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The “Will of D” has and always has been the trope of the chosen one. This thing “fate will condemn Clan D to fight the Celestial Dragons”. It’s great, narratively, to only reveal it to Dressrosa. Because in the past, it was suggested that the bearer of the name D. must fight against the Celestial Dragons. They have all fought the World Government in one way or another.
Portgas D. Red – gave birth to the alleged heir to Roger’s will (Ace). Monkey D. Garp – exercises justice by law but does not allow the Dragons to control him. Monkey D. Luffy – freedom. Monkey D. Dragon – literally fights against the world government. Marshal D. Teach – freedom. Gol D. Roger – begins the Great Age of Pirates and learns the Age of the Void. Jaguar D. Saul – save Nico Robin to carry the will of the past and Ohara. Trafalgar D. Water Law – literally fights against Doflamingo. Portgas D. Ace – a tool used to end an era but start a new one. He also saved Luffy, the future Pirate King. Rocks D. Xebec – don’t know but he seemed to be a very intelligent and knowledgeable man, for he was, by studying many subjects considered taboo, able to penetrate many secrets of the World Government, which led the Government to decide to erase his name from history after God Valley.
Luffy’s Devil Fruit
We know everyone hated it because everyone loved him when he was the underdog and not because of his fruit. What we understand. But ODA did it in a big way by tying it back to the central themes of One Piece, namely the inherited will.
Luffy wasn’t attracted to the fruit
Much of the fandom believed it because, as Oda wrote, zoan fruits have a will of their own. That does not make any sense. It is the fruit of freedom. Of course, everyone is free to eat it. You’re gonna say the fruit lured Shanks into stealing it from GM? That all who ate the fruit before were chosen by the fruit? If so, why hasn’t anyone woken him up for 800 years? The fruit is special, but not enough to entice people to eat it. Instead of thinking the fruit chose Luffy. Why not consider the possibility that it was Shanks who chose Luffy.
What if it wasn’t the fruit that chose Luffy but Shanks
When it was revealed that Shanks was a Yonko, everyone had the same idea. Why would Shanks lose his arm to a boy he met in the East Blue? If he was so powerful, why would he lose it for a mere Sea King? Everyone just accepted that it was because Shanks was weak at the time, but what if Shanks lost his arm because he hesitated to save Luffy? He was thinking of letting Luffy die and giving him to someone more worthy. He hesitated BUT, going back to the heart of the series and the themes of One Piece (the inherited will), he saw Roger’s dream in Luffy’s and so saved him. He chose to entrust the fruit to her in the process, which is also tied to his arm. It wasn’t that he was weak to fight the Sea King. You could say he hesitated to the point that he could only save Luffy by sacrificing his arm. But no. He let his arm get cut off as punishment for hesitating to save Luffy, his friend. As well as for letting the world down by choosing this boy. The world needed a joy boy. The world needed someone to bring the dawn. Luffy was part of D’s will but bearing that Devil Fruit is another matter. Shanks chose Luffy not because he has D’s will. He chose Luffy as a bet.
It was his decision that decided the fate of the world that day and it was a gamble that paid off. Now everyone says the fruit undermines Luffy’s achievements, but think about it.
Luffy isn’t the embodiment of true freedom to begin with either, so his fruit didn’t help him. He must deserve it. Let’s talk about her character progression and how her Awakening is actually earned and not a kick in the ass.
- East Blue – He’s the one who’s overconfident in his ability to become the Pirate King, because it’s obvious. He sets sail and does what he wants but it’s all selfish. He only cares about his dreams, his meat, his friends and that’s it. Even recruiting members is selfish.
He didn’t release Alabasta because he saw it crumble. He saved it for Vivi. It’s the same with Skypiea, he saved it for his friends the locals.
- Enies Lobby. The second and the third gears. The first power-up in the series literally happened because he was fighting against the World Government. This is the only time we recognize that Luffy’s fruit will is shown in action. But at the same time, it doesn’t feel like a cop. It’s also deserved because Luffy earned it with his creativity.
- Impel Down is an arc where Luffy’s morals are questioned. He freed the prisoners not for freedom but out of selfishness for his goal of saving Ace.
- Marineford is what cemented the fact that Luffy’s fruit is not the initiator of luffy’s will. If it was another series, he would win a power-up. It’s a reality check: to be free, you have to be powerful enough to go against the world. If Luffy took his role as captain seriously in Enies Lobby, Luffy took his dream seriously here.
Post timeskip is Luffy’s agency to actively pursue his dream. That’s why it no longer feels like an adventure but a step-by-step process.
Let’s talk about power-ups. We have established that to be free, one must have the power to go against the world. The Fourth Gear is Luffy’s power-up after getting strong with Rayleigh. It’s a natural progression. His journey has always involved saving his friends, but let’s take that into consideration.
He saved Fishman Island for Jinbe. He saved the kids from Punk Hazard because they’re friends. He saved Dressrosa for his dream and against Kaido. As well as Law and Rebecca. He went to Whole Cake Island for Sanji BUT even though he went to Wano he saved it not for Momonosuke but for the locals.
Luffy’s old selfish dream
Wano is the first time we see Luffy wanting to save the country not only because of his friends but also because he genuinely wants to save it for himself. This is the first time we see him being selfless and becoming the liberation warrior, wanting to save people just because he wants them to be free.
Luffy said “I don’t want to be a hero because heroes share meat” but now in Wano we saw him sharing it with people. It’s no wonder Luffy’s Fruit Awakening happened in Wano. It is he who rewrites his dream into a more disinterested dream: “A world where everyone can eat as much as they want”.