Kuzan, better known by his former alias Aokiji, is a former Marine admiral and the first one to be revealed. He was nominated by Sengoku for the position of fleet admiral. However, after losing the position to Sakazuki, he resigned from the Marines.
He is a minor antagonist of the Long Ring Long Land Arc, and along with the other Marines, he is one of the major antagonists of the Marineford Arc.
After he resigned his position as a Marine Admiral. His successor is Issho better known as Fujitora.
He is voiced by Takehito Koyasu in the Japanese version of the anime, and Jason Douglas in the English version of the anime.
Kuzan is an incredibly tall, slim and muscular middle-age man, roughly of the same size as the other two admirals Sakazuki and Borsalino, the latter clearly taller than Brook but it seems that he also is shorter than Doflamingo who is 305 cm (10'0") tall. He has black, curly hair cut to chin length that fans out at the tips, tanned skin and an altogether lean, long build.
His standard outfit while in the Marines consists of a white buttoned-up vest with standing collar over a long-sleeved navy blue shirt and matching white trousers and black dress shoes, rarely accompanied by a matching suit jacket. He also wears a yellow tie divided geometrically by black lines and a sleep mask on his forehead. During his preparations for the war against Whitebeard, Kuzan has a white Marine admiral's coat (golden epaulettes and for him being the ice user, blue cuffs) draped over him like a cape, as did the other admirals. He also is seen wearing a green and purple sleep mask at all times two years ago from the present timeline. In contrast to Borsalino and Sakazuki, Kuzan is far younger than his colleagues, being less than fifty years old; altogether, his looks, combined with his manner, make him appear even younger than he actually is.
As a child Kuzan had a grimace on his face. He wore a dirty light blue shirt and a purple pair of shorts with white stripes. He carried an umbrella tied on his back, a bottle of alcohol and a backpack. Also, his hair was curlier compared to his current hairstyle.
In his youth, Kuzan wore a white marine cap and a shirt.
Twenty-two years ago during the Ohara Incident, Kuzan wore a dark blue bandanna with a white Marine symbol on it, as well as a pair of black round sunglasses, as well as an indigo coat with the Marine emblem on the left chest and the back. This outfit was also what he wore 27 years ago, during the Battle of Edd War.
After the timeskip, his attire bears similarities to what he wore in his 20's. He wears a blue bandana and a dark blue trench-coat along with black pants and a white deep V-neck shirt. He also now wears black cowboy boots and travels with a knapsack carrying his belongings along with his old pair of green round sunglasses. He, like his rival Sakazuki, has also grown facial hair, namely, a thin mustache and a beard.
After his duel on Punk Hazard, Kuzan received several burn scars spanning from the right side of his neck down to his entire right shoulder and onto his torso. His right hand is also heavily scarred and most noticeably he's lost part of his left leg, for which he now wears a prosthesis made of ice formed from his Devil Fruit ability.
Kuzan is a very laid back man, showing no shock or surprise from almost anything. His lack of interest and "Lazy Justice" (だらけきった正義 Darakekitta Seigi?) (as he describes his motto himself) often leads others to believe that he can not possibly be a marine of such a high ranking. However, if he deems a situation worthy, he will take action, as shown when he created a passage to another island for Tonjit at Long Ring Long Land.
In accordance with the age difference between him and the other pre-time skip admirals, Kuzan does not refer to himself with "Washi" (儂?), the "I" typical for older men but the "I" more frequently used by younger men and teens, the rather rough "Ore" (俺?); altogether, his speech style is far laxer than that of Borsalino (who speaks exceedingly polite), containing a lot of ellipses and contractions, yet lacking the rude connotation of Sakazuki's speech, and being far calmer than that. He tends to begin addressing people with "excuse me"/"I hate to interrupt, but…" (ちっとごめんな chotto gomen na?).
He appears to be the most benevolent of the three pre-timeskip admirals, helping Tonjit at Long Ring Land to cross the ocean with the power of his Devil Fruit and even letting Nico Robin escape the Buster Call on Ohara. He seems to dislike the Shichibukai, or at least Crocodile, as he said that the only reason he did not finish off Luffy was that the young pirate captain had defeated the traitorous warlord.
In contrast to his former colleague, Fleet Admiral Sakazuki, Kuzan has a sense of honor, as he keeps his word to not attack the Straw Hat Pirates after accepting a one-on-one battle with Luffy. Kuzan's moral stance is unknown, but it is likely that he follows Moral Justice. He is disgusted by Sakazuki's brutal actions in dealing with situations (such as the Ohara Incident), calling him a fool. While he may follow Moral Justice, he does understand the position his ranking puts him in, as he does not hesitate to do what is necessary for the needs of the Marines, as shown when he freezes Jaguar D. Saul after the Ohara incident, and attacked Luffy and Whitebeard during the Marineford War.
Aokiji was a faithful follower of the World Government. He always tried to follow orders but sometimes found his own ideals in opposition to his orders. Even as he followed his orders, he would sometimes exhibit a sense of mercy and honor that other World Government officials did not. Like many characters in One Piece (for example, Jaguar D. Saul and Smoker), after witnessing the senseless murder of many innocent people, Aokiji may have come to realize the depths to which the World Government will sink to accomplish their goals.
His relaxed demeanor while performing the more macabre of his duties is similar to that of Borsalino, making him one of the more complicated characters in the series. Despite not really wanting the position of fleet admiral, he was even more opposed to Sakazuki getting the position, and dueled his fellow admiral rather than letting him take it. After being defeated, Kuzan chose to resign from the Marines rather than stay under Akainu's command.
Aokiji during the Whitebeard War at Marineford grudgingly shredded his usual lax and friendly nature, for a more ruthless and aggressive personality, repeatedly targeting Whitebeard himself with his Hie Hie no Mi, managing to severely injure "Diamond" Jozu and generally hampering any attempts at rescue or escape for the invading pirate fleets.
After the timeskip, having left the Marines and realizing just how truly corrupt the world is, government and military, it becomes clear that Aokiji seems to be only looking after his friends illustrated by his rescue of Smoker from Doflamingo's fury on Punk Hazard.
He has a recurring phrase, "Arara", meaning "Oh, my", which is frequently used when something surprises him.
Abilities and Powers
As a former admiral, Kuzan was able to command a vast number of Marine troops under his rank, and had the authority, prestige, influence and affuence to revoke any Shichibukai's at any time. Most of all, he had the ability to order a Buster Call attack on any island. In fact, his overall abilities were so vast that Sengoku suggested to World Government Commander-in-Chief Kong that Kuzan should become the succeeding fleet admiral. However, after leaving the Marines, he has forfeited these privileges. He was able to easily overpower Luffy and the other Straw Hats single-handedly.
A notable example of Kuzan’s reputation is Nico Robin from the Straw Hat Pirates, related to her childhood trauma, she constantly loses her grip and starts panicking whenever an admiral is around, this being significant as she rarely panics even in the most dangerous situations.
He is also a skilled navigator, being able to travel the Grand Line with a bike and after the timeskip traveling the New World with a penguin named Camel.
Along with this, he is very powerful, as being an admiral grants him the title of the strongest individual fighter within the World Government and Marines, and is able to fight against notably powerful figures such as Diamond Jozu, the Third Division Commander of the Whitebeard Pirates, defeating him with relative ease although Jozu was distracted during the fight, and could even fight Whitebeard himself equally. He also appears to have great speed and stealth attributes; being able to appear behind the Shichibukai, Donquixote Doflamingo without the latter noticing until he made his presence known.
Furthermore, he was able to battle against his colleague Sakazuki on equal standing, and they dealt each other severe injuries during their 10 day duel to the death before Aokiji ultimately was defeated, thus demonstrating enhanced endurance. Kuzan was considered to be a massive asset to the Marines, and his departure left a negative impact to their military strength.
Aside from that and his Devil Fruit powers, his physical attributes are also extremely high, as he is able to repel simultaneous attacks from Zoro, Luffy, and Sanji without taking any damage, and took a Haki imbued kick from Marco and was seen with no injuries moments later.
He also jumped to a very extreme height in mere seconds, in order to freeze a pair of tsunamis caused by Whitebeard. He is also able to travel at tremendous speed, as seen when attacking Buggy, whether this is due to him using Soru, his Devil Fruit or just his natural speed is unknown. He also has extremely acute hearing, being able to hear activity underwater, before the Whitebeard War began.
He was also acknowledged by Jaguar D. Saul, who had destroyed several huge warships and had lifted one by himself, that Kuzan's strength was abnormal, even before he was an admiral. Another testament to his power as an admiral is that he emerged mostly unharmed after the Whitebeard War.
Kuzan has the powers of the Hie Hie no Mi, a Logia-type Devil Fruit that allows him to control, create, and become ice. He can create enough ice to cover a giant, a Sea King or several square miles of ocean within mere moments. He was even able to freeze the tsunamis created by Whitebeard, despite their size surpassing that of Marineford. In battle, he uses his ice powers to disable and immobilize enemies, freezing their bodies solid just by touching them, and threatening to shatter their fragile forms. Like other Logia users, he is capable of breaking himself into his particular element to avoid damage from most physical attacks. Kuzan also has extreme amounts of resistance towards cold, due to his Devil Fruit's element. This fruit is so powerful that his usage of it during his ten day battle with Akainu permanently changed the weather on one side of Punk Hazard, turning that side into a frozen wasteland.
In addition, Kuzan is one of the few Devil Fruit users who has adapted their powers to travel efficiently across the sea. In his case, he freezes the water underneath his bicycle, Ao Chari, and then rides across the sea, due to the water freezing as the wheels pass over it. This freezing ability, which can be used on a very large scale, renders Kuzan one of the few Devil Fruit users who can actually counteract the weakness of falling into a large body of water and drowning, as he can just freeze the water and stand on the ice.
Kuzan also seems to possess some limited resistance to sea water without freezing it, as shown when he inserted a portion of his real body into the sea without any adverse effects.
It was stated that all vice admirals possess Haki, so with a rank above vice admiral, Kuzan can also use the ability.
During the Battle of Marineford, Kuzan was seen using an advanced level Busoshoku Haki to negate Whitebeard's attempt to destroy the execution platform, by creating, with his fellow admirals, a shield combination of their three Haki.
Kuzan possesses the ability to use Kenbunshoku Haki.
Kuzan is shown to be quite adept at using weapons formed out of his ice powers, such as swords, spears, and tridents.
- Inability to Swim: As a Devil Fruit user, Aokiji is unable to swim. However with his ice abilities, he can freeze to the water before he would be land to the ocean
- Seastone: Like other devil fruit users, Aokiji is vulnerable to Seastone.
- Body Part Severed: Aokiji suffered severely injury from body part sever. During his fight with Akainu for the position of Fleet Admiral, Akainu melted Aokiji's left leg and replace it with an icy prosthetic one.
- Busoshoku Haki: Aokiji is vulnerable to Busoshoku Haki users as Jozu attacked him cause his mouth to bleed.