I wanted to bring up a point that’s had the One Piece community scratching its head since the reveal of Gear 4th: Bound Man and that point is – What exactly is this weird flame pattern that Luffy develops on his arms and torso?
We’ve not only seen this on Luffy, but also Katakuri and even Big Mom herself. I strive to answer, or at least provide some sort of explanation to this mystery.
First lets tackle Gear 4th: Bound Man.
Now what do we know about Bound Man? We know that:
- Luffy blows air into his muscles to achieve this form
- It uses an immense amount of haki
- It allows Luffy to retain his rubber properties even when coated with haki
Now the 3rd point is the most significant today and it is the basis of this speculation. We know this for a fact because it was even stated by Doflamingo himself:
So now that’s this has been proven, lets move on to Tank Man: Full version. Cracker pretty much states the same thing except this time, Cracker sinks into Luffy due to rubber being a very malleable substance and this is the purpose of this form:
Notice how the flame pattern is still there?
Now that we’ve established that Luffy retains his rubber properties, lets move on to Charlotte Katakuri, who is the most recent character to demonstrate this strange and unique pattern.
Notice that all of these examples demonstrate the properties of their haki changing to match their devil fruits, but it also still retains the property of haki shown by Luffy actually being impacted by Katakuri’s attack. He didn’t simply get stuck, he was hit as if it was normal haki, but Katakuri’s haki showed to properties of his Mochi devil fruit, that property being stickiness.
Now you might ask: “How does this relate to Big Mom?” Well basically what I’m speculating is that this pattern allows for a near perfect fusion between devil fruit and haki. So far we have seen two paramecia’s with devil fruits that effect their bodies demonstrate this sort of fusion between haki and devil fruit. You have to be asking yourself: “Big Mom’s devil fruit is not that kind of paramecia, she effects objects outside of herself so how can this apply to Big Mom?” Well, I’m glad you asked. Before Chapter 889, I probably would have agreed with you, but look closely at what happens to Big Mom in 889:
I believe that this makes a case for her having the type of paramecia that can in fact effect her own body. Whether she learned how to pull the power of her homies into her body through devil fruit mastery or if this is just one of the stock abilities that come with her devil fruit I cannot tell you, but I do believe this should fall under that category of paramecia. You can even argue that her earlier showings of using Zeus and Prometheus via her hands where essentially the same concept, that being Big Mom pulling the power of her homies into her own body. So what does this mean? What does this have to do with the haki pattern that we’ve seen from other paramecia users? Well, take a look for yourself:
Now that you’ve seen this, ask yourself, what other properties does Big Mom’s devil fruit posses? If you answered with “The ability to steal life span/life energy”, you get a gold medal.
I know what you’re saying. “This doesn’t make any sense, this ability only works if one fears Big Mom herself, so again, how does this apply to her clash with Luffy?” I’m suggesting that Big Mom was able to strip Luffy of his haki somehow, due to the properties of her fruit. This is not the first time this has been suggested, if I find where I’ve seen this theorized before I will give credit, but I believe that this is a crucial part of this speculation. We know that haki is essentially will power and it is the “energy” of the One Piece world. All living things have haki. This was stated by Rayleigh himself. So my hypothesis is: What if haki itself is somehow connected to one’s own life energy? Would this explain why Big Mom was seemingly able to steal Luffy’s power? I believe there is some connection with that. Maybe Luffy coating himself in haki is what allowed her to essentially steal his haki, his “life energy”. This would be a fitting ability for a Yonko in my opinion because it makes her even more dangerous to fight. Its almost like how Black Beard can fully negate a devil fruit ability. A power truly fitting of some of the most powerful people in the world.
Now for the main point to all of this:
This would explain why Big Mom’s haki also takes a similar pattern to Luffy’s and Katakuri’s. Its because her haki is taking on the properties of her devil fruit, allowing her to drain the life energy or haki of anyone that comes into contact with it. This is the central point of this speculation; Haki taking on the abilities of the users devil fruit. Could this only apply to paramecia’s with devil fruits that effect their bodies? This would in some way explain why a character like Doflamingo did not posses this pattern to his haki. His devil fruit did not directly effect his own body. There was nothing for his haki to “Fuse” with. I also do not believe that Zoans will demonstrate this pattern unless they have some kind of extremely rare devil fruit that gives them the properties of another class of devil fruit. The only Zoans we’ve seen meet this criteria so far have been Marco’s devil fruit and Sengoku’s, which allows Marco to regenerate his body, similar to a logia, and Sengoku’s ability to generate shock waves, which could fall under a paramecia class devil fruit. Logia users are a different story as they do have devil fruits that directly effect their bodies. Imagine Akainu or Aokiji’s haki taking on the properties of each of their respective elements. This could make them extremely versatile and dangerous, which would be fitting since they are masters at using their devil fruits. Having complete control over one’s own haki and fruit is fitting for someone such as a Marine Admiral.
One more point I wanted to bring up is the haki pattern itself. I believe that it can be viewed as “Inaccurate” to call it a flame pattern. Does the pattern remind you of anything else? I’ll tell you what it reminds me of; Devil Fruit Patterns:
Doesn’t this pattern look eerily similar to the haki patterns we’ve been over in this speculation? I believe it does and with good reason. As I’ve stated before, their haki literally takes on the properties of their respective devil fruits, thus giving the haki a devil fruit like pattern, so this doesn’t seem far fetched at all in my mind.
One little extra I want to bring up. Does something else remind you of these… swirls? Sanji’s eyebrows! We know for a fact that none other than Judge Vinsmoke, along with vegapunk discovered the lineage factor, which could relate back to devil fruits themselves. We also know that Judge branched off and used what he learned from his studies with Vegapunk to modify his own children. Could he have been experimenting with devil fruits? Is this why the Vinsmokes have their signature curly eyebrows? One hint towards this speculation comes from a very interesting quote Oda gave as an answer to a SBS question:
SBS Vol. 7
Dokusha (reader): Why does Sanji-san’s eyebrow curl up at the end? Please give a real answer!!
Oda: Hey!! You, sit right there!! Now listen!! Everyone lives in circles!! The sun, the moon, and the earth all spin around!! And!! If the earth suddenly stopped spinning!! It would be a disaster, tidal waves everywhere!! Now remember that Sanji’s eyebrow channels that circular energy!! Reflect upon this!! You may go!!
I did not believe this was super relevant to the overall discussion but it’s a neat connection nonetheless.
So what did you think? Do you agree? Do you disagree?
*Theory by Matt