The Buster Call is the ultimate form of military attack used by the Marines. It is a result of the Marine doctrine of Absolute Justice. Aokiji claims that a Buster Call is equal to an entire nation's military.
Targets of the Buster Call
The "Buster Call" is the strongest military action possible, performed only under special circumstances. The target of a Buster Call is usually to destroy anything from a criminal or group of criminals to an entire island that has proven to be extremely dangerous to the World Government. The reasons for the known uses of the Buster Call are:
- 20 years before the invasion of Enies Lobby, Ohara was attacked because its scholars were able to read the Poneglyphs and decipher information about the Void Century.
- Near the end of the Enies Lobby Arc, Enies Lobby was attacked in order to prevent Nico Robin, the only survivor of the previous Buster Call, from escaping. This Buster Call was originally started by mistake by CP9 leader Spandam.
People who may initiate a Buster Call
Since the Buster Call is an order of such destructive powers, only the very highest authorities are granted the power to initiate it. This authority is granted to at most ten people. Four of these are the three Admirals and the Fleet Admiral: the highest-ranking authorities in the Marines. The other six are their counterparts in the World Government: the Five Elders and the Commander-in-Chief.
The only way for someone of a lower rank to initiate a Buster Call is if they are legally granted permission and a Golden Den Den Mushi by one who has the authority. There are two known instances of this: when Admiral Sengoku gave permission to Spandine, and when Admiral Aokiji gave permission to Spandam.
Initiating a Buster Call
Once one has the means and the authority, the actual procedure of initiating a Buster Call is extremely simple. The admiral, world leader, or designee simply presses the button on a Golden Den Den Mushi to summon a Buster Call to their location.
This action immediately sends a signal, received by the Silver Den Den Mushi in the Marine Headquarters, where the island to be destroyed is acknowledged. Spandam himself said that using it without this delegation is illegal.
|— Nico Robin|
After the signal is received, five vice admirals and a fleet of ten ships nearest to the location of the caller are scrambled to that island.
It seems that a Buster Call cannot be rescinded and once the targets of the Buster Call are announced all other details become unimportant.
Robin described it as a "nightmare version of concentrated arson". The ships used are large and have apparently grown over time. The ones used 20 years ago were roughly twice as tall as a giant. The ones apparently used currently are as tall as the Tower of Justice and are as long as the Bridge of Hesitation. They can now tower a Giant, and are capable of carrying a seemingly immeasurable number of Marines.
Death to All in the Way
The attack is derived from the Marine's doctrine of Absolute Justice, according to which a person is a criminal who must be punished when he opposes the World Government or could one day become a threat. The attack eliminates all who could one day be dangerous, "for the betterment of the world", without taking human lives or innocence into consideration.
Once the fleet arrives, they fire an initial salvo to effectively dial in their coordinates, locking in their ordinance to triangulate their fire upon the target. Then the Vice Admirals, as well as the entire fleet, lay waste to the island, annihilating everything in sight with impunity, regardless of who is still on the island. For example, during the Ohara incident, the refugee boat containing all of the island's normal civilians was destroyed without prejudice, along with everyone inside, in case a historian had slipped on board. The Buster Call fleet even kills government officials if they are still left stranded on the island. Even Admiral Aokiji was shocked by the ruthlessness of the attackers.
If there is even one important criminal running loose on one of the Buster Call ships, other Buster Call ships will not hesitate to attack it simply to kill the criminal, even if it means the death of every Marine soldier on board.
So far only two islands have been known to have faced a Buster Call: Ohara and Enies Lobby, with Nico Robin and Aokiji present at both. Both islands were utterly destroyed from the firepower. However, even though summoning the attack only twice is atrocious enough as is, knowing the brutality of the World Government and the lengths they are willing to go to, it is entirely plausible that it has been enacted on separate occasions unseen by the viewer.
The Straw Hat Pirates is the only crew known to directly survive and escape the Buster Call, and Nico Robin is the only person known to have survived two separate Buster Call bombardments. The Buster Call doesn't take failure lightly. The Marines wanted to pursue the Straw Hat Pirates after they escaped, but Admiral Aokiji ordered them to stand down and called it an utter failure.
The general public is kept in the dark about a Buster Call, using propaganda to demonize the destroyed target and make its annihilation a great, and extremely praiseworthy feat of the World Government. For example, Iceburg was shown to have been fooled by the official information that the "Devils of Ohara" were working in order to destroy the world; only after a discussion with Robin was he able to realize the truth of the incident. In short, a Buster Call is the strongest military action and no one should take it lightly.
Buster Call statistics
|Douglas Bullet ≠||Ohara||Enies Lobby||Delta Island ≠|
|Reason||To stop Douglas Bullet's rampage.||Reading the Poneglyph and deciphering the information about the Void Century.||Original: A mistake on Spandam's account, by accidentally pressing the Golden Den Den Mushi instead of a common one.
Later: Retrieval of Nico Robin and destruction of the invading Straw Hat force.
To interrupt the Pirates Festival and capture every pirate on the island.
|Success||Partially succeeded (Bullet has been stopped and arrested but not killed).||Partially succeeded (Nico Robin survives).||Failed (Nico Robin escaped with the Straw Hats).||Partially succeeded (at least all Worst Generation's pirate crews survived and escaped).|
|Source of Fleet||Unknown||At Ohara's coast; the Buster Call was already pre-planned and the "inspection" by Spandine was to only find an official excuse for its triggering.||Marine Headquarters, Marineford||Marine Headquarters, New Marineford|
|Time for arrival||Unknown||None, already present.||Thirty minutes, shortness due to travel via the Tarai Current.||Unknown|
|Requester||Unknown||Admiral Sengoku (former Fleet Admiral Sengoku), through Spandine.||Admiral Aokiji, through Spandam.||Fleet Admiral Sakazuki|
|In charge||Unknown||Admiral Sengoku was the one who told each Vice Admiral about the mission and prepared the warships. It is unknown if he was at the headquarters where the Buster Call was received, however.||Vice Admiral John Giant received the report on the Silver Den Den Mushi. He was in charge of summoning the five vice admirals and preparing the ten warships. In addition, Vice Admiral Onigumo apparently had enough authority to order nine battleships to fire on Ship Four, where Rob Lucci and Luffy were fighting.||Admiral Borsalino was the one leading the fleet even if not the one requesting it.|
|Leading Vice Admirals||
||5 unintroduced Vice Admirals; their names are revealed in One Piece Yellow databook as:||
|Soldiers present||Unknown||Unknown||At least 10,000 (one Buster Call ship has been reported to house 1,000 soldiers, plus those "recruited" from Enies Lobby).||Several vice admirals, rear admirals and captain, other than an unknown number of soldiers.|
|Government Personnel present||Unknown||CP9 director Spandine, Laskey, and an unknown CP9 agent, and an unknown number of Cipher Pol grunts.||CP9's full complement (excluding Nero) and the government soldiers and workers of Enies Lobby.||CP0 agents Rob Lucci, Kaku, Stussy, Spandam and three unnamed and masked members.|
|Civilian casualties||Unknown||99% of the entire population of the island (at least 80-100 people) except Nico Robin, were killed by the World Government.||0 (presumably no civilians present except the Straw Hats and their allies, all of whom escaped).||Unknown|
|Soldier casualties||Unknown||Any soldiers still left on the island (unknown, includes Jaguar D. Saul) in addition to soldiers from two battleships and the evacuation ship.||1,201+ (an unknown number possibly killed on the main island, up to 1,000 killed during a bombardment on a fellow Buster Call ship, one shot for arguing by the Vice Admiral who ordered this, and up to two hundred officers defeated by the Straw Hats on the Bridge of Hesitation).||Unknown|
|Military equipment lost||Unknown||5 ships destroyed by former Vice Admiral Jaguar D. Saul and one destroyed by Vice Admiral Sakazuki, although Nico Robin was blamed.||At least 3 ships (one destroyed by the order of Vice Admiral Onigumo, two crushed when the Gates of Justice were closed by Sanji; more may have been un-salvageable after being damaged by the freak currents and/or hit by friendly fire).||Unknown number of ships absorbed by Douglas Bullet's abilities.|
- Both times a Buster Call has been initiated in the canon One Piece storyline, Robin and CP9 were somehow involved. Both Buster Calls were also activated by the head of CP9 of the respective times. In addition, Spandam, who activated the Buster Call at Enies Lobby, is the son of Spandine, who activated the Buster Call at Ohara.
- In one SBS, a Buster Call was jokingly directed at Eiichiro Oda himself.
- Nico Robin is the only canon character to have been among the targets of two Buster Calls (and escaped both).
- Douglas Bullet is the only known case of Buster Call summoned against a one person target.
- There are several non-canon incident involving a formation similar to a Buster Call, but never confirmed to actually be it:
- In One Piece Film: Strong World, a marine fleet of five ships reaches Merveille in order to attack Shiki. As he was already been defeated by Monkey D. Luffy and the island was destroyed, the whole fleet began aiming the Thousand Sunny, eventually unable to reach it. As for the Buster Call, the fleet was lead by several vice admiral, as Onigumo, Yamakaji and Strawberry. Although the number of involved ships is unknown, the number of vice admirals and actual method is very similar to that of a Buster Call.
- In One Piece Film: Z, the last island of Z's plan Piriodo was target of a fleet lead by Admiral Borsalino and five Vice Admiral Comil, Momonga, Yamakaji, Doberman and Strawberry.
- In One Piece Film: Gold a fleet of ten ships aimed Gran Tesoro in order to retrieve the Heavenly Tribute and defeat Gild Tesoro. No vice admiral is seen in charge, but the leading role was covered by CP-0 agent Rob Lucci under World Noble Camael's orders. They retreat after having successfully arrested Tesoro and ensured the Celestial Dragons, as the whole ship was apparently intended to self-destruct. The number of ships involved and method is very similar to that of Buster Call.
- In the special episode 3D2Y, it is shown that a marine fleet of at least nine ships lead by Sakazuki was sent to deal with Byrnndi World, with the practical target to destroy the whole island via bombing. While it is not officially defined as one, the actual process is very similar to that of Buster Call.
- One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 41 Chapter 395 (p. 10) and Episode 277, Sengoku is revealed to be the one who gave the Golden Den Den Mushi to Spandine.
- One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 38 Chapter 365 (p. 2) and Episode 254, Spandam says that Aokiji gave his unit CP9 permission to use the Buster Call.
- One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 44 Chapter 421 and Episode 302, The details of the Buster Call are announced and everything else is dismissed as unimportant.
- One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 44 Chapter 420 and Episode 302, The test round begins.
- One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 44 Chapter 422 and Episode 305, Onigumo orders a collective attack against another Buster Call ship.
- Enies Lobby Arc, The destruction of both islands takes place here.
- One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 44 Chapter 421 and Episode 302, The targets of the Buster Call on Enies Lobby are announced.
- SBS One Piece Manga — Vol. 43.
- One Piece Movie 14.
- One Piece Movie 10.
- One Piece Movie 12.
- One Piece Movie 13.