One Piece Live-Action makes the most famous Crocodile theory canon

Many fans speculated that Crocodile
Many fans speculated that Crocodile's gender was altered by Emporio Ivankov's Devil Fruit powers (Image via Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, One Piece)

So far, Netflix's One Piece Live-Action has been highly praised for expertly mixing the shonen's unique features with the demands of a TV show. Before being released, every detail of the adaptation had to be fully endorsed and approved by One Piece author Eiichiro Oda, who worked as one of the show's executive producers.

Thus, the project allowed Oda to clarify some aspects that were the subject of debate since fans did not always agree on the same intepretation. For instance, through the live-action, Oda unambiguously officialized that Zoro is the first mate of the Straw Hat Pirates and that Usopp and Kaya are lovers.

However, what really left fans intrigued is a scene, which was also validated by Oda, that allegedly canonized one of the community's most widespread theories. In fact, based on One Piece Live-Action's first episode, it seems that Sir Crocodile was formerly a woman, as many readers have already speculated for a long while.

Disclaimer: This article contains major spoilers from the One Piece live-action series.

Netflix's One Piece Live-Action adaptation may really have proved that Crocodile used to be a woman

Who is Crocodile in One Piece?

Crocodile vs Luffy in Arabasta (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)
Crocodile vs Luffy in Arabasta (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)

Upon witnessing Gol D. Roger's execution in Rogue Town, a young Crocodile matured the dream of becoming the next Pirate King. However, after earning fame as one of the Seven Warlords, Crocodile's ambitions were crushed as he was brutally beaten by Whitebeard.

With Crocodile relocating to Arabasta, he gathered several powerful bounty hunters and created the Baroque Works organization. The aim was to achieve "Operation Utopia" - a plan that was initiated to overthrow Arabasta's legitimate king, Cobra Nefertari, and find the Ancient Weapon Pluton, which was hidden in the country.

This would have granted Crocodile enough military power to potentially compete with the World Government. However, Crocodile and his men ended up defeated by the Straw Hat Pirates, which caused the former to be stripped of his Warlord status and be imprisoned in Impel Down.

Crocodile and his right-hand man, Daz Bonez (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)
Crocodile and his right-hand man, Daz Bonez (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)

Exploiting the mass breakout from the prison, Crocodile and his right-hand man, Daz Bonez, escaped from the prison and, together with Luffy, Jinbe, Ivankov, and the other fugivites, partook in the Paramount War. After the conclusion of the battle, Crocodile and Daz headed out to the New World.

Recently, Crocodile contacted the most powerful former Warlord, Dracule Mihawk, to form an alliance with him. The two co-founded the Cross Guild, a sort of new "Operation Utopia," but this time, it was based on Crocodile's crafty intellect and Mihawk's combat prowess as the World's Strongest Swordsman.

With his battle power and political influence, the Cross Guild immediately rose to the status of a Yonko crew. Using Buggy's financial resources, the organization even started putting bounties on Marine officers, reversing the typical process by which pirates get awarded prices on their heads by the World Government.

Crocodile and Mihawk co-founded the Cross Guild (Image via Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, One Piece)
Crocodile and Mihawk co-founded the Cross Guild (Image via Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, One Piece)

Not interested in becoming a Yonko, Mihawk,who has aimed to alienate attention from himself, decided to use Buggy as the figurehead leader of the organization. Believing in the facade, the World Government mistook Buggy for the chief of the Cross Guild and declared him one of the Four Emperors.

The establishment of Cross Guild evidences how "Desert King" Crocodile is an experienced mastermind, whose dangerousness goes beyond his combat skills. But even though he is ruthless and cynical, Crocodile is also prone to overestimating his capabilities.

His overconfidence often leads him to underestimate his opponents, which can prove to be a fatal error. In Arabasta, Crocodile ended up losing against Luffy, despite possessing far superior overall combat abilities than the young captain of the Straw Hat Pirates.

Crocodile using the Sand-Sand Fruit (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)
Crocodile using the Sand-Sand Fruit (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)

When he doesn't let his ego take over, Crocodile is a seasoned fighter. The owner of the Logia-class Sand-Sand Fruit, he showcased exceptional mastery of his abilities to the point where many One Piece fans speculate that he can even use Devil Fruit Awakening. However, this is yet to be confirmed.

Owing to the Sand-Sand Fruit, Crocodile can create and control sand, as well as transform his body into it. He can unleash ravaging sandstorms and, upon physical contact, dehydrate his foes until they get mummified. Morphing his lower body into flowing sand, Crocodile can also fly at high speed to attack his enemies with a venomous hook.

Why many One Piece fans believe that Crocodile was once a female?

Back in Impel Down, Luffy, was unsure about freeing Crocodile from his cell. To his shock, one of the other fugitives, Emporio Ivankov, suggested to do that worry-free, revealing that he has known Crocodile for a long time and that his presence would keep the former Warlord at bay.

The reason was that Ivankov knew an unspecified secret about Crocodile that the latter wouldn't want to be revealed. However, it must be noted that owing to the Horm-Horm Fruit, Ivankov can use special hormones to alter the recipient's body as he pleases.

With the Horm-Horm Fruit's powers, Ivankov can even modify a person's gender. Thus, many One Piece fans speculated that the unspeakable secret Ivankov was talking about was that Crocodile was once a woman, whom he turned into a man with his Devil Fruit powers.

Emporio Ivankov as seen in One Piece (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)
Emporio Ivankov as seen in One Piece (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)

Assuming that's what happened, there may be many different reasons for this to happen. Being a haughty and vain individual, upon having her face scarred and thinking that it could ruin her aspect, Crocodile may have asked Ivankov to change his gender from female to male.

It's also possible that Crocodile was born male but, during a fight with Ivankov, he was turned into a woman by the latter's Devil Fruit powers. In exchange for some favor, Ivankov then changed Crocodile back into being a male. Deeply embarassed about it, the former Warlord wanted to keep that incident a secret.

Another option is that Crocodile was a slave, and Ivankov, as a Revolutionary Army member, freed him. Still, if the World Government found the former, he would have been sent back to slavery or even executed. Thus, Ivankov used the Horm-Horm Fruit to alter Crocodile's gender, which, in turn, allowed him to hide his identity.

Besides, Crocodile's Baroque Works organization was based on hiding members' identities via codenames. It wouldn't be so farfetched to think that he already disguised his true identity through Ivankov's Devil Fruit ability.

As some fans may have noticed, Oda might have created the Seven Warlords by drawing inspiration from Romancing SaGa 2, a videogame in the early 1990s. Admittedly, the traits of the original Seven Warlords are shockingly similar, if not identical, to those of Romancing SaGa's Seven Heroes:

  • Rocbouquet - The queen of an island of warrior woman, she can use her powers to charm men. Very similar to Boa Hancock.
  • Kujinshi - Can steal souls and create zombies. Very similar to Gecko Moria.
  • Dantarg - He modified his body to become stronger and is known as a "tyrant". Very similar to Bartholomew Kuma.
  • Bokuohn - He is able to use people as puppets. Very similar to Donquixote Doflamingo.
  • Subier - A half-octopus merman, he can control the ocean to use its currents as a weapon. Very similar to Jinbe.
  • Noel - An incredibly powerful swordsman who acts according to a strict code of honor. Very similar to Dracule Mihawk.
  • Wagnas - Like Crocodile, Wagnas was aiming to take over a country by using a ravaging weapon whose location was revealed in an ancient inscription. Moreover, Wagnas is described as being both male and female, with no established gender.

Oda may have revealed the truth via Netflix's One Piece-Live Action

Granted, the secret Ivankov was ready to blackmail the "Desert King" with, it could literally be anything. The Revolutionary might have used the Horm-Horm Fruit to heal a disease or another problem Crocodile was suffering from.

It's also quite possible that One Piece author Eiichiro Oda is just having fun with readers, leaving allegedly evident clues of something major, while the truth would be rather trivial. For instance, Crocodile formerly being short and Ivankov using his abilities to make him taller.

However, this wouldn't explain why Oda made sure to prevent readers from seeing what Crocodile looked like as a youth. In fact, the most intriguing hint comes from One Piece Volume 0, a special manga released to explain the circumstances that triggered the events shown in the movie One Piece: Strong World.

In the flashback of Gol D. Roger's execution featured in One Piece Volume 0, it was shown that some young individuals, who will become big shots in the years ahead, were witnessing the Pirate King's capital punishment. Among them were Monkey D. Dragon, Dracule Mihawk, Shanks, Buggy, Smoker, Donquixote Doflamingo, Gecko Moria, and Crocodile.

While everyone else was shown from the front, fully revealing their faces and looks, only Crocodile was framed from behind. Obviously, this was a deliberate choice by Eiichiro Oda, who didn't want readers to see what Crocodile looked like at the time. With regards to the theory about the latter's gender, this his evidently compelling.

Netflix's One Piece Live-Action recently recreated the scene of Roger's execution. Like in the original manga, in the show's adaptation, Shanks, Mihawk, and all the other characters who were attending the scaffold are present, including Crocodile. However, there's a fundamental difference here.

In the adaptation, Crocodile is not framed from behind, but fully shown from the front like the others. Shockingly, Crocodile's appearance was that of a female. As Oda personally approved all the content featured in the live-action, One Piece fans couldn't help but think the scene as the author's implicit confirmation that Crocodile was born a woman and then eventually became a man via the Horm-Horm Fruit's powers.

An explicit confirmation is yet to be given. However, it might arrive sooner or later in the manga, especially considering when Oda was asked to show how the Seven Warlords looked like as kids, the mangaka gave Crocodile an androgynous appearance, one that resembled a tomboy.

Be sure to keep up with One Piece's manga, anime, and live-action, as 2023 progresses.