Attention: contains spoilers of One Piece #1054.
The largest retcon in the history of One Piece has become even more interesting thanks to the discovery that Red-haired Shanks, the man who guided Luffy on the path to becoming a pirate, knew all this time about the secret of the Devil’s fruit Gomu Gomu no Mi. Fans have already suggested that when Shanks stole the Devil Fruit from the World Government, he knew that he was actually much more powerful and dangerous, and the series only confirmed this by forever changing the relationship between Luffy and Shanks.
In the very first chapter of One Piece, a child named Luffy accidentally eats a Devil Fruit recently stolen by Shanks and his pirate crew, and gains the power of a rubber body thanks to Goma Goma no Mi, a Devil fruit of the Paramecium type. Paramecia are considered to be the least powerful compared to Element-based Logic, or with the rarest of them, the Mythical Zoan. Twenty-five years later, the manga shockingly reveals that Luffy actually ate Hito Hito no Mi, Model: Nika, a mythical Zoan associated with a mysterious figure named “Sun God Nika”, who was worshipped by slaves in ancient times. The World Government, fearing this Diabolical fruit, tried to hide its existence by changing the name, but could not get it. The last time they tried, Shanks stole it, but it was implied that he didn’t know about its true origin, even if fans doubted it would just be a coincidence.
Chapter #1054 of the best-selling manga by Eichiro Oda confirms that Shanks knew much more than what has been revealed so far. A brief flashback shows how the pirates of the Red-Haired one attack a World Government ship carrying the Devil’s Fruit, despite knowing that it is under the protection of the powerful special agents of the CP9 agency. The sequence even shows a CP9 member puzzling over Shanks’ attack, as this diabolical fruit “just turns you into rubber.” The flashbacks provide another hint of Shanks’ true intentions, showing the pirate smiling shortly before losing his arm to protect Luffy from the sea monster (which happened in Chapter #1), as if he knew his sacrifice was necessary to allow the boy to fulfill his destiny.
This chapter confirms what fans already suspected that Shanks knew about the secret of Gomu Gomu no Mi. It also explains why he trusted Luffy, a guy from an unknown village in East Blue, so much that he left him his most valuable possession, a straw hat that belonged to the Pirate King, Gol D. Roger. Nika is remembered as a liberator who brought smiles everywhere he went, and this Diabolical fruit was eaten eight centuries ago by the mysterious Joy Boy, whose successor is now considered Luffy. The World Government is afraid of Niki’s legacy because it could overthrow the tyrannical order they have established. If Shanks knows all this, then this is another confirmation that he is one of the key characters in the series, which has answers to many of his riddles.
There is another, more sinister question that has yet to be answered: did Shanks really let Luffy find this Diabolical Fruit because he knew about the fate of the boy as one of the heirs of the “Will of D.”, sworn enemies. of the Heavenly Dragons. Given that Shanks has just announced his intention to go after the One Piece treasure, it is very likely that these questions will be answered when he and Luffy meet again, but this time as rivals.