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From what I gather, "Pirate King" isn't a power structure. There has only been one Pirate King so far and people just happened to start calling him that after he became the 1st pirate captain to go all the way around the Grand Line. The Yonkou are some of the most powerful and influential pirate captains in the One Piece world in the current point of the story but its not like their influence or power will drop or increase by someone else becoming the pirate king. Although that may or may not be the case depending on what happens in the story as the next Pirate King is made. But what separates them from the title of the Pirate King is that they have not supposedly completely gone through the grand line. This is also debatable though since Shanks did once complete the trip with Gol D. Roger.
Anyways, as far as Gol D. Roger was concerned, and as far as Luffy cares, being the Pirate King means being the most free person in the ocean and nothing else. Neither of them really cared about the power or influence.... it just happens to come with the title and prestige. Naturally, most everyone else will fear the pirate king... and some of the Yonkou may challenge them *shrugs* who knows....
The introduction to One Piece: "Wealth, fame, power. The man who had acquired everything in this world, the Pirate King, Gold Roger!"
The Yonkou exist because they are all very powerful and equally matched. This has to be true. There had to be a point in time where four different pirates crews conquered the seas and had all obtained wealth, fame, and power but no one crew was stronger than the other so they, or bystanders, gave themselves the group title of Yonkou. Why do you think none of them care about One Piece? The Yonkou want nothing more than to defeat each other.
In Roger's case, I don't think there was anyone who was able to go as far as he did, conquer as much as he did, and have a crew as powerful as his. His crew was solely the most powerful pirate crew in the world and so he was called the Pirate King for leading it.
So in conclusion, I don't think there were Yonkou. Just a Pirate King.
I don't know how far you've been reading into One Piece, but when the Strawhats are introduced to Rayleigh as the Pirate King's First Mate, it becomes clear that "Pirate King" is a title that was invented by the Marines and given to Gol D. Roger who they named "Gold Roger", too. At that time, there were no Yonkou. Only one pirate being the strongest man alive Edward Newgate (being called through the Marine "Whitebeard").
Crocodile then explained there were a lot of pirates challenging either Roger or Newgate while losing to them, thus being "Silver Medalists". I think two of them then became two of the Yonkou. And through Shanks, it may be hinted, that the Yonkou were formed some time after Roger's death after four pirate crews became that strong to have their own territory in the New World. (As hinted through Chapter 0, seven pirates from the generation after Roger and Newgate became the Shichibukai, BTW.)
But it's pretty hard to say if there won't be any Yonkou at all once there's again a Pirate King or if that Pirate King is strong enough not to fear them any longer.
So 1 says pirate king = no more yonkou, 2 say hard to tell. :P
And would the Marines continue referring to them as Yonkou or would they become "motto yonkou"?
Personally I think the title of yonkou would be abolished since it implies being one of the top 4 rivaling pirates. If we refer to the Roger - Newgate relationship, I would think it would be:
then everyone else
Well, I see the point of the OP, it's clear. I don't know why He should read OP again, his point is quite interesting.
It's about the political organization after one being named the Pirate King. That being said, I know that even the WG will change this time because we're talking about Luffy and Robin is involved in all this. So every configuration of power must be dismantled in order to achieve Luffy's goal. That's why Oda focused a lot about how some things are and always "were" like this or like that. Fishman Island is the perfect show of this. Arabasta Arc also shows it, Marineford as well. And to be honest, every arc show us a little bit more about the power and who holds it in terms of how Foucault presents it.
It's just that the different Yonkou have different goals:
- Whitebeard's treasure that he was seeking was a family. He was happy with what he had and had shown no interest in becoming the next Pirate King (even when Roger offered to show him how to reach the last island).
- I would guess Big Mom's treasure is candy. I don't think she would ask for anything else if she found that island they showed in the filler episode with Toriko where the whole island was a dessert? (not sure)
- Shanks seems to be more interested in maintaining the balance of power in the One Piece world, at least until he can see Gol D. Roger's legacy actualize. e.g. he went to a lot of trouble to try to prevent the battle of Ace and Blackbeard and the marineford war.
- Blackbeard seems to be interested in One Piece... at least he's a big dreamer with a plan. Or maybe he's just power hungry. At least, he seems to believe that One Piece exists.
- The same as for Blackbeard may be said about Kaidou, although little to nothing is known about him. All that's been shown is that he was willing to attack Whitebeard at at a time of weakness and cause a lot of chaos by taking out one of his "rivals" for whatever he's after.
Also just wanted to point out... on chapter 533, page 3, we see how surprised and nervous Momonga is to hear that two of the Yonkou have gotten into a skirmish. It just goes to show that those kinds of battles are rare. Just because they're the four most powerful pirate groups in the world doesn't necessarily mean they're always at each others' throats.
What Uriel said is also very revealing.... as arcs went by, we learned more about the Shichibukai (from Mihawk to Kuma) and the World Government (CP9 arc), and how the balance of power is constantly at risk based on what one person may decide to do (Marineford War and Shanks' meeting with Whitebeard). Having just entered the New World, I think we will soon begin to see how the Yonkou really do business and use their influence in a political sense (more than just claiming islands and acting like pirates). And as Whitebeard said, once One Piece is found, the world's power structure will truely be turned on its head.
Last edited by Anduren; July 03, 2012 at 11:48 PM.
Hmm, I completely overlooked that Newgate said that finding one piece will turn the world on its head.
Since it's impossible to tell how the world will look like with a new Pirate King *cough* Luffy *cough* it'll be hard to tell who'll be running what, let alone if the Yonkou will still be Yonkou.
I always assumed that Luffy will gain the allegiance of at least half the world's powers, in all forms, and it would be enough to turn over the World Government and/or Marines. He already is an ally of 3 countries (4 if you include Amazon Lily) and 1 of the 3 legendary weapons that can destroy the world.
I always assumed that the Yonkou filled the void left after Rogers execution.
Anyways, I guess before the Great Pirate Age started, powerful pirate crews weren't given as much legitimacy by giving them a title like Yonkou since according to how fishman island history goes, pirates didn't start flooding the Grand Line until after Gol D. Roger's death (even though there were plenty of pirate crews that went there like Brook's group...enough to call it the Pirate's Graveyard). It was then that Whitebeard "claimed" fishman island as his turf and exerting political influence while being a pirate.
The Yonkou are the four Pirates vying for power over the oceans Roger left free. It's like different factions trying to assemble after the government is shattered. In this case Roger is the government. It stands to reason that if Luffy becomes the King then the Yonkou will still be there but they won't have as much influence but they would still be forces to be reckoned with unless Luffy (or the reigning Pirate King) annihilates them. But it's the first instance of either the Pirate King or the Yonkou so its hard to say exactly what would happen.
It is doubtful that the Yonkou will remain after a new Pirate King is proclaimed. The purpose they serve will be fulfilled, the Pirate King will be the sole power. Otherwise, what would make the king a king? First among equals is hardly fitting for royalty. One imagines it would be difficult to rule with rivals such as Blackbeard on the loose. One has to assume Luffy has to defeat the remaining Yonkou, or they will to become his allies, before he can become Pirate King.
Pirate King and Yonkou are completely two different things. A Yonkou is a pirate who rules parts of the New World as (s)he pleases. Military strength is the defining characteristic of the Yonkou. Pirate King, on the other hand, is someone who circumnavigated the Grand Line (this is what turned Roger into a living legend). (Acquiring "One Piece" would be a prerequisite for Roger's successors, but the treasure is icing on the top when compared to completing the Grand Line, as far as we know.) You don't need a Pirate King in order to have Yonkou, as Shiki, Whitebeard, and even Roger demonstrated prior to Roger's ascension as Pirate King.
Last edited by Franckie; July 26, 2012 at 04:43 PM.
Well, if this was the case then wouldn't this have the implication that the pirate king was a sort ruler of the entire new world? Somehow I don't quite see this. Based on what we know, would roger have wanted such a thing? Somehow it does not fit his character. If the battle against shiki is cannon then we also have the scenario that roger apparently only had one ship with him. I don't think he had the sheer military might to pull of actually ruling the entire new world.
Strongworld is canon, Oda himself wrote the script. The upcoming One Piece Z was also written by Oda, and may be treated as canon upon release. /Kaiten
Last edited by Kaiten; July 28, 2012 at 12:00 PM.
The balance of power is the defining characteristic of the Yonkou. Each is so strong that they can not be defeated without massive collateral damage. While the Marine or the other Yonkou theoretically could defeat them, the results would leave the victor weakened and compromised. The Marine and Shichibukai, as institutions, check the advance of the Yonkou, confining there influence to the New World. All other New World pirates either must ally themselves with the Yonkou, or continuously harry them, with no hope of actually defeating them. The title of "Pirate King" implies an individual so powerful that the balance of power crumbles, tipping in favor of the Pirate King. Having an individual that strong would imply that the position of Yonkou is somehow less necessary. The next Pirate King will be different than Roger, suffering from an incurable disease, turning himself in to Garp only a year after reaching Raftel.
I did not watch Strongworld, nor do I plan too. Was it stated that Whitebead, even then, was called a Yonkou? Was Shiki as well? While details are still lacking, it would seem Yonkou are meant too be more than merely strong pirates. The number of ships, allies, and the like does seem too be unimportant. Even with only one ship, the Roger Pirates were too much for anyone to handle. Whitebeard was the only Pirate too fight Roger too a draw. Under the circumstances that one ship would have been enough to keep other pirates in line, and to protect allied islands.
Last edited by Kaiten; July 28, 2012 at 11:58 AM.