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"Impel Down" has been featured, meaning it was chosen as an article of interest.

For the chapter, see Chapter 525.

Impel Down, also known as the Underwater Prison (海底監獄, Kaitei Kangoku?) and the Great Prison (大監獄, Dai Kangoku?), is a government-controlled stronghold in Paradise together with Marine Headquarters and Enies Lobby. It is the World Government's maximum-security prison for the most dangerous criminals and pirates.[2] It is located underwater in the middle of the Calm Belt and part of the Tarai Current.[3]

Impel Down is the main setting of the Impel Down Arc, with the prison's staff acting as the main antagonist group in the same arc.

Layout and Locations[]

Impel Down is a large, submerged tower-like structure whose foundation is at the very bottom of the sea bed. Due to it being built within the Calm Belt, the entire structure is constantly surrounded by gigantic Sea Kings swimming below the water. Along with these beasts, the prison is guarded by a force of Marine battleships.[1]

Within the dark confines of the prison are various cells and torture chambers that are used for the prisoners. The cells are all made from Seastone to keep those with Devil Fruit powers from escaping.[4] The torture chambers are used for all sorts of brutal, unspeakable acts. Among these include continuous whipping, brutal beating to death, boiling cauldrons for burning and drowning, and spiked pits used for impaling.[1]

Impel Down Underwater
Impel Down as seen underwater.
Impel Down Building
Impel Down Building.

Gates of Justice[]

The Gate of Justice are massive gates, larger than most battle ships, with the Marine logo on the front. They are the main entrance to Impel Down, Marine Headquarters, and Enies Lobby. The Gates themselves are a part of the Tarai Current and each one functions as a wall for the current to flow. when opened the current changes and pushes whatever vessel is within the current into the corresponding location. Impel down is inaccessible any other way.

Monitor Room[]

The prison is carefully monitored all around by a Surveillance Den Den Mushi. Tiny versions of them are found in specific locations throughout Impel Down. Whatever they see is transferred to a larger version that sends video feeds to monitors connected to it, allowing the guards to keep surveillance.[5] Each of the smaller versions has an alarm beeper connected to the shells. The large Surveillance Den Den Mushi is kept in a monitor room somewhere within the fortress.[6]

Medical Laboratory[]

There is also what appears to be a medical laboratory stationed somewhere within the great jail, with doctors and a variety of medical equipment for immediate treatments of anyone within the prison, both prisoner and staff alike. However, the doctors seem to have a limit, as they cannot produce a cure for an accumulation of various poisons.[7]

Generator Room[]

The generator room of the entire prison is located on the first floor, before Level 1, and as are the controls to open the Gates of Justice.[8]


Impel Down Levels

The several levels of Impel Down.

A prisoner's assigned level is usually determined by the bounty value on his or her head.[9] Exceptions can be made, however, when the Government acknowledges their strength is obviously superior to their bounties, such as Crocodile whose bounty was removed a long time ago and Bentham.

Along with various group and solitary cells to keep inmates,[6] each level possesses a unique form of torture. Because of these unspeakable acts being performed, each level is given the title of hell. With each descending level, the tortures worsen.

Level 1: Crimson Hell[]

For the chapter, see Chapter 527.
Crimson Hell

Crimson Hell.

Crimson Hell (紅蓮地獄, Guren Jigoku?) is the first level of Impel Down in which prisoners are kept.[10] The level houses the least-infamous prisoners and contains a large forest of red trees. The leaves of the trees, known as Kenju (剣樹?, literally meaning "bladed tree"), are as sharp as blades, while the grass on the floor, the Haribarisō (針々草?, literally meaning "needle grass"), is as spiky as needles. Here, prisoners are forced to run through the forest while being chased by poisonous spiders and guards to experience all the pain from being cut from all directions. As a consequence of prisoners being forced through this forest, it is soaked in blood, giving it its characteristic crimson color.[11]

Deep within the forest is a hole that leads to Level 2. For those who do not wish to live through the pain of being cut any longer, they are given the option of jumping down the hole to Level 2, which contains an even more terrifying hell that nobody is willing to risk.[12] The security here seems to be somewhat lax, as a prisoner has managed to sneak a Black Den Den Mushi into his cell, eavesdropping on what is happening around the fortress.[13]

Buggy was kept here prior to his escape due to the guards not knowing he was a Devil Fruit user, much less one whose power rendered him completely impervious to this type of torture.

Level 2: Wild Beast Hell[]

For the chapter, see Chapter 529.
Wild Beast Hell

The Basilisk of the Wild Beast Hell.

Wild Beast Hell (猛獣地獄, Mōjū Jigoku?) is the second level of Impel Down in which prisoners are kept.[14] Buggy commented that every prisoner that was imprisoned on Level 2 and escaped alongside him holds a bounty higher than his own (Beli15,000,000).[15] It contains various wild beasts of all sorts. Prisoners kept here are forced to be chased by them through the corridors of the level. Because of the fearsome danger, prisoners often either lose the will to go on, or refuse to escape even when their cells are unlocked.

The beasts kept here include Puzzle Scorpions and Manticores. Puzzle Scorpions are large poisonous insects that can link together to form a giant centipede-like creature. Manticores are man-eating lions with human faces; they will devour their prey entirely, including the bones. Because they have human faces, they are able to speak, however they can only repeat things that they have heard and they do not actually understand what they are saying, so some of the things that they say are completely out of place. They mostly just say things that they have heard from the prisoners. Among these regular-sized beasts kept here are also two gigantic beasts, the Basilisk and the Sphinx.[16]

The Basilisk is a gigantic snake born from a chicken. It is a feathered mutant that possesses both snake and chicken traits. It is extremely strong, and it gave Luffy and Buggy a good chase until it was downed with one blow of Gear 3 from Luffy. Though formidable, the Basilisk is not the most powerful beast in the level. It is considered to be the "second-in-command".

The Sphinx is a gigantic human faced feathered lion. Significantly larger than the Basilisk and much more fearsome than the other beasts, it is considered the "boss" of the level and is charged with guarding the stairway that leads out of the level. It is so fearsome that the prisoners kept in the level, and even the other beasts hide from it. Like the Manticores, it is capable of imitated speech. It randomly says the names of types of noodles and apparently understands the concept of giving thanks before meals. It is such a strong beast that it is capable of breaking the floor beneath it if it hits it enough times.

Galdino was kept here prior to being set free by Luffy and Buggy. After both the Basilisk and the Sphinx were defeated, and along with all the prison doors being unlocked, there was a mass riot in the level caused by Luffy and his companions. The riot however was quelled down by Saldeath and his Blue Gorillas. There was a second riot that occurred shortly after the previous riot but was quelled after Magellan apparently decimated almost all the prisoners on the level and blocked all the entrances and exits. However, as Magellan became occupied with Luffy's breakout army, the rioters of Level 2 once again became active.

Level 3: Starvation Hell[]

For the chapter, see Chapter 531.
Starvation Hell

Luffy, Galdino, and Buggy in Starvation Hell.

Starvation Hell (飢餓地獄, Kiga Jigoku?) is the third level of Impel Down in which prisoners are kept. Most of the prisoners kept here are pirates who have a bounty of Beli50,000,000 or higher. On this level, prisoners feel the heat rising up from Level 4 and are given precious little food and water to keep them in a near death state. They are reduced to the point where, by merely looking at them, one cannot tell that they were ever once frightening criminals. Also, while the temperature here is nothing compared to the level below, it is intense enough to cause overwhelming dryness, resulting in Level 3's somewhat desert-like terrain.[17] Bentham was kept here, despite his bounty being only Beli32,000,000.

In the middle of the level is a large hole going directly to Level 4 down below. This, combined with a gigantic fan directly above the hole, serves as the main ventilation system to redirect the smoke produced from below. Level 4 can be reached through this hole; however, to travel down it holds a risk of death or scalding by the fire and heat from the floor below.[18]

Level 4: Blazing Hell[]

For the chapter, see Chapter 533.
Blazing Hell

Blazing Hell.

Blazing Hell (焦熱地獄, Shōnetsu Jigoku?, Inferno Hell in the Viz Manga) is the fourth level of Impel Down in which prisoners are kept. At this level, a pool lies filled with boiling blood heated by a raging fire making it extremely hot. The heat caused by this is so intense that it also heats up the level directly above it. If one tries to jump down to this level from Level 3 using the large hole used for ventilation above but do not land in a safe place, then they will die.

Prisoners from other levels are regularly tortured here. The most prevalent form of torture however is being thrown into the gigantic pot of boiling blood in the middle of the level. Other tortures involve prisoners being hung from ropes around their stomachs en masse and being dangled over the raging flames throughout the level and being put to back-breaking hard labor by suppling giant logs of firewood to keep the flames going. Guards on this level must don protective gear to avoid being hurt by the intense heat, as it is strong enough to sear bared flesh.[19]

Daz Bonez was kept here, though he was shown to be unfazed by the heat of this level while being placed into hard labor. He also saw Luffy and Magellan's battle while in his cell.

Magellan, the warden of Impel Down, stays here. His office contains a lift, which can take several people to all the levels throughout the fortress, bypassing the stairs. This is also where the kitchen of the prison is located, right next to Magellan's office. Luffy's battle with Magellan was fought here prior to him being completely poisoned and captured.

Level 5: Freezing Hell[]

For the chapter, see Chapter 536.
Freezing Hell

Freezing Hell.

Freezing Hell (極寒地獄, Gokkan Jigoku?, Frozen Hell in the Viz Manga) is the fifth level of Impel Down in which prisoners are kept. This is the level where criminals with bounties of Beli100,000,000 and over are kept.[20] In stark contrast to the level above it, the entire level here is a giant freezer. The level is so cold that not only do the prisoners kept here either freeze to death or lose pieces of their flesh from severe frostbite, but the food given to them is frozen to the level of being virtually inedible. Due to the extreme cold, Den Den Mushi do not function in this level, thus cutting off both contact and surveillance, except on the locations localized around the entrances that connects Level 5 to the previous and next levels. Along with the severe cold, the level is inhabited by wolves. These wolves roam around the level like the beasts of Level 2, where they were originally stationed at. However, they proved to be too brutal to be in Level 2 as they also hunted the other beasts as well, including the Basilisk and the Sphinx.[21][22]

Along with the bitter cold of the level, there seems to be an occurrence of prisoners mysteriously disappearing as well. Prisoners who are incapable of moving by themselves have been disappearing without a trace. Because of this, the Impel Down staff and the prisoners call this phenomenon, the Demoning Away (?). The superstition is that the missing prisoners have been actually pulled away by demons to the Gates of Hell itself. The belief of this superstition has been carefully kept within Level 5 so that no inmates from the upper levels were aware about it prior to Bentham (disguised as Hannyabal), Buggy, and Galdino descending down to it where they were informed by the guards. Among these missing prisoners is Emporio Ivankov, the queen of the okama. He was imprisoned here until he mysteriously disappeared from his cell. Since then, he was rumored to be living in an abandoned guard's office deep within a forest situated in the level.

Luffy was transferred into the central tower of this floor after his loss against Magellan, with the effects of Magellan's poison whittling away his vitality, until released by Bentham, hoping to find a cure.

Level 5.5: Newkama Land[]

For the chapter, see Chapter 538.
Level 5

Some newkama at New Kama Land.

Known as the "The "Prisoners' Secret Flower Garden", Newkama Land (ニューカマーランド, Nyūkamā Rando?) is a hidden sub level of Freezing Hell and is where all the prisoners who have been supposedly Demoned Away (降ろした, Oroshita?, English versions: Demon's Invitation) have gone to. The secret area is located inside a rock between Levels 5 and 6. It was carved out long ago by a prisoner with a tunneling Devil Fruit power and is a secret location unknown by the jailers. It is ruled by the "Queen" Emporio Ivankov, and it is called the Okama Paradise where all the okama and prisoners party and have fun all the time. It has been described by Ivankov as a "paradise within hell", and true enough, not one inmate from this hidden level is inclined at all to escape the jail as a result. However, since the level itself is hidden, the inhabitants seem to abide by very strict rules that prohibit them from actively interacting with the other levels, at least not without covert movement. Still, they do not seem to discriminate should new arrivals find their way here, as seen by the warm welcome they gave to Bon Kurei.

One of its main rooms is a combination of a sit-down cafe and a discotheque, with the main attraction being a cabaret stage where Emporio Ivankov and his followers perform. Apparently, there are also secret entrances existing from the other levels (save for Level 6) that leads directly into this hidden level which the inhabitants can use to their advantage in procuring any necessary supplies. The level also has a Surveillance Den Den Mushi that captures feeds from Impel Down's main surveillance system so the prisoners can see what is going on from all levels in the prison. They also steal newspapers from the prison's garbage cans to stay informed about current events.

Following the mass breakout of Impel Down, many residents of Newkama Land participated in the Summit War of Marineford and left for the Kamabakka Kingdom, leaving the area largely empty. However, after two years, many prisoners are shown occupying it again, the only real difference being that it is now ruled by "Queen" Bentham.

Its name is a pun on "new comer" and okama, and refers to the okama who are completely able to change genders thanks to Ivankov's powers. In Japan, a "Newhalf" is a transgender woman who has not yet undergone a sex reassignment.

Level 6: Eternal Hell[]

For the chapter, see Chapter 540.
Eternal Hell

Eternal Hell.

Eternal Hell (無限地獄, Mugen Jigoku?) is the lowest level of Impel Down. It is where prisoners who are insanely powerful, have caused crimes extremely atrocious, and/or whose mere existences have become a major threat to the World Government itself are kept. Sengoku said even a single Level 6 prisoner lurking in a remote country could be an incredible danger to the public.[23] The prisoners on this level have been given either the death penalty or a life sentence. They are basically "erased" from history.[24] Saint Jaygarcia Saturn of the Five Elders admitted he was surprised anyone from Level 6 would ever be someone else's subordinate.[25]

Most high-ranking officers of Impel Down tend to avoid this level because of the danger these criminals pose but will visit it if the need arises. The chief warden of Impel Down also has the authority to execute prisoners kept here on the spot if they begin acting up and may do so at their own discretion. When he was chief warden, Magellan made no qualms about demonstrating this power by dousing prisoners with his deadly Hydra attack when they openly mocked his authority.

Ace was kept here on death row, awaiting his execution. Because most people dismiss Level 6 as just a rumor (until its actual discovery), Ace was believed to be on Level 5 by other prisoners.[20][26] Jinbe was also placed on this floor and was being kept in the same cell as Ace. Though the prisoners on this floor are either jailed for the rest of their lives or until their execution day arrives, Jinbe was only given a temporary sentence for refusing to fight against Whitebeard. Crocodile was also kept in a cell next to theirs. Near them are various other legendary pirates who hold deep grudges against Whitebeard, some of which are several imprisoned giants.

Kept alongside the prisoners was the former Head Jailer Shiryu. Because he constantly massacred prisoners, he was deemed to be a menace even within Impel Down and became too dangerous to be kept anywhere else in the prison. For abusing his powers, he was sentenced to Level 6, until his death sentence. Interestingly enough, even though Level 6 is considered the worst hell, prisoners kept here are never actually tortured (though it was shown that Minotaurus occasionally showed up and tormented the prisoners with its club[27]). It simply seems to be a holding cell for life or until an execution and prisoners do not have to endure terrible conditions (burning heat, freezing cold, etc.) unlike the higher floors. However, as seen with Jinbe and Crocodile as they moved through the other levels and are unaffected by those conditions, the inhabitants of this level may simply be too powerful to be affected by torture. On the other hand, Shiryu noted that the boredom of spending his time in this empty level made him wish for death.


See also the associated category: Impel Down Residents.

  •  (Deceased): the character is deceased.
  •  (Unknown status)?: the character's status is unknown.
  •  (Non-Canon): the character is non-canon.
  •  (Former): the character is no longer part of this group. Hovering the symbol may give further details.
  •  (Note)*: other relevant information. Hovering the symbol gives further details.

Impel Down Staff[]

See also the associated category: Impel Down Staff.

High Ranking Staff[]

Name Position Notes
Hannyabal Chief Warden; Former Vice Warden (副署長, Fuku Shochō?)
  • Ambitious person and an opportunist.
  • Made several explicit attempts to usurp his superior's position when he was Vice Warden.
  • Promoted to Chief Warden when his superior was deemed unfit for the rank, finally giving him his dream job.
Magellan Vice Warden; Former Chief Warden (監獄署長, Kangoku Shochō?)
  • Resides in Level 4
  • Possesses the Doku Doku no Mi.
  • Only serves about four hours of service per day due to frequent bathroom emergencies.
  • Demoted to Vice Warden after failing to prevent a mass breakout orchestrated by Marshall D. Teach.
Saldeath Chief Guard (牢番長, Rōban Chō?)
  • Commander of the Blue Gorillas.
Sadi Chief Guard (獄卒長, Gokusotsu Chō?)
  • Sadistic torturer.
  • Commander of the Five Jailer Beasts.
Shiryu Former Head Jailer (看守長, Kanshu Chō?)
  • Magellan's equal
  • Abuse of privilege, stripped of status and sentenced to death row in Level 6.
  • Sentence postponed and released for assistance, betrayed the prison and defected towards the Blackbeard Pirates.
Domino Head Jailer; Former Vice Head Jailer (副看守長, Fuku Kanshu Chō?)
  • Became the new Head Jailer after Shiryu betrayed Impel Down.

Guards and Beasts[]

Name Level Notes
Human Guards Various Levels
  • Various humans stand guard over prison in various places.
  • Comes in two style in dress-code: military and torturer.
  • Bazooka Unit: a group of one thousand troops holding large, bullet bazookas.
Blue Gorillas Level 1
  • Super strong and mindless gorillas with doubleheaded axes.
  • Under the command of Saldeath.
  • Mainly reside in Level 1, but can be called to other levels.
Minotaurus Various Levels
Minorhinoceros Various Levels
Minokoala Various Levels
Minozebra Various Levels
Minochihuahua Various Levels
  • One of the five Jailer Beasts.
  • A bipedal chihuahua who has been added to the Jailer Beast squad after the timeskip.
Basilisk Level 2
  • Giant snake born from a chicken that shares traits of both creatures.
  • Very powerful, but not the boss of the level.
Manticores Level 2
  • Man-eating, human-faced lions.
  • Can completely eat their prey.
  • Has the ability to talk but not understand what they are saying.
Puzzle Scorpions Level 2
  • Extremely poisonous creatures.
  • Can unite to form giant centipedes.
Sphinx Level 2
  • Boss of the level.
  • Extremely strong and guards the stairs.
  • Has the ability to talk but likewise with the Manticores has no understanding of what it is saying.
Hummingbirds Level 2
  • Wild beasts found in Level 2.
  • Only one has been shown, and was cooked and eaten by Luffy.
Giant Rat Level 2
  • Two rats were seen hanging on the walls with their heads facing the floor.
  • They were seen attacking one prisoner in the manga.
  • In the anime, the rats did not attack.
Wolf Unit Level 5
  • Extremely vicious wolves that prey on even other beasts.
  • Originally in Level 2, but relocated to Level 5.
Giant-Mouth Hippo Level 2
  • An anime only character.
  • Deceptively diminutive hippos who are capable of running very fast (but cannot turn well) and stretching their mouths to swallow larger prey (i.e. prisoners) whole.
Giant Praying Mantis Level 2
  • An anime only character.
  • Humanoid species of praying mantis.
  • Skilled in fighting that uses its sword arms to try to slice intruders to pieces.
  • Wears a uniform similar to that of an Impel Down guard.


See also the associated categories: Impel Down Prisoners and Former Impel Down Prisoners.
Name Crimes Sentence and Status
Buggy Former; Piracy: captain of the Buggy Pirates
  • Sentenced to Level 1; prisoner number E8200.
  • Led a riot composing of prisoners in Levels 1 and 2.
  • Escaped with 240 other prisoners, noted as one of the two masterminds of the first mass breakout of Impel Down.
Jean Goen Unknown reason.
  • Sentenced to Level 1.
Galdino Former; Membership in Baroque Works.
  • Life sentence in Level 2; prisoner number D0464.
  • Escaped with 240 other prisoners.
An Zengaiina Unknown reason.
  • Sentenced to Level 2.
Bentham Former; Membership in Baroque Works.
  • Life sentence in Level 3; prisoner number C9915.
  • Helped Luffy and the others escape but stayed behind to fight Magellan. Survived the battle and escaped to Level 5.5, becoming the "Queen" of Newkama Land.
Daz Bonez Former; Membership in Baroque Works.
  • Imprisoned in Marine base, but was transferred to Impel Down after most of the captured Baroque Works members escaped (Daz Bonez and Crocodile chose to stay behind).
  • Life sentence in Level 4.
  • Escaped with 240 other prisoners.
Monkey D. Luffy Former; Infiltrating Impel Down in attempt to break Portgas D. Ace out of prison.
  • Death by poison in 24 hours, sentenced to Level 5.
  • Received treatment in Level 5.5 and survived.
  • Escaped with 240 prisoners, noted as one of the two masterminds of the first mass breakout of Impel Down.
Emporio Ivankov Former; High Officer of the Revolutionary Army.
  • Sentenced to Level 5.
  • "Demoned" away, hid in Level 5.5 over the years.
  • Escaped with 240 other prisoners.
Inazuma Former; Membership in the Revolutionary Army.
  • Sentenced to Level 5.
  • "Demoned" away, hid in Level 5.5 over the years.
  • Escaped with 240 other prisoners.
Roche Tomson Unknown reason.
  • Sentenced to Level 5.
George Black Unknown reason.
  • Sentenced to Level 5.
Morley Piracy
Shiki Escaped; Piracy: captain of the Golden Lion Pirates
  • Sentenced to Level 6.
  • Escaped two years after imprisonment by severing his shackled feet.
  • First escapee of Impel Down.
Portgas D. Ace
  • Death sentence at Marineford, temporary containment in Level 6.
  • Transferred to custody of Marines for public execution.
Jinbe Former; Causing an uproar at Marine Headquarters, and refusing to fight on behalf of the World Government.
  • Temporary sentence in Level 6.
  • Escaped with 240 other prisoners.
  • Imprisoned in Marine base, but was transferred to Impel Down after most of the captured Baroque Works members escaped (Crocodile and Daz Bonez chose to stay behind).
  • Life sentence in Level 6.
  • Escaped with 240 other prisoners.
Shiryu Unacceptable abuse of privilege: killing prisoners for personal reasons.
  • Death penalty, sentenced to Level 6 death row.
  • Sentence postponed for assistance against mass breakouts.
  • Defected from post, sided with the Blackbeard Pirates and escaped.
Catarina Devon Former; World's worst female prisoner in the entire pirate age.
  • Death penalty, sentenced to Level 6 death row.
  • Joined the Blackbeard Pirates after winning the battle royale amongst prisoners and escaped.
Sanjuan Wolf Former; Unknown reason.
  • Death penalty, sentenced to Level 6 death row.
  • Joined the Blackbeard Pirates after winning the battle royale amongst prisoners and escaped.
Vasco Shot Former; Unknown reason.
  • Death penalty, sentenced to Level 6 death row.
  • Joined the Blackbeard Pirates after winning the battle royale amongst prisoners and escaped.
Avalo Pizarro Former; Unknown reason.
  • Death penalty, sentenced to Level 6 death row.
  • Joined the Blackbeard Pirates after winning the battle royale amongst prisoners and escaped.
Arlong Piracy, membership in the Sun Pirates. Attempted murder of Marines and humans.
  • Unknown Level.
  • Released on Jinbe's request upon the latter's promotion to Warlord of the Sea status.
Pankuta Dakeyan Unknown reason.
  • Unknown Level.
Olive Piracy.
  • Anime only prisoner, appeared in Hannyabal's flashback of twenty years ago before the start of the series.
  • Sentenced to an unknown level.
  • Attempted to escape by seducing and then assaulting Hannyabal, but was caught by Magellan.
Shuzo Several attacks to pirates and marines, membership in the Neo Marines.
  • Anime only prisoner.
  • Sentenced to an unknown level.
Donquixote Doflamingo
  • Abused Warlord of the Sea title privileges.
  • Attempted to mass murder the people of Dressrosa.
  • Underworld broker "Joker".
  • Sentenced in Level 6.
Kairo Kureyo Unknown reason.
  • Sentenced in Level 5.
Kinoko Unknown reason.
  • Sentenced in Level 5.
  • Escaped with 240 other prisoners.
Usakkov Unknown reason.
  • Unknown Level.
  • "Demoned" away, hid in Level 5.5 over the years.
  • Escaped with 240 other prisoners.
Tsunokkov Unknown reason.
  • Unknown Level.
  • "Demoned" away, hid in Level 5.5 over the years.
  • Escaped with 240 other prisoners.
Francois Unknown reason.
  • Unknown Level.
  • "Demoned" away, hid in Level 5.5 over the years.
  • Escaped with 240 other prisoners.
Senor Pink Former member of the Donquixote Pirates
  • Unknown Level.
Dobby Ibadonbo Unknown reason.
  • Sentenced in Level 6.
Doha Ittanka II Unknown reason.
  • Sentenced in Level 6.
Jude Unknown reason.
  • Video game only prisoner, currently living in Marineford Town.
  • Sentenced to an unknown level.
  • Escaped with 240 other prisoners.

Entering Impel Down[]

Impel Down

Impel Down (surrounded by Marine ships).

Impel Down is located in the middle of the Calm Belt, where Sea Kings thrive, making entrance difficult. The only way to get there with the greatest of ease is to use the Tarai Current, a water current accessible by going through the Gates of Justice located at either the Marine Headquarters or Enies Lobby. Also, the only way to safely get to the prison is to use one of the Seastone lined Marine battleships, as the entire place is surrounded by Sea Kings.

Because of its brutal nature and being renowned for being inescapable since Shiki, almost no person wishes to ever go there. The only known exceptions are Monkey D. Luffy, Daz Bonez, and Crocodile. Jinbe believed that one or two lives should not be enough to make anyone want to venture into the prison, seeing Luffy's infiltration to rescue one person as incredible.

Usually, Impel Down is a hell-fortress with maximum defenses, making intrusion and breaking-out by criminals impossible. However, Luffy made the record of being the first to break-in, tarnishing that perfect record since Shiki's breakout twenty years ago. The Blackbeard Pirates are the second group of people to ever instigate a break-in, and they did so with less effort than Luffy, not having bothered to try to avoid detection.

Arrival and Sterilization[]

When prisoners arrive in Impel Down, they are put in boiling water known as Hell's Hot Tub to disinfect and sterilize them. This is ritualistically referred to as "baptizing" them. In the Viz Manga translation, it is instead said that only the prisoners' clothes are thrown into the boiling water.

While most have screamed in pain due to the extreme heat, only a few prisoners have been known to take the sterilization without flinching even one bit. These prisoners include Portgas D. Ace, Jinbe, and Crocodile.

Monkey D. Luffy is the only known prisoner to not have gone through this ritual, being an intruder who was supposed to die in twenty-four hours from poison.

Change of Clothing[]

Most prisoners then have their clothes taken before they are given a striped black and white pair of shirt and trousers. However, they are permitted to keep certain articles of clothing and prosthetics, such as Galdino's glasses, and Crocodile's hook.

Exceptions to this rule are prisoners who were not meant to stay long before death. These include Portgas D. Ace, Monkey D. Luffy, and Shiryu. Jinbe was also allowed to keep his own clothing, as he was meant to be kept there until he was willing to cooperate with the World Government.

The residents of New Kama Land seem to have managed to retrieve their old clothes after escaping from their cells. Similarly, Crocodile seems to have somehow retrieved clothing similar to his old attire, including a long fur coat, almost immediately after escaping from his cell. However, it was revealed by Oda as well in the anime that Crocodile got his outfit back from New Kama Land.

Level Assignment and Life of Torture[]

After sterilization and a change of clothing, the prisoners are then placed in one of the six known levels of Impel Down, based on their crimes and strength. The more heinous or powerful a prisoner is, the lower the level they will be placed. From then on, the prisoners are tortured in various ways, depending on their assigned levels, with most of them supposedly having no chance of ever leaving alive.


Whether outside people are permitted to visit the prisoners is unknown. Government agents and Marines have the authority to do so, but they would need permission from their superiors.

As Impel Down is a World Government facility, it is obvious pirates cannot enter without being branded as intruders and criminals. The Seven Warlords of the Sea are allowed, at the permission of the Government.[29] Even so, they would be subjected to a full body search, then be forced to wear Seastone-cuffs, for safety measures.[30] Without permission, such as Blackbeard and his crew, they would be considered as traitors.[31]

Leaving Impel Down[]

Aside from visitors and Government officials, most people who enter Impel Down never leave there alive. The only prisoners ever allowed to leave are those who are held until their death penalty that takes place outside of the fortress (e.g., Portgas D. Ace), those who are meant to serve temporary sentence (e.g., Jinbe) and those who are released for special reasons (e.g., Arlong).

Breakout of Impel Down is virtually impossible, due to the defenses from the extremely powerful traps and guards of the place, with the Sea King-infested Calm Belt being its ultimate barricade. However, Shiki made the record of being the first person to break-out of the prison twenty years ago due to a mistake made by the Marines. Monkey D. Luffy became the second to do so.

Aside from his own escape, Luffy is also responsible for leading the very first mass-riot within the jail. Along with Emporio Ivankov, Inazuma, Buggy, Daz Bonez, Crocodile, Jinbe, Galdino, and 233 other prisoners, he is also responsible for the first-ever mass breakout in Impel Down's history. Bentham intentionally stayed behind, sacrificing himself to let the others complete their escape. It is unknown how many prisoners died during this riot, mostly from the Jailer Beasts and Magellan's poison.

Following this second breakout, the Blackbeard Pirates had freed several Level 6 prisoners for recruitment into their crew, leading to even more prisoners leaving.



A century before the start of the story, Morley was a wanted pirate who was imprisoned at Impel Down. Using her Devil Fruit abilities, she managed to escape the prison and construct a network of elaborate tunnels between Levels 5 and 6 of the prison, a fact that remained unknown for a long time allowing the prison to retain its status as being inescapable.[32]

Twenty-two years before the start of the series, Shiki the Golden Lion became the first known prisoner to escape Impel Down due to a mistake made by the Marines and by cutting off his own chained up legs. Ever since then, no prisoner had ever made a successful break-out or break-in until the eve of the Summit War of Marineford.[33][34]

Over the years, many prisoners of Level 5 would disappear for no apparent reason. The guards dubbed this phenomenon as "demoning" away, and thought such prisoners were gone forever. In truth, they were rescued from their cells by the Revolutionaries' commander Emporio Ivankov, who was also imprisoned in Level 5, and they all stayed at the secret Level 5.5, a space dug out by a past prisoner with a tunneling Devil Fruit power.

Head Jailer Shiryu of the Rain killed many prisoners within the walls of the prison for his sheer pleasure and was deemed a menace. He was put on death row and was held in Level 6 until his sentence would be carried out.

Water 7 Saga[]

Enies Lobby Arc[]

Impel Down was briefly mentioned by Nami as a place that once a person goes in will never come out.[2] She thought Robin was going there but it turned out to be wrong. Later in Enies Lobby, Spandam ordered Franky to be sent to Impel Down while Robin was to be sent to the Marine Headquarters.

Miss Goldenweek's "Operation: Meet Baroque Works"[]

After the fall of Baroque Works at Arabasta, Crocodile (Mr. 0), Daz Bonez (Mr. 1), Bentham (Mr. 2), and Galdino (Mr. 3), were all eventually transferred from a regular prison to Impel Down for life.

Thriller Bark Saga[]

Thriller Bark Arc[]

When Marshall D. Teach captured Portgas D. Ace to gain the title of Warlord of the Sea, Ace was transferred to Level 6, to be held there until his public execution.

Summit War Saga[]

Amazon Lily Arc[]

After Kizaru's failure to apprehend the Straw Hat Pirates during the Celestial Dragon Incident, he captured 500 pirates to vent his frustrations. When Impel Down couldn't process their paperwork in a timely manner, Fleet Admiral Sengoku ordered the captured pirates be sent to a labor camp because he did not have the time to deal with anything other than the upcoming conflict.[35]

Impel Down Arc[]

Sometime around Ace's imprisonment, Buggy the Clown was captured by the Marines and sentenced to Level 1. His crew was thinking of saving him, but due to Impel Down's reputation of impregnability, they gave up and left him.

During the preparations for Ace's impending execution, Jinbe of the Seven Warlords of the Sea was sent to Level 6, as he refused to fight on behalf of the World Government, and even broke out in rage at Marineford. He was placed in the same cell as Ace, whom he was friends with for a long time.

After the consecutive mass breakouts (the first led by Luffy and Buggy, the second by Blackbeard), Impel Down was left completely defeated.

Post-War Arc[]

After the war with the Whitebeard Pirates, several Level 6 inmates would escape due to Blackbeard's death match and the warden, Magellan, would be beaten to an inch of his life. Among the escapees was Shiryu, who Magellan temporarily released out of desperation for assistance in quelling the riots. However, Shiryu quickly betrayed Magellan and teamed up with Blackbeard, as well as many more Level 6 inmates, who would all ultimately go on to inflict the final killing blows upon Whitebeard.

Fish-Man Island Saga[]

From the Decks of the World[]

After the time skip, Impel Down has been repaired from Luffy's and Blackbeard's mass escapes. Hannyabal has been promoted to chief warden and Domino has been promoted to head jailer.[36] Another Jailer Beast, Minochihuahua, has been added.[37] Saldeath has grown taller and Sadi has fallen in love with the newly appointed vice warden,[38] Magellan who has been demoted (or has stepped down) to vice warden.[39]

Dressrosa Saga[]

Dressrosa Arc[]

Jean Ango, a bounty hunter, became very active in hunting down many of the escaped prisoners and sending them back for the bounties, including many Level 6 prisoners, and desired to capture the main perpetrators of the breakouts two years ago.[40]

After Donquixote Doflamingo's defeat at the hands of Monkey D. Luffy and Trafalgar D. Water Law, he was sent to Impel Down. Though nearby, a pirate ship flying Kaidou's jolly roger commanded by Captain Jack pursued Doflamingo's escort of four Marine warships, as Jack planned to take him back by force.[41] However, the rescue attempt failed, and Jack was presumed dead for some time.[42] Doflamingo was put in Level 6 and he started looking for the latest news from the outside world since Tsuru rejected his request to have newspapers delivered to him.[43]

Whole Cake Island Saga[]

Levely Arc[]

As the royal parties arrived at Mary Geoise for the Levely, Doflamingo was shown in a solitary cell. He asked Magellan if he was guarding him and wondered if an assassin would be coming to kill him before he could reveal the truth about the Mary Geoise's national treasure.[44]

Final Saga[]

Egghead Arc[]

Afterwards, Impel Down felt an earthquake of unprecedented magnitude.[45]

Translation and Dub Issues[]

Impel Down's title is often translated as "the Great Gaol", "gaol" is an old English word for "jail" or "prison".

In the Funimation dub, Buggy says that Ace is in Level 5, rather than Level 6, as he didn't know for sure that Level 6 existed.

Anime and Manga Differences[]

In the anime, there are two additional animal guards placed in Level 2: a giant praying mantis who slices with its sickle-like appendages and a small hippo who can extend its jaws widely to swallow prisoners whole.

Galdino stated in the anime that the sand in Level 3 is actually the remnants of prisoners who had dried up and died.

When Level 5 was introduced in the manga, it showed a prisoner whose finger froze, cracked and fell off, causing another prisoner to laugh at him for having a frostbite, in the anime the prisoner simply could not feel or move his finger anymore.

In an anime-only flashback of 20 years ago, when Hannyabal first joined the prison, the first prisoner he was assigned to deal with was Olive. She seduced him to lower his guard, and then tied him up and stole his clothes in an attempt for freedom (a reminiscence of what Bentham would do in disguise as Nami 20 years later), but was foiled when Magellan caught her, and she was locked up.[46]


Impel Down Logo

The origin of Impel Down's symbol.

  • The symbol of Impel Down is an overlap of the prison name's initials, "I" and "D".[47]
  • Impel Down prisoners are assigned a 4-digit number preceded by a single letter that appears to denote what floor the prisoner is to be held at, starting with E for Level 1 and presumably ending with A for Level 5. It is unknown what letter would be given to Level 6 inmates, or if they are even assigned numbers.
  • Various influences of "Hell" are present within its walls:
    • Impel Down seems to be heavily based on how Hell is described in Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy. Both are level-based, "inescapable" prisons with unique forms of punishment per level, and the lower one traverses, the worse the punishments become.
    • The description of Mount Purgatory from Purgatorio, the second part of the poem, highly resembles Impel Down's design.
    • Level 3: Starvation Hell is ironically the third floor, while in Dante Alighieri's hell, it's the place where who was damned by the sin of gluttony are punished by "starving to death" inside Cerberus's gullets.
    • Level 4: Blazing Hell is a typical representation of Hell in cultural and fictional references, with intense flames and heat burning the "sinners" (or in this case, prisoners), while a demonic figure (in this case, the Jailer Beast Minozebra) pushing sinners into the flames. Magellan's residence on this level could refer to this depiction of hell being where the devil resides. This resembles, in Dante's tale, the level violence where violent people are punished: a lake of boiling blood, where the damned are drowning.
    • Level 5: Freezing Hell is another thing that is based on Divine Comedy known as Treachery where the most evil figures are punished. In fact, this level is the one where the damned are fraudulent. With the only difference that Dante's damned are totally frozen into a lake of ice and in the Divine Comedy it is known to be the lowest level of Hell.
    • A few of the levels of Impel Down also seem to resemble Buddhist concepts of hell such as the Crimson Hell which seems based on the "Hell of the Sword Tree and Knife Hill" which similarly tortures its victims by forcing them to run upon or impaling them upon trees and hills covered with knives and swords. Also, the Four Jailer Beasts seem to resemble the Jailer Beasts Horse Face and Ox Head.
    • Each of the high-ranking staff members seem to have a devil theme in their dress codes, a reflection to how each level of Impel Down is called Hell.
  • Newkama Land is a reference to the movie The Rocky Horror Picture Show,[48] in which main character Frank N. Furter is a transvestite similar to Newkama inhabitants. In the final scene of the movie, the heroes Brad and Janett surrender to their transsexual feelings in a similar way as Ivankov's candyboys accept their true inner selves.
  • Level 5.5 is a pun, as it is pronounced Go Ten Go. "Goten" means "Roaring Heaven", and Level 5.5 was portrayed as heavenly.
  • Two names, Roche Tomson and George Black were shown on a list of prisoners on Level 5. These prisoners were never seen, and their fates are unknown.
    • Roche Tomson's name is similar to that of real-life pirate Roche Braziliano, a Dutchman who sailed in Brazil and was noted for his extreme sadism, even amongst other pirates. Also, Braziliano was at one point caught by Spanish forces, as was Tomson by the World Government, only he escaped and eventually disappeared.
    • Roche Tomson's number on the list of prisoners in Impel Down is 6581.
  • The Level 6 purpose of erasing a person from history is similar to the damnatio memoriae, a form of punishment in Ancient Rome which had the intent of erasing the memories a person and everything that could carry it to the future generation, effectively erasing the existence of a person from history.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 54 Chapter 525 and Episode 422.
  2. 2.0 2.1 One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 38 Chapter 364 (p. 15) and Episode 255, Impel Down is first mentioned by Nami.
  3. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 53 Chapter 522 (p. 10) and Episode 416, Elder Nyon explains where Impel Down is and how to get there.
  4. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 19 Chapter 169 (p. 11) and Episode 106, Smoker mentions that all Marine Headquarters' prisons are made of seastone.
  5. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 54 Chapter 526 (p. 6) and Episode 422.
  6. 6.0 6.1 One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 54 Chapter 526 (p. 13-14) and Episode 423.
  7. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 55 Chapter 536 (p. 2) and Episode 437.
  8. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 56 Chapter 548 (p. 8-10) and Episode 451, The generator room is shown.
  9. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 54 Chapter 527 (p. 10) and Episode 424.
  10. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 54 Chapter 526 (p. 16) and Episode 423.
  11. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 54 Chapter 527 (p. 14-15) and Episode 424.
  12. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 54 Chapter 527 (p. 17) and Episode 424.
  13. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 54 Chapter 532 (p. 3-4) and Episode 433, A prisoner in Level 1 eavesdrops with a Black Den Den Mushi.
  14. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 54 Chapter 527 (p. 19) and Episode 424.
  15. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 56 Chapter 549 (p. 14) and Episode 452, Buggy comments that the other prisoners that escaped from Impel Down holds a bounty higher than his.
  16. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 54 Chapters 528529 and Episodes 425430, The beasts of the Wild Beast Hell are encountered by Luffy and his group.
  17. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 54 Chapter 530 (p. 7-9) and Episode 424.
  18. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 54 Chapter 532 and Episode 433, The huge hole used for ventilation of Level 4 is encountered by Luffy and his allies.
  19. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 55 Chapter 533 and Episode 434, Luffy and his allies accidentally arrive in Level 4.
  20. 20.0 20.1 One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 54 Chapter 526 (p. 17) and Episode 423.
  21. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 55 Chapter 535 and Episode 437, Luffy is taken to Level 5 after being defeated by Magellan.
  22. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 55 Chapter 536 and Episode 438, Bentham battles some wolves in Level 5 while struggling to save Luffy.
  23. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 59 Chapter 581 (p. 16) and Episode 490, Sengoku reveals to Brannew the threat of even a single prisoner from level 6 poses to the world.
  24. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 59 Chapter 576 (p. 2) and Episode 485, Strawberry states that the World Government decided to cover up the level 6 prisoners' existence in order to deal with the level of cruelty they had incurred in the past.
  25. One Piece Manga — Vol. 109 Chapter 1107 (p. 14).
  26. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 55 Chapter 538 and Episode 440, Ivankov confirms the existence of Level 6.
  27. One Piece Manga — Vol. 54 Chapter 528, The Minotaurus is seen hitting Jinbe with his club.
  28. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 23 Chapter 211 (p. 13) and Episode 127, Crocodile is arrested by Tashigi.
  29. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 54 Chapter 523 (p. 7) and Episode 417, Momonga reveals the quality of Impel Down to Hancock.
  30. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 54 Chapter 525 (p. 16) and Episode 422, Momonga tells Hancock the condition to entering Impel Down.
  31. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 56 Chapter 543 (p. 2) and Episode 445, The Blackbeard Pirates along with Teach are declared as traitors after they successfully enter Impel Down.
  32. SBS One Piece Manga — Vol. 91 (p. 176).
  33. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 54 Chapter 530 (p. 5) and Episode 425, Sengoku talks about Shiki's escape.
  34. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 0 Chapter 0 and Episode 0.
  35. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 54 Chapter 523 (p. 11) and Episode 417.
  36. One Piece Manga — Vol. 67 Chapter 661, cover story: From the Decks of the World Vol. 42, Hannyabal as the new chief warden and Domino as the new head jailer.
  37. One Piece Manga — Vol. 67 Chapter 662, cover story: From the Decks of the World Vol. 43, A Jailer Beast, Minochihuahua is/has been added.
  38. One Piece Manga — Vol. 67 Chapter 663, cover story: From the Decks of the World Vol. 44, Saldeath and Sadi-chan, two years later
  39. One Piece Manga — Vol. 67 Chapter 665, cover story: From the Decks of the World Vol. 45, Sadi-chan falls in love Magellan, the new vice-warden.
  40. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 72 Chapter 716 (p. 9-10) and Episode 646, Jean Ango talks about capturing the inmates.
  41. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 80 Chapter 801 (p. 6-10) and Episode 746.
  42. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 82 Chapter 817 and Episode 768.
  43. SBS One Piece Manga — Vol. 88 (p. 152).
  44. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 90 Chapter 906 (p. 15-16) and Episode 885, Doflamingo is seen in Impel Down.
  45. One Piece Manga — Vol. 108 Chapter 1089 (p. 5).
  46. One Piece Anime — Episode 446.
  47. SBS One Piece Manga — Vol. 55 (p. 106), Fan Question: What's the mark used by Magellan and the others in Impel Down? Is it "strength"? What's this (File:Impel Down Infobox.png)← thing?
  48. SBS One Piece Manga — Vol. 58, Newkama Land's origin of inspiration is revealed.

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