As far as narrative history is concerned, One Piece is one of the most diverse anime franchises you can find. Since the beginning of the series, its heroes have been uncovering the history of their world and have revealed numerous thrilling details. Some of these events and details have been explored and analyzed in detail, while some remain a big mystery and in this article, we are going to tell you about one of the biggest mysteries of the One Piece lore – the Void Century. In this article, we are going to tell you everything that is currently known about the Void Century so that you can be ready for what’s coming.
The Void Century is the name for a period, a century, in the history of the world of Oda’s One Piece. There exist several recorded and archaeological sources about the Void Century, but the World Government has forbidden their examination and study. It is said that studying them is so dangerous that a person would become aware of the true history of the world.
The rest of this article is going to expand on the above-given answer. Now, the Void Century is a very intriguing period in the history of One Piece, especially since not much is known about it. With Oda poised to reveal more information in the future, we have decided to sum up everything we know to prepare you for a surge of new information that is bound to arrive in the upcoming chapters of One Piece.
What is the Void Century in One Piece?
The Void Century is a hundred-year period of which no trace remains in the world except for inscriptions on the Poneglyphs. It is chronologically located 900 to 800 years before current events. Everything that happened there is therefore unknown and constitutes a real enigma. All that remains of that time are the mysterious Poneglyphs, steles scattered around the world, on which are engraved texts written in a mysterious language and known only to a few scholars (almost all are now deceased, the only one still alive being Nico Robin).
All the Poneglyphs placed end to end reveal what happened during the Void Century and form the “Rio Poneglyph”. Whoever wants to discover the said century, hidden by the World Government, must study all the Poneglyphs of the world and bring back the fruit of his research to Laugh Tale, the last island of Grand Line, where it is supposed that the history of this century will be revealed.
Analyzing and studying the Poneglyphs and their reading is strictly prohibited by the World Government; anyone who violates this law is subject to the immediate death penalty (this can be done in the form of a Buster Call). Twenty years ago, the only people who could read the Poneglyphs were the scientists of Ohara. This is why the World Government launched a Buster Call on the island, whose only survivor was Nico Robin, thanks to Kuzan. She is therefore the last person to be able to read them and her dream is to find out what happened during this Void Century.
She understood how to understand the history of the Poneglyphs, in Skypiea thanks to an inscription written by Kôzuki Oden (the message being from Gol D. Roger) on a Poneglyph: “My path led me here, and I will carry this text until at the end of the world”; which implies that one would have to read all the Poneglyphs, and take his knowledge to Laugh Tale, to be able to understand what happened during the Void Century (and additionally the meaning of the D, and what are the Ancient Weapons).
The only people who seem to have any knowledge of the Void Century are the members of the Five Elders, the former members of the Roger Pirates Crew (except Shanks and Buggy), and the Kōzuki Clan (with Oden being part of the Roger Pirates at the time of its discovery), although Kōzuki Momonosuke and Kōzuki Hiyori were too small (we cannot not exclude the possibility that they were told everything, before the events of 20 years ago).
However, they don’t seem willing to announce in broad daylight what they have discovered (except at least Silvers Rayleigh who intended to reveal to the Straw Hat Pirates what One Piece is). Apparently, according to Professor Clover, the 20 founding Kingdoms of the World Government would have, 800 years ago, annihilated a gigantic kingdom, called the Old Kingdom. The Poneglyphs would tell the story of this kingdom. During the Fish-Man Island Arc, Joy Boy’s name is first mentioned along with his connection to the Poneglyphs as well as the Void Century; we are told that this man arrived on Fish-Man Island and would have built the Noah, a gigantic ship (suspected to be in fact Pluto).
He attempted to lift and start the Noah with the help of Poseidon (the Mermaid Princess at the time), but he reportedly failed to fulfill his promise he made to the Fish-Men and the Mermaids. He wrote his apologies on the Marine Forest Poneglyph. Finally, in the Kingdom of Tontatta, during the Arc Dressrosa, we learn a little more about this Century, although it is only mentioned; King Gancho explains to Robin that the history between the Kingdom of Tontatta and the Donquixote Family does not date from 10 years ago, but in truth, it is a history of 900 years. This link makes Robin’s critical sense react, who then makes the link between this and the Void Century: Gancho confirms his silent hypothesis by telling him that unfortunately if the Dwarves were aware of the Void Century and its history, they have forgotten all this time.
The only legacy of this Void Century are Poneglyphs and Ancient Weapons (and even the Will of D., but this has not been proven yet). The Ancient Weapons are mysterious weapons whose power seems to be unparalleled and whose location is given by the Poneglyphs. They are scattered throughout the World of One Piece.
These three weapons are now known, at least by name: Pluto is described as a ship capable of wreaking limitless havoc, and destroying entire islands. His blueprints have been passed down through Water 7’s carpenters from generation to generation, waiting for the day when he should be used. However, Franky, who was the current possessor of the plans, used fire to destroy them so that the World Government would not obtain them; Uranus is a weapon whose use and its characteristics are currently unknown; finally, Poseidon is actually the Mermaid Princess of the Ryūgū Kingdom (currently Shirahoshi), reincarnating every 100 years, and having the ability to command the Sea Kings.
So, is it their possession that was the stake of the Void Century or is it they that precipitated its disappearance from the history books? Given how forcefully the World Government hides this secret, its discovery risks upsetting the world and calling into question a large number of things.
We learn much later, through Oden’s diary, that the Roger Pirates Crew, after following the Log Pose, and reaching Lodestar Island, understood that it was necessary to have the four Road Poneglyphs to be able to reach an additional island, where the secrets of the world would be hidden, including the truth about the Void Century. They then go around the Grand Line again, and retrieve the information from the four Road Poneglyphs, before reaching the island in question, which they call Laugh Tale, because the secrets of the world would apparently be hilarious.