Devil Fruits are one of the biggest and most mysterious features of One Piece. Lately, the process called “awakening” a Devil Fruit has become very prominent in the series, with major characters such as the protagonist Luffy gaining massive power-ups from it. It’s clear, however, that awakening a Devil Fruit means much more than just gaining power, as this process is likely the key to understanding all the secrets surrounding this iconic component of the One Piece saga.
Devil fruits are mysterious objects that grant people who eat them wondrous powers by altering their DNA. Devil fruits are classified into three different classes: Logia, Paramecia and Zoan. Many of the strongest fighters in the series have eaten a devil fruit, including Luffy. However, only a handful of Devil Fruit users around the world have unlocked the ultimate power level, called “awakening”, which amplifies their abilities in various ways. According to what little information the manga reveals, awakening a Paramecia allows its user to expand their abilities to influence their environment (rather than their body), as shown by Donquixote Doflamingo. Awakening a Zoan causes an overall increase in the user’s physical abilities, though they risk losing their minds to their bestial nature. No Logia alarm clocks have been shown or mentioned so far.
Those mentioned above are only rough guidelines, and alarm clocks remain mostly a mystery. Awakened Paramecia’s ability to transform and manipulate foreign objects from a distance is not universal, with a few Devil Fruits exhibiting unique applications, such as Eustass Kid’s Jiki Jiki no Mi and Trafalgar Law’s Ope Ope no Mi. Luffy, while technically possessing a mythical Zoan, has shown in his awakened form the ability to manipulate and influence his surroundings, much like an awakened Paramecia does. Another big mystery is why Kaido never awakened his Mythical Zoan Devil Fruit, despite clearly possessing the power to do so. In fact, Kaido is the one who explains to Luffy that awakening occurs “when a Devil Fruit user’s mind and body catches up to their powers”.
Devil fruit awakening is the key to all their secrets
Aside from their combat applications, awakened Devil Fruits, especially Zoans and Mythic Zoans, seem to hide an even bigger secret. One theory speculates that Devil Fruits has an “inherited will” that they pass down from user to user, which could actually be the minds of the original Devil Fruits creators. It’s possible that the awakening also triggers the resurgence of this “inherited will,” as evidenced by Luffy being recognized as Joy Boy by Zunesha when he first awakens his Devil Fruit. The presence of some form of awakened spirit or will is also confirmed by the fact that users of Zoan types are at risk of having their personalities absorbed and controlled by their awakened powers, as explained by Dr. Vegapunk and seen in the case of Impel’s The Guardian Beasts of Down.
A final mystery regarding the awakening of Zoan-types relates to the particular puffs of smoke that Luffy and Lucci display in their awakened forms, and set them apart from awakened Paramecia-type users. All of these puzzles likely tie into Dr. Vegapunk’s explanation of the origins of Devil Fruits, which are apparently manifestations of a desired next step in the potential evolution of life. According to Vegapunk, “Those with powers exist in different dimensions imagined by someone else before them. Awakening a Devil Fruit then perhaps brings out something hidden within, perhaps the minds and wills of their mysterious creators imprinted in the current user’s DNA, but until One Piece decides to unveil this huge mystery, these will remain only speculation. .