The Marineford Arc (known as the Paramount War in the Viz Manga translation and the War of the Best in the Funimation dub and subs) is the twenty-second story arc in the series, and the fourth in the Summit War Saga of the One Piece series, continuing on from Impel Down Arc.
Having failed to reach Ace before he was transferred to Marineford, Luffy and the other escapees from Impel Down (which include Jinbe, Emporio Ivankov, Crocodile, Mr. 1, Mr. 3, Buggy and Inazuma) instead follow his brother to Marineford, the base of Marine Headquarters. With the odds stacked high against him, the coming threat of Whitebeard, and the ulterior motives of pirates that wish to overthrow the Emperor, Luffy struggles to hold his own in this titanic clash of powers.
Calm Before the Storm: Ace's Secret Revealed
As this goes on, all around the world, people voice their opinions on the execution and if Whitebeard will really show up. A few doubt his strength due to his old age and the number of the Marine forces. Others, who personally met Whitebeard and even retired from piracy just by being before him, think otherwise. Even children know of Whitebeard's raw strength and sing a playground song about him. Meanwhile, the inhabitants of Marineford, a city where the families of Marines reside, have been evacuated due to the coming war. On the Sabaody Archipelago, monitors have been set up to broadcast the execution to its inhabitants as Ace arrives at the execution stand. The patrol ships sent to deal with Whitebeard's forces are sunk and never heard from again. Thus, Marineford is understandably on edge as the three hours until the execution count down.
John Giant rallies his forces as a staggering one hundred thousand elite troops prepare for battle. Fifty marine ships are stationed around the island with cannons lining the coastline. And at the front line of it all are none other than the remaining Warlords of the Sea (Kuma, Moria, Doflamingo, Mihawk and Boa Hancock). At the rear of the island, Ace is located atop the execution stand. Watching over him are the three Marine admirals: Kizaru, Akainu, and Aokiji. With this, nearly every justice force imaginable is gathered waiting for Whitebeard to make his move. On the Tarai Current, Luffy and the Impel Down escapees have finally reached the gate to Marineford. Jinbe tries to think of a way to penetrate it while Buggy rallies his followers.
Back at the execution stand, Sengoku tells Garp that he is going to tell the audience "everything", which Garp replies he can do as he wishes. Sengoku then takes the stage and orders the executioners to step back a moment before addressing the audience through a Den Den Mushi. He begins by stating there was something critical he needed to share about Ace before asking the Second Division Commander who his father was. Ace replies that Whitebeard is his father but Sengoku claims he is not. Sengoku then goes on to say that the Marines searched an island for the possibility that a certain man bore a child. Newborns, children yet to be born, and even the mothers but they did not find anything. However, there was a reason for it and that was Ace's mother.
Portgas D. Rouge, the mother of Ace, who was from the South-Blue on an isle known as Baterilla, performed a feat that even the Marines did not think was possible. She had kept Ace in her womb for twenty full months, far past the point of Ace's natural childbirth. When Ace was eventually born, Rouge died, having used up all her strength. This had taken place exactly one year and three months after the death of Ace's true father. Sengoku then announces to the Marines and the world that Ace's father is none other than Gold Roger himself. As the Marines react in shock to this, Garp remembers to himself when Roger asked him to take care of Ace, citing that his unborn child bears no sin just for being born.
Ace's Past: Emperor Whitebeard
Around the world, the audience is shocked to learn that Roger had a son and that his bloodline lives on to this day. Those on Marineford are rendered speechless, though those that know Luffy personally (Hancock, Koby, and Helmeppo) are surprised to find out that Luffy and Ace are not actually related. Garp meanwhile continues to think of the past, when he met with Roger in his cell before his execution. Roger explained that he was going to have a son but would not live long enough to see him and personally requested Garp to take care of him, knowing what will happen if either Rouge or Ace are found by the World Government. Garp seemed reluctant at first of the idea but Roger believed Garp will honor his final request.
Shortly after Roger died, the Marines arrived on Baterilla going off reports that Roger acted unlike himself on the island. They begin to investigate all newborns, mothers and pregnant women even giving orders to kill any mothers who may seem suspicious to them. Through it all however Rouge managed to keep Ace in her womb and avoid their notice. Eventually the Marines left the island and Rouge, under the care of Garp, was able to bear Ace safely. However, she only had a moment to hold her son before she died from exhaustion. A few years afterward Garp had left Ace under the care of Curly Dadan, a friend of his and a caretaker of Luffy, which is how the two first met. Garp then goes back to his last meeting with Ace who mentioned both Luffy and he had the blood of world class criminals in their veins, which he meant Luffy having the revolutionary leader, Dragon's blood and Ace the Pirate King's. He also took Portgas as his surname out of his love for his mother for saving his life.
In the present, Sengoku continues by mentioning that two years ago Ace took to the sea as the captain of the Spade Pirates. His strength and speed caused the World Government to realize that Roger's bloodline had not ended. However, Whitebeard had noticed it too, and recruits Ace before the World Government could reach him. Sengoku however notes that Whitebeard did so to make Ace into the next Pirate King. Ace heavily denies it but Sengoku rebuffs him, ending his speech by saying that if they left Ace that way, he would have surely stood above all other pirates which is why this execution is so important even if it meant going to war with Whitebeard.
One of the marines suddenly reports that the Gate of Justice to Marineford has suddenly opened on its own and that they cannot contact the power room. On the other side of the gate, the escapees are befuddled that the gate is opening for them despite the Marines claiming they would not open it. Buggy's followers think he was the one who did it as he stands at the front of the ship with his arms outstretched, although he is just as confused as everyone else.
Back in Marineford, the order is given to prepare for battle as Sengoku looks on surprised at the fleet of pirate ships approaching the base, all being lead by pirate captains that have achieved infamy in the New World and have come to support Ace, much to his surprise. The Marines, however, withhold from firing on them, trying to locate Whitebeard himself. And indeed he does show, but not from the front, rather from underwater having coated his ship to appear smack in the center of the bay of the island. The Moby Dick, as well as three other ships appear with 14 commanders on board, arrive from underwater, much to the Marines' surprise. Whitebeard climbs to the front of his ship as he greets Sengoku, no longer hooked to his medical equipment and ready for battle. He tells Ace to bear with it a little long while Ace calls out to his "father".
With the gate unlocked, Luffy's group sails into Marineford. Ivankov wonders if Dragon will come to help or not. Upon hearing this, Luffy reveals he and Ace are not related and reveals Ace is Gold Roger's son, much to the shock of everyone on board (this was also supposed to be a secret which Luffy mindlessly let slip). Back at Marineford, the Marines wait in anticipation for Whitebeard to make the first move. Suddenly, he hits the air, cracking it like a mirror before it causes explosions, shocking the Marines. Luffy's ship draws close, though he cannot see anything through the fog while Ace begins to think back to his starting days of piracy. Back then, he was a teenager and set off three years before Luffy, with both promising to meet each other again. Ace formed the Spade Pirates and his actions soon gained the notice of the Marines (much to Garp's anger) as well as Whitebeard himself.
Not long after, Ace met with Shanks personally, thanking him for saving Luffy's life, which the red-haired pirate used as a cause for celebration. Ace soon met with Jinbe trying to gain audience with Whitebeard. But the fish-man refused, causing a fight between the two that lasted for five days, ending in a stalemate as neither could overcome the other. Whitebeard soon located the group, whom the Spade Pirates were no match for. Ace ordered his crew to run while he stayed behind and tried hold Whitebeard off.
Whitebeard, impressed with his spirit and strength, offered him the choice to join his crew, though Ace refused the offer at first. He ended up being knocked unconscious and waking up on the Moby Dick, where he was greeted by Thatch, the 4th Division Commander. Thatch explains that Ace's crew tried to get him back but were once more defeated and brought on board Whitebeard's ship. Despite this, Ace was not treated as a prisoner but stubbornly refused to be part of the crew. Instead, he tried to assassinate Whitebeard numerous times (a total of a hundred according to the crew) all of which ended in failure. Eventually, Ace gave up and officially joined after Marco revealed that all the men aboard Whitebeard ship, who are hated around the world, see him as a father which likewise in kind he calls them his "sons".
Soon, Ace was nominated as the 2nd Division Commander, during this time he met Blackbeard who suggested he take the job. Before he did, Ace revealed his past to Whitebeard who laughed it off despite the rivalry with Gol D. Roger, claiming everyone was a child of the sea. Then the incident with Blackbeard killing Thatch happened and Ace, in anger, swore to go after him.
Whitebeard and the others tried to talk him out of it, the former getting an uneasy feeling about everything. But Ace persisted as Blackbeard was from his division (not to mention Thatch being a friend of his) and he wanted to take responsibility for Blackbeard's disgraceful actions. Back in the present, Ace pleas for the others to simply leave him behind claiming his own cockiness was the cause for his capture.
Whitebeard, however, claims he was the one who let him go hunt down Blackbeard. When Ace calls him a liar, the other Whitebeard pirates all agree with their captain and vow to save Ace no matter what. Suddenly, the base feels shaking around the island, which Garp explains that the earlier explosion Whitebeard caused has turned into tsunamis that are headed right back at Marineford. This is due to Whitebeard's devil fruit, the Gura Gura no Mi, which allows him to make earthquakes. Sengoku warns the Marines that military force alone will not be enough to stop Whitebeard as he has the power to destroy the world itself. As the tidal wave closes in on the base and the world watches on, it is revealed that 47 pirate ships led by Whitebeard face off against the Marine Headquarters and the Warlords of the Sea. Regardless of who wins, the current era of piracy is coming to an end.
WAR! Whitebeard Pirates vs. Marine Headquarters
The tsunamis are soon right above the heads of the Marines as they begin to panic (though Doflamingo is more excited then scared). Aokiji suddenly vanishes from his seat and uses Ice Age to freeze the waves before they crash down on the base. He then goes to attack Whitebeard, but the pirate captain easily stops the attack with an airquake, hitting the admiral in the process and shattering him. Aokiji reforms himself at the edge of the bay and uses his powers to freeze it as well. With the bay now frozen, Whitebeard's ships cannot move and the Marines begin to bombard them with cannon fire. The pirate captains respond in kind by charging out onto the now frozen bay to do battle. The vice admirals quickly meet them and the fighting quickly reaches chaotic levels.
Mihawk meanwhile makes the first move of the Warlords of the Sea, claiming he wants to see the difference in strength between himself and Whitebeard before unsheathing his sword and letting out a tremendous slash that heads straight for the Moby Dick. However, before it can hit it, Jozu, the third division captain of the Whitebeard Pirates who lives up to his title by covering himself in diamond, intercepts it. Kizaru suddenly make his move, appearing in the air and firing down an array of light beams at Whitebeard. But this was also intercepted, this time by first division commander Marco, who is covered in blue flames after the attack. Marco states that Whitebeard cannot be taken on the first turn, prompting Kizaru to remark on how scary the Whitebeard Pirates are.
It turns out Marco has eaten a "rare, mythical, Zoan devil fruit" which grants him the ability to turn into a phoenix. He and Kizaru wage in a short battle in the skies and Kizaru is knocked onto the ground, but immediately recovers. Kizaru then orders the "giant squad" (a squad of giant Marines) to be careful in their attack. However, Jozu counteracts this by hurling a huge iceberg at the Marines. As the Marines start to panic, the last admiral, Akainu, calmly states in his chair that, nobody will be able to protect Marineford if everyone is out to fight. Thus, Akainu produces a colossal magma fist that obliterates the iceberg, also creating volcanic projectiles and destroying one of Whitebeard's ships in the process. Whitebeard patronizes him, saying: "Go and light the candles on a birthday cake instead, you magma brat!". Akainu replies that he was just lighting up Whitebeard's funeral. The pirates continue their assault on the Marines. However, "Little Oars Jr.", the descendant of "The Land-Pulling Oars", charges in. The Marines start to panic, on account of Little Oars Jr.'s enormous size. Moria becomes excited at the thought of claiming Little Oars Jr.'s corpse, and Doflamingo sticks out his tongue, commenting on how the battle was getting interesting.
Little Oars Jr. quickly begins to fight his way to the plaza where Ace is being held, destroying one of the marine battleships in the process and giving a path to his fellow pirates. The Marines soon are forced to fall back to strengthen their defenses. Whitebeard however disapproves of Little Oars Jr. recklessly charging in like he is doing but Little Oars Jr. begs him to let him do as he pleases to save Ace. Whitebeard complies and orders his men to back him up as Little Oars Jr. continues to get closer to the execution stand. Meanwhile, Hancock attacks a group of pirates with her Mero Mero powers. Managing to turn the body parts she hits to stone and break them off in the process with her amazing agility. However she not only attacks pirates but Marines as well. When asked by a bewildered Marine, Hancock states she agreed to join the battle but never allying herself with the Marines.
To her all men are alike, except for Luffy and asks the Marines that she has kept her word by virtue of her beauty. Kuma suddenly lets loose an Ursus Shock from his Nikyu Nikyu powers, creating a tremendous explosion that wounds Little Oars Jr. greatly. Ace looks on in horror begging him to stop as he knows with Little Oars Jr. size making him an easy target, he would never make it. As Little Oars Jr. reels from the damage, he remembers when Ace made him a conical straw hat to help keep his head shaded since he knows Little Oars Jr. is closer to the sun due to being a giant, the hat also keeping his head dry during rain and snowy weather. Oars is more than grateful for the gift, which is why he determined to save Ace.
However, he gets hit hard by cannon fire and begins to double over. As he does, Little Oars Jr. notices Doflamingo and tries to take him out, slamming at him with his fist. Doflamingo however manages to avoid the attack, flips over Oars and uses his ability to cut off his right leg in the process laughing all the while. Despite this, Little Oars Jr. desperately continues to advance towards Ace. Just as he is within inches of grabbing Ace, Moria sends his shadows at the giant, forming them into a spear and skewering him through the midsection. The Whitebeard Pirates look on in horror as Little Oars Jr. falls while the Warlords of the Sea give off different reactions with Moria obviously being happy about his victory.
Doflamingo continues to find the whole thing hilarious which catches the attention of one of the division commanders. Whitebeard himself meanwhile looks on grimly at what just occurred prompting one of the Giant Squad vice admirals, Ronse, to take advantage of his distraction and attack him. Whitebeard however easily one-handedly subdues him with his earthquake power, much to the shock of the Marines, marveling that not even a giant can best the Emperor. Whitebeard then orders his troops to take advantage of the path Little Oars Jr. gave them and charge into the plaza, which the pirates quickly comply to.
Meanwhile Water Buffalo Atmos confronts Doflamingo, who quickly uses his power to take control of him and attack his own squad. As the sight of fallen Marines starting to get to him, Koby begins to flee from the battle. Helmeppo manages to stop him just in time as they witness Akainu confronting another officer who was also fleeing the battle out of concern for his family. Akainu attacks the Marine soldier as punishment for his cowardice. He then gets a report that the preparations are complete. Doflamingo still continues to cackle as he uses Atmos to attack his allies, commenting on their current state of affairs and how the winner of that battle will become the "justice" of the world.
The pirates continue to press on to the bay, trying to keep the path Little Oars Jr. opened up from being closed. Suddenly, an ice breaker ship crashes into another part of the bay, the action committed by Whitey Bay, the "Ice Witch". With the bay breached on both sides, the pirates rush forward. An officer reports this to Sengoku who comments it does not matter and calls Tsuru, who was literally hanging out several pirates to dry as if they were laundry.
He gives the report over the Den-Den Mushi that they are putting the plan into motion. Other Marine officials get the order too which Whitebeard notices and wonders what Sengoku is up to. Garp suddenly climbs up to the execution stand which prompts Sengoku to ask if he has a problem with the plan.
Garp says that he does not, claiming Ace is a pirate and feels no pity for him. However, he then states that Ace is also family, which puts Garp into conflict on what he is supposed to do. He scolds Ace, asking him why he did not just live as he had told him to. Sengoku warns Garp that if he tries anything he will not hold back, but Garp just brushes him off, saying that if he could've done anything, he would've already done it. Meanwhile, Luffy and the Impel Down escapees are trapped atop one of the frozen tsunami waves created by Whitebeard and Aokiji's powers.
Luffy tries to talk the others into pushing the boat so that it will slide down the back of the wave. Before they do, though, the Den Den Mushi on board intercepts the order, which is to just ignore the schedule and execute Ace then and there. Panicking, Luffy tells the others that they need to hurry. Ivankov performs Hell Wink in hopes of shoving the battleship off of the wave, but instead of sliding down, it is knocked forward, flipping upside down and sending all of the inmates plummeting towards the sea.
Having also received the order, Koby starts to panic but before he can elaborate further, the two notice something coming in from the sky. Ace and the Marines see it too. As the object plummets closer to ground, it is revealed that its none other then Luffy and the prison escapees literally dropping in upside down from the sky. Luffy exclaims that he is not worried since he is made of rubber, but the others yell at him to do something before they make impact with the ice beneath them.
The Bet on the New Age: Luffy and Whitebeard!
Through an act of pure fortune, the battleship lands in one of the few spots of ocean that remains unfrozen. Although the impact splits the boat in two, those on board fall into the ocean unharmed. Jinbe dives underwater to rescue the fruit users, as the others make their way up onto the wreckage.
As Luffy climbs higher on top of the wrecked battleship, he and Ace spot each other. Ace calls out to Luffy, who happily responds that he got to see him again. Onlookers are shocked that Crocodile, as well as the other prisoners, have arrived in the middle of the war. Sengoku becomes even more infuriated at Garp and his accursed family, while Garp remains in shock that Luffy had made his way to Marineford.
The Warlords of the Sea, admirals, and others all look on at the odd group and comment; Mihawk shows subtle surprise, Moria shows frothing rage, Fullbody and Jango remark on how Luffy's normal crew is not with him, Boa Hancock blushes in relief that Luffy is all right, Koby and Helmeppo show amazement at the fact that Luffy had broken out of Impel Down and arrived in Marineford, Aokiji states that Luffy has brought along tough allies, Kuma remains silent, Kizaru remarks how he did not think that they would meet again so soon, Marco recalls that he is the one that Ace always talked about, Doflamingo says that all of Warlords, old and new, are together again, and shows interest in Luffy as a "famous troublemaker", Smoker and Tashigi wonder why Luffy and Crocodile are working together, and Akainu declares that Luffy must be disposed of (notably stating to himself that he is Dragon's son).
Jinbe declares to Sengoku that he has resigned his position of Warlord of the Sea. As Ivankov looks around, he notices that Crocodile has vanished; having made the first move, Crocodile appears behind Whitebeard, ready to impale him with his golden hook. Before he can, though, Luffy activates Gear Second and intercepts the blow. Crocodile reminds Luffy that they had a deal, to which Luffy responds that because Whitebeard is important to Ace, he would not let Crocodile touch him. Marco remarks to himself that Ace's brother is not half bad.
As Whitebeard observes Luffy, he recognizes the Straw Hat as the one that Shanks used to wear. When he tells Luffy that he had seen the hat with "Red Hair", Luffy says that Shanks had let him borrow it. Whitebeard remembers the story that Shanks had told about why his arm had gone missing, that he had placed it on "a bet on the New Age". When asking if Luffy would rescue his brother, even knowing the odds that he is against, Luffy not only emphatically responds that he will, but also that he, not Whitebeard, would be the Pirate King, shocking all of the pirates and many Marines. Admiring Luffy's tenacity, Whitebeard merely tells Luffy to stay out of his way, who states that he is going to rescue Ace on his own. Kizaru asks Sengoku if he can kill the intruders, which Sengoku allows.
Before charging into the battle, Luffy informs Whitebeard that he heard the Marines' plan to execute Ace ahead of schedule. Whitebeard realizes that the information is important, but Sengoku purposely allowed it to leak so that the pirates panic and fall into his trap. As Marco joins Whitebeard's side, Luffy bolts towards Ace; however, Kizaru attempts to stop him by launching a kick of light at him. The attack is stopped, though, by Ivankov's Death Wink, causing the two forces to collide in a massive explosion. When Luffy thanks him, Ivankov states that it is his duty to make sure Luffy does not go and kill himself. Buggy and the inmates meanwhile, watch on in horror, unwilling to join such a terrifying battle yet making out as if Buggy is rallying them on.
Kuma fires one of his beams from his mouth, hoping to incinerate Luffy and Ivankov; the two dodge the blow, though, as Ivankov grabs onto Luffy and rolls out of the way. Ivankov shows shock that Kuma would attack him, remembering that the two used to be friends. As Luffy continues his assault, Hina reappears to capture Luffy, transforming her arms into long iron fences. Luffy manages to jump out of the ring using Gear Second before it ensnares around Hina's Marine allies. Watching on with glee, Moria somehow manages to bring previously unseen zombies out from the earth to battle Luffy.
Ace suddenly cries out to Luffy to stay away, berating his brother for getting involved with his own affairs. He states that he would be too humiliated if a weakling like Luffy were to rescue him, but his true reason for wanting to keep Luffy at bay was so that he would not drag his brother down with him. Luffy replies by shouting out that they are brothers, and that he does not care about any rules about pirates. As Moria sends his zombies after Luffy, they are drowned and purified in a burst of seawater fired by Jinbe.
Much to the shock of the Marines, as well as Luffy's and Whitebeard's subordinate crews, Sengoku reveals that Luffy's father is none other than Revolutionary Dragon. While Moria, Buggy, and Galdino seem shocked at the news, Mihawk says that at that point that fact was hardly surprising, Hancock feels that she loves him even if his father was the devil, Kuma continues to remain expressionless, and Jinbe and Doflamingo realize that Luffy's actions finally make sense. Smoker is now able to understand why the revolutionary saved Luffy in Loguetown.
Not even fazed by the fact that his lineage was revealed to everyone at Marineford (as well as the whole world, due to the reporters watching on), Luffy smashes his way through more of the Marines with Gear Third, claiming that he does not care if Ace objected, and that he would rescue Ace even if it killed him. Whitebeard, in even more awe than before, tells Marco that he will not forgive him if he lets Luffy die.
Having seen the determination shown by both Whitebeard, his subordinate crews and Luffy, Ace finally states that he cares not what fate has in store for him, whether he is to be saved or killed. As Luffy, Ivankov, and Jinbe break through the Marine forces, Whitebeard recognizes Buggy and asks if he wants to take his head. Whitebeard proposes that the two instead team up temporarily to fight the Marines before Buggy takes his head, which Buggy agrees to. When Marco asks why Whitebeard would deal with someone as meaningless as Buggy, Whitebeard reasons that it would be troublesome if they would have to fight the inmates alongside the Marines.
Whitebeard then attempts to contact Squard, but he is nowhere to be found, seen only minutes ago. Brushing this happenstance off, Whitebeard instead cuts through to the Decalvan Brothers, whom he commands to take command of all the pirates. All of Whitebeard's subordinate crews then begin to split up, attacking Marineford from the left and right sides. As the battleships are attacked, Garp and Sengoku realize that Whitebeard saw through their plan.
Meanwhile, Moria, unable to form zombies in the presence of Jinbe, steals the shadows of Marine soldiers and inserts them into his body, increasing his size and strength. He then lunges towards Jinbe, hoping to steal his shadow, but the Fish-Man retaliates with Samegawara Seiken, slamming his fist into Moria and critically wounding him.
As Luffy continues to battle Marine soldiers, Smoker bursts towards him, intent on settling the score. Smoker manages to strike Luffy with his Seastone jutte, dealing more damage than Luffy would usually take. Luffy strikes back with Gomu Gomu no Jet Bazooka, but the attacks slip right through Smoker's smoke. As Smoker and Luffy comment on how the other has become stronger, the former pins the latter to the ground with his jutte.
Smoker muses on how he finally understands why Dragon saved Luffy back at Loguetown, while Luffy struggles to free himself from Smoker's restraint. Hancock suddenly kicks Smoker away, her Haki allowing her to make contact with Smoker. When Smoker asks why Hancock is not fulfilling her duty as a Warlord, Hancock states that she has never felt as angry as she had in her life, and that she would not let anyone harm her beloved Luffy. Luffy shows gratitude at Hancock's assistance (to which the latter blushes at Luffy calling her "Hancock" again).
Across the battlefield, Kuma has continued to attack Ivankov. Ivankov exclaims that if Kuma continues to attack him, then he will have no choice but to retaliate. Doflamingo butts in, stating that although he does not know what history the two have together, talking is useless, as "Tyrant Kuma" is already dead.
Hancock tells Luffy that she knew that he would survive and make it Marineford, and gives him the key to Ace's handcuffs, which she gained through unknown means. Luffy suddenly hugs Hancock out of great gratitude, telling her that she is amazing and that he owes her. Blushing uncontrollably, Hancock tells Luffy that he should not mention it, but that he has to go quickly. As Luffy runs off, Hancock falls to the ground in a swoon, wondering if Luffy's act of hugging her was marriage.
Onlooking Marines confuse the interaction as Luffy knocking Hancock down. Smoker, however, is not deterred, preparing to take chase after Luffy again; Hancock interfered once more, though, with a Perfume Femur kick, causing Smoker's jutte to snap in two. Hancock then looks down on Smoker to the point of looking up, telling him that she will not let him pass. When Smoker asks if Hancock realizes the consequences of getting in the way of the Marines, she says that whatever she do she will be forgiven. Luffy, contemplating on how helpful Hancock is, happens to make his way to where Ivankov and Kuma are battling. While Luffy recognizes Kuma, Ivankov tells Doflamingo that Kuma is standing before him and cannot be dead. Luffy asks Ivankov if he and Kuma know each other, which Ivankov confirms, while stating that something is wrong with Kuma.
Doflamingo once more speaks on Kuma's behalf, saying that while the two seemed to know Kuma, the man standing before them was not Kuma, as Vegapunk had finished his modifications on the former Bartholomew Kuma. Doflamingo then explains to Ivankov the process Kuma volunteered to undergo, as his body was converted into a "Pacifista", with bits and pieces of him being modified at a time. Ivankov says that Doflamingo is lying as Kuma hated the World Government and would never work with them. While Doflamingo admits that he does not know what kind of deal Kuma and the World Government made, he goes on to say that but a few days ago he had retained his personality, but now he was a walking corpse with no human memory, following the World Government's every command: PX-0.
Kuma then fires a laser blast from his mouth, sending Luffy and Ivankov flying aside, Ivankov asks Kuma what happened to his body, while Luffy remembers that Kuma had stated before that they would "never meet again". Kuma suddenly appears in the middle of Ivankov's Newkama army and launches a pressure cannon through a line of okamas. Refusing to take any more of Kuma's actions, Ivankov spins his head around with Face Spectrum to make a mirage of dozens of faces, and launches Death Wink from all of them with Galaxy Wink. Ivankov then kicks Kuma and sends him flying, shouting that he would not let Kuma get away with hurting his followers. He then states that as no one who ever saw his face could ever forget it (which the Newkama army sheepishly agrees with), if Kuma somehow forgot his fear of Ivankov, then the okama would just have to pound it back into his body.
Preparing to fight Kuma, Ivankov sends his army to support Luffy as he heads for the gallows. Buggy meanwhile tells his army of escapees not to fall behind, while Mr. 3 asks Buggy if he is serious about his plan.
Meanwhile, Crocodile and Mr. 1 have been carving through all that get in their way as Crocodile makes his way towards Whitebeard. While many of Whitebeard's crew attempt to stop Crocodile from attacking the old man again, Crocodile brushes them aside with a sandstorm. Jozu then lunges at Crocodile, using Haki to strike Crocodile with his Brilliant Punk attack. As Jozu attempts to attack Crocodile again, he is stopped by Doflamingo, who is riding on his back and controlling his movement. While Crocodile seems antagonistic towards Doflamingo, Doflamingo asks if he and Crocodile can team up.
As Luffy continues to head towards the gallows, yet another enemy crosses his path; Mihawk apologizes to Shanks, as he will not hold himself back. Luffy recognizes Mihawk, who wonders if "The Next Generation's Golden Child" is finished, or if he will escape Mihawk's black blade.
Although Mihawk stands before him, Luffy knows he has no time to fight Mihawk, and bursts past him with his Super-Human Speed. However, Hawk-Eyes, peering through the crowd, manages to point out Luffy, and swings his blade forward, slashing Luffy, as well as all those between the two. After sending Luffy careening into a wall, Mihawk pursues after him, attempting to impale him. However, two Newkama soldiers get in the way of Mihawk, who brushes them aside with little effort. Luffy attempts to attack Mihawk again, but realizing that the Warlord of the Sea would slice his arm off, halts his attack at the last moment, instead, choosing to run away. Mihawk comments that Luffy was unusually composed as he slices horizontally at the rubber man. Although Luffy dodges it, the attack slices the remaining frozen wave in two, causing the upper half to come crashing down on Marineford.
Across the battlefield, Crocodile turns down Doflamingo's offer, saying that Doflamingo is not at his level, and that instead Doflamingo could be his underling. Doflamingo laughs at how he thought Crocodile would be rational, the latter stating that if he was, he would not have come to Marineford in the first place. He then performs Sables, attempting to blow Doflamingo away. The attack is not confined to Doflamingo, though, as Buggy is accidentally sucked into the vortex as well.
As Luffy and Mihawk continue their battle, the latter notes on how Luffy is moving away from the execution platform. In a move of desperation, Luffy grabs onto Buggy and uses him as a shield against Mihawk's attack. Although Buggy is angry at Luffy, Luffy continues to use him as a shield. Getting fed up, Buggy launches a Special Muggy Ball at Mihawk, who casually deflects it with his blade, causing it to explode in Buggy's face. Luffy, having finally gotten a break, dashes back towards the platform.
Seeing that Mihawk was going to attack Luffy again, Marco calls over Whitebeard's fifth division commander, Vista, to interfere and hold Mihawk back. When Mihawk recognizes him, Vista is happy to hear that Mihawk had heard of him; Mihawk replies by saying that only a fool would not have heard of him. As Luffy continues to make his way towards the platform, Mihawk comments on how he has the strange ability to make anyone around him an ally, an ability that is the most dangerous in the world.
The battle continues to rage on, as the onlookers at Sabaody Archipelago watch on in horror. As the civilians begin to realize that Ace is to be executed early, Sengoku demands that the feed be cut off, so that the civilians would not lose faith in the Marines, as such a tragedy would be too much for them to witness. Sengoku justifies his actions by saying that all they needed to say to the world after the battle was over would be one word: "Victory".
Suddenly, more battleships begin to appear from behind. As the pirates note that they are not allies, Whitebeard, Luffy, and Ivankov recognize those on board: Sentomaru has arrived at the battle, backed up by an army of at least twenty Pacifista. The battle has gone on for an hour and a half, and it is about to enter its final phase.
Sengoku's Plan: The Battle's Final Phase
Both pirates and civilians look on in horror as the Pacifista arrive, as the only knowledge the pirates had was rumors that Vegapunk had been using human corpses to develop a human weapon. However, they are mystified as to why they are all Kuma. Sentomaru tells Kizaru that things were not going according to plan, as the pirates were meant to be all driven into the bay, instead of being scattered as they were. As the pirates hear on, they realize that Whitebeard knew that the Marines were to pin them all into the bay, and that by telling them to split apart, he had saved their lives. Sengoku demands that they continue with the plan, attacking any stragglers that they could reach. Sentomaru asks Kizaru if it is okay if the Pacifista destroy some of the Marine's battleships as well, to which Kizaru simply replies that they should not destroy too many.
As Sentomaru commands the Pacifista to begin, a pirate tries to smash one with an enormous club; however, the club shatters on impact against the Pacifista, who retaliates by firing a laser beam from its mouth. The Pacifista all join together in their assault, firing lasers from their mouths and hands. Whitebeard, disgusted at the Marines' willingness to sacrifice their own ships, commands his men to ignore the attacks from the rear and continue onwards to the execution platform.
Sengoku in return tells the Marines to draw back from the ice and to keep the pirates away from the platform. The onlookers at Sabaody are awestruck by how invincible the Pacifista are; however, before they can see much more, all but one video feed are cut. Sengoku commands that as soon as Ace is executed, the pirates must be wiped out at once. Luffy, rushing to get to Ace before he is executed, is stopped by Kizaru, who sends him flying with a kick of light; however, Luffy is stopped by Jinbe, who encourages Luffy by saying that they knew their enemies would be strong from the start. Giving Luffy a moment of reprieve, a group of Whitebeard's squad captains rushes forward to stop Kizaru, who carelessly states that the situation is terrifying.
Moria, having apparently given up on his battle with Jinbe, confronts 10th division commander Curiel, saying that whether he fights Moria or continues into the bay that he will be destroyed, and that while he does not care who wins, it would be hilarious if Whitebeard died. Curiel responds by firing his guns at Moria, stating that he will not let Whitebeard or Ace die. Mihawk and Vista continue their duel; while Mihawk says that their duel must come to an end, Vista states that they each have a point in their favor. Tashigi and Smoker, apparently no longer fighting Hancock, move on, saying that they are done there. Hancock meanwhile says that Luffy needs to hurry and save his brother.
Sengoku asks if they have stopped broadcasting; however, it seems that one camera is still running from an unknown source. It is revealed that the camera was commandeered by the Impel Down prisoners, who are recording Buggy with it in an attempt to make him famous. Through many takes, Buggy attempts to make a good impression upon the baffled onlookers at Sabaody. The civilians, though, are unimpressed, wanting instead to see the battle taking place.
As Squard appears on the Moby Dick, Whitebeard asks if he is unharmed, as he had not been able to contact him. Squard apologizes, reporting that the pirates in the rear have been hit badly. Whitebeard states that they have the Marines where they want them, and that he will fight alongside the others. Squard says that all of them owe him a great debt, and that they'll give their lives for the Whitebeard crew. Marco, having just noticed that someone was on the ship with Whitebeard, casually turns to face him. Squard suddenly impales Whitebeard through the chest with his blade, horrifying Ace, Luffy, Jinbe, Ivankov, Buggy, all of the division commanders, and all the onlookers at the Sabaody Archipelago. While Mihawk, Sentomaru, and the admirals remain unfazed, Doflamingo and Moria take great pleasure at witnessing the assault.
Enraged, Marco pins Squard down, asking how he could do such a thing. Squard knocks him aside, saying that it was their fault it happened. As Whitebeard's other subordinate crews continue to take attacks from the Pacifista, Squard claims that he knew about Whitebeard's "deal with the Marines". He also berates Whitebeard for not telling him that Ace was the son of Gold Roger, whom he deeply loathed for the massacre of his crew by Roger's hand. He also claims that Whitebeard sold out his subordinate crews, as his deal with Sengoku was that he, his crew, and Ace would be allowed to be set free, as long as all of the other pirate captains died. He supports his claim by pointing out how the Pacifista are only targeting the New World captains. He then states that although he was lucky to manage to get an attack in on Whitebeard, he was ready for his death as punishment.
Marco tells Squard that he was tricked, and that he should've trusted Whitebeard. Whitebeard states that the Marines had manipulated Squard with his hatred for Roger, and that they were one step ahead. Before any more could be broadcast to the public, Sengoku calls out to Aokiji, who proceeds to freeze Buggy and the other Impel Down escapees over, cutting out the final video feed.
Crocodile, genuinely shocked that Whitebeard had been so easily overcome, shouted out that Whitebeard was not that weak when he had defeated him. Marco, wondering how Whitebeard could have been so easily caught off guard, realizes that it is due to his degrading health.
Whitebeard looks down on a terrified Squard, angrily asking how he could raise his sword against his father. However, instead of harming him, Whitebeard instead hugs his "son", saying that even if he is a fool, he still loves him. When Whitebeard asks who it was who had talked Squard into turning against the him, Squard reveals that it was Akainu, who had stated that he was opposed to the plan to spare Whitebeard, and that Squard should kill him while he had the chance. Whitebeard states that he knew how much Squard hated Roger, but that it was foolish to hold children accountable for the sins of their fathers, and that Squard and Ace, as his family, should be friends.
To dispel the wavering doubt beginning to grow within the other captains, Whitebeard shatters the frozen waves with his Devil Fruit powers, giving his subordinate crews a route to escape if they so choose. Whitebeard claims that those who call themselves pirates should choose for themselves what to believe. Witnessing the act of selflessness, the other captains' faith in Whitebeard is instantly renewed. Whitebeard considers to himself that, although people may call him weak, a demon, or a monster, he is only one man with one heart, and as he cannot be the "strongest" forever, he should be allowed to raise one young life for the future. He then shouts out that those who would follow him should be ready to lose their lives, as he lunges towards the execution platform and into the battlefield. Sengoku shouts for the Marines to be ready, as the "Strongest Man in the World" is about to attack. As Whitebeard charges into battle, all of his crew and subordinate crews follow behind and open a path for him.
One of the Decalvan Brothers comments on how hard it must be for Squard to have been tricked and to be responsible for stabbing Whitebeard, causing Whitebeard's subordinate crews to scream that they'll never forgive the Marines. As Squard wallows in grief of his own sins, Marco asks him if just crying will help set things right.
Luffy, musing on how strong Whitebeard must be, continues to run head-long towards the execution platform. Ivankov notes that all of the Marines are retreating into the plaza. While Jinbe agrees that it is worrisome, he states that there is no time to think, as Whitebeard is on the move. John Giant then appears on the front line, ready to stop Whitebeard and his crew as his and Whitebeard's weapons.
Whitebeard then surprises the giant by causing an earthquake so massive, that the entire island tilts to one side. As the Marines panic, Doflamingo laughs about how insane Whitebeard is, while Hancock continues to care only for Luffy's safety. Whitebeard then delivers a quake-imbued punch to John Giant's chest, defeating him.
As onlookers wonder why the quakes are not effecting the execution platform, they see that the three admirals are somehow holding it together, as the three banter about how it is each other's fault that the wall is not up yet. As the pirates finally make it towards the city, dozens of walls shoot up from the ground, blocking their path. As much as the pirates try to attack it, the wall will not budge. Cannons emerge from the walls, preparing to fire. However, one wall near the front remains open; Oars' body is blocking the wall's path, and his blood has interfered with the system. Although the situation is not ideal, Sengoku commands Akainu to attack anyway; Akainu then uses Ryuusei Kazen, causing a storm of flaming fists to rain down upon the pirates.
Back at the Sabaody Archipelago, reporters and bystanders are complaining about the video feed getting cut. They barrage the stationed Marines with questions, asking if Whitebeard and the Marines really made a bargain and if Whitebeard sold out his subordinate crews. Eustass Kid and crew decide to leave since the show's over. The other Supernovas, all alive and well on Sabaody, comment on the situation.
Meanwhile, Akainu's attack is wreaking havoc on the pirates, destroying all their footing. Moby Dick is struck down in the attack, and is completely destroyed. As the sea water begins to turn to magma, the cannons from within the iron wall begin firing at the pirates, restraining them at the center of the enclosure. Whitebeard attempts to use his Gura Gura no Mi powers to smash through a section of the wall, but the blow only dents it.
Seeings as everything is going according to plan, Sengoku announces that it is time to execute Ace. The pirates decide that to reach Ace they need to travel over Oars. As Ivankov and Jinbe look for Luffy, they see that he is recklessly running through the path with the other pirates, and is forced back by an explosion. Ivankov berates Luffy, stating that the one path through would be the most guarded. As Jinbe and Ivankov wonder how they'll manage to pass through, Luffy asks a favor of Jinbe.
Oars Jr. surprisingly rises, having been awaken by the blast. As the Marines all aim at him, preparing to finish him off, a pillar of water flies through the sky, soaring over the gap in the wall and landing right in front of the execution platform. From the water emerges Luffy, wielding a mast from one of the ships in his hands. Standing right before Luffy, the admirals all comment on Luffy's boldness. Luffy tries to strike the admirals with the mast, but Aokiji freezes it. He then uses Gomu Gomu no Stamp Gatling, which shatters the frozen mast.
Whitebeard notes how Luffy's recklessness is just like Ace's. He orders Oars to stay where he is and commands Jozu to prepare their trump card.
An Ant in a Storm: Luffy Falters
As the admirals dodge the projectiles formed from the frozen mast, Luffy activates Gear Second, hoping to make a straight dash for Ace. However, Kizaru easily catches up to him and knocks him aside with a kick of light.
Up on the execution platform, the guards are about to execute Ace. However, they are blown back by an unknown force, which is revealed to be an attack by none other than Crocodile. While Sengoku wonders why Crocodile would aid his own enemy, the former Warlord notes that he only did it because he did not want to see the Marines be satisfied. Suddenly, taking everyone by surprise, Crocodile's head comes flying off of his body. Doflamingo, standing behind Crocodile, says that he is jealous that he had decided to side with Whitebeard instead of him. Forming his head back onto his body, Crocodile responds that he is not teaming up with anyone and attacks Doflamingo.
Meanwhile, Luffy has been knocked down, as Aokiji stabbed him with an ice saber. Hancock screams at Aokiji and prepares to interfere, but instead Marco knocks Aokiji away.
The pirates in the bay, attempting to make their way past the iron wall, all try to swim through the gateway made by Oars. As the Marines prepare to fire upon the susceptible pirates, a coated ship suddenly emerges from the sea, allowing most in the water to climb aboard. Whitebeard notes that he never said that all of his ships had surfaced. While the Marines are busy debating whether or not they should aim at Oars or the ship, Oars lifts the ship into the air and pulls it through the hole he created. As the pirates prepare to storm the stage, Oars takes cannon fire, causing him to collapse once more. Whitebeard then leaps into the plaza and, commanded his "children" to keep away, swings his Bisento in a circle, knocking away all of the Marines in his path.
With the only Marines still standing being the admirals, a few of the vice admirals, and those upon the podium, the Whitebeard Pirates prepare to make their final charge to save Ace. Sengoku then tells Garp that the two of them will be required to join the war. Whitebeard orders his men to clear a path for him as he once again makes a swing with his bisento to create another earthquake. Knowing the coming threat, Aokiji tries to attack the Emperor only to have his Ice Ball slice in two by Whitebeard's earthquakes. Whitebeard then impaled Aokiji with his bisento. However, the attack has no effect as Aokiji made a hole on his chest so that the attack can pass through it. When Aokiji was about to try another attack, Jozu knocks him away and tells Whitebeard he will take care of him as Aokiji reforms himself.
Meanwhile, Luffy once again tries to reach the execution platform but is stopped by Momonga and is forced to engage in a fight against him as well as another vice admiral with a Zoan Devil Fruit. Despite his best efforts, he is easily overwhelmed. He is then suddenly shot by a light beam by Kizaru. As Luffy lays defeated, the admiral reminds him that he lacks the proper strength to save Ace and that guts alone will not get him through before kicking him back, right into Whitebeard who catches him. Kizaru insulted the Emperor for sending in Luffy first. Ivankov, using his Face Growth, peers over the wall and sees the condition Luffy is in, scolding him for acting so reckless. Whitebeard tosses Luffy to one of his men to tend to his wounds but Luffy shouts that he is alright and must save Ace. However his wounds get to him and he collapses as Jinbe asks a nearby doctor to look him over.
Whitebeard mentions that Luffy has heart but agrees that he is too reckless, though he has a soft spot for people like him. Whitebeard once again attacks any Marines in his way before being stopped by Akainu and engaging the admiral in a battle of massive sheer-power. Jinbe also decides to join in as well, deciding that he would die in the battle. All around the plaza, pirates and Marines continue to battle with neither side backing down. Marco attempts to reach Ace, but is knocked back by Garp, who proclaims if any of them want to get past him, they'll have to get through him first.
Whitebeard tells his subordinate crews not to be intimidated by Garp as he is just an old man. Akainu reminds Whitebeard that they are of the same generation before proceeding to fire a hound made of magma at Whitebeard, who deflects the attack and causes more damage to Marineford.
The pirates continue to cut a path through the Marine's forces, heavily damaging a Pacifista in the process. Ace suddenly begins to cry, as he recollects on his childhood; everyone with whom he had spoken about Roger despised the man, causing Ace to retaliate by beating them half to death. Ace had once asked Garp if he really should've been born; Garp replied by saying that was something that could only be discovered by living.
As the war rages on, Ace begins to loathe himself, stating that he is so happy that his allies care enough to spill blood for him that he cannot stop crying, and that he suddenly has the desire to live.
Meanwhile, Buggy and the escapees from Impel Down remain on a block of ice outside of the encircling wall. One of the pirates tells Buggy that he was thawed by the sea of magma. Buggy says to himself that he plans to take out vengeance against the Marines. Suddenly, Whitebeard collapses, succumbing to the effects of old age. Marco rushes to protect him, but in his frenzy he is unable to foresee an attack by Kizaru, which pierces him through him. Jozu, distracted by Kizaru's attack, has his arm frozen over by Aokiji. Akainu then deals a devastating magma-powered blow directly into Whitebeard's chest.
Ivankov berates the collapsed Luffy, who had asked for another dosage of Tension Hormones. Ivankov states that Luffy had been through too much over the course of Impel Down to then, and that pushing himself any further would mean throwing his life away. Luffy states that he will do whatever he can, even if he dies, as being unable to fight and failing to save Ace would make him want to die anyway. Ivankov reprimands Luffy, stating that if Luffy dies, then he would be unable to face Dragon ever again; however, Ivankov tells Luffy that he can have it "his own damned way", injecting him with another shot of Tension Hormones. Empowered once more, Luffy stands up and lets out a scream of resolve.
Again, the Marine guards prepare to execute Ace. Luffy charges forward, followed by Ivankov, who reminds Luffy his Tension Hormones make his body believe he is healed while his wounds still need healing. as they fight their way forward, Luffy sees Koby ahead of him. Koby tells himself he has to fight Luffy otherwise he will never change. He charges at Luffy using Soru, but Luffy counters with a Gomu Gomu no Bullet, knocking Koby out. Suddenly, however, he is attacked by more Pacifistas, who prepare to fire beams from their mouths. Hancock suddenly steps in, whom the Pacifistas recognize as an ally and stand down, allowing Luffy and Ivankov to pass. When the Pacifistas order Hancock to step aside, she attacks one, saying she does not want the likes of him to say her name.
Marco tries to face Kizaru, but Onigumo appears from behind, clasping a sea prism handcuff on his one wrist and negating his phoenix powers. Using thos opportunity, Kizaru fills more holes in him with his light spears. Jozu, meanwhile, is left entirely frozen by Aokiji, and his right arm is broken off. The pirates are shocked that the top two Whitebeard commanders were beaten.
Sengoku, telling the Marines not to lower their guard yet, orders them to take Whitebeard's head. As the Marines approach Whitebeard, the pirates try to reach him, but he orders them to stay back, saying he does not need their help just yet. He then defeats the oncoming Marines, shouting "I am Whitebeard", sending multiple Marines flying and causing others to call him "monster".
Whitebeard says he knows the significance of his death and the consequences that the later will bring but he will not die until he has secured the future of his "sons" with his own hands. Jinbe and the other pirates then stand behind Whitebeard, claiming to defend his honor, while he calls them foolish. Sengoku berates Whitebeard and tells him to watch the future of his children as the guards ready their weapons to execute Ace. The pirates call out to Ace, while Whitebeard says that it is useless to try, he suddenly collapse due to his illness as he watches the guards about to execute Ace.
Luffy shouts for the Marines to stop, unleashing a great burst of Haōshoku Haki that takes out the executioners and most of the Marines and pirates alike, to the shock of Sengoku and Aokiji (who wonders if this is really happening), and the amazement of Ivankov and Whitebeard.
The Will of D.: Everyone's Faith is in Luffy!
As everyone tries to recover from Luffy's massive burst of Haki, Whitebeard's subordinate crews and the Marines alike all stand in awe of his power. Vice Admiral Doberman warns the Marines that Luffy has to be cut down, or else he will become a fearsome force in the future. When Ivankov asks Luffy how he got that level of power of Haki, Luffy responds that he has no idea what Ivankov is talking about. Ivankov lets Luffy be, but realizes that even if Luffy does not realize it, he attracts people because of the will to fight the unknown, the same as Dragon. The Marines convene around Whitebeard once more, who again brushes them aside. He then commands all of his forces to back up Luffy. Whitebeard thinks to himself that he wants Luffy to show him just what will come at the end of the Great Age of Pirates.
As Luffy is about to be attacked, Whitebeard's subordinate crews jump in and protect him, telling him that he has to go on ahead while Whitebeard holds the Marines off. Ivankov tells Luffy that Whitebeard is putting all of his faith in him; Luffy responds that he does not care about Whitebeard, and that he is only there to save Ace. Mihawk attempts to attack Luffy, but is stopped by Mr. 1, who responds to Luffy's shock by saying that he is protecting him only by Crocodile's orders. After Mihawk strikes Mr. 1 down, Crocodile interferes and protects his right-hand man.
Sentomaru yells at Hancock for stopping a great number of Pacifista, asking why she is doing it if she is on their side. She responds by shrieking that "love is always a hurricane" leaving him quite puzzled.
Ivankov asks someone unseen for help, and none other than Inazuma, conscious once more, emerges. He leaps from Ivankov's hair and, cutting up the ground around him, makes a walkway that leads to the execution platform. Luffy thanks Inazuma and runs up towards Ace. Many of the Marines try to stop Luffy, but they are halted by Whitebeard and his forces. Whitebeard's subordinate crews, as well as Buggy and his crew, watch Luffy get closer and closer to Ace; however, Garp leaps down and lands between Luffy and Ace, cracking the ground with his impact. Luffy tells Garp to move aside, but Garp refuses, as he is the Marine Headquarters' vice admiral.
Inazuma's bridge begins to collapse. Garp claims that he has been fighting pirates before Luffy was born, and so Luffy will have to kill Garp if he wishes to reach Ace. Claiming that he considers Luffy an enemy, the two prepare to swap blows as Luffy enters Gear Second. However, Garp falters at the last second, allowing Luffy to knock him aside and send him plummeting into the concrete. Sengoku scoffs at Garp's frailty as Luffy makes the final leap to the platform.
Kizaru strikes Whitebeard with a beam of light, stunning him long enough to make a move. Luffy pulls out the key Boa Hancock gave to him and is about to unlock Ace's handcuffs; however, Sengoku reveals Hito Hito no Mi, Model: Daibutsu Devil Fruit ability, transforming into an enormous golden Buddha-like being. Just before Luffy can insert the key into Ace's cuffs, Kizaru fires a beam of light, severing the key in two. One of the fallen guards by Ace rises, revealing himself to be in fact a disguised Mr. 3. As Sengoku unleashes an enormous punch on Luffy, Luffy commands Mr. 3 to protect Ace with his wax as he holds Sengoku back with a Gomu Gomu no Gigant Fūsen. The blow causes the scaffold to collapse, with Ace, Luffy, and Mr. 3 falling with it.
Mr. 3 quickly forms a key out of wax in an attempt to free Ace. Thinking of Bentham's sacrifice, Mr. 3 asks Luffy if he would laugh at him if he stated that he was there to avenge a fallen comrade; Luffy of course says that he would not. Just as Luffy receives the key, the Marines open fire on the scaffold, attempting to finish off all three. Thinking they have succeeded in their attack because Ace could not have survived being unable to use his Devil Fruit powers. Suddenly they see a tunnel of flame emerging from the explosion, revealing a freed Ace getting a hold of Luffy (with Mr. 3 grabbing on to Luffy) and scolding them later on how reckless he always is.
Fire Fist Ace is Saved! The Final Order from a Father
All of Whitebeard's allies cheer on Luffy and Ace for their efforts, while the Impel Down escapees stand amazed at Luffy's feats up to that point. The Marines brace themselves to stop Ace and Luffy, who get ready to break through. As the Marines open fire, Ace and Luffy easily fight back against the soldiers. Whitebeard's forces try to create a path for Luffy and Ace, while the Marines continue to attempt to execute the two. Aokiji fires a mass of ice at them, which Ace blocks with an enormous wall of fire. Sengoku grumbles in disgrace that he had allowed the two to get away; Doflamingo suggest they let them get away to make things more interesting, which Vice Admiral Momonga scolds him for; Akainu swears that he will not allow any of them to leave; the Marines come across Mr. 3, who is lying exhausted from his actions.
Whitebeard's extra ship suddenly comes plowing through Marineford, being driven by Squard. Squard reveals that he wishes to stall the Marines while the others escape. Marco comments on Squard's stupidity as an ally attempts to pick the lock on the Seastone cuff around his wrist. As the ship pulls closer into the city, it screeches to a halt, as Whitebeard stops it with one hand. Whitebeard shouts out that the sword wound inflicted by Squard had done nothing, as he was reaching the end of his lifespan anyway; he then says that he is about to deliver his final "Captain's order". While his men try to talk him out of it, Whitebeard bellows out that they must part ways, and that they must all return to the New World alive at all costs. He claims that he is nothing more than a remnant of an an era gone by, delivering an enormous quake into the city of Marineford. Recollecting on his past of his crew asking him what he wants if he does not desire treasure, he says that he had a long journey, and is ready to settle things with the Marines.
As Marineford begins to crumble from the earthquake, the pirates persist in getting Whitebeard to come with them, but he stubbornly yells at them to leave. The Marines opens fire on Whitebeard but he continues to attack, while his crew reluctantly fulfilled his wishes and proceed to pull out. Sengoku goes to check on Garp, who rises to his feet with nothing but a bloodied forehead. Garp realizes that Whitebeard intends to end the current age of piracy with his life. Buggy, having recovered from Aokiji's freezing, is told by one of his followers that the Den Den Mushi has recovered. Buggy orders him to film him as he takes Whitebeard's life; the broadcast to Sabaody is renewed (though the citizens are disappointed and dismayed to see only Buggy onscreen once again).
As Whitebeard continues to rampage and keep the Marines at bay, the frozen Jozu is carried aboard the ship by his fellow crewmates. Ivankov tells Luffy it is time to go, while the Straw Hat tries to get Ace to escape with him - Ace acknowledges that to escape is necessary, but before he does, he bows to Whitebeard in the midst of the chaos. Seeing this, Whitebeard asks if he was a good father, to which Ace answers "of course". Whitebeard laughs heartily at the response. The rest of the pirates prepare to escape, but suddenly Akainu attacks them with a huge molten fist. He mocks Whitebeard's crew as "cowards" for grabbing Ace and running away, and claims Whitebeard is nothing but a failure from a bygone era.
This strikes a chord with Ace who turns to face and demands that Akainu take back what he said. The Pirate Captains and Luffy yell at Ace not to stop. Akainu continues to insult Whitebeard, claiming that since Whitebeard never defeated Roger nor became the Pirate King, he is a failure. The rest of the pirates urge Ace not to get provoked by the admiral, but Akainu's continuing mockery eventually set off Ace's temper. He attacks Akainu in fury, proclaiming that "The name of this era is called 'Whitebeard'!" However, he is badly burned on his left hand and knocked back, as Akainu's power is that of magma and, even though both he and Ace use logia fire types, magma can burn anything, even fire.
Luffy attempts to rush back to Ace's aid but falls to his knees, dropping Ace's vivre card in the process. Jinbe notes that Luffy is at his limit. However, this shifts Akainu's attention to Luffy, and he turns away from Ace to attack the younger brother. Ace, seeing that Akainu means to attack the defenseless Luffy, suddenly leaps in the way and takes the blow. Akainu's molten blow pierces Ace's entire torso. Luffy and Whitebeard's pirates look on in horror while Ace's Vivre Card burns to a scrap of paper.
The Sacrifice for a Younger Brother: The Flame Begins to Die Out
Upon seeing the fatal blow Akainu inflicted upon Ace, every pirate rushes to attack the admiral and stop him before he can finish off Ace or Luffy. However, Akainu's Logia intangibility keeps him from being injured in the bombardment, and, noticing that Ace still has some life in him, he moves in to attack him again. Jinbe cries that he will tolerate no more of this and rushes in to take the blow with his right arm. Akainu scolds him on his actions, commenting that as a former Warlord Jinbe would know about the power he wields. The fish-man retorts that he would gladly pay with his life to delay him, since he fully intended to die anyway. Meanwhile, Mr. 3 is dragged over to Marco, who orders him to remove the Seastone handcuff. Sengoku and some of the other Marines realize that Garp is acting strangely; Sengoku slams him into the ground, demanding to know his intentions. As they struggle, Garp warns the fleet admiral that he had better keep him held tightly down or otherwise be sure that he will murder Akainu himself.
Akainu attempts to attack Jinbe again but is interrupted by Vista and Marco, who shout at Jinbe to get down as they simultaneously attack Akainu. The admiral is irritated by the attacks, as both Vista and Marco are Haki users. Meanwhile, Luffy catches the gravely wounded Ace as he falls, and, horrified by the sight of his hand slicked with his brother's blood, begs him to hold on. Ace apologizes to Luffy for not letting him save him properly. The doctor of the Whitebeard Pirates rushes over, but Ace, knowing full well that his internal organs were badly burned from Akainu's attack, tells them it is too late - he can perceive his own life's end.
He goes on to remember how every person he met hated Gol D. Roger and detested the idea of his living son, and if it were not for Luffy and the "Sabo thing", he would never have wanted to live. Ace then requests that if Luffy ever meets Dadan again, to tell "that idiot" goodbye for him. His only regret is that he will never get to see Luffy's dream come true, though it undoubtedly will. He comments that he has no regrets about the path he chose in life; all he really wanted was to know was the answer to one question: whether or not he should have been born. Sensing his voice is getting too quiet, he then calls out to his comrades and says his final words:
Ace smiles one last time and dies, falling from his brother's arms as the last fragment of his Vivre Card burns away. Luffy remembers when Ace punched him on the head in the past for crying when he thought Ace was dead, after which Ace made a promise not to die and leave his weak little brother alone. Now back in the present, kneeling by his brother's body, Luffy raises his head and howls in mindless grief.
The Whitebeard Pirates along with the entire Sabaody are shocked at the death of Ace. Luffy is unmoving and unresponsive as Ivankov calls out to him - seeing that all the damage Luffy has taken now taken its toll, Ivankov surmises that the shock has collapsed Luffy's mind. Akainu takes the opportunity to once again try to kill Luffy, but Marco intercepts him and yells at Jinbe to take Luffy away.
Before Akainu can pursue Luffy to finish him off as well, Whitebeard, enraged at the death of Ace, appears behind him and punches Akainu to the ground, greatly wounding him. Akainu retaliates, burning off a portion of Whitebeard's head with Meigo. Unfazed, Whitebeard slams Akainu aside, injuring him further and in the process causing an earthquake that demolishes Marine Headquarters base and splits the plaza in half. This act separates the Marines and the pirates, isolating Whitebeard with the Marines. Sengoku is astonished that Whitebeard still has so much power despite his injuries while Whitebeard states that he is not finished yet.
The pirates meanwhile retreat to their ships. In the midst of the chaos, the Marines notice a shadow behind the ruined Marine Headquarters building which reveals itself to be a giant. He is not alone; they notice more figures on the scaffold of the building. Doflamingo laughs while Whitebeard and Sengoku are less than pleased when they see Blackbeard and his band of pirates, which now includes a few new crewmates recruited from Level 6 of Impel Down. Blackbeard laughs, commenting that he was glad he made it in time to see Whitebeard die. Sengoku and Blackbeard throw words at each other, and Blackbeard explains how he used the title of Warlord of the Sea to get what he wanted; to break into Impel Down and free the Level 6 prisoners Sanjuan Wolf, Avalo Pizarro, Vasco Shot, Shiryu, and Catarina Devon.
Whitebeard and Blackbeard exchange a few words, to which Whitebeard snarls that he no longer sees Blackbeard as his son. Blackbeard in return says that he really respected Whitebeard but he has gotten too old because he was unable to save Ace even though he managed to capture Ace alive at Banaro Island. Whitebeard then attempts to punch Blackbeard with a quake punch, but Blackbeard blocks it. Blackbeard then asked Whitebeard how it feels to not be able to create earthquakes. Whitebeard strikes Blackbeard with his bisento, pins him down and uses his Gura Gura ability to choke Blackbeard.
While choking him, Blackbeard asked him if he would kill his own son. Whitebeard seriously damages Blackbeard's skull and Blackbeard calls him a monster, cursing him that he should have been dead and then commands his pirates to kill Whitebeard; His sons and subordinates cry and watch in tears as their father Whitebeard is getting killed on the other side. While he is being attacked, Whitebeard suddenly starts remembering when Roger told him about his own death and the true meaning of "D". After the Blackbeard Pirates run out of bullets, Whitebeard tells Teach that he is not the one Roger is waiting for.
He also tells Sengoku that the bloodline of those who carry the Will of Roger still burns, and that one day a grand battle that will engulf the whole world will begin. He goes on to say that when someone finds "that" treasure, the world will be turned upside-down, before finishing his speech by shouting to the world that "One Piece" exists, much to Sengoku's fury.
Whitebeard once again remembers his younger days when one of his crewmates asked him if he did not want treasure, what was it that he was interested in. Whitebeard's answer was "family", much to the amusement of the man who had posed the question.
After saying his final farewell to his grieving crew and distraught subordinates, Edward 'Whitebeard' Newgate dies standing on his feet, after having been stabbed and slashed 267 times, shot 152 times and hit by cannonballs 46 times. Despite his grievous wounds though, when his coat falls down after his death, it reveals his back to have been untarnished by a wound of retreat.
The War's Final Curtain! The End and Beginning of an Era!
All around the world, reporters report on the demise of Ace and Whitebeard as the audience of Sabaody looks on in shock. Among the patrons is Rayleigh who comments on Whitebeard's death. At Marineford this event garners different reactions from those present while Whitebeard's crew rush for their ships. Meanwhile, the Blackbeard Pirates cover Whitebeard with a black cloth which Blackbeard enters into much to the confusion of those watching. Seeing this all finally gets to Buggy who decides to abandon his newfound crew and run away, his followers however take it this a noble gesture of respect for Whitebeard's death and follow after him.
Jinbe meanwhile continues to carry the comatose Luffy, begging him to hang on for the sake of his late brother. Before the fish-man can reach the boats however, the water around them is frozen due to Aokiji. If that was not bad enough, Akainu suddenly burst from the ground re-declaring his intention of not letting Luffy get away and demands Jinbe hand him over. Jinbe of course refuses vowing to keep Luffy alive no matter what. Ivankov suddenly appears and tells Jinbe to step aside before hitting Akainu with a Hell Wink.
A few Marines attack Blackbeard, but he knocks them with darkness power and then suddenly uses Whitebeard's earthquake power to the shock of everyone. When asked how by one of the pirates as no devil fruit user can have two powers at once, Marco surmises that Blackbeard's body is abnormal and able to withstand the effects. Blackbeard makes a declaration of war to the entire world, claiming that it is now "his age".
As the top part of the building starts to crumble down, everybody; even on the Archipelago, looks in shock. As the battlefield too is starting to get uneven, the Blackbeard Pirates get further from each other. Marshall D. Teach asks how he should begin using his new powers, answering himself the same moment, saying he will sink Marineford to its core. But then is attacked by the Buddha form of Sengoku himself. Sengoku looks down, telling himself that they just can rebuild their base. But tells Blackbeard that Marineford is the center of the world and he will not let him sink it. Blackbeard challenges him to protect it.
Meanwhile at the coast of Marineford, Akaniu has made his way past Ivankov, Inazuma, and the dancers who shoot at the admiral. But of course they do not harm Akainu. Not being wounded at all, tells Jinbe to hand over Monkey D. Dragon's son. Jinbe tries to get to the ocean, claiming he will have the advantage in the water. However he realizes everything is ice. Aokiji, far afar, apologizes to the former Warlord of the Sea. Jinbe looks back, seeing Akainu already on his heels. Akainu jumps after him, punching Jinbe to the ice. The blow continues through Jinbe and strikes Luffy, leaving an "x" shaped scar on his chest.
The Whitebeard Pirates try to encourage him to reach them. Akainu too, lands next to him. Jinbe stands up, looking at the still mentally collapsed Luffy. Apologizing that he makes things ever worse, Akainu walks to the two. Akainu tries to tell Jinbe to leave Luffy there, as he has no chance of surviving. Luffy's straw hat falls to the ground. As Akainu approaches the two, he is suddenly split in half by a wave of sand.
Crocodile reveals himself and uses Sables to throw Luffy and Jinbe into the air claiming if they are gonna protect Luffy, do it right. The duo fly until they plow into Buggy who was still escaping, much to his surprise. His followers take it he was trying to do it deliberately to save them. Just as he gathering himself, Akainu fires a magma fist at them but is stopped by the Whitebeard commanders who comment and proclaim that they'll protect Luffy.
Buggy meanwhile trying to decide where to go with Sengoku and the Blackbeard Pirates fighting on one side and Akainu and the Whitebeard Pirates on another, during which Jinbe passes out from his wounds. However he suddenly notices a sub surfacing from the water outside Marineford. A figure calls out Buggy telling him to bring Luffy to him. When asked who he is, the figure reveals himself to be Trafalgar Law. He yells he is there to help Luffy as he is a doctor. The Marines notice Trafalgar Law and label him as Luffy's accomplice. Law is urging Buggy to get Luffy and Jinbe on board his submarine, Buggy questions who he is once more. The Marines immediately begin attacking Law's ship, while orders are given on the ground to divide the Marine's forces to attack the Blackbeard Pirates and the Whitebeard Pirates, more Marines begin emerging from trap doors that lead to underground passages. Blackbeard laughs and shakes up Marineford and the ocean around it, causing massive waves to flow around, with Jesus Burgess warning Blackbeard that they'll lose their footing if he continues on, while Blackbeard ignores it and threatens Garp and Sengoku that he is going to "close the book" on them like he did with Whitebeard.
Meanwhile, on the Sabaody Archipelago, an announcement is made to evacuate to the north side of the Archipelago to avoid tsunamis. In the midst of the war, Koby is crying, Helmeppo asking him why he is sad. Koby simply answers that a "voice" in his head has disappeared. He notices how the Marines are continuing to attack, even after completing their original goal of executing Ace. While he is thinking this, a nearby Marine is injured, another Marine goes to his side to help him only to be rejected by Akainu, saying they do not have time to treat the injured, much to the viewed shock of Tashigi and Smoker. Doberman commands the Marines to beat every last pirate down, Akainu once more stating that they cannot allow the "evil known as pirates" to exist.
Blackbeard is seen laughing some more, claiming that he will destroy everything. Elsewhere, while Buggy is flying in the air, he notices a gleam of light, as Kizaru shoots another laser beam in his direction. Fearing for his life, Buggy throws Jinbe and Luffy at the deck of Law's submarine. Bepo commands Jean Bart to grab them. Kizaru commends Law on escaping from him during the incident at Saobody Archipelago, and is about to attack him, until a shouting is heard. The shouting is revealed to be coming from Koby, who yells for everyone to stop fighting, since the Marines have families waiting for them, and lives are being wasted. He yells at how the Marines already accomplished their goal, how they are chasing pirates who do not wish to fight and are desiring war, and how they are abandoning injured Marines while they could be treated, finishing his speech with how any Marine that falls at this point is foolish. Akainu simply tells Koby that seconds have been wasted, and that the Marines do not need someone like this, and gets ready to kill him.
Before Akainu could strike Koby, from out of nowhere, Shanks interferes, blocking Akainu's magma fist with his sword. He tells Koby that his few seconds of courage, which he was willing to throw away his life for, have changed the fate of the world. Law takes this opportunity to hurry up and escape, with Kizaru about to attack again, until he is stopped by Benn Beckman, threatening to shoot Kizaru if he "moves a muscle". Shanks picks up his straw hat that Luffy had dropped, and says that he has arrived to put an end to the war.
The Marines loudly exclaim the presence of the Red Hair Pirates, as they wonder how Shanks' recent encounter with Kaidou the day before ended so quickly, and how he was able to arrive at Marineford so quickly. Shanks then calls Buggy to give Luffy his straw hat, and in return Shanks would give him a treasure map. Buggy quickly complies and heads towards Trafalgar Law's submarine, giving Law the straw hat.
Lucky Roux then asks Shanks if he is sure he does not want to see Luffy again, since it has been ten years since they last met, showing flashbacks of Shanks giving Luffy his straw hat. Shanks then answers, saying he would love to see Luffy again, but if he saw him now, that would break their promise. Akainu curses Shanks' name as Aokiji attempts to freeze the submarine over with Ice Age. Kizaru then decides to attack using Yasakani no Magatama, the submarine attempting to dive to escape Kizaru's attack. Kizaru then decides that if the Heart Pirates, Luffy, and Jinbe survive the attack, to give up for the time being. Worried, Boa Hancock forces orders for a Marine ship to chase the submarine, under the reason that "Straw Hat must be destroyed at all costs".
Buggy yells at Shanks for lying about the treasure map, Shanks justifying his lie that it was a spur of the moment, while Buggy continues to yell at Shanks, clearly holding his grudge. Buggy's followers comically admire Buggy's attitude towards Shanks, continuing to swear loyalty to him. Buggy then thinks that if he stays with the Red Hair Pirates, he will be able to get off the island safely. Shanks then orders Marco to withdraw in order to stop encouraging the battle. While this happens, Mihawk walks away, telling the Marines that he was only told to participate in the war against Whitebeard, and that fighting Shanks not being part of the agreement. Shanks threatens the Marines that if there are any others who wish to fight, then he and his crew will fight them. Upon asking Blackbeard, Teach quickly decides to postpone their battle, satisfied with getting what he wanted already, leaving shortly there after.
Shanks then tells the remaining Whitebeard Pirates and the Marines to save face for him, the Whitebeard Pirates mourning over the loss of Ace and Whitebeard, the Marines appearing indifferent. The Pacifistas stop, as well as the Warlords and the Marines halting in their actions. Shanks then tells the Marines that they will take their bodies, as he does not want their deaths to be exploited to the world due to the broadcast. In rebuttal, the Marines ask Sengoku on what to do, Sengoku quietly deciding to take responsibility for their actions, ordering for the Marines to tend to the wounded, following with Shanks' apology. With this, the "War on the Summit of Marineford", known as the greatest war since the Great Age of Pirates, has ended.
- The Marineford Arc is probably by far the biggest turn of events in One Piece history as it features the first two deaths of major characters in the current story line. In particular, the death of Emperor Whitebeard, along with the resignation of two Warlords of the Sea (Jinbe, and Teach) and one revoked (Moria), causes the loss of the balance of the Three Great Powers.
- Ace's father is revealed to be Gol D. Roger and more details come to light about how Ace became a member of the Whitebeard Pirates.
- It is revealed to the world that Luffy is Dragon's son and Garp's grandson.
- Ace is killed by Admiral Akainu, the third admiral to be introduced, which causes Luffy to fall into a coma until he recovers in Post-War Arc. Before his death, Ace mentioned Sabo, who is introduced in the flashbacks Luffy has after he awakes, and later plays a major role in the story.
- As revealed in the Dressrosa Arc, Ace's death would have an effect on Sabo who unknown to both Ace and Luffy at the time was still alive. As a result this helps Sabo recover his memories after being stricken with amnesia for ten years. It is also the reason why he is so determined to protect Luffy so he would not have to lose another "sworn brother".
- After Ace dies, Whitebeard predicts that someone will "come to inherit his will". This prediction later comes true as Sabo eats Ace's Devil Fruit after he dies and specifically voices his desire to inherit the late pirate's will, mirroring Whitebeard's prediction exactly.
- Marshall D. Teach is revealed to have recruited five new members into his crew from Level 6 of Impel Down: Sanjuan Wolf, Catarina Devon, Vasco Shot, Avalo Pizarro and Shiryu.
- The entire Blackbeard crew (except Sanjuan Wolf) attacks and kills Whitebeard.
- Blackbeard steals the Gura Gura no Mi's powers from Whitebeard's dead body by unknown means, thus becoming the first man ever to obtain the power of two Devil Fruits.
- Jinbe renounces his Warlord status and in the next arc after he parts ways with Luffy, he makes a promise that they will meet 2 years later in Fish-Man Island.
- It is insinuated that Ivankov had a past relationship with Bartholomew Kuma. Later, it is revealed that Kuma is a Revolutionary.
- Koby's Haki is activated for the first time in a way similar to Mantra. In the Post-War arc, it was revealed to be called Kenbunshoku Haki.
- Ace's death would cause his Devil Fruit, the Mera Mera no Mi, to resurface later and be in the possession of Donquixote Doflamingo in the Dressrosa Arc as a means to lure Luffy to him.
- Because of Blackbeard murdering Whitebeard, the remnants of the Whitebeard Pirates would later fight the Blackbeard Pirates one year after the war at Marineford. The Whitebeard Pirates suffered a complete defeat and have not been seen since.