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What is the World Government in One Piece?

If you want to learn about the main One Piece villain, the World Government, here is our guide breaking down all you need to know about the anime organization.

One Piece: World Government explained

What is the World Government in One Piece? For every hero, there needs to be a villain, and in the case of the hit anime One Piece, Luffy’s quest to become King of the Pirates comes up against the forces of the World Government time and time again.

The military arm of the World Government, the Marines, have been hounding all our favorite One Piece characters since the beginning of the show. To put that in perspective, the staple antagonist in one of the best anime series of all time is the World Government, so fans need to know about this organization. If you are new to the One Piece fandom after watching Netflix’s recent One Piece live-action series, you may especially be lost and wondering about the mysterious group that controls all those pirate-chasing marines Luffy meets.

Well, here we break down what the World Government is and all the ranks in the organization, too. Warning, minor One Piece spoilers ahead!

What is the World Government in One Piece?

The World Government is the largest and most powerful organization in the world of One Piece. It is a federation of 170 civilizations that govern the globe and is one of the main antagonists in the anime series, with Luffy often fighting groups and characters acting under the World Government’s command.

In theory, the World Government should be the good guys in a show about pirates. They are meant to maintain order and uphold justice. However, it has been shown time and time again that corruption runs rampant in the organization and that it is less peaceful as it is oppressive.

Basically, unbeknown to the public, the World Government acts in its own self-interest, and they are willing to sacrifice citizens if it means furthering their own cause.

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The World Government ranks explained

While many One Piece newbies only consider the Marines to be the World Government, there is actually an entire power structure that tons of people who aren’t fully up to date with One Piece don’t know about.

For starters, there is a secret sovereign who basically runs the world called Imu. However, since Imu’s existence is kept a secret from everyone in One Piece, let’s move on to the ranks people do know about.

Under Imu are the Five Elder Stars (also known as the Gorosei). The Five Elder Stars are the highest-ranking celestial dragons and run everything; their word is law. Then we have the regular celestial dragons who, while not as powerful, are still above mere mortals. If you cross one, you’re basically toast.

After celestial dragons, you have various sub-bodies such as the military hammer of the World Government the Marines. If you want to get really detailed, then the Marines have ranks within their own group, too. Fleet Admiral holds the highest authority, then are the Three Admirals, followed by the Vice-Admirals, and finally, there are the regular Marines.

We know that this is a lot to take in, but don’t worry; it all makes sense if you watch all of One Piece in order. If you plan to binge Luffy’s adventures, here is our guide on all the One Piece filler you can skip. There are also some handy explainers on what the One Piece treasure actually is and everything you need to know about Luffy’s new form, Gear 5.

We also have guides on the best anime charactersbest anime villains, best TV series of all time, and all the new anime heading our way this year too. Or, if you fancy more Netflix picks, here is our list of everything new on Netflix this month.