One Piece, a series that has been a part of my life since I was in secondary school, has recently revealed some rather big things in the manga — things that I imagine took many fans by surprise. It’s one of the greatest things about being a fan of the series, honestly. You can never be 100% certain about what’s going to happen next in this series; Oda will always do something to slightly subvert your expectations — or completely blow your theories out of the water entirely.
With that being said, I want to talk about three times this happened to me throughout my own One Piece journey. Times that the series completely swept the rug out from under my feet and left me flat on my ass. Let’s go!
Spoiler Warning! If you plan to watch/read One Piece, please save yourself now!
Miss All Sunday joining the Straw Hats
From the very beginning of the story when Luffy first sets out to sea, he leaves his small home of Dawn Island to become the next Pirate King! As he leaves, he speaks to himself, saying that he wants a proper ship and a crew of about 10 close crewmates. From this point on, thinking about who the next member of the crew might be has always been a fun topic to discuss and think about.
Even now in the current chapters of the manga, there is a new post on the One Piece Reddit theorising why character X is going to be the next member of the crew, or why these two characters will both be joining. So back when the series was in the Alabasta arc and we had a temporary member of the crew in the form of Vivi Nefertari, I don’t think that anyone predicted the switcheroo we were about to get hit with.
Vivi was a member of the royal family within the country of Alabasta, and as much as she wanted to join the crew, her love and responsibility for her country prevented her from ever joining. However, during that arc, we came across a certain villain by the alias of “Miss All Sunday” — an interesting and elusive character who, at times, stood in the Straw Hats’ way, and at others offered a helping hand to Luffy.
As the crew leaves the country of Alabasta to carry on their journey, they are surprised by a stowaway on their ship in the form of Miss All Sunday, who then reveals her true name as Nico Robin — a character who later became my personal favourite in the series. She really surprised me and, despite being one of the more sensible characters in the world of One Piece, among all the craziness of the Straw Hat crew, she still really stood out.
Throughout One Piece, our crew encounters pirates from all over the world — and one of these encounters is with none other than Luffy’s brother, Portgas D. Ace.
Ace grew up on the same small island as Luffy, and the two became “brothers” after sharing a cup of sake that they stole together. While we find out about Ace and Luffy’s bond early on in the series, we later find out there was a third brother with whom they shared a cup of sake, and this brother’s name was Sabo.
All three brothers shared the same dream: to one day travel about and explore the vast oceans, and it was Sabo who decided to travel ahead of his brothers. But shortly after he left, he ran into a ship owned by the World Nobles or Celestial Dragons, an all-powerful group of people protected by the most high-up members of the world government, and a group who uses this protection as a means of doing whatever they want. So as this group saw Sabo’s tiny boat sailing past, they destroyed it.
Not knowing that Sabo survived the blast and was rescued by a member of the revolutionary army, Ace and Luffy lived their lives believing their brother had died. This makes the events at Marineford, in which Ace dies protecting Luffy, even more tragic, as now Luffy believes he has been left alone. As we move forward to the Dressrosa arc, we learn of a tournament in which the winner will be awarded the “Mera Mera-no-mi” or “Flame Flame Fruit” — the very same fruit which housed the fire powers Ace once commanded.
Of course Luffy was always going to enter — no way was he going to let anyone else inherit the power of his beloved brother. I can remember reading week-by-week and seeing a ton of videos theorising who was going to inherit Ace’s powers, but I don’t think anyone ever predicted it was going to be Sabo.
During the events of this arc, Sabo makes his return and has an incredible reunion with Luffy. We learn that Sabo suffered from amnesia after surviving the blast all those years back, and the newspaper declaring that Ace had died jogged his memory and brought an incredible wave of grief and guilt washing over him. Seeing Luffy’s brother come back and then inherit the will of their other brother was a surprise that continues to put a smile on my face.
Blackbeard’s Devil Fruits
Devil Fruits are one of the many different sources of power within the world of One Piece. They can be found anywhere in the world and have such a crazy variety of powers that come in numerous forms: Paramecia, powers that affect the body such as Luffy’s rubber body; Zoan, shapeshifting powers that usually allow a person to transform into another creature; and finally Logia, the fruit which gives users the ability to wield elements such as fire and ice — or even light and dark.
As unique and different as all these fruits are, they share one thing in common, and that is that a user can only ever have a single Devil Fruit power. We are told that should someone attempt to consume a second Devil Fruit, the powers will quite literally tear their body apart to the point that nothing is left. No one knows exactly why, but the rumour within the world is that each Fruit houses a devil inside of it, so the devils would fight within the user’s body if a second was introduced when one was already present.
So it’s fair to say that no-one saw it coming when Blackbeard, the user of the Yami Yami no mi/Dark-dark Fruit, revealed that he could indeed wield more than one Devil Fruit power.
During the events of the Pirate War at Marineford, the legendary pirate Whitebeard succumbed to his wounds and died on the battlefield. Whitebeard had a truly devastating power that allowed him to wield the power of an earthquake in his fists — it was so powerful that it was regarded as being the strongest fruit in the Paramecia class.
After Whitebeard fell, Blackbeard covered his body with darkness and also immerses himself in it — and then when he comes back out, we see him wielding both his own dark powers and the quake powers from Whitebeard.
This is one of the big mysteries of One Piece that still hasn’t been conclusively explained to this day, but it’s a constant topic for discussion because of how much it took fans by surprise.
So those are three of our favourite picks, but what are yours? With One Piece running for as long as it has, there are plenty of other surprises to pick from, so why not share them down in the comments, via the usual social channels, or on the Rice Digital Friday Letters Page?
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