Being giants, they are literally giant humans in appearance, although many giants seen have been noted as having more exaggerated proportions and features than most humans. They are so large that when they cry, their tears can cause large areas on the ground to appear flooded. Many giants from Elbaf are based on Vikings in both design and beliefs, though there are also giants from elsewhere that do not share that theme such as Jaguar D. Saul who told Nico Robin not to mistake him for the brutes of Elbaf. Marine Vice Admiral John Giant seems to be another non-Elbaf giant.
They are not to be confused with large-sized humans such as the Franky Family's Kairiki Destroyers or Bartholomew Kuma. To a giant, these large humans are no more than "oversized ants." Large-sized humans at their tallest reach knee-height of a giant, a normal human only reaches as high as the ankle in comparison.
Certain giants, such as Oars and his descendant Oars Jr., are bigger than average giants by roughly four times that of an average giant and grow horns out of their heads, and can have unique skin colors as well (such as pink or yellow). However, Sanjuan Wolf is even larger than them, being as big as the Marineford headquarters building and is considered to be one of a kind among giants due to his massive size.
Giants of considerably short stature can also exist as well, as shown with the existence of the Marine Vice Admiral Bastille whose height is no larger than that of a large-sized human.
|Jaguar D. Saul †||Oars †||Stansen||Little Oars Jr. *||Sanjuan Wolf|
|Loki||Hajrudin||Bastille||Bobby ≠||Pogo ≠|
|Blyue ≠||Panz Fry ≠||Lily Enstomach ≠|
- †: the character is deceased.
- *: the character's status is unknown. Hovering the symbol may give further details.
- ≠: the character is non-canon.
- ‡: the character is no longer part of this group. Hovering the symbol may give further details.
All giants can live for up to three times longer than human beings. However, in the case of giant fishmen and merfolk, it is unknown if they can live that long too. Giants can also interbreed with fishmen, which produces a wotan. Though wotans are huge by human standards, they are still not as big as an actual giant.
Despite their size, they are still just another race of "humans" and as noted by the Marines when Oars Jr. attacked, they can feel pain like any other human race. However, due to their gigantic sizes, they are still more resilient than an average human. Incidentally, all giants have a strange laugh and they all laugh differently.
During the Straw Hats adventure on the island of Punk Hazard, they encountered the giant bones of a corpse resembling the giants of Oars and Oars Jr. Coincidentally, the front gates housed a logo showing the image of the same giant skull with horns. The island was the home for many experiments in creating artificial giants for the World Government's use; a practice that had been passed down hundreds of years, that had often disastrous results. When Trafalgar Law explains about the experiments, a figure of a giant resembling Oars is shown.
The procedure of gigantification has been unsuccessful for many centuries due to the complexity. Even Vegapunk, the leading scientist of the Marines, have failed in his attempt. His rival Caesar Clown had more success, but his unethical procedures requires the recipients to be at a childhood age, and the side effects of continuous experiments placed their lives in mortal peril, and would have died had they not been rescued.
Giants seem to get along fine with other races, though generally many humans think twice about upsetting them. Normally they seem very casual, lighthearted and friendly towards just about everyone despite their size. Though a different race, they are still regarded as "men" by humans, noting there is a respectful acceptance between them and humans.
Although Charlotte Linlin boasted how she dreamed of creating a utopia where species of all kind can live in harmony and free of discrimination, there is not a single giant living in said place, and when Vinsmoke Judge mentioned this apparent absence, Linlin temporarily gave an enraged look. This is because while they are more or less amiable with other races, every giant in the world hates Linlin for a certain reason. When her attempt to bridge this gap, through a political marriage of her daughter Lola with Elbaf prince Loki, failed, their relationship further soured, and Linlin ultimately gave up on befriending giants altogether.
They are a strong and almost unstoppable race, the average human cannot stand up to them making them both ideal guards and deadly warriors. Throughout the storyline, characters regularly are aware of just what the power of a giant is. Oars' strength was said to be enough to move continents, and his fearsome reputation was one of the attractions for Moriah that led his desire to gain the corpse of both him and his descendant Oars Jr. to use their power to become the Pirate King. Saul had lifted up and smashed a number of the large Buster Call fleet ships during the destruction of Ohara, he has been noted to have more strength than an average giant. In fact, many giants are servants of the World Government and the Marines, enforcing the latter as one of the Three Great Powers. Their overall strength is primary aspect that the World Government is conducting research on Gigantification, in the hopes of creating their own giants.
At Enies Lobby the sight of seeing the giants Oimo and Kashi made the Franky Family comment on how using giants was "unfair". The Marines have an entire squad consisting of giants, these giants were placed in charge of guarding Ace's execution platform. When they were ordered to prepare themselves, the pirates advancing took note of the incoming giants and warned each other that "the big-boys are advancing". They also have many other giants as high-ranking officers.
Just as large-sized humans have advantage against "normal" humans, large-sized giants like Oars have a huge advantage against "normal" giants. Large-sized humans, even those with great strength are usually just too weak to take on a giant, as Oimo and Kashi proved to the Kairiki Destroyers. Most giants thus far have either been taken down by the strongest of the human fighters, or by tactics; thus far the most common method to take them down is using one giant against another as seen with Oars Jr., Oimo and Brogy. Oimo and Kashi were taken down by joint efforts of Galley-La, Zambai, and Sodom and Gomorrah. While Sodom and Gomorrah had strength and size almost equal to the giants, the others who aided them had used more tactical efforts such as pinning down Kashi's face when he fell, and using Oimo to deal a knock-out blow to his partner. Mr. 3 had to devise a plan in order to take down Brogy and Dorry. While he took down Dorry by a explosion in his stomach (Brogy had finished him off), the giant had survived. During the Sabaody Archipelago arc, the kidnapping group, Coffee Monkeys reported that they only captured their giant because he was asleep.
They are often shown surviving being hit by cannon blasts and explosions, usually simply being knocked down temporary or coming out with only minor injuries, and even when suffering major injuries, still having some life left in them to fight again with. Perhaps due to their size, they also have greater resistance to diseases that would kill humans. At Enies Lobby, when the allies of the Straw Hats appeared to have been wiped out by the Buster Call fleet, whose cannons are able to wipe out whole islands with their cannon blasts, it was revealed that Oimo and Kashi had taken the brunt of the attack, yet been largely unaffected, with no visible injuries. Saul had also taken several hits of cannon fire while on Ohara from Buster Call shots, although the ships used in that incident were not as strong as the Enies Lobby incident. Oars Jr. had taken many hits by cannon fire before he was initially taken out by the Shichibukai Kuma, Doflamingo, and Moriah; although he gave up the last of his strength taking Whitebeard to the plaza where one final cannon blast finished him off. Despite the fact they survive these blasts, however, they will still feel the pain from the impact even if it does not topple them.
It should be taken into account that when a giant goes on a rampage, there is a general fear from the weakest of men, as very little can stop a giant normally and seemingly even less when one is angry. As equal as they make for dangerous guards and enforcers, likewise they make for dangerous criminals and such giants end up in the lower levels of Impel Down, even as far down as level 6.
However, while they are incredibly strong their size is also their biggest disadvantage. The larger giants such as Oars and Oars Jr. are so big that they make for easy targets during battles. Another disadvantage is space, as giants need room to maneuver themselves without damaging buildings or stepping on allies. Notably, to date no giant in the storyline has been known to have taken a Devil Fruit (with the exceptions of Blyue and Lily Enstomach, who are both non-canon), making them one of the most physically reliant races in the world. This can also put them at disadvantage as they have no alternative ways of fighting. However, they do use weapons of their choice to effectively increase damage. Additionally, while no giant has demonstrated Haki, at least four Giants (John Giant, Saul, Ronse, and Lacroix) have achieved the rank of vice admiral in the Marines, and some degree of proficiency in Haki is said to be a requirement of that rank. Furthermore, the giant who was chained together with Silvers Rayleigh during his time as a slave in the Human Auction House was able to discern the latter's use of Haki when Rayleigh used it to render Disco unconscious. Therefore it must be concluded that giants are not only aware but also capable of manifesting Haki.
One should also take into account that giants seen thus far seem fearless of Sea Kings (even seen hunting them), a remarkable note as fishmen are wary of them and careless mermaids (such as Keimi) may fall prey to their jaws.
The majority of giants seen so far believe that to die in battle is a great honor, and that duels are sacred battles between the strong to determine who wins the favor of the Gods of Elbaf. Upon returning to Elbaf after a victorious battle, the winners are treated as heroes. However, not all giants believe that fighting and dying in battle is a great honor. For example, Jaguar D. Saul considers the Elbaf giants' lust for battle "barbaric" while expressing that gentle giant races do indeed exist outside Elbaf, and dislikes it when others believe that all giants are warriors like those of Elbaf.
Another note is that due to their longer lifespan, they tend to treat time differently to humans. Where as 50 years to a human would be a lifetime wasted, to giants 50 years is only 1/6 of their potential lifespan. As such, a vow that results in them losing 50 years of their life can be seen by them as "nothing".
- Some giants were shown to have a Norse mythology theme.
- Jaguar D. Saul did not come from Elbaf.
- Blyue and Lily Enstomach are the only giants to date to have been featured in any One Piece storyline with a Devil Fruit ability (the Mini Mini no Mi), but they are not canon.
- Fishmen and merfolk can grow as big as giants, as seen in Wadatsumi's and Shirahoshi's cases.
- Giant — Wikipedia article about fictional giants.
- Giants — Monstrous.com article about fictional giants.
- Giant — Monstropedia article about fictional giants.
- Viking — Wikipedia article about the culture the majority of giants are based on.
- The Viking Network - Site about Vikings.