I know, I know, there’s probably WAY too many of these theories popping up, but I’ve been thinking about this for a long time and Chapter 1043 has allowed me to finally connect some dots.
My degree is in Polymer Engineering with a specific focus on plastics, but I have more experience and education with rubber than most people ever get. Both rubber and plastic are polymers, which means they share many similarities. That’s not what this theory is about though.
To make my biases known, here are some common assumptions and theories that I have that others may not. I’ll reference each of these, but will not explain them in any more detail because this theory is long enough already.
- Joy Boy and Sun God Nika are synonymous characters.
- Joy Boy is a previous user of the Gomu Gomu no Mi, and his soul or will inhabits the Gomu Gomu no Mi fruit.
- The fruit that the Gorosei are referencing as being awakened is the Gomu Gomu no Mi.
- Roger knew the importance of the fruit, and so do Shanks and Rayleigh.
- Joy Boy and his kingdom included the minority races of the current One Piece world (Fishmen, Merfolk, Sky people, Giants, Lunarians, etc.). These races fled the persecution of the World Government, which was trying to erase them from existence. The Void Century is the World Government trying to erase Joy Boy and his people from history.
Alright, this theory is more extensive than most papers I wrote in college. Now that you’ve been warned, let’s finally start the fun part.
Awakening Part 1: Elasticity of Rubber
The most commonly known characteristic of rubber is its ability to rebound, or as Luffy puts it, to “bounce back”. The ability to stretch and rebound to the original shape is known as elastic elongation. This is how Luffy’s power has worked the entire series… but what happens when rubber is stretched beyond the limit that it can rebound from? Like when you stretch a rubber band beyond its normal limit, but before it actually breaks?
This is explained by this graph, which is the stress-strain curve of rubber. Definitions included below to help clarify.
Elastic region – Luffy has so far lived in the elastic region of the stress-strain curve in the series thus far. When he stretches, he always reforms back to normal afterwards (with the exception of the early G3 shrinking side effect, I have no explanation for that).
Yield point – the point where we transition from elastic elongation to nonelastic. This is what I theorize is the limit Luffy had to surpass in order to achieve awakening (or at least understand how he can further manipulate rubber).
Nonelastic region – Luffy has not exhibited any characteristics of this in the series so far, as this part of the graph (stress exceeding the yield point) is where permanent deformation occurs. Think of this like an older pair of pants where the elastic waistband has become loose (it has lost elasticity and permanently expanded beyond normal and cannot revert back).
Stress – think of this as force applied
Strain – think of this as a measure of how much a material stretches
Stress-strain curve – this shows how the material reacts or stretches (strain) in response to an applied force (stress)
Note – I can go into more depth on the last 3 definitions, but this is getting long and I decided to simplify them. I don’t think further understanding of these terms is necessary beyond what I’ve written.
So how does this relate to Awakening? How can Luffy apply this?
Similarly to Kid being able to make other non-metal objects or even people magnetic with his Awakening, Luffy can expand other objects or people beyond their yield point and permanently gigantify them. If Joy Boy had this fruit in the past, he could’ve gigantified Zunesha to walk the earth until the Dawn of the world comes.
There’s also a potential connection that the experiments on Punk Hazard to gigantify children were trying to mimic the Awakened powers of the Gomu Gomu No Mi. Vegapunk knew how to mimic Kaido’s fruit, so he could likely do the same for others, but the experiment was a failure due to not having the lineage factor (it hasn’t awakened in centuries after all). Cesar Clown continued the experiments despite the experiments being futile. Vegapunk abandoned the project because he knew he needed Luffy, and that is why he allowed Kuma to save the crew and protect the Sunny.