Tiger, as a sea bream fishman, had round eyes, salmon-pink colored skin, a flat nose, wide lips with slight peach fuzz, a thick dark beard and sideburns, and a spiky dorsal fin on the back of his head, sprouting from under his long, curly hair. He was an exceptionally large fishman, being at least a full head taller than Jinbe (who is 9'8"), coupled with a broad and muscular physique, with his long legs being quite thin in comparison. The crew's Jolly Roger was on the center of his chest, covering his slave brand.
As an adventurer, he wore a dark olive bandana and a dark-blue T-shirt with a picture on it portraying a pink hippo with its mouth wide-open, which read: “Frog? No - Hippo”, paired with plain pants held up by a belt and simple sandals. He was also seen carrying around a large backpack, with many pockets and a coil of rope attached to it.
As the captain of the Sun Pirates, he switched to a camouflage patterned bandanna, paired with a sleeveless, open shirt, which bore the same pattern as his bandanna during his first appearance, but was later changed to a simple striped one, revealing his muscular chest and his crew’s tattoo, and black pants, but retained his sandals. The most visible addition was a captain's coat which hung from his shoulders like a cape, and sported the crew's jolly roger on the back.
When he was younger, he did not have any peach fuzz above his lips, nor did he have his trademark beard, and his hair was shorter and notably straight. He donned what appeared to be a simple A-shirt.
Tiger is said, by Boa Hancock, to be a reckless person, and very brutal as he was believed to have challenged Mariejois and burned the entire city down to free all fishman slaves. However, this was only due to Hancock's first impression, and contrary to it, Tiger could be compassionate and very merciful, and did not approve of senseless violence, as he ordered Jinbe and Arlong not to kill any humans. He was very idealistic, making the principles of liberation and freedom the basics of the Sun Pirates, and worrying that Queen Otohime might have compared him to the bloodthirsty and cruel Arlong, seeing them as similar individuals.
Before he attacked Mariejois, he appeared to be friendly, greeting Jinbe and Arlong as close friends after returning to Fishman Island from an adventure. After the attack, he got more serious, yet remained friendly enough to treat others with respect.
While Queen Otohime wished for interspecies cooperation between fishmen and humans, Fisher Tiger, up to the moment of his death, seemingly believed that fishmen and humans should remain separate. Even though he hated humans (at least according to Hancock's first impression), he did not discriminate them when it came to slavery, and liberated every one of them during his raid of the holy city. He also did not believe in revenge on the humans for their discrimination, thinking that it would only cause more hatred and resentment. His compassion to humans was further demonstrated when he vowed to take a child who was a former slave back to her hometown, going as far as to mark her with his own jolly roger to lift the burden of slavery off her back. Tiger did smile happily when Koala was reunited with her family, and it was an immensely symbolic final act for a man who had lived such a dualistic life as adventurer, hero, slave and pirate captain, as the town gladly accepted Koala back while condemning Tiger to death and betraying him to the Marines.
There was also a darker side to Tiger's personality, as he claimed that the "demons" residing inside him were the most terrifying ones; a statement which left Jinbe blank, suggesting his crew did not know about this trait of him. This, along with the depths of his personality, were all revealed in his deathbed: after being captured and enslaved by the World Nobles and escaping, he saw the "madness" of humans, and grew to hate them for it. Despite this, he agreed with Otohime's ideology of improving relationships between the two races, and regretted on making it difficult with his own actions. He tried to befriend humans, but being betrayed by Koala's townspeople drove him to realize that no matter how much effort he puts in, he could never love a human. To this end, he refused a transfusion of human blood due to it being tainted with hatred for fishmen. Since he could not accept humans despite trying his hardest, his last hope on changing the interspecies relationship was the next era, such as Koala, who does not know about the hatred, and asked his crew not to reveal the tragedy that befell the Sun Pirates, nor their hatred towards humanity.
Abilities and Powers
Tiger is a legendary figure amongst fishmen, known for his many feats and his amazing will: he was able to climb the Red Line with his bare hands (10,000 meters from the ocean surface) and attack the Holy Land of Mariejois alone. Without fear of the consequences of challenging the World Nobles and their guards, he then proceeded to rampage across Mariejois and free all the slaves imprisoned there, fishmen and human alike. Not only did he succeed in performing such an astonishing deed, he also founded and became the captain of the Sun Pirates, the strongest and largest pirate crew composed of fishmen to ever roam the Grand Line; it was from such a group that all of the fishmen pirate crews in the current storyline (except the Flying Pirates and the New Fishman Pirates) came from. His notoriety from the events at Mariejois and his status as the captain of the Sun Pirates eventually earned him a bounty of 230,000,000, an impressive act, considering it was his first bounty. In his younger days he was able to command Fishmen District with his strength and in the anime he was also able to beat Arlong and Jinbe (who already has a blackbelt in Fishmen Karate as kid).
Even before achieving his legendary status, he was a famous adventurer in his own right, kept in high regard by the inhabitants of Fishman Island, who were more than willing to hear of his numerous adventures. During one of such adventures, Tiger was taken as a slave by the World Nobles, and yet managed to escape, something which prompted him to attack Mariejois in order to free all the other slaves.
As a fishman, Tiger was born with ten times the strength of the average human, and double that underwater. However, considering all of his feats, and that he was the captain of an enormous fishmen crew, in charge of both Arlong and Jinbe, he was most likely considerably stronger. He was able to defeat Kadar, a Marine rear admiral, with just a single kick to the face.
He also possessed amazing stamina and resistance: even after being shot many times from all directions, something which would lead to the blood loss that resulted in his death, he managed to resist and fight back against the ambushing Marines to the end; a feat which was commented upon by the ones assaulting him.
He also appeared to be deceptively fast even on dry land: even when severely injured, he could near an attacking Marine in a moment and send him flying meters away with a punch without the Marine managing to react or shoot him.
During his attack on Mariejois, he was seen carrying many weapons: he wielded a large saber and a massive pistol, had two more sheathed swords by his side, and a bazooka-like weapon strapped to his back.
It might be assumed that he used all of these weapons proficiently, having been able to attack the extremely well-guarded Holy Land and freeing the slaves all by himself.
The Moses of Mariejois
In the past, two people made a stand against the discrimination towards fishmen: Queen Otohime and Fisher Tiger. While Queen Otohime wished to promote friendship with humans, Fisher Tiger believed that fishmen and humans should remain separate. Tiger took up the role of protecting the Fishman District, and ruled over it, while gaining respect from all his followers. He eventually left from time to time as an adventurer.
While he returned to Fishman Island from what seemed to be a long voyage, the truth was that he was captured by the World Nobles and became a slave for years at Mariejois. During Tiger's life as a slave, he suffered a lot of abuse and gruelish torture from his masters. He barely escaped, but seeing all the slaves left behind, he could not bear it and decided to return to free them.
Thus, he committed a taboo against the world by climbing up the cliffs of the Red Line with his bare hands to Mariejois and attacked the holy land to free the fishmen slaves from the World Nobles. Due to understanding them as slaves, Tiger did not discriminate against human slaves. He freed slaves of all races there. Among these other slaves were Boa Hancock and her two sisters, Marigold and Sandersonia.
The Sun Pirates
With the fishmen slaves he freed, Tiger changed the shameful hoof mark branded on himself and them (it signified slavery) into a symbol of a sun. He also took them in as part of his pirate crew, creating the Sun Pirates. Fisher Tiger is seen sitting in between Jinbe and Arlong. It is here where he is surrounded by the Sun Pirates when he is shouted at by Hatchan trying to inform him about an enemy ship. Tiger wonders if it's a Marine ship.
During their time roaming the seas, the Sun Pirates battled numerous Marines including those led by Rear Admiral Kadar of G-2. When the rear admiral demanded the former slaves, Tiger countered him saying that he had no proof that there were former slaves on his ship. Tiger then witnessed Arlong's brutality towards a Marine. Some time after the battle, Tiger had a discussion with Arlong and Jinbe, telling them not to kill humans. Otherwise, they will stoop to their level. Tiger went on saying that their ultimate goal was freeing the oppressed and not becoming cold-blooded murderers. This did not go over well with Arlong and he suggested to Tiger that they should instill fear in humans by using ruthlessness and extreme brutality. Later on that night, Tiger had a private conversation with Jinbe, saying that the "demons" in his own heart was the most terrifying of all.
The Sun Pirates later visited an island where a former slave named Koala resided. The inhabitants there had no way of returning the girl to her homeland so they asked the Sun Pirates to take her and they agree, taking her on their ship. Due to her continuing to submissively act as a slave, fearing the pirates as if they were her former masters, and refusing to cry, afraid that she would have been killed if she had, Tiger put the mark of the sun on her to cover up the slave mark, "freeing" her of the slave condition. He then told the girl that she was allowed to cry if she wished, and vowed to return her to her home, to which Koala finally burst into tears of joy.
When the Sun Pirates finally reached Koala's home, Foolshout Island, Fisher Tiger escorted the girl to her village. After Koala was reunited with her family, Tiger bid her farewell. Not long after leaving the village, Tiger learned that the citizens there betrayed him by reporting his presence to the Marines, led by Rear Admiral Strawberry, in exchange for overlooking Koala being the property of the World Nobles. Tiger was shot many times, and the Sun Pirates' ship was destroyed. However, the crew managed to steal a Marine battleship and escaped. Aladdin tried to give Tiger a blood transfusion with a pack of human blood they found on board, but Tiger refused it, being unable to accept the thought of surviving on blood that is tainted with humanity's hatred for fishmen.
With his dying breath, he told his crew about the truth of his previous "adventure." He revealed that he was actually captured and spent years as a slave at Mariejois. Although he eventually escaped, a deep seeded hate was ingrained in him after witnessing the human madness there and that no matter how hard he tried, he could never bring himself to truly love or accept humans. As a result of his convictions and immense pride, he died whilst begging his crew not to reveal to Fishman Island his past as a slave, nor of their ambush or of their rage towards humans in his last attempt to stop the cycle of hate between both races.
The last words Tiger heard was Aladdin praising him as a hero for his deeds no matter what he said, which gave Tiger a sense of happiness before succumbing to death. Tiger's command of the Sun Pirates was succeeded by Jinbe.
Respecting their captain's last wish, the crew never revealed the truth to Fishman Island (although Jinbe did reveal the truth to Neptune and Otohime via a letter). As such, many believed that Tiger was denied a transfusion due to humans' refusal, when in truth he refused the available blood on board. Arlong, enraged over his captain's death, returned to Foolshout Island in an attempt to murder the ones who betrayed Tiger, and his hatred for humans intensified, ignoring Tiger's last wish of ending the cycle of hatred. When captured by then Vice Admiral Borsalino, Arlong lied to the Marines about Tiger being denied a blood transfusion by humans to preserve his honor. Jinbe believed that becoming a Shichibukai and helping human/fishman relations was something that Fisher Tiger would have wanted. After Jinbe joined the Government, Arlong was released and parted ways with the Sun Pirates simply because Tiger is no longer among them, and decided to bear the hatred of fishmen.
Many fishmen seem to look up to Tiger after his selfless efforts at liberating the imprisoned members of his race, so much that Hammond likened Luffy to him since the Straw Hat captain also assaulted a World Noble. The New Fishman Pirates in particular thought of Tiger as a hero and the circumstances of his death furthered their hatred towards humans, especially since they do not know the truth behind Tiger's reason of attacking Mariejois and death. However, the officers did not feel this way, for his death made them "realize" that he was not the hero everyone saw him as. Hody Jones, in particular, heard from Jinbe that Tiger had desired inter-species harmony, which did not stand well with him and his subordinate officers.
- Fisher Tiger vs. Mariejois
- Sun Pirates vs. Marines (numerous times)
- Fisher Tiger vs. Rear Admiral Kadar
- Sun Pirates vs. Marines (Foolshout Island)
Translation and Dub Issues
His name comes from tai (タイ?), the Japanese name for sea bream. Hatchan called him Boss Tai (タイのお頭 Tai no Okashira?) and this is a pun of tai no okashira-tsuki (鯛の尾頭付き? "tai with its tail and head"), which means a whole sea bream.
- Tiger had a rare blood type which none of his crew members share.
- The problems of Fishman Island and the racism that the inhabitants suffer from closely parallel those of African-Americans in the early 1900s. Fisher Tiger's belief that fishmen and merfolk should stay separated from humans resembles that of Malcolm X, while Queen Otohime's beliefs resemble that of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who famously dreamed of peaceful unity. All four of them died prematurely out of malice.
- However, unlike Malcolm X, who would renounce his original beliefs and hatred toward whites in the latter part of his life (which ironically led to his assassination at the hands of members of his former organization, the Nation of Islam), Tiger would hold onto his hatred toward humans and unwillingness to change to his death. He did, however, admit that there were some good humans (Koala), but believed they were too few and far between to make a difference.
- In China, tigers have always been a fiercely bitter rival to the dragon. In the original folklore, Queen Otohime's namesake sea-goddess turned into a dragon after giving birth to her son. While Otohime and Tiger both wanted peace and do not seem to be particularly resentful towards each other, their different views on how that peace should be made somewhat mirrors that of their animals: tigers are usually depicted as lunging ahead to bulldoze through their opponents while dragons are revered for fighting using their patience and wisdom.
- Like their animals, both Fisher Tiger and the Celestial Dragons are considered "noble" for different reasons (freeing slaves and ancestry respectively). Ironically, while Tiger's boldness mirrors that of his animal's, the World Nobles seem to be far from wise or patient. And while the eternal battle between the animals represents balance and Tiger's actions threw Mariejois into disarray, it can be argued that it was already in turmoil by the World Nobles' slavery, prejudice and arrogance; Tiger set it straight by objectively freeing their slaves and bringing about one of the greatest challenges to their authority.