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A pirate is, broadly speaking, any professional criminal that operates wholly or partially on the world's seas, especially people conducting robbery by ship. In most, if not all, cases they lead or belong to a group of like-minded criminals, known as a crew.

Though not the only existing type of criminal, pirates appear to comprise most of the world's significant bounty heads, and—with the possible exception of the Revolutionary Army—constitute the strongest opposition to the authority of the World Government and Marines.

The first pirate in history was Joy Boy, who sailed 900 years ago during the Void Century.[1]


While the English word "pirate" is derived from the Latin pirata ("pirate, corsair, sea robber") and Greek πειρατής (peiratēs: "brigand"), the Japanese word for pirate, kaizoku, is comprised of the kanji for "sea/ocean" (?) and "thief/robber" (?), in analogy to such terms as "bandit" (盗賊, tōzoku?).


On the Blue Sea below, there are a class of people called "pirates"... they are criminals who sail the seas in search of plunder. These people fly a black flag with a skull atop their ship's mast.
— Gan Fall[2]

In the world of One Piece, perhaps the trait most universal to pirates, beside their sea-going activities and general defiance of the law, is the Jolly Roger, a skull-and-crossbones symbol depicting intimidation, usually flown on black flags at the top of a pirate ship's mast, as well as on its sails. The Jolly Roger has countless variants, each pirate group designing their own versions of the flag to represent their crew. The overall connotations of such a symbol is strong enough that the Marines have been known to attack ships flying it on sight, even if those onboard are not identified with any particular bounty or crime.[3]

While the majority of pirates are male humans, it is not unheard of for women (e.g. Big Mom, Alvida, Nami, Nico Robin, Jewelry Bonney), fish-men and merfolk (e.g. Arlong Pirates, Sun Pirates, New Fish-Man Pirates), giants (e.g. Dorry, Brogy, Sanjuan Wolf), Minks (e.g. Bepo), and even non-sapient animals (e.g. Richie, Momoo) to also sail under a Jolly Roger and attain comparable reputations.

Pirates are stereotypically portrayed as greedy, violent and ruthless, willing to hurt innocent people and destroy property to gain what they want, be it treasure, power, or or even simply for personal fun. For this reason, civilians typically fear and detest pirates out of pure principle, even if they have never met one in person before.

In reality, there are two different types of pirates; the first, are those who embodied the stereotype of pirates and the other are the adventurers; pirates who chose this life simply for adventures or to fulfill their dreams, a good example of this, are the Whitebeard Pirates and the Straw Hat Pirates, who care nothing for treasure or material possessions and value their crew above all else. As such, some law-abiding individuals and communities are known to romanticize pirates, or at least tolerate them within reason:

  • Monkey D. Luffy's hometown, Foosha Village, served as a safe haven for the Red Hair Pirates for over a year, strongly influencing Luffy's own childhood dream to become a pirate. The village continues to celebrate, publicize and take pride in Luffy's accomplishments, with only the town's mayor objecting.
    • The other Straw Hat Pirates' hometowns are also known to welcome certain pirates, even if they have faced cruel treatment by pirates in the past (e.g., Cocoyasi Village).
  • Water 7's shipyards are entirely willing to service pirates as long as their shipbuilding prices are met, and no violence is threatened. The mayor himself owns the Galley-La Company, which built the Straw Hat Pirates' ship.
  • Fish-Man Island freely welcomes pirates as tourists, despite the ongoing problem of pirates kidnapping merfolk and fish-men to sell as slaves. The island was also protected by the Whitebeard Pirates until their disbandment, and later became protected by Big Mom, and is currently protected by the Straw Hat Pirates.
  • Skypiea, Fish-Man Island, and Dressrosa idolize the Straw Hat Pirates as heroes for defeating other malevolent figures who posed even greater threats to their respective communities.
  • Some communities rely on pirate crews for protection against other criminals, though only the most powerful crews are capable of doing this. For example, the Whitebeard Pirates protected many territories and islands up to its dissolution, and the Wano Country was previously protected by the Beasts Pirates under the Kurozumi shogunate. After Kaidou's defeat and the death of Kurozumi Orochi, the Kozuki Family resumed control of Wano, and it is implied that it is now under the Straw Hat Pirates' protection.

Generally, the Marines do not pursue otherwise law-abiding people simply for aiding or associating with pirates, though exceptions can and have been made for particularly notorious cases. They do tend to discourage children from admiring pirates or pursuing such a career, and undercover Marine Donquixote Rosinante even tormented children to dissuade them from joining the Donquixote Pirates while working undercover among the crew. However, ironically, the World Government itself is often directly or indirectly responsible for instigating people to become pirates or live a life of crime.

Nico Robin is the only survivor of the island Ohara, which was destroyed due to its residents studying the Poneglyphs. Hiding the truth from the world, the Government gave her a bounty of 79,000,000 belly at the age of eight, forcing her to live a life of crime to survive. Another very similar case is Trafalgar Law, who is the only survivor of the kingdom of Flevance, which was destroyed by Amber Lead Syndrome. Despite knowing that the ore was poisonous and toxic, neither the royal family nor the World Government bothered to warn the citizens and this in turn led to the entire country becoming sick, quarantined and killed by neighboring countries, with Law being the only survivor. This traumatic experience left him so psychologically unstable that it transformed him into a cruel, merciless, angry and cynical child, wanting to become a pirate to destroy as many lives as possible before his seemingly inevitable death.

As being a pirate is a serious crime in the eyes of the World Government, pirates are assigned bounties. The stronger the pirate is in combat, or the more serious the crimes they have committed, the higher their bounty will be. Depending on their bounties, captured pirates are either sent to prisons such as Impel Down or given public executions. While not all pirates enjoy having a bounty on their head, a number of them take pride of the notoriety that comes with it, even going as far to try increasing it by taking down other notable combatants in order to gain evil fame (邪悪な名声, Jaakuna meisei?).[4]

It also seems that many members of the World Government and Marines know that not all pirates are bad; Despite being enemies under the law, Koby and Luffy are close friends and trust and respect each other a lot. Garp also states that he did not hate Roger, who was the Pirate King and the biggest threat to the World Government when he was alive, Roger even entrusted Garp with the safety of his unborn child. The Five Elders also recognize that Shanks, one of the Four Emperors, is a pacifist by nature who would not cause trouble in the world just for fun.[citation needed] The World Government also tries to prevent any news of any heroic act done by pirates from spreading throughout the world; The World Government gave Smoker and Tashigi credit for defeating and capturing Crocodile and saving the kingdom of Arabasta, when in fact, the ones responsible were the Straw Hat Pirates.

As noted by Nami, the government makes pirates scapegoats, making them appear responsible for all the crimes and problems in the world, while the World Government is viewed favorably as the protectors of the people by the general population. But ironically and hypocritically, because of the "Heavenly Tribute" that countries affiliated with the World Government must pay for protection, many poor countries or communities must rely on the protection of pirates themselves to protect them from other criminals or threats. The Four Emperors, for example, have many territories under their protection.

Though it is rare, occasionally there are pirates that form single-person crews and sail the seas solo, without ever gathering crewmates. Prime examples of these are the former Warlords Bartholomew Kuma and Dracule Mihawk.


See also the associated category: Pirate Crews.

Virtually all pirates exist as part of a pirate crew (海賊団, kaizokudan?), comprising of other pirates willing to operate under the same Jolly Roger. Inside a crew, everyone is responsible for certain duties, some related to the leadership of the crew, and others related to specific professions that are crucial to keep the crew operational.

Leadership positions include:

  • Captain (船長, Senchō?), who is the highest-ranking leader of the crew and decides (or at least has final authority) on all major actions taken by the crew. The Captain also often possesses the greatest combat ability and notoriety out of the entire crew.
    • In some cases, a captain can be called Admiral (提督, Teitoku?), if the crew owns several ships or commands many subordinate crews.
  • First Mate or Vice-Captain (副船長, Fuku Senchō?), who is second-in-command of the crew. The First Mate advises the captain, relays orders to the rest of the crew, and usually assumes authority in the captain's absence. The First Mate also often possesses the second greatest combat ability and notoriety out of the entire crew. The position is usually held by the first crew mate the captain recruited when the crew was founded.
  • Chief of Staff or Staff Officer (参謀, Sanbō?), who serves the Captain and First Mate as a liaison to their subordinates. The Chief of Staff is usually next in line to take over as Captain after the First Mate.
  • Officers (幹部, Kanbu?), usually seen in a larger pirate crew, are a select few elite combatants who command the lower-ranked members of the crew.
    • In some crews, the officers are further divided into higher (elite) and lower (regular) officers. The higher officers are stronger and hold authority over the lower-ranked officers.

Other positions common to pirate crews include:

  • Combatants (戦闘員, Sentō-in?), who specialize in fighting and, depending on the crew's size and focus, may or may not have other skills. Different types of combatants include, but are not limited to:
    • Swordsmen (剣士, Kenshi?), who specialize in using swords for combat.
    • Snipers (狙撃手, Sogekishu?), who specialize in using ranged weapons, such as firearms, a slingshot, or a bow and arrow.
    • Martial Artists (格闘家, Kakutōka?), who specialize in utilizing their own bodies for combat, using punches, kicks, and other melee attacks.
    • Assassins (殺し屋, Koroshi-ya?), who are usually sent to neutralize a specific target for the crew's purposes. Their skills, weapons, and combat techniques can vary. Unlike the other types of combatants, assassins actually go looking for their enemies, whereas other combatants more often fight as needed when their opponents come to them.
  • Navigators (航海士, Kōkaishi?), who are in charge of planning the ships course to their next destination and making sure the ship safely avoids obstacles, like storms.
  • Cooks (料理人, Ryōrinin?), whose purpose is to prepare meals to keep the crew fed.
  • Doctors (医者, Isha?), whose purpose is to keep their crew mates healthy, treating illnesses with medicine and bandaging any injuries they sustain.
  • Shipwrights (船大工, Funadaiku?), who are in charge of maintaining, repairing, and upgrading the crew's ship.
  • Helmsmen (操舵手, Sōda-shu?), who take the ships helm and steer the ship at the navigator's instruction.
  • Lookouts (見張り台, Mihari-dai?), who keep an eye out for things like islands, enemy ships, or changes in the weather and inform the rest of the crew when such things are near. They usually keep watch from a high vantage point, like the ships crow's nest.
  • Musicians (音楽家, Ongakuka?), who specialize in playing music to keep the crew entertained, given that the crew's daily duties can be monotonous.
  • Scholars (学者, Gakusha?), who act as researchers for the crew, providing an intellectual perspective and information that could prove useful to the crew's operations. Scholar types include:
    • Archaeologists (考古学者, Kōkogakusha?), who specialize in the historical study of past cultures and ancient ruins.
    • Scientists (科学者, Kagakusha?), who specialize in several areas, like engineering, chemistry, and biology, to help the crew with their creations and knowledge.

There are other positions on a pirate crew as well. They are less common and less obvious. Such positions include:

  • Apprentices (見習い, Minarai?), recruited at a young age, who may be used for anything from unpleasant chores to open combat.[5][6] Though the position carries little authority or respect in itself, it can serve as a valuable opportunity for future pirates to develop their skills and gain added notoriety.[7][8]
  • Ship Guards, who specialize in protecting the ship, preventing it from taking damage. They usually stay aboard the ship even when the rest of the crew heads ashore or goes into battle.[9][10]
  • Pets (ペット, Petto?), animals who usually serve as companions, but can also be combatants depending on their abilities.

Usually, a pirate crew recruits new members at the sole discretion of the captain, who may set strict, objective standards (e.g., Demaro Black of the Fake Straw Hat Crew demanding only captains strong enough to have earned a bounty of Beli70,000,000 or more, or Charlotte Linlin of the Big Mom Pirates demanding new recruits create marriage ties to her blood relations). Other crews may have no standards at all besides personal fondness for the individual.

Some captains may also force unwilling individuals to join their crew; Koby was taken as a slave by the Alvida Pirates and forced to be a cabin boy, and the Beasts Pirates are known to gain power by capturing previous enemies and forcing them to serve Kaidou. Furthermore, the traditional pirate game known as the Davy Back Fight allows the winning captain to poach crew members from the losing crew, who must change their allegiance without complaint.

Pirate crews tend to be named after their captain, whether directly (e.g. the Roger Pirates, the Krieg Pirates and the Barto Club) or through an epithet or personal motif (e.g. the Red Hair Pirates, the Straw Hat Pirates, the Whitebeard Pirates and the Heart Pirates). Some crews are named after a common race or origin shared by all members (e.g. the Giant Warrior Pirates, the Kuja Pirates and the New Fish-Man Pirates) or a symbol which the captain feels represents the crew (e.g. the Black Cat Pirates, the Sun Pirates and the Beasts Pirates).

Some pirate crews pledge themselves subordinate (傘下, sanka?, "under the umbrella") to another, more powerful crew. In practice, this means that the subordinate crews are loyal to the higher captain but are otherwise free to act independently under their own captain.[11] Examples of subordinate crews include the 43 subordinate crews of the Whitebeard Pirates, and the Bellamy Pirates under the Donquixote Pirates.


See also the associated category: Pirate Ships.

All but the newest (or poorest) of pirates sail on specialized ships, usually custom-built, that bear their corresponding Jolly Roger on its mainsail and/or flags; in most cases, the figurehead is also customized to reflect the captain's epithet or personal motif. Apart from this, a pirate ship may be of any size and equipped with any level of technology and weaponry, depending on the skills and materials available to—and ambitions of—its crew. Most ships use cannons as their primary means of defense, though ships such as Thousand Sunny has been equipped with various other enhancements and features.

Of course, as criminals, very few pirates have qualms about stealing or hijacking new ships when the need arises. Don Krieg, for instance, was infamous for using civilian and Marine ships to facilitate sneak attacks. However, some pirate crews treat their ship as a member of their own crew, especially considering how some ships can be sentient beings themselves.


A sign of a pirate's power is their ability to gain territory from a small island to a base over several villages. Often, to stay out of sight, they will keep their base hidden like the Kid and Fire Tank Pirates.

Because of their great power, many of the Seven Warlords of the Sea became known as celebrities within their respective countries up to the program's dissolution. On the other hand, the Four Emperors tend to have from islands to archipelagos under their control.

While some have managed to rule as royals over their territories[12][13][14] there have yet to be a regime of pirates.[15][16][17]

Categories and Classes[]

You and I are not the same class of pirate...!
— Crocodile

While pirates operate in all of the world's known seas, different crews can vary sharply in power, scope, and notoriety. These disparities are often reflected by a crew's area of operation:

Eleven Supernovas One day

The Supernovas of the Worst Generation (without Luffy and Zoro).

  • Those who successfully enter the first half of the Grand Line are commonly deemed rookies (ルーキー, Rūkī?) and paid more serious attention by the World Government and older pirates, though not universally.[20]
    • Rookie pirates with bounties surpassing Beli100,000,000 are deemed exceptional, and categorized as Super Rookies or Supernovas (超新星, Chōshinsei?).[21] Eleven particularly powerful pirates became known as part of the Worst Generation, though they are by no means the only ones.[22]
Whitebeard and Roger

Roger and Whitebeard, two "greats" widely accepted as the most-wanted pirates in history.

It should be noted that these designations are largely informal, with (at best) vague parameters.[28] They stand in contrast to the more formalized categories and titles listed below.

Seven Warlords[]

Seven Warlords of the Sea Infobox

All known pirates who once held the title of Warlord.

The Seven Warlords of the Sea (王下七武海, Ōka Shichibukai?, lit. "Royal Seven Martial Seas") were a selection of seven pirates legally sanctioned by the World Government. While not employees or officials per se, they are allowed to pursue most pirate activities without threat of arrest (their bounties being frozen), along with a number of other privileges. In return, they are expected to further the World Government's interests, mainly by giving over a share of their plunder (and, implicitly, making other pirates their main targets).[29][30]

Warlords are recruited somewhat arbitrarily, but always with a focus on power and notoriety; as such, they are widely feared (and/or reviled as "government dogs") by most other pirates. Nevertheless, they vary widely in abilities, methodologies, and personalities, some operating alone while others maintain full crews and are even acknowledged as legitimate sovereigns.

Warlords who abuse their power and use it against member kingdoms of the World Government may have their privileges stripped and arrested. Such abuse of power is viewed as a heinous crime and arrested Warlords are typically given harsh sentences in Impel Down.

After Crocodile and Donquixote Doflamingo were both discovered to be abusing their privileges and directly undermining member kingdoms of the World Government (Arabasta and Dressrosa, respectively), the Council of Kings instated a complete abolition of the system, revoking all privileges of existing Warlords, making them fugitive again, and reactivating their bounties.[31]

Four Emperors[]

Main article: Four Emperors
All Yonko Teased

Five known pirates that have held a position among the Four Emperors.

The Four Emperors (四皇, Yonkō?) are a group of four highly recognized New World pirate captains who are regarded as the strongest pirates in the world. Of the seven known pirates to hold this title, three were formerly members of the infamous Rocks crew. There is a strong degree of overlap between the Four Emperors and those who are considered Great Pirates, with the original four all being known as such. As the strongest and most influential pirates in the world, a certain level of strength and prestige is needed to be recognized as an Emperor. The Four Emperors and their subordinates are considered one of the Three Great Powers of the world, along with the Marines and (formerly) Seven Warlords of the Sea.

Pirates regarded as emperors are extremely powerful as combatants, captain notoriously strong (and often large) crews, and hold immense levels of influence over the politics of the New World. Typically, emperors will own territories; they may either be the official rulers of their territories or give the rule to puppet leaders but maintain de facto rule. In addition to this, it is not uncommon for pirates of this level to have other notable crews serving under their own as subordinates.

The title of Fifth Emperor (5番目の皇帝 Gobanme no Kōtei) was unofficially given to Monkey D. Luffy by Morgans of the World Economy News Paper following his confrontation with Big Mom in Totto Land. It should be noted that this title is both unofficial and unrecognized by the World Government or the Marines. Additionally, Luffy officially became one of the Four Emperors after the events of the Raid on Onigashima, after he formed an alliance which defeated two other Emperors, Big Mom and Kaidou.

With the positions of emperors having a vacancy after Kaidou and Big Mom's falling, the positions were given to Monkey D. Luffy and Buggy respectively.

Pirates considered emperors of the New World are known to have many extremely impressive feats under their belt. Red-Haired Shanks, the second most recent addition to the Four Emperors, is known to have regularly dueled against the greatest swordsman in the world prior to losing his arm. Edward Newgate was widely known as the late Pirate King's career-long rival. All pirates to be referred to as emperors hold extremely high bounties, all of which exceed one billion belly. Currently, the Emperor with the highest bounty is Kaidou, who was dubbed the Strongest Creature in the World. However, the status of his bounty remains unclear as it is uncertain whether he is still alive. When fully assembled, a pirate crew of this level may even be strong enough to stand a chance in a battle against the entire Marine force and Seven Warlords of the Sea, as demonstrated during the Summit War of Marineford.

Pirate King[]

Roger Before Execution

Gol D. Roger, known to most as "Gold Roger", the former "Pirate King".

The Pirate King (海賊王, Kaizoku-Ō?, also called King of the Pirates in the English versions) is a title applied to the greatest pirate alive. The only pirate known to have officially held this title is Gol D. Roger, who intrinsically linked it with the mythical treasure known as One Piece.[32] Following his death, there is no current holder of this title and pirates now battle against each other to earn the title.

Before his death, Roger hid the One Piece in an unknown location—popularly believed to be Laugh Tale, the final island of the Grand Line. The frenzy over discovering and owning such an immense treasure sparked the "Great Age of Pirates." The title of Pirate King will be given to the next person to find the treasure.

During the last portion of his life, Edward "Whitebeard" Newgate was generally acknowledged as the man closest to being the next Pirate King, though he admitted to having no interest in the title at all. One of the Seven Warlords of the Sea, Donquixote Doflamingo, believed that had Whitebeard truly wanted to become the Pirate King, he would have already. Many of Luffy's allies, such as Vivi and Koby, believe that he is destined to become the Pirate King, as he shares many similarities with Gold Roger; Kokoro also addressed Luffy as the Pirate King[33] and Shakuyaku has stated that both she and Silvers Rayleigh were rooting for Luffy to achieve this goal.[34]

The reasons for a person wanting to obtain the title Pirate King vary; individuals like Buggy, Gecko Moria and Blackbeard wish to acquire it for power and influence, while others like Luffy and formerly Crocodile simply hold this goal as a personal dream. The Four Emperors are considered the most likely candidates for this title due to their sheer strength. Among them, Blackbeard, Big Mom and Kaidou have shown interest in earning the title. Luffy seem to only want it for the adventures that are involved with locating the One Piece.

The Pirate King is said to be the ruler of the sea, something that Luffy confirmed when asked about it by Enel. However, Luffy also noted that the Pirate King is not the most powerful or wealthiest person in the world, but simply the person with the most freedom on the sea. Rayleigh notes that Gold Roger also held a similar belief.[35]

One thing is for certain; the journey to become the next Pirate King is very long and dangerous. Mihawk states that such a goal is far more difficult than challenging him for the title of the "Greatest Swordsman in the World." After the death of Portgas D. Ace at the hands of Akainu, Luffy considered giving up his dream after seeing how powerless he was until he was reminded of those who believed in him by Jinbe.

The title of Pirate King is not limited to men, as Big Mom pursued the title despite being a woman.[36]

History of Piracy[]

Before the Great Pirate Era[]

Pirates have been present in the world for at least 900 years; with the first known pirate being a figure known as Joy Boy.[1] The oldest known group of pirates mentioned were the ones of Dorry and Brogy over one hundred years ago. However, despite pirates existing back then, none became noteworthy enough to have a major influence on the world.

During the Void Century, a time period whose information has been heavily censored by the World Government, a mysterious figure known as Joy Boy left a mysterious treasure on the final island of the Grand Line. This treasure would become the target of many pirates, but this treasure would remain unfound for another eight hundred years.

Several centuries later, approximately forty years ago, the Rocks Pirates became an extremely prominent pirate crew, comprising many people who would later become recognized pirates themselves. However, Xebec was defeated by another pirate, Gol D. Roger, and his coalition with the Marines. Rocks' crew disbanded, and many members would form their own pirate crews and accrue wealth and power. Meanwhile, Roger would become the first pirate to find Joy Boy's treasure, and the first person to become the Pirate King.[37]

Shortly after becoming the Pirate King, the ill Gol D. Roger would turn himself into the Marines, where he was sentenced to death. However, during his public execution, he declared that he, much like Joy Boy, had hidden his treasure for the next Pirate King to find. This led to the proliferation of new pirate crews seeking the treasure Roger left behind and marking the beginning of the Great Pirate Era.

The Great Pirate Era[]

The Great Pirate Era (大海賊時代, Dai Kaizoku Jidai?) saw an unprecedented increase of pirate activity throughout all seas of the world.[citation needed] However, the world of piracy would become dominated by three prominent pirates formerly serving under Xebec: Edward Newgate (Whitebeard), Kaidou, and Charlotte Linlin (Big Mom). These three infamous pirates, as well as the young addition Red-Haired Shanks, would go on to form the Four Emperors, four extremely powerful pirates considered to be the strongest contenders for the title of Pirate King.

Over the next several decades, the old figures of the pre-pirate age began to disappear due to the span of time.[38] This left fewer and fewer people aware of the days of piracy before Roger's death. Many old values shared by the pirates of the pre-pirate age began to decline. Even once commonly sung songs such as Binks' Sake have begun to fade out of memory, save from the minds of those who still remember the old days of piracy (such as Brook and Shanks).[39] Although newer pirates still adopt these values, some went in their own direction and their own vision of a "New Era"; for instance, Bellamy's vision of a New Era involved ignoring legendary treasures in favor of readily-available treasures which were already plentiful. Although the Four Emperors remained the most powerful figures in the pirating world, it is during this time that younger pirates, dubbed "rookies," would emerge. Eleven particularly powerful rookies became part of what is known as the Worst Generation.

In response to the increase of pirate activity, the World Government formed the Seven Warlords of the Sea, a group of seven government-sanctioned pirates who would hunt down criminals the government viewed as a threat. However, this program was largely ineffective in stopping many influential pirates from taking the world stage. Furthermore, the credibility of this program was harmed by Crocodile, who abused his privileges to facilitate an attempted coup-d'état against the Arabasta Kingdom, only to be stopped by a criminal pirate, Monkey D. Luffy.

The Great Pirate Era ended with the Summit War of Marineford. This occurred because the Marines successfully captured Portgas D. Ace, one of Whitebeard's closest confidants and division commanders. This led to an intense war on the Marine Headquarters of Marineford, which ultimately ended with both Ace and Whitebeard's deaths; Whitebeard would be replaced by Marshall D. Teach ("Blackbeard") as an Emperor. Despite the war ending in an overwhelming victory for the Marines, Whitebeard's last words confirmed the existence of the One Piece. This declaration reignited the pursuit of Roger's legendary treasure, and yet again inspired new pirates to emerge in search of the treasure. This would mark the end of the old Great Pirate Era and the beginning of the New Age.

Even the people of Luffy's hometown noted the increase in pirate activity in the seas after the war. To counter this, it has been stated that the Marines have now been granted unprecedented power by the World Government.[40]

The New Age[]

Chapter 693

The Straw Hat Pirates, Heart Pirates, and other "major players" of the New Age.

The New Age (新時代, Shin Jidai?) is an era lasting from the Summit War up to the present day. It is during this era that the original Four Emperors would experience a decline in power and be replaced by the quickly rising pirates of the Worst Generation.

As such, the World Government began to grant increased power to the Marines to combat the ever-growing number of pirates. The Marines' fleet admiral Sengoku retired and was replaced by Sakazuki, who would implement even more stringent policies against piracy. As the rookie pirates advance closer to the One Piece, Sakazuki would reposition Marine Headquarters to the New World to allow for better law enforcement.

Despite this, the World Government would continue to lose power. One of the Seven Warlords, Donquixote Doflamingo, who ran an illegal operation with Kaidou of the Four Emperors in order to produce an army of SMILE users, attempted to destroy the entire Kingdom of Dressrosa and, much like Crocodile two years prior, was defeated by Luffy and stripped of his title. As this was the second time a Warlord abused their privileges to commit heinous public crimes, the world elites decided to disband the Seven Warlords.[41] This contributed to an even greater power imbalance in the world and was a significant blow to the World Government's power, though they now intend to implement the new SSG to supplant the seven pirates who were dismissed from their positions.[42]

Perhaps the most influential event affecting the pirating world was the Raid on Onigashima, an intense battle in which a coalition comprising six members of the Worst Generation collaborated and successfully defeated both Kaidou and Big Mom. The fall of two of the Four Emperors marked the point where old pirate veterans became fully overtaken by young pirates.

Currently, the Four Emperors are Blackbeard, Shanks, Buggy and Luffy, the latter of which is suspected to possess the will of Joy Boy. All four of these pirates are growing ever closer to finding Roger's treasure, and it is apparent the pirating world as a whole is moving farther and farther out of the government's hands, with pirates everywhere seeming less and less mindful of the government.

Early One Piece[]

As conceived in Eiichiro Oda's Romance Dawn, Version 1, pirates are formally divided into two classes:

  • Peace Main (ピースメイン, Pīsu Mein?)
  • Morganeer (モーガニア, Mōgania?).

These terms were once again mentioned in Romance Dawn, Version 2, however, they are not mentioned in One Piece itself. This is largely because while some pirates display these original concepts, most pirates are a combination of the two.

Peace Main[]

A peace main is a pirate who goes on adventures and does not really care about treasure or fighting other pirates. That is not to say that they would not steal and fight other pirates at all, but their primary goal is usually not to own it and greed is generally not their motivation. More often than not, a peace main pirate sees his or her own crew as their most valuable treasure. It should be noted that both of the words "peace" and "piece" have the same katakana spelling in Japanese ("ピース"), however, it is unknown if this connection was intentional. Peace Main generally fund themselves through the pillaging of Morganeers and Marines or the support of territories and people they have friendly relations with.


A morganeer fights for treasure and personal ambition. They are greedy, love to fight, and often enjoy causing other people pain and misery. Many pirates that Luffy and his crew meet are morganeers. Luffy dislikes them and only wants to recruit peace main pirates. The peace main pirates generally only steal from morganeers, so it is safe to say that relations between the two types of pirates are not the best.

See also[]

  • Bandits: Criminals that operate exclusively on land instead of sea, supposedly the antitheses of pirates.[43]
  • Underworld: A vast network of criminals, operating primarily in the New World, that facilitates slavery, mercenary and assassin work, illegal arms development, and smuggling—any one of which may involve pirates as clients, targets, or executors.


  • In One Piece, the Seven Warlords of the Sea are based on real world privateers. A privateer was a pirate with papers. As the name suggests, privateers were private individuals commissioned by governments to carry out quasi-military activities. They would sail in privately owned armed ships, robbing merchant vessels and pillaging settlements belonging to a rival country. Privateers sometimes went beyond their commissions, attacking vessels that did not belong to the targeted country. This extracurricular raiding and pillaging was indistinguishable from piracy.[44] The Happo Navy also had a similar deal with the Kano Country,[45] until they cut ties with their country.[46] The Straw Hats themselves have done things similar to privateering such as fighting Crocodile and the Baroque Works for Arabasta where initially, Nami only agreed to protect Vivi for a price.
  • The "Great Pirate Era" established by Gol D. Roger, is based on the real world's own golden age of piracy.
  • "Pirate King" was a real historical title used by powerful Japanese pirates who operated in the Inland Sea,[47] as well as a nickname for individuals who obtained big fame for his achievements as a pirate and inspired others to go out to sea, such as Henry Every.
  • In the last installment of One Para, Eiichiro Oda stated that he has deliberately avoided designing any pirates with their most stereotypical pop-culture element: the eyepatch. However, he went on to state that this was not out of personal dislike, and that one of the manga's final scenes would indeed feature an eyepatch-wearing character.


  1. 1.0 1.1 One Piece Manga — Chapter 1114.
  2. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 27 Chapter 248 and Episode 162, Gan Fall explains the concept of pirates (apparently unknown in most of Skypiea) to Conis and Pagaya.
  3. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 5 Chapter 43 and Episode 20, Fullbody orders his men to fire on the Going Merry, after acknowledging the Straw Hat Pirates as "unknowns" with no real criminal record (though in the manga, Johnny and Yosaku—technically passengers of the Straw Hats—had tried to attack him first).
  4. SBS One Piece Manga — Vol. 64 (p. 66).
  5. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 3 Chapter 19 (p. 7-18) and Episode 8, Buggy recalls his apprentice days with Shanks, and how they had raided another ship with the crew's adults.
  6. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 52 Chapter 506 (p. 16-17) and Episode 400, Rayleigh confirms that Shanks and Buggy had been apprentices in the Roger Pirates.
  7. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 95 Chapter 957 (p. 15-16) and Episode 958, Kaidou is said to have been an apprentice in the Rocks Pirates.
  8. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 95 Chapter 963 (p. 14-15) and Episode 962, Whitey Bay states that Marco used to be an apprentice in the Whitebeard Pirates.
  9. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 4 Chapter 30 (p. 18) and Episode 12, The Nyaban Brothers are still aboard the Bezan Black during the Black Cat Pirates' attack on Syrup Village.
  10. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 4 Chapter 31 (p. 13-14) and Episode 13, The Nyaban Brothers make their debut.
  11. SBS One Piece Manga — Vol. 59 (p. 96), Oda explains the Whitebeard Pirates' subordinate crews.
  12. One Piece Manga — Vol. 53 Chapter 515 (p. 18-19).
  13. One Piece Manga — Vol. 70 Chapter 699 (p. 10).
  14. One Piece Manga — Vol. 83 Chapter 829 (p. 17-18).
  15. One Piece Manga — Vol. 21 Chapter 193 (p. 10-11).
  16. One Piece Manga — Vol. 98 Chapter 985 (p. 18).
  17. One Piece Manga — Vol. 107 Chapter 1080 (p. 6).
  18. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 6 Chapter 51 (p. 4) and Episode 24, Mihawk explains to Zoro that the East Blue is the tamest of the seas, hence his disinterest in Zoro's reputation.
  19. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 9 Chapter 79 (p. 12) and Episode 36, Genzo laments that Marine Headquarters would never expend resources and effort on a pirate in an East Blue backwater—even one with ties to a veteran Grand Line pirate.
  20. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 20 Chapter 178 (p. 19) and Episode 110, Crocodile belittles Luffy as "a mouthy rookie" after impaling him.
  21. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 51 Chapter 498 (p. 10-11) and Episode 392, Shakky explains the concept of Supernovas to the Straw Hats.
  22. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 71 Chapter 706 (p. 2) and Episode 636, The Corrida Colosseum introduces Bartolomeo as a "Screw-Loose Supernova" (イカレた超新星?).
  23. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 3 Chapter 25 (p. 16) and Episode 9, Usopp refers to Shanks as a Great Pirate.
  24. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 25 Chapter 234 (p. 12-13) and Episode 151, Introduction box: The Great Pirate "Whitebeard" Edward Newgate.
  25. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 66 Chapter 651 (p. 12-13) and Episode 571, Introduction box: The Great Pirate "Big Mom" Charlotte Linlin.
  26. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 70 Chapter 697 (p. 17) and Episode 623, Law refers to Kaidou as a Great Pirate.
  27. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 95 Chapter 964 (p. 17) and Episode 964, Introduction box: The Great Pirate Gold Roger.
  28. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 80 Chapter 800 (p. 3) and Episode 745, Bartolomeo claims that Luffy would be acknowledged as one of the Great Pirates with the Grand Fleet as subordinates.
  29. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 8 Chapter 69 and Episode 31, Yosaku explains the basic concept of Warlords to Luffy and Sanji, and how Jinbe had used the position to leverage Arlong's freedom.
  30. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 63 Chapter 624 (p. 12-16) and Episode 544, A flashback examines Jinbe's induction into the Warlords—and his negotiation of Arlong's release from Impel Down—in deeper detail.
  31. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 95 Chapter 956 and Episode 957.
  32. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 1 Chapter 2 and Episode 1, Koby tells Luffy he needs to find One Piece to become Pirate King.
  33. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 45 Chapter 431 and Episode 313, Kokoro calls Luffy the Pirate King.
  34. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 51 Chapter 498 and Episode 392, Shakuyaku says she's rooting for Luffy.
  35. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 0 Chapter 0 (p. 5) and Episode 0, Gol D. Roger refuses Gold Lion Shiki's offer to join him and rule the world.
  36. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 84 Chapter 847 and Episode 813, Big Mom mentions her desire to become Pirate King.
  37. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 90 Chapter 907 (p. 6) and Episode 887, Hina and Garp discuss Rocks and prospect of their return to power.
  38. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 45 Chapter 434 and Episode 316, Whitebeard: "Few know the seas from back then".
  39. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 50 Chapter 486 and Episode 378, Information on Binks' Sake is given.
  40. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 60 Chapter 590 and Episode 505, "For the past few days we've been seeing pirate ships on the coast, we cannot even sleep".
  41. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 95 Chapter 956 and Episode 957, The Seven Warlords of the Sea are officially disbanded.
  42. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 95 Chapter 957 and Episode 958.
  43. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 1 Chapter 1 and Episode 4, Higuma displays contempt for pirates in general, and the Red Hair Pirates in particular.
  44. Pirates, Privateers, Corsairs, Buccaneers: What’s the Difference? (Encyclopedia Britannica)
  45. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 73 Chapter 726 (p. 7) and Episode 658, Sai reveal that Ramen sent the Happo Navy to Dressrosa on a mission to stop Doflamingo's weapon trade.
  46. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 90 Chapter 906 and Episode 885, Sai comments that he planned to cut ties with Kano Country after the Levely.
  47. Pirate Of The Far East 811-1639, Osprey Publishing, 2007. 978-1-84603-174-8 (see at Google Books)

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