If you have read Chapter 1017, you’ll know this is about the seemingly now important or special Gomu Gomu no Mi devil fruit.
I’d like to preface this by saying I really hope the Gomu Gomu no Mi devil fruit stays ordinary. This “theory” is then more of a justification in my head about what Oda-sensei could be setting up here with what has been established before.
1-“X” was the previous Gomu Gomu no Mi User
I’d like to ignore the obvious idea like what if Joy Boy was once the user of the Gomu Gomu no Mi devil fruit? I don’t have a reason why it can’t be so, but without going into specifics, I just don’t like the “Chosen One” trope.
The next popular idea that seems to be floating around is – what if Rocks was the previous Gomu Gomu no Mi user? Unless Oda just blatantly ignored that fact up until now, I don’t think that is the case. Remember, Luffy has been seen fighting and using his abilities by at least 4 people we know in the story that has also been with Rocks in one way or another. Whitebeard, Big Mom, and Kaido as members of the Rocks Pirates, and Garp during the battle of God Valley. You can throw Rayleigh in there too. They would’ve made some comments about his abilities as if they have seen it before.
What about Gol D. Roger? Another obvious choice, but seriously, if the Pirate King, a person so huge was the previous user of the Gomu Gomu no Mi devil fruit, someone would’ve told Luffy already. Like I don’t know, his right hand man who trained Luffy for 1.5 years? Like all the bigshot Marines at Marineford? They went through so much to get rid of his son, so it should also follow that the World Government would’ve made getting rid of Luffy a much bigger priority.
2-The fruity Blackbeard-Shanks Connection
So what makes the Gomu Gomu no Mi devil fruit special? Well, it’s not. However, another fruit is. Another fruit that has been pointed out by several people to look quite similar to it, that is Blackbeard’s Yami Yami no Mi devil fruit. Why is this fruit special? It most likely has to do with how Blackbeard was able to get 2 Devil Fruit abilities, and possibly to an assumption I’ll get to later.
The next point is how the stories of Rocks and Blackbeard, plus the stories of Blackbeard and Shanks are seemingly connected. If you don’t know already, Blackbeard’s current hideout is similar to Rocks before. Even his ship is named after him, Xebec. Is Teach the son of Rocks as some theories say? Is it Shanks instead? What makes Shanks so wary of Blackbeard?
For the purpose of this theory, we’ll have to assume some things.
- The first and biggest assumption is that Rocks was the previous user of the Yami Yami no Mi devil fruit. This isn’t really required for the theory to work, but would be a good additional supporting idea.
- The next assumption is either Blackbeard or Shanks is somehow related to Rocks. This isn’t such a stretch as we already know that there are clues that Blackbeard has some ties with him, and that Shanks has some ties with Blackbeard.
- The last and more likely assumption is that both Blackbeard or Shanks know about the Yami Yami no Mi devil fruit, maybe because of #2. Maybe Blackbeard wants it for its destructive and special properties, and maybe Shanks wants it to keep it from people like Blackbeard. That’s why when Shanks somehow learned that Blackbeard got hold of it, he warned Whitebeard about him.
So this discussion/theory is essentially about how this new information in Chapter 1017 is not making the Gomu Gomu special, but rather setting up further Blackbeard, Shanks, and Luffy through this connection.
3-Who’s Who’s Mistake
Now that we have established our assumptions, this is how I see things could have played out. In this chapter, we learned that Who’s Who was previously a member of the Cipher Pol, and that he was a rival to Rob Lucci. This could be important for later. To add to that, he mentioned how he was imprisoned when he lost the fruit he was guarding at the time, the Gomu Gomu no Mi, that we know Shanks and his crew got from an enemy ship way back in Chapter 1. This is stuff we know already, but how did it get to this point?