What’s next? To understand this section, it is important to know the reader’s perspective during Sabaody. Many times before and during Sabaody, it was suggested to the reader that the crew will travel to Fish-Man Island after Sabaody. We were even teased with the underwater world in a cover story. Oda framed the reader’s mind to ‘understand’ the order of Arc’s.
“We will wait here for 3 days, until Rayleigh is done with the Ship, then we will go to Fish-Men Island”. That was the message for the reader, right?
But no! We had to wait two years, both in the manga and in the real world.
3D 2Y. 4 Arcs in between. Sabaody -> Amazon Lilly -> Impel Down -> Marineford -> Post War -> Fishmen Island
No one expected this! “the Strawhat Pirates”? destroyed! Fishmen Island? LOL!
Oda used popped bubbles as a symbol of lost souls. Same as the lanterns in the fire festival in Wano. A memoire of the souls lost.
This was very shocking, brutal, fast, abrupt and unexpected. Oda completly destroyed (intentionally) the readers expectation of the journey that he carefully planted in the readers mind.
And that is exactly what will happen in the next few chapters. Now my theory is rather simple:
Whatever happens within the next 1-2 chapter will be unexpected, abrupt and fast. It will change everything for the Straw Hats. But they will probably not lose a fight this time. And I also doubt there will be a long timeskip.
Apart from these things, I assume that whatever will happen, it will be completely absurd and unbelievable, at least at first. When you look at things in retrospect, most of things make sense in One Piece. Kuma is a good example of that.
Oda’s love for colors and archetypes
Remember when Zoro almost died against Kizaru. Do you also remember what happened after that? The LIGHT attacked & the DARK stopped it. The ‘DARK’ King Rayleigh stopped Kizaru’s LIGHT.
He scattered it (for those of you who get the reference)
Again, I’m making a simple guess based on the repeating patterns and inversions. There is an Admiral with a devil fruit, which is stopped by a swordsman without devil fruit and strong Haki. The swordsman represents the opposite of the Admiral’s power (DARK vs. LIGHT).
In Wano we have an Admiral who represents the color ‘green’+’bull’+’devil fruit’:
- live giver and taker – life and death
- ‘scatter the seed and harvest’ (like a Grim Reaper and his scythe)
So what are some symbolic inversion and counterparts of ‘Green Bull’?
- the color red
- the god of war
- the red god
- the element of fire
- red / green contrast trope
Green is placed as a more serene and natural color, secondary colors meant to calm rather than excite. Heroes and heroic forces associated with green are often based around plant-life, the wind, the forces of nature, and the Earth.
Red, Color of passion, giving warmth and inspiring courage, while it can also be seen as representing fire’s destructive capabilities. It is commonly used as the main color for the Primary-Color Champion (red being one of three primary colors), making it heroic in-context.
So green is fighting red? Correct! Oda loves this kind of thing and does it all the time, like with Kizaru vs. Rayleigh.
So we are looking for a swordsman with strong Haki, without devil fruit abilities, like Rayleigh. His epithet should be ‘Red’ as a counterpart to ‘Green’. Yes, you guessed correctly. It’s Shanks again!
Shanks the RED, the balance keeper
Remember when the movie STAMPEDE was released? We got some more infodumps about Roger’s past and the Laugh Tale reveal in that movie. Around that time we got the same infodumps in the manga. Recently, since Oda’s involvement in movies, the movie canon hints go hand in hand with the manga.
We have a break now and shortly afterwards the manga starts with it’s final phase while we get a Shanks movie? Or should I rather say a … ‘RED’ movie, while ‘GREEN’ appears in the manga? I don’t think that this is a coincidence.
The last era begins
Rayleigh told Luffy he wanted to meet him during Sabaody. Shanks recently told us, that he wants to meet Luffy soon. During Marineford Shanks said that it is too early to meet Luffy. That’s why Rayleigh had to train luffy.
Roger’s death was the END of the old era and the BEGINNING of the GOLDEN AGE of piracy. At the BEGINNING of the Strawhat’s journey, the crew met Crocus, who explained to them how the Grand Line works. He was the guiding light (Lighthouse Keeper) for the upcoming generation.
Rayleigh is the Dark King who appeared in the Dark Era (the long night before the Dawn) to guide the pupils to their destiny and help them grow at the MIDDLE POINT of the journey.
Shanks promised Luffy to meet again as soon as he becomes a great pirate. This is the END OF THE JOURNEY. The final saga begins and Shanks will show the now strong generation the way to the Dawn.
Romance Dawn, giving back the ‘strawhat’
Let me insert that wise men quote again… and a nice foreshadowing from Shakky during Sabaody.
Shakky’s quote: a Marineford foreshadowing
So what will happen next?
- Will Pyrobloin form from the Volcano and create a new Sky Island as explained in Skypea?
- Will we get a Kaido inversion? He jumped down from a Sky Island to kill himself, fought the Worst Generation, then boiled Oden. Now he is defeated by one of the Worst Generation, gets boiled in the volcano and is thrown upwards towards a new Sky Island that was formed by the volano, where he can finally rest? Back to the beginning. It ends where it all began. That would be such an Oda thing to do.
- Will the Straw Hats get separated again? In the nine realms of Elbaf?
- Will we hear the fablE of Elbaf, the Tales of Usopp?
- Will we finally learn more about the witches?
Who knows! I don’t know.
There are a billion hints, but we can only speculate.
Theories are made by hints given in the story. I think there is a very good chance that whatever happends is something that is NOT predictable, because Oda wants it that way.
Theoretically speaking you could have predicted Kuma’s teleport ability during Sabaody as it was shown during Thriller Bark, but how would you guess that? Seriously..
I think we can expect a black swan event (hard-to-predict, rare event that is beyond the realm of normal expectations).
So now im asking YOU. What happens next?
Have you found more Inversions? Mistakes?