This post is to discuss why I think we’ll get a final crewmate and who that crewmate will be
Nine Senior Officers
Currently the Straw Hats have Luffy and 9 Senior Officers. Chapter 1058 highlighted this aspect and what the roles for each on the crew are. I think this highlight will be used to juxtapose Blackbeard’s crew in a chapter coming up with all of his crewmates’ new bounties and possibly their positions as well.
Ten Titanic Captains
Blackbeard’s crew grows at a similar rate to Luffy’s crew and it seems that they are meant to parallel the Straw Hats. Blackbeard starts with his equivalent of the East Blue 5. After Impel Down he has 9 crew members not including himself. After timeskip he has (potentially) the final main member, totaling to 10.
There won’t be anymore Straw Hats
A common sentiment that I have been seeing recently is that Jinbe is the final crewmate. In Chapter 1 Luffy states he wants about 10 crewmates. This would give some wiggle room for Oda to not hard commit to X amount of crewmates if he changed his mind. However, in 2020 One Piece Magazine 10 once again states Luffy wants about 10 crewmates and clarified that Luffy was not including himself in the count. They also question who the final crewmate will be. While Oda does not write these magazines it feels weird to me to highlight this scene 20 odd years after chapter one was published unless they had reasons to expect a final crewmate.
Side Note: In the Japanese volumes Luffy says “まずは仲間集めだ １０人はほしいなア！！”
Which with my limited knowledge of Japanese translates to “First I’ll gather nakama. I want 10 people!” I don’t see the “about” that is added to the English translation, if anyone knows if this was something that was changed or if I am missing a nuance to the sentence please let me know.
The crew has been planned for a long time
Another reason I believe there will be a 10th crewmate is looking at the early sketches for the crew. Most of the crew was planned out early on in the series. Franky and Robin are the big exceptions, being two completely different people. The rest of the ideas have been kept mostly the same. The crew was always planned to have a fishman helmsman and Oda just changed some things and scrapped Jinbe being a villain. The big takeaway for me is if Oda had Luffy say that he wants about 10 people in his crew Oda most likely had sketches for what those 10 would look like. Jinbe’s prototype was erased in the first released image and it it’s possible the 10th crewmate has been erased from the most current sketch.
Yamato mentioned multiple times that she was going to join the crew, only for her mind to be changed at the last minute. I think this could be priming the readers for another crewmate. Carrot may also be another red herring depending on your view of her. Oda did something similar in Water 7, where he introduced a bunch of shipwrights to hide/act as red herrings for who would join the crew.
Jinbe’s toast seems to have been delayed twice now, first on his reintroduction on the way to Onigashima and second when he’s alone during the festival. I don’t think Oda would have off-screened this, instead I think he is waiting for the final member so they could have a final toast together. Jinbe is conveniently absent from the big party going on.
Candidates for the Final Member
I believe there are two main candidates to be the final Straw Hat member. Carrot and Vivi.
There are a lot of theories on Carrot joining, and I don’t really have anything to add to them. She is either on the Sunny or the new ruler of Zou and we will find out in the next couple of chapters.