Why did Kuzan join Blackbeard in One Piece? Explained

In the One Piece universe, chaos reigns as individuals prioritize their own desires. This “do as you please”mentality is a fundamental principle among pirates, but it does not determine their moral compass. Both good and bad characters exist among pirates and Marines, proving that one’s profession does not dictate their morality.

Despite being a prominent figure in the series, Kuzan, formerly known as Admiral Aokiji, shocked many by forming an alliance with the Blackbeard Pirates. The reason behind this unexpected decision lies in Kuzan’s desire to break free from the strict principles of the Marines and live his life on his own terms.

After his intense fight with Admiral Akainu and departure from the Navy, Kuzan sought a new path that was not limited by the strict expectations of his previous life.

Please note: This article contains spoilers for the One Piece series. The opinions expressed are those of the author and may differ from individual perspectives.

Why Kuzan Joined Blackbeard in One Piece, Explained

Kuzan as seen in anime (Image via Toei Animation)
Kuzan as seen in anime (Image via Toei Animation)

Kuzan made the decision to join the Blackbeard Pirates in order to embrace a life of personal freedom, rather than being constrained by constantly serving others. His time as an enlisted officer had left him feeling frustrated and restricted, fueling his desire for independence. Upon leaving the World Government, he embarked on a journey to live life on his own terms.

Despite Blackbeard’s offer to make him one of the Ten Titanic Captains, Kuzan’s desire for independence aligns with his own plans. He often distances himself from the Blackbeard Pirates and observes from the sidelines.

Why Kuzan Joined Blackbeard: Examining the Factors and Motivations

Kuzan with Black Beard Pirates in manga (Image via Shueisha/Eiichiro Oda)
Kuzan with Black Beard Pirates in manga (Image via Shueisha/Eiichiro Oda)

Kuzan and Admiral Sakazuki had both risen through the ranks of the Navy. Despite their complex friendship, they had opposing views on the definition of justice.

Despite Sakazuki’s support for “Absolute Justice,”which could often be severe, Kuzan was known for his belief in “Lazy Justice,”which emphasized careful consideration before acting. These contrasting principles were evident even during their time as Vice Admirals together.

Sakazuki as seen in anime (Image via Toei Animation)
Sakazuki as seen in anime (Image via Toei Animation)

As the Paramount War came to a close, both Sengoku and Kuzan were considered for the position of Fleet Admiral. Sengoku, who was stepping down from his role, proposed Kuzan as his successor. However, there were also many within the Navy who favored Sakazuki for the position.

Despite Sakazuki’s harsh perspective, Kuzan refused to serve under him and instead engaged in a fierce battle with the Admiral. Eventually, Kuzan chose to leave the Marines due to their conflicting ideals, after his defeat in the fight against Sakazuki. Disillusioned by the corruption within the World Government, Kuzan resigned from his position and began wandering.

Kuzan’s Possible Ulterior Motives Explored

Kuzan as seen in anime (Image via Toei Animation)
Kuzan as seen in anime (Image via Toei Animation)

Kuzan’s alliance with Blackbeard in One Piece has sparked speculation among fans about his true motives. One theory suggests that despite appearing to switch sides, Kuzan’s loyalty to the Marine cause remains steadfast.

During the Punk Hazard and Dressrosa arcs, he engages in conversations with Smoker and other characters who strongly imply this idea. While some One Piece fans argue that he supports Marine ideals, they also believe he chooses to work alone due to Akainu’s leadership style.

Fans of One Piece believe that Kuzan would not align himself with Blackbeard, who is known for his malicious intentions, unless there was a larger motive at play. Similarly, many fans speculate that Kuzan’s character may not be entirely wicked. A compelling theory suggests that his supposed alliance with Blackbeard could simply be a deception or strategic maneuver.

Some believe that his actions may be part of a covert strategy to aid the Marines without betraying Blackbeard’s crew. By utilizing his power to freeze injuries, he could potentially rescue Garp and then switch loyalties to oppose Blackbeard at a more opportune time.


The reason for Kuzan, also known as Aokiji, joining the Blackbeard Pirates in One Piece was due to his desire for a life where he could freely do as he pleased, instead of constantly serving others.

Despite being defeated in battle by Admiral Akainu, Kuzan’s disappointment with his organization stemmed from its corrupt dealings within the World Government. As a Marine, he held strong principles, but desired personal freedom. This led him to join Blackbeard’s crew, becoming one of the Ten Titanic Captains.

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