It was time for Oda to instill some respect for the Marine name. After seeing Ryokugyu tremble before Shanks, many came to remove the Admirals from any level of power, and there were even those who let it be known that the final war of the Mugiwara could not be against them, as the battle would lack tension and excitement. However, chapter 1080 of One Piece invites us to take our time and shows that Garp is one of the strongest characters in the manga and that the organization still hides many surprises, as in the case of SWORD.
We first heard of SWORD during the Wano arc, when it was revealed that X Drake was not under Kaido’s command, but an undercover Marine spy. We saw him informing Koby of the feud through a Den Den Mushi, and after he was exposed, he offered his help to the Straw Hats in the Onigashima battle. His position within the organization left many questions unanswered, as Drake was ultimately defeated by CP0, the other enforcing hand of the World Government. Why, when they were both in the same boat?
Chapter 1080 of One Piece sheds some light on the matter, as it updates us on the situation of Koby, who was kidnapped by Blackbeard and remained imprisoned on the island of Hachinosu. In this episode, Oda confirms that Koby is a member of SWORD and also that Aokiji is the brand-new addition to Teach’s pirate crew. The former Admiral, who left the Navy after clashing with Akainu and losing the position of Fleet Commander vacated by Sengoku, seems to have gone over to the dark side and is now revealing the ins and outs of the Navy to his new comrades, including what the hell SWORD is all about.
According to Aokiji, SWORD members are Marines who do not follow the “Marine Code”. That is members of the organization who do not follow hierarchies and who, although they continue to act for the organization’s benefit, do so after submitting their letter of resignation. Thus, in the event that their behavior and actions get out of hand and splash them, the Marine could allude to such resignation, not take responsibility for their actions, and get rid of them at any time. In the words of the Iceman, “They are wild-card commandos!” In exchange for this apparent lack of support, its members do not need the approval of those above them for anything, and can even get into a fight with a yonko without asking permission.
Thus, Blackbeard’s plan to trade Koby for the recognition of Hachinosu as an island part of the world government backfires. Or so Aokiji tells him. According to Teech, given the “Marineford Hero” status of his prey, it makes no difference whether Koby is from the SWORD or not, as he is indelibly associated with the Navy and they will be held equally accountable.
After this explanation, which makes it clear that Aokiji is actually a member of SWORD, Garp and the rest of Koby’s team land in Hachinosu. Thanks to this, we can now form the hard core of this rebellious faction of the Marines.
SWORD Members in One Piece
But as always in One Piece, the best is yet to come. Will SWORD be able to stand up to Blackbeard’s crew and save Koby? Will Aokiji become a secret member? Who else? Considering Garp’s level and the fact that Koby is his disciple, just like Luffy was Rayleigh’s, how strong are the rest of the team members? They’ve certainly revitalized the Navy, and what a time to do it!