For a long time I have been thinking about how weird the Romance Dawn storyline of One Piece is in the grand scheme of the story.
Shanks hauls his ass halfway across the world, through some of the deadliest waters (the Calm Belt) and the Red Line in order to go to a remote village in the East Blue, and as far as any character has exposited, he kept the entire “why” a secret. So the billion berry question is why?
Some may think that simply “Shanks knew about Ace”. But Shanks never having met Ace before he became a pirate is a sticking point in this idea.
It would be easy to write this off as a “because the story needed to happen”, but I think there is a much more logical answer to this quandary: Shanks thought Luffy was Gol D. Roger’s son.
With the totality of info we have it makes a lot of sense:
- Being on the Roger crew Shanks would have known that Garp and Roger had become frenemies;
- He almost certainly would have known the rumors of Roger’s child were true;
- The World Government almost certainly knew Luffy was Dragon’s child, but probably turned a blind eye because he was also Garp’s Grandson. Garp of course being required to keep Luffy’s parentage secret;
- Shanks probably didn’t know Luffy was Dragon’s son;
- Garp moves Luffy out of Foosha Village shortly after he is found by Shanks.
What I see as having happened is that after a few years Shanks hears a rumor: his captain’s old frenemy has a child, who no one knows the father of, squirreled away in a small town in the East Blue. Piecing together that Garp would have been one of the only people who could have hidden Roger’s child from the World Government, he decides to seek this child out. Eventually he arrives in the Foosha Village and discovers this “Monkey D.” Luffy but is disappointed to find out that the child is too young to be Roger’s son. Shanks gets closer than anyone to discovering Ace’s existance, because of Luffy living in Foosha Village. This is what prompts Garp to move Luffy away from the village, Garp cannot afford other former members of the Roger crew coming to the same conclusion as Shanks and potentially discovering Ace.
Now, as for Shank’s “power”. Obviously we know a few things about Shanks abilities:
- At the age of 27 at least he did not have a Devil Fruit power.
- He is a master in all 3 forms of Haki.
We know from the Wano arc that Haki can be honed in certain forms to give more specialized abilities.
I believe strongly that Shanks may have the strongest Kenbunshoku Haki in the world, so much so that he can see hazy events months or even years into the future.
I’ll admit that the evidence for this is somewhat scarce, but this is what I have figured:
- We know future sight is possible in One Piece without any kind of Devil Fruit power. Madam Shyarly is demonstrated to have this ability during Fishman Island. But Oda makes sure to demonstrate that the predictions can be vague and open to interpretation.
- Shanks warned Whitebeard that Ace’s fight with Blackbeard would spell disaster for the Whitebeard Pirates and the world months before the Summit War.
- Shanks seems absolutely and completely certain that Luffy will become one of the strongest pirates in the world.