Ship Design and Appearance
Like the other four ships seen under Whitebeard's command, the Moby Dick was a large battleship with a cachalot figurehead. It was, however, significantly larger than the other four and even than the already large Red Force, and as the name suggests, the whale figurehead was white. Also, while the other four ships were paddle-ships, the Moby Dick did not show any paddle-wheels on its sides. The ship was coated with special resin from Sabaody Archipelago, which allowed her to submerge all the way to Fish-Man Island at 10,000 meters below sea level.
With Whitebeard controlling a territory within the New World, the Moby Dick sailed through the waters of the second half of the Grand Line. Four years ago, she went to intercept the Spade Pirates after their captain and Jinbe fought.
After Rockstar, a member of Shanks' crew, had an audience with Whitebeard himself aboard the great vessel, the Moby Dick sailed to meet up with the Red Force so that Whitebeard and Shanks could talk properly. Upon breaking through a Marine blockade, the two ships met up so that their captains could discuss Teach and Ace.
After the meeting between the two captains, the Moby Dick continued her regular course. However, when it was reported that the captured Ace would be executed, the Moby Dick and the rest of Whitebeard's fleet was steered towards the locale of the anticipated execution, Marineford. Living up to Whitebeard's strength, the Moby Dick destroyed 23 Marine battleships simultaneously sent to hinder its progress as it drew closer.
Along with 43 other ships belonging to New World pirate crews subordinate to Whitebeard, the Moby Dick and the four other main ships of Whitebeard were coated and traveled to the first part of the Grand Line through Fish-Man Island. With this massive pirate fleet, Whitebeard's forces invaded Marineford on the day of the execution. Whitebeard's subordinate crews resurfaced after passing through the Red Line.
The Moby Dick and the three of the four other main ships continued traveling underwater until they arrived directly into the middle of the bay of Marineford, surprising the Marines. Having done so, the Moby Dick and the other ships bypassed the large battleship blockade surrounding the island. With the Moby Dick and the rest of Whitebeard's forces arriving in Marineford, the battle to save Ace began.
When Admiral Aokiji froze the entire sea to trap all the ships, Marines started to open fire against the Moby Dick, with the intention to sink it, and Dracule Mihawk slashed at the vessel, but all attempts were negated by the crew. Halfway through the war, when the Marines had set the siege wall to entrap the pirates, Admiral Akainu rained lava on the pirates to melt the ice. Several of the meteors struck the Moby Dick, setting the ship ablaze and ultimately leading to its destruction, much to Whitebeard's sorrow and the crew's fury, as the ship had served them for decades. As the Moby Dick burned and sank, Whitebeard apologized for being unable to save it.
Anime and Manga Differences
Originally in the anime, the Moby Dick's figurehead and stern were colored blue like a regular blue whale, like the other paddle ships of the Whitebeard Pirates. It also has less cannons on the starboard in its debut, making the ship look visually smaller than later on. Later in the anime however, the figurehead was changed to white in order to match the manga, and the ship was given more cannons on the side to make it look bigger.
Another difference shown in the anime is that when Akainu set the Moby Dick on fire, the Whitebeard Pirates tried to put it out, but ultimately failed when more meteors came raining down. This scene was not shown in the manga, as the ship simply burned as the crew watched in fury.
- The ship's name and design is based on the classic tale "Moby Dick", where the titular character was a white sperm whale. Ironically, the original Moby Dick was victim to coloring issues, being described as having a white head leading most artists to depict it as a totally white whale.
- Aside from the Moby Dick, the Whitebeard Pirates possess at least four ships of similar design, but with a blue coloring and paddles on the sides.
- One Piece Yellow: Grand Elements, The Moby Dick's name is revealed.
- One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 45 Chapter 433 and Episode 316, The Moby Dick and the Red Force met up.
- One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 56 Chapter 551 and Episode 460, The Moby Dick and the rest of Whitebeard's forces arrive in Marineford.
- One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 58 Chapters 564–565 and Episodes 473–474, The Moby Dick is destroyed by Admiral Akainu.
- One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 56 Chapter 551 and Episode 460, The Moby Dick uses the resin from Sabaody Archipelago.
- Moby Dick – Wikipedia article about the novel and the whale the ship is named after.