As a Tokyo-based writer, I will introduce you to various aspects of pop culture such as manga, anime, movies and music. I want to spread the joy of Japanese pop culture around the world.
Hi! I am Mokugyo and this is another Anime Study!
I love watching various videos on YouTube. Lately, I was very surprised at PPAP’s popularity. PPAP is the abbreviation of the song Pen Pinapple Apple Pen. Justin Bieber first mentioned this weird song about sticking a pen in an apple and a pineapple and since then it has spread all over the world. It has even won the first place in YouTube’s weekly views ranking. Piko-tarou, the singer, is a Japanese comedian who wasn’t very famous in Japan, at least before the song became an internet sensation.
Why am I bringing this song up? Because many songs, shows, and stories use abbreviations to imply something very different from what the abbreviation refers to. This article is about the middle initial ‘D’ that appears in the name of many One Piece characters. The mystery behind the Will of D has not be uncovered yet, and here we will try to explore some of the possibilities!
— ONE PIECE.com(ワンピース) (@OPcom_info) October 24, 2016
One Piece has been mentioning the ‘Will of D’ from its early episodes. Its natural to think that it has something to do with that initial that appears in the name of many characters, but nothing has been unveiled yet. Let’s review these characters.
It’s safe to assume that the Will of D has something to do with the Pirate King. Every family member of the protagonist, Monkey D. Luffy, has the initial: his older brother, Portgaz D. Ace; his mother, Portgaz D. Rouge; his father, Gol D. Roger. The same applies to his biological father, Monkey D. Dragon, and his grandfather, Monkey D. Garp. It doesn’t matter if the person is a pirate, a marine, or a member of the Revolutionary Army.
D-bearers do not have to be Luffy’s relatives nor they need to have a blood-relation. There is Marshall D. Teach, also known as ‘Blackbeard’, the 4th division commander. Jaguar D. Saul is a giant and he also has D in his name, so D-bearers do not have to be human either. Jaguar D. Saul, a vice admiral of the Marines who appeared in a Nico Robin’s flashback is a vice admiral of the Marines, also has the initial.
The surgeon of Death, who allied with Luffy also has the D in his name: Trafalgar D. Water Law. Law claimed in a flashback that the D was hidden and Water was his real given name. He purposely hides that he bears the letter in his name. The Pirate King, Gol D. Roger is also publicly known as Gold Roger and does not always mention the letter.
So far, that’s all the characters that we can confirm as D-bearers. But just like Law and the Pirate King, there might be others hiding it as well.
There are many different theories on the meaning of the letter. It could be the first letter of a common word like ‘dreams’ or ‘destiny’. That way it could possibly connect people through a common goal or a common belief. Another popular theory is attributing the letter to the first stories written by Oda. The Romance Dawn duo of stories were set in a similar world with One Piece. While a first-year junior high school student, Oda began sketching out ideas for a pirate-themed manga in a notebook that became first Romance Dawn and then One Piece. According to that theory, the D refers to the word ‘Dawn’.
— ONE PIECE.com(ワンピース) (@OPcom_info) September 21, 2016
There is a unique theory that sets D as a shape and not as a letter. According to that theory, ‘D’ represents ‘half of the world’ as in the shape of the earth cut into half. The theory claims that in the world of One Piece there were two clans who ruled over half of the world each. One day they fought and the Clan of D lost to the clan that ultimately created the World Government. They erased the Clan of D from the history books, and the ear of the world became known as the Void Century. Some survivors manages to record the events on Poneglyphs and left the later generations with the task of overthrowing the World Government and rebuild the country of D. This is the ‘Will of D’. The World Government desperately wants to obliterate these survivors and that’s why they oppress the inhabitants of Ohara who try to rediscover the missing history of the Void Century. This theory actually makes sense.
There is a similar theory that compares the letter to the shape of a half-moon. There is a hypothesis that goes well with this theory: according to it, the ancestors of the Celestial Dragons came from the moon. The Celestial Dragons are wearing robes that resemble spacesuits. In the manga of One Piece, there is a story about Enel after Luffy defeated him: Enel went to the moon and learned that in ancient times the rock was home to a civilization. This theory suggests that the same people who built the ancient moon city came to earth. They were the ancestors of the Celestial Dragons. The moon people were more advanced than the Earthlings and tried to rule the planet. A small group though opposed that plan and they suggested to live peacefully with the people of the Earth. These moon rebels were the Clan of D. After fighting each other, the Clan of D lost and the winners created the World Government. So, essentially, according to this theory, the earth is controlled by aliens from the moon.
What do we know for certain? The Clan of D is not related by blood or lineage. They are widely spread and they even have a giant in their ranks, Saul. It’s possible that the clan had different species in their ranks. In the arc about Zou island, the Mink Tribe revealed their alliance with the Kouzuki family of Wano country. Luffy also persuaded Jimbey the fishman to become friends, a very different approach from the rest of the Celestial Dragons who believe to be the chosen ones. We can only take hints from stories like these.
There is another theory that speaks of a treasure left behind by the Clan of D. According to that theory, the world in the past was connected and united, but a war broke out and people were scattered all over the world. The ocean was divided into four parts and formed the Grand Line. The World Government was created and the Clan of D was erased from the history pages. The clan survivors wanted more than anything for the world to be united once more and left behind a treasure in Raftel that had the ‘secret power to connect the world into one’. This treasure is the ‘One Piece, the treasure that can connect everything together. This is a very interesting theory that goes well with the events so far.
We currently do not know what the letter ‘D’ represents and what the ‘Will of D’ exactly is. We only hope that it will be revealed in time as Oda creates more chapters of his epic story.
What do you think? Do you a favorite theory, or maybe a theory of your own? Let us know in the comments below!