Many fans of the One Piece manga have long known that Oda drops clues and foreshadows future events in his cover panels and color spreads.
(Consider these excellent examples, courtesy of @Saikō no Kenshi )
A message on the color spread from chapter 848 states that MORE information is being given on ADDITIONAL future plans for the coming year (2017). That statement almost certainly means “more than you see hinted here”. Following is an attempt to interpret the subtle clues that seem to cover one of Oda’s most beautiful scenes.
(Note: I will include this image as a "Spoiler" with each section below to use as comparison.)
What is Worth Noticing?
In a scene that conveys so much with few details and even fewer colors, there are several features that show themselves as markedly distinct. Four of the Strawhats’ scarves have been highlighted with seemingly out of place colors: Sanji, Franky, Chopper and Brook’s. Everyone’s gaze is cast to the right or left except for Franky and Nami’s. Also, Luffy, Zoro, Usopp and Nami each have an item. Also, there is one MAJOR clue that I will save for the end of this thread. So, is any of this actually significant or is it just random speculation? I will attempt to use Oda’s patterns to make my predictions.
Sanji’s Scarf but Jinbe’s Pattern:
@Celestial D. Dragon
To get it out of the way, I would like to start this SPECULATION with an almost absolute certainty (due to having already been claimed by both he and Luffy). Jinbe will join. His original kimono pattern can be seen around Sanji’s neck. Like several of the other scarves, it is like a flag waving a message. It is appropriate for Sanji to showcase this clue because the arc of “The Year of Sanji” will bring this event if indeed it is to happen.
Zoro Enjoys His Alcohol:
@L o g i a
Another theory that has already been well documented is the one claiming that Zoro will obtain a new sword. Many theories abound, but one of my personal favorites recalls Zoro’s wish to obtain a flaming sword and imagines that it could be created using the potentially flammable mineral called “liquore” or “wine steel” that was collected by the revolutionaries. Zoro’s moment with his flask could very well add some validity to this exceptional theory.
(*Liquore, a blending of liquor and ore, is often translated as Wine Steel)
@Jostin D Waldon
In SBS volume 74, Oda was questioned about the Strawhats’ sleep schedules. After listing them, he adds the following.
“And thus, even during instances where they have to navigate through the seas during nighttime, there will always need to be at least two people awake at all times in order to keep an eye out in both the front and back directions of the ship, hence every member alternates every 2 hours to stay on the lookout. It isn't too uncommon that these people don't get sufficient sleep.”
After a number of instances where their boat has been secretly boarded (as with Jora or Carrot for example) or they have been surprised by an event en route, the need for a lookout is beginning to become obvious. The binoculars in Luffy’s hand could very easily indicate the upcoming recruitment of a lookout.
Many theorists have given excellent reasons to add any of a number of potential Strawhats for the position of lookout. Some of the most well supported suggestions include Monet, Carrot, Pudding, or Pedro. Although my current favorite is Pudding (if she is indeed the 3-eyed girl), I actually believe that this color spread is suggesting Pedro of the Treetops. In this image, Brook’s scarf is matching the color of Pedro’s current attire. As they are currently partners in crime, it would make sense to insinuate Pedro using Brook.
(On a side note, Pedro is a character that already loves high places and could easily perch in Zoro’s favorite hangout without creating the awkward presence that a lady would produce with him up there.)
The Elephant in the Room… (or actually) The Bear in the Woods:
There are so many theorists who have successfully gathered great evidence that Kuma’s devil fruit will pass to Franky. Until I saw this color page, I was actually leaning toward a personal theory that the navigator Nami would get the ability, granting her paws to match her “Cat Burglar” epithet and an ability to more effectively send the crew from place to place. However, if I am to take these clues seriously, the Strawhat who is looking toward the bear (spelled kuma in Japanese) is the one who will more likely inherit Kuma’s paw paw fruit (the nikyu nikyu no mi).
Usopp’s Star Spangled Scarf:
The “Versus the Four Emperors” arc has been heralded. So, it’s interesting that so many theorists have been explaining away the possibility that there could be an encounter with Shanks or his crew during any part of the story that is “not the very end”. I found it very interesting that Usopp’s scarf in this scene sports the same pattern as Yasopp’s cape. According to the cover images showing the Redhair Pirates’ wedding scenes, Yasopp is now aware that his son is sailing with the Strawhats and is clearly entertained by his bounty poster.
Usopp is the only one armed and is even reaching for ammo in this picture. If he has a serious meeting with his father, it might not go as expected. On the other hand, there may be another way to interpret how Usopp is depicted… (See the final section of this thread to consider what I'm suggesting.)
Lastly… Two Fallen Trees
I am going to make a final claim for what Oda is insinuating will happen during 2017 according to features included in this winter scene. The two great trees that have fallen are significant. In a saga titled “Versus the Four Emperors”, there will definitely be direct battles with the Yonkou. I am predicting that the tree fallen in the background will represent one of the Emperors that falls aside from the main storyline that follows the Strawhats' adventures. The other fallen tree represents another of the Four that will instead actually be defeated at Luffy’s hands. This Yonkou is represented by the tree on which Luffy is standing.
Other Mysteries Remain:
Why is Chopper riding the bear? Why does he also have a special scarf? What does Nami’s scroll/map indicate? Does the snow hold any significance? It’s possible that they all contain clues that may seem obvious to someone else. It’s also possible that some of the features I felt were important were merely part of the picture. Regardless, I was not able to ignore Oda’s promise of information for the upcoming year. Even if your opinion leads you to interpret the symbolism a different way, I hope you enjoyed my version of what is promising to be a truly awesome year for One Piece!
SPECULATION over to you! Please build on what I have started in the “Discussion”.
- Related Theories & Content:
- I'm sure there are more that I missed! Please let me know if you had "Related Theory & Content" that I missed. In the meantime, please read these quality theories (in order mentioned) and "Follow" their authors.