For some reason One Piece community seriously underrates Akainu’s importance in the story and overrates Blackbeard’s importance, to the point they believe Blackbeard will be the final villain.
So I’m gonna try to make a short post convincing otherwise.
It was said that there were only 2 major changes that shook the New World during timeskip:
Akainu becoming a Fleet Admiral and Blackbeard becoming a Yonko
Notice Luffy reacting to Akainu as he grips the scar Akainu left on him
Notice Luffy not caring about Blackbeard
Both Akainu and Blackbeard have been paralleled by Oda since Marineford: Akainu as absolute justice (order) and Blackbeard as absolute evil (chaos).
I think this easily shows that these 2 have almost the same amount of importance to the story as Luffy’s 2 biggest enemies.
Now for why I think Akainu will be more important than Blackbeard. Simply put, I think Luffy will fight Akainu after Blackbeard, thus showing that Akainu is the superior out of the 2. People think that Blackbeard is the final villain, which baffles me.
It is quite clearly set up that Luffy vs Blackbeard will be a fight for the One Piece.
While as Whitebeard said, the war with the World Government will only happen after One Piece is found.
Which elementary means that Luffy will face Blackbeard before he fights Akainu.
There is also the fact that Luffy was quite literally marked by Akainu with a huge X. In this series, scars mean a lot.
Notice how all people are connected with scars: Zoro/Mihawk, Kaido/Oden, Shanks/Blackbeard…. etc.
And Akainu gave the main character the biggest and most famous scar there is:
And most importantly Akainu was the only man to break Luffy’s will