The recent chapters of One Piece have thrilled fans with the unexpected battle between the Heart Pirates, led by Trafalgar Law, and Blackbeard, who is accompanied by part of his crew.
Blackbeard recently tried to seize Boa Hancock's Devil Fruit power, but his siege on Amazon Lily was stopped by "Dark King" Rayleigh's providential intervention. Rayleigh saved Boa and forced Blackbeard to give up his previous intent and retreat. Now, however, the Emperor is at it once again.
While Blackbeard is always on the move, Marine Fleet Admiral Akainu seems to be condemned to perpetual inaction. One Piece 1064 showed Akainu being informed of the ongoing battle and complaining about his inactive role on the issue.
Disclaimer: This article contains major spoilers from the One Piece manga up to Chapter 1064 and reflects the writer's personal views.
Akainu is one of the strongest One Piece characters, but he seems doomed to inaction nowadays
Better known by his moniker "Akainu," Sakazuki is the current Marine Fleet Admiral. Before the time skip, he was one of the three Admirals along with Aokiji and Kizaru.
When former Fleet Admiral Sengoku suggested Aokiji as his successor, a deep contrast ensued between him and Akainu. The two were confronted in a fierce battle that lasted for ten days.
Akainu emerged as the winner of the furious fight and assumed the office of Fleet Admiral. His first decision was to relocate Marine Headquarters in the New World. After becoming the Fleet Admiral, Sakazuki can decide the Marine's strategies and plans, assign and deploy his subordinates, promote or demote the lower ranks. This includes the current three Admirals.
Akainu is a strict follower of Absolute Justice. This philosophy places the eradication and persecution of all illegal activities at the highest priority, even at the cost of sacrificing innocent lives or engaging in immoral acts. Akainu's extremist beliefs led him to act ruthlessly, even killing innocent civilians and his own soldiers.
However, Akainu decided to spare the life of his colleague Aokiji after defeating him in their tremendous battle. Despite being an extremist and highly dogmatic person, Akainu also proved himself to be a capable leader who has been able to consolidate the power and prestige of the Marines.
Sakazuki appears to be an experienced and buttoned-up soldier. He holds immense pride in the name of the Marines. Akainu would rather cover up any occurrence to ensure that the Marines believe in Absolute Justice. A testament to this, when he learned that Fujitora had let the world know of what happened in Dressrosa, he was furious.
To achieve the Absolute Justice he believes in, Akainu is even willing to lie to and deceive his enemies, even sometimes manipulating them. He flawlessly executed Sengoku's strategy to deceive Squard. He also proved his malicious cleverness by insulting Whitebeard's honor to get Portuguese D. Ace angry, with the aim of stopping his escape attempt.
Akainu owns the powers of Mag-Mag Fruit, which makes him one of the most lethal fighters in the entire One Piece series. This Devil Fruit allows Akainu to burn and melt everything in his path through devastating attacks.
During the Paramount War, Akainu was able to inflict deadly wounds on Whitebeard, one of the Four Emperors and an individual hailed as the World's Strongest Man. He also effortlessly defeated Ace, one of the strongest members of the Whitebeard Pirates.
Akainu has shown immense endurance and physical strength, being able to endure two point-blank Quake-Quake Fruit and Armament Haki enhanced punches from an enraged Whitebeard. While those hits inflicted heavy damage on him, he never lost consciousness, not even after the second blow, which was strong enough to split the island of Marineford in two as a side-effect.
Even after being struck with attacks of such power by the World's Strongest Man, Akainu went on a rampage on the battlefield. He was able to quickly annihilate the likes of Jinbe, a former Warlord, and Ivankov, one of the most prominent members of the Revolutionary Army. He even a joined attack from Marco, Whitebeard's right-hand man, and Vista left Akainu unscathed.
The collective of Whitebeard's commanders - minus Ace and Jozu, but including Marco and Vista - further reinforced by former Warlord Crocodile, could do nothing more than slow down Akainu. They merely stalled him enough for Luffy to escape from him. At the end of the Paramount War, Akainu was left with no wounds other than those he suffered from Whitebeard.
Akainu's reputation for strength is especially fearsome, with his mere presence being enough to intimidate a pirate of Blackbeard's caliber.
Despite having come to wield the Dark-Dark Fruit and the Quake-Quake Fruit, two of the strongest Devil Fruits, and having remarkably powerful individuals on his side, such as Shiryu, Blackbeard opted to flee from Akainu instead of facing him.
That said, it's not surprising that the entire One Piece fandom considers Akainu to be one of the strongest characters in the series. However, many fans complained about the rather inoperative role he has taken since the start of the post-time skip storytelling. One Piece 1064 further emphasized this criticized aspect.
What happened in One Piece chapter 1064 and why is it not the first time?
In the latest installment of the series, Akainu received a brief report regarding the ongoing battle between Blackbeard and Trafalgar Law. After receiving the information, Akainu declared that the Marines will have to wait for any development before making their move.
However, Akainu couldn't hide his frustration about the dynamics of his job as Fleet Admiral. He almost seemed to regret that he assumed such an office. Being first and foremost a soldier, Akainu wants to enter the battlefield and fight personally. However, his role as Fleet Admiral forces him to give orders from behind a desk, rather than partake in direct combat.
This wasn't the first time that Akainu was stuck observing major events instead of playing an active role in them. After Kaido and Big Mom were taken down by the Wano Alliance, Akainu discussed recent events with Admiral Kizaru and Vice Admiral Tensei.
Akainu ended the conversation stating that he would extinguish any threat to the Marines. However, he didn't fail to displeasantly complain about his position. Indeed, the Marines have repeatedly been unable to take effective action to stop the ever-expanding chaos.
The One Piece world really seems to be in turmoil. Marines substituted the Seven Warlords with the Seraphim Unit, however they not only have to handle threats such as Emperors, Supernovas and Revolutionaries, but also a newfound organization, the Cross Guild.
The Cross Guild hunts and attacks Marines, making the mere existence of this organization an immense threat to them. Akainu and the Marines would be pleased to get rid of the Cross Guild immediately. However, that appears to be a very difficult task, given that the organization can count on the strength of Dracule Mihawk, the World's Strongest Swordsman.
Will Akainu just sit back and watch?
One Piece fans have high expectations for Akainu
Akainu is one of the strongest One Piece characters and a prominent villain in the series. He is not just the leader of Marines, one of the main forces that oppose the Strawhat Pirates, but is also directly responsible for the death of Ace, Luffy's adoptive brother. For this reason, many fans speculated that Akainu is bound to fight against Luffy, sooner or later in the series.
Not only should Luffy bear some hatred for Akainu for having killed Ace, but it seems that the former Admiral possesses sort of an obsession with the captain of the Strawhats. After killing Ace, which sent Luffy into a mental breakdown, Akainu spent the rest of the battle pursuing him throughout the battlefield.
To make sure that Luffy would not escape Marineford alive, Akainu brushed aside whoever tried to protect the young pirate. He even ignored the Blackbeard Pirates to focus only on capturing and killing Luffy. Only the providential intervention of "Red Hair" Shanks stopped his relentless fury.
Akainu failed to take Luffy's life during the Paramount War, but he grievously injured him, to the point of leaving him a massive scar that covers most of his chest. Moreover, Akainu did what no One Piece character was ever able to do: completely break Luffy's spirit. Thus, a future fight between them seems destined to happen.
According to some fans, Sabo - the current number two of the Revolutionary Army, as well as the other adoptive brother who formed a trio with Luffy and Ace - could be the one to fight and defeat Akainu. In such a way, Ace would be avenged. However, Sabo doesn't appear to be even remotely strong enough to challenge Akainu, at least for now.
Not much is known about Akainu's past, bar that he was born in North Blue and that he likely had a rough childhood, fueling his grim disposition and strict sense of justice from a very young age. While he was one of the Vice Admirals leading the Buster Call on Ohara, he was already ruthless to the point of destroying a civilian transport to avoid one of the island’s scholars fleeing on it.
Disclosing more details on Akainu's past could be a good chance to find out what led him to be the ferocious Marine soldier that he is. Moreover, many fans would like Akainu to fight either Dragon, Shanks or Blackbeard in a deadly showdown.
Needless to say, a battle between the Fleet Admiral and one of these prominent figures would be epic. Akainu also has personal reasons for fighting each of them: he greatly despises Dragon, hates Shanks for having helped Luffy's escape, and has an ax to grind with Blackbeard, who has already run away from him once.
Monkey D. Garp, the Marine Hero who cornered Gol D. Roger, likely holds a grudge against Akainu. Being the adoptive grandfather of Ace, Garp was extremely enraged when the latter lost his life at the hands of Akainu. He even declared his desire to kill him. Sengoku's intervention was crucial to prevent the threat from materializing.
Akainu is loyal to the World Government, but he was outraged at their occurrence with Doflamingo. He personally argued with the Five Elders concerning the matter. This proves that he does not agree with everything the Five Elders do. He also seems to despise CP0, given that he referred to them as the "puppets of the Celestial Dragons".
Akainu's open disdain for the World Government could open up interesting possibilities. While most fans assume that SWORD, the secret unit within the Marines, is trying to put up a rebellion against Absolute Justice, some readers theorized that instead the true leader of the group could be none other than Akainu himself, who is secretly working to overthrow the Five Elders.
While SWORD seems to have a positive connotation, Akainu doesn't appear to be a redeemable character. Moreover, it wouldn't make much sense if Koby, who Akainu tried to kill because of his insubordination, was now his underling in a secret organization.
However, Akainu has a sword-themed tattoo on his arm. Some fans took that as a hint that he is a part of the organization. Former Admiral Aokiji, who fought against Akainu for the office of Fleet Admiral, is another character often involved in theories about the SWORD group. Aokiji clearly has very different ideals compared to Sakazuki.
Aokiji saw Akainu as excessively cruel, to the point of being detrimental to the Marines’ cause of preserving peace, while the latter saw him as too soft and lazy to put a true end to evil. Thus, they fought.
However, when Akainu ultimately ended up as the winner of the tremendous battle, despite his usual ruthless behavior, he decided to spare his colleague's life.
According to some fans, Akainu realized that Aokiji, despite his relaxed attitude, also possesses a strong sense of duty and justice. He saw him ready to die for his beliefs, and started to respect him. Hence, instead of killing him, Akainu recruited Aokiji into SWORD and charged him with the most dangerous task: to infiltrate the Blackbeard Pirates.
This, of course, goes with the assumption that Akainu is the leader of SWORD.
One Piece fans were definitely convinced that Akainu would play a major role in the series, fighting against the strongest pirates to carry high the Marines' pride as their highest representative. However, he has been stuck behind his desk for hundreds of chapters.
Not only were most fans disappointed by this occurrence. According to some fans, Akainu's frustration in One Piece 1064 was some sort of breaking the fourth wall, blending the fandom's disappointment with the fictional character's own annoyance.
Hopefully, with the series having entered its endgame, One Piece author Eiichiro Oda has something big in store for the Fleet Admiral. Akainu is eager to fight, and One Piece fans can't wait to see him in action.
Poll : Do you think Akainu will have a big fight before the end of the series?