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The Four Emperors (Yonko) are the most notorious pirate captains in the One Piece world, who rule over pieces of the New World like overlords, but none of their bounties are known, and they're all independent of one another (neither friends nor foes). Amongst the four, Shanks is the nicest, while it's a toss-up between Linlin and Kaido for the meanest.
In more recent times, the once-dreaded power of the Emperors has been challenged by newer, bolder generations of pirates: Whitebeard lost his life in a War Arc with the Marines, and his killer, Blackbeard, has officially replaced his former captain as an Emperor; Kaido had one of his islands attacked by Drake (a Supernova) because he knew Kaido would retaliate; and Linlin lost two of her ally ships to Kidd (another Supernova), while Luffy has openly challenged Linlin for Fishman Island and Trafalgar Law (one more Supernova) is hatching a scheme to bring one of them down.. The Whole Cake Island arc is dedicated to Luffy and the Straw Hats getting involved in a HUGE plan by Linlin/Big Mom to acquire power via marrying off one of her daughters, Charlotte Pudding, to a son from the powerful Vinsmoke family... with said son being the Rebel Prince of the clan, none other than Sanji; the following one, the Wano Country arc, is all about the Straw Hats getting ready to face one of Kaido's biggest allies, the evil shogun Kurozumi Orochi, and then Kaido and his Beasts Pirates himself, with the intention of liberating the country itself
- 1 Current members
- 2 "Red-Haired" Shanks
- 3 Kaido
- 4 "Big Mom" -- Charlotte Linlin
- 5 Marshall D. Teach -- "Blackbeard"
- 6 "Whitebeard" -- Edward Newgate
"Listen up... you can pour drinks on me, you can throw food at me... you can even spit on me; I'll just laugh that stuff off. But... good reason or not, nobody hurts a friend of mine!"
Voiced by: Shuichi Ikeda (JP), Tom Souhrada (EN, 4Kids), Brandon Potter (EN, Funi)
Shanks is Luffy's idol, inspiring him to take up a pirate life, and one of the Four Emperors that rule over the New World. Unlike Whitebeard (or presumably Kaido) he doesn't lord this status over everyone else, preferring to travel to different stops and party, with a special fondness for drinking. When Shanks was younger, he and Buggy were both apprentice pirates in the Jolly Roger Pirate Crew, the crew of the late Pirate King, "Gold" Roger, and clashed with Whitebeard's crew several times. They were subordinate to Silvers Rayleigh, the first-mate of the crew, and spent their time fighting each other. Both of them attended their captain's public execution, where they parted ways to form their own crews. Sometime afterward he became the rival of Dracule Mihawk, and their duels are now legend throughout the Grand Line, remembered even by Whitebeard.
During Luffy's youth, The Red-Haired Crew stopped at his town, and usually went to the town bar. Luffy always used to plead with him to join the crew. Shanks not only refused, but teased Luffy about not being able to swim, and that he's just a kid. Shanks saved his life when a bandit tried to drown him, which cost him his dominant arm, but Shanks said that it didn't matter as long as Luffy was safe. Shanks then gave Luffy his favorite hat, telling him to return it once he surpasses him, and set sail.
- Art Evolution: Very drastically. The Straw Hats' changing designs can be chalked up to the fact they're still at a young enough age to physically grow, but it's bizarre to see Shanks become so hunky if you're more familiar with his earlier look.
- Awesome McCool Name to Run Away From Really Fast: You DO know what it means to shank someone, right?
- Badass: Scaring a Sea King by staring at it? Check. Crossing blades with Whitebeard, the World's Strongest Man, and walking away from it? Check. Stopping a war just by threatening to take down anyone on either side who wants to continue? Check.
- Badass Normal: The fact that he can swim automatically excludes him from being a Devil Fruit user, meaning his Badassery is nothing more than a combination of Charles Atlas Superpower and Pure Awesomeness.
- Handicapped Badass: Even with only his right arm, he's strong enough to stand up to the most powerful pirates in the world. Bear in mind that, by all indications, he's left-handed. Because of this, he doesn't interest Mihawk in sword fights anymore, though Mihawk at least visits him from time to time when there's news that may interest him. And according to Word of God, he's still as strong as he was before he lost his arm.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Higuma learned this the hard way, as he hit Shanks' Berserk Button by threatening Luffy.
- Big Brother Mentor: To Luffy.
- Big Damn Heroes: When he saved Luffy. Does it again during the Whitebeard War arc, showing up in the middle of the battle to end the war then and there, rescuing both Coby and Luffy (the latter indirectly) in the process.
- Big Good: Very much a contender, but he's in the same boat as Rayleigh - currently inactive to the plot.
- The Bus Came Back: Seems to be his MO. He always shows up out of nowhere, shakes things up, and then vanishes for yet another long period of time.
- Death Glare: Even sea monsters are afraid of an angry Shanks staring at them.
- Deus Exit Machina: Got one off-screen. Even though he hasn't been in the story lately, he did meet Whitebeard in his last appearance. So when the Whitebeard Pirates go off to save Ace, and Kaidou attempts to take more of a piece of the New World, Shanks blocks him, allowing Whitebeard's rescue attempt to go uninterrupted.
- Generation Xerox: Luffy is becoming more and more like him, rather than Roger, although Shanks notices the similarities in the two's personalities. However, Luffy is more passive while Roger had a violent temper in battle that led (indirectly) to the deaths of both his Friendly Enemy Whitebeard and his own son.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: The scars across his eye? Blackbeard gave Shanks those scars before Shanks lost his arm and before Blackbeard gained his Devil Fruit powers.
- Implausible Fencing Powers: When you're known to be Mihawk's former sparring partner and said spars are said to have shaken the Grand Line...
- When he and Whitebeard crossed blades, they cut the sky in half. The sky!
- He blocks Akainu's fist full of lava with his sword.
- A quick reminder: He only has ONE ARM, and it's not his good arm.
- Internet Backlash: Let's just say that going onto a forum and naming either Shanks or Mihawk as the stronger of the two is a bad idea.
- Mr. Fanservice: Really handsome.
- Nice Guy
- Nice Hat: Luffy's straw hat was originally Shanks', and he was likewise known for wearing it.
- Rayleigh, in a flashback, revealed that the Straw Hat was originally Roger's.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Although stopping the Battle of Marineford was definitely a good thing, allowing Blackbeard to leave unopposed is the exact opposite, and if his Foreshadowing words mean anything, it may come back to really bite Shanks in the ass later on.
- One-Man Army: Come on. He's one of the Four Emperors.
- Only a Flesh Wound: When you've saved the life of a little friend, what's losing an arm to a Sea King anyway?
- Redheaded Hero
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: His red to Mihawk's blue.
- He's also the blue to Buggy's red.
- The Rival: To Mihawk before he lost his arm, though the two are on relatively good terms.
- Tranquil Fury: Considering how cheery Shanks usually is, it's scary when he gets angry.
The Red-Haired Pirates
Voiced by: Kazuyuki Sogabe (JP, episode 4), Aruno Tahara (JP, episodes 151+), Sean Hennigan (EN, Funi)
Shanks' second-in-command and the First Mate of the Red-Haired Pirates. His skills were displayed in the first chapter where he defeat the gang of mountain bandits using only a cigarette and a rifle (used as a club). In his following appearance he looks older and has more scars, but he hasn't lost the edge.
- Badass: He's Shanks' second-in-command. It's sort of required.
- Also, remember when he got Admiral Kizaru to cease his offense by simply pointing a regular gun at him?
- Combat Pragmatist: Using a hot cigarette butt to blind your opponent definitely counts.
- Cool Old Guy
- Genius Bruiser: According to Word of God, he's the smartest guy in the series (smarter than Nami or Kuro).
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: In his later appearance.
- Good Smoking, Evil Smoking
- Lightning Bruiser: He managed to catch Kizaru off guard of all people!!!
- Number Two: To Shanks.
- One-Man Army: Demonstrated in the very first chapter.
- Only Sane Man: Apparently.
- The Other Darrin: After the death of Kazuyuki Sogabe, Aruno Tahara stepped in as Beckman's new voice.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue Oni to Shanks' Red Oni.
Voiced by: Tesshō Genda
Kaido is the third of the Four Emperors to be mentioned. Also known as the "Strongest Creature in the World", he is the leader of the Beasts Pirates and the last Emperor to debut on-screen. He and his crew currently occupy Wano Country, and are the main antagonists of the Wano Country arc.
Very little is known about his history, but early in his career as a pirate, he had been captured by the Marines and sentenced to death forty times. Several attempts at execution were made, but all failed (when they tried to behead him, the blades broke, for example). He escaped and sank nine massive prison ships. Seemingly indestructable, his own attempt at suicide (leaping from a Sky Island) failed.
Gekko Moriah fought him sometime in the past, lost, and had his crew killed. In the present time, Kaido tried to make a grab for power while Whitebeard was focused on fighting at the Marines' headquarters, but Shanks prevented him from doing so. With Shanks showing up at Marineford, it is unknown what exactly went down between the two.
Kaido also recruited Donquixote Doflamingo and Caesar Clown to manufacture artificial Zoan-type Devil Fruits (the SMILE fruits) for him.
Lost one of his favorite islands to "Red Flag" X. Drake of the Eleven Supernovas, but there's no word on how he reacted to it.
- Bigger Bad: He's one of the most powerful pirate captains of all time, but he didn't make an official appearance until Chapter 795 of the manga and Episode 739 of the One Piece anime.
- Evil Overlord: Kaido seems to have dozens of underlings, allies, and islands under his control. He and his crew currently occupy Wano Country.
- Evil Versus Evil: Kaido vs. Moriah, though it's implied Moriah wasn't so bad back then.
- Kill'Em All: To the original crew of Gekko Moriah, hence why Moriah is the way he is now.
- Gang of Hats: He seems to like having cyborgs as his guards, so he might be one himself. Or he just has an island of cyborgs.
- Jerkass: Based on what he did to Moriah'S True Companions, and the affect it had on Moriah himself, Kaido will most likely turn out to be one.
- Meaningful Name: His name can translate into "Church" or "Temple". This may or may not be subverted, as we don't know whether or not he has a preacher/knight/temple theme about him.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Even more so than the other Emperors, if only because every time he's mentioned something bad is happening.
- Noodle Incident: What exactly happened when Shanks prevented Kaido from attacking Whitebeard?
- What happened when Kaido fought Moriah back in the day?
- Slasher Smile: He's the lower of the two silhouettes when the Emperors are first mentioned, though it's entirely possible they weren't accurate, given Oda's track record with them. From what we've heard of Kaidou, though, it's a pretty safe bet to assume he does have one anyway.
- Sorting Algorithm of Evil: The next Emperor shown tends to be more antagonistic than the last. Shanks, the first shown, is a Nice Guy with a propensity for Tranquil Fury, as well as enough charisma to halt a war. The next to pop up is Whitebeard, who follows a Jerkass Facade. Linlin destroys islands for not satisfying her sweet tooth, and when she first shows up, she eats one of her crewmates. We have yet to see of Kaido, but looking at what he did to Moriah and his old crew, there's a good chance of Kaido being the worst of the bunch.
- Straw Vulcan: Some translations have him trying to stop Whitebeard because there would soon be a battle that could result in his fellow emperor's death. Whitebeard did indeed die and there is indeed much turmoil.
- Also important to know others say he just wanted to wipe out Whitebeard when he was distracted on getting to Marineford.
"Big Mom" -- Charlotte Linlin
Charlotte Linlin -- "Big Mom".
Voiced by: Toshiko Fujita (initially), Mami Koyama (Whole Cake Island arc)
The final member of the Four Emperors, Big Mom is the only female member, noted for her sweet tooth. Her protection of islands in exchange for sweets implies a somewhat capitalist mindset.
- Abusive Parents: She has DOZENS of children and sees them as little more than pawns for her schemes, mistreating them horribly if they either fail her, remind them of her failures, or defy her.
- Altar Diplomacy - Arranged Marriage: She sometimes has her daughters married off to powerful people that she wants alliances with. Her daughter Praliné is married to Aladin from the Sun Pirates (as a part of a deal with Jinbei), her daughter Chiffon is the wife of Capone Bege, and the Whole Cake Island arc is kicked off by her forging an alliance with the Vinsmoke clan through the engagement of her daughter Pudding to one of the sons of the leader -- Vinsmoke Sanji.
- A Mother to her Men: Her men all call her "mama". She averts the hell out of the SPIRIT of this as she randomly eats her henchmen for no reason. It later turns out that many of her children ARE members of her crew, and she treats them... badly. To the point of killing one and almost killing another via yanking their lifespans and absorbing them.
- Ax Crazy: Basically the epitome of this trope. This says alot especially with people like Doflamingo and Caesar Clown.
- Attack of the 50 Foot Whatever: She's honestly like something out of a horror movie.
- Bad Boss: She ATE one of her subordinates for no real reason.
- Disproportionate Retribution: She's infamous for decimating entire islands just for not providing enough candy for her. She considers this a perfectly reasonable reaction to someone who failed to hold up their end of a bargain.
- Establishing Character Moment: It was implied she's not exactly the nicest person around before her proper introduction. What do we see of her in the chapter when she's actually introduced? She's an utterly massive behemoth, eats her henchmen, and casually has countries torched over not getting her candy.
- Evil Overlord: Inverted. As long as her Sweet Tooth is satisfied, she'll leave you alone. If not, you're dead, along with the rest of your island.
- Fan Nickname: Big Mama, a bit of a Mondegreen of her title.
- Gag Lips: Possibly. They're on her Jolly Roger, at least.
- Gonk: Very much so. She was be pretty hot when in her 20's, however.
- Hollywood Acid: Her spit/churned-up stomach acid literally smokes and dissolves the ground when it falls on it.
- I'm a Humanitarian: See Bad Boss.
- Large and In Charge
- Nightmare Face: And how.
- Parental Abandonment: Many of her issues can be traced back to her parental abandonment issues, starting from when her parents (fearing her terrible strength and her appetite) abandoned her on Elbaf. Then the supposedly saintly Mother Carmel took her in, only to disappear suddenly during her sixth birthday celebration.
- Slasher Smile:
- The Smurfette Principle: The only one of the Four Emperors to be female.
- Sweet Tooth: Now that Whitebeard is dead, she's taken over protecting Fishman Island in exchange for lots and lots of candy. If you don't give enough candy to her, well...
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: There are some flashbacks to her origins, and she used to be a mix of Creepy Child and Children Are Innocent: she was a gigantic and cheery girl who Did Not Know Her Own Strength, didn't intentionally want to harm anyone and just wished to live happily with her friends. But then her horribly large appetite 'awoke', and she accidentally ate her Parental Substitute and her friends...
- Villainous Glutton: When you eat your own henchmen and destroy islands for not giving you candy, you're pretty much this.
- Worthy Opponent: When Luffy stands up to her in defense of Fishman Island missing their scheduled payment of candy, she decides to pursue him instead, despite being fairly sure that he's just taking the blame to spare them. The fact that he's willing to do so at all impresses her.
- You Don't Look Like You: Big Mom's silhouette from Garp's explanation of the Emperors looks incredibly different from her final design.
Marshall D. Teach -- "Blackbeard"
See Major Villains
"Whitebeard" -- Edward Newgate
Edward Newgate -- "Whitebeard"
"I am only one man with one heart... call me a demon, call me a monster... but I can't be the strongest forever!"
Voiced by: Kinryu Arimoto (JP), R Bruce Elliot (EN, Funi)
Whitebeard, real name Edward Newgate, is the most powerful of the Four Emperors ruling over the New World (the second half of the Grand Line), and the only person to ever battle the Pirate King to a draw. With Roger's death he became the "Strongest Man in the World", and this reputation makes him the most feared and respected person in the world.
However, 22 years have passed since the Pirate King's death and, although Whitebeard is still greatly feared, the world is slowly changing and there are those in the Grand Line are looking to rise to the top and take Whitebeard's place. Whitebeard believes that pirates should have at least some sense of morality and honor, and every member of his crew is treated as his child, and they in turn treat him as their own father.
When people say that he has the power to shake the world, they mean it literally, as he ate the Tremor-Tremor Fruit (Gura Gura no Mi), which has the power to generate massive shockwaves and cause earthquakes.
- Achilles in His Tent: For the large majority of the Marineford arc, Whitebeard was content to watch things progress until he was absolutely needed. It was probably to save his strength, given that he was dying from disease at the time.
- A Father to His Men: Every pirate in his crew is considered his son, and they consider each other brothers. Strangely enough there doesn't seem to be any daughters/sisters...
- At least one of his captains, Haruta, seems to be a tomboysh girl. And since this habit extends to his allies as well, there are definitely "daughters" like White Bay.
- Arrogant Kung Fu Guy: In his first few appearances in the series, Whitebeard comes off as seeming to think that any decision he makes is the correct one regardless of potential consequences, even brushing off warnings from fellow Emperor Shanks. However, this later turns out to be a Jerkass Facade, as Whitebeard demonstrates that he isn't nearly as full of himself as he would like you to believe. Most likely he wanted to make sure he had a reputation for being fearsome and unreasonable to help keep the islands under his protection safe.
- Badass: Indisputably the most Badass character in the series.
- Badass Boast: "I. AM. WHITEBEARD!" Let's face it, it's all he needs.
- Badass Grandpa: 72 years old, but still capable of tearing an Admiral several new assholes.
- Badass Longcoat: Almost as Badass as his moustache.
- Badass Moustache: Look at that thing! It's wider than his face, perfectly curved, and looks as sharp as a sword. Clearly not a moustache to be trifled with. It's also why he's called "Whitebeard" (the Japanese words for moustache and beard are the same). Also, look at the titular Turn-A Gundam. There's a reason the most powerful Gundam to date shares a mustache with him.
- Brought Down to Badass: Blackbeard attacks Newgate with his darkness power, gloating about how it will nullify his earthquake ability... quite forgetting that he is facing the 18 foot tall World's Strongest Man with an even longer bisento.
- Bald of Awesome: In his later years, though he covers it with a bandanna.
- Blade on a Stick: He wields a bisento even taller than he is.
- Sword Beam: He can infuse his bisento with the Tremor-Tremor Fruit's powers to send a massive shockwave towards anything he swings it at. You do not want to be in the way.
- Big Good: Considered as much of a threat as "The Revolutionary" Dragon, Whitebeard was known as "The World's Strongest Man" for being the only one that fought on par with the Pirate King Roger. However he's generally less active nowadays compared to the other two (especially given that one of them is dead). That aside, since pirates are one of the two biggest threats to the World Government, his moral foundation counters and conflicts with the WG's ruthless control.
- Call Back: A Devil Fruit with the power to make tsunamis was first mentioned by Morgan in the very first explanation of Devil Fruits we ever got in-series.
- Captain Color Beard: Obviously.
- Cooldown Hug: After his ally, Squad, stabbed him and accused him of selling out his allies thanks to the Marines leaking false information to him, Whitebeard gives him one, reassures him he would never abandon a single one of them, then charges into the fray to kick major ass.
- Covered with Scars: Whitebeard is covered with scars on every part of his body. Except his back: He never showed it to an enemy once.
- Death by Irony: All he wanted was a family, and one of his "sons" kills him. Admittedly he had already basically disowned the guy, but the point still stands.
- Died Standing Up: To further prove how badass he is.
- Dying Moment of Awesome: His final action, after spending the previous several chapters being stabbed, shot, bombarded, and having half his face melted off by lava, was to fight Blackbeard one-on-one and own him so thoroughly that the entire Blackbeard Pirates crew had to jump in before he stomped their captain like a bug. And even though all of that finally killed him... it still wasn't enough to make him fall.
- He even gets one last moment of awesome in his last moments. Even though he cannot move and is seconds from death, the very last thing he says, broadcast to the entire Sabaody Archipelago, is "One Piece exists!" This one phrase has the exact opposite effect that killing him was supposed to have.
- Eyes of Gold: Didn't have these in his introduction in the anime, but later gains them in the Marineford battle.
- He, Mihawk, and Eneru are the only male characters with eyes that aren't small black dots.
- Face Palm of Doom: In the entire Marineford Arc, Whitebeard unleashed his Face Quake Attack on 2 giants, Akainu, and Blackbeard. None of them came close to successfully tanking it.
- Famous Last Words: One Piece exists!"
- Heroic Sacrifice: Whitebeard's final command was to order his allies to fall back, willing to take down the Marines all on his own.
- Homage: His moustache, which is near-identical to the one sported by the Turn a Gundam. The fact that they're both the strongest in their respective categories is probably another one.
- Honor Before Reason: Goes to great lengths to avenge murdered crew members that would be downright insane were it not for the fact that he's, you know, Whitebeard.
- I Was Quite a Looker: The most recent flashback shows he was a pretty handsome guy when he was young. Of course, he's not so much ugly today as his handsomeness has been replaced by pure Badass.
- I Just Want To Have A Family
- Incurable Cough of Death: Due to his advanced age, and presumably from all of the injures he's taken over the course of a particularly long lifetime of piracy.
- It Got Worse: For the Marines. This line after Ace's death from one of his crew should be a clue: "Oh man, Pops is pissed! EVERYONE GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE!!!!"
- Jerkass Facade: See Arrogant Kung Fu Guy above.
- Knight Templar Parent: See Papa Bear below for more.
- Large and In Charge: Whitebeard is literally three times larger than the average man, and unlike the other over-sized characters in One Piece he's properly proportioned.
- A slight subversion in that Oars Jr. makes him look absolutely tiny by comparison.
- Let's Get Dangerous: When Whitebeard stands up, you know the shit has hit the fan. When he starts walking towards you... RUN.
- Manly Tears: Whitebeard gets especially saddened when he realizes that Ace is really going to die.
- Meaningful Name: His death was the gate to a new era.
- Newgate is also the name of a pair of (both long defunct) prisons in the London and the US (the first state prison in the country). Real life pirate William "Captain" Kidd spent some time in the London one.
- Older Than They Look: This man does not look 72 years old.
- One-Man Army: Let us be blunt. This man did more damage to the Marines than his entire crew and his allies combined.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: Definitely the strongest person alive. Not anymore, though. Alive, that is.
- Charles Atlas Superpower: The most extreme example so far.
- Foe-Tossing Charge: He's the One Piece world's response to Sauron, it seems.
- Genius Bruiser: Turns out Whitebeard's no slouch on chess playing. He saw half of Sengoku's moves during the Marineford Arc coming; had he not, the Whitebeard Pirates and allies would have been finished far earlier than expected. It could also be said that both Sengoku and Whitebeard consider the other their Worthy Opponent in strategy.
- Ki Attacks: A confirmed Haki user.
- Lightning Bruiser: Whitebeard was able to get behind a fucking Admiral without being noticed. If someone hadn't warned the guy he would have been... no, he was still turned into paste.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: The only way to describe what he did to Akainu after he killed Ace in the anime. It's almost enough to make you feel sorry for the bastard.
- Person of Mass Destruction: The Tremor-Tremor Fruit grants him the power to create shockwaves powerful enough to "break the Earth apart". That means earthquakes on land, tsunamis at sea, and god help you if he wants to give your face a taste of that power.
- Physical God: When spoken of, it's less as a man and more as a force of nature. And for good reason.
- Pure Awesomeness: He was never shown using it but he has it. Not that you need official confirmation or anything.
- Superpower Lottery: Word of God is that the powers of the Tremor-Tremor Fruit, a Paramecia-class, are no less than those of a Logia. Even excluding that, the man is downright impressive.
- Super Toughness: For this man, There Is No Kill Like Overkill is the minimum amount of force required to even make him flinch. Sword to the gut? That tickles. Several more? Tch. Cannon to the face? A pebble. Half his fucking face melted off!? Minor annoyance.
- World's Strongest Man: Literally referred to as such, and he more than lives up to it.
- Only a Flesh Wound: Refers to his stab wound by Squad, after the latter tries to pull a Redemption Equals Death, as "a little scratch", and having nearly half of his head burnt clean off by Akainu merely gets him to speak one sentence in Tranquil Fury mode: "I'm just getting started".
- Papa Wolf: Never kill or threaten to kill a member of his crew, unless you want a war you have a high probability of losing.
- Plot-Triggering Death: His demise saw the birth of a new era of piracy.
- Rasputinian Death: Half his face melted off, slashed and stabbed 267 times, hit by more than 152 bullets and 46 cannon shots... but when the jacket came off, there was not a single wound on his back, as he never showed it to the enemy.
- If the artwork is to be believed, the total includes every injury he ever sustained, not just his last fight; however, different translations have stated different things. The anime will hopefully provide a definite answer one way or another. Either way, he still took an inhuman amount of punishment in this one battle: the face-melting, no less than four different sword wounds, at least one cannon, had to have been shot by bullets at least one hundred times (which incidentally was the final nail in the coffin), and was already near-dead from a terminal illness to start with.
- Technically, there were a few wounds on his back... where the swords went clean through his front! Said swords had been stuck in there for the past ten or so issues. Annoying Arrows are nothing compared to Annoying Swords.
- Rated "M" for Manly: Up to Eleven
- Red Baron: He's either "Whitebeard" or "Pops", never "Edward Newgate".
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: After Ace's death.
- Rule of Symbolism: Being an "Emperor of the Seas" and having a Devil Fruit that causes massive tsunamis and earthquakes are obvious references to the Greek god Poseidon.
- His bisento may be another one, being a possible parallel of Poseidon's trident.
- So is his extreme Papa Wolf mannerism, as Poseidon was quite possibly the most fiercely protective father in the Greek Pantheon.
- Poseidon was also known as the Earth Shaker. Quite suggestive, no?
- The people of the One Piece world fear him because of his earthquake powers. Just like the Japanese themselves have a deep-rooted fear of earthquakes and tsunamis, for obvious reasons.
- Shockwave Punch: He creates shockwaves by punching the air, causing it to crack.
- Sphere of Destruction: He can create a "Quake Bubble" around his fist or the blade of his bisento For Massive Damage.
- Super Drowning Skills: As with all Devil Fruit users he would sink like a stone in water, but he's not stupid enough to allow himself to be put in such a situation.
- That's Gotta Hurt: Getting a face full of his Devil Fruit powers.
- Unstoppable Rage: When the twenty-three Marine ships watching him are instantly annihilated after the news that Ace is about to be executed, you know the World Government fucked up, right? And after Ace is killed, he proceeds to beat the shit out of Akainu and cut the entire damn island in half!
- Unwitting Pawn: Sengoku tries to make him one by turning his beloved sons against him. It backfires magnificently.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: The unbuttoned-top kind.
- The Worf Effect: Averted hard. Not even the fans were expecting some of the stuff he pulled, and it took a lot to kill him. No one who attempted it got away unscathed (except Kizaru), and once he did finally die he Died Standing Up. He's the strongest man in the world, period.
- Worthy Opponent: To Sengoku. Also, the commander-in-chief of the Marines says he was the best of the pirates.
- Worf Had the Flu: Since the beginning of the war, Whitebeard was already foot-and-a-half in the grave thanks to his illness. Reason why he took his time to join the fight: his movements were extremely slow and measured, his dodging abilities non-existent as put by Marco; it should have been impossible for Squard to stab Whitebeard, and in several instances he had to stop to catch his breath, his heart barely working right. That rampage was done by a half-blind, half-deaf, arthritic 72 year old shadow of its former self. World's Strongest Man indeed.
- Write Who You Know: Is based on an old pub owner Oda used to hang around, and Whitebeard's first line was actually something that man always said. Like Whitebeard, he too had medical problems (i.e. hooked up to medical equipment) and is now dead.
- Whitebeard's own death is probably not a coincidence.
The Whitebeard Pirates
The Whitebeard pirates are considered to be the strongest pirate crew in the One Piece world, as their captain, Whitebeard, is one of the Four Emperors and literally called the World's Strongest Man. Whitebeard's crew is segmented into divisions and a lot of the New World Pirates are also allied with him. Both his own crew and the New World Pirates are shown to be fiercely loyal to the pirate captain, and he, in turn, considers every single one of them to be his sons.
Marco "The Phoenix"
Voiced by: Masakazu Morita (JP)
The commander of the first division, he is first seen when one of Shanks' subordinates delivers a message to Whitebeard, and then later when Shanks himself visits their ship, the Moby Dick. Marco is depicted as being a patient and mild-mannered man, often looking rather sleepy and bored. In the past, he helped Ace get acclimated to the Whitebeard Pirates when he was first brought on board.
By eating a Devil Fruit he has gained the powers of a phoenix. His short confrontations with Aokiji and Kizaru indicate that he may also possess a certain amount of Haki. This was later confirmed by Akainu.
- Badass Abnormal: Other than Whitebeard himself, he's the only one to take on all three of the Admirals on separate occasions during the war, with two of them being Big Damn Hero moments for Luffy. This is partly due to his Devil Fruit, which is of a type that's even more rare than the Logias.
- There's also the fact that the Five Elder Stars believe even with Blackbeard stealing Whitebeard's power to add to his already devastating abilities, Marco is one of the only people in the world that has a chance to stopping him.
- Lets put it this way, when you make Portgas D. Ace look weak in comparison, you're this trope.
- Big Brother Mentor: Marco seemed to fill this position towards Ace. Being the one of the crew members to reach towards Ace and the one that explained the True Companions family dynamic the Whitebeard Pirates. He also has shades of Big Brother Instinct as when a dismayed Ace screamed at his family why where they virtually sacrificing themselves for him, Marcus, normally The Stoic, roars back everyone needed to know that NOBODY messed with a member of their family, and the Marines would learn that lesson, the hard way
- Extremity Extremist: Every one of his attacks so far have been kicks.
- Hey, It's That Voice!: You'd be forgiven for expecting Marco to yell out "Getsuga Tensho!"...
- Ki Attacks: A confirmed user of Haki.
- Mr. Fanservice
- Number Two: He appears to be Whitebeard's right-hand man, giving and relaying orders to everyone until Whitebeard himself entered the fight and then assuming leadership of the Whitebeard Pirates after their Captain's death.
- Older Than They Look: Considering that he was part of Whitebeard's crew 20 years before the start of Luffy's journey, he's got to be somewhere in his late 30s or early 40s, although he looks like he'd be in his 20s.
- If not older. He was part of the Whitebeard pirates 22 years ago, and at that time they were ALREADY a very established and famous crew (this was shortly after the Roger Pirates, their rivals, disbanded) so it's very unlikely he was new. He's probably at least in his late 40s if not older.
- The Phoenix: ... Duh.
- Cold Flames: Word of God states that his flames don't burn or spread like normal flames, instead they're what allow him to heal.
- Flight: Thanks to his Devil Fruit, and one of the very few characters in One Piece who can.
- Good Thing You Can Heal: Taking hits and instantly recovering is a large part of his fighting style.
- Nigh Invulnerable: He's not a Logia, but this power is kind of a given when you're a phoenix...
- Technicolor Fire: Blue (and yellow in the anime).
- Slasher Smile: He's seen sporting one at the beginning of the war.
- The Stoic: Usually. He did lose his cool however, when Whitebeard gets stabbed by Squad.
- Tattooed Crook: He has Whitebeard's sign tattooed across his chest.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: The unbuttoned-top kind.
- You Shall Not Pass: After Ace dies, Marco leads all of the remaining Whitebeard Pirates Commanders into an epic example of this trope against Akainu, in order to protect a mentally-shattered Luffy.
"Fire Fist" Ace
Portgas D. Ace is Luffy's older brother by way of adoption, and the commander of the second division of Whitebeard's pirate crew, the strongest in the world. Like his younger brother, he is a Big Eater and a Heavy Sleeper, but unlike his brother, he is intelligent, polite, and gracious, much to the surprise of the Straw Hats when they first met him. He is somewhat protective of Luffy, and looks forward to meeting him on the high seas as pirates. However, his different family name hints at something else... times TWO. As it turns out, Portgas D. Rouge was his mother only, and his father was actually Gold Roger. He ate the Flame-Flame Fruit (Mera Mera no Mi), allowing him to create, control and transform into fire.
Before his capture and execution, he had a bounty of 550,000,000 Berries.
- The Ace: Aside from the obvious, pretty much every character he's been shown interacting with, from the Straw Hats, to Whitebeard, to Jimbei, and even Blackbeard, have mentioned what an exceptional and great guy he is. At the same time, he could be considered a deconstruction.
- Broken Ace: Damn, this guy has some issues.
- Aloof Big Brother: You wouldn't know it at first, but he is this to the young Luffy. Which later became...
- Bash Brothers: Ace and Luffy in Marineford kicking ass together. Admit it, you always wanted to see this since he was introduced.
- One the fillers in the anime (the episode just after Ace was introduced) had the two briefly busting heads against some of the Billons.
- Also in Chapter 584, a young Ace and Sabo took on the Bluejam Pirates to rescue a young Luffy.
- Berserk Button: Insult or harm anyone he cares about about and he won't hesitate to drop you. Unfortunately this trait leads straight to his downfall, wasting the effort Luffy and his comrades put into saving him.
- Big Brother Mentor/Cool Big Bro: Fills both roles exceptionally.
- Brought to You by The Letter "S": Ace's belt has the letter A on the buckle.
- Character Development: There's a lot behind that friendly face that you wouldn't expect. Just trace his backstory from him as a child to a rookie on Whitebeard's crew to how he is now.
- Dark and Troubled Past
- Determinator: Other than continuing to fight Blackbeard, he tried to kill Whitebeard. And even when most people wouldn't even go after his sons, he made at least a hundred attempts on his life. Granted, he failed every time, but it sure takes balls to do that. He later became one of Whitebeard's most loyal commanders.
- Died in Your Arms Tonight: Poor Luffy...
- Distress Ball: After getting captured by Blackbeard and handed over the the World Government, he becomes the focal point for a huge battle as the government publically announces his execution and provokes Whitebeard into attacking them. Luffy and others also get involved, thus invoking an epic Rescue Arc as Luffy journeys to Impel Down to rescue him. Needless to say, Ace is less than pleased with this turn of events and doesn't seem to be enjoying his role as Distressed Dude in the newest arc!
- Dub Name Change: Known as "Trace" in the 4Kids dub.
- Forgot Flanders Could Do That: Only ever received a handful of scenes (not counting a short period of anime Filler), none of which delved very far into his character. However, some fans still came to imprint a completely straight image of The Ace on him, to the point that when he actually got a little backstory and turned out to be more of a Broken Ace, they complained about the whole affair.
- Foreshadowing: His name and the fact he was captain of the Spade Pirates: the "Ace of Spades", which means death. Guess what happens to a certain major character?
- Generation Xerox: Funny how even though he has stated to hate his father, he became an infamous and powerful pirate by himself, even turning down the offer of Warlord of the Sea and is now facing his own execution by the Marines. Subverted that he wasn't continuing Roger's legacy, but rather serving under Roger's rival, Whitebeard as a commander.
- Go Out with a Smile
- The Gwen Stacy: Could be this for Luffy, as Akainu's Rocket Punch was meant for him and the reason why he got handed over to the Marines is because Blackbeard was coming for Luffy, but Ace got to him first.
- Heavy Sleeper: He's got a Running Gag of falling asleep at random intervals and making everyone around him panic.
- Heroic Bastard
- Hot-Blooded: Subverted. Contrary to what one might expect, despite his ample firepower he is one of the more cool-headed characters in the story. That is, unless, you murder one of his True Companions or threaten to hurt his little brother...
- I Have No Son: Inverted. Ace totally disavows his birth father, using his mother's name and claiming Whitebeard is the only father he has. His dad was dead before he was born, anyway.
- Ki Attacks: Capable of using the King's Ambition Haki
- Killed Off for Real: With a Really Dead Montage to boot.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: Roger isn't Luffy's dad....He's ACE"S!!!
- Men Don't Cry: Ace would always try to remind the young Luffy of this trope, but couldn't back his own tears when he read Sabo's last letter to Luffy and himself.
- Mr. Fanservice: Permanently shirtless. Permanently.
- In the anime his fight with Blackbeard includes some pretty gratuitous shots of his toned back and chest.
- Nigh Invulnerable: Ate a Logia Devil Fruit, so natch. Too bad he had to face someone who could nullify that, then someone with a superior element.
- One-Man Army: He took out multiple Marine ships with one attack, with no effort.
- Playing with Fire: He's known as "Fire Fist" for a reason.
- The Promise: He made one with Luffy when they were children to go out to sea and live their lives free of regrets.
- The Reveal: As many fans theorized, Ace is NOT directly related to the Monkey family. He is in fact Gold Roger's son. Bet ya never saw that coming, did ya?
- Running Gag: The aforementioned Heavy Sleeper trait, plus constantly pulling a dine-and-dash.
- Royal Blood: The Marines believe he has it, and Sengoku is convinced that Whitebeard thinks so as well.
- The Starscream: Ace used to be this to Whitebeard. In all fairness to Ace, though, Whitebeard did recruit him by outright kidnapping both him and his crew. Now he's totally loyal to Whitebeard, who apparently has been grooming Ace to be his successor.
- Taking the Bullet: Take a very fatal hit from Akainu, meant for Luffy.
- Tattooed Crook: His arm has "A
SCE" inked on it. Apparently, the tattoo artist couldn't spell. On a non-embarassing note, his back proudly displays the Whitebeard Pirate crossbones (formerly a Manji before editors told Oda to change it).
- Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Played with, as he had a troubled childhood due to being the child of Roger and the world hating his father, with the World Goverment's Absolute Justice doctrine stating that even the child of a world-renowned criminal is a threat. He even took up a life of piracy because of it. However, if you'd met him, he was a well-meaning, easy-going, polite and friendly guy (if a little mischeivous). He was arguably kinder than even Luffy. The world he lived in didn't give him much of a chance to live.
- Pirate Prince: He's actually the son of the Pirate King, Gold Roger, though he's not exactly proud of it.
- The Worf Effect: Despite being hailed as one of the greatest warriors in the world (see above) his main role in the series has boiled down to being a stepping stone for Blackbeard and a convenient excuse to demonstrate Blackbeard's power first and carrying Distress Ball later. Then after being set free and kicking ass for about two chapters, he's instantly defeated by Akainu by jumping in front of him to protect Luffy, taking the worst injury ever seen in the series so far.
- Wham! Episode: Him being Roger's son is a shocker.
- His death is one as well, since it was the first time anyone in One Piece had been Killed Off for Real outside of someone's back-story.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: Oh, boooooy.
- When He Smiles: You know that it's a big step forward for him when he cracks that big, adorable grin at Luffy and Sabo when they were kids (keeping in mind that Ace didn't have much reason to do so to anyone else).
- Youthful Freckles: He actually doesn't fall into any of the archetypes though he fit the Bratty Half-Pint type like a glove when he was a kid.
Voiced by: Takashi Nagasako (JP)
Jozu, the commander of the third division, first made his appearance when Shanks' subordinate delivered a message to Whitebeard. When Shanks later came to meet them in person, Jozu commented on his immense Haki, but is shown being unaffected himself. Despite his massive size, he is a very calm man that seems to care a lot about his crewmates and his captain.
It is later revealed that Jozu ate a Devil Fruit himself. Because of that, he is able to turn his entire body into diamonds, making him very difficult to hurt.
- Charles Atlas Superpower: While he does have Devil Fruit powers, they should not affect his physical strength. Despite this, he is shown lifting and tossing a huge ass iceberg many hundreds of times his size(estimated to weigh around a million tons).
- Harmless Freezing: Averted. Poor guy lost an arm to Aokiji.
- Lightning Bruiser: He's well over 20 feet tall, but is incredibly fast.
- Nigh Invulnerable: Not to the same extent as other characters, but he is literally Made of Diamond, so...
- Spell My Name with an "S": Jozu? Jose? Joss? Jaws? The One Piece Green: Secret Pieces book finally confirms this with just Jozu.
- The Worf Effect: Despite showing capable of blocking one of Mihawk's slashes and wounding Crocodile with a punch, he is quickly 'controlled' for a period by Doflamingo and then quickly removed from the Marineford War in quick order to Aokiji, as the battle moves to the plaza.
- Top-Heavy Guy
"Flower Sword" Vista
Voiced by: Masaya Onosaka (JP)
Vista, the commander of the fifth division makes his appearance during Ace's flashback, and subsequently during the Marineford arc. Always calm and polite, he doesn't have a Devil Fruit but is one of the most skilled swordsman in the world, so much so that his prowess is acknowledged by Dracule Mihawk.
- Almighty Janitor: Although his rank is fairly high, he is quite modest, and it's quite surprising to see him fight on par with Mihawk, strongest of all swordsmen.
- Berserk Button: He is not happy when Blackbeard comes to Marineford, and has to be pushed back from going after him.
- Carpet of Virility
- Dastardly Whiplash: Surprisingly, actually on a good character.
- Foreshadowing: In the anime, Vista comments that the dream of every swordsman is to cross blades with Mihawk.
- Ki Attacks: A confirmed Haki user.
- Master Swordsman: Well, when you can fight Mihawk on even grounds...
- Nice Hat
- Number Two: Seems to be this to Marco. Though by this point in the story, he was the highest level Division Commander that was still in fighting condition besides Marco.
- Red Baron: Subverted as "Flower Sword" isn't much for intimidation.
- Something About a Rose
- Top-Heavy Guy
- You Shall Not Pass: Alongside his fellow Commander and Captain allies on making sure Akainu does not go kill Luffy.