| Ahoy! This here is the 204th Featured Article.
"Fish-Men" has been featured, meaning it was chosen as an article of interest.
Fish-men are one of two humanoid species that inhabit and rule the seas (the other being the merfolk). In terms of leadership, King Neptune is the king of Fish-Man Island. Fisher Tiger, Jinbe, and Arlong were said to have the highest respect amongst their people. They are classified as Type C creatures, "Big Savage".
Fish-men are more fish-like than merfolk, usually looking like a combination between a man and a fish or other aquatic creature, such as an octopus, manta ray, or sawshark; however, they still have legs (in fact, Decken has four). They also have gills between their shoulders and necks, sometimes covered by their clothing, as well as often having webbed hands. Depending on species, they may have multiple limbs (mainly extra arms).
For fish-men pirates in pirate crews that are primarily fish-man based, (Sun Pirates, Arlong Pirates, and New Fish-Man Pirates) it appears customary to have that crew's jolly roger tattooed somewhere on the person's body, showing allegiance to a crew.
Fish-men have gills near their necks, which only work when they are in water. On land, they can breathe with their lungs like humans do. However, their gills cannot breathe in air, like a normal fish cannot breathe in air through their gills.
Even though fish-men are part fish (or at least closer to fish biologically than human) and have been considered such by prejudice humans in the past, they are still mammals and give birth to live young. fish-men are also able to modulate the sounds that they make enabling them to speak in the same language as humans, yet at least one fish-man, Jinbe, has the ability to talk to other animals such as whales showing that a fish-man's larynx appears to be far more adaptable and capable of more than a human's. There are many merfolk who bear physical traits normally unique to fish-men, like Den's webbed hands and Shyarly's fangs. Furthermore, fish-men can sometimes demonstrate powers usually unique to merfolk, such as Jinbe's ability to communicate with whale sharks.
Even with merfolk and fish-men in the same immediate family, the primary species (merfolk or fish-men), subspecies (type of fish) and appearances may differ. The reason is that they still carry the genes of their ancestors, so the species is not determined only by the parents, but it can be any one type among all the species of the ancestors. Humans, fish-men, and merfolk have the same blood types, and can share if the types match.
The fish-men's subspecies have many variations, just like merfolk, being many types of fishes. So far, with the exception of the half fish-man Dellinger (whose fish traits are that of the Fighting Fish), all known fish-men fish-halfs are based on real-life fish species and not on any of Oda's made up species. Also, their size may vary greatly, with Wadatsumi being a fish-man the size surpassing that of an average giant. Unlike merfolk, fish-men eat meat, including fish, although whether this is a dietary advantage or just custom is unknown.
Fish-men can interbreed with other races. As revealed during the Long Ring Long Land Arc with Big Pan, fish-men can breed with giants, producing a hybrid that has the biological abilities of a fish-man and the huge body of a giant (but still smaller than a full one, as noted by Robin). These are known as Wotans.
It is also possible for humans and fish-men to interbreed, as Sapi and Dellinger are the result of such. Interestingly, when a human and a fish-man interbreed, their offspring mostly resemble humans, apart from a dorsal fin (and possibly other fish-like traits that are not yet shown under clothing) that is in some cases retractable.
Pappag explained that fish-men (fish-men and female fish-men) can have children with merfolk (mermen and mermaids). However, the child's race can be either fish-men or merfolk.
Fish-men and Their Species
- Arlong: Sawshark
- Chew: Smelt-whiting
- Hatchan, Octopako, Karma: Octopus
- Kuroobi: Ray
- Kaneshiro: Goldfish
- Pisaro: Ocean Sunfish
- Take: Carp
- Shioyaki: Salmon
- Macro: Pelican Eel
- Gyaro: Pop-eyed Goldfish
- Tansui: Arowana
- Capote: Billfish
- Tom: Cowfish
- Jinbe: Whale shark
- Hammond: Daggertooth Pike Conger
- Kasagoba: Marbled Rockfish
- Hody Jones: Great White Shark
- Dosun: Hammerhead Shark
- Zeo: Japanese Wobbegong Shark
- Daruma: Cookie-cutter Shark
- Ikaros Much: Giant squid
- Vander Decken IX: Japanese Bullhead Shark
- Wadatsumi: Giant Tiger Blowfish
- Fisher Tiger: Sea Bream
- Hack: Brocade Perch
- Willy (Film): Orca
- Jube (Filler): Squid
- Nuru (Filler): Anglerfish
- Gad (Game): Hammerhead Shark
Half fish-man and Their Species
- Sapi (Half fish-man, half human): Unknown
- Big Pan (Half fish-man, half-giant): Loach
- Dellinger (Half fish-man, half-human): Fighting Fish
- Sebastian (Half fish-man, half-giant; filler): False Kelpfish
Despite their beliefs, they usually get along well with the merfolk who share the opposite view on life, however it is not unknown for fish-men to take advantage of the merfolk's nature.
Stereotypical fish-men consider humans to be an inferior, weaker species. However, this does not apply to all fish-men. For example, Tom, cared for and looked after two humans (Iceburg and Franky) and even protected them from the actions of Spandam and CP5. Another example is Jinbe, who considers Portgas D. Ace an equal and holds the Whitebeard Pirates in high regard because of Whitebeard protecting Fish-Man Island. Jinbe would later feel the same way about Ace's younger brother, Monkey D. Luffy. Fisher Tiger was noted to hate humans but not to discriminate when it came to slaves. When he broke into Mary Geoise to free the fish-man slaves, he also freed the other races as well. Additionally Fisher Tiger did not wish to kill any humans for their discrimination because it would only cause more anger and resentment, and even personally returned a human slave girl back to her home.
Furthermore, when the Straw Hats were suspected of having kidnapped several mermaids from Mermaid Cove (actually Caribou's doing), it had been seen that at least some fish-man citizens insisted that the pirates should not be convicted without solid proof implying that at least some fish-men are willing to grant humanity the benefit of a doubt.On the opposite end of the spectrum, human relationships towards fish-men was defined with their definition of both them and merfolk as "fish" instead of "men". This lead to centuries of discrimination as the fish-men fought to prove their worth to the world. Only two hundred years ago did the World Government begin to bridge the gap by making an alliance with fish-man Island to remove the problems between the two sides. Jinbe's appointment to the Shichibukai was an attempt to strengthen the bonds between the races but due to his resignation it ended in failure. While attempting to fix the problem, centuries of bad relations remained. Many humans continued to see fish-men as freaks or in the case around Sabaody Archipelago, slaves for the World Nobles. Such bad relations between the races would influence certain sects of fish-men, these fish-men would even go so far as to return to the humans what had been done to them. This was seen once in the series with Arlong Park in East Blue where Arlong attempted to enslave the humans as they had enslaved his men and he succeeded in doing so for eight years.
They are physically ten times as strong as normal humans from birth and this difference is magnified underwater, where a human's power is cut in half, while fish-men not only are completely unhindered, but are even strengthened. Jinbe himself noted that on dry land he had little power to offer, which considering the strength that even a fish-man as powerful as he has speaks volumes about the potential of any fish-man in the water compared to being on dry land. As a whole, in the midst of battle, the fish-man race can be considered unstoppable in their natural habitat - the sea. As well as being powerful they can still talk under water and cannot drown. However, breathing air into their gills makes them suffer like a normal fish would. While they can use their gills to breathe in water, they have to switch back to their lungs to breathe in air. However, a fish-man who has eaten a Devil Fruit loses its ability to swim.
Like Mermaids, fish-men also possess the ability to communicate with sea creatures. In particular, fish-men seem adept at communicating with large sea monsters, and possess a unique capacity to bring out the primal rage in such creatures. This ability was first demonstrated when Arlong induced Mohmoo into a primal frenzy to have him attack the Straw Hats during the battle at Arlong Park, even despite Mohmoo's initial reservations about doing so. The ability was shown again in more detail when Hody and to a more limited extent, the officers of his crew as well, used it to induce the large Sea Monsters the New Fish-man Pirates had in their possession into a similar red-eyed rage to the one created by the Energy Steroids they had been eating. Of course, the animal being induced has to be at least somewhat willing to comply, as was shown when Surume quickly stopped squeezing Shirahoshi due to Luffy's intervention, and afterwards refused to follow any more of Hody's orders. Lastly, it should be noted that just as with mermaids, fish-men are still for some reason unable to communicate with Sea Kings; the Mermaid Princess, currently Shirahoshi, is supposedly the only one capable of doing that.
The Fish-Man Dojo of Fish-Man Island is also where they learn Fish-Man Karate, a number of fish-men have displayed skill in this fighting style already within the storyline. This fighting style in particular has both land and sea based attacks, a style suited to the fish-men's advantage in the water, but does not leave them completely unable to defend themselves on land when they have to. Their most effective weapon is the sea itself as the most powerful fighters can take a few drops of water and hurl it so hard the impact is as hard as a bullet. To this extent, at the hands of a powerful fish-man, even a small splash of water becomes a lethal weapon. As expected they are excellent swimmers, they are capable of swimming through the water at a great speed and force, their speed however is no match for the mermen who are the fastest.
fish-men often have unique abilities, matching those of the species they are based on, that make them further superior to ordinary humans outside of the physical strength difference. Hatchan's six arms give him a huge advantage over most fighters with just two arms and he can spit ink. Chew as an archer-fish could shoot water from his mouth like a bullet. Arlong as a sawshark fish-man could regrow his teeth after they broke. Zeo is a Japanese wobbegong who can camouflage himself, almost like a certain Devil Fruit ability. Though only a half breed, Big Pan inherited slippery skin from his mudfish fish-man heritage, which is also like a certain Devil Fruit. Both Zeo and Big Pan have demonstrated that a fish-man's ability can be akin to that of an actual Devil Fruit's. Members of the shark family have been seen as particularly fearsome fighters and Arlong, Jinbe, and Hody Jones, three of the strongest known fish-men are all shark-based breeds. The New Fish-man Pirates have a notably large number of officers that are shark breeds and the only fish-man amongst the Whitebeard Pirates, Namur, is also a shark fish-man. The shark based breeds were confirmed to be considered a fear to the other citizens on the island when Daruma attacked the candy factory, the citizens also expressed concern over the squid fish-man in the crew, Ikaros Much, indicating that this type of fish-man was also a cause for concern.
Their reaction to consuming a Devil Fruit is the same as it is for humans, rendering them unable to swim, and must wear a bubble to compensate. However, their water-based abilities prove most helpful considering that in water, Devil Fruit users are rendered completely powerless. The Devil Fruit Kage Kage no Mi in particular has little advantage at all against a fish-man who knows its fatal weakness, salt. Arlong commented on Nami's navigation skills, stating that they can learn about navigation very easily, but they cannot find a good navigator. This remains unexplained as to why they are particularly weak in this area but does indicate their race has an overall weakness in skillful navigation. Arlong himself in particular came to admire Nami's own skills, and in a rare act considered her skills on par with the fish-man "superiority", confessing that she simply could not help what species she was.
Because of their strength, they appear in the series on a regular basis. However, Jinbe was noted to have acknowledged the strength of Sea Kings on one occasion, thus proving even their race is aware of the danger of Sea Kings in the Grand Line.
Their view of life under the sea is dominated by their views that they should rule over all other fish in the sea. They also hate humans for the years of oppression and slavery that they suffered. This is not shared among all fish-men, though, as Tom, Jinbe, and Fisher Tiger have respect for humans and other races. It can also be assumed that Namur, as a commander of the mostly human Whitebeard Pirates, does not share this prejudice against fish-men. However, the New Fish-Man Pirates, specifically the officers and captain, took this hatred to irrational levels, due to being raised in an environment that basked in the hatred, despite not being subjected to any oppression themselves, and they were fully willing to die and destroy their own bodies to achieve their "revenge", in fear of the day that humans and fish folks would coexist and cease their animosity. Due to the long-term neglect in the Fish-Man District, this hatred has been passed down to future generations since the past, resulting in the New Fish-man Pirates being the most prominent example of meaningless hatred.
Many of the fish-men, particularly of note the pirates, also adorn symbols across their bodies to represent their group association. So far the marks they have adorned include the Sun Pirates' "mark of the sun", the Arlong Pirates' jolly roger, a tattoo of unknown significance, and the New Fish-man Pirates' jolly roger of a beheaded human crossed out with the "mark of the sun" surrounding it. Kaneshiro, Pisaro, Take, Shioyaki, Namur, and Tom also had other tattoos on their bodies.
Translation and Dub Issues
The kanji for Fish-Men (魚人?) is the reverse of the name for mermen (人魚?). As a result, the English dub that was made by 4Kids inaccurately refers to the species as mermen. As a result, mermaids were thought by some to be the female of the species while fish-men were the male, although this is not the case.
Anime and Manga Influences
Fish-men were developed from the concept of the reverse mermaid, who had a fish upper half and human lower legs. Oda confirmed details about their race in a SBS corner and how instead of the fish half being centered around the tail end, it was focused instead on the upper half of the body.
The fish-man and merman conflict with humans bears a striking resemblance to the events of the Manga/Anime series Blue Submarine No. 6. In the series, a scientist named Zorndyke had witnessed his own family killed via racial purging prior to the storyline. He created a new race that were hybrids of human and the DNA of various Marine lifeforms. Zorndyke started a war between his "children" and mankind as a form of punish to mankind for its immoralities. Zorndyke's "son" and general, Verg, had qualities shared by both Arlong and Hody Jones. Verg preached and believed in superiority over humans and led a crew that wiped out many great cities, killing millions in the process while under the belief his "father" was creating a world for them. The reality was the new species was meant to rival, not wipe out mankind and the war was nothing but a test. When the conflict ended, Verg was given the chance to meet humans face to face, however, Verg decided humanity had nothing to offer him and refuse to speak to them rather then take the chance to settle their differences.
- Early on, Luffy drew what he thought a mermaid looked like. The first drawing was just a fish with four legs. The second was a fish standing up on two legs, looking more like a fish-man than a mermaid. When Sanji wondered if Nami was really a mermaid, Luffy added hair to his second sketch and wrote Nami's name. Luffy created Nami Fish-Woman (ナミ魚人 Nami Gyojin)?). Ironically, someone who looked like his drawing of "mermaid" Nami actually appeared in Chapter 626. However, it is unknown if she was a female fish-man or mermaid since only the head and arms were seen.
- Originally, Oda planned on introducing fish-men as far back as Chapter 3. However, due to his editor he held it back, ending up introducing the concept during the Arlong Park Arc instead.
- So far, Vander Decken IX is the first and only fish-man known to possess a Devil Fruit ability. He is also the only fish-man who cannot swim (due to the Devil Fruit).
- There was originally going to be a starfish fish-man named Hitodenashi (ヒトデナシ Hitodenashi?), a member of the Arlong Pirates and Hatchan was originally going to be a squid female fish-man named Maple Reed (メープル・リード Meepuru Riido?).