| Ahoy! This here is the 34th Featured Article.
"Kuzan" has been featured, meaning it was chosen as an article of interest.
Kuzan (クザン Kuzan?), better known by his former alias Admiral Aokiji (大将青雉 Taishō Aokiji?), was one of the three Marine admirals. He was nominated by Sengoku for the position of fleet admiral. However, after losing the position to Akainu, he resigned from the Marines.
Kuzan is an incredibly tall man and is roughly the same size of the other two admirals Sakazuki and Borsalino, the last one clearly taller than Brook. In contrast to Borsalino and Sakazuki, Kuzan looks younger than his colleagues (while it is unknown if he actually is).
His standard outfit consists of a white button-up vest over a long-sleeved navy blue shirt and matching white trousers and shoes. 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 has a white Marine coat draped over him like a cape, as do the other admirals. He also is seen wearing a green and purple sleep mask at all times two years ago from the present timeline. As of now, his appearance is unknown.
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.
Kuzan is a very laid back man, showing no shock or surprise from almost anything. His lack of interest and lazy justice (as he describes his motto himself) let others often believe he can not possibly be a marine of such a high ranking.
However, if he deems a situation worthy, he will take action, as shown when he created a passage to another island for a few injured castaways at Long Ring Long Land.
He seems to be the kindest of the three admirals, helping people in Long Ring Long to cross the ocean with the power of his Devil Fruit and even letting Nico Robin escape the Buster Call on Ohara. He seems to dislike the Shichibukai, or at least Crocodile; he said that the only reason he didn’t kill Luffy was that Luffy had defeated Crocodile.
In contrast to his fellow admiral Sakazuki, Kuzan has a sense of honor, as he keeps his word to not attack the Straw Hats after accepting a one-on-one fight with Luffy.
Aokiji was a faithful follower of the World Government. He always tried to obey orders but sometimes found his own ideals in opposition to his orders. Even as he followed his orders, he would sometimes exhibit a sense of mercy and honor that 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, Aokiji may have come to realize how low these events have sunk the World Government.
Kuzan's moral stance is unknown, but it is likely that he follows Moral Justice. He is disgusted by Sakazuki's brutal actions in dealing with situations (such as the Ohara Incident), calling him a fool.
While he may follow Moral Justice, he does understand the position his ranking puts him in, as he does not hesitate to do what is necessary for the needs of the Marines, as shown when he freezes Jaguar D. Saul after the Ohara incident, and attacked Luffy and Whitebeard during the Marineford War.
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, and fought his fellow admiral rather than letting him take it. After being defeated, Kuzan chose to resign from the Marines rather than stay under Akainu's command.
Monkey D. Garp
Kuzan also appears to have some connection to Garp, saying he once "owed a favour" to Garp. It is currently unknown what the nature of this favour was, or what Luffy's grandfather did for Kuzan to gain this debt. He also admired (maybe even idolised) 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 favour 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 also was good friends with Jaguar D. Saul. Apparently, one of the reasons that he let Robin go 20 years ago 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 wasn't enough for Kuzan to spare Saul's life.
Aokiji detests Fleet Admiral Sakazuki, as Akainu (known as Vice Admiral Sakazuki at the time) followed the policy of "Absolute Justice" and killed innocent Ohara civilians to ensure that none of the archaeologists escaped the Buster Call, causing Aokiji (while still known as Kuzan at the time) to call him a fool. After Sengoku resigned, Aokiji strongly opposed Akainu becoming fleet admiral and fought him for the position. They battled for 10 days but Aokiji was defeated and he resigned from the Marines rather than serving under Akainu.
Sengoku seems to trust Kuzan well enough to lead the Marines since he nominated him to be fleet admiral.
Kuzan also seems to have some kind of grudge against Crocodile (if not all of the Shichibukai). After sparing Luffy's life, Aokiji says, "With your defeat of Crocodile, we'll just call it even." Kuzan, however, did apologise to Jinbe for freezing the ocean to prevent escape.
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 she did have a bounty put on her, making it impossible to live a normal life). He spared her due to his friendship with Saul, and had once warned her that he is not her friend. However, later, he seemed to have kept her well-being in his best of interest, as he was relieved to see her finally find a place in the Straw Hat Pirates.
Monkey D. Luffy
Kuzan is shown to have some form of grudging respect to the young captain, even though he is a pirate. Kuzan is shown to be impressed by Luffy's quick rise in infamy; Luffy and the Straw Hats escape from the Navy's strongest force; Luffy being able to escape Impel Down, bringing several infamous convicts with him; and Luffy being able to penetrate Marine HQ to ring the Ox Bell. Kuzan was also visibly shocked when Luffy used Haoshoku Haki.
Abilities and Powers
As a former admiral, Kuzan was able to command a vast number of Marine troops under his rank. Most of all, he had the ability to order a Buster Call attack on any island. In fact, his overall abilities were so vast that Sengoku suggested to World Government Commander-in-Chief Kong that Kuzan should become the succeeding fleet admiral. However, after leaving the Marines, he has lost such privileges.
He was able to easily overpower Luffy and the other Straw Hats single-handedly. Due to Kuzan's power, the fated conflict between him and the Straw Hats prompted Luffy to be less naïve towards future conflicts; for this reason Kuzan served as the starting point for Luffy to push his strength beyond his limits. He is also one of the few characters who is able to fight evenly with Sakazuki, evidenced in a fight between the former admirals which lasted ten days, despite the latter being the victor.
Aside from that and his Devil Fruit powers, his physical proficiency is also extremely high, as he is able to repel simultaneous attacks from Zoro, Luffy, and Sanji without taking any damage, and took a Haki-imbued kick from Marco and was seen with no injuries moments later. He also jumped to a very extreme height in mere seconds, in order to freeze a pair of tsunamis caused by Whitebeard. He is also able to travel at tremendous speed, as seen when attacking Buggy, whether this is due to him using Soru or his Devil Fruit is unknown. He also has extremely acute hearing, being able to hear activity underwater, before the Whitebeard War began.
Along with this, he is very powerful, as being an admiral grants him the title of the strongest individual fighter within the World Government and Marines, and is able to fight against notably powerful figures such as Diamond Jozu, the Third Division Commander of the Whitebeard Pirates, defeating him with relative ease, and could even fight Whitebeard equally himself despite his Haki abilities. He was also acknowledged by Jaguar D. Saul, who had destroyed several huge warships and had lifted one by himself, that Kuzan's strength was abnormal, even before he was an admiral. Another testament to his power as an admiral, is that he emerged mostly unharmed after the Whitebeard War. Furthermore, he was able to combat against fellow admiral Sakazuki on perfectly equal terms and dealt him grave injures as well as receiving the same for ten days straight, before ultimately losing. Despite his loss, Kuzan was still considered to be a great fraction of power to the Marines, and his departure left a negative impact on it.
- Further information: Haki
During the Battle of Marineford, he was seen using his Busoshoku Haki to negate Whitebeard's attempt to destroy the execution platform, by creating, with his fellow admirals, a shield combination of their three Haki.
- Further information: Hie Hie no Mi
Kuzan has the powers of the Hie Hie no Mi, a Logia Devil Fruit that allows him to control, create, and become ice. He can create enough ice to cover a giant, a Sea King or several square miles of ocean within mere moments. He was even able to freeze the tsunamis created by Whitebeard, who is often hailed as the world's strongest man. In battle, he uses his ice powers to disable and immobilise enemies, freezing their bodies solid just by touching them, and threatening to shatter their fragile forms. Like other Logia users, he is capable of breaking himself into his particular element to avoid damage from most physical attacks. Kuzan also has extreme amounts of resistance towards cold, due to his Devil Fruit's element, as he is able to freeze his body parts and turn back to normal without any tissue damage. This fruit is so powerful that his usage of it during his ten day battle with Akainu permenantly changed the weather on one side of Punk Hazard, turning that side into a frozen wasteland.
In addition, Kuzan is one of the few Devil Fruit users who has adapted their powers to travel efficiently across the sea. In his case, he simply rides his bicycle the Ao Chari across the sea, due to the water freezing as the wheels pass over it. This freezing ability renders Kuzan one of the few Devil Fruit users who can actually counteract the weakness of falling into a large body of water and drowning, as he can just freeze the water and stand on the ice.
Kuzan is shown to be quite adept at using weapons formed out of his ice powers, such as a sword and throwing spears.
A Storm in the Edd War
When the Marine learned that the Roger Pirates and the Golden Lion Pirates were about to battle in the Edd War, three years before the death of the Pirate King, Kuzan was seen in the Marineford, walking with Garp, Saul, and Tsuru, telling the Hero of the Marines that him turning down another promotion was really something cool.
Kuzan was revealed to have been at least indirectly involved in the incident at Ohara that prompted the Marines to put a bounty on Nico Robin's head. At that time, Vice Admiral Kuzan appears to have been responsible for the deployment of Cipher Pol No. 9 in pursuit of the "criminal" archaeologists of Ohara.
While the full extent of his involvement in the incident has yet to be revealed, it is clear that the destruction of the civilian fleet, ordered by the former Vice Admiral Sakazuki, who later became promoted to Admiral (now Fleet Admiral), came as a complete shock to Kuzan. The original order that had been sent was for all those that 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.
Aokiji then froze Jaguar D. Saul using his Devil Fruit powers, killing his friend. He helped Nico 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.
Long Ring Long Land
Twenty years later, when the Marine HQ discovered that he was missing, they informed the Gorosei about the situation. The Gorosei were upset with Aokiji's action and remarked that he should watch his rank.
Aokiji managed to reach Long Ring Long Land island. How he knew the Straw Hat Pirates were at this island is unknown, yet he managed to track Robin there. Standing in front of Tonjit's house, he slept.
After the Straw Hat Pirates finished the Davy Back Fight, they return to Tonjit with the pirate flag. Gleefully, Tonjit walked to the door of his house, only to bump into a sleeping Aokiji standing there. This terrifies Robin, because Aokiji was one of her past demons. 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, but fled. Yet he started to talk nonsense, confusing the pirates, then Sanji and Luffy got angry with him. Aokiji told Luffy that his anger reminds him of his grandfather. Luffy was startled that his grandfather was mentioned; when Usopp asked Luffy what's wrong, Luffy nervously said nothing. After that, Aokiji then announced that maybe they should just die.
Aokiji decided to test the Straw Hat Pirates by lying to them about Robin's past. He said that everyone around Robin gets wiped away 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 will regret carrying Robin around.
Angry and tired of Aokiji's taunting game, she uses her Hana Hana powers to break him into pieces against Usopp's wishes. Thinking he's dead, the Straw Hats prepared to run, but Aokiji returned back in one piece, grabbed some grass and breathed on the grass to create an ice saber, but was parried by Zoro when he attempted to kill Robin. The saber 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 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 step 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 realises that Luffy tricked him. By agreeing to a one on one fight with Luffy, he couldn't attack his crew. He remarks that Robin would bring him only misfortune. He then decided not to kill Luffy, saying that he did the World Government a favour 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 are heading to Water 7 which is close to the Marine HQ.
He then called Spandam, who was ready to have his Unit finish the mission, who was informed that Robin is heading to Water 7. He also gave the Golden Den Den Mushi to him to summon the Buster Call. Spandam decided to wait until Robin arrived at Water 7.
Interestingly, this conflict with Aokiji would set in motion the defection of two Straw Hats. After their conversation, Robin began developing paranoia about the crew abandoning her as had happened many times in the past. She would later allow herself to be captured by CP9, preferring to die rather than be betrayed. After witnessing Aokiji's powers, Usopp begins to question his own strength in relation to the crew and the enemies they'll face. This would later contribute to him leaving as well. It would seem that his confrontation with the Straw Hats played a major part in what was to come next, and culminated in the Straw Hats rescuing Nico Robin from Enies Lobby, defeating the seemingly invincible CP9, and escaping the Buster Call.
Seeing all this, 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 losses already, calling their battle "a complete defeat".
Aokiji at Water 7
After the destruction of Enies Lobby, Aokiji visited Water 7 and had a secret conversation with Robin. Apparently, Aokiji and Saul were good friends, and 20 years ago, he let Robin go because of his friendship with Saul. He also said that he intended for everything to end at Enies Lobby, but he didn't expect the CP9 to lose to the Straw Hats. However, when he asked Robin why she did not run from the Straw Hats like she did before, Robin told him she does not want to see them die. Aokiji bids Robin farewell, telling her to live strong, live on and that Ohara isn't fully destroyed, presumably meaning that the memory and purpose of Ohara live on within her and left by appearing to instantly disappear with his ice abilities.
A while later, he is seen leaving Dock 1 on his bike. Robin speculates that he is 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, 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 HQ 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.
Whitebeard War Saga
War against Whitebeard Pirates
Following the announcement of Portgas D. Ace's execution, Aokiji has been summoned to lead the Marines in the battle against the Whitebeard Pirates, and has arrived at Marine Headquarters. Aokiji sat over the execution platform of Portgas D. Ace with his fellow admirals, watching over it.
When Whitebeard's forces arrived and their captain used the 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 takes in stride. He then froze the bay water of Marineford, which not only held 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 Squardo, 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's come, that Luffy still wasn't 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 didn't know that earthquakes couldn't 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 shouldn't 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 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 not to leave Marineford.
When Jinbe tries to escape into Marineford Bay with Luffy and notices that it's 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 managed to elude him. After that, he stands down.
After the War
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 recently nominated by Sengoku to be the next fleet admiral upon the latter's resignation.
A Fierce Battle 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. Akainu ended up as the winner and Aokiji, not wanting to work under Akainu, left the Marines. Aokiji has not been heard from since then. According to Smoker, the battle between these two was so ferocious that it literally changed the weather of Punk Hazard Island.
- Kuzan vs. Jaguar D. Saul
- Aokiji vs. Nico Robin
- Aokiji vs. Monkey D. Luffy, Roronoa Zoro and Sanji
- Aokiji vs. Monkey D. Luffy
- Aokiji vs. Whitebeard
- Aokiji vs. Buggy, Mr. 3 and Impel Down's escapees (to freeze them)
- Aokiji, Kizaru and Akainu vs. Monkey D. Luffy
- Aokiji vs. Marco
- Aokiji vs. Whitebeard
- Aokiji vs. Jozu
- Aokiji vs. Portgas D. Ace
- Aokiji vs. Whitebeard Pirates
- Aokiji and Kizaru vs. Monkey D. Luffy, Jinbe, and Heart Pirates (chasing them)
- Aokiji vs. Akainu
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. When he enters the HQ 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's 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.
- The model for Aokiji's face is the late actor Yūsaku Matsuda. The character that the actor played in the TV series and movie "Detective Story" (Tantei Monogatari) even had a similar hairstyle, clothing and wore the same sleep mask design. Aokiji's birthday is even based upon Matsuda's.
- His name and other admiral names (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 4th Japanese Fan Poll, Aokiji is currently ranked as the 17th most popular character, making him the most popular of the Marines.
- He has a recurring phrase, "Arara", meaning "Oh, my", which is frequently used when something surprises him.