A crucial aspect about Luffy’s Devil Fruit that we are underestimating
The Gomu Gomu no Mi is a Paramecia-type Devil Fruit that grants the user’s body the properties of rubber, effectively making them a Rubber Human. Originally, the fruit was called Hito Hito no Mi, Model: Nika and classified as a Mythical Zoan-type fruit that allows one to transform into the legendary “Sun God” Nika (and gain his rubbery attributes), before being renamed and reclassified by the World Government to hide the truth.
How easy do you think it’s to awaken the Gomu Gomu no Mi/Hito Hito no Mi, Model: Nika? According to “Road to Laughtale Vol. 3” when one’s body and MIND are finally able to harness the true potential of their devil fruit, an Awakening occurs.
So what is the full potential of Luffy’s Devil Fruit? “The Warrior of Liberation, they fight with the most freedom in the world”
It would take someone extremely resilient like rubber, someone who brought smiles and joy to people. Someone who is the embodiment of freedom.
A perfect warrior of liberation the likes of Joy Boy! But there hasn’t been anyone like that for 800 years who had awakened the Nika devil fruit. Until now.
This is totally something Oda would do and it defeats the theory that the Nika devil fruit made Luffy special along his journey.
Instead it was Luffy’s resilience and Freedom on his voyage that evolved his character, personality, mind, body, and spirit that caused the first Awakening in 800 years.
That’s why Shanks said Luffy was a bet!