One Piece Explained: The Yonko, Shichibukai, and Supernovas

One Piece Explained

(There are a few light spoilers in this article)

Pirates in One Piece receive many different titles, which is excellent for a more creative and exciting world. However, that also makes us all the more confused. Let’s explain in detail what Yonko, Shichibukai, and Supernovas are and show some notorious pirates carrying those names.

All of these are somehow related to the strength of the characters, but that isn’t the main element that defines them. Each is different in a way, but how a pirate influences the world around them and their feats are far more important when deciding the title they will receive.

Who are the Yonko?

Yonko, also called the Four Emperors, are a group composed of the four strongest captains alive. They are one of the Three Great Powers, the three greatest military forces in One Piece. The other two are the Marine and the Shichibukai. Their role is to maintain the peace in the oceans.

Yonko control many crews and islands and are one of the biggest threats to anyone looking for the One Piece. They have the influence to crush almost anyone they want and keep reigning on the seas. That’s why, in One Piece, the Yonko are some of the main antagonists of Luffy and his crew.

Yonko also have the highest individual bounties, with the smallest being 3 billion Beli (the currency in One Piece). If two Emperors united, their bounties would be even greater than the Pirate King’s.

Some characters that currently have the title of Yonko or have possessed it in the past are:

  • Charlotte Linlin (Big Mom)
  • Shanks
  • Kaidou
  • Edward Newgate (Whitebeard)

Who are the Shichibukai?

The Shichibukai, also known as Seven Warlords of the Sea, are pirates who work for the Government. They are extremely powerful people and function as elite soldiers who are free to do as they please. Many of them, like Crocodile, one of Luffy’s first antagonists, use their power to commit heinous acts. As they work for the Marines, they also have their bounties frozen.

The World Government only chooses incredibly strong pirates for this role. Their objective is to make pirates deal with other of them and serve as another symbol of strength. That makes the Shichibikai be despised by everyone. Marines treat them like normal criminals who should die or be behind bars. Other pirates treat them as traitors and “government dogs.”

The Shichibukai aren’t friends or allies; some aren’t even familiar with one another. They don’t have respect for each other, which makes it impossible for them to work together. Usually, when one of them offers help to others, it’s quickly rejected due to pride. However, we still see a few moments of them working together, like in the Marineford War.

As the Yonko, Shichibukai also are main antagonists. However, some of them help our protagonist, even becoming his friends. As they are all so different, each has a different kind of worldview and objective, making them engaging. Now let’s some of the characters belonging to this group:

  • Dracule Mihawk
  • Crocodile
  • Bartholomew Kuma
  • Boa Hancock
  • Jinbe

Who are the Supernovas?

Lastly, we have the Supernovas. They are eleven infamous rookie pirates who caught the attention of the Government and had bounties of 100 million Beli or higher (keep in mind that bounties change over time in One Piece). Because of that, they also have the name “Worst Generation.” Luffy, obviously, is one of them. Roronoa Zoro is the only other member of the Straw Hats pirates who’s also a member of the Supernovas. Interestingly, he is also one of the few who isn’t the captain of his own ship.

If we are talking in terms of strength, the Worst Generation is the weakest of the three (even though Luffy defeated a few Shichibukai before receiving the title of Supernova). It’s important to state that the Worst Generation also includes a 12th member, Blackbeard, who isn’t a Supernova.

The Supernovas meet each other during the Sabaody Arc. After Luffy’s crew cause a commotion, all of them have to get into fights. They aren’t friends necessarily but are the most “amicable” of the three groups. You often see some of them forming short alliances in the series. That also means we get to know some of them closely, making them a few of fans’ favorite characters. Here are a part of the members:

  • Monkey D. Luffy
  • Roronoa Zoro
  • Trafalgar Law
  • Scratchmen Apoo
  • Eustass Kid 
  • Jewelry Bonney

All groups are relevant to the story and shake the world of One Piece in some way. It’s also fascinating to analyze them because they deepen the politics of the anime. For example, the Marine had a system similar to the Shichibukai in the real world. It shows how much Oda, the author, researches to write the plot.

Are you a big One Piece fan? Who is your favorite character in the series? Let us know in the comments below!

1 thought on “One Piece Explained: The Yonko, Shichibukai, and Supernovas”

  1. Hello.
    This is a very nice article, congrats!

    I’d add to the Yonko part that the government lets them be because it would take a lot of resources to take just one down and that would leave the marines at disadvantage if another threat appeared.

    To the Shichibukai part, I’d add that the government made a deal with them: they can do whatever they want without being prosecuted on the condition that they will answer to each and every government’s call.

    Also, the Supernovas got the attention of the government because they got the 100 million bounty AND arrived at the same time to Sabaody, which means that they would enter the New World (the second part of the Grand Line) at the same time, that’s why government grouped them as a generation.

    I hope that you find this comment helpful. Thanks for the article.

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