I think that there is a hidden power system within One Piece, one that in some circumstances defies the laws of nature. There are many instances of this power taking place and many potential future applications/foreshadowing of it.
I believe that by the end of the story, Luffy will have learned of and completely mastered this power.
The power that I am talking about is IMAGINATION.
In One Piece, there are many instances of characters doing things that don’t quite make sense (even in-world).
- Characters hypnotizing others into doing feats of strength not possible;
- A starfish believing that they are human and being able to talk as if they were one;
- Regular people growing + controlling parts of their bodies without the use of a devil fruit;
- Devil fruit users using their abilities in ways that extremely loosely represent the fruit they own;
- A character telling lies/stories which then become truth.
I think these are all applications of an ability known as IMAGINATION. Imagination is similar to Haki while also being extremely different. If Haki is the representation of maturity and “seriousness”, then imagination would be the opposite. Embracing you younger desires, dreams, and believes.
Haki is enforcing your will and what you believe onto the World.
Imagination is thinking that something is so real that it becomes real.
You might be thinking… Isn’t this absurdly broken??? On paper you might be right, but on paper Haki allows the user to see the future, break steal with their bare hands, survive in lava due to their sheer will power, scare away titans just by thinking it.
The application of IMAGINATION would be entirely onto the user.
- If someone feels so trapped that they must escape then they might start believing they can fly (Sanji).
- If someone believes so much that they are a “devil child” then the might LITERALLY become one (Robin).
- If the entire world believes that someone will eventually save them then that event will happen (Joy Boy)
I believe that SEIMEI KIKAN is possibly an extension of this power. Many characters throughout the story have shown this miraculous ability to instantly absorb energy or control parts of their body that have nothing to do with Haki or devil fruits.
Think back to all of the “repeated” devil fruits and how they use them.
We have not seen the extent of what each of the repeats can do “their own way”. The only person who uses her fruit in a unique way is Big Mom with her soul stealing powers.
There is absolutely no way that someone with the Gomu/Nika fruit would do exactly what Luffy did in terms of Gears. THAT technique is a pure Luffy technique sacrificing lifespan for power NOW.
Imagine what would happen if a different user got a specific devil fruit:
- A “nice” person getting the virus fruit might use it to create antiviruses similar to Chopper in Wano.
- A less creative person getting the rubber fruit might exclusively swing their arm like a belt or whip instead of all the bullet techniques or gears.
The powers that a devil fruit has is whatever the user IMAGINES it to have.
Robin’s devil fruit allows her to turn into a “demon”. That doesn’t have anything to do with flowers or the “limbs” thing her fruit allows her to do. I don’t believe that Kuma’s devil fruit actually gives him the ability to “create bubbles” or “send people on vacation”. I believe that it allows Kuma to more easily think of powers that have to do with paws and this is just what he came up with.
Tama’s dango fruit might not actually “tame” animals, instead (because she is a child) Tama’s IMAGINATION is so strong that her concept of a kibi dango is a food that tames animals which then gives power to her devil fruit.
Each devil fruit would instead be a “template” or a base state that allows the user to pursue a specific “science” of imagination.
*Theory by Harmonious