king’s throne. And he was even titled as a Warlord.
15. Marika Katou
Anime: Bodacious Space Pirates
Marika has quite the unique background, at least as far as this list is considered.
She’s anything but bloodthirsty, savage of power-hungry. In fact, she was just a normal high schooler.
That is, until she was approached by two men asking her to lead a band of pirates because her father used to occupy that role. She accepts, and although she’s still far from what I would picture a pirate to be, she did her job.
Goes to show you that nepotism can even get you a captain’s title.
Anime: Queen Emeraldas
So far females have just been killing this list, haven’t they?
And Emeraldas is no different.
She’s a galactic fleet captain that commands a band of murderous pirates as they fly around space, pillaging and destroying whatever comes in their way.
And as a captain, Emeraldas is terrifying. She’s calm, composed, has no mercy whatsoever. And has a constant death glare.
Because she has nothing to lose at this point, since she has lost so much in the past that she can basically look death in the eyes and give it a wink.
Anime: Castle in the Sky
When Dola first appears in the movie, she seems like quite the menace.
She’s the captain of an air fleet that’s after Laputa’s treasure, and she doesn’t seem to care how she attains that goal.
The fact that she’s 60 years old is also oddly terrifying, because you really have to know what you’re doing if you manage to be an elderly pirate captain.
But then you remember that this is Studio Ghibli. And that with the exception of Firefly, life is good.
So even the pirate queen softens up by the latter part of the story, and acts as the more stereotypical meemaw… or should I say meemarr! I’ll show myself out.
Anime: One Piece
Crocodile just oozes badassery and looks like the perfect blend between an old-school pirate and the more modern criminal.
He has this Mafioso aesthetic with his giant coat and a cigar so big it attacks your lungs (yes you, the viewer).
But then he reveals a giant golden hook hand, and you’re right back among the pirates.
The dude is iconic in the show, being how long he has remained somewhat relevant and the fact that he was the first to hand Luffy a giant L.
11. April Bikirk
Anime: Sol Bianca: The legacy
The Sol Bianca crew is quite something.
I mean yes, they technically are pirates as they sail around the galaxy not giving a damn about any rules or regulations.
And sure they might pillage if it really comes to that.
But they’re also very nice people, at least towards children.
When a little girl was discovered on their ship, not only did the crew bring her back to Earth and put in the time to find her parents, but April in particular basically treated her like a little sister.
So, not what I would usually expect from a pirate. But who am I to judge.
10. Kei Pirate Guild
Anime: Outlaw Star
The Kei pirates are quite the force to be reckoned with. And although I don’t individually find them interesting enough to warrant a place on this list, as a group they are quite something.
Firstly, because they pose an actual threat in the Outlaw Star world, being that so many of them use Tao Magic.
Secondly, they’re kind of weird me out. And I feel like that’s a good intimidation tactic. I
I mean, Yase looks like if Hisoka from HxH was dropped on his head as a baby… and I don’t even want to think about what stuff Jukai is into.
Anime: Coyote Ragtime Show
The Coyote gang is probably the weirdest gang of pirates ever to set sail.
Because most of them are criminals, primarily because of their terrible driving. The show starts off with Mister being in prison for traffic violations.
And the engineer that… you know, keeps his ship in one piece, has had over fifty driving violations.
So sure, they all go after a hidden treasure. And as a captain, Mister is really inspiring and cares a lot about his crewmates.
But I think the DMV is probably the biggest criminal in this entire picture.
8. Elizabeth Liati
Anime: Mars Daybreak
This anime is basically Musk’s wet dream, as Mars is entirely covered in water and humans have colonized it, living in floating cities and using ships to get from one place to the other.
However, just because it’s a different planet does not mean there aren’t the same old problems.
Like corruption and a lacking government.
So Elizabeth gathers those who are tired of living in poverty and leads a group of pirates. Strength-wise she could go toe to toe with any man, but she also has the sass needed to put you down before the fight even begins.
So you already know she makes for an excellent leader.
7. Monkey D. Luffy
Anime: One Piece
Considering Luffy has been the most iconic pirate character for longer than some of you have been alive, it stands to reason he was going to show up on this list.
And although at times he might seem like your typical shounen protagonist, he’s so much more than that. I mean, really he makes for an amazing pirate.
Every fight that Luffy is a part of is immediately amazing. And his raw determination allows him to defeat enemies that should be well outside of his league.
When everything is dark and gritty, he’s quite the cheerful fellow. And can always put a smile on my face with his antics.
6. Rokurou Okajima
Anime: Black Lagoon
I want to shout out to Rokurou because he’s like the most millennial pirate ever.
He didn’t even want to become a pirate. He was in fact just a salaryman, but got kidnapped by a mercenary group called Black Lagoon and kind of just rolled with it.
He might also just have Stockholm syndrome, but whatever either-or.
The Black Lagoon represents the modern pirates, as they might not be having sword battles and dying of scurvy, but they are definitely breaking all of the laws.
And even in a group like that, Rokurou managed to be more of the diplomat type. You just got to love it.
Anime: Space Adventure Cobra
With Cobra we have another salaryman gone pirate.
What are you trying to tell us about the middle class, Japan?
In all seriousness, the dude is rather iconic. And I’m sure a lot of the older fans remember Cobra and his space adventures.
His Psychogun has obviously inspired quite a few people in creating newer character designs, and although he might be breaking a few laws, his heart is in the right place.
Atomsk is the type of pirate where children tell his tails around a campfire, and some weird tradition is created to just “appease” his spirit.
By this I mean the dude is a legend, and that he’s shrouded in mystery.
He’s known as the Pirate King as he’s the most powerful pirate in the galaxy (in his world). And he can allegedly affect entire solar systems.
Now he rarely appears on screen, but whenever he does, you just get chills. And that’s how a pirate is supposed to make you feel, at least the cool ones.
3. Phantom Harlock
Anime: Space Pirate Captain Harlock
This was the Captain Jack Sparrow of the 90s anime world.
Not because he was a hilarious idiot with subtle sex appeal, but rather because he made everyone think pirates are cool.
The dude literally went against the entire allied forces and came out on top.
Plus, he has his own philosophies about a proper life, he’s always kind, humble, and he cares for the individual and seeks justice in his own way.
He’s the romantic hero that’s setting the bar way too high for the rest of us.
Anime: Black Lagoon
Although I did praise Rokurou for being a more modern take, you know I still love the classics.
Revy is exactly what I would expect from a pirate character; she has no issues with killing anyone, she has a short temper and thinks that the highroad is for dumbasses.
She’s also a heavy drinker, a heavy smoker, kind of a racist(in the manga at least), sees no meaning in anything, and is just generally doing what she feels like doing.
I don’t know whether this fits your ideal strong independent woman character, but it sure does fit mine.
1. Roronoa Zoro
Anime: One Piece
I bet some of you were scared that Zoro wouldn’t pop up in this list, but here he is.
What can be said about this man that hasn’t been said before?
He’s one of the coolest characters in general. I mean, he fights with three swords like an absolute badass, is an excellent leader and a good friend, always tries to do what he thinks is right, and even has some comedic elements to him!
This is what you call a perfectly concocted badass character.
And the fact that he’s a pirate on top of it all just gives him the number one spot on this list, and probably good rankings in many other lists to come.