Chapter 578 is titled "He Who Must Live to See a New Age".
Color Spread: The Straw Hat Pirates laying on the back of a dragon while parrots fly around them.
Marine headquarters collapse under the multiple earthquakes it has sustained. At the same time, Sengoku attacks the Blackbeard Pirates while Blackbeard is trying his new powers. Meanwhile, Jinbe tries to reach the sea, but is stopped by Akainu.
The chapter starts with Marines running away from the main building of Marineford, which starts to collapse. As the top part of the building starts to crumble down, everybody, even on the Archipelago, looks in shock and tears. Every citizen and marine is devastated. As the battlefield too is starting to get uneven, the Blackbeard Pirates get further from each other. Whitebeard Pirates and their allies seem angry. Marshall D. Teach asks how he should begin using his new powers, answering himself the same moment, saying he will sink Marineford to its core. But then, Teach is shocked, being attacked by the Buddha form of Fleet Admiral Sengoku. As a shockwave surrounds the Blackbeard Pirates, Sengoku stomps the shockwave, making it implode. The attack lets the Blackbeard Pirates fly to the ground. Shiryu and Avalo Pizarro fly further away, and Blackbeard coughs up blood. Recovering, he creates another shockwave, while standing on a cliff. Sengoku punches the shockwave a second time, making the Blackbeard Pirates blast away. Vasco Shot and Burgess cough blood, and they try to stand up. Sengoku looks down, saying that as long as the Marines have the base, they can rebuild it. He yells Blackbeard off, telling him Marineford is the center of the world and Sengoku will not let him sink it. Blackbeard replies with an exhausted laugh, daring Sengoku to protect it.
At the same time, at the coast of Marineford, Admiral Akainu takes revenge on Emporio Ivankov for attacking him with a Hell Wink. As Ivankov and Inazuma fall to the ground, the dancers shoot the Logia admiral. Akainu, not being wounded at all, tells Jinbe to hand over Dragon's son. That moment, Jinbe tries to get to the ocean, jumping towards it. In the air, he realizes everything is ice. Aokiji sarcastically apologizes to the former Shichibukai. Jinbe looks back, seeing Akainu already on his heels. Akainu jumps after him, punching the fish-man to the ice. Jinbe is hardly hurt though, as the impact goes to Luffy's stomach. The Whitebeard Pirates reply on the punch, screaming Jinbe's name. They encourage him, screaming that he should get through. That moment he lands on his back. Akainu lands next to him shortly after. Jinbe stands up, looking at the still mentally collapsed Luffy. As Jinbe apologizes for making things even worse, Akainu walks towards the two. He questions Jinbe's attempt to save Luffy and not only himself, as he does not give the boy a chance of surviving. Luffy's straw hat falls to the ground.
As Akainu approaches them, he is split in two by sand. As the admiral looks back, Crocodile stands behind him, looking angry and using Sables to propel Jinbe and Luffy up in the air, away from Akainu. Jinbe looks shocked by the saving action of the sandman. Crocodile yells they should get Luffy and Jinbe on a ship. The Impel Down escapees reply. Jinbe is getting told off by Crocodile, who tells him that if he wants to protect someone, he has to do it right. As they are flying, Luffy and Jinbe collide with a fleeing Buggy. His prisoner followers praise him for 'saving' them, again misinterpreting his cowardice. Suddenly, a giant molten fist attacks the shocked Buggy and his unwanted package, to which they barely escape. Akainu, getting himself back together, looks up. Standing before him are the Whitebeard commanders (including Marco and Vista) and Crocodile. As Akainu starts to get even more angry seeing that everyone wants to save Luffy, Vista replies that Luffy is the one Ace loved and Whitebeard recognized. Vista tells Akainu they will not let the kid die, and that they will send him to the next era. Marco, being very angry, turns into his Zoan Devil Fruit form. Akainu sets off to attack them all. Someone on the Whitebeard fleet yells that Blackbeard and Sengoku are fighting, and now the commanders and Akainu as well. He says that the war is not coming to an end. All of a sudden, a submarine emerges from the unfrozen water, a door opens and someone yells to bring 'Mr. Straw Hat' to him. Buggy angrily asks why, the other replying that Luffy shouldn't die here. It is shown that Trafalgar Law and his crew are exiting their submarine. Law demands of Buggy to hand Luffy over, because he's a doctor.
- Sengoku uses his transformation power and attacks the Blackbeard Pirates; it is shown that he can create shockwaves similar to Kuma's Ursus Shock attack.
- Akainu deals a grievous blow to both Jinbe and Luffy.
- Luffy drops his straw hat.
- Trafalgar Law and his crew make it to Marineford, entering with their pirate ship, which turns out to be a submarine.