Explaining the system of Power Hierarchy in One Piece

Explaining the system of Power Hierarchy in One Piece

The World of One Piece has several organizations and groups working alongside and against the World Government. While it is common knowledge that the World Government is the official ruling body of the Four Seas and the Grand Line, here is what you need to know about the system of Power Hierarchy in One Piece.

The Hierarchy of the World Government

Exploring the potential powers of Great Imu Sama in One Piece
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The self-proclaimed ‘Good Guys’ of the series are the most notorious ones when it comes to a stringent hierarchy. The World Government is considered to be the ruling body of the entire world, which was founded by the first Twenty Kingdoms, 800 years ago. They also have affiliates in over 170 kingdoms. Their Power Hierarchy in One Piece is as follows :

  • Imu-sama: The defacto leader of the world who occupies the empty throne. Imu’s authority so far seems to be second to none and can be considered a dictator of the whole world.
  • Five Elders: The Public leaders of the World Government, and the second highest in the hierarchy of the World Government.
  • God’s Knights: Royal Guards of Mary Geoise who have the authority to pass judgment even on other Celestial Dragons.
  • Celestial Dragons: Considered to be the ‘Gods’ of the One Piece world, the Celestial Dragons are citizens of nobility above all others in the world of One Piece. They usually reside in Mary Geoise.
How Oda symbolizes freedom via the battle of World Government and Pirate's desire for the One Piece
Image Courtesy of Toei Animation

Every other group is considered inferior to the ones above. While the above hierarchy works as a structure of status, in terms of military strength, the Government has two other bodies as well.

  • Marines: The primary military authority of the One Piece world who are supposed to uphold ‘Justice’. Although this concept of Justice is largely twisted and nuanced according to the Top Brass’s needs. The Fleet Admiral is at the top of the Marines, followed by Admirals and Vice Admirals.
  • Cipher Pol: These are covert operatives designed to undertake all of the government’s dirty work. They range from numbers one to nine and seem to have authority over the Marines themselves to an extent.

Both the Cipher Pol and Marines are overseen by the World Government’s Commander-in-Chief. It is the highest rank of the Military Power Hierarchy in One Piece, excluding the God’s Knights.

The Hierarchy of Pirates

Haki Vs Devil Fruits Which ability is more helpful in obtaining the One Piece
Luffy Uses Conqueror’s Haki, Courtesy of Toei Animation

Unlike the Marines, the Pirates’ Power Hierarchy in One Piece isn’t defined by one’s bright or social status but rather through power, influence, and notoriety.

  • The Four Emperors: The Four Emperors of the Sea are the topmost when it comes to the hierarchy of Pirates. They are titles awarded to only four of the Strongest Pirates and Pirate Crews at any given time.
  • The Seven Warlords of the Sea: The Warlord System formerly existed to give the World Government the necessary strength to counter pirates and was considered as one of the Three Great Powers of One Piece. Most Warlords are weaker than the Four Emperors, with the only known exception being Dracule Mihawk.
One Piece Episode 1061
Image Courtesy of TOEI Animation

All other private groups are considered to be weaker than the above classes, although, with enough power and influence, they could theoretically dethrone them. There is also a hierarchy within every Pirate group.

  • The Captain is usually the strongest member and the leader of the Crew. They make all decisions about the activity of any pirate group.
  • The Vice-Captains are often quite close to the captain both in terms of respect and power. Most Vice Captains are also the closest friend of their respective captains and will take care of their crew in the captain’s absence.
  • The First Commanders are similar to the vice captains in terms of respect, but in terms of powers and abilities, they are usually considerably below the captain, which could vary from crew to crew.



The Hierarchy of the One Piece world strongly resonates with the themes it portrays and also serves as a measure of strength, skill, and abilities. While it isn’t always set in stone, the hierarchy allows both the marines and the pirates to assess the kind of threats they’d have to face.


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