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Aokiji, also known as Kuzan, is one of the three most popular admirals of the Marines aside from Kizaru and Akainu.

Wielding the power of the Logia-type Devil Fruit called the Hie Hie no Mi, Aokiji seems unstoppable.

One Piece live action cast Taz Skylar as Sanji, Jacob Gibson as Usopp, Inaki Godoy as Luffy, Emily Rudd as Nami, and Mackenyu as Zoro in ONE Esports featured image for article "A closer look at Netflix’s One Piece live-action cast"
Credit: Netflix
A closer look at Netflix’s OPLA cast

However, after the time skip in One Piece, he resigned from the admiral position and left the Marines. During this time, he roamed the New World.

So what exactly happened after the Marineford arc?

The reason Aokiji left the Marines

Aokiji wallpaper from One Piece
Credit: Toei Animation

The Marineford Arc in One Piece witnessed the greatest war between the Marines and the pirates, which, later on, made a huge impact on a series of events, including the battle for power between admirals.

After the battle, Sengoku, the fleet admiral at that time, announced his retirement. To fill in the position, one of the three admirals had to decide who would be his successor.

While Kizaru was not very interested in getting the position, a power struggle soon formed between Akainu and Aokiji.

One Piece Straw Hat Pirates members Monkey D. Luffy, Roronoa Zoro, Nami, Usopp, Vinsmoke Sanji, Tony Tony Chopper, Nico Robin, Franky, Brook, Jinbe in ONE Esports featured image for article "One Piece watch order: How to watch the anime, movies, and OVAs in chronological order"
Credit: Toei Animation
Complete One Piece watch order

Both hopefuls decided to settle the conflict through a life-or-death battle at Punk Hazard Island.

The battle between these two admirals was so fierce and intense that it changed the state of the entire island forever.

Today, half of Punk Hazard is stuck in an eternal summer with constant, scorching heat, while the other half is forever enveloped in the winter season with relentless blizzards.

Punk Hazard Island in One Piece
Credit: Toei Animation

After fighting non-stop for 10 days in a row, Akainu finally won and became the new fleet admiral. Aokiji remained an admiral after the battle, failing to win the promotion for himself.

While the results were fair and square, he could not accept the fact that he had to work under a merciless leader like Akainu. He resigned and left the navy forever.

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With Akainu’s promotion and Aokiji’s resignation, Fujitora and Ryokugyu are the next in line to become admirals of the Marines.

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