This is proof that Oda has planned everything from the start!

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We hope we can show you that Oda takes full advantage of the Japanese language and manga format to imbue his story with multiple layers of meanings and symbolism, and the result, when it all falls into place, is nothing short of breathtaking.

We are almost certain that Oda planned Nika, aka the sun god, aka the Joyboywho has the most ridiculous and dumbest power from the very beginning, and he’s been dropping hints for all to see since Chapter 1 page 1. In fact, we’re pretty sure Oda scoffed of us all this time and that we’re all in on a big joke that’s been brewing for years.

For this to make sense, keep in mind that in Japanese, Nika (ニカ) is the sound effect of someone smiling.

Look at page 1 of chapter 1, where Roger smiles before his death.

manga one piece

At the time, most people thought he smiled with the sound effect ニヤ (Ni-Ya). It’s more of a smirk or a smirk, but is it too far-fetched to read it as a stylized ニカ(Ni-Ka)?? It’s ambiguous but it’s also something an author who pokes fun at readers would do. And remember, Oda is someone who names characters like Imu-sama (イム) to simultaneously symbolize Buddha/God (仏) and the antithesis of the sea (the reverse of Imu is Umi or also 海).

During Chapter 1, he changed from Haaaa (はーっ) to Shishishishi (しししし) before the Devil Fruit, to Nihi (にひ) after the Devil Fruit, then to Ni (にっ) after his growth.

Young Luffy

In Chapter 2, when he tells Coby that he is going to become a Pirate King, the smile’s atmo is Nii (にいっ), which is also the same atmo when Luffy accepts his fate as Buggy tries to kill him. execute. But wait, there’s more.

Luffy smiles with Nii (にいっ) during important moments.

manga luffy

Oda’s pun on Nii (にいっ) actually symbolizes Nika (にか)?

japanese symbols

As Oda likes puns, what if we put っ on い to get か. Suddenly, Nii (にいっ) becomes Nika (にか)!? It really feels like the Devil Fruit changed Luffy’s smile significantly and the Nika side of Luffy started to show more, especially in important moments. Admittedly, it sounds gross to say that Oda had Nika planned all along. But, wait, there’s more.

It is well known that Oda loves number-based Japanese puns., which explains why Nami’s birthday is 7/3 (Na=7 and Mi=3) or Sanji’s birthday is 3/2 (San=3 and Ji=2). So why is Luffy’s birthday 5/5 (SBS Chapter 130)? Many people were puzzled at the time. Shouldn’t it be 5/6 since it is Gomu-gomu (Go=5 and Mu=6)? Yes yes, 5/5 is the official Children’s Day in Japan and Luffy is like a child (and Usopp’s birthday is 4/1 so that might make sense), BUT in hindsight the 5/5 is also 五/五 (remember, Japanese uses Chinese characters too) and as many Japanese readers have pointed out, 五 is actually what you get if you put ニ and カ together on the other. So Luffy’s birthday is Nika-Nika. To make this point a little more convincing, remember that Roger’s bounty is 5,564,800,000 berries, or 55億6480万. 6480 is a pretty straightforward pun on Roger or ロジャー (ロ = 6, ジ = 4, ャ = 8), but why 55, when any number would do? Because it’s also for 五/五 or Nika Nika.

one piece japanese symbols

All of these elements appear early enough in the story that, at this point, we are convinced that Oda had Nika planned all along.

Meaning of sun and dawn

one piece manga

There are so many solar symbolisms in One Piece, from the Sun God of Shandia, to the solar flag of Alabasta, to the sun pirates and chapter 1 called Romance Dawnthat we think that Oda was a little off the mark when it comes to the sun.

one piece solar symbol

But the fact that Luffy is the sun god was announced from the first chapter. When it is first introduced, the sfx says DON!!(どん!!). When he smiles after eating a Gomu-Gomu fruit, the sfx reads Dooon(どーん). In Japanese, “Dawn” can be read phonetically as “Don” or どん. But wait, Oda uses Don quite often to introduce new characters, like Shanks or even Higuma the bandit leader. It’s true. But it seems to us that ambiguity is a sign that Oda is laughing at us.

child luffy

Tom tells Franky “do it with a DON!” (ドン)”. This clearly has special meaning for Oda.

The association of the Sun with Joyboy and the Drum

one piece manga

So the drum sound effect is also “Don” (ドン). This is the start of the Liberation Drum (ドンドットット), which accompanies Joyboy imagery in chapter 253 and it is also the debut of the most popular party SFX effect “Donchan” (ドンチャン).

Liberation Drum sfx Don-do-tto-tto (ドンドットット”)

joyboy manga

Party SFX SFX “Donchan” (ドンチャン)

one piece chapters

And the drum is important for Joyboy deity.

african joy boy

More interestingly, “Donchan” (ドンチャン) is made by the sound of a “Don” drum and a “Chan” bell. Luffy obviously associates the dawn/Don and the bell/Chan when he parties, but also, the title of volume 5 (remember that 5 is a symbol for Nika) is “For whom the bell tolls” (誰がために鐘は鳴る). In other words, in the “Nika” volume, we have Luffy, the dawn character/”Don”, ringing the “Chan” bell, which leads us to make the connection between Nika and Don-chan. /party. (Of course, it could also be a reference to the novel For Whom the Bell Tolls). However, Luffy rings the bell in Skypiea, fulfilling Kalgara’s promise and uniting two people, and rings the bell 16 times in Marineford to signify the end of an era and the beginning of a new one. Clearly there is some sun god symbolism at play here when the drum/luffy and the bell meet (Don-Chan).

The most ridiculous power in the world = the power of silly cartoons

manga one piece

Oda clearly had this idea in mind from the start. “The most ridiculous power in the world” is translated from 世界で最もふざけた能力, but we believe that the translation misses some nuances. The word used by Oda is ふざけた, which has the meanings of ridiculous, silly, joker, happy, playful. For example, in SBS, Oda said that he “chosen the most ridiculous ability…he (Luffy) always gives me (Oda) a chance to have fun” (一番ふざけた能力を選んだのです…いつでもふざけるチャンスをくれま)”. And for fun, he chose a fruit inspired by the rubber hose animation. Our rubber boy has rubber cartoon power like a cartoon character. In fact, that’s also probably why some people can’t get used to the idea of ​​a board’s “art style”, because it’s basically a fusion of the art of the Japanese anime and western cartoon art. We believe Oda is a real genius for doing this, because he created something truly unique.

Just watch Chapter 1, when Luffy eats the Gomu Gomu fruit. Everyone reacts in a very cartoonish way.

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Luffy does the same as Bugs Bunny in Chapter 1.

luffy and bonny bugs

Gear 2 is more uncertain, but look at Gear 3 and Popeye.

luffy and popeye

The secondary effect of Gear 3 is also very “Cartoon”.

manga one piece

Gear 4 and Bugs’ muscle bulge. Bugs Bunny gets bigger by inhaling air. In the same plate, Doflamingo even says “What kind of joke is that?” in response to Luffy.

luffy and bonny bugs

This power is really ridiculous and stupid (ふざけた) and we are so grateful for Oda’s creativity. Water Luffy was the height of comedy and Crocodile got so mad that he yelled at Luffy “don’t be so ridiculous!” !! “. (フザケてんじゃねェぞ) (Japanese phrase here mixes Katakana and Hiragana to show how angry and unhinged Crocodile was. Kind of like shouting “Don’t be so RiDiculOus!!” with crazy spellings).

manga one piece

In conclusion, Luffy being the Sun God “Nika”, aka Joy Boy with the Drums of Liberation, aka rubber boy with cartoon powers, has been planned and foreshadowed since Chapter 1 in obvious and less obvious ways. Oda is a genius storyteller and artist and we are absolutely blown away by the multiple layers of meanings and omens he manages to weave into the story. As we said at the start, Oda takes full advantage of the Japanese language and manga format to imbue his story with multiple layers of meanings and symbolism, and the result when it all falls into place is nothing short of breathtaking. We are so happy to be in Oda’s longest running joke series.