Discussion How Do We Define Tyranny and Evilness in One Piece?

ProGoddess

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How do we define who is a tyrant and who is evil, or even lawful evilness? The topic does intrigue many of us, doesn't it?

Looking at the definition in the dictionary, it says tyranny is:
  • a state under cruel and oppressive government.
  • rule by one who has absolute power without legal right.
  • cruel, unreasonable, harsh act of proceeding, arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power; despotic abuse of authority.
In the context of discussion here, evil is define as:
  • profoundly immoral and wicked.
  • harmful or tending to harm or something which is harmful or undesirable.
(Obviously notwithstanding the above, there is a vast definitions as stated in wiki which @zetsu banned has pointed out.)

It appears that many of us have different opinion on considering and defining who is a tyrant and who is a downright evil person(s) to the core. In the case of a tyranny, I would consider Doflamingo a tyrant ruler - cruel, vicious and ruthless. But I would define his actions as evil.

In view that the topic has been discussed intensively, I have taken the liberty to copy the related posts over here, which I believe some of you may like to continue your discussion separately. As the chapter thread will be archived soon, once a new chapter is out, it will be plausible to set up a thread on its own which will be a place for you to express your thoughts.

The topic can be sensitive to some, so please do stay cool and calm in your debate. You may use examples to illustration your point too.

Below are the posts for your reference.

I'm going to be very angry if we get a sob story for Mam. The yonkou should be ruthless. Even the morally cool ones like Shanks and Whitebeard are tyrants in their own rights. I think her desire to have a 'paradise for all races' should be her only redeeming quality, much like Whitebeard's was to 'have a family'.

Even though I totally expect her 'paradise for all races' has more to do with her appetite than some sense of righteousness, I'd really rather it be played straight this time.
How were Shanks and Whitebeard tyrants? Whitebeard seemed to care about his friends and family a lot to the point that he declared Fishman Island as his own mainly to protect it without expecting anything in return.

I think we'll have a sob story for most villains, though it depends on how it justifies their actions. I wouldn't mind the ruthlessness from BIg Mom and Kaidou though, but I don't think we've come across truly evil characters yet, unless you count dumbass Hodi.
Well, so far ... doflamingo is the most evil that i have seen in one piece. kaidou might replace him but i will wait and see how his arc goes.
There are quite a few definitions of 'tyrant'. Whitebeard is obviously an exception with his father/children system of crew members, but I'd definitely call him a tyrant otherwise. You can't really become a yonkou without being tyrannical.

Enel springs to mind as evil. Akainu is pretty lawful evil.
I would definitely say Whitebeard was a tyrant. He may have allowed the countries in his territory to live relatively peaceful lives (as much as can be possible in the One Piece world) but he definitely ruled with an iron fist. Those were his territories and anyone acting in a fashion he didn't condone were subject to his wrath. Even Buggy knew to never harm a member of Whitebeard's crew.


The fact that Whitebeard's territories were peaceful does not mean Whitebeard was not a tyrant, the peace in his territories were based on threats of extreme violence and death, which is exactly what tyrants use.
yeah, I was thinking about Doflamingo, but even he showed to care for his crew as long as they were loyal to him.

Oh right, I forgot about the Tenryuubito! They're definitely the most evil pieces of shit ever.


How is he a tyrant? What have he and Shanks done to call them tyrants? Isn't it normal for captains to want to hurt someone if they mess with his crew? It's possible to become a Yonkou without being tyrannical.

Enel turned good, methinks, and I never saw Akainu as evil. He's an antagonist, but his motivation is for the betterment of the world, and he sees pirates as evil.
Illegitimate rulers that are pretty much unilateral dictators? The definition of a yonkou is synonymous with the definition (many of them anyways) of tyrannical. I don't think Whitebeard was any softer than Roger- they're just the morally lighter end of that particular spectrum.

Enel good? Never :P

Akainu? That's why I qualified him as lawful evil, like how Byakuya was portrayed in early (decent) Bleach. The concept of "Absolute Justice" itself could be easily qualified as lawful evil distilled, and Akainu is that personified. Black and white morality tends to paint a character more evil than individual understanding. Just because he's not crooked or self-interested doesn't make him less evil. Just a different flavor of it.

Hilarious example of what Akainu makes me think of: Master Asia from G Gundam. THE well-intentioned extremist. Aka is just the lawful version of Master Asia's chaotic version.
How is it synonymous? Emperors are not necessarily tyrannical, and Whitebeard hasn't shown such trait either. How would desire to protect loved ones make him tyrannical? Doflamingo would be considered tyrannical, but not Whitebeard or Cobra (for example), as far as we know. I'm asking for proof, but no one is providing any.

Hey, blame the cover story, not me. Didn't Enel save those chipmunks in the moon sanctuary or something?

I know, but I don't see Akainu as evil at all. I think it depends on the point of view, and our point of view is that the Straw Hats are good guys and protagonists, while Akainu is an antagonist and potentially evil because he wants to kill Luffy. Akainu's motives make it difficult for me to see him as an evil person, lawfully evil or not. I'm looking at it a bit black and white, but not all that blindly. His desire is to rid the world of evil and chaos and to bring peace, no? THerefore, I don't consider him evil, whereas someone like Spandem is evil because he doesn't care about peace, he wants power and recognition and is willing to do whatever it takes. At least Akainu's is somewhat justified, as much as I disagree with "Absolute Justice." Would it be right for us to judge him as evil without understanding what made him like this? At least we can judge Doflamingo as evil for the most part because he was a shithead as a child too.

I don't watch G Gundam, or I've never watched it. But yeah, Akainu is an extremist.

This is what cemented Akainu as an evil character to me. Even Spandam's father was willing to spare the non-archaeologist population of Ohara live, but Akainu killed them all just on the off chance that any archaeologists were on board. Add that to the fact that the enitre reason they were destroying Ohara was that the Oharans had the audacity to try and learn about the past, and there is nothing good about Akainu. Those weren't pirates that Akainu was murdering without hesitation, they were innocent civilians.
What if learning about the Blank Century would cause horrible chaos? It seems whatever went on during those decades were pretty bad, and that it could make people be pissed off with the WG and lose faith. All we know is whatever went on was enough to make Roger suggest Robin explore more of the world before learning what happened. I disagree with Akainu, but I don't think it's fair to call him evil.

Hmm, I do think Jinbei could be at a disadvantage if Big Mom decided to use his crew as punishment. Jinbei likely doesn't fear death or losing a limb, but he'd definitely be afraid if his crew mate or Straw Hats would run into trouble.
That's a whole 'nother argument that has nothing to do directly with this one, since Akainu definitely doesn't have secret knowledge of the 'Void Century' like Sengoku/Roger did. I would like to debate about that, though it would need its own thread ^^

Then it's just a disagreement of defintions. I linked a simple wiki page as my 'source' for the definition of tyranny- that page isn't exactly mired in 'source needed' tags either. WB is unusual for tyrants in that he wants to protect everyone under his banner in an absolute manner, but that is also a tyrannical trait in its own right- his decisions about BB are central to that tyrannical mindset. Shanks wanted to reach a consensus about Teach eventually but WB declined and eventually it led to his downfall and the pilfering of the Gura Gura which Teach would use to murder most of the WB pirates.

And I can't not see Akainu is evil. Plenty of villains think they are doing what is right, that doesn't redefine them as misunderstood/anti-heroes/neutrals imo. Akainu's attack on Ohara cemented it for me.
How do you know that? Even if that is true, what if he had some knowledge or was told what the repercussions would be if the secret was to be revealed?

But didn't Whitebeard or someone try to stop Ace and failed? If Whitebeard was tyrannical, he would have locked Ace up or found a way to prevent him from going after Blackbeard as Whitebeard was initially against the idea. Nothing Whitebeard did indicated he was a tyrant, at least we know Big Mom is a tyrant because she is willing to destroy Fishman Island if she doesn't get her sweets. Doflamingo was a tyrant because he punished anyone who went against him and forced the former humans and dwarves to keep working, with the former humans living as if they never existed for anyone. What has Whitebeard done? He took over Fishman Island with the intent to protect it from bad people, and he is willing to go up against anyone who wants to hurt his family. Hell, even when Ace was trying to kill him Whitebeard never even tried to kill or seriously hurt Ace.

Meh, I think motivation matters, and it's why I can't see Akainu as evil. He's an extremist who wants to eradicate evil, which pirates essentially are although there are few exceptions. Though, I do think he's a major asshole, given how he trashtalked Whitebeard.
 

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Whitebeard can still be a tyrant without locking up Ace or being overbearing.

Assuming one runs with such a notion as the definition or standard of what qualifies one to be a tyrant, then Joker/Doflamingo who didn't kill his top-ranked subordinates (whom he also refereed to as 'family') like Trebol, whose neglect resulted in Sugar losing consciousness and 10 years worth of work that stabilized Joker's fake democracy - that negligence warranted death. However, I'm certain anyone and everyone would agree that Joker irregardless is a tyrant because he's a lunatic and sadist who revels in crushing the weak.

With that said, Whitebeard & Shanks could also be tyrants, except to those whom they love as is the case with Joker, even Crocodile is somewhat affectionate to Mr. 1 which he expresses with subtlety, such as when defending him after Mihawk slashed him and even inviting him to come along for his campaign in the New World.

A Yonko is someone who takes over territory, you either take it by force, or it's handed over to you willingly. Therefore, it's quite reasonable to assume that all Yonkos could very well and are very likely to be tyrants. We can't think they're innocent simply because we like them, or because they're friends of Luffy.

Shanks' crew kill a group of bandits when he could simply have made lose consciousness, or, even avoided killing because they're just that strong, instead, they still killed them to prove a point. Pirates are cruel and selfish, even if they have some form of honour, they're still cruel and selfish, and do things for their own benefit.
 
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Well, with those definitions virtually everyone in the manga is almost cartoonishly evil. The world government is just overtly evil, the yonko meet the definitions mentioned here even more literally... Most pirates are at least complicit with yonko. So far the only ones who do not fall into the category would be the strawhats and civilians.
 

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I'm sorry but how WB is a tyrant again ? There's no indication that WB took territories by force at all, the only instance we saw him " taking territory " was at the request of Neptune, and even then it seems WB did not interfere with FI nor did he ask them some sort of payment

WB is not a tyrant at all no matter what, he used his name to protect islands but never conquered them, he never attacked innocents unlike what many pirates do out there

Same case for Shanks, how does it make him a tyrant if he killed a bunch of bandit who were ready to kill a kid (Luffy) and were shitting up the place ? Them killing scum doesn't make them tyrant at all... And again, there's no case of Shanks attacking innocents or taking islands by force
 

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I'm sorry but how WB is a tyrant again ? There's no indication that WB took territories by force at all, the only instance we saw him " taking territory " was at the request of Neptune, and even then it seems WB did not interfere with FI nor did he ask them some sort of payment

WB is not a tyrant at all no matter what, he used his name to protect islands but never conquered them, he never attacked innocents unlike what many pirates do out there

Same case for Shanks, how does it make him a tyrant if he killed a bunch of bandit who were ready to kill a kid (Luffy) and were shitting up the place ? Them killing scum doesn't make them tyrant at all... And again, there's no case of Shanks attacking innocents or taking islands by force
You do know that Fishman Island is not Whitebeard's only territory.

Do you think Shanks and Whitebeard became Emperors in their respective territories via election? They must have taken it over by force.

Pirates are not exactly saints, or they'd be loved, and there are hardly any Pirates so far that have been praised besides the SHs.
 

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I'm sorry but how WB is a tyrant again ? There's no indication that WB took territories by force at all, the only instance we saw him " taking territory " was at the request of Neptune, and even then it seems WB did not interfere with FI nor did he ask them some sort of payment

WB is not a tyrant at all no matter what, he used his name to protect islands but never conquered them, he never attacked innocents unlike what many pirates do out there

Same case for Shanks, how does it make him a tyrant if he killed a bunch of bandit who were ready to kill a kid (Luffy) and were shitting up the place ? Them killing scum doesn't make them tyrant at all... And again, there's no case of Shanks attacking innocents or taking islands by force
Well, the key here would be that shanks almost certainly went about doing the exact same thing he did during his time at luffy's village all over the ocean. Shanks for better or worst has gone out to sea and got to the position he is at specifically by besting his enemies and considering how they were back at luffy's island odds are there is literally a trail of corpses behind them wherever they go. Those corpses belonging to other pirates or enemies is IMO a non issue. Yonko territories are as far as we know enforced by force. Sure, shanks does not go arbitrarily destroying or conquering places BB style or as other pirates attempt. But for me it's kinda hard to make the case that even with whatever moral highground he can claim that he is not a tyrant. Pirates work in a mafia like mentality in the end. Specially WB who had a reputation of screwing up anyone who dared mess with them.... The yonko are ultimately not the good guys, not even shanks or WB.
 

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I don't see Whitebeard and Shanks being tyrants not because I like them (I don't give a shit about Whitebeard) or because they were on good terms with Luffy. I'm going by with what I see, and Whitebeard never came across like a tyrant. We never saw him hurt citizens of his territories or the people he ruled over for no reason. How do we know how he ruled? All we saw his how he ran his crew.

We don't even know what territories Shanks has, if any.

We know Doflamingo was a tyrant because of how he treated his subjects, and Crocodile was probably worse because he was willing to sacrifice his followers and punished them. What has Whitebeard done to make him a tyrant? Protect his crew? What about SHanks? Killed the bandits, who were bad guys? Show me Whitebeard torturing a citizen of his territory for some dumb reason like how Helmeppo had Zoro chained, or Shanks hurting anyone who disagrees with him or disrespects him as Enel did.

If I recall, didn't Shanks go crazy because the bandits went after his friends? Even when they disrespected him and spat on him, Shanks laughed it off. No tyrant would do that - the Tenryuubito would have the bandits tortured and be made into slaves while Wapol would have eaten the bandits or buried them alive or something.
 

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You do know that Fishman Island is not Whitebeard's only territory.

Do you think Shanks and Whitebeard became Emperors in their respective territories via election? They must have taken it over by force.

Pirates are not exactly saints, or they'd be loved, and there are hardly any Pirates so far that have been praised besides the SHs.
If WB was truly a tyrant, then we'd see an organization similar to Kaido/Big Mom
WB was seen mostly in the sea, in his own ship, minding his own business... Shanks and WB became Yonko because they are strong as fuck, WB's status being Roger's rival speaks for itself, there is no need for him to conquer territories and would go against the personality of both of them

If these two had territories, it is simply for protection purposes... At least for WB this holds true, Shanks is the kind of guy who likes to be free and explore places, he has no interest in military power or getting territories (even though I have no proof for this, his personality speaks for himself), we're not sure if Shanks does have territories or not, maybe some deserted island as an HQ and even that seems farfetched

There are hardly any pirates praised besides the SHs because this manga is about the SHs adventures, not Shanks or WB's adventures, so we don't have details about their adventures

I think you're attaching too much importance to the Yonko/Territories equation, they are called Yonko because of their strength before anything else, not because of how many islands they have under thumb. Them having territories and a lot of islands is just a consequence of their strength
--- Double Post Merged, , Original Post Date: ---
Well, the key here would be that shanks almost certainly went about doing the exact same thing he did during his time at luffy's village all over the ocean. Shanks for better or worst has gone out to sea and got to the position he is at specifically by besting his enemies and considering how they were back at luffy's island odds are there is literally a trail of corpses behind them wherever they go. Those corpses belonging to other pirates or enemies is IMO a non issue. Yonko territories are as far as we know enforced by force. Sure, shanks does not go arbitrarily destroying or conquering places BB style or as other pirates attempt. But for me it's kinda hard to make the case that even with whatever moral highground he can claim that he is not a tyrant. Pirates work in a mafia like mentality in the end. Specially WB who had a reputation of screwing up anyone who dared mess with them.... The yonko are ultimately not the good guys, not even shanks or WB.
How is it a bad thing if you're attacking someone who messes with you ? Shanks didn't care about the bandits throwing beer at him, spitting on him but they messed with his friends and decided to take action, I don't find that bad at all

For me it's simple, if you're retaliating against someone who caused you harm, that's in no way being a bad guy
 

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If WB was truly a tyrant, then we'd see an organization similar to Kaido/Big Mom
WB was seen mostly in the sea, in his own ship, minding his own business... Shanks and WB became Yonko because they are strong as fuck, WB's status being Roger's rival speaks for itself, there is no need for him to conquer territories and would go against the personality of both of them

If these two had territories, it is simply for protection purposes... At least for WB this holds true, Shanks is the kind of guy who likes to be free and explore places, he has no interest in military power or getting territories (even though I have no proof for this, his personality speaks for himself), we're not sure if Shanks does have territories or not, maybe some deserted island as an HQ and even that seems farfetched

There are hardly any pirates praised besides the SHs because this manga is about the SHs adventures, not Shanks or WB's adventures, so we don't have details about their adventures

I think you're attaching too much importance to the Yonko/Territories equation, they are called Yonko because of their strength before anything else, not because of how many islands they have under thumb. Them having territories and a lot of islands is just a consequence of their strength

Tyrant or not, they're possessors of large territory. They didn't pay for it, they're Pirates. They didn't just become Yonko for defending themselves. It's not a responsibility or sense of duty that fell upon them, or an appointment by people. Yonko rule like kings in their territory.

Where did you get this idea that Kaido and Big Mom didn't become Yonko because they're strong too? People don't just become Yonko. Yonko are the 4 most powerful Pirates individually who own territory. I'm sure you remember what happened to Whitebeard Pirates within 2 years of his death? They're completely irrelevant and not considered as potentials who can aim for the throne wars; point being made is no Yonko crew is nothing without their individual leader.

Yonko is not a term given simply for strength, but territory. Roger was the Strongest Pirate in his age, yet he wasn't even a Yonko, why? because he had no territory. If Yonko was simply strength, Mihawk would be one since it's been implied he's at least equal to Shanks.

The very word conquer in itself generally refers to taking taking over a territory by force.


We're told Blackbeard conquered Whitebeard's territory by defeating the remnants of the WB Pirates, and that's when he became a Yonko, what do you think the word 'conquer' is alluding to? Just found it and simply moved on? I think not. Conquer is not being used sentimentally or metaphorically.

Nothing at all suggest it's for protection, but personal ambition. We've only seen 1 case where it was for Protection, and that's Fishman Island. What did Whitebeard say to Ace? Join me, and run wild on the seas with your name on my back? Nothing about that is about pacifism or justice, but pure ambition. He wasn't grooming Ace to be the man of the people.

There's a huge error in assuming that characters are good people just because they're associated with Luffy or appear to be good, they're juts the best of 2 evils, better than the Marines. The SHs are also a completely different type of Pirate, they're a contradiction. Zoro helped an injured civilian, and Bonney and co asked what sort of Pirate helps people? Pirates are not good people, SHs are not representative of Pirates, they're unique.

Law didn't even want to save Dressrosa, he was prepared to leave, he cared very little about the people of Dressrosa. Only the SHs actively go around bringing peace to all. Roger himself was a detested figure, he wasn't necessarily a good person. He was just out for his own goals, own ambitions, a very selfish man who sought out adventure.

Pirates are tyrants, there's a reason people hate them. It's not just propaganda, but experience.
 

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Tyrant or not, they're possessors of large territory. They didn't pay for it, they're Pirates. They didn't just become Yonko for defending themselves. It's not a responsibility or sense of duty that fell upon them, or an appointment by people. Yonko rule like kings in their territory.
That is half true, Kaido and BM are ruling like true kings in their territory (even more true for BM), such a thing does not totally apply to Shanks and WB
Was WB ruling in FI ? No it was Neptune and his family, they merely used his name to protect themselves from the hordes of pirates... I doubt WB and Shanks interfere with people's lives and set rules and regulations

If they do not set the rules and are merely lending their name to islands for protection purposes, then that's not ruling at all

Where did you get this idea that Kaido and Big Mom didn't become Yonko because they're strong too? People don't just become Yonko. Yonko are the 4 most powerful Pirates individually who own territory. I'm sure you remember what happened to Whitebeard Pirates within 2 years of his death? They're completely irrelevant and not considered as potentials who can aim for the throne wars; point being made is no Yonko crew is nothing without their individual leader.

Yonko is not a term given simply for strength, but territory. Roger was the Strongest Pirate in his age, yet he wasn't even a Yonko, why? because he had no territory. If Yonko was simply strength, Mihawk would be one since it's been implied he's at least equal to Shanks.

The very word conquer in itself generally refers to taking taking over a territory by force.
Erm the territories they "got" are a consequence of their strength, it is not the main criteria at all
Someone like Shanks and WB do not conquer territories in the traditional sense because they have no interest in that.

I agree with you that without their leader, the Yonko crew are not as dangerous as they could be, not arguing about that
Roger not being a Yonko has nothing to do with this since:

  1. We're unsure if the concept of Yonko existed during his time (aka four strong ass pirates called Yonko)
  2. He was the Pirate King, something above Yonko
I find it a bit weird you're omitting an important detail in this discussion, on how Roger "conquered" Grand Line yet it's not like every island was under his thumb or something like that, did Roger go take by force every island in the GL ? Of course he did not, because he had no interest in territories, in the same fashion as Shanks and WB

Notice how the word conquer is used in OP with two meanings, one means acquiring territory and the other one means overcoming obstacles

Nothing at all suggest it's for protection, but personal ambition. We've only seen 1 case where it was for Protection, and that's Fishman Island. What did Whitebeard say to Ace? Join me, and run wild on the seas with your name on my back? Nothing about that is about pacifism or justice, but pure ambition. He wasn't grooming Ace to be the man of the people.
Again, you're completely disregarding WB and Shanks personality to prove your point, of course Oda would not show every island out there but based on this specific event and WB's personality, he clearly had no interest in making his territory bigger, I doubt he even gave a fuck about such thing as territory to begin with

I find it also weird you're dismissing Jinbe's words in ID where he said WB is protecting a number of islands with the power of his name, which means it's just not FI
Run wild with your name on my back does not equate a free license to do evil acts and being a dick, you do realize that do you ? He's basically just told him to join me and be free to do what you want

There's a huge error in assuming that characters are good people just because they're associated with Luffy or appear to be good, they're juts the best of 2 evils, better than the Marines. The SHs are also a completely different type of Pirate, they're a contradiction. Zoro helped an injured civilian, and Bonney and co asked what sort of Pirate helps people? Pirates are not good people, SHs are not representative of Pirates, they're unique.

Law didn't even want to save Dressrosa, he was prepared to leave, he cared very little about the people of Dressrosa. Only the SHs actively go around bringing peace to all. Roger himself was a detested figure, he wasn't necessarily a good person. He was just out for his own goals, own ambitions, a very selfish man who sought out adventure.

Pirates are tyrants, there's a reason people hate them. It's not just propaganda, but experience.
Nobody is saying pirates are good, however in this case WB and Shanks are anything but tyrants since WB and Shanks do not use power opressively or unjustly no matter how you'd like paint it

The SHs bring peace to whatever place they go because Luffy become friends with one or two persons from there, if Luffy and the SHs truly had a righteous spirit they'd join the RA or something like that

Luffy would not give a damn about Alabasta if it weren't for Vivi, does that make him a tyrant ? No, but that doesn't make him a bad person at all since he's not harming anyone is he ?

Same for Shanks, WB, Roger, all of them do not harm people for the sake of it and they only retaliate
 

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I find it a bit weird you're omitting an important detail in this discussion, on how Roger "conquered" Grand Line yet it's not like every island was under his thumb or something like that,
Roger conquering the Grand Line is not saying he took over territories, he defeated the Yonkos and opposing Admirals. One cannot be Pirate King without defeating the most powerful Pirates in the Grand Line.

That's why we have the likes of Shiki proposing to Roger to rule the Grand Lin/worlde with him, but Roger replied he doesn't want to rule, he just wants to be free.
Roger conquers to be free just like Luffy will; other Pirates such as Shiki conquer to control just like Blackbeard conquered Whitebeard's territory in order to control it.

It even says here that Roger was the last to control the sea in the same vein as Whitebeard. We know Whitebeard wasn't ruling the sea in the sense all territory was his, however, the only thing Roger and Whitebeard had in common was, both were walls people could not surpass, or defeat, that is what it means to control the sea or conquer the Grand line.

Erm the territories they "got" are a consequence of their strength, it is not the main criteria at all
Someone like Shanks and WB do not conquer territories in the traditional sense because they have no interest in that.

Then, why do they have territories if they're not interested in that? It's like owning gold, and then saying you're not interested in gold, then why have you accumulated a lot of gold? At the very least, they're owners of a good number of Islands which is regarded as territory because they're feared, not via election or any just cause.

Garp already gave us the explanation of a Yonko, and that's someone who has influence over a region. No one can have that much influence without being feared as a result of strength. It's not a democratic process that crowns one as a Yonko.


Unlike many Pirates, Luffy is not interested in becoming a Yonko, that's why when Barto and co. all said that if he's going to rule the sea, he needs a fleet. However, Luffy said he doesn't need to be a big shot and rule over people, he just wants to be free which Barto just began to understand. Initially, due to lack of understanding, Law and everybody else was shocked because his idea is unique to him alone.

His idea of being a Pirate King is unique and it dictates why he wouldn't be a Yonko (big-shot). A Pirate King is a big-shot, but not in the same way a Yonko is. A Yonko rules territory after taking it over by force, a Pirate King just has to defeat all strong-holds in the Grand line.

Everyone besides Luffy conquers to rule, Luffy conquers to be free. The only reason they offered Luffy their fealty in such a way is because this is the way all Pirates think.

With that said, anyone who aimed to be Pirate King besides Luffy would literally be asserting they're trying to make the entire Grand line their territory, because they want to rule over it; Big Mom essentially aims to make the Grand line Totland, or she'd never have fought Whitebeard over his territory.

Same for Shanks, WB, Roger, all of them do not harm people for the sake of it and they only retaliate

You cannot mention Roger in the same vein as Whitebeard or Shanks in this instance. Why didn't Roger have territory then? Why do Shanks and Whitebeard have territory? Why are they ruling over a portion of the Grand line? and you do realize that Roger was a hated man? the world had no love for him.

Shanks didn't even need to kill those bandits, he could have knocked them out or used Haoshoku to knock them out assuming they were weak enough to succumb to it. However, he killed them to make a point. He's not as moral as you're making him out to be.

Your premise suggests they were given territory just like that. It doesn't work like that.
 

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Roger conquering the Grand Line is not saying he took over territories, he defeated the Yonkos and opposing Admirals. One cannot be Pirate King without defeating the most powerful Pirates in the Grand Line.
I don't remember the manga mentioning Roger fought the Yonkou or that Yonkou even existed back then.

And no one thus far has been able to provide proof that WHitebeard and Shanks are tyrants. Being an emperor doesn't necessarily mean a tyrant, and all Whitebeard did was give Ace freedom to move under his protection.
 

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I don't remember the manga mentioning Roger fought the Yonkou or that Yonkou even existed back then.

And no one thus far has been able to provide proof that WHitebeard and Shanks are tyrants. Being an emperor doesn't necessarily mean a tyrant, and all Whitebeard did was give Ace freedom to move under his protection.
Roger fought with Whitebeard and Shiki. A Yonko is simply a Pirate with great influence with territory. Shiki owned the largest fleet, so why he wouldn't be considered an Emperor wouldn't make sense. Whitebeard and Shiki were the 2 great Pirates, and Roger was superior to both.

We're explicitly told that:
  • Roger was a wall that Shiki and Whitebeard couldn't overcome by Shiki himself.
  • Akainu validates this by also telling us Whitebeard was stopped by Roger.
So, he certainly did defeat them.

Nonetheless, Shanks and Whitebeard are no SHs. They own territory, no one owns territory by democracy, but by force or intimidation. Just because they treat their Nakama with dignitity and respect, doesn't necessarily make them good people. End of the day, they're people who own territory.

It's a bit like claiming that a slave owner is not a tyrant just because he comes across as nice, how did a slave owner come to own slaves? did the slaves just throw themselves at him and beg him to be their master? Same is the case with an Emperor or Yonko, they weren't elected, they made those territories theirs for their own ambition.
 

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Roger conquering the Grand Line is not saying he took over territories, he defeated the Yonkos and opposing Admirals. One cannot be Pirate King without defeating the most powerful Pirates in the Grand Line.

That's why we have the likes of Shiki proposing to Roger to rule the Grand Lin/worlde with him, but Roger replied he doesn't want to rule, he just wants to be free.
Then, why do they have territories if they're not interested in that? It's like owning gold, and then saying you're not interested in gold, then why have you accumulated a lot of gold? At the very least, they're owners of a good number of Islands which is regarded as territory because they're feared, not via election or any just cause.

Garp already gave us the explanation of a Yonko, and that's someone who has influence over a region. No one can have that much influence without being feared as a result of strength. It's not a democratic process that crowns one as a Yonko.
I half agree with you, obviously Roger wanted to be free, Shanks values his freedom as well and the same could be said for WB

However, again the point is that WB and Shanks are not the type who seek territories for themselves, in the case of WB he is not interested by that, he's "claiming" territories in order to protect and more likely at the request of people there, no doubt in my mind that WB is not the type of guy who goes conquering islands just for the sake of it, I've already given you Jinbe's words about how he's protecting islands out there

While they may be called WB or Shanks' territories, they didn't actively seek it out, this is the key element here


Unlike many Pirates, Luffy is not interested in becoming a Yonko, that's why when Barto and co. all said that if he's going to rule the sea, he needs a fleet. However, Luffy said he doesn't need to be a big shot and rule over people, he just wants to be free which Barto just began to understand. Initially, due to lack of understanding, Law and everybody else was shocked because his idea is unique to him alone.

His idea of being a Pirate King is unique and it dictates why he wouldn't be a Yonko (big-shot). A Pirate King is a big-shot, but not in the same way a Yonko is. A Yonko rules territory after taking it over by force, a Pirate King just has to defeat all strong-holds in the Grand line.

Everyone besides Luffy conquers to rule, Luffy conquers to be free. The only reason they offered Luffy their fealty in such a way is because this is the way all Pirates think.

With that said, anyone who aimed to be Pirate King besides Luffy would literally be asserting they're trying to make the entire Grand line their territory, because they want to rule over it; Big Mom essentially aims to make the Grand line Totland, or she'd never have fought Whitebeard over his territory.
Quoting Luffy is a bad idea since he already claimed he wants to make FI his own turf... Why ? To protect it from BM
See how his words are contradicting here ? Basically, you're saying Luffy is no Yonko and thus no tyrant because he wants to be free, fair enough
Yet you claim Shanks/WB are tyrants because they have territories most likely for protection issues... It is pretty clear based on their personality that they're having territories for the same reason as Luffy wanting to make FI his turf

Shanks and WB do not conquer to rule, they have no interest in that, I can't believe I have to argue with you about this point


You cannot mention Roger in the same vein as Whitebeard or Shanks in this instance. Why didn't Roger have territory then? Why do Shanks and Whitebeard have territory? Why are they ruling over a portion of the Grand line? and you do realize that Roger was a hated man? the world had no love for him.

Shanks didn't even need to kill those bandits, he could have knocked them out or used Haoshoku to knock them out assuming they were weak enough to succumb to it. However, he killed them to make a point. He's not as moral as you're making him out to be.
We do not know if Roger didn't lend his name to islands to protect them in the same fashion as WB or Shanks
Second thing, we do not know about how pirates were operating or if criminal organizations such as Kaido/BM were around, fact is we have no idea about the power struggle in the pirate world during Roger's time

Finally, that's a poor example concerning Shanks and the bandits, how could we know Oda created Haoshoku back then ? People take Shanks intimdating the sea king as Haoshoku, however that's just staring/presence thing that many Shonen manga use
--- Double Post Merged, , Original Post Date: ---
Nonetheless, Shanks and Whitebeard are no SHs. They own territory, no one owns territory by democracy, but by force or intimidation. Just because they treat their Nakama with dignitity and respect, doesn't necessarily make them good people. End of the day, they're people who own territory.
Why are you dismissing FI's case then ? WB didn't just come and ruled there, Neptune called for his help, he stopped the pirates and claimed FI was his territory but never ruled or anything like that
 

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Quoting Luffy is a bad idea since he already claimed he wants to make FI his own turf... Why ? To protect it from BM
See how his words are contradicting here ? Basically, you're saying Luffy is no Yonko and thus no tyrant because he wants to be free, fair enough
Yet you claim Shanks/WB are tyrants because they have territories most likely for protection issues... It is pretty clear based on their personality that they're having territories for the same reason as Luffy wanting to make FI his turf
That is different.

Luffy is protecting it. Not ruling over it.

Large territories are not protected, they're owned.

Yonko rule over territories, we've been told this by Garp.

While they may be called WB or Shanks' territories, they didn't actively seek it out, this is the key element here
Contradicted by what Garp says, Yonko rule over territories. If Whitebeard was simply protecting these territories, he wouldn't be said as of every Yonko, to be reigning like an Emperor over it.

Why are you dismissing FI's case then ? WB didn't just come and ruled there, Neptune called for his help, he stopped the pirates and claimed FI was his territory but never ruled or anything like that
We're told Yonko rule over territory, Fishman Island wasn't ruled over, it was merely claimed to deter Pirates from misbehaving being that it was the entrance that everyone goes through to get into the New World.

If Yonko were as good as you make them out to be, the world wouldn't be happy to hear that they died, they'd be more likely to side with them against the WG, but they don't.

Finally, that's a poor example concerning Shanks and the bandits, how could we know Oda created Haoshoku back then ? People take Shanks intimidating the sea king as Haoshoku, however that's just staring/presence thing that many Shonen manga use
That is Haoshoku, would be absurd to say otherwise in light of all the evidence. We've seen this effect throughout the series. Luffy just stares, and they get deterred by intimidation or lose consciousness. This is no different to what Shanks did, it clearly is Haki.
And it's good you use the word intimidation, Haoshoku has been explicitly described as the power to intimidate.
Shanks really didn't need to kill the bandits, he could simply have injured them. As i've said before, Shanks is not as righteous as you're trying to make out, even Roger isn't righteous, he KILLED Squardo's crew which is why he was upset when he heard Ace was Roger's son.
 

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How is it a bad thing if you're attacking someone who messes with you ? Shanks didn't care about the bandits throwing beer at him, spitting on him but they messed with his friends and decided to take action, I don't find that bad at all

For me it's simple, if you're retaliating against someone who caused you harm, that's in no way being a bad guy
The issue here is the intrinsically violent nature of being a pirate. Take shanks killing the mountain bandits. As far as we saw back then shanks was at least a haki user back then. Probably no a master at it or anything of the sort but overall the indication was that he was a pretty powerful guy, specially considering the enemies he was up against. So.. Why did he kill them? A "good" guy would have easily just punched and knocked out the guys in question. Luffy would have done that. He hasn't killed people who have done way more to him (though luffy is not without faults either). I am not going to say there aren't scenarios where a good guy has to kill a bad guy. But killing a bad guy just when there were alternatives or because they are pirates is easily anti-hero territory and at worst psychopath territory. Sure, shanks did sort of try to avoid the fight. Good. But this is not a situation where shanks get a grade of 80/100 because of that. Shanks and his crew killed a guy they really could have simply not killed. That's a 0/100. I have a hard time not seeing shanks as a tyrant if there is not middle ground between fighting and killing. And even at his confrontation with WB.. Why did he even attack WB? WB told him to fuck off. Shanks could as easily have done that. There was absolutely nothing to be gained from attacking WB. Ulitmately the only reason he attacked WB is because shanks himself is a violent nutjob who has no middle ground between not fighting and killing fodder who then has the gal to preach about this being an era of recklessness.

As for WB... Well, he had the sense to not want to go against BB which is perhaps even more sense and restrain than shanks has shown. But he was easily swayed by ace to allow him to hunt BB and then went to war to save ace. But initially not wanting to do this does not get him a partial grade, he went after BB, that's fail. Then the war thing. On the surface it might seem to make sense. But if you look at it a smidge closer it is quite clear WB is an insane nutjob. Ok, the government arrested ace and was bound to execute him. WB mobilizes his entire army to save him. However that very army is comprised entirely of people who are every bit as important to him as ace. It's not that only the commanders were his sons. Every single crewmember and affiliated crew was comprised of people who should by any logic be as important to him as ace. So WB went to that war and with every single death that his side took was the equivalent to ace dying. However WB still went there with his army to fight to save one son. It makes absolutely no sense for WB to fight this war at all even if ace was going to die if every nameless pirate who dies is as much a loss as ace. Unless of course WB was lying about his crew being his sons. It is completely and overtly obvious that this war had no plausible victory for WB. Even if he saved ace, WB would have unquestionably lost a bunch of other people whom he called sons (regardless of whether he even knew their names). WB ultimately went to war because the tyrannical nature yonko have. Because they are intrinsically violent guys who run criminal underground empires who solve their problems via intimidation and fear. It's a violent mafia like mentality that set the tone for WB's actions. Hence he proclaimed to the marines how he was going to show them what happens when you mess with them. The issue is of course not in itself that WB tried or wanted to save ace. The issue is that he tried to save ace via doing something in which there was literally no victory to be had because even in the unlikely event that they did save ace a bunch of other people would have died. Of course, the case could be made that WB cared more about ace than his other children.... But somehow WB being this much of a hypocrite is even worst...
 

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Roger fought with Whitebeard and Shiki. A Yonko is simply a Pirate with great influence with territory. Shiki owned the largest fleet, so why he wouldn't be considered an Emperor wouldn't make sense. Whitebeard and Shiki were the 2 great Pirates, and Roger was superior to both.

We're explicitly told that:
  • Roger was a wall that Shiki and Whitebeard couldn't overcome by Shiki himself.
  • Akainu validates this by also telling us Whitebeard was stopped by Roger.
So, he certainly did defeat them.

Nonetheless, Shanks and Whitebeard are no SHs. They own territory, no one owns territory by democracy, but by force or intimidation. Just because they treat their Nakama with dignitity and respect, doesn't necessarily make them good people. End of the day, they're people who own territory.

It's a bit like claiming that a slave owner is not a tyrant just because he comes across as nice, how did a slave owner come to own slaves? did the slaves just throw themselves at him and beg him to be their master? Same is the case with an Emperor or Yonko, they weren't elected, they made those territories theirs for their own ambition.
A Yonkou is a group of four emperors, though, and so far we only know two that could be considered emperors, and maybe not even that at that time. I thought a Yonkou was defined as four emperors having many territories each, at least in the New World. Having the largest fleet wouldn't make one an emperor if the person doesn't have a territory to speak of.

We're also told that Roger won (against Shiki?) due to luck when a bad storm occurred and wiped out most of his opponent's fleet.

Whitebeard did not acquire Fishman Island by force or intimidation, he acquired it by stating it's under his protection, but he let Neptune (as far as we know) rule it however he wanted. Territories can be owned by democracy and ruled however way the citizens or rulers want it, and we have one example of that. Luffy and Whitebeard managed to own Fishman Island by democracy, if not Luffy anyway, so that proves you wrong.

I say they're good people based on how they treat others. Ace wasn't even a nakama and was the son of Whitebeard's former enemy, yet he took him in and showed him fatherly affection. Who else did Whitebeard and Shanks mistreat? Mountain bandits? They were bad guys, and even then Shanks didn't think anything of it until Luffy was in trouble.

Your comparison doesn't work. I mean, if Luffy acquired more territories because he wanted to protect them, and because people wanted the territories to be under his protection, would you call him a tyrant?


Whitebeard would have probably done the same for anyone in his crew, not just for Ace. Though, wasn't he grooming Ace to be the next pirate king? I don't see what's wrong with Whitebeard and his crew voluntarily going to save Ace, who refused to listen to Whitebeard about not hunting Teach. He sacrificed his own life to save his crew, even.
 

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So, after Whitebeard died, we see Brownbeard taking over one a constituent of Whitebeard's territory. They're happy to evoke Whitebeard's name which seems to imply he protected them which is why this territory as are the others, his territory, and not a result of simply taking it over by force as I assumed.
 

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I don't think you're completely wrong. We don't know if Whitebeard has taken territories by force, but as far as we know it seems out of character for him to do so. Maybe he didn't even care about having territories that much, or maybe he realized he needed territories to become powerful and protect his family better.

I just have doubts as to whether Shanks and Whitebeard are tyrants because their personalities state the opposite. Even though they fought each other, it seems more like for fun where neither party were hurt. If Whitebeard is truly the strongest man alive, then he should have been able to seriously injure or kill Shanks.

And what else, if Whitebeard was a tyrant as made out to be, he would have shackled and chained up Ace, not allow Ace to go after Blackbeard despite an uneasy feeling.
 

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I don't think you're completely wrong. We don't know if Whitebeard has taken territories by force, but as far as we know it seems out of character for him to do so. Maybe he didn't even care about having territories that much, or maybe he realized he needed territories to become powerful and protect his family better.

I just have doubts as to whether Shanks and Whitebeard are tyrants because their personalities state the opposite. Even though they fought each other, it seems more like for fun where neither party were hurt. If Whitebeard is truly the strongest man alive, then he should have been able to seriously injure or kill Shanks.

And what else, if Whitebeard was a tyrant as made out to be, he would have shackled and chained up Ace, not allow Ace to go after Blackbeard despite an uneasy feeling.
Appears not to be a tyrant.

However, petty point being mad here but, Joker didn't kill Trebol for failing to protect Sugar who was holding the semblance of freedom and stability in the country; Joker was a tyrant by every standard, irregardless, he did have something of a heart.

A tyrant can show love and affect. Hitler was said to have been no different to any family man, he showed love to wife and kids, although, a mad man. Even if Whitebeard was a tyrant, shackling Ace or not, wouldn't do much to change the fact, just like Joker not killing his subordinates for failing doesn't stop making him a tyrant.

In total, Pirates in general are not exactly saints. Shanks has killed people when it wasn't necessary.
 
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