I have been wondering recently, is having shichibukai actually a good deal for the marines? In principle the idea is simple and perhaps works to some extent but overall I would argue the positions have caused more trouble than they are worth. I guess there is plenty we don't know about their influence but things are not very good looking for them IMO. Hasn't everything bad that has happened in the world been a result of shichibukai abusing their power? Maybe the world government would be wise to not give a free pass to exceptional pirates and their friends. Lets look at things as a whole.
The first shichibukai the strawhats faced was good old crocodile. Powerful logia with an inconvenient set of abilities which make him dangerous to anyone. He came up with a plan to take over a nation and get an all powerful weapon for himself. He had thousands of subordinates working for him. And the government and official forces were not allowed to probe into his business because he was a shichibukai.
So, that happened but it did not end there. His defeat led to a number of things which were actually pretty significant in the grand scheme of things. He was a man with an important position so luffy himself became quite famous. The whole left by him also made the great powers of the world move in response. The government attempted to gather the shichibukai. Shanks and WB had a meeting. BB got a shichibukai position to obtain. Chasing luffy due to his fame lead to his encounter with ace. His encounter with ace caused the great war, the single most important battle in who knows how long. And of course the great war had ramifications all over.
Now moria. His defeat wasn't a very public event however it was a great cause for concern. Now, the issue with him is the extent of his criminal activities. He had a huge ship which went unchecked for god knows how long. He kidnapped hundreds of people for his zombies. and he attempted to create a superweapon (which in hindsight would have failed miserably to accomplish what moria meant anyways though but still, hundreds of kidnapped people). Yet another rogue shichibukai.
Now doflamingo. Using his title he got the marines of his back and claimed a kingdom. He created a caste system which treats a portion of the population as garbage. He controls the underworld and through that deals with yonko and who knows who else. He does not have the military power of a yonko but he could easily have as much influence as one considering his position. Once he is defeated what will follow will be a bigger storm than what defeating crocodile did. Crocodiles defeat caused the government an WB to move. Depending on how deep doflamingo's influence goes his defeat would influence, well, everyone relevant in the new world which has connections to the underworld. Multiple yonko at a minimum, multiple powerful pirates, governments, armies... and each and every one of them royally pissed off.
Law himself got into the shichibukai to screw over doflamingo, basically he would be the mastermind behind the actual shitstorm that follows doflamingo's defeat.
BB. Oh BB. Caused a mayor commotion at the war and obtaining the shihcibukai title allowed him powerful crewmates and access to WBs fruit. Which in turn allowed him to become a yonko in a rather short time.
The rest of the shichibukai have been relatively mellow just minding their own business without really doing much for or against the government though.
Still, every major development in the manga has been one way or another triggered by shichibukai members. Its like if the world government is paying the price for giving freedom to do as they place to dangerous intelligent sociopaths with aspirations to fame and world domination. The purpose of the shichibukai is as far as we know to work as deterrents. Their combined might is supposed to be able to turn the balance in favor of the world government or at least keep things even for everyone. Basically they deter pirates from rampaging out of feat of the world government unleashing these guys on them. Which presumably helps the government keep their own forces from needless uncalculated battles and avoid pointless fighting. However every major conflict in the manga so far can be one way or another traced back to a lone shichibukai who would not even be that powerful among them going rogue. And a bunch of others abusing their position. And the upcoming shitstorm was literally started and triggered by another shichibukai abusing his position. I don't really get the impression that keeping the shichibukai, at least under the current terms of their contract, worth it. Thoughts?
Last edited by Josef K.; January 26, 2014 at 04:40 AM.
Not all of your points are true. The war was caused because the Marines were to execute Ace. Blackbeard capturing him is actually an example of how the Shichibukai are a good thing from the Marines point of view. And Doflamingo caused so much trouble also because he is a Tenryuubito of sort, who knows how far he would have gone if he was just a Shichibukai?
Anyway, the Shichibukai is exist to counterbalance the Yonko, wasn't for that who knows what could have happened? They could have decided to join forces and take over Paradise and the four Blue seas.
Last edited by Fox666; January 17, 2014 at 03:14 PM.
With the exception of Law and BB, I think the Shichibukai have been worth it. I don't think the WG ever expected former pirates to suddenly become saints, it would sort of defeat their purpose. And it would be par from the course for the Shichibukai to extract benefits from their position, once again, they're pirates. The Shichibukai are meant to elicit fear and serve as an opposing force to pirates throughout the Grand Line. I'd argue that even the former Shichibukai fulfilled that purpose. Crocodile was discharged for his actions, but he never served as much of a threat to the WG or even caused them much problems on a large scale. However, he supposedly eliminated a number of pirates entering the Grand Line. Of course, the end result was more painful, but that had far more to do with other forces beyond the WG and Croc; Luffy was bound to become a known pirate and Shanks and WB were Yonkou that were going to do what they want to do regardless of Croc's unfortunate defeat. Moria was much the same, he plotted, but he fulfilled his role. Who knows how many pirates he took down before he was defeated by Luffy, that was to the benefit of the WG, and I doubt they had any concern about his experiments. In the case of DD, the problem seems to stem more from his status as a former World Noble, and less with the fact that he's a Shichibukai. And like the others, he's acted outside of his position as Shichibukai, but he showed his worth, and was significant at the War at Marineford. Of course, BB was a total disaster and Law has a been a bit of a wash, but the majority of the decisions on the Shichibukai have benefitted the WG. They were integral during the War, not entirely to the benefit of the Marines, but there was a net positive. And they've taken down countless pirates while acting as a deterrent to others. And their benefit becomes even more clear if one asks the question of what these same pirates would've been doing otherwise. By creating the Shichibukai, the WG significantly increased their power and capabilities while simultaneously reducing the number of problems they'd have to solve.
---------- Post added at 04:22 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:01 PM ----------
Anyways, I can't help but think that doflamingo easily exceeds the bad the rest of the shibukai combined have done. Look at what he built using his position as shichibukai and former tenryubito... His criminal empire is no small deal by any means, he sells to everyone. In terms of scale and power he easily exceeds crocodile and the baroque works. Hell, a single one of his main subordinates probably exceeds crocodile and baroque works in terms of threat level.... He even had ceasar and his weapons of mass destruction available to him, luffy kinda saved the worlds ass with that one.
That said, I am not sure them keeping pirates at bay really is that big a deal. Its not like they do it regularly and if they did it would only matter if they dealt with people that could not be dealt with easily. When was the last time a shichinbukai fought someone that had a name for himself? If anything it kinda seems like the shichibukai don't even do anything for most of the time. Crocodile took down a few people while at alabasta however if I recall correctly it was all for his own gain to begin with. MIhawk took out krieg's armada but the guy was worthless to begin with. The world government could have easily dealt with him with a battleship.... Doflamingo is a king that has build an underworld empire, I doubt he has much time to take down fodder. Boa pirated against whoever crossed her... I would argue the shichibukai's main worth is that they can be summoned to act on the threat of removing their titles but even then the lot of them were uncooperative. Jinbe went rogue and boa assisted because luffy needed her to. The rest did attend... Still, I don't actually see them taking out relevant pirates regularly or at all....
Yeah, I think for the most part, the trouble is worth it. The sheer fact that they aren't actively going against the marines and causing them alone is a well enough reason to show that they are worth it, as powerful as they are.
And they actually are deterrents for the most part. Seeing as Mihawk and Kuma seem to travel around a ton, we can imagine that they take out rookies or even veterans often while they are out and about. Plus those two, along with Boa and Doflamingo, are pretty damn powerful. It's better to let those four do whatever the hell they want than go against them, especially someone as powerful as Mihawk or someone as influential as Doflamingo. As for the rest, Moriah preyed off traveling pirates as well, not all innocents. The only innocent we saw was the girl who gave Cindy her shadow. Law "killed" 100 pirates to become a Shichibukai, which, to the marines, would actually be rather beneficial as that's 100 pirates less on the sea causing trouble. As for BB, he actually helped the marines capture the last of Roger's bloodline, which was a major win for them, since Roger was the worst thing to ever happen to them. Jinbe was just there, but he helped things on a political scale, which is good as having an entire race as your enemy wouldn't exactly be a good thing.
So...yeah, as long as they are attacking them and answer the summons from time to time, everything is hunky dory. On the outside at least. Shallow? Yes, but as busy as the marines are and as numerous as pirates are, it's easier to just let the powerful ones that "work" for them slide and keep them on their side.
This is kind of a prediction but might be something that can be added to this discussion: now that Akainu is the fleet admiral would he want to disband the Shichibukai. He has a very definite sense of justice and didn't hesitate to kill ace. I wouldn't put it against him to take out the Shichibukai one by one. I definitely think the Shichbukai are worth the trouble, but would Akainu?
Its worth it the Warlords, jobs is to get rid of persons like Luffy, imagine if the were no warlards we'd have a lot more chaos, since there'd be more pirates like luffy and law.
The only really rubbish Shichibukai so far have been BB and DD. DD likely because he's a former Teryuubito and can get away with it, and BB because he was only ever in it to get to Impel Down.
The fact that we don't actually see them doing their jobs doesn't mean they're not doing it. Besides, there's also the effect of their names. What we never will see is just how effective knowing that such powerful pirates choose to serve the WG is at deterring pirates and criminals in general. How many more would there be if the Shichibukai did not exist? It's impossible to know, but the Elder Stars must believe it's having an effect, otherwise they wouldn't have them around at all.
It is usually worth having shichibukai, but that depends. They were useful and instrumental in the Marineford War, which is one of the reasons why shichibukai exist. They also help deal with pirates if they or the government wants. But, if there aren't as many conflicts where the shichibukai's powers are needed, then the worth goes down.
I don't think the Shichibukai have the obligation of taking care of other pirates unless they have explict orders to do so, based on Kuma words to Kizaru in Shabondy. Apparently they do so for bounty hunting and taking their loot.
The shichibukai seem to have no implicit orders to actually collaborate with the marines. Their deal seems to be directly with the world government rather than with their military branches. Even then, it does not seem like the shichibukai have a duty to actively take out pirates. MIhawk did so in the past but only on a whim apparently. Crocodile has never been said or implied to have done any of that and when we did see him fight he was abusing his power to take over a nation. Jinbe has only ever fought for fishman island and considering what we saw it does not appear as if he ever really cared about randomly fighting pirates. Boa has gone on pirating as usually regardless of her title. Any help she has ever given seems to be purely accidental so far and if at all possible would have played out the same whether she was a shichibukai or not (because she loots from everyone she runs into, not just pirates). Doflamingo is actively supporting pirates and a number of criminal organizations through his vast influence. Kuma takes orders from the WG but he did save the strawhats and seems to be personally ultimately loyal to dragon. BB was a disaster and unleashed more hell than any one shichibukai ever by releasing that many level6 prisoners.
Their importance for the story depending if they were good or bad with the main characters is without a doubt there .. think about it ..what if these characters were not named "Shichibukai" in the story and were just powerful pirates that everyone faced? Like Croc was this dangerous pirate that was taking over Alabasta .. Moria also, Doflamingo also .. these people are dangerous when with the WG or without it. The fact they are allied with it, seems to benefit them a lot in their evil plans. The question is as it was mentioned WHAT IS IT that makes the Gorosei still have them, do they know of the shady stuff? I mean no doubt Dofla will be out, if the Gorosei find out about his deal with Kaido ... but the World Noble thing stands in the way ... Dofla is a complex situation ...
Simply put the WG wants more strong individuals on their side that can defeat small pirates, but thats the thing, the Shichibukai are ALREADY STRONG PIRATES, don't they think that after they beat the small pirate crews they will just quit the Shichibukai? But this is going too much into how Oda planned the series, fact is the Shichibukai are there, the even more greater fact is, no matter how many quit the WG employs new ones, to keep "the balance of power", once a few Yonko go down, I am expecting the Shichi to go as well ... and then ... CHAOS!
Good thread and question.
The short answer is balance. It has already been stated that the Shichibukai are there to create balance, without them the joint power of the Yonkou is enough to destroy the marines and with them the WG. Just look at the war, WB stood no chance against the Marines alone and with the Shichibukai the success rate was even smaller. Doflamingo, Hancock, Kuma and Mihawk barely tried and Moria was taken out by another Shichibukai.
Obviously their importance is hard to grasp because we can't just go back and forth to them, but I want to remind you of the Baratie Arc. Mihawk... I repeat Mihawk was at East Blue. The most peaceful sea in the world and they sent Mihawk there to deal with the Don Krieg Armada. If it wasn't for the charm of the SH's especially Luffy their journey would've ended right there. Their work is significant and it is worth it for the sake of balance.