Bounties have officially become meaningless.
This is something that has irked me for a while, but Manny's new 1 billion bounty just confirmed what I suspected. Bounties are not a meaningful tool to measure anything anymore, and are just inflating arbitrary numbers assigned by Oda to make people look interesting. So far, our understanding was that bounties don't directly correlate to strength level, but are rather an indication of "Threat", the greater the threat to the world, the greater the bounty. Sadly, I don't believe this applies anymore, or at the very least, Jack's bounty puts everything into different context. With the appearance of a 1 Billion Berry guy who isn't a Yonkou and so far lacks any obvious threat indicators, we have to re-evaluate a lot of the bounties we've seen in the series:
Let's look at bounties that we can assume were primarily issued for threat level, not for direct strength or cruelty like others:
Ace: 550 Million. Up until now Ace had the highest bounty we've seen in the series, which makes sense. He not only was the 3rd in command of the legendary Whitebeard Pirates, no, he was also the son of the former pirate king. By New World standards, his bounty is actually comparatively tame. The double whammy of his affiliation, as well as his heritage should demand a higher bounty nowadays. Compared to other people in his price range like Law and Chinjao, Ace clearly represented the highest threat. Compared to Jack, who serves in a similar position under a Yonkou and lacks Ace's heritage it seems tiny.
Edward Weevil: 480 Million. Weevil's bounty is interesting, because we have to assume it is purely strength and behaviour based. I highly doubt the people issuing bounties believe his parental claims, if they did they most certainly wouldn't have offered him the job of a Shichibukai. It's also the highest bounty of an active Shichibukai we've seen. If we consider the notion that the World Government actually believes his parental claims, then his bounty , like Ace's is again comparatively tame. The son of Whitebeard , combined with an apparently relatively high strength should demand a slightly higher bounty.
Luffy: 500 Million. Taking down Shichibukai and other World Goverment agents like it's going out of style, declaring war on the World Goverment, the son of leader of the revolutionary army, destabilising established regimes and institutions. Yeah, I have no problems with this bounty, except that it highlights Ace's low bounty again.
Doflamingo: 340 Million. Hard to say what his actual bounty would have been, if it wasn't frozen before the takeover of Dressrosa. Still seems relatively low for a Celestial Dragon turned pirate.
Robin: 79 Million (First bounty) . Can read poneglyphs. Kill pls.
We also have several examples of bounties that were primarily issued for devastation and cruelty, overall known as the Asshole bounty: Eustass Kid (315 Million), Killer (162 Million), Bartolomeo (150 Million) and Gambia (67 Million) got their bounties by being dicks and killing civilians.
So, with all those bounties in mind, let's address the one sticking out like a sore thumb. I highly doubt that Jack is a bigger threat to world security than Luffy and Law combined, or that he is more devastating than the entire Kid Pirates and Barto Club combined. So what gives? How is somebody who was getting his ass handed to him by some overgrown kitty worth 1 Billion? I really hope Oda doesn't pull some important connection/heritage for Jack out of his arse, but I honestly can't explain the bounty otherwise. If Jack is 1 Billion, what's Kaidou's, hell what's Blackbeard's bounty? Sadly, I don't think we're gonna see a reasonable explanation for his bounty, and will probably just have to accept that that's the bounty level we're talking about nowadays.
10:21, December 4, 2015 (UTC)
Offtopic, you know what other bounty sticks out like a sore thumb?
Crocodile: 81 Million. Managed to get to the New World, had a spat with Whitebeard, went toe to toe with Doffy at Marineford, and was the leader of Baroque Works (which the WG apparently didn't know, but still). 81 Million. Kek.