So we all know that Blackbeard has at least two different devil fruit powers by now, and we know that the two that he does have make him probably the strongest devil fruit user known to us as of writing.
Most importantly, his ability to cancel out other devil fruit abilities via the Yami Yami no Mi is probably his most frightening ability to speak of.
I was thinking about the potential ability upgrades and “unlocks” the Gomu Gomu no Mi may contain, along with Gear 5 and 6.
We know that devil fruit can be “awakened”, in both cases (Doflamingo and Katakuri) we’ve seen their abilities affect not just the users themselves, but their environment as well.
Let’s look at the definition of “gomu” in Japanese.
“A substance made from the liquid (natural rubber) secreted from the bark of rubber trees. Rich in elasticity. Sulfur is added and used for various industrial and daily necessities. Currently, synthetic rubber made from petroleum is being made. “
Sulfur huh. Interesting, so that may be why Oda gave Luffy literal fire added to some of his attacks in the New World (Red Hawk etc, obviously inspired by Ace but look at that, he could be literally drawing on the synthetic composition of rubber in the real world as well, sulfur being associated with fire and brimstone in literature as well).
So just based on that, we can speculate that the reason Luffy has the ability to enhance his attacks with fire is due to the real world definition of synthetic rubber.
So what else does rubber do in the real world, according to definition?
Literally, an eraser.
Here’s the thought: what if Luffy, by awakening the Gomu Gomu no Mi, gains the ability to also “cancel out” or erase devil fruit powers?
It wouldn’t be the first time that a paramecia gains weird, almost humorous abilities – remember Kalifa literally “cleaning” people with the Soap Soap fruit? Or Doflamingo using string in all kinds of “knitting” contexts?
So if we assume that, the Gomu Gomu no Mi may be one of the, if not the, only other devil fruit in existence which could effectively cancel out other fruit abilities.
I know lots of people are just assuming that Luffy will turn everything into rubber, allowing him to smash enemies between his attacks and bouncing off the environment. And that may well happen as well!
But what if, in pretty typical fashion, Oda takes the real world uses of “rubber” to the extreme, and thus makes Luffy the only other devil fruit user who can go toe-to-toe with Blackbeard, by essentially leveling the playing field between them?
It would also be really cool to have the two of them, in their climactic battle, be reduced to simply slugging it out, without each other’s abilities playing as big a role (for how would Luffy counter the Yami Yami no Mi otherwise?).
Strong style (Japanese pro wrestling style, all about both wrestlers just giving each other their best shots and seeing who can take the most damage), basically, which Oda is a big fan of.
What do you think?
*Theory by miffyrin