|Ahoy! This here is the 34th Featured Article.
"Kuzan" has been featured, meaning it was chosen as an article of interest.
Kuzan, better known by his former epithet Aokiji, is a former Marine admiral and the first one to be revealed. He was nominated by Sengoku for the position of fleet admiral. However, after losing the position to Sakazuki, he resigned from the Marines. He has currently affiliated himself with the Blackbeard Pirates for unknown reasons.
He is a minor antagonist of the Long Ring Long Land Arc (in the anime, one of the main antagonists of the Foxy's Return Arc), and along with the other Marines, he is one of the major antagonists of the Marineford Arc.
- 1 Appearance
- 2 Personality
- 3 Relationships
- 4 Abilities and Powers
- 5 History
- 5.1 Past
- 5.2 Water 7 Saga
- 5.3 Summit War Saga
- 5.4 During the Timeskip
- 5.5 Dressrosa Saga
- 5.6 Four Emperors Saga
- 6 Major Battles
- 7 Anime and Manga Differences
- 8 Translation and Dub Issues
- 9 Merchandise
- 10 Other Appearances
- 11 Trivia
- 12 References
- 13 Site Navigation
Kuzan is an incredibly tall, slim, yet muscular man. At 298 cm tall, he is just slightly shorter than the other two admirals pre-timeskip. He has black, curly hair cut to chin length that fans out at the tips, tanned skin, and an altogether lean, long build.
His standard outfit while in the Marines consists of a white buttoned-up vest with standing collar over a long-sleeved navy blue shirt, with matching white trousers and black dress shoes. This is all rarely accompanied by a matching white suit jacket. He also wears a yellow tie divided geometrically by black lines and a sleep mask on his forehead. During his preparations for the war against Whitebeard, Kuzan had a white Marine admiral's coat (golden epaulettes and for him being the ice user, blue cuffs) draped over him like a cape, as did the other admirals. He was also seen wearing a green and purple sleep mask at all times two years ago from the present timeline. In contrast to Borsalino and Sakazuki, Kuzan is far younger than his colleagues, being less than fifty years old. His looks, combined with his manner, make him appear even younger than he actually is.
As a child, Kuzan had a grimace on his face. He wore a dirty light blue shirt and a purple pair of shorts with white stripes. He carried an umbrella tied on his back, a bottle of alcohol and a backpack. Also, his hair was curlier compared to his current hairstyle.
In his youth, Kuzan wore a white marine cap and a shirt.
Twenty-two years ago during the Ohara Incident, Kuzan wore a dark blue bandanna with a white Marine symbol on it, as well as a pair of black round sunglasses, as well as an indigo coat with the Marine emblem on the left chest and the back. This outfit was also what he wore 27 years ago, during the Battle of Edd War.
After the timeskip, his attire bears similarities to what he wore in his 20's. He wears a blue bandana that covers most of his hair, leaving only the tips which fan out. He wears a white V-neck shirt with black trousers, as well as an open dark blue-green trenchcoat that extends past his knees. He also now wears black cowboy boots and travels with a knapsack carrying his belongings, along with his old pair of green round sunglasses. Like his rival Sakazuki, he also has grown facial hair, namely, a thin mustache and a beard.
After his duel on Punk Hazard, Kuzan received several burn scars spanning from the right side of his neck down to his entire right shoulder and onto his torso. His right hand is also heavily scarred and he lost part of his left leg, for which he now wears a prosthesis made of ice formed by his Devil Fruit ability.
Kuzan is a very laid back man, showing no shock or surprise from almost anything. His lack of interest and "Lazy Justice" (だらけきった正義 Darakekitta Seigi?) (as he describes his motto himself) often leads others to believe he can not possibly be a marine of such a high ranking, which causes them to underestimate him, making him all the more dangerous (it is unknown whether this is a facade or if he is genuinely lazy). However, if he deems a situation worthy, he will take action. During the Whitebeard War at Marineford, Aokiji grudgingly shredded his usual lax and friendly nature, for a more ruthless and aggressive personality, repeatedly targeting Whitebeard himself with his Hie Hie no Mi, managing to severely injure "Diamond" Jozu and generally hampering any attempts at rescue or escape for the invading pirate fleets.
In accordance with the age difference between him and the other pre-time skip admirals, Kuzan does not refer to himself with "Washi" (儂?), the "I" typical for older men but the "I" more frequently used by younger men and teens, the rather rough "Ore" (俺?); altogether, his manner of speaking is far more lax than Borsalino’s (who’s exceedingly polite), containing a lot of ellipses and contractions, yet lacking the rude connotation of Sakazuki's speech, and being far more calm. He tends to begin addressing people with "excuse me"/"I hate to interrupt, but…" (ちょっとごめんな chotto gomen na?).
Aokiji is a compassionate man, helping Tonjit at Long Ring Land to cross the ocean with his ability and even letting Nico Robin escape the Buster Call on Ohara by providing a small boat while also a trail of ice for her to leave safely. Despite being a Marine, this compassion can even extend to pirates as long as their actions are mostly benevolent. He chose not to arrest or kill Luffy because the young pirate had defeated Crocodile beforehand, thus saving Arabasta from the latter's malevolence.
|— Kuzan's view of justice.|
In contrast to his former colleague, Fleet Admiral Sakazuki, Kuzan sometimes tolerates compromises with pirates. He is disgusted by Sakazuki's brutal actions in dealing with situations (such as the Ohara Incident), calling him a fool. While he follows Lazy Justice, he does understand the position his ranking puts him in and does not hesitate to do what is necessary for the needs of the Marines, even if reluctantly. He froze his former friend Jaguar D. Saul to death during the Ohara Incident following this reasoning.
As a Marine, Kuzan was a faithful follower of the World Government. His motto used to be "Burning/Fired Up Justice" (燃え上がる正義 Moeagaru Seigi?) before switching to Lazy Justice. He always tried to follow orders, but sometimes found his own ideals in opposition to them. Even as Kuzan followed his orders, he would occasionally exhibit a sense of mercy and honor other World Government officials did not. Like many characters in One Piece (for example, Jaguar D. Saul and Smoker), after witnessing the senseless murder of many innocent people, Kuzan has come to realize the depths to which the World Government will sink to accomplish their goals.
His relaxed demeanor while performing the more macabre of his duties is similar to that of Borsalino, making him one of the more complicated characters in the series. Despite not really wanting the position of fleet admiral, he was even more opposed to Sakazuki getting the position due to the latter's immense ruthlessness, and dueled his fellow admiral rather than letting him take it. After being defeated, Kuzan chose to resign from the Marines rather than stay under Sakazuki's command.
Having left the Marines and realizing just how truly corrupt the World Government had become after the timeskip, Kuzan became a wanderer. He still cares for his friends, rescuing Smoker from Donquixote Doflamingo's fury during a visit to Punk Hazard. However, Kuzan appears to be now involved in shady dealings with pirates, having joined forces with the Blackbeard Pirates for unknown reasons. Doflamingo was convinced that Kuzan had something planned while Smoker thought the same, as he was aware of Kuzan's involvement in the Underworld. Kuzan reassured Smoker that he had not changed at all, cryptically stating that he could still accomplish things as an independent observer.
He has a recurring phrase, "Arara", meaning "Oh, my", which is frequently used when something surprises him.
Monkey D. Garp
Kuzan has known Garp since his days before becoming an admiral, even owing him a debt for helping him sometime in the past. He also admired (maybe even idolized) Garp for consistently refusing promotions, since the latter was already satisfied with the rank bestowed upon him since the time of Roger. However, with Luffy's choice of piracy, even the favor and admiration are not enough to let him spare Luffy's life during their encounter at Marineford, though whether it was because he felt that Ace was too much of a risk to be left alive, because letting Luffy go publicly would get him into severe trouble, or because he has something personal against pirates is unknown.
Jaguar D. Saul
Kuzan was a close friend of Jaguar D. Saul. Apparently, one of the reasons that he let Robin go during the destruction of Ohara is because of Saul. He states that he respected Saul's will and felt it was his duty to watch over Robin's life until she found her place. However, this friendship was not enough for Kuzan to spare Saul's life.
Kuzan detests fellow admiral Sakazuki, because the latter follows the policy of "Absolute Justice" to a deadly degree. This disgust dates back many years, as during the time when both were still vice admirals, Sakazuki killed innocent Ohara civilians to ensure that none of the archaeologists escaped the Buster Call, causing Kuzan to call him a fool for overdoing things.
After Sengoku resigned, Admiral Aokiji was strongly opposed against Admiral Akainu becoming fleet admiral and fought him for the position, even though Kuzan himself originally had little interest in it. They battled for 10 days, but Kuzan was defeated and he resigned from the Marines rather than serve under Sakazuki. Nonetheless he was not above telling Smoker to warn Akainu about the danger Doflamingo posed to the new Marine Headquarters, showing a degree of concern for the well being of the Marines, despite disagreeing with Akainu's ideals.
Kuzan is also acquainted with Smoker, since he mentioned his message given to him about Luffy, though Kuzan chose not to give it, as he thought it was stupid. They were also talking together in his office about Smoker's transfer to G-5. In the Punk Hazard Arc, he even goes as far as to call the Vice Admiral his friend after saving him from Donquixote Doflamingo.
During his time with the Marines, Aokiji was loyal to the World Government. He did his best to follow the government's commands, but at times found his own ideals in opposition to his orders. Even as he completed his assignments, he would sometimes exhibit a sense of mercy and honor that other World Government officials did not. Similar to many of his colleagues (for example, Jaguar D. Saul and Smoker), after witnessing the senseless massacre of innocent people, Aokiji may have come to realize the depths to which the World Government will sink to fulfill their agendas.
Seven Warlords of the Sea
Kuzan also seems to have some kind of grudge against Crocodile (if not all of the Seven Warlords of the Sea). After sparing Luffy's life, Aokiji says, "With your defeat of Crocodile, we'll just call it even." Kuzan, however, did apologize (albeit sarcastically) to Jinbe for freezing the ocean to prevent escape. He also stopped Donquixote Doflamingo from killing Smoker on Punk Hazard.
Straw Hat Pirates
Aokiji was first encountered by the Straw Hat Pirates immediately following the conclusion of the Davy Back Fight and the fight against Foxy the Silver Fox. Initially, Aokiji stated that he was not there to arrest or execute the Straw Hats, saying that he was merely there to view their progress, but also went on to say that with the collective of mavericks garnered amongst them coupling with their past exploits, collective bounties, growing strength and future potential. In spite of his grand experience with pirates of all kinds, they deeply terrified him. However, just as the Straw Hats were about to leave, Aokiji appeared to have a change of heart, and announced that he was there to arrest Nico Robin on the account of understanding the forbidden Poneglyph text/language and for being the only survivor of Ohara. The Straw Hats attempted to protect her, but Aokiji soundly defeated all of them, including Luffy twice, but he let them live out of mercy and of curiosity as to how they would survive against the increasingly daunting odds in the Grand Line. This fated encounter in turn prompts the crew to realize that they would need to start taking the grave dangers and foes that lie ahead more seriously.
He also non-canonically helped the Straw Hat Pirates by giving them information about former admiral Z’s plans to destroy the New World. He also protected the pirates from an army of Marines led by Kizaru by creating an ice wall to cut them off from Z.
Kuzan shows some disappointment in the fact that Nico Robin had taken the path of piracy and had not changed her life for the better (although the government did have a bounty put on her, making it difficult to live a normal life). It is also revealed that Kuzan and Nico Robin share a past as when he was a vice admiral, he was forced to freeze and kill his good friend, former Vice Admiral Jaguar D. Saul, due to the latter refusing to participate in the Ohara massacre. As it happened, Saul was also Robin's best friend at the time, and it became a very traumatic moment for the little girl, who is fearful of Kuzan to this date. As a testament to the giant's friendship, Kuzan allowed Robin to escape from Ohara, but he warned her that should they ever cross paths again, he would be her enemy, and he would attempt to arrest or even kill her.
However, later, he seemed to retain some concern for her well-being, as he was relieved to see her finally find a place to belong with the Straw Hat Pirates. The two did manage to encounter one-another during the post-Enies Lobby celebrations, but Aokiji decided against action, and even encouraged Robin to continue sailing with the Straw Hats, remarking they are unlike any of the other crews or organizations that she joined in the past, and they truly understand the concept of "friendship".
Monkey D. Luffy
Kuzan is shown to have a grudging respect for the young captain, even though he is a pirate. He immediately recognized Luffy's leadership on their first encounter; Luffy chose to settle things with him in a one-on-one duel, rather than jeopardize the entire crew being wiped out by allowing them to get involved. He felt he owed Luffy for his defeat of Crocodile, but it also indebted to his grandfather Vice Admiral Garp for a yet unknown reason. Due to Kuzan's power, the fated conflict between him and the Straw Hats prompted Luffy to be less naive towards future conflicts; for this reason Kuzan served as the starting point for Luffy to push his strength beyond his limits. Kuzan is shown to be impressed by Luffy's quick rise in infamy; Luffy and the Straw Hats escape from the Marines' strongest battle force; Luffy being able to escape Impel Down, bringing several notorious convicts with him; and Luffy being able to penetrate Marine Headquarters to ring the Ox Bell.
After the time-skip, Kuzan became affiliated with the Blackbeard Pirates. It is unknown what standing he has with the crew, but some like Jesus Burgess are not so quick to trust him because of his past as a Marine, but Blackbeard pays it no mind.
Abilities and Powers
While an admiral, Kuzan held power over the thousands upon thousands of lower-ranked Marine personnel, his status being just below fleet admiral Sengoku's. He could command whole fleets, have a say on the overall strategy of the organization, and issue special orders, like the enactment of a Buster Call on any island he deemed a threat and delegate to lower-status government agents the same privilege. With his resignation, of course, came the forfeiture of any such powers.
Nonetheless, having held such a high military office bears out Kuzan's leadership prowess (despite the outward indolence he showed in casual settings). Further attesting to his skills as a leader, plus his charisma, is the support Kuzan enjoyed from among subordinate ranks to become the next fleet admiral following the Summit War, as well as having Sengoku himself personally select him to be his successor (as opposed to Akainu's backing coming mainly from governmental dignitaries).
Combat-wise, Kuzan is among the strongest characters to have appeared in the series, having been held with his fellow admirals as the "Greatest Military Power" that the World Government (and by extension Marine Headquarters) could bring to bear. As one of the Marines' chiefest assets, his departure left a notably detrimental impact on their force, as supported by the Five Elders calling him an "enormous power" in their dismay over Kuzan's affiliation with the Blackbeard Pirates.
Even during Kuzan's days as a vice admiral over two decades ago, his strength was already considered abnormal for someone of his rank, as illustrated by him taking down Jaguar D. Saul, an ex-vice admiral and extremely powerful giant, with great ease in a mere two attacks, after his foe had fled at his mere sight.
The first hint given to Kuzan's reputation was with Nico Robin; though arguably the most well-composed of the Straw Hats, she was shown completely panicked and losing her grip in the admiral's presence, this relating to her childhood trauma (despite Kuzan having spared her as a child). During his first encounter with the Straw Hats, Kuzan casually yet utterly overwhelmed their top three fighters in a single instance, followed by him incapacitating Robin without her able to retaliate in any measure, and subsequently dealing a swift but crushing defeat to Monkey D. Luffy in a duel that saw the rookie pirate completely at the admiral's mercy, unable to lay so much as a scratch on him (though largely due to having no means to hurt the admiral's Logia form).
In the Summit War, Kuzan's power was well-exemplified against the Whitebeard Pirates, with him engaging Whitebeard, the world's strongest pirate, head-to-head and holding his own, albeit briefly, until Jozu's interference. He would go on to battle Jozu, one of Whitebeard's most formidable men, and defeat him with relative ease upon exploiting an instant's distraction of his foe, robbing him of an arm and incapacitating him for the total rest of the war. Ultimately, Kuzan himself emerged from the war almost entirely unscathed, with nothing but a small bruise to show for it.
Against Akainu, Kuzan would prove his then-fellow admiral's equal in strength. A one-on-one duel between the two saw them meeting one another blow for blow through most of it, such that it took ten entire days to settle; though Akainu was the one to emerge victorious, both men sustained grievous injuries.
Otherwise, Kuzan is shown to have enough navigation skill to be able to traverse the Grand Line seas using a simple bicycle (assisted by his ice powers to create a track by which to cycle on the water).
From what has been seen of it, Kuzan's physical prowess is immense, as befitting an admiral. Arguably his greatest feat of strength yet (though remaining unseen) is the entirety of his duel against Akainu, wherein he matched his extremely strong adversary for a total of ten days until he suffered his defeat, bespeaking a tremendous deal of raw power, strength of will, endurance, and stamina.
Against the Straw Hats pre-timeskip, Kuzan showed himself strong enough to casually stop Sanji and Zoro in their tracks using a single hand to grab hold of each, simultaneously taking a punch to the gut from Luffy without seemingly turning to ice, yet not so much as reacting or losing his grip on the former two. Durability-wise, Kuzan has been shown unfazed by a Haki-imbued kick from Marco that sent him flying with great force and later a violent, Haki-enforced tackle from a diamond-transformed Jozu, the latter of which (coming as a sneak attack) had him receive only a minor cut on his lip.
In terms of speed, the ex-admiral has proven capable of closing large gaps of distance and jumping to extreme heights within mere moments (often implicitly aided by his powers, traces of ice being visible upon spots he leaps from). His attack speed is notable as well, with him managing to intercept Whitebeard's quake-powered naginata mid-swing by fully encapsulating its wielder in ice and subsequently avoid a quick, Haki-infused surprise thrust of Whitebeard using the same weapon, by seamlessly opening up a hole in his ice-transformed self just large enough to avoid contact with the blade. Against Doflamingo, Kuzan proved fast and stealthy enough to sneak up on him, taking his back without the Warlord noticing until Kuzan spoke, and thereupon prevent Doflamingo from dealing a killing blow to Smoker by icing him up faster, with precision, than he could move his hand (leaving Smoker untouched).
Otherwise, the admiral has shown rather acute hearing, able to notice underwater activity from hundreds of meters away.
- Further information: Hie Hie no Mi
Kuzan ate the Hie Hie no Mi, a Logia-type Devil Fruit that allows him to create, control, and transform his body into ice. He can shape constructs out of ice and freeze his surroundings on a large scale. Even by Logia standards, this power has impressive potential—when used excessively for ten days straight, it was able to permanently alter the very climate of half an island, rendering it a frozen, uninhabitable wasteland with constantly raging blizzards.
Compared to most Logia users who, when transformed, can let physical attacks pass through their "fluid" bodies, Kuzan is more easily hit since ice is a solid element. However, he still goes unharmed by enemy attacks that are not infused with Haki; instead of dissipating out of harm's way, his body shatters apart when struck, only to reform as effortlessly as any Logia user thereafter.
Kuzan can quickly incapacitate enemies by freezing them solid upon physical contact or from a distance by spreading waves of ice, and may even encase opponents in large spheres of ice to make escape even more difficult. Aside from potentially suffering dangerous degrees of frostbite and hypothermia, those frozen by Kuzan are left in a very fragile state, as they body could be shattered by any kind of impact. However, a person can be freed from the ice if they are thawed out properly and carefully.
Kuzan can spread his freezing over tremendous distances, casually icing over several square kilometers of ocean within seconds of dipping his hand in the water, or turning a pair of mountainous tsunamis into icebergs just as swiftly. Despite the speed at which Kuzan can flash-freeze massive amounts of water, the ice he forms in the process tends to be extremely thick and able to persist for long periods of time, several days even.
Kuzan can also bypass his weakness to water and falling therein, by freezing it before he can sink below the surface. Not only does this keep him from drowning, it allows him to prevent enemies from escaping by sea, by freezing their ships in place, or render the sea a solid battleground for entire armies to fight on.
Kuzan has been shown adept at using weaponry formed from ice, like a hand-wielded sword to clash with another swordsman.
- Further information: Haki
During the Summit War, Kuzan was seen using advanced-grade Busoshoku Haki to negate an extremely powerful quake shockwave sent out by Whitebeard, by generating, with his fellow admirals, an emitted shield combination of their three Haki.
Joining the Marines
Concludes non-canon section.
A Storm in the Edd War
When the Marines learned that the Roger Pirates and the Golden Lion Pirates were about to do battle in the Edd War, three years before the death of the Pirate King, Kuzan was in Marineford and walked with Monkey D. Garp, Jaguar D. Saul, Sakazuki and Tsuru. He told Garp that him turning down another promotion was really something cool.
Kuzan was among the Marine forces present during the incident at Ohara that prompted the Marines to put a bounty on Nico Robin's head. At that time, Vice Admiral Kuzan appeared to have been responsible for the deployment of CP9 in pursuit of the "criminal" archaeologists of Ohara.
He was one of the five vice-admirals taking part in the Buster Call on Ohara. During the attack, the destruction of the civilian fleet, ordered by vice admiral Sakazuki (who was later promoted to Admiral and later Fleet Admiral), came as a complete shock to Kuzan. The original order that had been sent was for all those who had not been involved with the Ohara scholars and the Poneglyph, to be safely transported off the island. However, Sakazuki's course of action was the complete opposite.
|— Kuzan's warning to Robin|
Kuzan then froze Jaguar D. Saul using his Devil Fruit powers, killing his friend. He helped Robin to escape via the use of his Devil Fruit powers, by freezing a trail in the ocean for her boat to sail safely through. Before her departure, he warned her that he is not her ally despite this one assistance, and would be quick to come after her, if he ever felt that she was a threat.
As part of his plot in saving Robin, Kuzan froze Spandine's ship's rudder, but regardless, Spandine saw Robin and had her marked for capture. Kuzan seemed troubled when he was present at the meeting between the Marines and Spandine.
Sometime after being promoted to Admiral, Aokiji came across an island being rocked by a massive disturbance. He looked around the island, seeing the ruins of a large city and a small boy named Grount huddled nearby. Wondering if Grount was responsible for the destruction, Aokiji watched as Grount revealed his monstrous left arm, which he could not control. Grount unwillingly attacked Aokiji with his left arm, but the Admiral dodged it before finally relieving the boy of his suffering by freezing his arm and knocking him out.
Aokiji took Grount into the Marines, where he was given a metal attachment to control his left arm. Aokiji trained Grount alongside Bonham and Zappa, but kept him out of the front lines until he could master his power.
Concludes non-canon section.
Water 7 Saga
Long Ring Long Land Arc
Twenty years later, when the Marine Headquarters discovered that Aokiji was missing, they informed the Five Elders about the situation. The Five Elders were upset with Aokiji's action and remarked that he should watch his rank.
After the Straw Hat Pirates finished the Davy Back Fight, they returned to Tonjit with the pirate flag. Gleefully, Tonjit walked to the door of his house, only to bump into the sleeping Aokiji. Aokiji woke up and began to make excuses that he wanted to inspect something. He froze the water with his power to create a bridge for Tonjit to cross.
After the Straw Hats bid their good byes to Tonjit, Aokiji lied by saying that he once tried to arrest Robin. He then started to talk nonsense, confusing the pirates and making Sanji and Luffy angry with him. Aokiji told Luffy that his anger reminded him of his grandfather, which startled Luffy. After that, Aokiji then announced that maybe they should just die.
Aokiji decided to test the Straw Hat Pirates by saying that everyone around Robin got wiped out with her being the only person left standing, referring to the actual situation that happened to Robin's mother. The truth is Robin only ran away from people who tried to kill her or turn her in. The Straw Hats never knew about Robin's past and stand with Robin against him. Aokiji started to call Robin a demon and an unfortunate woman. He told them that one day they would regret having Robin with them.
Angry and tired of Aokiji's taunting game, Robin used her Devil Fruit abilities to break him into pieces against Usopp's wishes. Thinking he was dead, the Straw Hats prepared to flee, but Aokiji returned back in one piece, grabbed some grass and breathed on the grass to create an ice saber. He attempted to strike Robin, but was parried by Zoro. The sabre was kicked away (and thus destroyed) by Sanji shortly thereafter.
Zoro rushed in attempting to cut him only to be caught by the wrist. Sanji tried to kick him but was grabbed by the thigh. Luffy tried to punch him in the stomach, but when he connected, his hand was frozen. Sanji and Zoro were also frozen on the leg and arm respectively. Nami blocked Aokiji with her staff but was pushed away.
He then froze Robin into solid ice and threatened to punch her into pieces, claiming that the world would be better off without her. Luffy saved Robin in the nick of time, but Aokiji said that they should not try to save her and was going to stomp on her, but Usopp and Chopper managed to save her and drag her back to the ship.
Luffy ordered his crew to go back to the ship as he faced Aokiji one-on-one. Luffy tried to send him flying with his Gomu Gomu no Storm, but he was quickly frozen up by Aokiji. Having Luffy frozen solid, he realized that Luffy tricked him. By agreeing to a one-on-one fight with Luffy, he could not attack his crew. He remarked that Robin would bring him only misfortune. He then decided not to kill Luffy, saying that he did the World Government a favor by defeating Crocodile and commented that Smoker's message was too stupid. As Aokiji left on his bike across the ocean, he noticed that the Straw Hat Pirates were heading to Water 7, which is close to the Marine Headquarters.
He then called Spandam, who was ready to have his unit finish a mission, and informed him that Robin was heading to Water 7. It was later stated by Spandam (though never shown) that Aokiji also gave him the Golden Den Den Mushi at this time in order summon a Buster Call. Spandam decided to wait until Robin arrived at Water 7.
Enies Lobby Arc
After the Straw Hats defeated the seemingly invincible CP9, rescued Nico Robin from Enies Lobby, and escaped the Buster Call, Aokiji was seen again witnessing the aftermath of their raid at Enies Lobby and the Buster Call attack. They had passed his "test" far beyond his expectations. When he was asked by a Marine over the Den Den Mushi whether they should continue to pursue the Straw Hats, Aokiji declined, noting the Marines suffered heavy casualties already, calling their battle "a complete defeat".
Post-Enies Lobby Arc
Aokiji later visited Water 7 and had a secret conversation with Robin while the Straw Hats were having a party with the Water 7 citizens. He then revealed to Robin that he was good friends with Saul and allowed Robin to escape Ohara because of this friendship. He also said that he intended to have her eliminated by CP9, as he had come to see her as danger after 20 years of living as a rogue, but he did not expect CP9 to lose to the Straw Hats. However, when he asked Robin why she did not run from the Straw Hats, Robin told him that she does not want to see them die. Aokiji bid Robin farewell, telling her to live strong, remarking that Ohara is not fully destroyed, presumably meaning that the memory and purpose of Ohara live on within her. He then left by appearing to instantly disappear with his ice abilities.
A while later, he was seen leaving Dock 1 on his bike. Sometime later, Robin speculated that he was responsible for excluding all the non-Straw Hat Pirates (outside Franky, who joined the Straw Hats after the incident) from the report on the Enies Lobby incident and instead making them out to be innocent civilians who got caught up in all the commotion.
Later, he asked for Garp to lend him a ride on his ship back to Marine Headquarters because riding back there on his bike was "such a bother". He witnessed the Straw Hats' new ship, the Thousand Sunny, leaping into the air to escape and, seemingly impressed by it, smiled.
Summit War Saga
Amazon Lily Arc
When Whitebeard's forces arrived and their captain used his Gura Gura no Mi powers to create two massive tidal waves, Aokiji freezes them both with Ice Age, then attacks Whitebeard with his Partisan. However, he is shattered by one of Whitebeard's seismic waves, which the Admiral shrugs off. He then froze the bay water of Marineford, which not only stopped all the pirate ships from moving, but also served as a foothold for them. Having reformed himself at some point, Aokiji can only remark at the motley crew that Luffy helped gather at Impel Down for his attempt at freeing Ace from the Marines.
After Whitebeard is attacked by Squard, Aokiji follows Sengoku's orders and freezes Buggy and the Impel Down prisoners loyal to him, stopping them from showing the world any more of the battle. When Whitebeard fired off a shockwave towards the execution platform itself, the three admirals, including Aokiji, are seen raising their hands in order to block the sheer concussive force of the shockwave. Aokiji mutters how slow they are at raising the encircling walls in time. Akainu chides Aokiji for his ice being the problem, with Kizaru chiming in for the latter to just melt his ice.
Later, when Luffy leaps over the siege wall, with a large piece of broken mast in hand, Aokiji comments on how, despite how far he has come, that Luffy was still not ready to "play with the big boys". When Luffy simply brings the broken mast piece to bear, Aokiji freezes it before it could somehow damage the three admirals and watches as the frozen piece of wood smashes beneath the assault of kicks almost immediately following it.
Luffy, having been (once more) prevented from reaching the execution platform, then gets cornered by Aokiji. He comments that he is in debt to Luffy's grandfather but that he has no choice since Luffy himself chose this path of death for himself. He stabs Luffy through his shoulder with an Ice Saber and as he is about to impale him again, Marco intervenes and shatters the spear with a single kick that knocks Aokiji away from Luffy.
Aokiji is then seen blocking Whitebeard's bisento attack with his Ice Ball. After seeing that he failed to freeze Whitebeard's earthquake, he commented that he did not know that earthquakes could not be frozen. He then got stabbed by Whitebeard's bisento, to which pirates are seen wondering if Aokiji was stabbed with Haki and if he was dead. Aokiji told them not to spout nonsense before grabbing the bisento and using his Ice Block Partisan attack. All of a sudden, Jozu attacks him and Aokiji is caught off-guard, even bleeding from his mouth.
When Jozu is distracted upon seeing Marco being shot by Kizaru's laser beam, Aokiji warns him that he should not be getting distracted and freezes his right arm, and then his entire body, forcing him to fall over resulting in his right arm shattering, before commenting that the Whitebeard Pirates are finished. When Luffy unleashes a burst of Haōshoku Haki, Aokiji is seen shocked and sweating at his power.
After Ace is freed, he attacks Ace and Luffy, but Ace blocked his attack with his fire. Aokiji is later seen with a solemn expression after witnessing Akainu striking Ace from behind with a magma fist. After Whitebeard's death, Aokiji froze the sea once again in order for the pirates to not leave Marineford.
When Jinbe tries to escape into Marineford Bay with Luffy and notices that it was been frozen over, Aokiji is seen nearby apologizing to Jinbe. As the Heart Pirates are leaving with Luffy in their submarine, Aokiji attempts to freeze them with an Ice Age, but the Heart Pirates' submarine manages to elude him. After that, he stands down.
He is later seen in his office in Marineford with Commodore Smoker, commenting on Luffy's return to Marineford and the ringing of the Ox Bell. The Admiral wonders if the Ox Bell ringing was some kind of message. Aokiji then spoke with Smoker about the Commodore's request for transfer to Marine outpost G-5 in the New World. Unsure of being able to grant his transfer, he assured he would negotiate with Sengoku for approval. Aokiji was then nominated by Sengoku to be the next fleet admiral upon the latter's resignation.
During the Timeskip
A Fierce Duel and Resignation
Even though Sengoku supported Aokiji as a candidate for the next fleet admiral, many of the upper brass of the World Government nominated Akainu. Aokiji strongly opposed Akainu becoming fleet admiral and fought him for the position. They battled on Punk Hazard, with the fight lasting for ten days.
According to Smoker, the battle between these two was so ferocious that it literally changed the weather of Punk Hazard Island. Akainu ended up as the winner and Kuzan left the Marines. Unfortunately, Kuzan did not escape unscathed. He parted from the battle with a staggering level of scars and with his left leg reduced to a stump. Though crippled, Kuzan used his Devil Fruit powers to generate a replacement limb out of ice. Afterwards, Kuzan resigned from the Marines, not wanting to work under Sakazuki.
After the Resignation from the Marines
Donquixote Doflamingo and Smoker have speculated that sometime around the timeskip, Kuzan affiliated himself with the Underworld of Brokers. Kuzan has neither confirmed nor denied these suspicions.
One Piece Film: Z
Kuzan first appeared near Firs Island's on his bicycle, watching an explosion caused by the fight between Z and Borsalino. He then left after asking himself what the marines were doing.
In Secon Island's springs, he met Luffy, Zoro, Sanji, and Brook. After he calmed them down by saying that he wasn't out to capture them, he warned them of Z's power and his mission to destroy the New World. Brook did not recognize him, but panicked when they told him in that he was an admiral. Kuzan reassured them he was not there to capture them, and had given up being an admiral.
Brook asked what he was then, with Kuzan finding being questioned bothersome. He thought on the question, and was unable to think of a proper answer confusing them further. However, he told them again he was not their enemy anymore and reminded them if he was he wouldn't be in a hot spring where he couldn’t use his powers. As Kuzan got out of the water, the Straw Hats saw his battle scarred body and his missing leg that he regrew with his ice powers. He merely said he got carried away, when explaining this. Kuzan and the Straw Hats were seen making their way to port, as he told about the great age of pirates. He pondered to himself if pirates were made from the One Piece existing, or if the One Piece existed because of the pirates. Kuzan looked out to sea, telling them how when some follow their dreams, it could lead to pain and sadness of others. He told them that Z planned to destroy piracy by destroying the One Piece. He had chosen to follow Z's journey, but is unsure what actions he himself must take. He then departed, telling Luffy he would find Z on the island.
After Luffy's second battle with Z, Kuzan met his former instructor. Kuzan gave him a bottle of wine and prepared to fight him but chose not to and just walked away. He told Z he used to drink that because of him, looking up to him. He told Kuzan to not lecture him, and he would go forward with his plan no matter what. Kuzan told him he might die, as Z responded that was no problem if he could rid the world of evil. Z told him to step aside, and the next time they meet they would share drinks together. Kuzan and Z faced each other, but each side unwilling to fight one another as enemies. Kuzan backed down and left Z to his machinations.
Later, he met with the Straw Hat crew again and explained Z's plan to use the Dyna Stones to destroy all the three Endpoints and then release the Grande Imbuto, which would destroy the New World and everyone in it, pirates and civilians alike. Now that two of the Endpoints had been destroyed, Z is about to go to the last one, Piriodo, and unless the Straw Hats stop him, the Pirate Era would end. The Endpoints had been considered a legend, with most thinking it was nonsense. The government covered up the truth about them, to dissuade pirates from using it. That only the World Government and highest ranking officers of the Marines knew about it. He laments that it was an admiral abusing this knowledge above all else. He reminded them that he was not doing this out of power, but to punish pirates.
Luffy remains undeterred despite being defeated twice by Z, vowing to chase him down and get his hat back. If he let Z keep his hat, he could never face Shanks or be worthy of the Pirate King title. Kuzan then gave the crew an Eternal Pose leading to Piriodo. Nami asked why he was helping them, as he ignored the question and warned them that their journey would be very dangerous. If they lost to Z, they would be destroyed along with the New World. Or, if they won they would be attacked by the Marines. With that said he left them to their own fates. The crew began making their preparations to leave, as Kuzan and Robin shared a small moment.
Kuzan was then seen watching Z and Luffy's final battle. He later helped his former instructor to protect Ain, Binz, and the Straw Hat Pirates from Borsalino's fleet attack by creating an ice wall so that Z could fight to his heart's content. He was later seen at Z's grave, telling Ain and Binz that he died like he wanted to.
Concludes non-canon section.
Punk Hazard Arc
Sometime during the events of the Punk Hazard Arc, Kuzan decided to go to Punk Hazard. He eventually arrived shortly after the conflict between the Straw Hat Pirates and the G-5 Marines. Before Doflamingo could deliver the killing blow to Smoker, Kuzan suddenly appeared, claiming that the vice admiral was his friend.
Doflamingo ignored Kuzan and attempted to finish off Smoker, but the former admiral froze Doflamingo solid. The Warlord freed himself from the ice and walked away with Buffalo and Baby 5, having no interest in fighting Kuzan. After this, Smoker discussed with Kuzan about the latter's current status. Smoker also wondered if he had some kind of connection to the Underworld. Kuzan stated he was still himself, seemingly reassuring Smoker. He then told Smoker to be wary of Doflamingo and to ask the fleet admiral to dispatch the admirals as soon as possible. He also asked the G-5 Marines to not to reveal his presence there, to which they agreed.
During the events of the Corrida Colosseum tournament, Jesus Burgess discussed Kuzan with his captain, Blackbeard. Burgess said that he cannot be trusted, but Blackbeard noted that the same could be said of their crewmate, Shiryu.
Four Emperors Saga
From the Decks of the World: The 500,000,000 Man Arc
Kuzan was seen reading a newspaper while Camel was cooking barbecue.
- Kuzan vs. Jaguar D. Saul
- Kuzan vs. Nico Robin
- Kuzan vs. Monkey D. Luffy, Roronoa Zoro, and Sanji
- Kuzan vs. Monkey D. Luffy
- Marines and Seven Warlords of the Sea vs. Whitebeard Pirates and their allies
- Kuzan vs. Sakazuki (not seen)
- Kuzan vs. Donquixote Doflamingo
Anime and Manga Differences
In the manga originally, Aokiji met the Straw Hat Pirates at Tonjit's hut after the Davy Back Fight. In the anime, he met them much later at a different island and showed his powers helping some shipwrecked passengers as opposed to Tonjit.
In the anime, after the war, Aokiji is seen standing on the bow of a warship vessel approaching Marineford, sneezing the very moment Sengoku mentions him to Kong as his chosen successor. When he enters the headquarters building, a Marine officer approaches him in tears reporting his inability to capture Luffy. Aokiji merely pats him on the shoulder and tells him that it is okay.
Translation and Dub Issues
Kuzan's alias, "Aokiji", means "Blue Pheasant" in Japanese. 青 = Ao = Blue (this "Ao" Color can be referred as both blue or green, depending on the Japanese phrase) 雉 = Kiji = Pheasant. It was literally translated in most dubs. Kiji was written katakana キジ from the introduction of Kuzan, but was shown in kanji in his introduction box in the Summit War of Marineford. After that, it was reverted to katakana.
Aokiji has been a choice character in several series of merchandise. He has been featured in the Portrait of Pirates Figuarts Zero, One Piece DX Figure, One Piece High Spec Coloring Figure, Super Modeling Soul One Piece lines. But also in World Collectable,One Piece Super Effect, One Piece Amazing Log Collection,Deformeister Petit One Piece,One Piece Super Deformed Figures, Anichara Heroes, One Piece Full Face Jr., One Piece Battle One Piece Attack Motions, One Piece Great Deep Collection, and the One Piece Logbox series.
- One Piece: Dragon Dream!
- One Piece: Unlimited Adventure
- One Piece Romance Dawn: The Dawn of the Adventure
- One Piece: Pirate Warriors
- One Piece: Unlimited World Red
- One Piece: World Seeker
- In One Piece Premier Show 2011, Aokiji and the other admirals come to the Marine island where the Straw Hat Pirates try to rescue Nami and Robin. They leave after Bentham, disguised as a Marine, tells them that Charlos has been injured and needs to retreat. In One Piece Premier Show 2013, Kuzan comes to Paradise Island and stops Doflamingo from helping Lambor Bukini. He and Jinbe chase off Caribou and Coribou before Luffy defeats Bukini.
- Aokiji appears in Super Kabuki II: One Piece during the retelling of the Marineford Arc.
- Kuzan appears in the Nami and Marineford versions of the Hungry Days commercials.
- Kuzan was modeled on the late actor Yusaku Matsuda, best known for playing private eye Shunsaku Kudō on the cult TV series Detective Story (探偵物語 Tantei Monogatari?). Apart from hair and clothing styles, even Kuzan's birthday was drawn from Matsuda's.
- His alias and other admiral aliases (Aokiji, Akainu, and Kizaru), are taken from Momotaro legends (Momotaro met Pheasant, Dog, and Monkey as friends to accompany him in his journey).
- In the 6th Japanese Fan Poll, Kuzan is currently ranked as the 26th most popular character, making him the most popular of the Marines (before his resignation).
- In the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th Japanese fan polls of most popular characters, Kuzan was ranked the 16th, 17th, 22nd and 26, respectively.
- He is the first admiral (though technically former) to be shown after the time skip.
- His favorite drinks are Sherry Wine, Diary milk, and coffee (original Kuzan blend).
- Kuzan's given name can mean "Nine Mountains" if written in kanji (九山 (Kuzan?)), a phrase repeatedly named in post-timeskip One Piece: Roronoa Zoro mentions it in reference to his ability to "cut everything"; specifically, he states that "of the nine mountains and five seas, and under the sky, there's nothing [he] cannot cut". In this sense, Kuzan (九山 Kuzan?) means "all the land", as Gokai (五海 gokai?) is "all the seas", and the entire phrase is an allegory for "all the world".