The following contains spoilers for One Piece Chapter 1047, “The Sky Above the Capital,” by Eiichiro Oda, Stephen Paul and Vanessa Satone, available in English from Viz Media.
Wealth, fame, power. Gol D. Roger, the Pirate King, achieved this and everything else A piece world had to offer. Naturally, after hearing those words at the start of so many episodes, fans expected Devil Fruits to be among the treasures of the world.
For a very long time, fans have wondered what Roger’s devil fruit powers could have been or if he even had had a. Being the Pirate King seems to require having at least some type of devil fruit. Manga Chapter 1047, “The Sky Above the Capital,” finally clarified this decades-old question on the fan base. The implications of this revelation not only affect how readers perceive the Pirate King, but also the entire power structure of A piece.
The subject came up during Luffy’s final battle with Kaidō. The Emperor was amused by the ridiculous new feats provided to the Straw Hat Captain through his Devil Fruit Awakening. Despite this, however, he was unconvinced that the boy had the power to conquer.
In order to support his claim, Kaidō cited Gold Roger. It turns out Gold Roger, the Pirate King, doesn’t have its own Devil Fruit power. When it comes to power, he came to the top with his brute strength and mastery of Haki.
Obviously, the first thing Kaidō’s statement does is debunk any theories fans had about what Roger’s Devil Fruit was if he actually had one. Many of these theories revolved around the fact that he was the former heir of an established Devil Fruit. There were all sorts of fruits suggested for it, including Flame-Flame Fruit, Pump-Pump Fruit, and Op-Op Fruit. Since Roger is dead at the start of the series, the Fruit could be pretty much anything shown on screen.
Some even speculated that he had Luffy’s own Gum-Gum Fruit. It would have explained a number of things, including why Shanks and the World Government wanted him so badly. This theory was both the most widespread and the most contested.
Besides the pre-established Devil Fruits, many fans have speculated that Roger may have had unconfirmed fruits based on clues scattered throughout the story. One theory suggested he had some kind of Devil Fruit controlling the weather; it was further speculated that this fruit was passed down to Monkey D. Dragon, who also seems to have some sort of wind-based powers. Another theory suggested that he had control of the waves; it could be interpreted as ocean waves, but it could also mean brain waves, radio waves, etc. Both of these theories were used to explain the freak storm that aided him in his fight against Shiki the Golden Lion. There are all sorts of theories like this to explain all the weird things that supposedly happened on Roger’s journey.
In all honesty, there were plenty of reasons to believe that Roger actually did have a Devil Fruit. This would certainly explain why none of his fights have ever been fully shown on screen; it would have betrayed his ability too soon. It would make sense not to reveal all the cards in Roger’s hand until the time is right.
Of course, there were also a lot of people who thought Roger didn’t have Devil Fruit. Either they felt there was no solid proof, or they thought he would be much cooler without proof. These people can congratulate themselves on being right about this.
By confirming that one of the most powerful characters in A piece never had any fruit, a lot changes about how strength is defined on the show. The biggest change comes in how Haki is perceived. For a time, devil fruits were considered the main food system of A piece while Haki was a convenient secondary power system. By confirming that Roger never had a Fruit, that dynamic was completely reversed.
This alteration in the power dynamics of A piece also changes the way certain characters are seen. For example, fans had long argued over whether the Straw Hat Pirates could use an upgrade since half the crew don’t have Devil Fruit to speak of. Now that the devil’s fruits are no longer the alpha and omega of A piecethese crew members can become strong in their own way and should not be the subject of such debates.
Likewise, many other characters who apparently don’t have Devil Fruit can be seen for how strong they definitely are. Characters like Rayleigh, Garp, and Mihawk are certainly praised for their strength, but there was always that question of what they would look like with a Devil Fruit. Now that the preconception that anyone would be better off with a devil fruit has been shattered, these people can be fully appreciated for their ability to be awesome.
Confirming that Roger never had a Devil Fruit also challenges all other theories about what other characters’ Devil Fruits might be. There are many characters everywhere A piece who are believed to have a secret, unconfirmed Devil Fruit, just like Roger. These characters include Red-Haired Shanks, Dragon, Rocks D. Xebec, and Ryokugyu. Now that it’s been confirmed that Devil Fruits aren’t necessary to achieve greatness, it’s entirely possible that all or none of these people have true Devil Fruit powers. Of course, this also means that all those people shrouded in mystery have become even After obscured.
The same goes for some pirate crews. The Roger Pirates and the Red Hair Pirates, in particular, are notorious for not having any confirmed Devil Fruit users in their ranks. The only exception to this rule is Buggy. As is the case with their captains, it’s possible that all or none of them have Devil Fruit. Combining the fact that they were designed in the early days of A piecebefore devil fruits were the norm, with what is known now, the latter option is entirely possible.
Roger’s Devil Fruit status may have been relatively casually dropped, but it’s still enough to tip the A piece fandom at its core. Many had their thoughts and theories of what Roger would be like with or without fruit. However, having him confirm that he doesn’t have Devil Fruit sets the stage for all sorts of new thoughts and theories regarding the rest of the series. It also changes the mindset on how Devil Fruit is seen as a power system among fans. This single drop of passive knowledge has made the world and the future of A piece both clearer and more uncertain than ever.
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