The Sun Pirates (タイヨウの海賊団, Taiyō no Kaizokudan), sometimes known as the Mermen Pirates (魚人海賊団, Gyojin Kaizoku-dan), are a mermen pirate crew formed by the late Tiger Fisher. The crew is notable for having Jimbei and Arlong as part of its members, the former of which became the second captain of the crew, and eventually, a Warlord. This crew split apart into three factions eleven years ago: the Sun Pirates under Jimbei, the Arlong Pirates under Arlong, and the Macro Pirates under Macro. Jimbei's faction took the Government pardon when Jimbei became a Warlord but lost the pardon when he forfeited his title; they went to serve under Big Mam afterwards.
At least fifteen years before the current storyline, Tiger Fisher was captured by the World Nobles and became a slave. After spending horrified years as a slave in Mariejoa he somehow managed to escape the World Nobles that treated him so cruelly. Besides barely escaping with his life he decided he couldn't just abandon all the other slaves and proceeded to free them all including Hancock Boa, her two sisters, and many mermen.
As the citizens of Fishman Island heard about the news, many gave up on their current occupations to join the Sun Pirates, proud of the act of Tiger. Among them, Jimbei gave up on being a royal guard and Arlong took his pirates and joined.
As the World Nobles' mark, "The Claw of the Celestial Dragons", cannot be erased, Tiger branded over it with his own jolly roger, a sun, which transformed the marks into the Sun Pirates' symbol. Thus wherever a mermen had the mark of slavery on him, whether it be on his back, chest, or arm, it was turned into a sun, to erase the fact that they had been slaves. As others joined the crew, likewise the mark was applied to disguise who was once a slave and who was not, thus causing the Navy to be unable to determine who were slaves and could not reclaim them due to lack of evidence. Even though Tiger wanted to fight the humans at all cost, he was against killing, saying that killing would just make them like the humans, although some crew members, Arlong in particular, were against this. Regardless, the crew respected Tiger enough to obey his wishes.
After about three years of piracy, Tiger and Jimbei both had bounties assigned to them, making them known all over the world. As they reached an island, they were asked to take an ex-slave child, Koala, to her home island. Notably, she smiled at all times because crying meant death to any slave, and she worked like a slave while on board, all the while accepting Arlong's abuse. This was all due to the fact that she couldn't differentiate between the mermen and her ex-owners, which led Tiger to mark her with the symbol of the Sun Pirates, erasing the mark of slavery on her back and making the girl finally believe that she was free.
Tiger's Death and Jimbei Takes OverEdit
Eventually, Tiger returned Koala to Foolshout Island, much to the joy of the citizens there. However, he and the Sun Pirates were ambushed by the Navy, while they were steaking out after one of their soldiers had spotted an ex-slave on their ship. Tiger was heaveily damaged by all 3 Vice Admirals: Kuzan, Borsalino and Sakazuki, and the crew's ship was destroyed. The crew stole a Navy battleship and escaped, but Tiger suffered severe injuries. Given the experiences about humans he suffered, he refused a donation of human blood that was tainted with hatred for mermen, and with his dying breath, he requested his crew to not reveal how he truly died, nor that he was a slave. After the death of Fisher Tiger, command of the Sun Pirates was handed to Jimbei. Jimbei eventually gained enough fame to be invited into the Warlord ranks, to which he accepted in order to allow the Sun Pirates to return to Merman Island if they choose to.
Splitting of the CrewEdit
Nine years before the start of the series, Jimbei joined the Warlords and ultimately disbanded the Sun Pirates, separating it into three factions. With it disbanded, the three factions went their separate ways. Arlong reactivated his old crew, which consists of Hatchan, Choo, Kuroobi, Kaneshiro, Pisaro, Take, Shioyaki and others, and set out to East Blue where he began a reign of terror. Macro took his subordinates Tansui and Gyaro and returned to do as they please, as kidnappers and slave traders. The third faction, which is the remaining members of the Sun Pirates itself, chose to take the Government pardon to return to Merman Island, having their pirates and slaves statuses nullified.
Shortly after, World Noble Myosgard tried to retrieve the slaves that returned to the island, only to be attacked by some members of the Sun Pirates as part of their revenge, under the protection that nobody in Mermen Island would report this crime to an admiral. The members claimed that they could not forgive Myosgard for his cruel treatment against them no matter how hard they tried, but Queen Otohime came and rescued the noble.
After Jimbei abdicated his position as Warlord during the Battle of Navyford, the former members of the Sun Pirates could no longer stay on Merman Island, and consequently left along with Jimbei. Whether this means the crew has been reactivated or that they merely left as a group is unknown, but Hatchan alone seemed to be an exception since he was busy helping protect the Thousand Sunny at the Sabaody Archipelago after the war until he was too injured to continue and returned to Merman Island after the Sun Pirates had already left Merman Island and the World Government was most likely unaware of Hatchan's status.
Two Years LaterEdit
After the timeskip, the remnants of the Sun Pirates and Jimbei serve before Big Mam. Jimbei states that the crew has been doing fine. Jimbei decides to break ties with Big Mom due to Luffy's invitation to join his crew and Luffy declaring war against Big Mom, but is unsure how to due to his fear of her attacking Merman Island.
A majority of the Sun Pirates were composed of merman slaves that were freed by Fisher Tiger from the World Nobles in Mariejoa. Each and every one of them has a red mark branded on them that resembles a sun. This mark was originally a hoof mark branded on them to signify that they were once slaves of the Celestial Dragons but the mark of the sun hides this previous mark. All members of the crew, even those who were not slaves would have had this mark burnt onto their skins. Thus, though this mark does not necessarily mean that every single member with it was once a slave, it does signify they were a part of the crew. Amongst their members notably include Tiger Fisher, Jimbei, Arlong and some of his men, Macro and his subordinates.
These members are all mermen who have the "Sun Tattoos" found on them:
- Aladdin: Doctor of the crew, formerly a slave, tattoo on lower left side of stomach.
- Arlong: Formerly Jinbe's crewmate, split and reformed the Arlong Pirates, incarcerated, tattoo on left side of chest.
- Choo: Arlong's officer, incarcerated, tattoo on bottom of stomach.
- Kuroobi: Arlong's officer, incarcerated, tattoo on right side of chest.
- Gyaro: Macro's subordinate, defected, tattoo on left upper forearm.
- Tansui: Macro's subordinate, defected, location of tattoo unknown.
The Sun Pirates are a legendary pirate crew, which originated most of the ones composed by Mermen in the current storyline. As they are all mermen, their incredible strength makes them a formidable crew. At the height of their power, their first captain Fisher Tiger was a hero and a powerful figure in his days, known for his amazing feats, and among their members were powerful figures such as Arlong and Jimbei, who went on to become powerful pirates of their own rights, with the latter even becoming one of the Seven Warlords of the Sea. They were seemingly able to overpower with little effort all of the Navy sent after them.
After the death of Tiger Fisher and the arrest of Arlong, the Sun Pirates lost strength under the second captain, Jimbei. Upon his acceptance into the Seven Warlords, although Arlong was released, he decided to split with his former Arlong Pirates to restart his crew as did Macro, Gyaro, and Tansui, who became the Macro Pirates. This caused the Sun Pirates to lose even more strength. Although the remainder of the Sun Pirates took the pardon to retire from piracy, when Jimbei lost his title, they lost their pardon and the Sun Pirates, although a fraction of what they once were, are an active mermen crew again.
The Sun Pirates' first ship first appeared in Hancock Boa's flashback in Chapter 521 and Episode 415, and later in Jimbei's. When the Navy ambushed the crew on Foolshout Island, the ship was sunk during the battle, forcing them to steal a Navy battleship as a temporary replacement.
The ship has a figurehead of a fish, with flames around the neck part, while the rudder resembles a fish tail. The cabin on the middle and the back of the ship also resembles fishes. There are cannon ports on the sides of the vessel. Its overall appearance is a giant fish. The ship has five sails. The front two are dark blue, and they bears the Jolly Roger of the Sun Pirates. The middle one is dark blue, but is blank. The second one from the back is light blue. The last sail on the back is striped between blue green and green. The flag of the crew is on top of the foremost sail.
With the destruction of their old ship and the death of Tiger Fisher, the Sun Pirates with Jimbei as their captain were seen in a new ship, which was originally a Navy ship (as shown in Chapter 623). The ship has three masts with four main sails with their jolly roger on at least two of them and a spinnaker sail at the bow below the figurehead with "TAIYO" (which is Japanese for "sun") written on it. This new ship was first seen in Chapter 624 of Jimbei's flashback. It is unknown what happened to this ship as of now.
Though not all of the crew later on were slaves, the foundations of many crew members were through their bad experiences at being slaves to the World Nobles and though they were free, their memories and experiences would never have left them. The fact that they were all considered "less than human" owed to the "hoof of the dragon" symbol burnt into their skin meant that they had nowhere else to go even though they were free. In some sense, they were forced to stay together with each other for this reason.
- Slavery was common during the real-world golden age of piracy. When some pirate crews raided slave ships, they offered the slaves a chance to join the crew, and since life as a slave was most often worse than life as a pirate, many took up the offer. This seems to be the inspiration for the Sun Pirates.
- The split-up of the Sun Pirates was actually first mentioned back in the Arlong Arc, while Nojiko was talking about Nami's past, but was not explained until the Straw Hats reached Merman Island.