Since One Piece’s inception, Oda has introduced very few concepts without giving them some build up first. Sometimes he’s even taken hundreds of chapters to explain them, such as Luffy receiving a Vivre Card in Alabasta but not learning what it was until 300 chapters later on Thriller Bark or Shanks using Conqueror’s Haki in chapter 1 without any indication what that was until just before the timeskip 600 chapters later. With such dedication to setting up concepts and holding their explanations off until the time is right, I find it hard to believe that other examples of the recently introduced “Special Paramecia” Devil Fruit haven’t already been shown to us at least once.
Since we still haven’t gotten a concrete explanation of what qualifies as a Special Paramecia, let’s take a quick review of what we already know about the only confirmed Special Paramecia, the Mochi-Mochi Fruit: the Mochi-Mochi Fruit has several properties that make it resemble a Logia Fruit, including
1. The user’s body being made of their “element”, mochi;
2. The user being able to produce their element;
3. The user being able to reshape parts of their body;
4. The user being able to recover from what would otherwise be fatal damage.
Though all of these properties are shared with Logia Fruit, the main difference between them is that rather than inherently having these abilities, this particular Paramecia can only use them because of the unique properties of mochi. The real power of the Mochi-Mochi Fruit is for the user to be made of mochi, with the rest of them following from mochi’s natural stickiness, softness, malleability and viscosity. This allows the user to do things such as tear off bits of mochi and regrow them rather than actually produce mochi, mold the mochi into shapes rather than actually create objects out of it, and repair damage to the mochi by kneading the affected areas back together instead of preventing damage to the user’s body in the first place. To put it simply, the Mochi-Mochi Fruit simply replicates the properties of a Logia through subtly different processes than a Logia would use.
Because we have only seen one Special Paramecia so far and we know that its properties make it appear to be a Logia rather than a Paramecia, we can make one of three conclusions:
- Special Paramecia are Paramecia that don’t seem to fit what a Paramecia is; unlikely, since if you observe carefully, the Mochi-Mochi Fruit does fit as a Paramecia, matching the abilities of the Gum-Gum Fruit very well. Also, Paramecia are specifically any Fruit that don’t fit Zoan or Logia, so there really isn’t a way to go outside of what a Paramecia is.
- Special Paramecia all resemble Logia; fairly likely, as we currently have a 100% rate of this being the case.
- Special Paramecia can resemble either Logia, Zoans, or a combination of the two; there’s no confirmation for this possibility yet, but I have reason to believe that this is the true meaning of Special Paramecia.
For one, Zoans seem to have their own “Special” subdivision in the Mythical Zoans, which are able to exhibit the properties of both Logia (ex: the Phoenix Fruit controls fire and is able to heal wounds with it)…
…and Paramecia (ex: the Buddha Fruit is able to emit shockwaves).
Since Zoans have a special type that can resemble the other two, it stands to reason that the Special Paramecia can resemble both Logia and Zoan. Whether this means that there would be Logia that can resemble Paramecia or Zoan is up for debate, but there’s no evidence of that, and I don’t see how it would work. If inspiration strikes, I’ll write a theory on that some other time, but not here. I also have other reasons to believe in Zoan-like Paramecia, but I’ll be covering those later.
To determine if any Paramecia or unidentified Fruit were Special, I examined the properties of every one of those two categories and cross-referenced their abilities with the general qualifications of both Logia and Zoan Fruit. All Paramecia that permanently turn the user’s body into an element or allow them to become an animal were included as candidates, and all that are limited to production of elements (ex: Wax-Wax and Stick-Stick), manipulation of specific targets (ex: Ope-Ope and Stone-Stone), just have unusual bodies (ex: Chop-Chop and Spring-Spring), or have an otherwise unique power (ex: Revive-Revive and Hobby-Hobby) were excluded.
Since the Mochi-Mochi Fruit was compared to the Gum-Gum Fruit, it seems only appropriate that we start with that. The Gum-Gum Fruit turns the user’s body into the element of rubber…
…but does not allow the user to produce rubber, reshape their body aside from changing their proportions, or repair damage using rubber’s natural properties.
As the Gum-Gum Fruit only matches one of the criteria for resembling a Logia, we can say pretty definitively that it is not a Special Paramecia, just a standard one that changes the user’s body.
Next, we have the Dice-Dice Fruit, which turns the user’s body into blades, or the element of metal…
…and allows the user to shape their blades as they please…
…but does not allow for production of blades or blade-based healing.
The Dice-Dice Fruit is a little closer to a Logia than the Gum-Gum Fruit, but nowhere near as Logia-like as the Mochi-Mochi Fruit.
The Dice-Dice Fruit’s superior, the Arms-Arms Fruit, also allows the user to shape their body into various weapons…
…and even allows the user to regenerate from damage…
…but does not seem to allow the production of weapons (aside from projectiles fired from certain weapon forms) and only allows recovery from damage caused by a weapon’s natural functions (in this case, a bomb destroying itself upon detonation). The Arms-Arms Fruit doesn’t even meet the minimum requirement of giving the user an elemental body, as in her base form, Baby 5 is still susceptible to damage from metal weapons like bullets, whereas the Dice-Dice Fruit makes one immune to such weapons.
Despite being the superior version of the Dice-Dice Fruit, the Arms-Arms Fruit’s properties actually make it less like a Logia, disqualifying it from the running.
A Fruit whose classification was once a popular point of discussion is Jozu’s currently unnamed diamond Devil Fruit, which I’m just going to go ahead and call the Diamond-Diamond Fruit until further notice. It was once believed by fans to be a Logia because not only could Jozu seemingly completely transform into diamond…
…he also seemed to be able to regenerate from grievous wounds, as he lost his arm in the fight against Aokiji…
…only to be seen with his arm reattached at Whitebeard’s funeral.
Unfortunately, this turned out to be an error by Oda, and in all future printings of the same chapter, Jozu’s arm was edited out to signify that he had, in fact, been unable to heal it.
It’s also difficult to tell whether or not Jozu’s body is always as hard as diamond, making him immune to damage like Daz Bones was with the Dice-Dice Fruit, or if the Diamond-Diamond Fruit simply allows Jozu to either transform into diamond or cover himself in a diamond shell. Either way, he is definitely a Paramecia, but not a special one, as he cannot heal himself using diamond’s properties and he does not seem to be able to produce or shape his diamonds.
The final Fruit I found that resembled a Logia is also currently unnamed: Basil Hawkins’ straw Devil Fruit, which I will be referring to as the Straw-Straw Fruit. With this Fruit, Hawkins seems to be outright made of straw, as demonstrated by his ability to store objects within himself.
Those objects in particular, Hawkins’ voodoo dolls, seem to fulfill the remaining three requirements for a Special Paramecia as well. For one, as they came from inside and were able to separate from his body, this implies that Hawkins can produce straw. Two, though it seems to take time to do so as Hawkins states he has a limited quantity, it appears that he is able to shape his straw as he pleases. This is further supported by his ability to become a scarecrow-like monster, producing more straw and shaping it in much the same way that Monet shaped her snow body into a monster.
Three, and most importantly, the dolls provide the method through which Hawkins avoids damage. Rather than preventing damage the way a Logia does or recovering from damage the way that the Mochi-Mochi Fruit and Phoenix Fruit do, the Straw-Straw Fruit transfers damage to others at the cost of a doll.
Though the process is different, this has the same result as the Mochi-Mochi Fruit and the Phoenix Fruit’s abilities, which is to create the illusion that the Fruit user is a Logia. We know for a fact that the Straw-Straw Fruit is not a Logia, though, thanks to Kizaru testing it to confirm that Hawkins has a physical body that can be harmed.
Now, it is possible that the Straw-Straw Fruit is actually some kind of Mythical Zoan that allows the user to turn into a scarecrow or a straw demon from some culture’s mythology, but given that Hawkins was able to use his Fruit abilities without transforming, that seems much less likely.
With that, we have one example of a Paramecia resembling a Logia enough to potentially be a Special Paramecia, so now we just need one that resembles a Zoan. Unfortunately, there are none that allow the user to turn into an animal wholesale, but there is one Fruit that not only gives the user the traits of an animal, but also uses its natural properties for the sake of recovery like a Logia: Baron Tamago’s Egg-Egg Fruit.
The user’s body seems to have been permanently turned into an egg that, when the user is damaged, automatically hatches and releases a yolk that grows into a stronger form.
With each recovery, the user takes on a form further along the life cycle of a chicken, starting as an egg…
…then a chick…
…and as far as we know, culminating in a rooster.
It’s currently unknown what comes after the rooster form, but I personally have three guesses:
- It cycles back around, returning to the egg form, evidenced by the fact that nearby foot soldiers knew about Tamago’s potential to become Count Niwatori before he fully took on the form, implying they have seen it before
- Given the regenerative nature of the Fruit, the user becomes a phoenix, though likely more chicken-like in appearance than the Phoenix Fruit is
- The user regresses to the ancestors of chickens and becomes a tyrannosaurus, though likely more feathered than the Ancient Zoan T-Rex Fruit
The first option seems the most likely to me, possibly offering a harder shell when the cycle restarts, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be mutually exclusive with either of the other two possibilities. It’s also possible that once the user has reached rooster form, they cannot recover from fatal wounds any longer, but are durable enough that the requirement for a fatal wound is much steeper, as Niwatori was able to survive a powerful explosion without hatching.
Regardless, all three forms so far have resembled the hybrid form of a Zoan, and the inherent properties of the Fruit allow the user to repair or avoid fatal damage like a Logia, pointing to the strong possibility that both of these factors can be used for other Special Paramecia in the future.
Even if we ignore the Logia-like aspect of the Egg-Egg Fruit, we can still extrapolate the Zoan-like Special Paramecias are those that allow the user to transform into an animal when a condition is met rather than allowing the user to transform freely. Tamago can only become a chicken when his egg is broken, and does not seem to have control over when he returns to being just an egg, if he can return at all. For another example, picture a werewolf Fruit; the user can only transform into a wolf when exposed to moonlight, but cannot transform back until exposed to sunlight. This would still have the user transforming into an animal, but one could not call that a true Zoan Fruit ability, as the user would not have the control required by a Zoan.
For the final piece of evidence that the Egg-Egg Fruit is a Special Paramecia, we turn not to the manga, but the recently introduced One Piece Magazine. Volume 1 of the magazine, released on July 7th, 2017, contained a Devil Fruit encyclopedia that listed the Egg-Egg Fruit as being of an unidentified type. Though the Mochi-Mochi Fruit had already been introduced back on April 24th, it was stated to be a Logia in the manga’s magazine run, an error which was not corrected until volume 86’s release on August 4th, a whole month after the Egg-Egg Fruit was stated to be unidentified. From this, we can conjecture one of two possibilities:
- Oda wanted to introduce the concept of Special Paramecia with the Mochi-Mochi Fruit, and did not want to spoil it by revealing the Egg-Egg Fruit’s status too early. This may also mean he wants to reveal this particular fact in the magazine run, which will undoubtedly happen soon as we seem to be approaching the climax of Whole Cake Island.
- The Egg-Egg Fruit is a member of a completely new type of Devil Fruit which has never been hinted at or alluded to in the series thus far, or if it has no one has ever caught it.
I am inclined to believe the former, as the latter would mean that Oda is throwing out a new concept completely unprompted and without build up, which the whole point of this theory is to disprove that he would do. I’m sure if it came to that, we would be able to find the signs in hindsight, but as it stands, it seems much more likely that the Egg-Egg Fruit is a Special Paramecia and not a new, fourth category of Fruit.
In the end, I could only find two viable contenders for Special Paramecia, but those two are very enlightening as to the possible prerequisites of a Special Paramecia: a Special Paramecia must either a) resemble a Logia by turning the user into a substance, allowing them to produce and shape said substance, and allowing them to avoid damage, regardless of the exact mechanism; or b) resemble a Zoan by allowing the user to transform into an animal, but only when a certain condition is met rather than allowing for free transformation.
Obviously since our sample size is so small, the definition could easily turn out to be narrower or broader, but Oda tends to give us most if not all of the hints we need to determine the truth ahead of time in most cases, so until proven otherwise, this is my belief on what truly makes a Paramecia “Special.”
Thank you for reading.
*Theory by Tokiro Oumaga