Luffy, Nika and Joy Boy – The Warriors of Liberation
I’m honestly annoyed with the constant “destiny”/”cliche” complaints coming out of the community over the last few chapters.
Everyone is talking about how Luffy is “suddenly” becoming the “chosen one” cliche because of the Joy Boy/Nika reveal.
When in reality Luffy is just the latest incarnation of a never-ending class struggle in the universe. He isn’t the chosen one, he’s just a “chosen one” – a person who shares the same values as the ones that came before him in a history that won’t end until everyone is free.
Nika freed the Fishmen from slavery, I’m sure that it’s about to be revealed that Joy Boy was the next “incarnation” of Nika, and tried to lift the next group out of their inherited caste. Maybe anyone who has the “Will of D” has the ability to be the next “Joy Boy” – all it takes is the “will” to change the world. Perhaps when someone with that “will” attains the fruit, that person “becomes” Joy Boy.
Luffy is the son of the Revolutionary Leader Monkey D. Dragon for 2 reasons: 1) him being the son of Gol D. Roger would have actually been fulfilling the “chosen one” cliché and 2) Dragon being his father as the Leader of the Revolutionary Army is a metaphor for the overarching story: Luffy is going to become synonymous with the coming revolution.
The central story of One Piece is – and always has been – the same story being told for all of human history: the haves and the have nots. The struggle to find/create meaning in a world where you’re faced everyday with the tiny minority of people who were born into power and hold all of it vs. the vast majority of people who have none of it.
Oda has been very clear from the start about these themes: the diversity of Luffy’s crew (who is literally referred to as a family), the constant journey of oppression to liberation of those they encounter, and Luffy’s constant emphasis that his “goal” of becoming the Pirate King (and therefore the central idea/journey of the whole story) literally means freedom being the most important ideal.
The story of One Piece has been so heavy handedly about class consciousness and solidarity applying to every single being who is currently (or has ever felt) marginalized in any way, and the systems of power that abuse and oppress those people.
Oda has created a masterwork retelling of the human condition in one of the most beautifully written, original, creative, and not at all cliché mediums I’ve ever seen it in. Seeing the negative reactions from everyone the last few months really makes me wonder how many people actually understand what the theme of One Piece is (and always has been since the very beginning).