Monkey D. Garp. The man who is hailed as ‘The Hero’ and due to his physical prowess and fighting style, ‘The Fist’. The Vice-Admiral Of The Marines.
GARP VS ROCKS
The oldest feat we know of Garp is his fight with Rocks D. Xebec and the Rocks Pirates. Granted he was assisted by Gol D. Roger himself, but that still doesn’t take away the sheer brutal strength. Beating a man, who was able to keep Kaido, Big Mom, Whitebeard And Shiki under check, into submission and possibly death itself, is no small feat.
After this event in God Valley, Garp came to be hailed as ‘THE HERO’ of the Marines. We also know Garp and Roger ‘almost killed each other’ multiple times. That’s one more notch of the buckle of battle feats for Garp.
HIS POSITION WITH THE MARINES
Garp is said to be more than strong enough to be an Admiral, but he kept on refusing the promotion. At first we thought it was only because of the freedom he got as a Vice-Admiral. But now we know that he despises the Celestial Dragons and refused a promotion to avoid serving directly under them. This part of Garp’s character, resonates with that of his son, Monkey D. Dragon, and to a lesser extent his grandson , Monkey D. Luffy. But I would not go as far as to imply that Garp was the one inculcated the hatred of Celestial Dragons in his son Dragon.
In Water 7 after the events of Enies Lobby, Garp visits Luffy and the Straw Hats and they bicker for a bit. But when Garp gets a stern order to capture the Straw Hats, he ‘tries’ to. I am sure if Garp, even at this age, went all out in trying to capture Luffy, I’m sure he could’ve. This is underrated, but this is one of the first times we see Garp showing compassion to his family.
Throughout the events in the Paradise part of the Grand Line, Garp is shown to be amused by Luffy’s various exploits. Be it the Crocodile issue or CP-9 or punching Charloss or Impel Down, Garp is always sitting munching on rice crackers and donuts and laughing at the news of Luffy’s statements to the world. Remember this point, as this one of the key points of what I’m going to be discussing in a while.
GARP AND ACE
22 years before the beginning of the story, the man known as the King Of The Pirates, Gol D. Roger surrenders himself to the Marines, and a few days before his execution meets with his rival, Garp. Roger tells Garp that he has a son who is yet to be born and asks Garp, who he says he trusts as much as his own crewmates, to protect him. Garp also a believer of what Roger told him ,” A child doesn’t have to bear the burden of the sins of his father” or something along those lines, goes ahead and protects Ace from the Marines who are trying to extinguish Roger’s bloodline.
This scene to me is really significant. People have asked why Roger didn’t entrust Ace to Rayleigh or Gaban or his crewmates. This is because having Rayleigh or Gaban being seen in islands only draws suspicion to those islands. In no time the island would be rounded by the Marines in search of Ace, but having Garp, a guy on their side, on an island, would draw no suspicion in the Marines’ side.
Garp entrusts Ace to Dadan And some time later, Luffy too, occasionally paying them visits and hoping to shape them into future Marines. But each have their own reason to become a pirate and disobey him. But this doesn’t cause Garp to disown them. He continues to pour his love on them, albeit through fists of love. Parents usually don’t make their child become what they currently are, profession wise. Garp wanting Ace And Luffy to become Marines shoes us how much he loves his job and the amount of respect he has for it.
GARP’S INNER TURMOIL
So he has this job that he loves and respects and now on the polar opposite side lies his grandson, Ace who he essentially raised. Remember how I said, he always laughed at Luffy’s exploits ? There was not a hint of a smile when he was seated by Ace during his execution. Garp instead cries. Cries not only in sorrow of seeing his grandson in such a situation, but cries because of his inability to do anything about it. His life as a Marine tied his hands up. Garp was unable to choose between family and duty. In the end, duty took over. He knocks down Marco who was tanking Kizaru’s attacks and gun shots and cannon balls, in one hit. Garp’s participation was the boost of morale the Marines needed. Just when Garp decides to follow his duties as a Marine, he sees Luffy running towards him. At that moment his inner turmoil returned. He was standing in the way of his grandson rescuing his other grandson. In this moment of turmoil Luffy punches him down the ramp, and gets past.
Then came the unfortunate passing of Ace. If anyone was affected by that as much as Luffy and Whitebeard, it was Garp. The only thing was Whitebeard knocked the shit of out Akainu, while Garp didn’t or couldn’t. He tried to, in one of the hypest build ups, but Sengoku floors him and knocks some sense into him. Garp says ,” That’s right Sengoku, keep holding me like that. Cause if you don’t, I swear I’m going to MURDER Sakazuki !”. Not beat. Not even kill. Murder.. That’s how much rage was boiling inside Garp at that moment. And it is safe to say, he could’ve done that.
Even when he sees Shanks, his first thought isn’t ,” Red Hair… What’s a Yonko doing here ?”. It’s ,” Red Hair.. The man who put Luffy in the path of becoming a pirate.” This to me, given the situation, seems like Garp essentially calling Ace’s death majorly due to him being a pirate and cursing his inability to make him a Marine. He is pissed that Shanks made Luffy a pirate and Luffy might one day face the same fate as Ace. When Blackbeard eats Whitebeard’s Fruit, Garp And Sengoku are essentially the only people to come forward to fight them. So despite these events, Garp is still trying to remain focused on the present.
Post Marineford his interaction with Dadan, broke my heart. Dadan, a lady who was so scared to speak up in front of Garp, who was so intimidated by Garp, hit him on the head with a club. Garp doesn’t speak a word back to her. He knows he deserves it and more. He knows every word Dadan was speaking was absolutely true. He knows he was wrong for not standing up for Ace and he hates himself for it.
As much as Marineford was an arc of character development for Luffy, it was also the same for Garp. This fluctuation of character is what makes Garp one of a kind. Garp is a family man whose hands were tied up by his obligations to the Marines. His inability to save Ace is something he is kicking himself for even today. The world-famous Hero, was unable to make the right choice. Garp, the Marine won. But Garp, the man, lost.
But the only reason I think Garp is still employed as a Marine in the first place, is because of his past accomplishments. God Valley, Roger, Chinjao and more. Otherwise for being the father of the most wanted man in the world, and for being the grandfather of the most dangerous rookie in the world, Garp would’ve been fired.
After what happened in Marineford, what lies next for the Hero ?
GARP’s FUTURE IS THE FUTURE OF THE MARINES
Garp now trains young upstart pirates. This to me is very significant. Because I think there is a chance that the Marines will implode in the future. A civil war within the Marines might be in store. A faction headed by Akainu, who think of all pirates as scum and are pretty much extremists, and the faction(SWORD?) who would side with Garp, like Fujitora, Aokiji, Smoker, Drake and Coby. And Garp’s faction will be the group which will head the Marines, end of story. A faction who do not see all pirates as scum and can actually maintain order and peace in the world. We’ve already seen Smoker and Fujitora in disagreement with the system, with Fujitora outright telling and lashing out at Akainu in Dressrosa. Garp is instrumental in not only training the Marines physically, but training their minds to be Marines on the good side.
I can’t guarantee Garp’s survival to see the end of story, the guy is old. And he is related to the Main Character. We know old guys related to the Main Character usually die. He may die, he may not die I don’t know. But I’m sure if one thing.
In the future, there is going to be a time again, where Garp needs to make a choice. A path he needs to choose. He would need to choose between a path that would lead him to fulfil his duty as a Marine and another path that would lead him to protect his Grandson. His blood family. This time, Garp chooses family over job and decides to protect Luffy. Maybe that’s how he dies, I don’t know.
But I’m sure the character development of the Hero Of The Marines, The Fist, Monkey D. Garp is not over yet.