- Best Naruto Hoodies Guide - February 27, 2023
- Demon Slayer Earrings Ideas - July 29, 2022
- Best Sailor Moon Jewelry Ideas - July 9, 2022
In any good story, the villain plays just as critical a role as the hero. It is the villain that drives the plot of the story. And it is the villain that can elevate a good story to an iconic one. Some of the greatest icons in manga history are villains. Johan Liebert, Griffith, and Light Yagami are all iconic characters that made their stories stand out.
One Piece is a series that has been in serialization for 25 years. It has more than a thousand named characters appearing across tens of arcs. It is no coincidence that a character like Captain Kuro, who was last seen in the story more than two decades ago, is still memorable. Oda does a remarkable job of creating fresh, impactful antagonists, with distinct personas arc after arc because every One Piece arc is only as good as its villain.
One of the longest arcs in One Piece is Dressrosa, and the reason why 102 chapters of Dressrosa were not exhausting but actually enjoyable is Donquixote Doflamingo. It is because of him that many consider Dressrosa one of the best arcs in One Piece.
Doflamingo at a Glance
Name: Japanese- ドンキホーテ・ドフラミンゴ; English- Donquixote Doflamingo
Epithet: Heavenly Demon
Origin: Mary Geoise
Birthday: October 23
Age: 41 years
First appearance: Chapter 233
Bounty: 340 Million Berries
Devil fruit: Ito Ito no Mi
Doflamingo is first introduced in the story during the Jaya arc. We see him in Marie Geoise attending a meeting called by the marines about the removal of Sir Crocodile from the Seven Warlords of the Sea. There he uses his mysterious devil fruit to make two Vice Admirals fight one another.
We then see him at the end of the Skypiea arc in Jaya, punishing Bellamy and Sarquiss for disgracing his flag by making them fight each other. He announces the beginning of a new age of unmatched power.
“Hurry! Hurry and make preparations! The time has come when only real pirates will survive! Those without power had better run while they could! Like an unstoppable wave, a new age of unmatched power is coming!”
Doflamingo’s flamboyant style and mysterious power made him an enigmatic and terrifying figure. It is only after hundreds of chapters when Strawhats reach Dressrosa that we find out more about the Heavenly Demon.
No One is Born Evil
If I have to describe Doflamingo in two words, I’d say he is Charismatic evil. But no one is born evil. They become evil through choice and circumstance. It’s the same for Doflamingo. He wasn’t born evil like his brother Rosinante claims, but his choices and circumstances made him that way.
Doflamingo is a Celestial Dragon. He was born to the Donquixote family, one of the 20 noble families that are the descendants of the 20 kings who established the World Government.
As descendants of the creators of the World Government, the Celestial Dragons have the highest authority in the world. They abuse their power to do whatever they wish without any consequences. They consider other people to be beneath them, and Doflamingo is no exception.
Doflamingo grew up in this environment in Marie Geoise, where he was treated like a king like a god for eight years until his father, Saint Donquixote Homing, decided to cease the title of Celestial Dragon and live peacefully among other humans.
So the whole family, Saint Homing, his wife, Doflamingo, and Rosinante settled in a kingdom somewhere in the North. But for eight years, Doflamingo had lived the life of a Celestial Dragon, and he was used to being treated like a god. So he was confused about why people were not bowing in front of him and why there were no slaves.
While the intentions of Homing were pure, he did not realize just how normal humans despise the Celestial Dragons. Just because Homing had relinquished his title, people would not simply accept his family.
An angry mob decided to punish the family. They torched their house and chased the family out. The whole family had to live in a makeshift shack in a garbage dump. They had to eat rotten food to fill their stomachs. When Homing tried to contact the Celestial Dragons at Marie Geoise for help, they called him a human and hung up on him. Because of the deplorable living conditions, Doflamingo’s mother got sick and passed away.
All the while, Doflamingo becomes resentful towards his father.
“Father, why are we being chased?”
“Father, for the first time in my life, it hurts! For the first time in my life, I’m hungry!”
“Father damn you! What have you done to us!”
Eventually, the angry mob tracked the family and brutally tortured them. Doflamingo’s hatred for people grew even more. He promised his attackers that he was going to kill them all. This is when Doflamingo unlocked Conqueror Haki and knocked out all his attackers.
At some point in time, Doflamingo met Trebol. After learning Doflamingo used Conquerors, Haki Trebol claimed Doflamingo was chosen by heaven and gave him the Ito Ito no Mi and a pistol to enact revenge.
At the tender age of 10, Doflamingo killed his father with that pistol and took his head to Marie Geoise in order to regain his old status. But the Celestial Dragons refused to take him in. He somehow managed to escape them and decided to exact revenge on them by destroying everything they dominated. Somewhere along the line, Rosinante and Doflamingo got separated.
Donquixote Rosinante: The Other Side of the Coin
After escaping Marie Geoise, Doflamingo returned back to Trebol. Trebol, Pica, Virgo, and Diamante then elected Doflamingo as their leader, and Donquixote Pirates were formed. Over the years, Donquixote Pirates became a notorious group specializing in black market trading.
Rosinante, on the other hand, was found by Sengoku. Sengoku treated Rosinante as his son and took him into the marines. For 14 years, he served in the marines rising to the rank of Commander. He then infiltrated the Donquixote Pirates to report their activities to Sengoku, where he achieved the rank of the heart seat or Corazon. He tried to dissuade children like Baby 5, Buffalo, and Law from joining the crew by being violent with them.
Corazon left the crew with Law to look for a cure for Law’s condition. Doflamingo informed him about the Ope Ope no Mi. Corazon betrayed Doflamingo and stole the fruit for Law, getting severely injured in the process. But he was found out by Doflamingo, who killed him in front of a concealed Law. Corazon’s death is what would lead to Doflamingo’s defeat in the future.
Despite facing the same circumstances as Doflamingo, Rosinante turned out to be a very kind person. Even sacrificing himself to save Law. Their characters are a commentary on the nature vs. nurture debate. I personally believe that if Doflamingo had not met Trebol but Sengoku instead, he might have turned out to be a better person.
How to Takeover a Kingdom 101
The main story takes place in the kingdom of Dressrosa. Dressrosa was once ruled by the Donquixote family, so Doflamingo decided to make it his center of operations. One night Doflamingo appeared in the chambers of the King of Dressrosa Riku. He announced himself to the king and demanded his country back, claiming he was the rightful king. He warned Riku of a bloody mess if he refused.
To avoid the fight, Doflamingo gives King Riku one option- hand him 10 billion Berries. Doflamingo warned Riku not to tell the citizens about him and asked him to collect the money from the citizens. King Riku agreed to his demand of 10 billion Berries to avoid bloodshed.
While money was being collected from the citizens, Doflamingo used his Parasite String on King Riku and made him attack his own citizens. Doflamingo also puppeteered the royal soldiers and made them kill innocent civilians. The people of Dressrosa were unable to comprehend this brutal act by their king.
Doflamingo continued King Riku’s rampage until the citizens turned against him and then stepped in and saved the citizens by acting as a hero in front of their eyes. He defeated King Riku and took over the throne of Dressrosa.
Doflamingo used Sugar’s devil fruit ability to turn those who opposed him into toys and reigned over the people of Dressrosa for over a decade. The kingdom was finally liberated after Law and Luffy defeated Doflamingo.
Doflamingo has a very pronounced god complex and believes his self-worth to be above that of regular humans. He believes that he has the blood of God flowing through him, and people with human blood are below him. Doflamingo even tried to become more like a god through the immortality operation technique of the Ope Ope no Mi.
“Curse your bloodlines then! You people were born as lowly trash, destined to be controlled! You humans and I are completely different!”
The only people Doflamingo actually cares about are his crew, as is evident by the fact that he went to great lengths to save Baby 5 and Buffalo.
“I lost my mother when I was 8…and killed my father when I was 10. Those with the title of “Executive” or above are my “family” with whom I’ve shared my joys and sorrows. They’re the only thing I have! I won’t forgive anyone that laughs at my family. Understood?”
But one thing that he cares about even above the well-being of his crew is loyalty. If a crew member betrays him, he will not spare them. It is evident from the fact that he even killed his own brother Rosinante because of betrayal.
A Politician and a Businessman
Doflamingo is the only character in the series who has achieved such infamy and influence through politics and trade. He made himself an indispensable cog in the functioning of the world.
He blackmailed the Celestial Dragons and became one of the Seven Warlords of the Sea. This protected him from the Marines and World Government and raised his influence as a pirate. He formed a business alliance with Kaido, which made him immune from other Yonko and pirates. And he made himself the most important underworld broker under the alias Joker.
Doflamingo wields the power of the Ito Ito no Mi or the String String fruit, which allows him to control strings. He got this Devil Fruit from Trebol when he was a child. If you are wondering how Trebol got his hands on the Ito Ito no Mi, Let’s just say he pulled some strings.
At first look, the power to control strings does not seem too extraordinary, but the strength of a fruit depends on how well you can use it. And Doflamingo had a mastery over his Devil Fruit that he even awakened his fruit.
Doflamingo has many powerful techniques that he utilizes in a fight. He can use Parasite String to take over the body of his enemy. He can also make a clone of himself using the Black Knight technique. He can even attach his strings to clouds and move in the air. Doflamingo’s most impressive technique is the Bird Cage, where he can trap anyone with a cage of razor-sharp strings.
A Puppeteer or a Puppet? Final Thoughts
Doflamingo, through his rose-tinted glasses, saw himself as a puppet master. He believed he was in control of everyone and everything and that he held the reigns of this world. But, in many ways, Doflamingo has always been a puppet of others. He never really had a say over his life and his dreams. His actions in the story are like that of a bird thrashing against the cage because he is unable to author his own story.
He did what others told him or expected him to do. He acted like a god because that is what the celestial dragons taught him. He was stripped of his title because that is what his father wanted. He became a pirate and behaved like a king because that is what Trebol and others wanted. He was working under both the World Government and Kaido because that is what was necessary for him to survive. He was never really free, and that is why he took away others’ freedom.
This is why Luffy will become the King of the Pirates, and Doflamingo was never even in contention because there is one thing a person needs to become the King of the Pirates above everything else- Freedom.
Question: What is the best Doflamingo speech?
Answer: One of the best speeches, not just by Doflamingo but in all of One Piece, is his speech about justice.
“Pirates are evil? The Marines are righteous? These terms have always changed throughout the course of history! Kids who have never seen peace and kids who have never seen war have different values! Those who stand at the top determine what’s wrong and what’s right! This very place is neutral ground! Justice will prevail, you say? But of course, it will! Whoever wins this war becomes justice!”
Question: Does Doflamingo still have a role to play in One Piece?
Answer: Last we saw Doflmingo; he was chained in Impel Down. I am almost certain he will make an appearance again and will have some role to play in the story, especially since he knows about the National Treasure at Marie Geoise.
Doflamingo Guide: Fun Fact
An early concept of Doflamingo was revealed in One Piece Green: Secret Pieces, where he was supposed to be a rapper always wearing headphones. It seems like this design of Doflamingo was later given to Apoo of the Worst Generations.