Why recent developments for Sanji and Zoro don’t undermine their strength and achievements at all

This is in regards to the recent Zoro and Sanji developments. I don’t personally understand the resentment or fear that people have for Zoro and Sanji possibly having important lineages or genetic modifications, though.

Anyone currently up in arms about the fact that Zoro and Sanji have important lineages, I don’t believe you’ve been paying that close attention. If you believe that this is going to undermine their strength and achievements, I’m really not sure what story you’ve been reading.

First, let’s get out of the way the fact that Oda has been a pretty consistently solid author. Obviously he’s not infallible and makes mistakes, particularly with death, but he’s also consistently made common tropes more interesting, and made parts of a story that would generally be very boring or considered poorly written to be incredible. He’s so talented that there’s arguments about whether the man planned things decades in advance, or just masterfully wove minor early elements into major plot points. Moving on to a theme that somehow people have either forgotten, or just were never paying attention to anyways.

In One Piece, you are not your lineage. It does not matter if you’re the descendant of Ryuma, or Garp, or Roger, or Oden: that is not what makes you strong, it is not what makes you who you are. This entire story has been predicated on individual will and determination. So much so that’s it’s literally the power system.

Luffy is not strong because he’s the grandson of Garp. Luffy is strong because he was subject to intense combat and survival training from at least the age of 7, and never faltered in his intense determination that he would win.

Zoro is not strong because he’s (probably) the descendant of Ryuma. He’s strong because he carries the burden of his deceased friend and her dreams as his own.

If we want to doubt that for even a second, might I remind you that Oda made a point of having Ryuma’s body recognize Zoro’s strength. When Zoro beat Ryuma at Thriller Bark, he didn’t say “Ey, you my great-great-great grandson here’s a gift kid”. He essentially said “You beat me, and the sword chooses you as it’s master because of your strength and skill”. It may not have been Ryuma himself, but I don’t believe that’s significant to the message Oda was trying to present, and Zoro’s comments being directed at the real Ryuma afterwards.

This is also forgetting a major part of the conclusion of the first half of the series: Ace’s entire existence. How many times was it hounded at us throughout Marineford that Ace wasn’t Roger, and that the sins of Roger were not the sins of Ace. Literally to the point that the people making that mistake were portrayed as the antagonists of the arc.

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