First things first, let’s get this out the way: everybody knows that the term “Monster Trio” was coined by the fandom but that doesn’t mean the DYNAMIC isn’t a very real thing. Now, what do I mean by “dynamic”?
Since Arlong Park, Oda has consistently portrayed Luffy, Zoro and Sanji as the MAIN and STRONGEST fighters of the crew. In every arc that features the three of them, they will be doing most of the heavy lifting combat-wise. In every arc starting with Arlong Park, these three have a major role in fighting when the others don’t.
Not only that but Oda has consistently portrayed Zoro and Sanji as the guys Luffy counts on to have his back. This is nowhere better illustrated than during Fishman Island when Doson and Ikarus tried to jump Luffy. They are the ones who take care of things that Luffy can’t such as Zoro fighting Hody in Neptune’s palace or Sanji’s entire Mr. Prince scheme. These are roles you don’t ever see Nami or Chopper in. In short, in most major arcs, Zoro and Sanji tend to be the secondary and tertiary protagonists. Nowhere is this better demonstrated than in Wano.
Finally, the Monster Trio has consistently been portrayed as the “big brothers” of the group. Not only do Luffy, Zoro and Sanji handle the big fights, they are also shown protecting, leading and motivating the weaker crewmates when necessary. How many times have both Zoro and Sanji had to encourage Chopper? How many times have they both come to Nami’s rescue? Even Zoro demonstrated a moment of chivalry during Skypiea over Robin. This is something you do not see the other crewmates doing with each other. THIS is what the Monster Trio dynamic is. It’s not just a power level ranking but a way that Oda has consistently portrayed these three characters since Sanji joined the crew.
BOUNTY HAS NOT BEEN AND ISN’T AN INDICATOR OF STRENGTH OR POSITION ON THE STRAWHAT CREW
By now, most of you have probably realized this if you didn’t already know before the last chapter but Sanji has only had the third highest bounty on the crew ONCE in the entire series. Robin, Usopp and Jinbe all had higher bounties than him at one point before Wano. Did Robin become part of the Monster Trio after Enies Lobby? Did Usopp become part of the Monster Trio after Dressrosa? So why would Jinbe be a part of it now that his bounty has passed his as well? If Oda didn’t change it with them, he’s not gonna change it with him.
NO. THERE IS NO NEW MONSTER TRIO WHICH IS MADE UP OF ZORO, SANJI AND JINBE
First off, the relationship/dynamic between these three characters is practically nonexistent. Have Zoro and Jinbe even shared dialogue yet? Like I said earlier, the Monster Trio is more than just a power ranking and has to do with the actual connection between the characters and their role within the crew.
Secondly, the argument hat Luffy needs 3 Commanders because all the Emperors have had three Commanders holds no water for two reasons:
- 1-Luffy is the future Pirate King. That means that he should be held to Roger’s standard, not that of the Yonko and Roger was known to have two right hand men: Rayleigh and Scopper. Though we do not have much information on Scopper, we can use the obvious parallels between Luffy and Roger and Zoro and Rayleigh to imply that Oda is using a similar dynamic. So believing Luffy needs 3 Commanders because Kaido or Big Mom had three makes no sense because Luffy was never trying to be like them. Not once in the entire story has Luffy ever said he wanted to be an Emperor but that he wanted to SURPASS the Emperors. Forced parallels between them make little sense. Especially considering that Big Mom originally had 4 Commanders, Whitebeard’s division leaders don’t really fit the mold that King/Queen/Jack and Katakuri/Smoothie/Cracker have and lastly, that we still don’t understand the structure of Shanks’ crew so the 3 Commanders thing may just apply to Kaido and Big Mom.
- 2-The whole purpose of the Yonko having Commanders is because they are massive crews with differing structures. Their Commanders rule over lesser members and divisions; the All Stars, the Sweet Commanders, Whitebeard’s Division Commanders, even Shanks’ crew is implied to have some kind of hierarchy considering Rockstar is a rookie. The thing with the Straw Hats however is that there actually is no hierarchy when it comes to them. Luffy is the captain and everyone else is an equal subordinate under him. This is why Oda has never given Zoro the title of vice captain because there are times even when Nami or Sanji seem like they can fill that role. There are no Commanders among the core members of the crew and Oda pretty much confirms this in the latest chapter when he refers to the Straw Hats as Luffy’s “9” Commanders.
So in order for there to be a new Monster Trio that acts as Luffy’s 3 Commanders, there would need to be some kind of crew hierarchy that Zoro, Sanji and Jinbe command. That’s not the case as now all the core members of Luffy’s crew are confirmed to be Commanders in his “fleet”.
WHY JINBE CANNOT BE A PART OF THE MONSTER TRIO
The whole reason Luffy, Zoro and Sanji are even referred to as “monsters” is because their strength is literally monstrous for three dudes who by all accounts were just ordinary people at some point. Not only that but their growth rate is absolutely OUTSTANDING. Think about it: the three of them have been pirates for a little over 2 years and are already standing toe-to-toe with veteran Emperor crew level pirates. That’s insane.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying Jinbe isn’t powerful because he absolutely is but he is first and foremost a Fishman. That means he was naturally born with strength that far outclassed the Monster Trio’s. Secondly, he is a veteran pirate who has been both a Warlord and a member of a Yonko crew. In short, despite his decades of training and experience, three rookies from East Blue have already caught up to and surpassed him.
Jinbe is not a “monster” in the sense that the Monster Trio members are. His strength makes sense based off his history and what he’s accomplished. Luffy, Zoro and Sanji’s don’t. THAT’s why they are called monsters.
Lastly, if you need further proof that Oda (most likely) isn’t changing up the Monster Trio, just look at Wano. He had the perfect opportunity to pit Luffy’s “3 Commanders” against Kaido’s but didn’t. Instead, Oda relegated Jinbe to a fight against the Tobiroppo alongside Franky and Robin. I personally believe that speaks to his position in the crew. Not only that but Jinbe got nowhere near as much development and screen time as Luffy, Zoro and Sanji did.
I’m not gonna make bold declarations that Oda will never change the Monster Trio dynamic because who knows? But as of now, the evidence is scarce at best that Jinbe has replaced Sanji on the Monster Trio or even that the Monster Trio just now consists of Luffy’s strongest 3 subordinates.