How One Celestial Dragon Redeemed Himself in ‘One Piece’
One of the most endearing aspects of One Piece has always been its ability to redeem absolute asswipes. Hell, two of the Straw Hats—Franky and Robin—started out as antagonists. But perhaps no single group of people in the world of One Piece is more detestable than the Celestial Dragons. They are the very definition of “punchable asswipes that deserve what’s coming to ’em.” Yet there’s even a Celestial Dragon who redeemed himself—as much as a literal ex-slave-owner can be redeemed, anyway. And that’s Saint Mjosgard.
To understand where Mjosgard’s coming from, let’s discuss Celestial Dragons (a.k.a. World Nobles, a.k.a. Tenryuubito) for a second. The Celestial Dragons’ ancestors are the 19 monarchs who founded the World Government (the 20th, Alabasta, bowed out). These 19 monarchs and their families then retreated to the holy land of Mary Geoise atop the Red Line. 800 years later, their descendants continue to be treated as infallible gods.
Modern day Celestial Dragons internalized this “infallible god” mentality so deeply, they don’t even consider themselves human. Because they’re the highest authority in the World Government (besides the Five Elders and, shh, Imu), they’re allowed to do whatever the hell they want. If someone so much as looks at them funny, they’ll order their attendants to kill them. The Celestial Dragons not only buy and own slaves, they think that everyone—human, Fish-Man, what have you—is inherently lower than them and therefore deserves to be their slave. In short, they are real inbred sacks of shit.
Mjosgard begins the One Piece narrative as one such sack of shit. By the way, Mjosgard’s full name is Donquixote Mjosgard, which makes him a relative of one of One Piece‘s greatest villains, Donquixote Doflamingo.
Mjosgard in Fish-Man Island
Of all the people bought and sold as slaves to the Celestial Dragons, Fish-Men and especially mermaids are considered “prize” slaves. (Fish-Men deal with a lot of horrendous racism from humans, too.) Mjosgard and his father in particular had a “Prized Fish-Man Collection,” who were of course treated horrendously. The Fish-Man slave situation got so bad that Fisher Tiger—an explorer and escaped slave himself—went back to Mary Geoise to free all the slaves. Tiger took the Fish-Men in particular under his wing, starting a new pirate group called the Sun Pirates.
Mjosgard and his dad really hated that all their slaves escaped. To rub salt in that wound (I hope it stings), some years after Tiger’s raid and 10 years before the beginning of One Piece, one of the old members of the Sun Pirates, Jinbe, became one of the Seven Warlords of the Sea—meaning that a prominent Fish-Man related to the raid was now under the Navy’s employ. And the Navy works for the World Government! The nerve!
So Mjosgard decides to go to Fish-Man Island himself to reclaim his “property.” Unfortunately for Mjosgard, his ship was attacked (probably by Sea Beasts), and everyone died except for him. Mjosgard washes up on Fish-Man Island in critical condition. And who is he greeted by? His former slaves! Despite being completely at the mercy of a hostile crowd, Mjosgard points his gun at them and tells his former slaves that no one gave them the permission to be free, so they need to come home with him. Which, naturally, causes the Sun Pirate members to draw their guns on him. At this point, Mjosgard still believes that his simply being a Celestial Dragon is reason enough for anyone not to shoot.
However, the Sun Pirates’ bullet is intercepted and taken by the queen of Fish-Man Island, Otohime, who desperately desires to form an alliance with humans and move Fish-Man Island into true sunlight. Otohime orders for Mjosgard to be taken back to the palace and treated. The catch is that, when Mjosgard’s ship is fixed and ready to set sail again, Otohime invites herself on board. Mjosgard still appears ungrateful and is seemingly offended that Otohime so casually insists on coming along.
Mjosgard at the Reverie—a changed man
Somewhere, somehow on this shared journey … Otohime works her magic on Mjosgard. As a result, he frees all his slaves. In his own words, he says he was “admonished by the late Queen Otohime and became a decent human.” Note the word “human”—that’s actually a big deal for a Celestial Dragon.
And so, years later, when Otohime’s family come to Mary Geoise for the Reverie, Mjosgard sticks his neck out for them. He fully realizes that he owes them a life debt. He now says he’ll do “anything” for the people of Fish-Man Island. What a shift!
Turns out, Mjosgard’s alliance was both deeply genuine and necessary. Mere moments after the giant beautiful Princess Shirahoshi shows up at the Reverie, Saint Charlos—a truly exceptional sack of shit, even by Celestial Dragon standards—orders her to be captured and bound. He intends to make her his slave, and even congratulates himself on catching a big mermaid.
Because CP0 is around and Celestial Dragons are supposed to be able to do anything without consequence, everyone’s scared stiff. Which is when Mjosgard intervenes. He uses his position as a Celestial Dragon to slap the shit out of Charlos and orders that Shirahoshi be freed. He then promises King Neptune that he won’t leave Shirahoshi’s side and will take full responsibility for any incident triggered in Shirahoshi’s defense.
Which, again, proves necessary.
Mjosgard takes a stand, again
Spoilers for One Piece chapters 1054 and 1084! Which haven’t appeared in the anime!
Of course Charlos doesn’t take no for an answer because he is a coddled, pompous twat who has never heard the word “no” before in his life. So, later in the Reverie, he once again captures Shirahoshi. Only this time, he brought Bartholomew Kuma—now a not-really-conscious machine and his slave—to back him up.
Mjosgard orders Shirahoshi’s brothers to stand back, in the interest of not starting a conflict for Fish-Man Island. But he gives Sai and Leo, pirates under the banner of the Straw Hat Fleet, the go-ahead. Which turns Charlos’s attention to Mjosgard, and Charlos orders Kuma to kill him. Fortunately, Morley of the Revolutionary Army intercepts Kuma in the knick of time.
Sai and Leo proceed to beat the ever living shit out of Charlos. The incident is called an attempted murder—because Charlos (unfortunately) survives. Mjosgard helps Sai and Boo to escape and takes responsibility for the incident, as promised. This places Mjosgard under trial and detention at the hands of Mary Geoise’s bespoke military branch, the God’s Knights. Mjosgard doesn’t appear to squeal on who attacked Charlos, either.
So that’s the long, complicated tale of the one Celestial Dragon who has any shred of decency in him. And it gets him in huge trouble. Which is just another indicator that the whole system is rotten, isn’t it?
(featured image: Toei Animation)
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