Who Is Vice Admiral Garp? The One Piece Villain Explained

By Jonathan Klotz | Updated

Vice Admiral Garp is one of the most fascinating villains in anime and a standout in the world of One Piece. Fans of the anime have been used to the tall and stubborn Marine for decades, but those starting with the live-action show are seeing him for the first time and in a slightly different light. Compared to Buggy, Arlong, and especially Kuro, Garp isn’t even particularly villainous; he works against the Straw Hat Pirates, but he’s never truly evil.

Netflix‘s live-action One Piece introduces Garp right from the first episode, one of the more dramatic changes made from the anime, which introduces Garp in Episode 68.

Garp And Gol D. Roger

Long before he was Vice Admiral of the Marines, Garp was pursuing Gol D. Roger, the Pirate King that kicked off the events of One Piece, across the Grand Line. Forever opposed, the two men are different sides of the same coin, eventually forming a bond of mutual respect and admiration. In fact, the pair worked together during the God Valley Incident (episode 958 of the anime) in order to defeat Rocks D. Xebec and the Rocks pirates.

While their victory may have been the catalyst in Garp earning the title “Hero of the Marines,” the pair remained on opposite sides. Before Gol D. Roger’s execution, he asked Garp to take care of his unborn child, which the Marine agreed to do, though somewhat reluctantly at first.

The Relationship Between Garp And Luffy

Since Vice Admiral Garp was introduced much later in the One Piece anime and manga, fans weren’t aware that he was Luffy’s grandfather for years. In live-action, the revelation is given right away with Luffy’s announcement upon seeing Garp is on the Marine ship that’s hot in pursuit.

Garp helped raise Luffy, hoping that his grandson would one day become a great Marine, but Luffy always claims he’s wanted to be a pirate his entire life. Though Garp disagrees with Luffy’s choices, he’s still proud of his grandson (this is more clear in the anime), and when push comes to shove, he chooses family over his duty as a Marine. To make it clear that the two are related, Garp’s full name is Monkey D. Garp.

Why Vice Admiral Garp Is So Strong

Confused as to how Vice Admiral Garp picked up a cannonball and threw it like a baseball? Is his power from a Devil Fruit? No, instead, Garp’s power comes from Haki. In One Piece, Haki is the power that allows users to channel their spiritual energy according to one of three different disciplines.

Garp is skilled with Haoshoku Haki, the ability to overpower others through sheer strength of will. It’s demonstrated as well when Shanks scares off the Lord of the Coasts (the gigantic sea monster), but it’s not named at the time. High-level practitioners, such as Garp, can channel their energy and force of personality into weapons, or in Garp’s case, his fists, to perform incredible feats of strength.

A second type, the Busoshoku Haki, can be used defensively and offensively, and Garp is the rare person who can wield both types at the same time. Though he lacks the powers of a Devil Fruit, Garp is able to go toe-to-toe with most of One Piece’s greatest warriors.

What’s Next For Vice Admiral Garp

With Garp’s involvement fast-forwarded in the One Piece live-action adaptation, there’s no telling when he’ll turn up in an eventual Season 2. While the Reverse Mountain arc, which kicks off the next Saga, has no involvement from the Marines in the other two versions, that could easily be changed. It’s the same with the Loguetown arc, which was left off of Season One and could be the first part of Season 2.

Regardless of where and when he appears, Vice Admiral Garp will be a major part of the live-action One Piece moving forward. The series may even have him in the same scene as his son and Luffy’s father, something the manga and anime haven’t shown on screen.