This has been spinning around in my head for as long as I can remember, and this is how I see it.
Garp shed tears at Ace's execution, but made no effort trying to save his grandson from death. Maybe he had hopes that Luffy or Whitebeard would succeed in rescuing Ace, as seen when he Let Luffy punch him off the bridge that led to the execution platform. But ultimately he chose duty before family.
After Akainu had pierced Ace with his magma fist as the latter threw himself in front of Luffy to save him, Garp is seen walking towards Akainu crying. Later when Sengoku realizes what Garp is about to do, he pushes him down and holds him firmly to the ground. While being pinned down, Garp says to Sengoku that if he doesn't hold him down real tight, he is going to murder that bastard Sakazuki.
I myself will never forgive Garp for this, even though I really like him, he lost a great deal of my admiration, forever.
One of the biggest themes of One Piece is conviction/determination... its what Luffy smacked Coby on the head in the 1st episode (chapter 2) for. Specially for someone like Garp whose strong will and conviction has earned him a strong haki, you can expect him to not compromise what he stands for. He's proud of being a marine and also wanted Luffy and Ace to be marines; but Ace and Luffy's determination was to be pirates so they were at odds with Garp. The fact that if things had turned out differently, he wouldn't have to chose between his life's calling and his children was what made him waver giving Luffy the opening to get past him. Sengoku (being the great tactician), knowing Garp's state of mind knew the whole time that Garp could end up turning on them which is why he kept looking at Garp and questioning him during the war.
Choosing family over duty isn't really a default choice for everybody. In the arts of persuasion, the three things that drive people to make/change their choices are logos (logic), pathos (feelings), and ethos (ethics). Whatever people chose, for better or worse, there are justifications for those choices. It's not really uncommon for a person who chooses ethics over feelings to be scrutinized by someone who would chose a different way because their motivations/values are different.
At least.... this is my opinion on what happened and why.
^ I perfectly understand your reasoning, and I admit that I am being biased. I just think that even if you have very firm beliefs, seeing your grandson, beaten and chained, that that would awaken something inside you. Making you take action. Though we did see as you say, that Garp struggled throughout the war to hold himself back. He is a hero of the Marines, an inspiration and a role model. I just can't forgive him for not saving Ace when he had the chance. Later, we get to know just how hard Ace's death strikes Garp in the heart. At first he is hell-bent on murdering Sakazuki, and when he is not able to do that, he resigns from his position and the Marines. Dedicating his time to training young recruits ( I'm hoping Coby & Helmeppo). I do remember that he had to keep his title though, and officially "stay" in the Marines.
When Garp met Luffy he said "I heard that you met your father in Logue Town". The marines could have known that Dragon was there, but how could Garp have known that they met? Maybe if Smoker reported that Luffy was saved by Dragon, but then again Garp isn't the kind of guy who pays attention to reports. I think it could mean that Garp had direct communication with Dragon at one point in between the Logue Town incident and meeting Luffy after Enies Lobby.
Garp doesn't want a higher rank because he can already do what he wants
He wanted to report to the marines that Luffy escaped because "I let him go because he's my grandson"
As a kid, he's holding a treasure chest (just like pirate)
I mean, Garp doesn't give a fuck about the rules. He just wants to be able to do what he wants, so why is he in the marines even? I think it's because he's helping Dragon in some way. I've also thought there might be something to this event when he cornered Roger. Something along the lines of letting him go because he learned things about the true history and letting Roger go would help the world.
Garp being a marine doesn't make any sense
Him letting Ace die? For crying out loud. Garp is OLD, he doesn't give a fuck about the rules, and he loves Ace. The only possible outcome here is that Garp helps Ace escape and give up life as a marine because he's got his priorities straight. And that's the thing, priorities. I think Garp made such a decision because he has something that he must do in the future involving Dragon and the revolution. That's the only way I can put these pieces together.
I think that Garp has a very strong sense of justice. He doesn't give a shit about the rules, but he is merciless against pirates and people that threaten to hurt civilians and commoners. He is a tough one to figure out. At times, he seems completely carefree, telling Sengoku that he let Luffy get away because "He's my Grandson after all!", and just laughs at all the atrocities Luffy commits. He even laughed when he heard that Luffy had sent a Tenryuubito flying. He loved/loves Ace just like he loves Luffy, but when it came down to it, he would rather let his own flesh and blood die than sway from his conviction as a marine.
I agree with Roarchu.
Garp could not save Ace because he has a harder plan to achieve seems more likely the case.
The simple theory is that the Marine is corupted, you can find loyal marines such as Garp, the ice guy, Sengoku.
The real bad guys use the Marine to control the population. They put a guy like Akainu to control the marine from the inside.
They used Ace a trap to take WB down. No one expect to see Ace get killed. Akainu could have been the only one from the Marine.
Why not sending Ace back to Impel down ?
^ because they wanted to use Ace to set an example for all the pirates out there, since he was a notorious 550 000 000Beli pirate under Whitebeard. And if they angered Whitebeard in the process, they were ready for it. The marines had planned to execute Ace, but they did not know the outcome of the war.
Last edited by TheLuffySmile; November 04, 2013 at 03:02 PM.
Strong sense of duty and a lifetime of being a marine. Ace made his own choices. Even letting Luffy punch him is more than I expected. And that from a guy who was ready to crush that same grandson with a giant ball back at Water 7.
The moment he would start helping Ace escape, he would turn his entire life into a lie. Duty and justice (until my family is involved, that is)? Also, it's not like he could have done a lot by himself.
^ Yeah, very true. Still, I will never be able to forgive him. He could have done a lot, just by aiding their escape at the end. But unfortunately it is as you say, A lifetime of being a marine, and his sense of Duty and Justice. But Ace was a pirate who made his own choices, and eventually ended up on the execution stand. But as I read, I was sure he was going to do something, just something, but he never did. I guess Letting Luffy knock him down was as far as he was willing to go in aiding his grandsons.
I can't even begin to imagine the despair he must have felt when the boys he wanted to raise to be great Marines wound up as pirates opposing everything he's ever stood for.
Last edited by TheLuffySmile; November 04, 2013 at 03:41 PM.
Because that was his duty. Garp is a marine. He has his own justice. His justice isn't blind like Akainu's. If he had saved Ace, or let Ace be saved, he'd lose all that. He'd lose all the respect from the other Marines, from Pirates as well and probably even Ace. Ace told him: Whatever comes, I'll accept it, were it death or saving.
Sense of duty and will is a strong point in OP. I also didn't like that Garp made no effort to save Ace, but the fact that he was on the verge of killing Akainu when he pierced Ace, made gain more respect for him. What was done to Ace wasn't an execution, it was a simple murder.
Garp was depicted to be badly conflicted between his duty as a Marine and his duties as a grandfather. He resigned his position immediately after the war, probably a hint that he regrets his decision. Garp has not appeared since then. Whatever he is feeling, whatever regrets he harbors, are unknown. It is not supposed to be as simple as "why didn't he save or rescue Ace". Garp had big boy decisions to make, decisions with real consequences, the type shounen characters are rarely asked to make. Resigning from the Marines says to me that Garp chose wrong, and knows it. He placed duty before family and payed dearly. Luffy was in a much easier position. Luffy was already an outlaw.
true meaning of Portagas D. Ace meeting his end here today. The Marines searched "for the possibility that there existed on that island a child of that man. Ace was revealed to be Roger's son for the first time at the end of the chapter. In the next chapter Sengoku clearly states that the Marine believed Whitebeard was sheltering the son of his own rival, raising him to become the next Pirate King. The Marine feared it was inevitable that Roger's son would rise to the top of the pirate world, and "that is why it is absolutely imperative that we take your head here today", even if that means going to war with Whitebeard himself. The Marine didn't care about Whitebeard, and they did not care about setting an example for other pirates. They only cared about extinguishing Roger's accursed bloodline forever, even if that meant going to war with Whitebeard. They knew the outcome of the war, that it would disrupt the balance of power. They were willing to take that chance in order to eliminate Roger's bloodline.
This is exactly what I wanted to hear from everyone, Always fun to read everyone's thoughts and opinions! Yeah Kaiten I should have written that as well, thank you for both reminding me and completing my text with it! I've always really liked Garp, and you have all made me realize I've been too hard on him for what happened.
Part of me made this thread to find a way to redeem him some, and I have, thx guys!
The majority of pirates are the scum of the world, that's why he is a marine.
Question was answered elaborately, can/should the thread be closed?
Last edited by Schabrak; November 04, 2013 at 05:25 PM.
^ Yes, I am satisfied, thread may be closed!
Garp couldn't save Ace due to the conflict he has inside him. That crippled him.. I can imagine him going almost insane on what to do, family or duty...
I was disappointed at him the first time but as i rewatched and rewatched and rewatched the incident i could feel Oda was a genius putting the texture of reality in this manga to the point of making whitebeard say Garp's name since Whitebeard knew Garp's heart.. I can't really pinpoint the very reason why he didn't do as much as we would've expected him to, but i know struggled with it like hell to the point of it disarming him.