In anime, sad backstories aren’t uncommon. In fact, most anime, particularly shounen anime, are known for having heartwrenching backstories for its major characters. But few anime do sad backstories as well as One Piece which, even with its hundreds of chapters and characters, hasn’t lost its touch when it comes to heartbreaking backstories. Our topic today is regarding this: the top 10 saddest moments in Kuma’s backstory.
Bartholomew Kuma was introduced in the story as one of the seven Shichibukai who acted as an antagonist in both the Thriller Bark Arc and the Sabaody Archipelago Arc. However, it was later revealed that Kuma was also a Revolutionary Army member who never allied with the World Government. In the recent Egghead Arc, Kuma’s backstory is finally revealed through the memories he left for his daughter Jewelry Bonney under the care of Vegapunk.
Before we begin our ranking on the top 10 saddest memories in Kuma’s backstory, we’d like to remind our readers that the content of this article is yet to be adapted into the anime and can be seen as spoilers, so, a spoiler warning is in effect.
Table of Contents
Top 10 Saddest Moments in Kuma’s Backstory
10) Kuma Leaving the Revolutionary Army for Bonney
Seven years ago, when Bonney was 5-years-old, a doctor came to see Bonney who was suffering from the Sapphire Scales like her mother. The disease starts as tiny blue scales covering a small part of the face of the affected. But after coming in contact with any natural light, it spreads throughout the body and eventually kills the affected.
The doctor told Kuma that Bonney’s disease was incurable and she’d die before she turned 10. After learning this, Kuma searched all over the world for a cure and eventually left the Revolutionary Army to stay together with Bonney and take care of her. This gesture of his proved how much he loved Bonney over his conscience to help people.
9) Kuma Trying to Escape from God Valley
Thirty-eight years before the present time, the historical God Valley Incident happened in which Gol D. Roger and Monkey D. Garp joined forces to defeat the Rocks Pirates. Unknown to the world, the island of God Valley had turned into a native-hunting game field where the Celestial Dragons hunted the natives of the island as well as the slaves they brought from Mary Geoise.
Unfortunately, Kuma was one of the slaves who was brought to be hunted in God Valley. After suffering mistreatment and cruelty from the Celestial Dragons, Kuma tried to flee. This action of his is evidence of the unbearable pain he had been suffering at the hands of the World Nobles. It’s gut-wrenching how far a little boy had been pushed.
8) Kuma Enduring Intolerable Pain Everyday
One of the most intense scenes of One Piece is Zoro taking all of Luffy’s pain in addition to his own already-wounded body in Thriller Bark to protect his captain. At that moment, the man who made it possible was none other than Kuma. In Kuma’s memories, it’s revealed that Kuma also went through the same experience in his youth.
After escaping from God Valley, Kuma and most of the slaves settled in the Sorbet Kingdom where Kuma became a priest in a church. Every day he’d use the powers of his Nikyu Nikyu no Mi to extract the pain of the elderly and diseased and take all of those himself to spare everyone. Experiencing it once sent Zoro into a coma while Kuma had to endure it almost everybody.
7) Ginny’s Kidnapping
Romance and love stories, while present, aren’t very common in One Piece but when Eiichiro Oda does write a love story, he makes sure to break our hearts thoroughly. This is proven once again with the incomplete love story of Kuma and Ginny. Kuma and Ginny, along with the other slaves, escaped to the Sorbet Kingdom, and from then on, the two grew up together.
Over time, they fell in love with each other but Kuma didn’t marry Ginny because he didn’t want her to be a target of the World Government because of his heritage. They eventually became Revolutionary Commanders. However, the day before they were supposed to meet after a long time, Ginny was kidnapped by the World Government, leaving Kuma heartbroken.
6) Kuma Lying to Bonney about Her Fate
After Kuma learned that Bonney only had around five more years to live, he was understandably broken. However, when he found that Bonney had partially overheard the conversation and now thought she’d get better before she turned 10, he experienced a new kind of hell. He couldn’t tell his beloved daughter that she was about to die, so he lied to her.
Kuma told her that she’d be cured by the time she turned 10 and then they’d visit a lot of new places, filling the girl with joy. The thought of how much it must’ve hurt Kuma to lie about such a thing is very painful and it’s undoubtedly one of the saddest moments in Kuma’s history.
5) Kuma’s Letters to Bonney
After Kuma agreed to become the prototype for the Pacifista, he was made to stay away from Bonney while he did whatever the World Government asked him to do as a Shichibukai. At that time, Bonney was back in the Sorbet Kingdom but under the constant vigilance of Alpha, a CP8 intelligence agent.
Since Kuma couldn’t and would never see his daughter again, he kept writing letters to her. In his letters, he told her about all the places he visited that she’d have liked to visit and repeatedly reminded her how much he loved her. The letters were full of a parent’s love, yet they never reached their intended recipient, thanks to Alpha destroying them before Bonney could even know about them.
4) Arrested by the World Government
Ever since Kuma was a child, his life has been full of pain and suffering. This is why there are numerous saddest moments in Kuma’s backstory, each one more painful than the next. Born to a Buccaneer father and an ordinary mother, Kuma’s true heritage was eventually revealed to the World Government.
This led to the World Government forcefully arresting Kuma and his parents, despite Kuma being a child and his mother being a normal human. After this, the three suffered unbearable cruelty as the slaves of the Celestial Dragons on Mary Geoise.
3) Death of Kuma’s Father
Forced to become slaves for the Celestial Dragons, Kuma and his family suffered unbearable mistreatment at the hands of the World Nobles. Eventually, Kuma’s mother died from the cruelty and his father had to tell him about his mother’s death. Grieving the loss, the father and son both tried to falsely reassure each other that they were okay.
To cheer Kuma up, his father told him about the Sun God Nika and danced to the tune of the Drums of Liberation. This was when a Celestial Dragon shot Kuma’s father to death in front of him. The previous suffering of the family and the fact that Kuma was completely alone in the world now and under the rule of his evil masters make this one of the saddest moments in Kuma’s backstory.
2) Ginny’s Death
One of the saddest and most heartbreaking moments in Kuma’s backstory is the death of Ginny. After being kidnapped by the World Nobles and forced to become the wife of a Celestial Dragon, Ginny came back to the Sorbet Kingdom with a baby and a terminal disease. In her last moments, she called the Revolutionary Army and told Dragon and Ivankov to take care of her kindhearted Kuma.
However, before she could tell Kuma how she’d always loved him, Kuma teleported to her location, unable to hear her confession. But even then he was too late and Ginny had already died. This moment is so gut-wrenching not only because of the tragic and unfulfilled love between Kuma and Ginny but also because this is the moment when Kuma vowed to raise Bonney to be his own child.
1) Kuma Agreeing to Become a Human Weapon to Save Bonney
As we’ve seen so far, Kuma’s backstory is so full of tragic moments that his backstory can be counted as one of the saddest backstories in One Piece. But the moment that absolutely broke our hearts was when Kuma selflessly agreed to become a human weapon without his free will just to cure his daughter of her deadly disease.
At his wit’s end to find a cure for Bonney, Kuma was ultimately suggested to meet Vegapunk by Dragon. Vegapunk confirmed that he could cure Bonney but in exchange, Kuma had to give his blood for him to make the clones that would later come to be known as the Pacifista. Kuma graciously agreed to his condition, knowing that Vegapunk wanted to save people with these new weapons.
However, Saint Jaygarcia Saturn saw this as an opportunity to use the Buccaneer and demanded that in exchange for Bonney’s cure, he’d have to become a cyborg himself and give up his free will so that he could never turn on the World Government. Kuma was forced to become a pawn under them as a Shichibukai and never see his daughter ever again.
Despite the unfairness of it all, Kuma agreed to all of them just for Bonney. He was ready to give up his freedom, his humanity, and even his love for the daughter Ginny left behind and he raised for years. It’s a moment that is guaranteed to make any One Piece fan weep.
We conclude the top 10 saddest moments in Kuma’s backstory here. With this backstory, Kuma became one of the best and most tragic characters in One Piece. In the latest chapter, he even comes to Egghead Island to protect Bonney despite losing his free will. That is how immeasurably he loves his daughter.
Do small things with great love.
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Anamika loves words and stories and putting them to pages. She also loves anime, manga, books, movies and everything fantasy. She has been a fan of anime since childhood and her admiration for it only grew with years. Her passion for writing is even more elevated by writing about the things she loves.