One Piece chapter 1115: Was Joy Boy part of a special race? Explored

The One Piece manga just confirmed that Luffy has the same powers as Joy Boy (Image via Toei Animation)
The One Piece manga just confirmed that Luffy has the same powers as Joy Boy (Image via Toei Animation)

With the first raw scans of One Piece chapter 1115 already in circulation, fans will only have to wait a few more days for the installment’s official release, which is scheduled for Monday, May 27, 2024. One Piece chapter 1115 promises to delve deep into the forbidden history of the world, using Vegapunk’s message as a narrative device to reveal shocking secrets.

Knowing that the World Government would eventually come to take his head, Vegapunk prerecorded a message to be broadcast after his final heartbeat. In his speech, the scientist retraced the history of the One Piece world up to the mysterious blank period named Void Century, explaining that Joy Boy, of which Luffy is said to be the second coming, was the first pirate in history.

In One Piece chapter 1115, Vegapunk mentioned further details concerning Joy Boy’s fight against the members of the Ancient Alliance, which led to the establishment of what is now known as the World Government. What is even more interesting is that the chapter finally showed Joy Boy’s appearance, although only as a darkened silhouette, which leaves his identity still an enigma.

Disclaimer: This article features major spoilers from the One Piece manga up to chapter 1115.

Joy Boy's silhouette in One Piece chapter 1115 raises doubt about the hero's Lunarian, Buccaneer, or Giant lineage

Vegapunk’s additional revelations in One Piece chapter 1115

In the previous part of is message, Vegapunk revealed that Joy Boy was born 900 years ago in the country known as “Great Kingdom” and that he was the first pirate in the One Piece world’s history. The scientist also disclosed that Joy Boy possessed the same powers of the Human-Human Fruit Model: Nika, the Mythical Zoan Fruit that gives its wielders the unreal abilities of the “Sun God” Nika.

Of course, it’s the same exact Devil Fruit that Luffy currently owns and uses to enter the Gear 5 transformation. While Vegapunk’s tale is yet to reveal how Joy Boy ended up fighting against the Ancient Alliance, as well as the exact development of the conflict, the scientist clarified that Joy Boy’s defeat in the war led to what the world is today.

As per Vegapunk’s words in One Piece chapter 1115, before the Void Century, the world was completely different. Instead of a myriad of relatively small islands surrounded by the ocean, there were several huge continents. However, centuries ago, a certain someone used the Ancient Weapons to sink the word.

During the Void Century, sea levels went up by 200 meters, which led to a catastrophic and radical climate change as the large majority of the world was sunk into the depths of water. The continents were submerged, leaving only mere fragments, which are now considered islands.

In the midst of Vegapunk’s speech, a panel displayed Joy Boy fighting against the members of the Ancient Alliance, i.e., the future founders of the World Government. Joy Boy’s silhouette appeared identical to the one of Luffy in his Gear 5 form, to the point where telling the difference between the two would be virtually impossible.

Admittedly, it does make sense for Joy Boy and Gear 5 Luffy to look identical, as both shared the same Devil Fruit powers, just in different eras. Looking forward to Joy Boy’s appearance being fully revealed in the One Piece manga, it’s appealing to examine the former’s shadowy silhouette in order to try and guess his origins.

The different possibilities for Joy Boy’s lineage

Vegapunk talking about Joy Boy (Image via Shueisha)
Vegapunk talking about Joy Boy (Image via Shueisha)

Based on the size and shape of the silhouette featured in One Piece chapter 1115, the first thing that springs to mind is that Joy Boy was neither a Buccaneer nor a Giant. He didn’t seem to have the large and muscular physique of the Buccaneers or the enormous body of the Giants.

While the silhouette of Joy Boy also didn’t show the burning flame and huge black wings that are typical of Lunarians, it’s not impossible that the former belonged to the so-called “race of gods” who once dwelled on the Red Line.

From the various flashbacks of King, Kaido’s former right-hand man as well as the only known Lunarian survivor in the series, it appears evident that the members of this race considered Joy Boy a hero. Moreover, a trademark feature of Lunarians is their ability to conjure and control powerful flames.

Lunarians have certain distinguishing features (Image via Toei Animation)
Lunarians have certain distinguishing features (Image via Toei Animation)

In One Piece, the element of fire is clearly linked to the lore of the “Sun God.” This once again ties the Lunarian race with the story of Nika and the man who obtained his powers, i.e., Joy Boy. Interestingly, when Luffy uses his Devil Fruit powers to become Nika, his hair becomes white, almost resembling a white flame.

As it’s well known, Lunarians have white hair, which is another interesting element. Perhaps Nika was the supreme leader of Lunarians, and Joy Boy inherited or somehow gained his position. It’s also well known that the Lunarian race was wiped out in the past.

Considering the godlike abilities of the Lunarians and the fact that the circumstances of their demise are still unknown, it’s easy to assume that the world government was responsible for this event. The establishment led by Imu-sama and run by the Five Elders is the only group with enough strength to overcome the Lunarians and enough political power to cover the incident.

Kuma is a confirmed member of the Buccaneer race (Image via Toei Animation)
Kuma is a confirmed member of the Buccaneer race (Image via Toei Animation)

The absence of the flame and the black wings in Joy Boy’s silhouette in One Piece chapter 1115 can be explained. The flame may have been temporarily deactivated to gain a boost in speed, while the black wings may have disappeared at the moment due to the effects of the Nika-like transformation.

In fact, assuming that Joy Boy was a Lunarian who ate the Human-Human Fruit Model: Nika, when using his Devil Fruit power to become the “Sun God,” he would completely turn himself into a human, temporarily losing all his non-human traits, which include the flame and the wings.

While the Lunarian hypothesis is extremely fascinating, it’s also possible that Joy Boy was simply an average human, although probably born with extraordinary Haki potential. In all fairness, the idea that he was a Giant or a Buccaneer can’t be completely discarded.

With the reality-shaping powers granted by the Mythical Zoan of Nika, the user can freely alter his body. Just like Luffy could turn himself into a giant at will, it’s possible that Joy Boy used the same unreal ability to instead shrink his body.

Joy Boy could use the same Nika-like powers that Luffy currently wields (Image via Shueisha)
Joy Boy could use the same Nika-like powers that Luffy currently wields (Image via Shueisha)

If anything, the Human-Human Fruit Model: Nika turns the user into the “Sun God.” When Luffy enters this form, his body size doesn’t change unless he deliberately wants to, which seemingly implies that Nika’s size was that of a normal human. This suggests that, if Joy Boy were a Giant or a Buccaneer, his huge body would shrink down when using his Mythical Zoan transformation.

The Giants and the Buccaneers also have a connection with the lore of Nika and therefore Joy Boy, not unlike the Lunarians. So, the narrative reasons are likewise significant.

The silhouette shown in One Piece chapter 1115 doesn’t show Joy Boy with a straw hat on his head, but it’s possible that he was keeping it tied behind his back, like Luffy frequently does. As Vegapunk explained, Joy Boy’s defeat in the decisive battle marked the end of the Void Century and the establishment of the World Government.

Therefore, it would be no surprise if the giant straw hat now held by Imu in Mary Geoise’s Pangaea Castle belonged to Joy Boy and was taken away from him by the members of the Ancient Alliance.

Caution is always needed with One Piece's silhouettes

The silhouettes of the Seven Warlords (Image via Shueisha)
The silhouettes of the Seven Warlords (Image via Shueisha)

Regardless of which theory will be proven true, it should be noted that the panel in chapter 1115 showed Vegapunk’s imagination of what Joy Boy looked like. As such, the silhouette does not necessarily correspond to Joy Boy’s real aspect.

Issues like this aren’t unheard of in One Piece—quite the contrary, in fact. The appearances of the Seven Warlords as imagined by Yosaku are probably the finest example of this. The bounty hunters had never been to Grand Line and only had a generic idea of these powerful pirates, so they envisioned their silhouettes in such a way.

Granted, it's also possible that, at the time, One Piece author Eiichiro Oda wasn't sure of what all the Warlords should look like and thus opted to introduce them as vague and non-specific silhouettes for this very simple reason.

Nevertheless, it would be very difficult for Vegapunk to find a reliable picture of Joy Boy, a man who lived several centuries before the current One Piece timeline. Therefore, it’s quite possible that Vegapunk merely imagined what Joy Boy would look like, based on the fact that the latter had the same Devil Fruit powers and Nika-like transformation as Luffy.

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