Vinsmoke Ichiji, also known as "Sparking Red", is the eldest son of the Vinsmoke Family, making him Sanji's eldest brother. He is also a prince of the Germa Kingdom and a commander in its military arm, Germa 66.
Ichiji has red-colored hair and curly eyebrows. Like all the Vinsmoke siblings, his distinctive curly eyebrows form a spiral that resemble the numeral 6. He is slim with long legs and stands at a comparable height to his brother Niji, being slightly taller. His hair is fashioned into three prominent cowlicks on the right side, and also curls upwards slightly at the roots, like his sister's. His right arm bears a prominent tattoo: the number "1" in the center of a stylized circle, surrounded by flames.
When commanding the forces of Germa 66, he wears a dark red raid suit, including white gauntlets, a red ascot, a white cape (bearing a red "1" on its left), as well as a pair of sunglasses. Outside of his raid suit, Ichiji wears a dark shirt with an upturned collar and a light cravat, as well as a pair of light-colored pants. For formal functions, he also wears a floor-length, single-shoulder royal cape with an upturned collar and a neck clasp. However, unlike his siblings, his cape is light-colored.
During the Tea Party, Ichiji changed into a light frilled dress shirt, as well as dark pants and dark gloves. He also wore a royal cape similar to the one he was wearing previously, but shorter and clasped together with two chains. After chaos broke out, he changed back into his raid suit.
As a child, Ichiji wore a red shirt with the number "1" on it with white shorts and brown boots. His hair was styled in the same manner as it is in the present.
Like most members of his family, Ichiji is proud of his royal status, looking down upon commoners and servants. Like his father, Niji, and Yonji, he expresses disgust at Sanji's displays of kindness towards such individuals, and labels him a "disgrace" to the family name. Despite being a prince of a highly imperialistic kingdom, however, Ichiji demonstrates little care for political affairs, and said so when his family discussed the mission on Broc Coli Island.
Since birth, Ichiji has lacked the ability to feel empathy and sympathy, due to the genetic modifications performed on him by his father. He is cold and brutal to the people he fights, caring only about his task and not their lives. He expresses disdain for the people who oppose him, commenting that the four hours he spent fighting on Broc Coli Island had been a waste of effort. He also expects his subordinates in Germa 66 to lay down their lives for him at any point, showing no emotion at their deaths. Ichiji has also demonstrated that even the prospect of his own death is not enough to move him. After Big Mom revealed her treachery, Ichiji reacted with nonchalance, speaking only to reprimand his father's tears as pathetic.
Unlike his more hot-headed younger brothers, Ichiji's usual manner is very calm and measured. However, when he is provoked, he reveals his capacity for extreme violence and brutality. During their childhood, Ichiji, Niji, and Yonji all enjoyed tormenting Sanji because of his relative physical weakness and his interest in cooking, but Ichiji appeared to enjoy it the most. His behavior during these encounters also demonstrates his aloofness, as he preferred to let Niji and Yonji do most of the attacking while he watched. However, when Sanji tried to retaliate against Ichiji during an episode of bullying, Ichiji proved to be the most vicious of the brothers, beating Sanji almost senseless and warning his younger brother to never touch him again. When a despairing enemy soldier tried to shoot him during the war on Broc Coli Island, Ichiji told the man that he did not care about his family or his country before killing the soldier with his own gun. Additionally, like his sister Reiju, Ichiji prefers to watch events unfold without interfering, forming his own opinions and speaking up primarily to have the last word in a conversation.
Like his younger brothers, Ichiji possesses a lecherous streak, as he became lovestruck when he first saw Nami. However, he is able to put his amorous tendencies aside and think rationally, as he reminds his brother Yonji that marrying into the Charlotte Family would require forfeiting their freedom after Yonji stated a desire to marry Charlotte Pudding himself.
Ichiji's father highly values his "beloved" eldest son. He approved of Ichiji bullying Sanji as a child, and refused to consider marrying him off to one of Big Mom's daughters even to seal a powerful political alliance. In turn, Ichiji often shows reverence towards his father.
Ironically, because Judge had removed Ichiji's emotions before he was born, Ichiji simply accepted the impending doom of both Judge and most of the Vinsmoke Family when the Big Mom Pirates revealed their treachery. While Judge panicked and cried out in anguish, the eldest son simply called his reaction pathetic.
While she was pregnant with Ichiji and his brothers, Ichiji's mother consumed a dangerous drug in an attempt to prevent him from losing his emotional capacity. However, Judge's surgery was a success on Ichiji, and Sora subsequently died from the drug's aftereffects, during Ichiji's early childhood. Nothing else is known about their relationship, while Sora was still alive.
As of yet, not much is known about Ichiji's relationship with his elder sister. Reiju was seen smiling at his return to the Germa Kingdom, implying that their relationship is friendly at the very least.
However, unbeknownst to Ichiji, Reiju secretly despises him, along with the rest of their family (except Sanji), because of his murderous ways. She intends to do nothing to stop the Big Mom Pirates from killing him, believing that there was no place in the world for any of them. Indeed, though she does pity Ichiji and her other two brothers due to the modifications Judge made to their emotions, she still dismisses them as "barely human" even as she waits to be killed alongside them by the Charlotte Family.
Ichiji appears to get along well with his younger brother, alongside whom he has co-commanded Germa 66 forces in combat situations. Niji complies without a response when Ichiji tells him to quiet down on their return to the Germa Kingdom. This could imply a slight amount of deference as the eldest brother, given Niji's confrontational behavior.
As a child, Ichiji, alongside Niji and Yonji, used to bully Sanji for his "un-royal" habit of cooking. He was shown to be irritated by Sanji's kind and compassionate behavior such as caring for a little pet turtle. Ichiji even stated that, despite sharing the same birthday, Sanji was a disgrace to the family. When it was said that Sanji died, Ichiji was relieved that he was gone as he was useless. Even when Sanji was condemned to be imprisoned forever by Judge, Ichiji refused to let him off and continued to visit his cell with his other two brothers just to continue bullying him. After completing a mission on Broc Coli Island, he stated that he could not wait to see his younger brother again, but Niji called him out as a liar. Furthermore, he seemed indifferent to the fact that Sanji did not greet himself and Niji upon their arrival for his wedding. As for Sanji, he trembled slightly at their return, implying that he may retain traumatic memories of their abuse.
After reuniting with Sanji, their disagreement over the proper behavior of royals was immediately reignited. While Sanji denounced their family's spoiled attitude and cruel treatment of servants, Ichiji once again labeled Sanji a disgrace and stated that he had never understood how Sanji's brain worked, even when they were children.
When Sanji attacked Niji, Ichiji distracted him by reminding him of his weakness, allowing Niji to overpower him. As Sanji laid on the ground, Ichiji took the opportunity to mockingly "welcome" him back to the family and tell him his status as a failure in the hierarchy.
However, despite their differences, he was pleased when it appeared that Sanji accepted his royal status. He was seen smiling to himself when Sanji insulted and attacked Luffy, despite their friendship. Ichiji still bears only cruelty towards his brother as he mentioned that he and the rest of family will be unaffected if Big Mom takes Sanji hostage.
On the night before the wedding, Ichiji and his family expressed their "gratitude" to Sanji for making their successful future imminent and shared a toast to him while still calling him a failure.
At the wedding, Ichiji made it clear to Yonji, who was envious of Sanji being with Pudding, that Sanji was simply a sacrifice to Big Mom. After the Big Mom Pirates revealed their treachery towards the Vinsmokes, Ichiji was surprised that Sanji freed him and the rest of his family after Big Mom started screaming. Though he maintains a grim expression, he then listens to Sanji's silent demand to save Nami, Chopper, and Carrot from the Big Mom Pirates without complaint or hesitation.
Yonji used to accompany his two oldest brothers in bullying Sanji, showing that they got along at the very least. He was also excited at the prospect of a reunion between Ichiji, Niji, and Sanji. Yonji even laughed at Ichiji's comment of the family being unaffected if Big Mom hold Sanji hostage.
Ichiji's subordinates in Germa 66 revere him as one of their commanders, cheering him and Niji as they returned from their brief campaign in Broc Coli Island. As a member of their royal family, each soldier is also willing to lay down their life for Ichiji. One soldier was shown doing exactly this during that campaign, after Ichiji ordered him to take a bullet intended for him showing that Ichiji has little to no care for his troops.
Abilities and PowersEdit
As a prince of the Germa Kingdom, Ichiji has political authority over its subjects. He also holds a high ranking within Germa 66, giving him authority over common soldiers as well as the ability to order them to sacrifice themselves in his defence. A portion of Germa 66, under Ichiji and Niji's command, was able to end a two-year war in four hours, thoroughly annihilating the side they were hired to fight.
Along with the rest of his siblings, Ichiji was enhanced with genetic modifications that give him tremendous superhuman abilities. When Ichiji was a child, Judge's aide stated that his strength and agility was on the level of an adult man. He developed an outer skeleton that enhanced his durability; his face made a metallic noise when Sanji punched it, and the force of impact hurt Sanji's fist. He also possesses immense physical strength. As a child, he was able to overpower and defeat an adult Germa soldier during a training regimen. By adulthood, he was able to grab the arm of an enemy soldier and twist it around so the soldier was pointing his gun at himself, keeping the gun stationary as he talked, although the enemy soldier was weakened from fighting. He has tremendous tolerance for alcohol, as he and his brothers continued to drink large quantities unaffected while the barmaids all fell intoxicated.
Ichiji is shown to have a strong will, as he was able to withstand a burst of Big Mom's Haoshoku Haki and remain conscious from her loud scream. Later, when he attacked Charlotte Perospero, he punched him with extreme speed and power.
Ichiji was born in the Germa Kingdom on the same day as his younger brothers, while the Kingdom was still in North Blue. When Ichiji and his siblings were very young, Judge informed them that he had enhanced their bodies with genetic modifications, and instructed them to train so that their bodies would develop superhuman abilities. The siblings excelled at their exercises, except for Sanji who continually lagged behind. Ichiji, Niji, and Yonji were initially irritated with Sanji's poor progress, but they eventually took pleasure in bullying their brother for his weakness as well as for giving food to rats. During one of their bullying sessions, Sanji attempted to punch Ichiji to get his food back, but Ichiji retaliated by beating him viciously.
When Judge had Sanji locked in a dungeon and informed the kingdom that he died in an accident, Ichiji expressed indifference, since Sanji had been "useless" anyway. However, Ichiji, Niji, and Yonji eventually learned the truth that Sanji was still alive and occasionally visited him in the dungeon to continue bullying him.
After Sanji left the family, Ichiji and his siblings often mused about Sanji. However, their discussions typically revolved around the numerous amusing ways that each of them could conjure as to how Sanji may have died while living on his own.
Whole Cake Island ArcEdit
Ichiji and Niji led a platoon of Germa 66 soldiers to end a two-year war on Broc Coli Island. Ichiji and his men ruthlessly slaughtered several enemy soldiers, and a lone survivor attempted to shoot Ichiji. On his command, however, a Germa 66 soldier stepped in front of Ichiji and took the bullet. Ichiji then confronted the enemy soldier, getting angry that the soldier was making him late for his brother's wedding, and shot the enemy soldier with his own gun. Ichiji and his men walked away, having won the war. Ichiji and Niji then climbed atop a building as they contacted an unknown person, preparing to make the two-day voyage to Whole Cake Island. Ichiji expressed anticipation at reuniting with Sanji, but Niji called him a liar.
Two days later, Ichiji and Niji arrived at the Germa Kingdom. As the Germa 66 soldiers gave them a hero's welcome, Niji was angry that Sanji was not there to greet them, but Ichiji told him to quiet down. The brothers soon reunited with the rest of their family, including Sanji, while dining. After Sanji defended the head chef from Niji, Ichiji scorned Sanji for going against their family's ideals. Ichiji later exited the dining hall as Judge coerced Sanji by threatening Zeff's life.
Ichiji and Niji later met Sanji and Yonji in the Germa lab. When Sanji kicked Niji in the face, Ichiji reminded Sanji that they knew about Zeff. After Niji got back up and knocked Sanji down, Ichiji sarcastically welcomed Sanji back home and reminded him on his inferior status in the family. Ichiji and his two younger brothers then proceeded to injure Sanji further before leaving.
The Vinsmoke Family later departed the Germa Kingdom and headed for Big Mom's castle in their carriage. On the way, they encountered Monkey D. Luffy and Nami. Upon seeing Nami, Ichiji gazed at her in a love-struck manner. When Sanji coldly turned down Luffy's request to return with him, Ichiji smiled.
Ichiji then watched with a more serious look as Sanji continued to reject Luffy and Nami and then severely beat Luffy by repeatedly kicking him. After knocking Luffy down, Sanji returned to the carriage and the Vinsmoke Family continued on to the Whole Cake Chateau.
After arriving at Big Mom's castle, Ichiji and his family had a meal with Big Mom and Charlotte Pudding. Sometime after the lunch meeting, Big Mom took the Vinsmoke Family (except Sanji) to her library and showed them her collection of rare creatures stored in books.
Sometime after the tour, Ichiji, Judge, Niji, and Yonji had a private discussion in the Vinsmoke guest room. Judge told his sons that Pudding would be living with them on Germa Kingdom after the wedding so they could use her as leverage against Big Mom. When Niji asked if Big Mom would use a similar tactic, Ichiji told Niji that it would not have any effect on the Vinsmoke Family if Sanji's life was threatened.
During the night before the wedding ceremony, Ichiji, Niji, Yonji, and Judge celebrated the anticipated sealing of their alliance with Big Mom. While they drank, they toasted to Sanji for being useful.
On the day of the wedding ceremony, Ichiji was shown getting dressed for the wedding, alongside his father and Niji. He and Judge inquired about Reiju's location, before being assured by one of Big Mom's subordinates that she was getting prepared in a different room. An hour later, the Vinsmokes headed to the venue for the ceremony on the roof of Whole Cake Chateau. When Big Mom arrived to commence the banquet, Ichiji stood to the left of Judge, holding a wine glass. Immediately prior to the arrival of the bride and groom, he sat at the same table as the Underworld emperor Drug Peclo, engaging in conversations with the guests at the table.
After Sanji and Pudding arrived at the venue, the Vinsmokes took their seats and watched the exchange of vows. Yonji commented that he would not mind marrying a beautiful woman like Pudding, but Ichiji and Niji reminded him on what it means to marry one of Big Mom's children. When Charlotte Katakuri unintentionally shot the priest during the assassination attempt on Sanji, Ichiji and his family were alerted.
After Brook destroyed the picture of Mother Carmel, the Vinsmoke Family found themselves restrained to their seats with members of the Charlotte Family holding them at gunpoint. As Judge cried out in anguish at Big Mom's betrayal, Ichiji casually commented on how Judge looked pathetic while he and his brothers did not have the slightest care about death due to their lack of emotions. Moments later, as Big Mom began to scream, Ichiji managed to stay conscious as his family's captors began falling all around them. To his surprise, Sanji then arrived and freed him by shattering the hardened candy around his body, before Nami returned his raid suit to him.
As the Charlotte Family resumed their efforts to kill the Vinsmoke Family, Ichiji and his siblings put on their raid suits. Ichiji then punched Perospero in the face, before retreating into Bege's fortress.
- In keeping with the Vinsmoke Family's naming convention, Ichi (一) means "one" in Japanese. This is a reference to Ichiji's position as the family's first-born son, despite being the second-born child.
- In the Marine comic strip, Sora, Warrior of the Sea, there is a brief scene of Sora facing Germa 66. On Germa's side are three cloaked agents, one of whose cloaks bears the number "1"; the figure is likely a representation of Ichiji.
- The colors of Ichiji's clothes are inverted, relative to those of his siblings. For example, instead of a light shirt with dark trousers, he wears a dark shirt with light trousers. This contrast is then flipped during the Tea Party, as he is the only Vinsmoke sibling with a light shirt and dark trousers. Unlike his siblings, who wear dark cloaks with both their Germa raid suits and their royal attire, Ichiji's cloaks are light colored.
- The anime, however, does not appear to have preserved this distinction in relation to the Vinsmoke siblings' childhood attire, with all four brothers depicted wearing white trousers and colored shirts.