Intro Bounties as we all know indicate how notorious a character is deemed by the World Government by their achievements. The way in which it's understood and interpreted has brought about some confusion and I intend to clarify with a new perspective. My Aim My aim with this write up is to showcase that Bounty only gives the quantified summation of a character's nefarious activity as an antagonist of the World Government, and conversely, that it doesn't reveal or quantify strength at any level beyond the qualitative assumption or binary speculation; we can claim anyone with a bounty of any value strong or weak without degree or specification, and even then, it's still an assumption until we see what the Character can do. A Measure of Strength? Each time we get a new bounty, there's a penchant in resigning one's self to the misconception it's an established quantified gauge of strength. Eventually, we see what this character has to showcase and we end up somewhat disappointed or confused due to expectations having fallen short. What I'm trying to get across with this is when we look at bounty only in light of strength or any attribute, we will read it completely wrong just like would be the case if we were using the unit of weight (Kg, lb) to quantify, rank or gauge intelligence or any attribute it wasn't purposed to measure; it'd inevitably be wrong. What a bounty generally tells us is x-character has been involved in an incident or incidents that have amounted to the given value. What the value doesn't tell (no matter how low or high) is the specifics regarding their attributes because we have no idea what crimes or incidents they were involved in to remotely even make reasonable assumptions regarding their strength or any other attribute. Therefore, besides the objective fact it gives us the total value or magnitude of the incidents they've been involved, bounties are in essence vague & ambiguous about any qualities of the character. The Importance of Context to the Value? Take Boa Hancock and Robin, Hancock has a bounty of 80 million while Robin had a bounty of 79 million (80 million for simplification). Both characters have a bounty of 80 million, yet, if we look at bounty as a measure of strength, it'd imply Robin at the age of 8 years old is just as powerful as Boa Hancock at the age of 18. Until we get insight into character's said crime, there's very little we can infer. Robin's incidents are Poneglyph based while Hancock's are probably pillaging based exploits; a polarity in the reasons that earned those bounty values. Even when we know of the crime or incident, we can infer certain things about attributes and qualities at only a qualitative or binary level because of the factor used to value any incident as we'll come to find. What Isn't Taken into Account When We Look at Bounty? How many years of Pirating does this individual have under their belt? What attributes were necessary for the incidents? The time-scale it's taken to obtain this bounty? Weeks, months, years, decades? How many incidents it took to obtain this bounty? 10, 20, 100? What were the nature of these incidents? Poneglyphs? Infiltration? Fights? Collateral damage? Assassinations? If they fought to obtain such bounties or whom they fought? The nature of the fights If they fought: Were the fights fair? Were underhanded tactics utilised in these fights? To put it simply, when we look at bounties in general, without knowing any of these, we can't really infer anything reasonably. However, the focus is on strength in relation to bounty. Just to test the reliability of bounty in determining strength, point 7 will take precedence in the next sub-topic. For the strength to be remotely relevant, the fight details must fundamentally be considered by those assigning it when value the incident. If a bounty takes into consideration factors that determine a fair fight, then perhaps, bounty does reflect strength. Do they? Do Bounties take Fairness of Fights into Account? The question is rhetorical to many, and understandably so. My answer to this is an increase in bounty after a fight doesn't take into account the specifics or the trivia or the how, it merely considers the results and conclusion; results don't give details or how the conclusion was reached, results only give the conclusion. We read the Newspapers regarding the results of a bout. 2 boxers fight and we know the winner or the result. Is the winner the stronger? Not necessarily the stronger or better fighter. The stronger fighter might win all 11 rounds and get knocked out by the underdog in the 12th round. Results don't tell a story or quantify anything, they only tell the conclusion. A prime example in the Manga are Luffy's fights against Cracker and Katakuri: Did he simply overpower these opponents? How strong were the attacks he used? Did he use under-handed tactics? Did he poison opponents? Did he catch them off-guard Did he receive help? Cracker's defeat takes no consideration that Luffy required Nami's help with included aid of Homies nor does it take into consideration Luffy barely defeating Katakuri, it simply takes the result. Thus for this reason, had Luffy simply poisoned his opponents to defeat them or used underhanded tactics, he'd still have equally received a raise of this magnitude. The bounty isn't reflecting the character's strength, the people assigning the bounties are oblivious to the fine details. What bounty increases after fights tell us is the magnitude of the accomplished incident or crime. Most Important Factors: Incidents and their Severity Note: An Incident is defined as event that is considered threatening to the World Government even if it's not against the World Government indirectly. While it's important to understand bounty in context, there are 2 factors that push bounty more than anything else, and that is the incident and the severity of the incident which is why bounties only go up after incidents and don't when there is no known incident (Brook's bounty remained at 30m for 50 years as he was MIA). One thing to take as a rule of thumb is there aren't many incidents that will catapult bounties to astronomical figures, therefore, it's necessary to assume the majority of bounties were attained over a series of incidents especially when it's a large figure until context says otherwise. Context is very important. Every time Luffy for example has had his bounty raised, it has always been after an incident that was recognised by the World Government and the severity of the incident: Luffy initially gained a bounty of 30m after the incident in East blue. He then gained a bounty of 100m after the incident at Alabasta. He gained an increased bounty to 300m after incident at Enies Lobby & Thriller Bark. Another increase to 400m after the incident from Sabaody to Marineford. After Dressrosa where he had taken down the Shichibukai and disrupted the system once again shaming the World Government, bounty is raised 500m. Shortly after taking on the Big Mom Pirates and leaving a dent in their territory, it's been raised to 1.5 billion. It took Luffy multiple incidents to garner the bounty he currently has. Contrast Luffy's recognised incidents to Boa Hancock's only 1 recognised incident (as many other bounties bar these) early on? It showcases how there's a positive correlation towards the presuming high value bounty assigned imply multiple incidents as opposed to strength; one still needs to take account the enormity of the incident as that also majorly influences value. Hancock roughly gained a 100m bounty in 1 escapade/incident while it took Luffy 2 incidents. Even when a bounty skyrockets to high values in a short time, it doesn't really change the general idea that bounties are usually gained over long periods. There aren't many things one can do to increase bounty value to astronomical heights in a short period. Minor Factors that Determine Bounty While the number of incidents and nature of incidents are the main drivers of bounty, secondary factors can marginally boost them; Kidd had a higher bounty than Luffy simply because he had a proclivity towards sadism and a rather short temper. It still needs be recognised that it's the activities/incidents involved in that would still be the primary factor that drives bounty. How Pivotal Incident is in Bounty Values and Recognised Participation Dressrosa is a very good example of this. Law and Luffy got bounties raised to equal values of 500m for both playing leading roles while those who had somewhat secondary roles got bounties increased by 50m as their presence was known, but their roles weren't really known or not as significant. This is also highly showcased in the WCI bounty; Luffy's bounty goes up significantly for playing a pivotal role while Sanji who didn't fight got a bounty raise by 153m. Everything that takes place to raise a bounty whether it's a fight or kidnapping is categorised as an incident. Whomever has the biggest role gets the biggest boost in bounty while those who participate get a general increase despite not knowing fully what they'd done. Zoro and co. who didn't participate in WCI never got bounty increases while Nami may also not have gotten huge bounty increases or any at all as her presence was probably unknown, or her participation wasn't deemed significant enough for a bounty increase. It shows how bounties attribute things very simply and very generally. What Bounties Tell Us The only thing we can really know regarding bounties is this character been involved in a incident or multiple incidents to warrant the determined value, their bounty doesn't give away their strength, but their success. When a character is known and the reasons for their bounties, it narrates their story and adventures at the very best. Nature of Incidents & Progression It needs be acknowledged that the nature of the activity needs be recognised. Most Pirates tend to be known for the calamities they have caused here and there overtime. Bare in mind it only took 1 known incident for both Robin and Hancock to gain 79m+ bounties, the nature of the incidents were different. Someone like Robin would be far more likely to be inclined to have committed the incident of reading Poneglyph after Poneglypgh, but it would require the World Government being actively aware. The Government are not aware of all locations of Poneglyph, therefore, it's difficult to increase bounty without being able to track her activities. The generic Pirate's escapades would be similar to that of Eustass Kidd, someone who pillages and kills. This contrasts vastly to the sort of crimes Robin would commit, therefore, if Robin had a similar bounty to Kidd, it wouldn't reflect strength or any attribute, it would mostly just indicate she's been involved in incidents that have accumulated to that figure. We wouldn't even know without an enumeration of the incident to know their inherent nature. Relevance of Time with Bounty There aren't many things a Pirate can do to skyrocket their bounty value in a short time. Bounties tend to go up incrementally and over time, therefore, as a rule of thumb (until there's context or reason to deviate), people with huge bounties should be assumed to be relatively old and there will still be exceptions to this rules which is something that makes the Supernova pretty special or Worst Generation special. Katakuri: - Age: 48 Years old - Bounty: 1 Billion - Years Active: Maybe 30 Years - Bounty Average: 33m/Year Luffy (Pre-WCI): - Age: 19 Years old - Bounty: 500 Million - Years Active: 3 years - Bounty Average: 167m/Year Ace: - Age: 20 Years old Bounty: 550 million - Years Active: 3 Years- Bounty Average: 183m/Year Most people will only be able to get their bounty up to high levels only over time. In that sense, these bounties are not really low even when compared against those with significantly high bounties given the time they've had to increase their values. The above values shared by Luffy and Ace (and the Supernova) are pretty special. Even a Pirate with 200m could possibly defeat a Pirate with 600m as was the case between Urouge and Snack. Bounty isn't a measure of strength, just a measure of success and the total accumulation of all incidents they've been involved in. Reasonable Assumptions At the very best, we can assume certain reasonable attributes about anyone with a bounty over 100m such as being pretty strong and smart without being able to say to what degree or quantify it, but even then, since bounty doesn't tell us much regarding why and how they gained such values, those assumptions could be wrong. An example is Weevil, he has a 480m bounty which we from a binary stand-point makes it reasonable to assume he's strong and intelligent. However, we can't say how strong even if we assume reasonably so, and despite such a value, he's still a completely unintelligent character. For this reason, even assumptions are not guaranteed to be so because bounty doesn't tells us much besides the total accumulation of the magnitude of incidents involved in. Conclusion A bounty is just a summary of the total magnitude of incidents a character has been involved in. It's impossible to truly grasp bounties and what they mean in regard to a character's attributes or nature. it requires knowing the number of incidents involved in, the nature of these incidents, a qualitative description of attributes and anecdote of incidents to understand them. This is why trying to determine strength via bounty will always fall short and give the impression that there's something wrong with certain values, it never really represented strength. A character of relatively low bounty in essence could be stronger than someone of higher bounty. One has to ask where does strength come into this? It hardly does, it's difficult to deduce any level of strength from bounty as it doesn't really tell us given that even after fights, bounties will only go up based on the result regardless of how it was achieved. At the very best, it can indicate that a Pirate is hard-boiled, seasoned, smart and experienced, but it wouldn't indicate how strong one is even below the binary level - we can only really assume the character is strong, but we will not know exactly how strong or even if they really are strong as it's just assumption. Spoiler: Pre-WCI Analyis Aim Bounties as we all know indicate how dangerous a character is deemed by the World Government at a fundamental level. It however can be mistaken to reflect strength of a character. While bounty can reflect strength in a rather vague and indirect way, I think the key-point is it showcases that a character is a threat to the World Government, but even more than that as is my aim with this write up, it more than anything else indicates said character has committed a sizeable amount of crimes to the World Government's knowledge. A Measure of Strength? Each time we get a new bounty, there's a penchant towards concluding that x-character must be absurdly strong. Eventually, we see what this character has to showcase and we end up somewhat disappointed due to expectations having fallen short of what is assumed or surprised. What I'm trying to get across with this is when we look at bounty only in light of strength, we will read it completely wrong. What a bounty first and foremost tells us is x-character is dangerous. What the value doesn't tell (no matter how low or high) is the specifics, therefore, bounties are in essence vague values until a history or list of accomplishments is detailed in order to give the context to the bounty. The Importance of Why? Take Boa Hancock and Robin, Hancock has a bounty of 80 million while Robin has a bounty of 79 million (80 million for simplification). Both characters have a bounty of 80 million, yet, if we look at bounty as a measure of strength, it'd imply Robin at the age of 8 years old is just as powerful as Boa Hancock at the age of 18. The reality is the bounty doesn't tell us anything regarding character strength, it only tells us this character committed a crime or multiple crimes that warranted that value. What should also be looked at is how many crimes were needed to attribute that value? Most Important Factors that Determine Bounty Note: A crime is defined anything that stands to show defiance against the World Government whether directly or indirectly. While it's important to understand bounty in context, there are 2 factors that push bounty more than anything else, and that is number of crimes it took to gain x-bounty and the seriousness of crime. Every time Luffy for example has had his bounty raised, it has always been after a crime that was recognised by the World Government and the gravity of the crime: Luffy initially gained a bounty of 30m after his crimes in East blue. He then gained a bounty of 100m after his crimes at Alabasta. He gained an increased bounty to 300m after crimes at Enies Lobby & Thriller Bark. Another increase to 400m after his crimes from Sabaody to Marineford. And to date, 500m after his crimes at Dressrosa. It took Luffy multiple crimes to garner the bounty he currently has. Contrast Luffy's recognised crimes to Boa Hancock's only 1 recognised crime? It showcases how there's a strong correlation towards the number of crimes and the total value bounty assigned as opposed to strength; one still needs to take account the enormity of the crime as that also majorly influences value. Dragon & Whitebeard Whitebeard who is deemed the strongest man isn't deemed the most wanted man in the world, Dragon (who isn't the strongest man in the world) is recognised as the most wanted man; if one reads bounty as a measure of power, this is a contradiction. However, when one understands bounty as relating more to number of crimes, nature of the crimes and the magnitude, it becomes rather understandable why bounty values can be misleading if one approaches it as a explicit indicator of strength. Whitebeard became somewhat inactive after Roger died which is why one stated how he's not been in the news as of late while someone like Dragon is a constant antagonist against the World Government and likely makes the news more often; this is majorly hinted as he was the focus of the last reverie. It makes it clear that crimes and their significance are the main accelerators of bounty while strength, motivations and many other factors (while they do play a role) are not so much the driving forces of bounty. Just look at how Urouge has the lowest bounty amongst the Supernova bar Luffy, and is the only one who was strong enough to defeat an Emperor’s commander. Minor Factors that Determine Bounty While the number of crimes and nature of crimes is the main driver of bounty, secondary factors can marginally boost them; Kidd had a higher bounty than Luffy simply because he had a proclivity towards sadism and a rather short temper. It still needs be recognised that it's his activity that would still be the primary factor that drives bounty. Nature of Crime & Progression It needs be acknowledged that the nature of the activity needs be recognised. Most Pirates tend to be known for the calamities they have caused here and there overtime. Bare in mind it only took 1 crime for both Robin and Hancock to gain 79m+ bounties, the nature of the crimes were different. Someone like Robin would be far more likely to be inclined to have committed the crime of reading Poneglyph after Poneglypgh, but it would require the World Government being actively aware. The Government are not aware of all locations of Poneglyph, therefore, it's difficult to increase bounty without being able to track her activities. The generic Pirate's crime would be similar to that of Eustass Kidd, someone who pillages and kills. This contrasts vastly to the sort of crimes Robin would commit, therefore, if Robin had a similar bounty to Kidd, it wouldn't reflect strength, it would mostly just indicate she's dangerous to the World Government's eyes, but in what way is she dangerous? We wouldn't even know without an enumeration of the crimes to know their inherent nature. One has to ask where does strength come into this? It hardly does, it's difficult to deduce any level of strength from bounty as it doesn't really give such a value. At the very best, it can indicate that a Pirate is hard-boiled, seasoned, and experienced, but it wouldn't indicate how strong one is; a binary indicator of strength, but no gauge of how strong. The point being made is that bounties shouldn't and can't be generalised until we know more about the character's activites and nature of their activities. Bounty will be determined by various factors, but simply put, it won't give a measure of strength, but a measure of how active character must have been. Conclusion A bounty is just a summary of the level of threat a character posses at a superficial level, but until we get a context regarding the character's background and history, it's impossible to truly grasp bounties and what they mean in regard to a character. it requires knowing the number of crimes committed, the nature of it and the seriousness of the crime. This is why trying to solely determine strength via bounty will always fall short and give the impression that there's something wrong the reality is, it never really represented strength at all. A character of relatively low bounty in essence could be stronger than someone of higher bounty. Spoiler Main changes from the pre-WCI to the current analysis of bounty is the broadening of what incites bounty by the term "crime" up-scaling to the term "incident". The difference is a crime in this context is any provocative or challenging action against a policing (World Government), however with the fact bounties can be raised regardless of World Government interaction, the better term would be "incident" meaning any provocative or challenging action against any faction even without relation to the World Government. The ultimate purpose of bounty is after-all to quantify how threatening an individual is based on any action they've taken.