Just a little something I’ve noticed about the Emperor crews, of our 6 “Emperors” that we’ve had in the series (Big Mom, Kaido, Shanks, Luffy, Blackbeard, Whitebeard) they each have a crew structure that mirrors the other, but at the same time are complete opposites.
Big Mom and Kaido
Both of these crews are themed around devil fruits, Kaido’s are mostly Zoans and Big Mom’s are mostly food themed. Both crews are absolutely massive in size and have a top down approach, with Kaido and Big Mom at the top and then armies each headed by three commanding officers.
However they are opposites in a big sense. Kaido’s crew is said to be a meritocracy, we see this in full effect with Kaido offering up one of the All-Star spots to the Tobi Roppo and then immediately again with Queen offering a Tobi Roppo spot to the Gifters.
Your status in the crew is based upon the value you bring to combat, a meritocracy in the strictest sense. What’s the opposite of a meritocracy? Nepotism.
While there is still a structure of strength within Big Mom’s crew, the vast majority of her army is headed by her children who serve as officers, as she trusts no one but family.
And if you want to ally with her you’re likely expected to marry into the family as well as we saw with Bege, Aladine, and Germa.
Blackbeard and Whitebeard
Both of these crews are organized by “divisions” with an individual commanding a full division, in Whitebeard’s crew this was the likes of Ace, Marco, Jozu, etc. In Blackbeard’s its the Ten Titanic Captains, who each head their own ship.
However the make-up of these crew are once again almost complete opposites. Whitebeard’s ship was treated as family, if you were an ally of his you were a “brother” or a “son,” going against one meant bringing down the wrath of the family. Its also worth noting that Whitebeard took this approach to his crew after he had first hand experience in the Rocks environment, which was said to have extreme violence and infighting.
Which brings me to Blackbeard’s crew, which is literally filled with the worst criminals imaginable. They have no loyalty to each other, brought together by pure strength. In this way, his crew mirrors that of Rocks, his ship is even named after him and he currently resides on Beehive island, where the Rocks crew was originally formed. In many ways they are the complete opposite of a family.
Luffy and Shanks
The last comparison is between Luffy and Shanks. Here is how Brannew described Shanks crew during his bounty reveal.
Reads a lot like the dynamic of the Straw Hat crew huh? Even the size of the crew seems about the same. At Marineford we saw 9 members on panel, and one slightly off panel. We also know Rockstar is a recent recruit. Which is 10 (maybe 11 members).
The description Brannew gave about the Red Hair crew could very well be used to describe the Straw Hat Crew as well. A small well-rounded crew that trusts their captain greatly. They even have 10 members like Shanks crew (11 if you count Vivi as former).
The only thing that remains, I wonder if there will be a key difference between these two, like the other emperor crews that parallel each other. There’s still a lot of mystery surrounding Shanks so I’m hoping there’s a cool twist regarding him that makes his crew a “Mirror Opposite” of Luffy’s.