There are many mysteries in One Piece’s labyrinthian history - no surprise given the series is over two decades old, with over 1,000 chapters to read. Some people wonder where they should even start.


Imu stands as one of One Piece’s greatest antagonists, sitting upon the Empty Throne and ruling over the World Government. He’s a figure with immense influence and power, and he’s been deeply involved within the plot of the series both directly and indirectly.

However, what do we actually know about him?

It wasn’t until Chapter 906 that Imu made his full on-page debut, and in the anime, he appeared around Episode 885.

Although we don’t know much about the character, we certainly know how much destruction he’s able to cause with the lift of one finger.

More like this

Read on as we tell you everything you need to know about one of the most mysterious - and malevolent - figures in One Piece.

Is Imu a villain?

That’s a bit of an understatement. While we don’t know just how powerful or the level of Imu’s abilities are, we are aware of a few of them - one of which is the ability to transform into a huge beast-human hybrid that can consume fire and even fire out a tentacle-like appendage which he has used to impale people in the past.

In terms of artillery, he has the incredible weapon Mother Flame, which can completely vaporise an island within seconds - which he’s done in the past with the Lulusia Kingdom after they stopped providing resources.

What’s most bleak about this is that he merely ordered this just to conduct a test on the effectiveness of the weapon itself, highlighting the extreme cruelty that Imu is open to inflicting.

What is Imu in One Piece?

Fans still don’t know about the true identity of Imu, from what they look like, to where they’re from, or even how old they are. However, we do have a few clues from the manga that we can pull from which may help us.

In Chapter 1086, Emporio Ivankov proposes a theory that Imu’s full name is actually Saint Imu of House Nerona, one of the original Founding 20 that set up the World Government.

What this also hints at is that Imu is much older than perhaps people originally thought they were, as the Nerona Family were particularly active during the Void Century, around the same time that the original Joy Boy appeared.

Due to the possibility of Imu being part of the Nerona Family, it seems very likely that they are immortal, which has been attributed to none other than the Ultimate Devil Fruit. As a result, Imu has become one of the few survivors of the Founding 20, and used their absolute power to become the ruler of the world that they are today.

Is Imu the strongest in One Piece?

Due to the level of military power that they have at their disposal, and their unknown level of spiritual power alongside the seeming immortality due to their Ultimate Devil Fruit, Imu is undoubtedly one of the most powerful beings, if not the most powerful being, in the whole of One Piece.

However, fans have speculated that perhaps Joy Boy may be the only legendary figure that could take on Imu, due to clues about Imu’s past being sprinkled throughout the series.

In Chapter 1086, there seems to be a number of connections linking Queen Lily’s letter, Joy Boy and Imu together, implying a long history between the malevolent ruler and the legendary figure.

With Luffy’s Gear 5 anime adaptation right round the corner, maybe we’ll begin to see this history picked back up soon.

Has Imu’s true face already been revealed?

According to a fan theory, we might know more about Imu than we first thought.

The Skypiea arc of the original One Piece manga suggests that the face revealed on Enel’s Maxin ship could, in fact, indicate what Imu’s true face is actually like. Many parallels between Enel and Imu have been made through the show’s history, including equipment and weapons that they are both in possession of.

However, it’s Kuma’s bible that might hold the eventual answers. Throughout the series and the manga, the pictures that help to represent Kuma have been known to change, capturing different family resemblances along the way. In them, Lili seems to resemble a certain silhouette, with recent episodes of One Piece explaining the connection that Imu actually has to her and the Nefertari family.

On top of this, clues to the connection lies in the smaller details. Both Enel and Imu have Government flags that are frequently displayed across ships, as well as having a lack of pupils in each of their faces.

You can catch One Piece on Crunchyroll. Sign up to Crunchyroll from $7.99 per month with a 14-day free trial.

Check out more of our anime coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.


Try Radio Times magazine today and get 10 issues for only £10, PLUS a £10 John Lewis and Partners voucher delivered to your home – subscribe now. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to The Radio Times Podcast.