Who will be the Next Strawhat?

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If Bonney joins the crew and the Strawhats donโ€™t try to kill all the Celestial Dragons, that would some character assassination shit
She more than anyone on the crew should hate the CDs with every fiber of her being
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So while I don't want to get, like, too deep into this shit considering what happened with Yamato, I'm definitely getting the impression that Bonney is going to be an important character going forward, which imo probably either means she'll join the crew or that she'll be a major recurring ally in the same vein as Law.

One of my main issues with Yamato joining the crew during Wano was that her backstory felt very glossed over compared to the backstories of basically every Strawhat sans Usopp and Zoro. She didn't show up until over halfway into the arc, and even then she sort of took a backseat to all the other plotlines going on in Onigashima which, to me, would be very weird if she was going to be a mainstay for the rest of the series. And sure enough, my hunch turned out to be correct when Yamato ended up staying behind.

With Bonney though, her and Kuma's backstory has been very in-depth and has gone on for multiple chapters, and it still isn't over yet. I would already put Kuma's backstory on the same tier as most Strawhats. Bonney was introduced in the very first chapter of Egghead, and her issues and relationship with Kuma have pretty much been front-and-center throughout the whole arc. It's definitely the kind of treatment that I would expect a Strawhat to be getting. I think if there's going to be another crewmate (which there might not to be fair), Bonney would probably make the most sense. And while obviously everything I just said could also apply to Law, in his case he's basically been an honorary crewmate from Dressrosa onwards.

So again, not trying to say that Bonney is 100% joining or anything, but I definitely get the impression that at the very least she's going to be an important character going forward.
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Also one thing I think is worth bringing up is that Bonney feels very different from every other Strawhat in a way that Yamato or Carrot (i.e. the two characters who get brought up the most in these discussions) really didn't imo.

Yamato's character felt extremely similar to Luffy's, except genderswapped and having a very different backstory. Even then, her backstory felt extremely similar to Sanji's and Nami's where she spent her life trapped in Onigashima. And while that's not bad per se, I feel like Oda has been making an intentional effort to make every Strawhat distinct from each other, both in personality and in their design (and also Yamato looks like almost exactly like Nami except taller and with horns). I feel like there wasn't anything especially unique about Yamato in retrospect with the exception of how she basically larped as Oden for literally 20 years.

While Carrot decidedly had it a bit better, even then I feel like her character wasn't anything especially unique compared to the rest of the crew. Her personality is that she's an optimistic, bright-eyed teenager who wants to go on adventures and see the world, which is extremely similar to, like, the majority of the crew prior to Robin joining. Obviously her character isn't 100% like any Strawhat's, but I'd say it's still similar enough. She didn't really have much of a backstory besides living on Zou, which isn't really a bad thing but it doesn't really make her stand out all that much. There's also the whole issue of her being an anthro animal person like Chopper. Obviously her being a Mink and Chopper being an actual reindeer aren't the same thing, but Chopper being there definitely doesn't make Carrot stand out all that much.

Now I'm not trying to shit on either of them or say that they're bad characters, but the reason I bring up this whole point is because I think out of every "nakama candidate" that gets brought up, Bonney sticks out the most compared to the rest of the crew imo.

Like, Bonney is an actual child who's pretty much a rude brat 24/7. And while she's shockingly experienced for a literal 12 year old, she still is a kid at the end of the day and so shows a lot of emotional immaturity at times (case in point, her fainting after seeing bugs). In terms of her backstory, she's a half-Celestial Dragon who was born when her mother was kidnapped and raped before dying of a terminal illness that was passed on to Bonney. She was then raised by her loving adopted father, and at the age of ten went out to sea alongside some other people from her village while pretending to be an adult. Meanwhile her father, who unbeknownst was pretty much in constant suffering, became a cyborg (presumably to save her) and gave up his very humanity to the very people who destroyed both his life and the life of the woman he loved.

The most similar I think any character comes to that situation is what Robin (Needing to go on the run as a child) and Law (Terminal illness from childhood) went through, but even then their situations are wildly different. And in terms of personality, I feel like Bonney's personality is really distinct in a way that imo would be very much in line with how the rest of the crew is handled.

Again, it's entirely possible that Bonney won't join. But I think it would make a lot of sense if she did.

(I didn't intend to write that much but whatever)
Well said. Completely agree on Yamato and Carrot. I dont like the fact Bonney is a kid but it is what it is.