Theory The Romance of Fantasy - The Grand Monet Theory


"Whether it's the City of Gold or Sky Island, there's never been a person who's proven they don't exist!"
-Montblanc Cricket​

Foreword: This theory ended up being a lot longer than I originally intended it to be, a little over 50,000 words in fact. To put that into perspective, that's generally considered to be novel length. There are enough topics covered here that I could have made at least ten different theories, and while I may have gone into a bit more detail on them here than maybe was necessary, I do feel that including those theories here contributes to the overall strength of this theory, as not only does it not require one to jump back and forth between outside readings to understand the content of this one, they also serve one of the greater themes behind this theory: the connection of loose threads. Given that no character or event in One Piece exists in isolation, I feel that discussing only one is near impossible without connecting it to other characters or events. That said, because of how much information I ended up cramming into this one theory, it ended up taking me nearly a month to write, and may be somewhat difficult to read through. I have divided this theory into its relevant chunks and provided summaries where appropriate. Please do not feel obligated to read everything at once, and feel free to read the summaries if you just want to see the conclusions with a small bit of the evidence. Do note though that the majority of the evidence, as well as alternatives and counterarguments that I suggest or eliminate, will only be in the main body and not the summaries. Take your time, be respectful, and above all, please enjoy yourself.

  1. Chapter 1: 13 Reasons Why (The Evidence)
    1. 1.01: Monet’s Heart is Shown Intact
    2. 1.02: Monet’s Backstory and Relationships
    3. 1.03: Monet’s Interest in Astronomy
    4. 1.04: Monet’s Tattoo
    5. 1.05: Monet’s Wings (and Other Bird Parts)
    6. 1.06: The Shinokuni Search Team
    7. 1.07: Monet’s Personality
    8. 1.08: Luffy’s Love of Snow
    9. 1.09: The Sea Rabbits
    10. 1.10: The Note Thrown to Chopper
    11. 1.11: Big Mom’s Collection
    12. 1.12: The Snowman Color Spread
    13. 1.13: Miscellaneous Patterns
    14. 1.14: Chapter 1 Summary
  2. Chapter 2: The Vegapunk Saga (Monet's Return)
    1. 2.01: Filling in the Blanks (Where She’s Been)
    2. 2.02: Monet the Straw Hat (Monet’s Role)
    3. 2.03: The Major Players (The Vegapunk Saga’s Setup)
    4. 2.04: The Space Race (Evidence for the Moon Arc)
    5. 2.05: History Repeating (Sky Island Saga Parallels)
      1. 2.05.01: Proof of a World in the Sky
      2. 2.05.02: Unexpected Passenger
      3. 2.05.03: Skill Demonstration
      4. 2.05.04: Expert Help
      5. 2.05.05: The Saboteur
      6. 2.05.06: Guiding Bird
      7. 2.05.07: First Encounter
      8. 2.05.08: God’s Army
      9. 2.05.09: War for the Land
      10. 2.05.10: Klabautermann
      11. 2.05.11: Investigation
      12. 2.05.12: Object of Desire
      13. 2.05.13: Hint to the Void Century
      14. 2.05.14: The True Story
      15. 2.05.15: The Final Battle
      16. 2.05.16: Return and Enemy Retreat
    6. 2.06: Post-Moon Arc (Monet’s Recruitment)
    7. 2.07: Chapter 2 Summary
  3. Chapter 3: The Monet Retrieval Arc (Monet's Backstory)
    1. 3.01: What We Know
    2. 3.02: The Missing Races
      1. 3.02.01: The Winged Race
      2. 3.02.02: Trimming the Possibilities
      3. 3.02.03: The Reptilian Race
    3. 3.03: Monet and the Medusa Pirates
    4. 3.04: The Minoa Arc (Monet’s Departure)
    5. 3.05: Chapter 3 Summary
  4. Chapter 4: Conclusions
    1. 4.01: Going Forward
    2. 4.02: Executive Summary
    3. 4.03: Final Thoughts

Hello, everyone!

I was actually planning to hold off on this one for a while, but since I've started talking about Monet again, I've been getting questions about how she may return, what connection she has to the rest of the story, and what role she would play going forward if she did, so I've decided to go ahead and address all of those questions at once. I've also been getting a lot of naysayers who aren't already familiar with a lot of the background information of Monet theories, so rather than explain it from scratch every single time, I want to have a summary of all of the most important details available to me at any given time.

I will say now that a lot of this has been covered in the past by other people and myself, so if you want to look over other people's interpretations or even my older ones, here are some links you may find helpful: Syphin's There's Something About Monet, Zaz's Snow White theory, Montblanc Noland's Laputa theory, Lokiz's True History of Monet, Van Reich's Home of a Harpy, Zero Zero no Mi's 325 All Known Possibilities, and my litany of theories (Straight to the Moon, To the Moon and Back, The Final Devil Fruit of the Straw Hats, What We Know and What We Assume We Know, Monet and the Birdfolk, Fight or Flight, Over the Rainbow, Who Will Tell Your Story, Piracy on a Budget, and of course all of the Female Recruitment theories I've been posting so fervently recently). I will not be referencing all of these theories within this one, as many of them are out of date or have had many of their aspects debunked, including a handful of mine, but it's nice to be able to look back on the history of Monet theories, and even the ones that have been debunked can be used to inform or inspire new conclusions. The goal for today is to build on that history, modernize the perspective on the previous evidence, possibly come to new conclusions not already suggested, and most importantly, to compile the evidence into one easily accessible place. Whatever conclusions or predictions we make today, you are absolutely free to ignore or disagree with, just please base your conclusion off of the evidence available. If somehow I miss any evidence, please do not hesitate to let me know and I may add it in.

So now, without further ado, let's begin.

To start, I'd like to review the reasons why people believe Monet is alive, and by extension, why they believe she's going to relevant to the main plot and potentially even join the Straw Hat Crew. This list may not end up being exhaustive, so again, if I miss anything let me know, but these are the most important or common bits that I could find or remember. I'll try to list them in order of relevance from greatest to least:

After being launched by Luffy, Caesar ends up on the dock behind the lab, where he musters the strength to get the last laugh by stabbing Smoker's heart with a piece of shrapnel presumably torn from the metal of the lab's walls on his flight out. Of course, as we know, it is actually Monet's heart, as she coughs up blood and examines her chest, feeling the pain of the wound, moments before collapsing. Notice, though, that the next time we see Caesar, he is completely unconscious, with the heart and the shrapnel next to him. Curiously, though, the shrapnel is not buried into the heart as we see previously, but into the dock. Did Caesar stab once and then pull the shrapnel out to try again, only to miss the second time? Perhaps, but notice how shaky his hand is in the second panel. I believe that Caesar used the last of his energy on this action, and passed out before he could confirm what had happened.

We do know for a fact that the shrapnel hit in the first place, though, as Monet coughs up blood and passes out, and the heart itself is bleeding and does appear deformed where the shrapnel is hitting it. However, that deformation is a somewhat odd detail in and of itself. If the shrapnel were simply piercing the heart, I would think that it would just go straight in, and the deformation would be a superfluous visual detail. I believe that deformation is implying a slight angle to the point of entry, which resulted in the shrapnel slipping off of it and into its final destination of the dock. The shrapnel was sharp, of course, so it did cut the heart, and there was certainly enough force for the heart to feel impact, but as we've seen with other hearts (Law's in particular), an impact is enough to cause one to cough up blood and pass out, but not necessarily kill them.

No blood on his mouth before being hit, instant knockout and bleeding when he is. Law does recover pretty quickly here, though, likely in part due to being prepared for the impact while Monet was taken completely off guard, but getting slashed across the heart probably didn't help her either. The point being that nothing we were shown with Monet was inconsistent with any other instance of damage incurred via Law's ability.

I have received many counterarguments for this over the years, most of which I don't consider to be valid, but I'll go over them now anyway just to be thorough.

"But the anime shows the shrapnel buried in the heart, and we watch it stop beating!" The anime also has Chopper eating three Rumble Balls within an hour during the Davy Back Fight with no repercussions, I don't think Toei is really too concerned with planning ahead for developments that weren't explicitly established. As far as I know, the only involvement Oda has with the production of the anime at all is when Toei wants to make original Devil Fruit users but don't want to risk stepping on Oda's toes. This one tiny panel implying that Monet is alive is super easy to miss, to the point that Toei doesn't even include the heart in that same scene in the anime. I'm not willing to put the anime's interpretation of events over the original author's. Furthermore, it'd be super easy to explain away later anyway: Caesar lost consciousness as he stabbed at the heart, and we were seeing his interpretation of events. Sure, it being a hallucination is a bit of a cop out, but that's what Toei gets for not reading closely.

"Maybe Oda made a mistake." This one's just insulting. Oda makes mistakes, sure, like leaving out scars here and there or making Arlong's teeth smooth instead of sharp that one time, but any mistakes that actually impact the plot, he corrects by the time the collected volumes come out. Jozu losing his arm and seemingly growing it back after the Summit War? Removed again in the volume. Katakuri having a Logia Fruit? Oops, it's a Special Paramecia. Monet's heart? Never re-stabbed. Not in the collected volume, not in the official digital colored version, never. More importantly, though, how would Oda make this mistake? As far as I'm aware, Oda has always drawn traditionally, not digitally, so it's definitely not a layering error. Even if he had an assistant do that panel, which again, Oda doesn't tend to do, the assistant would also have been under the impression that Monet's heart was supposed to be pierced. It just isn't a mistake that makes any sense to be made. There's also the fact that this isn't the first time Oda's done something like this: earlier that same arc, in the cover story arc reviewing the status of the extended cast post timeskip, we see that someone has left three sake cups and an article about the Straw Hats' return on Ace's grave.

The only people who would know the significance of sharing three cups of sake with Ace are Luffy, who is obviously preoccupied at this point in the story, and Sabo, who at the time we all had been told was dead. For many people, this was the moment that convinced them that Sabo was, in fact, alive, which we found out to be the case 67 chapters later. Oda is clearly no stranger to leaving hints that a deceased character is alive, and introducing the idea of implied survival in the same arc as another example seems a bit too on the nose to be a coincidence to me. This also leads me to my next point...

"The Vivre Card Databook says that Monet is dead!" And Sabo's entry in Green said he was too. Go figure, Oda doesn't want to spoil his own series. If you must insist that the databooks are infallible and 100% truthful, I'll note that her entry doesn't actually say she's dead like any given confirmed dead character's, rather just that she was pierced through the heart, which only implies death, leaving the door open for it to be revealed later that she's alive.

"Monet still probably died from the Shinokuni gas spilling in / she bled out / she died of something else." Then why didn't Oda just commit to her being stabbed? We know her heart was wounded, but Oda reneged on that by showing us that her heart wasn't pierced as a subtle plot twist. Why would he show us that just to have it turn out that something he didn't even allude to happened to her instead when he could just have left her being stabbed? It doesn't make any narrative sense, and would be sloppy at best and mean-spirited at worst. Also, I'd like to point out that Monet's location, C Block, was explicitly shown not to have filled with Shinokuni.

Presumably it was sealed tight, protecting her from the gas, but even if it wasn't and she ended up coated in Shinokuni, that doesn't really mean anything, as we'll go over later. The point right now is that there's no good reason to assume that Monet died of some currently unexplained event when we were told she survived the stabbing that we were supposed to believe killed her.

"If Oda was going to bring Monet back, he would have done it by now!" How long was it between Jinbe's invitation and official recruitment? 328 chapters, 648-976. Heck, how long was it between the first time his name was mentioned and his first appearance? 458, 69-528, a span of over ten years of publication. How long ago was Vegapunk first mentioned, and we still haven't even seen his face yet? 547 chapters ago at the time of this writing, back in 433! Oda likes to play the long game. Oda also once said in an interview at Jump Festa 2018 that while he doesn't necessarily plan for every character to come back, he keeps characters alive for the sake of having the possibility for them to return. One may take this to mean that he isn't actually planning for Monet to come back, but given the fact that she's one of the few characters he showed being killed only to hint that she's still alive tells me that he has a specific plan for her. The latter half of this theory will be dedicated to my thoughts on what that plan may be, but for now, let's just focus on the fact that he created the opportunity for her to return, and most likely plans to use it.

"Just cus she's alive doesn't mean she's joining the crew." Yes, true, but also irrelevant, because we're talking about her being alive, which this argument acknowledges, so I'm calling that a win.

Although never alluded to or otherwise implied in series, Monet is revealed in an SBS to be fellow Donquixote Pirate Sugar's older sister, and the two of them were rescued from a "misfortunate environment" by Doflamingo thirteen years before the current storyline. That seems like an unusual amount of detail in Monet's story to just not be talked about at all. This woman is supposedly dead, and Doflamingo knows it, but we never see him break the news to her younger sister? The deep psychological reason that Senor Pink dresses like a literal baby is vital information, but who wants to see Sugar grieving (or potentially more interesting, dismissing) her deceased sister? Why even bother making them sisters if the narrative is just going to treat them like complete strangers? Also, whole lot of work must have gone into "a misfortunate environment," huh, Oda? Why come up with a sad backstory bogged down by boring details like Baby 5 being abandoned by her mother because she was too poor to feed her own daughter when you can just sum it up as misfortunate? Oda isn't that sloppy. If he didn't already have intentions to tell us the details later, he probably would have either just gone ahead and told us them right there, gone over it in the Vivre Card Databook like for other minor characters like Heracles, or acknowledged that he had no intention of doing so.

He also goes on to say that Doflamingo is the one who gave them their Devil Fruit, and that Doflamingo is observant of the environments that people grow up in. The wording of these two ideas implies that they're somehow related, as if Doflamingo specifically chose to give Monet a snow-based fruit and Sugar a youth/control-based fruit. Whether or not that's the case is hard to say, but it just seems odd to word it that way otherwise. Even if they're unrelated, Oda likely meant that Doflamingo singled them out from their environment to recruit them because he saw some kind of value in them and knew how to manipulate them to draw out that value. That manipulation may be evidenced through Monet's final words:

"[Doflamingo is going to be] the man who becomes Pirate King." Correct me if I'm wrong, but has Doflamingo ever mentioned any semblance of a desire to become Pirate King? The only character who ever implies any interest in making Doflamingo Pirate King is Monet herself, with no such ambition being mentioned by any other member of the Donquixote Pirates. If Doflamingo is in fact manipulating Monet, it's very possible that her impression that he wants to be Pirate King is a part of it. It's also possible that it's related to some greater ambition or dream that Monet has independently of Doflamingo himself, which is somehow contingent on him becoming Pirate King.

Whatever that greater ambition is, though, it hasn't been passed on to anyone else. Most if not every other major death in One Piece comes with some form of inherited will, an unfulfilled dream or desire taken on by a successor. Whether it's Kuina's dream to be the greatest swordsman inherited by Zoro, Hiriluk's dream to create the grand panacea inherited by Chopper, or Pedro's belief that the Straw Hats would bring about the Dawn of the World likely to be inherited by Carrot, death in One Piece is never the end of a person so long as someone is around to carry on what was important to them. A minor character like Mr. 11 back in Alabasta was never going to get anything like that, as he was a throwaway meant to show the cruelty of Baroque Works and to reintroduce Smoker and Tashigi back into the narrative, but Monet? With so many vague hints surrounding her past, many of which I haven't even touched on yet, I cannot imagine that Oda has no intentions of revealing Monet's ambitions to us sooner or later. What's more, if he was going to have someone else carry on that will, he probably would have established that anyone else even knows or cares that she's dead by now. The only person that's said anything about Monet dying is Doflamingo, and I'm pretty sure he just assumed that because she failed to hit the self destruct switch and then never reported back to him. Her own sister is never even shown to be aware of her demise, so either Doflamingo couldn't bring himself to tell her, or she just isn't interested in carrying on Monet's will or avenging her.

Another, possibly more subtle hint about her past comes from her fight with Zoro, as people also seem to strongly believe that the reason she froze up during his final attack is inherently tied to her backstory.

I think the logic is that it seems odd for her, a pirate who has probably been in life or death situations before, to be paralyzed in fear when facing a stronger opponent. Plus, it's not like she doesn't know how to fight strong people, she nearly beat Luffy by prioritizing strategy over force, so why isn't she acting just as pragmatic here and turning to snow and disappearing into the floor? The popular explanation is that she has some unexplored trauma and that either Zoro's words or his expression were a trigger that subconsciously brought her back to the event in question. I've always been willing to take it at face value that Zoro is just that intimidating, but it is presented a little strangely.

Possibly of less importance, there's also the fact that we most likely haven't learned her real name yet, as all of the members of the Doflamingo Pirates use codenames. I think that Rocinante and Vergo are the only ones whose names we actually learn, so maybe it doesn't really matter too much, but I feel like Oda must have a name in mind for her that he just hasn't decided to reveal to us yet, and I for one desperately want to know it. Quick aside, why haven't we been told Baby 5's real name yet? She's a part of the Grand Fleet, I feel like we deserve to know by now.
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At several points throughout Punk Hazard, we see Monet's nose buried in stacks of books and papers, constantly taking notes and reading through her coke-bottle glasses. If one takes a closer look at the books surrounding her, though, we notice an interesting trend in the ones that are legible: they seem to be related to astronomy.

Reading right to left, in the first panel, we can very clearly see "ASTRO" and "LI," the former very likely being short for astronomy, astrology, or maybe even astrophysics. "LI" doesn't mean much on its own until the second panel, where we see another book of the same color at the same position in a stack placed at the exact same spot on the table relative to Monet that says "CLIP." Unless someone wrote a whole book on clipboards, I'm quite confident that this book is labeled "ECLIPSE," an astronomical phenomenon. The latter two books are much more difficult to discern, unfortunately, but the blue-ish book in the third panel appears to say "Anti", possibly "Antig," which may mean it is a book on antigravity. The final book, I can't make heads or tails of. I see OIKA, but I'm pretty sure that's not it, unless maybe it's in another language. I suppose it could be Greek since she's a harpy, but I don't know any Greek and that's just spitballing on my part. If you know Greek or can make out those letters at all, please let me know. I remember someone a few years ago suggesting she had a book labeled "Black," presumably short for Black Hole, but this is the only other book of hers that I was able to find, and it definitely doesn't say black hole.

Regardless of what the less legible books say, Oda put "ASTRO" and "CLIP" in big bold letters in plain view on two separate occasions. Why did Monet have books on astronomical events? Literally no one in the entire series has ever showed even a passing interest in astronomy, unless you count Enel literally absconding to the moon, the Oharans owning a geocentric globe model, or Drake being stated to like astrophysics, but none of those are the same. Enel doesn't care about the alignment of the stars and planets or anything, I don't think he even knows what those are, he just wanted to claim the largest expanse of land that he could for himself. The Oharans own a globe, sure, but they seem more interested in world history, and probably use it more for studying geography. Drake's interest in astrophysics, contrary to what its name implies, isn't concerned with the movement of astronomical bodies, but uses physics to determine their makeup. They're all related conceptually to astronomy, sure, but Monet is the only character shown to be studying astronomy itself, and for that information to be so casually yet so subtly presented to us must mean it is in some way significant. Many believe that the Straw Hats will go to the moon for one reason or another and either fight Enel again or reluctantly join forces with him to fight off aliens, and that since Monet is the only known astronomer in the series, she will likely somehow be related to the process of getting to the moon.

What an odd detail to hide behind a speech bubble and then never acknowledge in any way shape or form, especially since later on in the very same page, we see Monet in a different scene (as evidenced by her different outfit) with the tattoo mysteriously missing. In fact, every time we've seen Monet with her human limbs, we either see her from the left with no tattoo or she has long sleeves. Oda clearly didn't want us to see that tattoo with any particular detail, as he could easily have let her have it in any of those panels. He also could just as easily have drawn her arm slightly off panel, hiding the tattoo but demonstrating that she still has it, but no, he shows it completely gone. Perhaps Monet covered it with makeup, or shapeshifted it off with her Logia ability? But why would she do that? Or better yet, why didn't she do that earlier? The only thing we know for sure is that she definitely doesn't have it anymore now that she has wings instead of her original arms. The fact that Oda showed us it exists only to subsequently scrub its presence from all subsequent panels (not unlike how he's currently treating Monet) tells us that that tattoo holds significance, presumably in the form of allegiance or affiliation to someone. I've seen it suggested that it's a derivation of the Beasts Pirates Jolly Roger, but I don't personally think it looks much like it or any other Jolly Roger we've ever seen. There was once a time where people thought it was somehow related to the heart tattoo that Big Mom has on her left arm, and that perhaps Monet was one of Big Mom's daughters, but we have all 39 of them accounted for at this point. I've also seen it suggested that it's related to her "misfortunate environment," and much like the Hoof of the Flying Dragon, it could be a brand that she wants to hide because she doesn't like to remember it. But then why would she not have it hidden before? My best guess is that one of the children pointed it out and it either upset her or she didn't want the children to know what it was, so she hid it from that point on. Either way, Oda clearly wants us to know about the tattoo's existence, but he doesn't want us to know anything about it just yet. It may also serve as a parallel to Nami, who also had a tattoo associated with her past on her left arm that, out of shame, she attempted to destroy and then ultimately had removed and covered up.

Speaking of character details on Monet's limbs...

Why on Earth did Monet ask Law to make her into a Harpy? She wasn't disabled like the convicts and Brownbeard Pirates, so she didn't need the surgery. Did she just think it would be cool? That doesn't really seem to fit her personality very well. Does she just love birds that much? She did carry around an ornithology textbook in her youth, so maybe, but that's a pretty weak reason. Did she think it would be really efficient? Maybe, that fits a bit better, as it lets her travel more quickly and gather information more effectively, but it's also a pretty huge commitment to make just because it's handy. No, I think it's intrinsically tied to her backstory, possibly even tied to her unknown dream that I alluded to earlier. Again, since Oda didn't take the time to elaborate on her reasoning in her Vivre Card entry, we can infer that he must not be ready to tell us about it yet.

I said earlier it didn't matter whether Monet got hit with Shinokuni, and here's why. After the Straw Hats left Punk Hazard, the survivors of G-5 and Brownbeard's men donned protective gear designed by Vegapunk (making it effective against Caesar's gas weapons) to venture back through the lab and the rest of the island to release as many people as they could from the shells encasing them.

As Smoker points out, this is the only exit from the lab, presumably meaning the only one with access to any ships at the moment and not covered in Shinokuni, so anyone that the search team found would need to be brought through that opening. If the room that Monet was in wasn't sealed off from Shinokuni and the gas was able to seep in to get her, then most likely they would have found and retrieved her so as to arrest her. I suppose they could have left her to die, but as we established earlier, even that wouldn't necessarily be a death sentence, as Oda has already jumped through hoops to keep her alive. Therefore, if G-5 found Monet, then she was most likely on board the tanker with Smoker, Tashigi, G-5, and the children heading towards Vegapunk for treatment, which would allow her to be treated for Shinokuni poisoning if necessary. What would happen to Monet would be up in the air after that, but she'd be alive and capable of returning through some narrative sequence later, but again, that's a discussion for later.

If C Block was completely sealed and G-5 wasn't able to find Monet, then that means she hasn't been arrested and is still free to roam, though she'd need to regain consciousness first. Presumably the biting cold of Punk Hazard wouldn't damage her heart, considering that she's made of snow, so as long as the wound scabbed over (and let's face it, worse wounds have been sustained without treatment in One Piece), it's not too hard to imagine her getting up on her own at some point. From there, she'd just need to find her heart through some means after wandering through the abandoned facility (presumably following where there isn't toxic gas), and then decide how to proceed. What her thought process would be is currently unknowable, but her ability to fly would probably make getting to somewhere like Dressrosa easy enough, since Doflamingo and Buffalo were able to travel between the two without seeming to need any particular navigational items. Even Caesar planned to fly to Dressrosa in gas form, so clearly the two can reach other through an established straight line. She also could have been found by Kuzan, who may have scooped her up to take to Blackbeard because of her Devil Fruit, but it's hard to say if Kuzan knew about her at all.

Regardless of which path Oda takes, the search team finding or passing over Monet, Monet has a method for being reintroduced to the plot whenever Oda deems it appropriate, whether it be through a cover story or series proper.

The fact that Monet is a villain has been a major source of contention on both sides of the argument, with the supporters claiming that she's no different conceptually from Nami and Robin, and the opponents claiming that Nami and Robin both showed good traits, such as Nami's refusal to hurt the innocent and Robin's attempts to help the Straw Hats and even saving Luffy, while Monet has been shown to be sadistic and cruel. Obviously I fall into the former camp, in no small part because Monet's good traits are given several opportunities to shine through, they're just deliberately set up to look bad in context. Remember, Robin providing a safe shortcut to Alabasta was implied to be sinister, but looking back it seems pretty likely she was trying to sabotage Crocodile.

If you pay attention to her dialogue, Monet is surprisingly caring given the company she keeps. Not only does she consistently express concern for the well-being of Caesar's subordinates when he tries to leave them for dead for his own ends, she also seems to legitimately worry about Law when his heart is damaged (although this one may be facetious since she already knows he's a traitor from spying on him and Luffy), and is also the one who suggested that Law help the poison victims by replacing their disabled legs.

That last one is of particular importance, because despite the fact that all of the victims had already been "saved" and swore undying loyalty to Caesar, she still wanted them to be healed, to be able to walk of their own power again. Maybe that was just pragmatism, but how dreary to write off a character's kindness as something so calculating. Perhaps if that were the only implication I could understand, but her relationship with the children backs up this idea.

While it's easy to argue that Monet was kind to the children as a part of the ruse, it's undeniable that she treated them well, providing as much for them as possible and leaving them wanting for nothing. While Mocha still trusting Monet even after learning the truth can be written off as her thinking that Monet was being tricked as well...

...Monet's attitude towards the possibility of the children being taken away is much harder to ignore.

She consistently refers to the children as her own, or to herself as their parent, despite the fact that the children aren't in the room and talking that way around strangers would simply be performative if not genuine. Though the first instance at first seems sarcastic, it is the second, in which she flies into a rage at the idea of having the children stolen from her, that truly informs every other action she has taken.

But now let us address the elephant in the room; why did Monet go along with poisoning the children? A longstanding argument has been that she wasn't actually aware of what exactly was in the candy that she was giving to the children or how dangerous it was, evidenced by the discussion that Momonosuke happens to catch while eavesdropping on Caesar.

Why would Caesar feel the need to explain that the children will die within the next few years from to exposure to the drugs to Monet if she already knows? The common explanation is that Oda has characters explain things that other characters already know all the time as a narrative device for the audience to get caught up, and honestly that's probably what was happening here. Regardless of the meaning of this scene in particular, I don't personally think it's necessary for understanding Monet's motivations within this arc.

Looking at the situation completely at face value, the simple answer to her complicity would be because it's all part of her job and she doesn't care. But let's read between the lines a little bit. Monet was sent to Punk Hazard to both spy on Caesar and ensure his research continues without a hitch. We know as much because Monet tells us so on a couple occasions.

If she fails in this duty, Doflamingo will kill her. Just from that, some people have concluded that she's just trying to survive no matter what, a bit of a more extreme case of exactly what Robin did: survive even at the expense of others' lives, but in this case, some of those lives are children. I think that is absolutely a part of it, but it's not the whole story. Consider for a moment the circumstances of the Punk Hazard arc. Law and Luffy are trying to take Caesar so as to interrupt Doflamingo's dealings with Kaido. More specifically, they're attempting to shut down Caesar's SAD production, which will halt the cultivation of SMILEs. The children, the test subjects of the gigantification project, are completely unrelated to the SMILEs, and instead are a part of the research conducted through Big Mom's funds. In short, Monet, an agent of Doflamingo, has no reason to protect the experiments that serve no purpose to Doflamingo. And yet, is she not justified? The letter of the law here is that she's to protect "Caesar and his experiments," and Vergo's already heading off to protect the SAD, so shouldn't someone think of the children? One could argue that protecting the children does protect Caesar, as losing the research related to them would incur Big Mom's wrath, but based on how Monet talks, I don't think that's her reasoning. Given the circumstances, I think she's walking a delicate tightrope between the dichotomy of her own ideals.

Monet has been instructed by Doflamingo, her savior and master, to protect Caesar and his research. Caesar's research involves harming children. If she stands against this, she stands against her savior and risks death. This is a non-option for her, but she can't just let children suffer, not the way she has. The children are going to die. This is, from her perspective, an inescapable truth, but must they feel pain as well? If they have a few years left to live, why can't they be happy? We've already seen hints that Monet is caring enough to ease the suffering of the convicts affected by Caesar's poison, wouldn't it also make sense that she'd want to do the same for helpless and deceived children?

Monet was not lying when she said she gave them everything they wanted. As I mentioned earlier, even after learning the truth about Caesar and the candy, Mocha believed in Monet, because Monet had never given her any reason to think that she would go along with such a heinous plot. The naivete of a child? Perhaps. But I think that the text speaks for itself when it presents Monet as jealously guarding "her" children that she's poured real time and effort into caring for. Even if Monet was cold and calculating in her perfect facade at first, her completely unnecessary and rage-fueled defense of an experiment unrelated to her master's wishes speaks volumes to her current feelings on the children. Whether she came to love them as her own over time or fell into the role instantly, I don't think it's too much of a stretch to say that Monet did her best to give them as good of lives as possible in the short amount of time they had remaining. Whether Monet was morally in the wrong for going along with Caesar's actions is not up for debate: she was. But was Robin in the right for working as an assassin and killing countless people, helping to facilitate a civil war within an otherwise peaceful nation just for the chance to learn forgotten history? Is Monet easing the suffering of children that she sees as doomed any less moral than Robin consigning countless children to be orphaned, or worse, to enlist in a war that shouldn't be happening in the first place, all in the pursuit of knowledge? I am not disparaging Robin or her character, I am only saying that whatever chance or benefit of the doubt we as readers gave to Robin when she first asked to join the crew, it isn't unreasonable to offer that same courtesy to Monet when we don't necessarily have all of the facts of her circumstances.

There's also subtle implications that Monet is somewhat merciful, or at least hesitant to kill if she can avoid it. Not only did she miss anything vital when attacking Robin, despite having the perfect opportunity to kill her, but in her fight against Luffy, she deliberately used an attack that doesn't cause pain and puts the opponent to sleep. Granted, in context, she knew she couldn't beat him in a contest of strength, so perhaps it was more strategic than anything, but for her to even know she has a technique like that implies that she isn't always going for lethal force in battle. Furthermore, she also may be the reason that Viola wasn't killed during the coup on Dressrosa, as she captured her and knew she had an ability that may be useful to Doflamingo.

Again, it seems like it's strategic, but just like with the children, she may have grown somewhat attached and come up with a way to protect her friend. The narrative has set up her character in such a way that all of her actions could be taken either way depending on how you look at it.

Even if I'm way off base, and Monet is truly cold and purely sadistic, I don't honestly see why that has to be a disqualifying factor. It would be an interesting change of pace from Nami and Robin's personality types, and more importantly, there's a huge swath of fans that strongly believe Caesar is going to join the crew, and between the two, he's the one that we know for a fact reveled in playing with those children's lives. I'm not saying they're wrong, I just feel that if someone is pro-Caesar and anti-Monet, they had better have a stronger reason against her than her personality, because clearly that isn't a real issue for them.

As soon as Monet's Devil Fruit was revealed, this one seemed to be the clincher for a lot of Monet for Next Straw Hat fans (ironically, not including me, I wasn't nearly as invested back in 2012 and I didn't understand the hype yet, naive child that I was). There was already a bit of buzz about the possibility of Monet joining because she was the first female subordinate to an arc villain in the New World and a certain unexplained event that I'll touch on shortly, but for that lady to be made of snow of all things? That set off more alarm bells than Brook revealing he was a musician.

For anyone unaware, Luffy loves snow. It's one of his favorite things after adventuring and meat. Luffy wants to see snow at pretty much all times, and will always get excited at the prospect of an island having snow.

On multiple occasions, Luffy has expressed a desire for the next island to have snow, and when he gets what he wants, he couldn't be happier. Sure, Nami theoretically could just make snow wherever, but there's never really been much of an issue with some overlap in abilities here and there (ie. Sanji and Luffy both being able to ignite their bodies, Zoro and Brook being swordsmen, Usopp and Franky having long-ranged weaponry, etc.), and I imagine that a Logia Devil Fruit focused specifically on snow would not only have a greater output than the Clima-Tact but would also be much easier to clean up since Monet would have complete control of it and could reabsorb the snow or otherwise cause it to disappear. It really isn't hard to imagine that Luffy would invite Monet to the crew over something so simple, regardless of any skills she may have, as he invited Chopper because he was cool rather than because he was a doctor.

The obvious counterargument would be that Luffy fought Monet and didn't seem to have any particular impression of her having snow powers. People have brushed this aside due to Luffy either being too preoccupied with the battle to make a note of something like that or just not realizing exactly what her ability was in the first place. Regardless of the reason he didn't bring it up at the time, if presented with the opportunity to recruit a person made of snow in a calmer scenario, I'm confident Luffy would take it. It also doesn't hurt that from a narrative perspective, Logia is the only Devil Fruit type not yet represented among the crew, so its element might as well be one that would make Luffy happy. Some people have suggested that the Snow-Snow Fruit will be used within the Straw Hat Crew, just not by Monet, with her death allowing the Snow-Snow Fruit to become available for another recruit or possibly Nami later, but as we've established, she is almost certainly not dead, so I'm not going to entertain the thought any further.

I personally think this is one of the weaker pieces of evidence because its connection is by far the most speculative, but it's one that people tend to bring up a lot, and it is far too suspicious for me to comfortably brush off. After shipping off from Punk Hazard towards Dressrosa, there's a seemingly arbitrary shot of the Thousand Sunny sliding down a sloping wave, and beneath that wave is a horde of what appear to be giant sea rabbits. This is never acknowledged by the crew, it's just wordlessly presented to the audience (except apparently in the anime, but we all know by now how I feel about using the anime as a primary source). This scene wouldn't really stand out much if not for two factors: for one, the rabbits look strikingly similar to Monet's Snow Rabbit attack, a technique that seems somewhat out of place in her moveset as a whole, and which was introduced only a few chapters earlier.

Perhaps it's just a coincidence, or perhaps Oda found he really liked drawing rabbits like that. This would be very easy to write off if not for our second point of suspicion: Oda's oddly evasive response when it was brought up in an SBS.

D: Regarding Chapter 700... Oops...! Good evening, Odacchi! Regarding Chapter 700, while Luffy and the others are on the way to Dressrosaroba, we can see animals that look like sea rabbits. What does Law like to eat other than Onigiri? P.N. Hasumomo
O: Well, ummm, grilled fish! Alright, next question.​

Why did this person bring up the sea rabbits in this question if they weren't going to actually ask about them? Why did Oda let this question through? Why did Oda not address the sea rabbits as well? Why did Oda's response sound so taken aback, and why does he then rush to the next question? We can only speculate as to all of these, but the common consensus is that Oda wanted to bring attention to the scene without going into any detail, acting deliberately suspicious in his response so as to tip off the more attentive readers. It is also commonly assumed that the reason he would want to draw attention to it is because of its relation to Monet, who had supposedly died only a few chapters earlier and demonstrated a technique visually similar to these rabbits only shortly before that.

If these rabbits are related to her, though, the question is how. There have been numerous ideas over the years, but the ones I've seen the most often are as follows.

  1. Because Punk Hazard is the arc where Devil Fruit reincarnation was first introduced, this is symbolic of the Snow-Snow Fruit leaving Punk Hazard and finding purchase in one of Nami's tangerines. I personally disagree with this for two reasons: Nami takes good care of her tangerines and definitely would have found it by now, and the process of Devil Fruit reincarnation was shown to be instantaneous following Smiley's death. Even if there is a time delay to account for distance traveled, it probably still would have happened during the events of Punk Hazard, and not on the way to Dressrosa.
  2. They somehow indicate that Monet has boarded the Sunny, either symbolically or she literally boarded in that moment after riding atop or inside of the rabbits. This one I liked back during Dressrosa, but now that we're canonically about two months out from Punk Hazard, I find it pretty unlikely that she's been hiding on board this whole time, either because she would have made her move earlier or because she would have been found by now.
  3. It is purely symbolic of either Monet joining the crew, or of a rabbit (presumably Carrot) joining and gaining the Snow-Snow Fruit, represented by potentially literal snow rabbits surrounding the Straw Hats' ship. I generally dismiss this one on principal, just because I don't like to extrapolate meaning from symbolism, but rather from literal actions and dialogue. Others are free to make of this what they will, I just personally don't take it to mean that.
To put it simply, I don't personally see enough information available in canon to truly piece together what the purpose of this panel is, and most of the suggestions I've seen are unfortunately the one scenario where I find "it's been too long" to be a valid argument. That said, the circumstances are so suspect and specific that I just can't bring myself to dismiss it entirely. If it's related to Monet, I'm confident that Oda is going to explicitly show us how later. I do have one idea of my own of what the sea rabbits might mean, but again, I'll go into that later.
While Luffy, Law and the rest are in Caesar's cage and being put out into the open air to be exposed to Shinokuni, Chopper watches and readies himself to help, only to be interrupted by a flying, crumpled up note smacking him in the face, instructing him not to do anything and also seemingly providing him with notes on the drugs the children have been taking.

It's never explicitly stated who this note is from, and Monet clearly notices Chopper and doesn't immediately stop him. People have taken this to mean that Monet was somehow in on the plan, or that she figured the group might be able to help the children and didn't want to get in the way. Not to contradict my thesis by poking holes in evidence, but I personally think this point is completely wrong.

We know that Law can control things telekinetically with the Op-Op Fruit, so throwing a piece of paper definitely wouldn't be an issue. The main counterargument is that Law hadn't made a Room, so he couldn't have done it, but we know from the fight with Doflamingo that only the border of the Room is visible, so it's entirely possible that he had set one up much earlier, especially since he doesn't seem to activate a Room during the escape immediately following.

To counter this counterargument, though, Law has also shown the ability to send telepathic messages within a Room, or at least communicate discreetly, so it also may not necessarily make sense that he didn't just do that, although giving him the notes on the drugs probably would have been harder that way. It could pretty easily go either way.

Still, I think that Law being the one to do it makes the most sense, especially since Monet's actions through the rest of the arc strongly contradict the notion that she sent the note. I could turn out to be wrong, I just don't personally put any stock in this piece of evidence. Again, sorry to present contradictory evidence, but the best literature reviews acknowledge both sides of an argument rather than falling prey to confirmation bias. Remember that when you're doing college papers, kids.

This one got a lot of people talking at the time, and actually prompted a bit of a resurgence in the Monet discourse. While showing off her collection of unusual creatures, Big Mom mentions that she recently retrieved a Centaur from Punk Hazard.

What "recent" means is up for debate. She's been dealing with Caesar for a few years, so maybe she got one of them when she sent an agent to check on Caesar's progress at some point, but it may also mean that one of her agents went to Punk Hazard while looking for Caesar after Luffy defeated him and picked up a Centaur at the time. Why one would still be there when all of them were arrested by G-5 is up for debate; maybe there was a straggler or an escapee? Either way, the theory of the day was that Big Mom's people had scoured the facility looking for Caesar or perhaps his research and in the meantime found Monet, bringing her back to Big Mom to put in her collection. I never really believed in this bit since I would think that a Harpy would be worth mentioning in the recent acquisitions, but even if there's a reason for Big Mom not mentioning Monet there, no Harpies were mentioned at any point during Whole Cake Island, and it doesn't seem too likely that we're going to revisit the collection, so I think this one's kind of past its expiration date. Even if Monet had escaped during the fire Jinbe set, it probably would have been noted, or at least there would have been an Easter egg that someone would have picked up on by now.

There is still hope, though, as it's possible this tidbit is meant to imply that the Big Mom Pirates did scour Punk Hazard, but didn't find Monet because she had already escaped. That does take a bit of a logical leap, but it seems odd to mention that Big Mom had collected a Centaur from Punk Hazard without anticipating it would bring Monet to mind. It's not particularly strong, but it revived the discussion for a time, so it's worth mentioning.

I'll preface this by saying I do not put stock into cover page theories. Nekomamushi's 13 cats, Sanji's suitcase labeled "The Secret," Zoro's shirt of death, I don't trust any of them, and this one is no exception, but it seemed to have quite a bit of traction back in the day, so I would be remiss not to at least call attention to it.

Note the two prominent snowmen that the crew are building. One is a larger male, while the other is a thin woman with wavy hair. The conceit of the theory was that this image was meant to show the final lineup of the crew. At the time, we already knew that Jinbe was planning to join the crew, so people took the larger male wearing the Straw Hat to represent Jinbe, and the female, a woman made of snow with hair styled similarly to Monet, to represent Monet. I believe some people also attributed the giant snowman in the back to the idea that a Giant was going to join, but I may be misremembering that, I apologize. Either way, the only part of this that I think holds any water is the hairstyle, but I honestly just don't think that this means anything. The only way I could at this point is if Monet is the next to join and then we get a giant, but I think we all already know my thoughts on the final lineup (just keep reading if you don't), and this just doesn't match. I could be wrong, there's plenty of time for the story to go any way and this may be a blueprint for how it will go, I just don't ascribe to this theory in particular.

I know I said I'd be going greatest to least, but I didn't really want to end this on such a weak note, and these patterns may end up applying to someone else anyway, so while I think they help support Monet's return and recruitment, you may feel that they're completely unrelated or irrelevant. I'm also counting these all as one point because I feel that it's only when the patterns are taken in aggregate that they become a decent argument for Monet's inclusion, as any given one of these patterns could easily be debunked at any time.

The most obvious pattern is that she's a female villain, and as I mentioned earlier, this was likely the biggest contributing factor for fans to start keeping their eyes on her. It certainly didn't hurt that she was introduced right after Jinbe was invited to join the crew, which would make her the second recruit of the New World, fitting in with the MFMM Pattern. To summarize, each sea comes with four recruits, a male, a female, and two more males, so with Jinbe confirming his interest in joining the crew, he obviously took the first M, opening the door for the New World's F. I've talked about my thoughts on this pattern before, and while I think that there is more to the pattern that will allow other females to join the crew as well (specifically Pudding and Carrot), right now we're just talking about Monet, so MFMM works fine.

A secondary aspect of the MFMM pattern, which not everyone seems to ascribe to but is still fairly common, is the characteristics of the recruits. Zoro, Chopper and Jinbe are all considered monsters by the public, Nami and Robin are anti-villains, Usopp and Franky are members of troublemaking groups and were recruited in arcs where the crew got a new ship, and Sanji and Brook are perverted gentlemen. Even if we disregard the MFMM pattern in its current form, we can still potentially apply Monet to any of the remaining three archetypes. Obviously she's a villain, but if the theory that she wants to protect the children without compromising her mission is true, that would clearly establish her as an anti-villain. She was a member of the Donquixote Pirates, the most extreme level of troublemaker I can think of, though it's possible her backstory will provide a better example, and if she does in fact end up being related to the crew going to the moon, she'd likely be recruited around the time they get the means to make such a journey. As for being a perverted gentleman, she doesn't quite fit the bill, but we do know that she worked as a maid for the royal family of Dressrosa, implying she has the etiquette of a lady, and she has been shown to be flirtatious, yet shy when being flirted with. Therefore, in place of a perverted gentleman, I think we can label her a flirtatious lady, fitting the same general archetype just with different terms.

Honestly, "perverted gentleman" is a label the fans came up with. "Polite flirts" gets across the exact same idea without assuming gender, so honestly it works just fine. You could even just label them as "hopeless romantics" if you want. Not to mention the fact that it'd just be interesting to see a female character objectifying male characters for once, or even to have someone be actively flattered by Sanji and Brook's behavior instead of just getting into a fight. It's nice to think that the final recruits will provide new spins on the established formula instead of just falling in line with it.

A less obvious, but fairly popular pattern to apply to Monet is the 325 Pattern, in which the pronunciation of each of the Devil Fruit within the Straw Hat Crew can be read as a number through goroawase, Japanese wordplay. Gomu=5 and 6, Hito= 1 and 10, Hana= 8 and 7, Yomi= 4 and 3. Taken as single numbers and adding them together, we are left with 296. If we assume that there will be no repeats in future Devil Fruit using recruits, then we are left with 0, 2 and 9. Taken as 20+9 or 0+29, we can add those to our 296 and get 325, which in goroawase would be pronounced Sa-Ni-Go, or Sunny-Go, 'Go' being a common suffix used when referring to ships in Japanese. Some people ignore the 0 because it isn't necessary to reach 325, meaning we only need a 29. If we assume that to be true, you could get Kuma's Nikyu-Nikyu Fruit or Kinemon's Fuku-Fuku Fruit, as 2 can be either ni or fu, and 9 can be ku or kyu. I personally think that's too obvious, though, and given the narrative of both of those characters, I'm not inclined to see either of them happening. No, I think Oda would want to hide who the remaining two are, and while I'll cover my thoughts on the 20 later, the 9 has been hiding in plain sight this entire time. Monet's Yuki-Yuki Fruit, obviously contains yu and ki. On their own, they aren't generally read as any numbers, but if you reverse them, you get ki-yu. When 9 is read as kyu, it's specifically a contraction of ki and yu. In other words, Yuki can be seen as 9 backwards. That said, this is a good time to mention that another of my top picks, Pudding, has the Memo-Memo Fruit, which as near as I can find does not fit any number wordplay, so there's definitely room for this pattern to be debunked wholesale, but if it's true, Monet still has a fair chance of fitting it.

Speaking of goroawase, an offshoot of the MFMM Pattern is the Straw Hat 13 Pattern, in which the word for crew, ichimi, can be read as 1 and 3, which people take to mean there will be a total of 13 members in the crew. This doesn't pertain too much to Monet in and of itself, but the Straw Hat 13 is often backed up by the Alphabet Pattern, in which the first letter of each Straw Hat's name uses a letter from one of thirteen pairs of letters in the Latin alphabet without any overlap (AB=Brook, CD=Chopper, EF=Franky, JI=Jinbe, KL=Luffy, MN=Nami, QR=Robin, ST=Sanji, UV=Usopp, YZ=Zoro, with GH, OP and WX so far unused). People generally use this one to debunk Monet, as she would be MN, but in much the same way I think Oda is trying to hide the goroawase hint, so too do I think he's hiding how the remaining recruits fit the Alphabet Pattern. In Monet's case, if Monet's epithet is revealed to be Harpy she would fit GH. Even if that doesn't work, keep in mind what I said earlier: everyone in the Donquixote Pirates used codenames, and we still don't know Monet's real name. Her real name could easily land her in any of the remaining pairs, but as I've said in previous theories, I think she'll end up with GH, and that OP and WX will go to Pudding and Carrot, with Carrot receiving WX along with an epithet she is assigned after being confirmed as a Straw Hat (likely including 'White' for her fur). Honestly I wouldn't be too surprised if it turned out her name was Happy like she has written across her tanktop and the pun was just a distraction.

Another fan favorite, and one that I think people tend to prioritize above most others due to being based on Oda's own words, is the Color Pattern. Oda has explicitly stated that each of the Straw Hats has a signature color associated with them, and while those colors aren't always incorporated into their palettes, they do tend to be referenced in things such as color pages. Luffy=red, Nami=orange, Usopp=yellow, Zoro=green, Franky=light blue, Sanji=blue, Robin=purple, Chopper=pink, and Brook=black and white, while Jinbe has yet to be assigned a color, though I imagine it's forthcoming. The common method for predicting future Straw Hats based on this pattern is to look at what colors haven't been used yet. Strictly speaking, there are infinite colors that haven't been used, so to narrow it down, people generally look to tertiary color wheels, in which there are twelve colors excluding black and white. I don't want to turn this into a theory on the matter, so to summarize: using the official RBY (red-blue-yellow) color wheel, the colors don't actually line up with the crew because it doesn't officially have pink, rather the much deeper magenta, excluding Chopper; the RGB (red-green-blue) wheel, on the other hand fits everyone, though with different official terms, and still leaves room for others.

In this case, both rose and magenta fit pink much better than the deep magenta of RBY, with cyan being an alternate name for Franky's light blue and violet for Robin's purple. With the remaining colors, chartreuse, spring green (aka viridian) and magenta (I'm assuming rose is meant to be pink), we can easily fit Monet on either side of Zoro, though I'm inclined to label her as chartreuse myself. Incidentally, many of Pudding's outfits see her on the redder side of the spectrum, potentially allowing her to take the magenta spot, while several of Carrot's outfits include elements of green that closely match viridian. Again, though, we're here to talk about Monet, and she fits regardless of their color schemes. I'd also like to point out that considering Monet as just another shade of green puts her in an interesting trio with Nami and Robin, as all three of them would be secondary colors. Doesn't necessarily mean anything, but man would that give the three of them a nice aesthetic.

If there is a theory that people believe in more than the Color Pattern, though, it would have to be Usopp's lies coming true (or Usopp's True Lies, as I call them). As Usopp's lies have a tendency to come true, people have been waiting with bated breath for his lie from Thriller Bark to come true. For those who don't recall, after Luffy, Zoro and Sanji have their shadows stolen by Gecko Moria and are forecast to be catatonic for the next three days, Usopp declares that a beautiful swordswoman has arrived carrying meat, appealing to all three of their unique sensibilities and forcing them to awaken. People generally use this as justification for Tashigi to join, as she is a beautiful swordswoman, and anticipate that when she joins she will bring meat as a peace offering for Luffy. They also applied this logic to Rebecca for a while, as she also fit the bill and bought food for Luffy when he was hungry. The jury is still out on her joining, but it's not looking particularly likely right now given her character arc's focus on pacifism. Once Rebecca stopped seeming like such a viable candidate, people started to shift their focus to the upcoming Wano arc and assumed that either a kunoichi or female samurai would join the crew. As of yet, though, none of the characters in the arc have matched that description either. Tama, the kunoichi in training, gave Luffy rice, not meat, and doesn't have a sword. Shinobu, the professional kunoichi, has a sword, but hasn't really been shown using it so much as she uses thrown weapons, and she hasn't given the crew any food to speak of. Kikunojo, a beautiful samurai, similarly has not presented meat to the crew, and is also one of the Nine Red Scabbards, who I don't see leaving any of their ranks with the Straw Hats, personally. The last likely candidate would be Hiyori, who is universally considered beautiful in canon and grants Zoro the Ame no Habakiri sword, and after the battle at Onigashima, it's entirely possible that she'll have a banquet waiting for the surviving warriors, but I honestly see her somehow getting dragged into the conflict (probably by Kanjuro), and even afterwards staying at Wano to rule while Momo joins the crew.

But what does this have to do with Monet? She's not a swordswoman, and she definitely hasn't given Luffy any meat. Well, if we're willing to postpone the presenting of meat for Tashigi and anyone from Wano, there's no reason we can't do the same for Monet. As for being a swordswoman, you're right, she isn't, at least not in the traditional sense. As with other patterns, her eligibility for this pattern may be obscured, as she actually has two ways of qualifying: her signature over-sized ice picks, and her ability to freeze her feathers to use her wings as blades, an attack explicitly referred to as "Skin Katana" for some reason.

A normal ice pick definitely wouldn't qualify as a sword, but at the size that Monet uses them, they function essentially the same as a rapier or an epee or any other non-edged swords, focusing primarily on thrusts but still capable of slashing with the tip. Her wings are a little harder to justify, as just having the word "katana" in the attack name doesn't actually make it a sword, but their function as a bladed melee weapon remains. No matter which one you look at, though, she actually becomes eligible for filling a role that many fans have been suggesting for some time: a dual sword user. When Kinemon was first introduced, people thought for sure the two swords at his side meant that he would form a "Musketeer Trio" with Zoro's three swords and Brook's one, but Monet's two picks or two wings both seem like they could easily count. People might complain that having two sword users that use ice would be redundant, but we already went over that concept in point 8, so I won't talk about it again. I don't think Monet necessarily would be in that trio, though, I just think it's interesting to consider. There's also the fact that since she has the picks and her wings, she'd technically be a four-sword user like Kaku, but she's never shown using them at the same time, so she's only two swords at a time.

Adding on to her fighting capabilities, many people believe that the Straw Hats are destined to get a Logia user on the crew, as that is the only Devil Fruit type not yet represented. We already have three Paramecia (Luffy, Robin and Brook) and one or two Zoans (Chopper and Momo if you count him), so having one Logia would complete the package. The number of each may be irrelevant though, especially since whether Momo counts is dubious and Pudding, another Paramecia, may or may not join. There's also the fact that many people believe that either Smoker or Crocodile will join as the crew's Logia, but I don't personally think that either of them will, and even if they do, that doesn't mean that Monet won't join.

Beyond all of these patterns that have been floating around the theorist community for several years, I've noticed four of my own that I'd never heard anyone else discuss. Again, I've talked about these in the past, so I'll just summarize them here. Like Nami and Robin, Monet has been shown to have had short hair (neck to shoulder length) pre-timeskip and now has long hair (mid to lower back) post-timeskip.

A few other characters fit this pattern as well, so this isn't exactly a clincher, but it certainly doesn't hurt her chances.

Nami and Robin also both lead Luffy into a trap by tricking him (Nami pretending to team up with him, Robin with a sign), wherein he is put into a cage and awaits death from the arc villain (Buggy's Buggy Ball cannon, Crocodile's lair filling with water). Monet doesn't trick Luffy, and is only tangentially responsible for his capture since she reported his presence to Caesar, but he does still end up in a cage and waiting for death (the spread of Caesar's Shinokuni).

As a bit of a bonus, Robin even points out how similar this situation is to the one in Alabasta, making it seem that the parallel is intentional, so even if it's not perfect, it may still count. Admittedly, Pudding fits this one better, as she's the only other character I've found that's tricked Luffy into a cage, but a weak parallel is a parallel nonetheless.

Going back to the argument that Monet's been gone too long to be relevant, I would like to remind everyone that Robin didn't join the crew until the fourth arc after her introduction (Whiskey Peak [1], Little Garden [2], Drum Island [3], Alabasta [4]), and only played a particularly big role in the latter of those four. Nami, similarly, only began identifying as a member of the crew in her fourth arc, as she had always planned to betray the crew up through the first three (Orange Town, Syrup Village, Baratie, Arlong Park). For Monet, it's definitely been too many arcs since Punk Hazard, but it hasn't been too many sagas. In fact, there is precedent for a four-saga delay, as Jinbe was asked to join the crew during the Fishman Island Saga, was absent through Dressrosa, proclaimed his intent to join at Whole Cake Island, and then actually joined during Wano. Since Whole Cake and Wano are both technically in the Yonko Saga, you could also look at it from Jinbe's introduction during the Summit War Saga, going to Fishman Island, Dressrosa, and then the Yonko Saga. Depending on which logic you use, Monet's return could be as early as the next saga (Dressrosa, Whole Cake, Wano, ???) or the saga that's two out (Dressrosa, Yonko, ??? 1, ??? 2). I'm not saying this is a hard time limit for her to come back, but that's a decent chunk of time and who knows how many smaller arcs within, so I'd be pretty surprised if it takes longer than that.

Of the four patterns I found, Monet's strongest comes from her introduction. Monet's introductory panel, the one in which her name card is formally presented to the audience, sees her taking a similar pose to that which Nami and Robin took in their introductions, being that she is sitting atop an elevated platform with her legs dangling over the edge while looking down at Luffy, though in Monet's case she's looking at his picture in a newspaper rather than the genuine article.

As far as I could find, Monet is the only character whose name card scene so closely mirrors theirs, though other characters (Marguerite and Carrot) are formally introduced to Luffy from similar positions, just outside of their name card scenes. Monet's definitely has the strongest resemblance though, at least in my opinion.

And with that, I think we've covered all of the most key points of the Monet Theory literature. You are free to believe or disbelieve whichever combination you want, lord knows I don't believe all of them, but taken in aggregate, it isn't hard to see why people have been willing to stand behind Monet for so long. As I said earlier, if I somehow missed anything, please, let me know.
Now, before we move on to the predictions, let's review: People believe that Monet is alive and will join the crew for a fairly sizable list of reasons, though some are stronger or weaker than others.
  1. Her heart was shown to be intact, and the shrapnel Caesar tried to stab it with was embedded into the dock next to it, implying that Caesar's hand slipped as he stabbed at it and he fell unconscious before he could try again. This is the strongest piece of evidence, as it eliminates the one reason to believe that Monet is dead and suggests that Oda has more planned for Monet as a character.
  2. Monet's backstory and relationships are left fairly vague, only being discussed in any detail in an SBS. Her sibling relationship to Sugar is never acknowledged in series, and her belief that Doflamingo will become Pirate King seems to be completely unfounded as even he never shows any desire to do so. Less relevant characters have received more indepth backstories both in the series proper and in the SBS, so for Monet's to be so vague but still have elements left open to explore gives the impression that Oda intends to do so.
  3. Her interest in astronomy, as demonstrated by her various textbooks with titles seemingly related to the subject, is fairly unique, and again, never focused on. It doesn't even come up in the SBS or in databooks, so it seems odd not to give it any attention. Furthermore, because of Enel's story on the moon where he found aliens and a connection between the moon and the Sky People, it is widely believed that there will come a time that the Straw Hats go to the moon, so the only character to ever show interest in astronomy would be a logical companion for said arc.
  4. Monet's tattoo is only shown once and obscured, not even appearing in several other panels where it should be completely visible. The fact that this tattoo exists but both Oda and Monet have clearly gone to great lengths to hide it strongly implies that there is significance to it and that Monet is in some way motivated not to let other people see it.
  5. The wings and other bird parts that Monet has Law graft onto her seem like much too drastic of a change for a perfectly healthy woman to decide to commit to on a whim, so it stands to reason that it was likely important to her to make that replacement. It may have something to do with the tattoo, as one of her wings did completely replace the arm where the tattoo once was, and the two may be intertwined in her backstory.
  6. Brownbeard and his subordinates formed a search team to scour Punk Hazard for the victims of Caesar's Shinokuni, putting them in a good position to potentially find Monet, return her heart, and arrest her. This could bring Monet back to the story with her breaking out of prison, but we also know that she was in a sealed room, so it's possible that Oda deliberately had them miss her so she could leave Punk Hazard on her own.
  7. Monet's personality at first seems to be completely built on sadism and pragmatism, but she consistently shows concern for the subordinates that Caesar abandons, and was even the one to suggest that Law make the paraplegic victims of Caesar's gas weapon into centaurs despite the fact that they were already loyal and given the means to move about independently. Moreover, despite the fact that she was complicit in Caesar's experimentation on the children, Monet's dialogue and actions suggest that she did actually care for them, as she was assigned to "protect Caesar's experiments" by Doflamingo, but instead of protecting the SAD that Doflamingo actually cares about, she chose to protect the children. Even after learning the truth about Caesar, the children still trusted Monet because of how kindly she had treated them. Altogether, it's perfectly conceivable that Monet had to choose between protecting the children and protecting herself from/staying loyal to Doflamingo, and thus chose to make sure the children did not suffer so long as they were under Caesar's control.
  8. Luffy's love of snow was the first tip-off for many readers that Monet may join the crew, as Luffy consistently expresses that he wants to go to snow islands, and as has been shown time and again, what Luffy wants, Luffy gets.
  9. A horde of sea rabbits are seen beneath the waves while the crew is on the way to Punk Hazard, but are never acknowledged in story and are referred to dismissively and suspiciously in an SBS. Their uncanny resemblance to one of Monet's attacks, Snow Rabbits, has suggested to many fans that they may be a snow construct made by Monet for some reason, were a symbol of Monet's Devil Fruit finding purchase in one of Nami's tangerines to be eaten by someone else later, or were symbolic foreshadowing of either a rabbit or Monet joining the Straw Hat Crew. This is one of the weaker pieces of evidence, but it's not impossible for it to still turn out to be relevant later.
  10. The note thrown to Chopper while Luffy and Law were in Caesar's cage seems unlikely to many fans to have been thrown by Law, as there was no indication that he had a Room already set up, so it was once a popular theory that Monet threw the note. However, Law was seen using his ability moments later, still not setting up a Room, suggesting he just had one up that was too big to see the borders of at the moment. Furthermore, Monet's actions through the rest of the arc contradict any motivation she would have to help the crew, so unless she's a very committed actor, this one is not particularly likely.
  11. Big Mom's collection of strange creatures includes a centaur from Punk Hazard as a recent edition, implying that the Big Mom Pirates picked one up either on a recent visit to Punk Hazard to deliver supplies to Caesar or when they went after the events of the Punk Hazard Arc to retrieve him from the Straw Hats. If they had gone to Punk Hazard at that juncture, it wouldn't be odd for them to also find Monet and add her to the collection. However, Big Mom likely would have mentioned her as one of her recent acquisitions, and it doesn't seem particularly likely that we'll be revisiting the concept of her collection any time soon, so it's unlikely that Monet is there.
  12. One color spread depicted the Straw Hats building three snowmen, one quite large and round, one clearly a woman with a relatively slender figure and similar hair to Monet, and a giant one peeking in from the background. It has been suggested that this cover is meant to foreshadow the crew's final roster, with the large male representing Jinbe, the woman representing Monet, and the giant representing a Giant, the latter being a fairly popular theory. I, however, do not put stock in cover-based theories, nor do I believe that a Giant will join the crew proper, so I personally discount this one entirely, but others are free to make of it what they will.
  13. Monet fits several miscellaneous patterns that theorists have suggested over the years, including the delay between her introduction and her potential recruitment, her main color being a green distinct from Zoro's, her hairstyles pre- and post-timeskip being similar to Nami and Robin's, her introductory panel sharing visual elements with Nami and Robin's, her real name potentially starting with a letter not already represented in the Straw Hat's names, her Devil Fruit's name being readable as the Japanese word for "nine" backwards to fit with the readings of the other Straw Hat Fruit, and a number of others.
Alone, the stronger bits of evidence only really serve to prove that she's alive, not that she'll join the crew, but the more granular pieces stacked on top of those have given fans clear reason to want and believe in Monet's chances.

Man, this has already shaped up to be my longest theory ever (Oro Jackson included) and I haven't even made one prediction yet!
Chapter 2: The Vegapunk Saga (Monet's Return)

So now that we understand the history of Monet theories, we can start looking towards the future. The most logical place to start would have to be where we left off in her story: how she got off Punk Hazard.

As I said earlier, there are several possible routes Oda could take with what he's established so far. She may have been found and arrested by G-5 off screen and taken aboard the tanker, or she could have been locked away and left behind without a second thought. From there, it's not impossible that Kuzan, who came to Punk Hazard to deliver a message to Smoker, or the Big Mom Pirates, who may have come to look for Caesar and the Straw Hats, searched the facility and found her to take to Blackbeard for her Devil Fruit or Big Mom to add to her collection. It's also possible that no one found her at all and she woke up to find that she was alone on Punk Hazard.

If she was arrested, then she is likely imprisoned right now, possibly even being sent to Impel Down, where she would presumably find Doflamingo. There, much the same way that Miss Goldenweek organized a jailbreak to free Crocodile and the rest of Baroque Works, Monet may attempt to free Doflamingo and other Donquixote Pirates. Also like Crocodile, though, Doflamingo may reject the invitation to leave for whatever reason, sending Monet out on her own to decide her own future. Why he would do that, I'm not sure exactly, nor am I sure why that would necessarily lead her to the Straw Hats, especially if she's with other crewmates like Sugar. Perhaps she would get separated from her crew and wander aimlessly and happen upon the Straw Hats, or she would hunt them down for revenge? Or like Robin, because she has nowhere else to go, she foists herself upon the only other people she knows? There's really a lot of ways it could go, though this scenario feels particularly unlikely on the basis that we know that Doflamingo is currently in Level 6 of Impel Down and would be nearly impossible to break out. Granted, Goldenweek's breakout was before Crocodile actually made it to Impel Down, so maybe Monet's happened earlier and we just weren't told?

It seems unlikely that she was taken to Big Mom since she wasn't listed among the recent acquisitions, but if she was, then perhaps Big Mom brought a few books with her to Onigashima to show off to Kaido? Seems unlikely, but Big Mom's eccentric enough that I'd buy it. If she was taken to Blackbeard, I would think that she would already have been killed for her Snow-Snow Fruit since it's been a couple months, but it's also possible that she actually joined Blackbeard to ensure her own survival. That would actually make her defection to Luffy a lot easier to believe, as her situation with the Blackbeard Pirates may not be particularly enjoyable. Still, I personally don't think that the conflict with Blackbeard will come up until after the entire crew is put together, so I'm filing this as my personal last resort if Monet doesn't show up earlier. Until the series ends, I'm always going to consider Monet as having time to join, but if they beat Blackbeard before she even comes back, it's definitely going to be a blow to my confidence.

While there is an argument to be made for every possibility, I think it's most likely that she woke up alone. She may have wandered Punk Hazard for a bit, flying over to see the state of things and try to find her heart, possibly even finding the Axolotl Fruit left behind by Smiley's death (though I imagine that G-5 found that) before piecing together that the Straw Hats probably took Law and Caesar to go to Dressrosa while Smoker and G-5 took the children. It's also possible that she found Vergo's pieces, as I am confident he survived the explosion he was caught in. Whether she put him back together is up for debate, but let's assume that if she found him, she probably fixed him since they're strictly speaking allies. He may have even been the one to help her find her heart using Observation Haki, though it's hard to say if a heart beating counts as having a detectable will.

I think this is the most likely event in part because it is the only one I can see giving us an explanation for the sea rabbits; if I had to guess, I would say that the sea rabbits were snow constructs that Monet made as a sort of sonar. We already know that Devil Fruit abilities can exist in water independently of their user, like when Mr. 3 made a ball of wax around himself to protect him from the bananadile or when Oven created a heatwave through the waters of Totto Land. The people who thought Monet was hiding aboard the Sunny probably imagined her hiding within one of the rabbits to protect herself from the seawater, but that wouldn't explain why there were so many. I think that she made as many rabbits as she could and sent them out in every direction, with some finding the Sunny and some finding the SAD tanker. From there, she definitely didn't go after the Straw Hats, since we haven't seen hide nor hair of her in months in story, so she most likely went after the tanker, as she realized that's where the children were. I imagine she chose to do so for four reasons: she was confident that the Straw Hats couldn't do anything to defeat Doflamingo, she could justify this choice as continuing her duty to protect Caesar's research, she was personally invested in the well-being of the children, and she was afraid of Doflamingo's wrath for her failure. Just because she's fiercely loyal and willing to sacrifice herself for her master doesn't necessarily mean she's willing to own up to her mistakes, and given how shaken up she was at the prospect of dying against Zoro, she might not necessarily want to guarantee she'll die after narrowly avoiding death three times in a row (Zoro, the self-destruct button, and having her heart punctured). That may contradict somewhat with her resolving to die in an explosion for Doflamingo, but in that scenario she was dying for a cause, not as a punishment, and she may now want to do something to make things right for the children she poisoned and tried to blow up. The main problem here is figuring out why Vergo would allow Monet to run off like that. I picture Monet lying to him and convincing him to help her with the children, possibly using his Marine Vice Admiral status to maneuver through red tape assuming that Smoker didn't report that Vergo was an undercover pirate, but it's also possible that she left him behind since he can't fly (I guess he could use Geppo to air walk all the way to another island since he seems to be trained in Rokushiki, but I don't know how far he'd be able to get with that). I'm going to go with manipulating him to use his status for her own ends.

The idea that she went after the tanker and not the Straw Hats is backed up by the fact that we haven't seen Smoker and Tashigi since the end of Dressrosa, a few days after the events of Punk Hazard. Given that we don't know Monet's flight speed or the travel speed of the ship that they and the kids are on (though they've switched from the tanker to a marine ship), there's a lot of variables that we can't account for that could easily explain why it would have taken her so long to catch up. The sea rabbits may have needed to come back after finding a target, and then Monet would need to fly out in the direction the rabbit came back from, like an exceedingly slow sonar, or she may have already caught up to them and been arrested there leading to the aforementioned jailbreak route using Vergo as a cover, or she may have stowed away to follow the children on their voyage to Vegapunk. If they were behind, Vergo could also have used his pull to get Smoker's trajectory and a ship to follow him. She may also be heading straight for Vegapunk to try to head them off, but I figure with the time lag that's not practical.

It's also possible that the sea rabbits don't mean anything, and Monet did indeed to fly to Dressrosa to check on the state of things but got there after everything had ended. From there, she would learn what happened to the Donquixote Pirates and either attempt the jailbreak with Vergo, go off on her own, or to get her back into the story more quickly, she may have made her way to Wano to seek asylum from Kaido, her captain's benefactor. I feel like she definitely would have been brought back by this point if that were going to be the case, but she could easily just be mingling with the Beasts Pirates and waiting to make her move. Vergo could have split off any number of ways by this point, or he could just be along for the ride.

Of all of these, I like the idea that she's either on board the Marine ship heading towards Vegapunk or tailing said ship the best, as I feel it requires the fewest or smallest assumptions of her logic and doesn't assume any particularly big events occurred around her off screen like jailbreaks or kidnappings. It allows Monet to be reintegrated into the story in a way that's consistent with her implied personality, doesn't necessitate a particularly long or complicated flashback, and directly relates to the progression of the plot, as Vegapunk has long since been built up, most notably during Punk Hazard, so using Monet and the children as a through line between those arcs would be more than appropriate. Presumably, the Straw Hats will have reason to go to wherever Vegapunk is now at some point after Wano, most likely by coincidentally being pointed the right way by the Log Pose, and at some point run into Monet there. I imagine Vegapunk will be a central enough character that his influence will span multiple arcs, so tentatively I'm going to refer to this section of the story as the Vegapunk Saga. The main question, I think, is why Monet would still be there after over a month has definitely passed (unless full moons aren't actually monthly in One Piece?). She could just be hiding out, biding time until the treatment on the children is done, or she could have seen they were in good hands and been satisfied and then lived her life fairly normally on whatever island they're on, maybe even shapeshifting her wings and talons back into normal limbs and getting a job in the facility to be close to them. Or maybe Vegapunk just...hired her as is, possibly on Vergo's recommendation, or out of interest in the effects of the Op-Op Fruit. Maybe after deciding there's nothing more she can do for the children, she flies off out into the open sea to go where the wind takes her and happens to find the Straw Hats. The specifics don't really matter at the moment, all that matters is that this is the time and place we are currently most likely to see Monet again based on current data.
Now that we've established approximately how and when Monet may come back, we need to establish why. Not her personal reason why, mind you, but her narrative reason. What purpose does Oda have in mind for Monet? In the broadest sense, I think it's clear by now that the expectation from Monet theorists is that she's going to join the crew, but what would she specifically do to help further the Straw Hats' journey? What role would she play aboard the ship?

I personally don't think she needs to necessarily fill a position that would be vital to survival, as Brook being a musician is pretty much just for narrative flavor, and Zoro doesn't even have an official position in the crew after two decades of serialization. Sure, we call him the first mate, but according to Bartolomeo, Zoro is a "candidate" for said rank, and thus officially has no job on the Sunny. He's often called a "combatant" or "fighter," but that's far from unique to him. Then there's Robin's role as archaeologist, which she pretty rarely utilizes beyond reading the Poneglyphs. She's used her archaeological skills to appraise the remains of a shipwreck and to find the City of Gold in Skypiea, but beyond those instances (both of which being in the Sky Island Saga, I might add), it never really comes up. Therefore, it doesn't really matter too much what Monet's role is, as it could involve a skill that is used once, a skill used in the background that we never really see, or it could just be an empty title as far as the audience is concerned. That said, she definitely has skills that could potentially be worth having onboard, even if they're only used a handful of times within the context of the narrative.

The most popular point of discussion around Monet is her interest in astronomy, as illustrated earlier by her multiple texts on the subject. I'll go into my prediction for the exact circumstances later, but generally Monet theorists believe that she will use her knowledge of astronomy to help guide the Straw Hats to the moon. However, that prediction is often countered by the fact that the two groups that we saw go to the moon, Enel on the Ark Maxim and the Automata of Karakuri Island, reached the moon by simply ascending straight towards it, implying that no navigational skills are really necessary so long as one can fly the entire 238,900 mile/384,400 km distance. Easy enough to do on a ship powered by infinite electricity or just patiently and passively waiting for balloons to carry one the whole way.

So an astronomer doesn't seem necessary for just getting to the moon. It's also arguable whether one would be necessary for returning from the moon, since ostensibly the Birkans that formerly lived on the moon descended via balloon as well, not unlike how the Straw Hats were able to descend from Skypiea using an octopus balloon.

However, there is one factor that making a straight shot realistically can't account for: the landing site. If you're just arbitrarily trying to get to the moon, that probably won't matter as much, but if you're going back to Earth and you, say, want to land where you launched from, you've got to know how long it's going to be before the Earth rotates that spot back into position. I don't imagine Oda is going to go too far into specifics with that, but having a character that can calculate the appropriate time to start heading back would be a pretty good asset for that particular scenario. Might also help keep from, say, landing the ship on top of an island, or the Red Line, or back in East Blue. At the very least, it couldn't hurt.

Monet's astronomy could also be helpful for navigation on the moon's surface itself, as naturally there wouldn't be any known landmarks, and the Log Pose or even a normal compass likely wouldn't work on the moon, so celestial navigation would probably be a necessity. Speaking of celestial navigation, have you noticed that no one in One Piece has ever used a tool like a sextant? Of course they haven't, a Log Pose is the only reliable tool on the Grand Line, and the triple needled New World Log Pose guarantees that even if you lose one possible destination, you'll always have two more.

Or at least you're supposed to.

It's unheard of in-series so far, and in fact the crew has only actually had to use the Log Pose twice in the New World (leaving Fishman Island and navigating Totto Land), while every other location they've been to they've found either via Eternal Pose or Vivre Card, but since potential destinations in the New World have been known to disappear entirely, it should theoretically be possible for all three points on the Log Pose to vanish. This would obviously leave the sailors completely stranded. However, the reason that a Log Pose is necessary is because the magnetic fields and weather of the Grand Line are erratic and seemingly unnatural. All known conventional methods of navigation are said to not work, but for some reason, no one has ever explicitly said that celestial navigation is off the table. Why would it be? The sun's arc through the sky, as well as the moon's and the stars', is determined by the rotation and revolution of the Earth, factors that cannot be changed by idiosyncrasies in specific points of the planet. Sure, weather that rapidly shifts between being clear and stormy could prove to be a problem, but even then, there are tools that allow for celestial navigation both under cloud cover and during twilight hours, specifically the sunstone, or Iceland spar. As near as I can find, these were historically only ever known to be used in Iceland, specifically by the Vikings, but Oda has gone on record saying that he took a lot of inspiration for his world of pirates from the Vikings, so it would be odd to me if he wasn't aware of sunstones. Not only could they be used in low sunlight conditions, but sunstones have also been noted to be useful in areas with high magnetic deviation, which as we've established is the defining characteristic of the Grand Line. I also wouldn't be surprised if Oda expanded its use to be available at night, either using moonlight or starlight, even if obscured, probably calling it something like a starstone. I think that it's more likely that most people don't bother learning celestial navigation on the Grand Line simply because it's easier just to follow the magic compass that tells you exactly where to go or because sunstones either aren't readily available or common knowledge. There may be other reasons too, like maybe horizon lines being easily obscured or distorted by weird weather patterns, but I would imagine it would at least be serviceable in the worst case scenario. It would likely be especially useful in finding islands that cannot be found with a Log Pose in the first place, such as Punk Hazard.

That said, there is one reason why it may not work in context that Oda just hasn't talked about: the One Piece world's planetary system.

The Library of Ohara was the only time that we've ever gotten a glimpse of this world's planetary system, and not a single thing about it was explained. There are six objects orbiting the world, one of which seems to have a satellite of its own. There is debate over whether these are all moons or if this is a geocentric model of an entire system, but these satellites could explain why celestial navigation would be difficult. Note, I am not saying it would necessarily be impossible, just far harder than it otherwise would be. After all, we have no frame of reference for how knowledgeable the rest of the world is on this fact. Does the general populace know about the six satellites, or only the one moon? Can they account for how the presence of six objects affects the path of the others? Have they even bothered trying to learn when there are easier and more accessible methods of navigation, especially if only the Log Pose guarantees you'll actually make landfall at some point? If an expert on the subject such as Monet arrives at a time where this information may be helpful, we may just get an explanation for it.

Of course, that might not even be necessary in the first place. If Monet is present when the Log Pose loses all way points, celestial navigation is most certainly not the only recourse for finding the way towards land. Consider what I said before about Monet sending out sea rabbit scouts. What would stop her from doing the same here? Or if that turns out not to be real, why not just hand Monet a piece of Vivre Card, send her flying out and have her come back after X number of hours, like the dove of Noah's Ark? If someone with exceptional eyesight like Carrot joins as the crew's lookout, Monet would probably synergize well with them in this scenario. Obviously this is doable regardless of whether celestial navigation is an option, but I imagine it'd be far more time intensive to fly back and forth than it would be to determine a generalized direction to head in and hope the Log Pose picks up something new. If celestial navigation works, it'd probably be faster and safer, but if not, then Monet would make the perfect scout for the Straw Hats.

In fact, unlike the role of astronomer, which at this point we're honestly just speculating on, she's definitively demonstrated that she has the makings of a scout. Not only does she have the ability to travel freely through the air, she also carries a Den Den Mushi with her to potentially make and hear reports and has been known to discreetly tail targets using her Logia abilities, as she did when she spied on Law and overheard his alliance with Luffy.

True, the crew does have the Mini Merry 2 and other small scouting ships stored in the Sunny, but every time they've split up using those (namely Thriller Bark and, appropriately, Punk Hazard) someone ends up getting captured before the scout team can go back, so having someone who can scout from above and report back in real time would likely be extremely helpful. Plus, if there's any worry that Monet would be spotted and caught, Nami could conceal her with some clouds or other, customized inconspicuous weather changes for the situation, which Monet could easily hide in in her snow form. In the worst case scenario, she may, as I've mentioned hypothetically multiple times by now, be able to create small snow rabbit sentries to scout safely for her. Granted, I suppose Brook could also project his soul for safe reconnaissance, but they don't generally do that in most situations (again, Punk Hazard), and just because Oda hasn't established an upper limit to how far his soul can travel from his body doesn't mean there isn't one. Depending on how far her shapeshifting can be stretched, Monet may also be able to infiltrate enemy lines in disguise, though we've never really seen that robust of shapeshifting from any Logia user up to this point, so probably not.

For a final hint at the types of skills in her repertoire, we can also look at her official role while working with Caesar: secretary. I'm not saying that she would be the Straw Hat Crew's secretary, but I think that the skills she employed as a secretary are applicable to pirate-life. In particular, she likely developed skills in record keeping, likely in both the sense of keeping a journal and tracking finances. Therefore, Monet could potentially fill the role of either purser (burser, treasurer, clerk, whatever you want to call it) or chronicler. Nami seems to be the unofficial purser of the crew, dolling out allowances and tracking supplies, but having someone else whose experienced in such matters around would probably be a great help to Nami. As for being chronicler, this is a role that is usually taken up by the captain, keeping track of the key events of the journey, but I guarantee Luffy is not keeping a log. I'm not confident Luffy knows how to write. As navigator, Nami again probably keeps a log of her own detailing things like travel speed and weather, but probably not the tales of the adventure. I've always believed that Robin, being interested in preserving history would unofficially act as chronicler when she's not doing anything else, but that's never been stated, so that position is definitely open. Neither of these roles are explicitly necessary, but an official purser wouldn't hurt, and a chronicler would definitely be useful down the line from a broader perspective given the World Government's penchant for revisionist history.

Given how Monet has been portrayed up to this point, I'm inclined to believe that her official role would either be astronomer or scout, but the skills of both jobs would come up at some point or another regardless of which official title she has. While I said earlier that I don't think a non-essential role would be out of the question, I feel like it's more likely she'll get a role that either has a lot of opportunity for action or one very big opportunity so as to make her late addition feel more vital. That said, the role of scout could just as easily be filled by someone like Pudding, who can fly on her living carpet Rabiyan and who can erase the memories of anyone who might catch her. She might even be able to overwrite memories to make people think they already know her, allowing her to infiltrate enemy strongholds, though it's hard to say if she's capable of manipulating memories to that extent. This actually makes the astronomer angle a little more likely, as no one else in the series has ever shown such knowledge or skills, guaranteeing that Monet is the only viable option. She could also lend her skills as part of a scouting team, flying with Pudding and Brook's projected soul, and maybe even Carrot depending on the parameters of her levitation abilities. Nami could probably join them flying on Zeus, but given Nami's personality, I imagine that she would opt out of scouting duties.

As a final point towards her being an astronomer, I've said that astronomer is a non-essential role, and in most crews that is probably true, but within the context of the story, it may be the most essential role. Remember, navigating the Grand Line requires a Log Pose, which points to the magnetic field of individual islands, but I proposed that an astronomer would be useful for finding islands with no traceable magnetic field. At this point, Punk Hazard is the only island we've seen with this characteristic, but we have been informed that there is at least one more: Laugh Tale. Specifically, we've been told that to find Laugh Tale, one needs to gather the four Road Poneglyphs, which each establish a location that, together, form an X with Laugh Tale at the intersection.

The thing about that, though, is that one wouldn't be able to just set sail in the direction Laugh Tale is once they know the general location. Even if Laugh Tale was, say, southwest from one of the islands that the Road Poneglyphs point to, one wouldn't be able to just go to one of those islands, make an Eternal Pose, start sailing southwest and keep going in the opposite direction that the Eternal Pose points. Because the Eternal Pose would always be pointing to the island it's set to, you wouldn't be able to tell if you veered even a little off course, and it's entirely likely that Laugh Tale's magnetic field would cause the Log Pose to start behaving erratically like a standard compass anywhere else in the Grand Line. Working backwards from a point also implies that each point is an island and not just a random coordinate in the first place. There's also the fact that such a ludicrously simplistic method would just feel cheap and unsatisfying. Simply put, it wouldn't take much effort on Oda's part to make celestial navigation the only viable method for actually finding Laugh Tale once the location has been pinpointed. It's not so unheard of that no one in the world could be capable of it, but used so rarely in this context that it still provides an advantage over those who don't have it readily available.

I've also seen some discussion here and there about how every Straw Hat needs a gag, and I think it would be pretty funny if Monet turned out to be obsessed with horoscopes. There's no reason to believe she is right now, but if she starts making predictions about mundane daily events that either humorously come true in unexpected ways or are always completely off base, that'd be a pretty solid bit right there. I think it's more of a Western thing, but it might also be funny for Monet to see any other Straw Hat's behavior and just brush it off like "of course you're acting that way, Luffy, you're a Taurus." Of course, her flirtatious yet shy and possibly motherly personality offers plenty to go off of, as it's pretty easy to see what sort of interactions she would have with the rest of the crew. With younger members (Chopper, Carrot, Pudding, Momo, and the immature Luffy) she may start acting as a bit of a doting mother hen type or potentially a strict mother, she may make passes at older members like Franky, Jinbe and possibly Robin, or tease the more mature young adults (Usopp, Zoro, maybe even Nami), and of course be flattered and withdraw from Sanji and Brook. It's hard to say exactly how these interactions would be characterized, but that's the impression I get based on what we know so far. People might argue with this on the basis that Robin is the designated mother figure for the crew by Oda, but that's no reason to assume that someone else won't present an alternate take on the mother role. Officially, I'm willing to bet that Monet would be labeled the aunt of the crew, in much the same way I expect Jinbe to be the uncle. While we're here, I'll go ahead and say now: Carrot would be second daughter, Pudding would be daughter-in-law, and Momo would probably be nephew, though he might only be an honorary member and might not get a family role similarly to Vivi, though I guess she could also be second daughter with Carrot as third. We'll see, I suppose. This particular bit of speculation doesn't really matter or affect anything, it's just kind of fun to think about.

On the subject of Monet's reception of Sanji's advances, I feel the need to point out that she is from North Blue, and would therefore be familiar with Germa 66. Regardless of whether she was more of a Sora or Germa fan, she would definitely have an opinion about getting hit on by Stealth Black. Furthermore, since I'm sure the Vinsmokes haven't outlived their role in their story, there's a very good chance that Monet would meet the rest of the Germa team. If she likes them, getting the heart-eyes treatment from four attractive young men in roles that she looked up to in her own youth would probably be adorably overwhelming for her. If she doesn't, then seeing her reconcile her hatred for them with her weakness to compliments would certainly be humorous in its own way.

We also have to consider her station on board the Sunny, as whether or not she's officially an astronomer, she would still have the opportunity to indulge in astronomy as a hobby within the Sunny's crow's nest.

It seems somewhat odd for Oda to specifically put an astronomical telescope on the Sunny without any intention of it being used in the narrative. I can see Franky doing that just in case, but Oda has a bit better of an idea of how all of the ship's elements will be used as the author, so many people have taken this as foreshadowing. Since the crow's nest doubles as the gym, Monet would definitely have at least one moment to interact privately with Zoro, which I think may be an important moment in establishing her character and dynamic with the rest of the group. Not only would it be a moment of reconciliation between the two of them considering that Zoro literally cut her in half once, but Zoro also was the lens through which we saw Robin warming up to the crew, as he was the one keeping the closest eye on her as a former enemy, so he could easily reprise this role and act as our litmus test for Monet's emotional closeness to the group. Alternatively, the crow's nest could set the scene for Carrot to spend time with Monet if both of them join, as the crow's nest is traditionally the post for the lookout. Since Monet incorporated rabbit imagery into one of her attacks and may be able to create snow-rabbit familiars, it's not too hard to imagine that Monet likes rabbits, so seeing the two interact and become friends would be pretty nice, though there may be some gags about Monet being a bird of prey interacting with a rabbit. It'd also be nice if they worked as co-lookouts, since it's unreasonable to expect Carrot to be awake at all times. Sure, she has the endurance to be awake night and day as an aide for Nekomamushi and Inuarashi, but she definitely works in shifts with other aides. They may even work with Usopp as well, given his burgeoning Observation Haki. There's a ton of potential for interactions with all of the Straw Hats, but these are the ones I'd expect to see fleshed out the most.

For situations outside of the ship, particularly when the crew is in combat, Monet's fighting abilities have already been showcased quite well, being able to sharpen her wings with ice, trap enemies with snow, conjure snowstorms, throw presumably hardened snowballs, fast travel through snow on the ground, and even shapeshift into a snow beast with fangs sharp enough to rip out a man's shoulder. However, we've only ever seen Monet fight alone, so while I'm sure Monet has plenty more solo techniques she could potentially show us, she most certainly has the potential for some interesting combo attacks with other members of the crew. The most obvious combo would be manipulating snow in conjunction with Nami, but she could also combo with either Nami, Carrot or both by channeling their electric attacks through a snow cloud, creating thundersnow. I won't get into the exact science of it, but essentially, because of the extreme cold, there is a much greater chance of the lightning produced by the clouds to have a positive charge, which strikes out further and stronger than negative lightning. She could also produce mist with Sanji's flames or Nami's Heat Eggs, increase the range of Brook's Soul Solid ice attacks, perform sword-based team attacks with Zoro, freeze Jinbe's water-based Fishman Karate attacks, set up conditions that Chopper can maneuver through as a reindeer but would slow down enemies, or create snow constructs that Luffy can use to attack enemies he can't directly touch. She may also be able to carry most members of the crew into the air to set up aerial versions of their attacks. I don't expect that we'd see all of these, but it isn't hard to see Monet synergizing with the rest of the crew in battle.
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But it's not enough just to predict how she'll come back and how she'll interact with the crew. We need to establish the context in which all of this will happen. What will actually happen in the arc or arcs where Monet is a central character? Bear in mind, any prediction I can make about upcoming arcs can only predict the generalized story beats and the actions of known characters, as there are bound to be new characters and concepts introduced. Therefore, even if everything I say is miraculously spot on, this theory will inherently have holes in it that cannot be filled at this time.

I've already established that I believe Monet's return will occur during what I am dubbing the Vegapunk Saga, but there is much more to my reasoning than just the children that Monet considers her own to being last seen sailing towards Vegapunk. While it won't necessarily be as climactic as Wano, a clash of several of the biggest players built up throughout the entirety of the New World Saga, the Vegapunk Saga stands to be the focal point of a massive web of plot points, concepts and characters, answering many burning questions that have been raised over the course of the past decade, and if Monet truly is alive, then she will surely be a key factor in the events of this storyline.

Let's start with the obvious and expand our web from the connecting thread we've already established: the children. As I said, I believe Monet to be following the children to Vegapunk, but they most certainly were not the only concept introduced at Punk Hazard that would serve to bridge these arcs. We still want an explanation for the room of frozen people and would perhaps like more information on Vegapunk's bio-engineered dragons, but more importantly, we need to resolve two more major plot points from Punk Hazard: Caesar's rivalry with Vegapunk and the artificial Devil Fruit that Momo ate that Vegapunk deemed a "failure." Why was it a failure? What's wrong with it? Was it just not up to snuff and the power output it allows is too weak compared to the Devil Fruit it was presumably based on, Kaido's currently unnamed dragon Devil Fruit? Or is Momo's life in some kind of danger having eaten it, and he needs Vegapunk to diagnose and heal him? In fact, this might be why the crew seeks out Vegapunk in the first place, and may be the reason that Momo chooses to continue his journey with the crew.

As for Caesar, he's actually been the single most influential character over the course of the New World Saga thus far, as aside from Fishman Island and Reverie, he's been directly or indirectly involved in every single arc. Obviously he was the villain of Punk Hazard, his capture was the impetus for Dressrosa, his gas weapon Koro was used by the Beasts Pirates at Zou and he subsequently helped provide aid to the Minks, Big Mom chased the crew down to Zou in search of Caesar, Caesar was an integral part of the plot to assassinate Big Mom, and Caesar's SMILEs are a major thematic symbol in Wano, both being used by the Gifters and Pleasures of the Beasts Pirates and the emotionally cursed poor townsfolk of Wano's slums. On that note, Momo may actually want to find Vegapunk to seek out a cure for the Pleasures, giving an even more solid reason for their paths to cross. Back on topic, the last time we saw Caesar, he was absconding from Totto Land, and presumably he managed to escape while Big Mom was preoccupied with going after Luffy. Why he would necessarily end up where Vegapunk is, I'm not entirely sure. Perhaps now that the Shichibukai system has been abolished and he doesn't have any more government sanctioned pirates to hide behind, he's seeking the help of the one person that actually knows him and might fall for some lie about being reformed? Again, the specifics don't really matter yet, all that matters is that Caesar has a definitive connection to Vegapunk as former associates, and Caesar has been such a central character in every arc up to this point that it would be strange if that trend stopped now. I'll go over his possible role shortly, but I do think that the connection between Caesar and Monet cannot be ignored in an arc where the two return, especially if Monet's true motivations involve an emotional attachment to the children. I think this would provide a fantastic opportunity for Monet to reveal who she really is to the audience and to the crew while also getting closure for the values dissonance that Caesar and Doflamingo put her through, personally punishing Caesar for how he treated the children. I cannot imagine a more fitting catharsis to the unresolved events of Punk Hazard, but I'm sure Oda will surprise me no matter what.

Aside from Caesar, the most notable recurring element through the New World has been the Eleven Supernovas, or more specifically the nine that aren't Luffy and Zoro, and pretty much all of them have either been in league with or opposition to a major antagonist thus far. Law was introduced at Punk Hazard as an ally to Caesar and indirectly Doflamingo, Bege as a subordinate to Big Mom, and Kid as staunchly defying Kaido while Killer, Hawkins, Apoo and Drake all worked under him. Of course, half of them have been deliberate traitors thus far, with Law and Bege planning to overthrow their benefactors from the start and Drake being an undercover agent for the Marine agency SWORD. Killer of course was only working for Kaido in hopes that it would protect Kid, and honestly who's to say what Hawkins and Apoo have planned? It doesn't really matter here, as I don't imagine most of them will be involved in the Vegapunk Saga (though Drake might be for reasons I'll touch on soon). Instead, I think the Vegapunk Saga's resident Supernovas will be our remaining two, Bonney and Urouge.

Bonney is the easiest to see the connection for, as we see her infiltrating Mary Geoise under the guise of queen dowager Connie of Sorbet Kingdom specifically to find former king of Sorbet, Bartholomew Kuma.

As I'm sure we're all well aware by this point, Kuma was once human, a Shichibukai, and a member of the Revolutionary Army, but was turned into a cyborg programmed to be loyal to the World Government by, you guessed it, Vegapunk. A consistent question since Kuma revealed he was undergoing this cyborgization procedure has been why he, someone so anti-World Government, would go along with it apparently voluntarily? If we're to learn the truth behind his motivations, it seems likely that we would hear it from the mouth of the man responsible, as Kuma doesn't seem to be capable of rational thought or communication anymore. Since we would presumably be going more in depth to Kuma's backstory as king of Sorbet, it only makes sense that we would also learn more about Bonney, who apparently is so visually similar to the queen that she can pass herself off as her when aged appropriately with her ability. It's also possible that Bonney and Connie are one in the same, but I'm personally assuming that they're either mother and daughter or grandmother and granddaughter, but like so many other things, it doesn't really matter right now. I'm also interested in the fact that Connie is specifically queen dowager, meaning that she is a widow. I considered that perhaps she was Kuma's queen and Kuma was considered dead to the country after leaving to pursue piracy or the Revolutionary Army, but given her apparent age, I would wager that she was queen before Kuma took the throne, as he is in his late 40's and she seems to be at least 70 if I had to guess. Doesn't technically mean anything, age gaps aren't too much of an issue for royalty, but I think that Kuma married her daughter, then left after said daughter's death. Bonney, then, I would imagine to be Kuma's daughter, who was in line to become queen but left to pursue Kuma, forcing the aged Connie to resume her reign that had previously ended upon her husband's death. Of course, this could easily go any number of ways, and Bonney may just be someone who happens to look like Connie and deeply respects her former king Kuma. If she really is Connie and manipulated her age to go on adventures, there's a non-zero chance that she's Kuma's mother, as some others have theorized, but I think if the queen dowager of a nation suddenly disappeared, the world would probably notice, so I don't personally believe this one myself. I could go over all the evidence for her possible status, but that's not really relevant to this theory.

All that really matters about Bonney right now is that she clearly cares for Kuma and wants to help him in some way, so the next logical course would be to confront the one who turned him into a machine, bringing Bonney and all of her related plot points into the Vegapunk Saga. After all, immediately following the Summit War at Marineford, Bonney resolves to go to the New World to find the person she blames for all that happened.

Who she's referring to is a mystery. She could mean Blackbeard for capturing Ace, triggering the war and personally killing Whitebeard, backed up by the fact that Bonney immediately ran into and was defeated by Blackbeard in the New World, but at the time she made this decision, Blackbeard wasn't in the New World as far as she knew. Granted, she may not have known that Kuma had been turned into a cyborg by Vegapunk either, so really who's to say? She may not even actually be talking about finding the one responsible, she could be talking about finding Kuma. Either way, whoever she wants to find is in the New World, and whether it's Vegapunk or his creation, it wouldn't be strange for all three of them to end up in the same place at the same time, perhaps with Vegapunk doing maintenance on Kuma after being constantly brutalized by the World Nobles.

Moreover, if the Vegapunk Arc does end up involving a segment focusing on Monet's feelings of motherhood towards the Punk Hazard children, then Bonney could potentially bring an interesting thematic parallel to the story if she's related to Kuma. How exactly this would play out, either with mirrored dialogue, actions or even a direct confrontation, I cannot say, but Oda does have tendency to have multiple characters within an arc embody different aspects of the same theme, so having a mother and a daughter attempting to rescue their children and father respectively from the machinations of a mad scientist would definitely make for some juicy drama.

Urouge's connection to the Vegapunk Saga requires an additional step of logic, but with all of the other puzzle pieces we've established so far, this seems to me like it would be the perfect scenario to give Urouge some focus. See, there's a reason I've been calling it the Vegapunk Saga this whole time rather than the Vegapunk Arc: I predict there will be two arcs within this saga, the Vegapunk Arc (to be named pending the island that he's on) and the Moon Arc. I've alluded to the Straw Hats going to the moon a few times by now, but aside from "Monet knows about astronomy and Enel is on the moon," I haven't really gone into any explicit details on why I believe that or why it will be a part of the Vegapunk Saga. I'll explain myself in due time, but for now, let's finish up talking about Urouge. We know that the Sky People came from the moon based on the wall-paintings that Enel discovered in the ruins of the moon city of Birka, and we know that they descended to Earth because of a lack of resources, but there is definitely more to the story than what we're being told. Why did the three factions of Sky People, the Shandians, Skypieans and Birkans, end up separating? Why were the Shandians in the Blue Sea of the Earth and not the White Sea of the sky? Why were the Automata left behind on the moon and not taken to Earth? Was the plan to come back with resources? Is that need for resources the reason that the Skypieans and Birkans worship soil under the name Vearth? If there aren't any usable resources on the moon, what were the Space Pirates excavating there? Why do the moon Automata look exactly the same as Dr. Tsukimi's Automata from Karakuri Island? There are just so many questions waiting to be answered that it would be odd for Oda to never address them, but even if he doesn't, there's still one more reason that we need to focus on Urouge and possibly bring him to the moon. Urouge needs to confront Enel because he was behind the destruction of the Earth city of Birka, presumably named after the one on the moon. Based on Urouge's wing shape, we can assume that he is a Birkan, or at least related to them, though interestingly when he was a child he had the wing shape and hairstyle unique to the Skypieans, another aspect of his story that definitely could use some explanation.

Why and how did Urouge go through this transition? Going by the fact that Urouge is a monk, I'm inclined to think that he has some relation to the priests of Birka, most likely working under them in some capacity, as he seems to wear a tattered uniform of the Divine Soldiers under his black robes. Going by Gan Fall of Skypiea and Haredas of Weatheria (formerly of Birka according to the Vivre Card Databook), neither of whom having wings, as well as Enel's drums, I believe that the wings are accessories rather than appendages, able to be removed and replaced as necessary. As such, if Urouge replaced his wings and cut his hair at some point in his younger days, then it's possible that he was either born to both groups or he was adopted by a Birkan and altered his appearance to compensate, or possibly swapped his wings to demonstrate a shift in loyalty. Either way, what really matters is that he is a Birkan monk on the Blue Sea, an exceedingly rare sight. Since Birka was destroyed eight years prior to the current story and Urouge has been a pirate for less than a year, we can assume that one of two things is likely: either Urouge was working under Enel during Birka's destruction and left some time later, or he escaped Enel's genocide and hid out on Earth for some time. It's also possible that he left before Birka's destruction, but that feels like it would be a waste of a perfect narrative opportunity to connect a current character to a classic like Enel. Furthermore, consider the fact that Urouge's crew is called the Fallen Monk Pirates. While "Fallen" in a western religious context would imply something to the effect of being kicked out of Heaven, the Japanese name, Hakaisou (破戒僧), specifically refers to a sinful, depraved, or disgraced monk or priest, implying that Urouge in some way betrayed a religious order that he was a part of. With his uniform and wings, I think it's hard to argue that said religious order was anything other than God's Army under Enel. Whether it was a result of deliberate rebellion stemming from a crisis of conscience or an act of overzealous extremism, I think Urouge was excommunicated from God's Army, with the black robes over his torn uniform either symbolizing his shame as an outcast or his rejection of the faith. While his excommunication may have come from his favorite hobbies being drinking and fornicating, a perfectly reasonable explanation for his crew being seen as sinful monks, it may also have been because of his stance on Enel's actions, such as enslaving the members of Gan Fall's Divine Squad and creating a device with the intention of destroying Skypiea.

If I had to guess what sort of scene occurred when he was excommunicated, I would envision Enel ordering Urouge be executed by being literally thrown from Sky Island, mirroring the scene where he pushed Gan Fall from God's Shrine after usurping his position.

He likely expected Urouge to either drown in the Blue Sea or die on impact with the Earth, only for Urouge to survive due to his Devil Fruit converting the damage of the fall into physical strength. Not that he'd need it, since Gedatsu survived the same fall from Skypiea down to what would later become Ukkari Hot-Spring Island.

Either way, a scene to that effect that would explain many aspects of Urouge's character. Whatever the case, I think that Urouge is going to be present for the Moon Arc for whatever contrived reason Oda decides on (maybe it's a religious pilgrimage to reach Fairy Vearth? Maybe he somehow learned of the moon Birka or Enel's presence there?) and will end up meeting Enel, prompting a flashback that explains what happened to the Earth Birka and Urouge's backstory.

The journey to the moon may also be related to the World Nobles, or the Celestial Dragons (Heavenly Dragon People in Japanese). As their title implies a relation to the literal heavens and their visual designs resemble astronauts with oxygen tanks and transparent helmets covering their heads (at least when they venture out of Mary Geoise), it is a fairly common theory that the World Nobles originated in space.

While the idea that they're descended from literal heavenly beings is most likely just propaganda, it's also possible that this visual is meant to evoke the image that they're travelers from another world, potentially the moon, just as the Sky People were. I wouldn't be surprised at all to learn that there were more civilizations on the moon than just the Birkans, and I would be even less surprised to find out that the self-entitled World Nobles were the ones that squandered the moon's resources, thus forcing the Birkans and themselves to descend to the planet below...or would that be ascending from their perspective? Either way, if the World Nobles ancestors were originally from the moon as well, then a Moon Arc could end up holding very important clues for the Void Century as well, especially considering Robin's speculation that the Poneglyphs found in the lost city of Shandora indicate a relation between the Shandians (and likely by extension all of the Sky People) and the Void Century.

This would be especially poignant, as the World Nobles believe themselves to be literal gods in much the same way that Enel does, so getting a second chance to look a bit closer at Enel may give us some new insight on just how far that parallel goes. Depending on how Enel has changed over the last two years, he could end up showing us the logical extremes of believing oneself a god or the realization that one isn't. I doubt he's been able to grow food on the moon, perhaps he's realized that Fairy Vearth wasn't as great a treasure as he thought.
But even if we bring all of these big names into the narrative, the question still remains: why go to the moon in the first place, and why does Vegapunk need to be involved?

Ignoring the contextual purpose of reaching the moon for now, there are at least two strong narrative purposes. The first, as we've already covered, is the need to inform the audience of the full backstory of the Sky People, as otherwise their lunar origin is just a throwaway detail, which would be wildly unsatisfying. The second, and likely one that readers will find much more compelling and hitting a bit closer to home, is its contribution to Franky's dream. The Thousand Sunny is meant to be a ship that sails a thousand seas, and it just wouldn't be complete without the Black Sea added to the list. Moreover, though, when the crew first rode Sunny, Franky declared that it would not only do everything that its predecessor, the Going Merry did, but that it would exceed them as well.

While the Sunny can soar 1 km horizontally with a Coup de Burst, we have yet to see it do anything remotely close to the Merry's 7 km upward ascent via the Knock Up Stream to Skypiea. No, the Knock Up Stream in Stampede doesn't count since that's a non-canon film, but even if it did, that's just doing the same thing as Merry, not surpassing it. While I'm confident that at some point Sunny is going to travel to a Sky Island, possibly of its own power rather than by taking a Knock Up Stream as that would certainly be more impressive, I think that the most definitive way to surpass Merry would be for Sunny to bypass the sky altogether. As far as we know, only one ship has ever made the trek to the moon, Enel's Maxim, and it just wouldn't do for someone to have a ship that surpasses the Pirate King's, now would it?

But as I said, the Sunny currently only has enough power to move 1 km aerially, and presumably wouldn't be able to cover that same distance vertically given the difference in how gravity would probably affect it. Franky could probably add on something that would allow it to ascend, but I can only imagine how much cola it would take to travel 384,000 km, assuming that this moon is as far away as ours and ignoring the need for escape velocity since balloons seem sufficient for space travel. Honestly, I just don't see Franky having the materials or the knowledge necessary to upgrade the Sunny in such a way at present.

But Vegapunk almost definitely does. Ostensibly Vegapunk's tech is approximately 500 years ahead of that which is typically available in the world of One Piece, and while I don't have a fantastic grasp on the chronology of real world technology, I do know that we don't have fully automated and perfectly lifelike androids that can shoot laser beams from their mouths or the ability to mass produce perfectly cloned humans. But do you know what we most definitely do have, and have had available to us for about 80 years now? Space travel.

It's hard to say exactly where the One Piece world's base level of technological capability is, but they have bazookas, so at the very least we can definitely say that the One Piece world has technology comparable to our world in the 1940s. It's never stated that those were designed by Vegapunk, so unless that's the case, that would mean that Vegapunk would only need to jump technology ahead by twenty years to design a space shuttle or similar craft, far below his 500 year upper limit. Incidentally, laser beams were also first invented in the 1960s, and while people in One Piece know what they are, it was considered the stuff of fairy tales before Vegapunk modeled a beam weapon from Kizaru's Glint-Glint Fruit. For even Vegapunk to not be able to dabble in space travel, the One Piece world would need to have a base technological level comparable to our early 1400s, but cybernetics as robust as Vegapunk's probably won't be available in our world centuries to come, so I don't think it's fair to say that the One Piece world is only at our 1400s. Granted, this may not be a fair metric at all, as "500 years ahead" is obviously an estimate in context, I'm just saying that if they have more futuristic technology than we do now, they can easily have what has been around in our world for the better part of a century as well. This goes double considering the fact that, again, Enel was able to create such a vessel from wood, gold and fossilized seashells that for some reason have various technological properties including jet propulsion. While the people of Earth don't have easy access to Dials, Franky was able to create a similar effect to Jet Dials with his Coup de Burst cybernetics, so there's no reason to assume that Vegapunk wouldn't be able to as well. The main question is how Enel was able to engineer Maxim, though I imagine that some level of technological expertise was passed down from the Birkans of the moon. If we look at it that way, it wouldn't be hard to brush it off as the Birkans being more technologically advanced than even Vegapunk, especially since they were able to create vehicles like the Wavers hundreds of years ago. However, it appears that his homeland, Karakuri Island, has a comparable level of technology to Birka, on the basis that both have the Automata androids. What's particularly interesting is that the design between the two iterations is near identical, with the only marked difference being their clothes (assuming that the wings are part of their clothes and not functional, like the Sky People). The Karakuri Automata were ostensibly created by Dr. Tsukimi, as noted by First Lieutenant Spacey's flashback to his birth.

This could indicate one of two things: Spacey and the others were from the moon originally, came to Earth for whatever reason and were damaged in the process, necessitating repairs that became a rebirth for them and they no longer remember their life on the moon, or they were in fact made from scratch by Tsukimi. The fact that they're identical is really unlikely to be a coincidence, so the former would be a much simpler explanation, but the latter would imply a relationship between the Sky People and the people of Karakuri, with the knowledge of robotics and the subsequent design sensibilities being passed down the generations. If the Sky People were in fact not the only tribes on the moon, and others like the World Nobles also came to Earth, this could imply that all human life originated on the moon, and perhaps the leader in robotics on the moon happened to end up on Karakuri. Either way, given how Vegapunk is described in story, we can safely assume that he's more technologically gifted than Tsukimi, therefore, if Tsukimi is able to create or repair androids comparable to those on the moon, we have to assume that Vegapunk is at least capable of matching if not exceeding the same feats. By extension, if someone who doesn't seem to be particularly scientifically oriented like Enel was able to create a spacecraft, it wouldn't be at all surprising for Vegapunk to be able to do so as well. Why he wouldn't work on an airplane first is anyone's guess, maybe he's just so forward thinking he missed that obvious bridge in technological progression, or he has a very specific purpose in getting to the moon and wants to focus on that. Maybe the government is worried that air travel would make it too easy for the disparate countries of the world to interact and are deliberately suppressing that technology to prevent any potential anti-government unity across the world, or even the ability to potentially find hidden islands like Laugh Tale more easily. Who knows?

But just because he can make a spacecraft doesn't mean that he will, and even if he does, he won't necessarily do it for our heroes. I still think he will do both, but as a government agent, I see very few scenarios where he is the one to upgrade the Sunny. I imagine that if he does, it will be through some kind of deal with the Straw Hats, wherein he offers to help with whatever issue they present to him in exchange for being the test subjects of his space tech or retrieving something of value from the moon for him. However, if that isn't the route that Oda wants to go, there are other options.

While Vegapunk is an unsurpassed genius, he is not an unrivaled one, as a number of incredible scientific minds have arisen within the franchise by this point and crossed paths with the crew, two of whom we know are well acquainted with Vegapunk, and both of whom currently reside in the New World: Vinsmoke Judge and Caesar Clown. In fact, we saw both of them most recently in the same location, Big Mom's territory of Totto Land. I'm not saying that Caesar necessarily escaped from Totto Land on a Germa ship, but I won't discount the possibility, and either way I won't be surprised if the two of them end up arriving in the Vegapunk Arc around the same time under similar circumstances.

In this scenario, for reasons I will go into more detail on later, Vegapunk is working on a spacecraft with the intent of reaching the moon. Luffy, also for reasons I'll discuss later, decides that he wants to go to the moon as well, but obviously Vegapunk isn't going to remodel a random pirate ship for such a job, so the crew needs to find someone else. Naturally, not wanting to be shown up by Vegapunk, Caesar is easily convinced to join the space race (in fact, I'm willing to bet the arc will probably be made to be reminiscent of the Space Race of our 1960's in some way, likely with the vessel made by the side opposing the Straw Hats being in some way a reference to Sputnik), possibly in conjunction with Judge, both of whom help Franky outfit the Sunny with the upgrades necessary. The blueprints may even be stolen from Vegapunk by Monet to help demonstrate her scouting/spying abilities, though this may not be necessary depending on how the arc flows. If Vegapunk is the one helping the crew though, I imagine Caesar will still show up and try to outdo him, likely with a less elegant model that will either fail to reach the moon or crash when it gets there and not be able to come back.

Before I go into the upgrades that the Sunny may get, I think it's important to bring up that the crew will most likely need space suits, or at least should expect to need space suits. Enel is able to walk around on the moon without fear of suffocation or decompression, but it's hard to say if that's related to the Sky People originating from the moon. I don't think the Sky People are anaerobic, since Calgara was affected by the change in the available oxygen when Jaya was first sent to Sky Island, so it's odd that Enel doesn't seem to be suffering any ill effects on the moon. It's possible that this is just fantasy logic and the moon here actually does have an atmosphere, but Oda seems to be making a concerted effort to maintain some level of scientific accuracy by continuously calling attention to Skypiea's oxygen quantity, not to mention the fact that the Space Pirates seem to be wearing suits with some kind of gauges, potentially measuring air reserves, pressure, or both.

Mysteriously, their faces and mouths aren't covered, and not all of the Space Pirates seem to even have these gauges in the first place, so it's actually pretty hard to say exactly what function the suits serve, but it's clear that Oda has at least taken the atmosphere or lack thereof into account. The aliens may also have various biological differences that necessitate specific designs to their suits that would be different from what a human would need, so it's even more difficult to use their suits as evidence for or against what our crew might require. Earth scientists, however, would likely assume that suits are necessary, having never been to the moon to know whether or not the atmosphere can sustain astronauts. Fortunately, we already know that Vegapunk has made suits for regulating oxygen, and presumably can modify them for pressure considerations as well, and there's not really any reason to assume that Caesar, who has had access to those suits, and Judge, whose bread and butter is ability-enhancing suits, wouldn't be able to do the same.

Back to the upgrades, there are a few options for their exact nature, such as jets or propellers like those seen on the Maxim or some kind of balloon system like the ones used by the ancient Sky People and the Automata, but I'm inclined to believe that at least part of it will involve wings as a parallel to the Sky Island Saga, as Merry was outfitted with wings at the time. I wouldn't even be surprised if Oda recycled the Emperor Penguin design from Stampede.

This seems like the most likely route for this arc to take, but I would like to present an alternative possibility just for fun, as unlikely as it may be. Of all of Vegapunk's technological contributions, there's one in particular that we've known about for a very long time that has yet to be explained to the audience: the procedure for "feeding" a Devil Fruit to an object.

If you'll recall, back when I was talking about the patterns that Monet fits, I mentioned the theory that because the Japanese names of the Straw Hats' Devil Fruits can be read as numbers, they can potentially add up to 325, read as Sa-Ni-Go, or Sunny-go, with only the remaining 20 being unaccounted for if we add Monet's Yuki-Yuki Fruit as the 9 with a reverse reading (yuki->kiyu->kyu->9). If we look at it by subtraction rather than addition (325-56-110-87-43-9=20), then we may be able to uncover the true meaning of that last number: that because the Sunny does not have any of those other Fruit, the 20 Fruit must go to the Sunny. But what Devil Fruit could possibly be reasonable to be eaten by a ship? Certainly not Shiki's Paramecia, the Fuwa-Fuwa (Float-Float) Fruit, though that would justify Sunny's ability to fly. No, only Zoans have ever been combined with objects thus far. But what animal could both allow its eater to fly and fit the 20 requirement? Even if you don't know Japanese, you may have already figured out that Oda already told us: the chicken.

As Merry was once turned into a chicken to fly into the clouds, Sunny too could be turned into a chicken to fly past the sky itself. Just like Monet's Yuki-Yuki Fruit may hide its number 9 by reversing its kana, the Sunny's Fruit may hide its 20 within the factor unique to the naming conventions of Zoan Fruit, their model names. In this case, the Sunny would be fed the Tori-Tori (Bird-Bird) Fruit, Model: Chicken, or Niwatori, where ni=2 and wa=0. The 20 bird.

Of course, there are two obvious arguments against this notion. For one, chickens are not traditionally known to fly. Contrary to popular belief, though, chickens are not actually flightless birds, they just tend to either get their wings clipped to prevent flight and escape by farmers or they're too heavy to fly because they're bred to have as much meat on them as possible. I don't believe they fly very far or high, but Oda has been known to take liberties in the past, like for example making Morgans' Albatross Fruit flightless despite the fact that albatross are some of the best fliers on Earth (an ornithological injustice I will not forgive, unless it turns out that Morgans himself is just out of shape). The other major problem, though, is that feeding a Devil Fruit to a ship would undoubtedly be disastrous, as the ship would probably sink simply by virtue of being a Devil Fruit user. Of course, this could be circumvented in a number of ways, such as rigging up a flotation device made of taolf wood, or kuuigosu, the super buoyant wood that is used to return to the surface from undersea trips and which has been seen conveniently supporting Devil Fruit users when Oda forgets that they're supposed to sink in water.

It's also possible that as a bird, Sunny would just fly instead of sailing from that point, likely having high stamina on account of being gigantic by bird standards. Still, it would need to land eventually, and it would also probably defeat the theme of the series for the boat to always be flying. If the Sunny must get the Devil Fruit but not require additional apparatus just to function normally or cease to be a nautical vessel, it may be that the ship itself won't actually be the one to receive the Devil Fruit, but an aspect that can be removed or doesn't touch the water. As the figure head is technically a separate part of the ship, it could be localized there but spread its transformation through the whole ship, though that feels a bit like cheating. Alternatively, it may not be the literal Sunny that eats the Fruit, but the Sunny's personification: the Klabautermann.

Seeing as its a spirit that embodies the ship, I envision the Sunny's Klabautermann more or less possessing the ship when the crew want to fly, granting the ship the ability to fly when necessary but removing the Devil Fruit's weakness to water at all other times. The Klabautermann would by extension be capable of leaving the ship and participating in adventures and battles if necessary. Of course, there isn't really any precedent for this being how a Klabautermann or an Object Zoan work, so at the moment this is just a fun hypothetical. It's got pretty much everything going against it, so I don't honestly believe it'll happen, but wouldn't that be something? It would certainly help with the fact that the moon doesn't have any water for the Sunny to drift on, so being able to sprout chicken feet like an aquatic Baba Yaga hut and walk around with the crew would be both convenient and adorable. Or maybe in its full animal mode it's just a regular sized chicken (or even a particularly large chicken) that either walks around on its own or gets carried around by the crew in shifts. The potential for cute and funny scenes is limitless. Again, and I can't stress this enough, I don't think this is going to happen, I would just enjoy it if it did.

That said, I think it's worth noting that the Sunny's Klabautemann has not manifested in canon as of yet, only appearing in the Episode of Merry TV special. Regardless of whether it will be eating a Devil Fruit, I think that the Vegapunk Saga is the absolute perfect time for it to appear from a narrative perspective. After all, if we're already having the Sunny gain the ability to fly to a skyward land inhabited by winged people led by Enel, doesn't it stand to reason that the Vegapunk Saga as a whole will have even more parallels to the Sky Island Saga?
Though I obviously can't predict every single story beat, character interaction, or the overarching themes of the Vegapunk Saga, I think we can get a general idea of the layout of the Vegapunk Saga by taking elements from both Jaya and Skypiea.

To start, the crew needs to be moving towards Vegapunk. This could easily be something as simple as the Log Pose pointing them in Vegapunk's direction and they don't even realize it, or they discover a need to go to him specifically. As I said before, the artificial Devil Fruit that Momo ate was created and deemed a failure by Vegapunk himself, so the defect of the Fruit may become apparent either during the events of Onigashima or just following, or they may be looking to cure the Pleasures that ate Caesar's SMILEs. If the crew is specifically seeking out Vegapunk, they would need some idea of where he is. Fortunately, Onigashima happens to have put the crew in the vicinity of someone who is likely to be privy to that information: X Drake, the captain of secret Marine agency SWORD undercover as one of Kaido's top minions. Since Luffy's time in the New World is heavily characterized by him befriending his fellow Supernovas, it wouldn't surprise me at all if Drake were to help guide the crew to Vegapunk after they help take down two of the governments greatest threats, Big Mom and Kaido, especially if it was to help the future shogun of Wano, the country he just spent the last two years trying to save. Drake being along for the ride may be especially appropriate given the fact that he has an interest in astrophysics, though like I said that's not actually related to space travel. Drake is also a factor that may result in Vegapunk granting aid directly to the crew, as Drake may put in a good word for them, facilitating Vegapunk to work with them under the table. As previously mentioned, it could easily be a quid pro quo scenario, where the crew needs Vegapunk's help with whatever plot device brought them to him, and Vegapunk agrees on the condition that they test out his space shuttle or retrieve something from the moon for him.

Alternatively, the crew may seek out Vegapunk with the intention of reaching the moon. After all, before heading to Skypiea, Luffy stopped by Jaya to get some information on Sky Islands, but to look for information, he had to learn that Sky Islands exist. Luffy learned this from two hints: the Log Pose pointing upward and the St. Briss raining down on the crew.

I don't foresee the Log Pose pointing to the moon, but I can very easily see something falling from the sky to alert the crew to the presence of a civilization on the moon. More specifically, I imagine that either one of the Automata or one of the Space Pirates will find themselves on Earth for one reason or another. If it's an Automata, it might be that it escaped from a Space Pirate attack that proved unexpectedly difficult for Enel to fend off, as the aliens likely were intelligent enough to figure out a counter to what they probably interpret as "electric weaponry." Alternatively, as Enel probably can't cultivate food on the moon as I stated earlier, he might actually send Automata to Earth secretly to steal food, but obviously the former would be more dramatic. If it's a Space Pirate, then the scenario is probably reversed, with the alien forces being routed by Enel and a desperate survivor happened to end up on Earth. In the former scenario, the Automata probably wants to return to the moon with whatever reinforcements it can get, while in the latter the alien may either want to return to help its friends after escaping so shamefully or end up being reluctantly dragged back by Luffy and co. There might not be a living entity on board at all, instead either being a corpse like on the St. Briss or some kind of distress signal. We all know how much Oda loves Star Wars, so this could be an opportunity for a "help me Obi-Wan Kenobi" style scene, though Oda doesn't tend to make pop culture references outside of character designs, so I'm not banking on this. Whatever the inciting incident ends up being, it will like lead us to our second parallel: the unexpected passenger.

After their attempts to salvage the wreckage of the St. Briss were interrupted by Masira's crew and a giant turtle, the crew finds that Masira has inadvertently ended up on their ship. They end up kicking him off, but it was thanks to his presence that the crew had an idea of where to go next, as Robin stole his Eternal Pose pointing towards Jaya.

In this scenario, the crew likely won't jettison their new charge, instead traveling with them towards their next destination to potentially find help, just as they did towards Jaya to find information. If the passenger is an Automata, they may actually know of Vegapunk if they're one of the four that originate from Karakuri Island. On that note, to combat the argument that an Automata would just need a balloon to get back to the moon, a single balloon wouldn't get an entire ship and its crew there, and if it's trying to get their help, it can't just return on its own. Anyway, if Drake is along for the ride, then he could be the one to directly lead them to Vegapunk, potentially supplying an Eternal Pose.

It's also possible that the island Vegapunk is on cannot be found through Log Pose, like Punk Hazard, or this will be the moment that the Log Pose fails entirely, and our unexpected passenger isn't an alien, robot or undercover Marine, but an astronomer/scout with the means to navigate uncharted waters such as Monet. This could potentially be a good opportunity to demonstrate the sort of skills that will be necessary for traversing the moon, in much the same way that Robin's expertise was demonstrated in appraising the corpse that fell from the St. Briss.

If Drake is on board and knows that the Log Pose will fail, he may actually be the one to contact Monet if she's working with Vegapunk as I conjectured earlier, specifically using her as a more convenient method of reaching the island than whatever was used before she arrived. Of course, it's completely possible that they just happen upon Vegapunk's island based on their Log Pose and find Vegapunk himself by coincidence in much the same way they came upon Montblanc Cricket by coincidence. Speaking of...

The Merry wasn't in any condition to make a journey into the sky, especially not one where it would be launched up by force equivalent to a volcano, so to reinforce it and make it more aerodynamic, the Saruyama Alliance of Cricket, Masira and Shoujou all pitched in to remodel Merry into Flying Mode. Furthermore, it's because the Saruyama Alliance is made up of divers that they were able to pinpoint the location of the Knock Up Stream. Presumably, a similar group of experts will work to convert Sunny into a flying vessel, whether by adding on bird-inspired peripherals or feeding it a Devil Fruit, and make any calculations necessary for trajectory or preparing suits for space travel. Said group may be made of three people to more accurately mirror the Saruyama Alliance, likely being Vegapunk, Judge and Franky, as the latter would most definitely want to be involved in making the Sunny more incredible than it already is. If we don't count Franky, though, the third could be a character we haven't met yet, Drake because of his interest in astrophysics, or possibly even Caesar depending on the circumstances, but for now, I'm going with Vegapunk, Judge and Drake against Caesar for the sake of the space race plotline.

Things can never be so simple, though, as there must always be a complicating element. On Jaya, it was Bellamy, who heard that Noland the Liar's descendant had found gold trying to prove the legend of the City of Gold true, and decided to steal the gold and make a mockery of a foolish dreamer. For Vegapunk, I imagine this will be where Bonney comes in.

However, unlike Bellamy, Bonney won't be playing the role of a bully looking for profit and a cheap laugh, but a victim seeking retribution. How Bonney trying to get revenge for Kuma will intersect with Luffy's need to go to the moon, I'm not sure, especially if he's not working directly with Vegapunk, but since there are so many other factors to potentially worry about (the children, Momo's Devil Fruit, etc.), I'm sure the two of them will cross paths somehow. If Luffy and Vegapunk are working together, though, then not only would Bonney be a really easy parallel for Bellamy, but Caesar could become one as well, fitting much more closely as a saboteur acting out of spite. Since Bellamy was directly confrontational and Caesar isn't really the type, I'm willing to bet that while Bonney is causing trouble openly, Caesar takes the opportunity to steal something vital to the upgrade in much the same way that Bellamy stole Cricket's golden statue.

Once the crew has a vessel that can safely make the voyage, they'll need some form of guide, as when attempting to get to Sky Island from Jaya, they needed to head due south to hit the Knock Up Stream, but couldn't rely on their Log Pose since it only points to islands. To compensate, they recruited a South Bird, a bird whose magnetic sense is accurate enough that its head always points south. As it happens, the South Bird is also very protective of its territory, the forest of Jaya, and threatens to kill anyone who would harm said forest, and yet it ends up reluctantly helping the crew once they capture it. Does a bird that will kill to protect what it cares about becoming a guide when the Log Pose is rendered unreliable sound familiar?

The biggest question is why Monet would go along with this in the first place. The South Bird needed to be captured, and although it was reluctant, its physiology forced it to point south for the crew. Monet, on the other hand, would need to willingly offer her services to be of any use. The simplest answer would probably be that, if she is an astronomer, going to the moon would be too good of a research opportunity to pass up. There would probably be a deeper explanation as well, maybe something contrived like a moon resource being helpful for the kids or, if we go down the route where Vegapunk is an ally, he may have a deal with her as well just like with Luffy, but there's too many factors to accurately speculate on, so we're going to go with the easy answer for now.
Upon reaching the sky, the crew's first encounter was with Wyper, a hostile Shandian attacker, only to be saved by Gan Fall, the deposed God of Skypiea who now acts as the protector of the citizens of Skypiea. Similarly, when Enel first arrived on the moon, his first encounter was with First Lieutenant Spacey, who was being attacked by a Space Pirate, only to save him and his group.

When the Straw Hats go to the moon, the conflict between Enel, his Automata army, and the Space Pirates will likely be ongoing, and the Space Pirates will most likely be the first ones to greet the Straw Hats. Interestingly, since the Shandians are technically natives of the Blue Sea and not Skypiea, they can be said to be aliens in the same way that the Space Pirates are aliens to the moon. Therefore, the Straw Hats are initially attacked by an alien force, and saved by the protector of the natives. Enel probably won't realize that they're the Straw Hats immediately, since he's definitely never seen their ship and likely doesn't expect visitors from Earth, so it won't be until after he's saved them that he becomes hostile himself, immediately inverting his parallel to Gan Fall in this instance. I imagine Luffy will intercept any of Enel's attacks, reminding him that Luffy isn't an opponent to approach casually, and this may prompt him to leave and return to Birka lest he leave the Automata unguarded. I also don't think that Enel will be deposed, as he'll still be the leader of the Automata, but he definitely was deposed from his rule in Skypiea, and he likely won't be the de facto ruler of the moon given his ongoing feud with the Space Pirates.

After Gan Fall leaves, the crew makes their way to Skypiea proper, where they are introduced to the winged residents, their culture and technology. While there, they also learn that the Skypieans are ruled by an entity they refer to as God, Enel, and his four priests. Since they were made by the Sky People of the moon, the Automata naturally have wings shaped just like the Skypieans, and I don't think it's a coincidence that there are exactly four with unique designs that don't.

What's particularly interesting about Enel immediately gaining new followers isn't just that there are four that are unique among the masses, but that among those four, two of them use similar weapons to the previous group of four. General Galaxy uses a katana not unlike Ohm's Eisen Whip, while Colonel Macro wields a lance nearly identical to Shura's Heat Javelin. I'm curious if Spacey or Sergeant Cosmo have somehow changed to reflect Gedatsu and Satori, though those two were mostly martial artists rather than weapons specialists. Perhaps Spacey utilizes explosives to mirror Satori's Surprise Balls and Cosmo is skilled in setting up traps to mirror Gedatsu's Swamp Clouds? It's hard to say, but it'll probably become clearer whether these are intentional parallels or not when we actually meet this cast later.

At this point in the Skypiea Arc, the Straw Hats had been labeled as criminals by Enel and were sentenced to a trial in Upper Yard, the Blue Sea island of Jaya that had been rocketed to Skypiea, but there doesn't seem to be an equivalent here, and Enel already knows how formidable Luffy is, so he probably won't want to diminish his forces by splitting them between the Space Pirates and the Straw Hats. That said, during the trial, the Shandians launched their raid on Upper Yard, so it will likely be around the time that the Straw Hats are becoming acquainted with the Automata that the Space Pirates will mount a particularly large assault.

There were more or less four main factions at Upper Yard, being Luffy and the Straw Hats, Wyper and the Shandians, Enel and God's Army, and Gan Fall, though he was allied with Luffy. Luffy's role as the pirate from the world below obviously remains in tact, but everything else is a bit different. Enel is still a God with an army fending off an invading force, but I'd argue that he's actually closer to Wyper or Gan Fall in this scenario, since the Automata are the rightful inhabitants of the moon and Enel truly is their protector as they have proven not to be strong enough to fend off the Space Pirates. The Space Pirates, obviously, are analogous to Enel in Skypiea, being the ones intending to harm the inhabitants of the moon and claim the resources for whatever likely diabolical purpose. This leaves us short one faction, but as I said earlier, there is one other member of the Sky People who is likely to be present at this point in the story: Urouge. I imagine that he'll have gotten to the moon with the help of either Caesar or Vegapunk, whichever one the crew doesn't enlist, specifically as a test subject analogous to the Straw Hats and having made some kind of deal with whichever scientist. As he is a refugee forced from his home likely seeking revenge, I'm going to consider him the parallel to Wyper, though as he may potentially be without his crew in this scenario, he may be closer to Gan Fall who was similarly cast out and now acts as a lone fighter. It's not too important who exactly lines up with who here, just that four leaders will clash during an invasion.

At some point before the conflict really escalated on Skypiea, Usopp saw Merry's Klabautermann returning Merry to its standard form from Flying Mode while also making shoddy repairs to the mast and other damaged parts. As I mentioned earlier, since there are so many other parallels in this arc to the Sky Island Saga, this would be a good time to officially introduce Sunny's Klabautermann, though I'm sorry to say I can't really envision the circumstances. The Sunny has Franky to make any repairs, so I can't imagine that Sunny's Klabautermann would take point on any damage that occurs during this arc, but I suppose it could be more in line with the Klabautermann's usual purpose of alerting its crew to some imminent danger? I can't say for sure, and this isn't really the most important parallel to include, but I can't think of a better time than one that's directly analogous to the original Klabautermann's appearance.

While everyone else was in the middle of a war on Skypiea, Robin was off on her own investigating the ruins of Shandora, discovering the real city buried beneath a top layer of ruins and clouds within the span of a few hours, when the same process took Enel and his army months.

Though she hasn't really gotten a chance to use her archaeological skills outside of reading Poneglyphs since then, this was the moment that solidified Robin's purpose within the crew, demonstrating the skills that she had that no one else did, the payoff to the preview we received when the St. Briss fell from the sky. I believe that Monet will demonstrate the full extent of her astronomical abilities at this point in the arc as well, utilizing her knowledge of the moon or the stars to uncover some deeper truth about the arc that no one else could have. This may also be the moment where Monet has her first fight as a Straw Hat, giving us a glimpse into why astronomy is important to her, as Robin fought Yama to protect the ruins that he was so recklessly damaging in their battle.

While exploring the ruins, Robin came across a Poneglyph that explained the importance of the Golden Bell to the Shandians and revealed that the Golden Bell housed another, more important Poneglyph. As this Poneglyph explained that the Golden Bell is meant to be in the center of Shandora, where the giant beanstalk currently resides, Robin was able to deduce that the Golden Bell was displaced by the beanstalk, allowing her to figure out approximately where it is. This in turn leads to the final battle between Luffy and Enel in conflict over the Golden Bell. To Enel, the gold is a symbol of his godhood, while to Luffy, the bell itself is a means to send a message to the one who helped him back in the Blue Sea, Cricket. Ultimately, though, while symbolic of the greater themes of the arc, this is a battle for the Poneglyph that the Golden Bell houses.

Subsequently, I believe that the fight against the Space Pirates will similarly be over a specific object. As it happens, the Space Pirates are seen excavating the moon, not unlike the process that God's Army must have gone through to find the lost city of Shandora and take all of the gold to create the Maxim. What exactly the Space Pirates are looking for or how they came to believe it to be on Earth's moon is a mystery, but their excavation efforts led to the lost city of Birka, so it seems likely that there is a desirable object housed within Birka as well.

That said, I do have some idea of what that object may be. There are two distinct possibilities, both of which suggested by the Golden Bell. As I said, the Golden Bell houses a Poneglyph, so there is a possibility that a Poneglyph is hidden on the moon. In fact, this may even be the fourth Road Poneglyph which formerly resided on Fishman Island. There's currently no indication that Roger has ever been to the moon, and I can't fathom why Space Pirates would be looking for a Poneglyph aside from it perhaps being embedded in some other object like the Golden Bell, but it would at least make sense that Roger would add an additional layer of challenge to finding One Piece by hiding the Poneglyph somewhere fantastical. There's also the fact that he had a thus far unexplained giant egg on board the Oro Jackson seen even after Roger found Laugh Tale and departed from his crew, so perhaps it hatched into a bird afterwards and flew Rayleigh and the Poneglyph to the moon? It's also been speculated that the Kozuki clan, the creators of the Poneglyphs, are themselves related to the moon, as their name effectively means "moonlight." This, coupled with their crest being a bird, has led people to theorize that the Oro Jackson egg is a tentatively titled "Kozuki Bird," which is specifically used for lunar travel.

Ultimately, though, this explanation is pretty complicated and makes a lot of assumptions based on circumstantial evidence, so unless we get more information that points to this being a strong possibility, I'm not satisfied with this explanation. I did say though that there is another possibility, and one that I think is much more likely. Don't forget, the Poneglyph that Robin found in Skypiea was specifically the Historical Poneglyph that detailed the location of the Ancient Weapon Poseidon.

I believe that the object of desire on the moon is no mere Poneglyph, but the third and final Ancient Weapon, Uranus. To assemble the nine Historical Poneglyphs to create the Rio Poneglyph and understand the true history of the world, the Historical Poneglyph with information on Uranus would obviously need to be included, and since we currently have no reason to believe that Roger has been to the moon, we have to assume for the moment that he hasn't. This doesn't necessarily mean he hasn't, but there isn't enough information to assume he has. However, a highly destructive Ancient Weapon like Uranus would put everything else into perspective.

What are the Space Pirates looking for? The super weapon or its energy source that some sensor of theirs detected. Why is the World Government having Vegapunk focus resources on space travel rather than air travel? Because they somehow learned of Uranus' location and want to get it for themselves rather than waste funds on making it easier for other nations to meet up and potentially conspire against them. A Poneglyph probably wouldn't really work as a parallel for Vegapunk's equivalent of the Golden Bell to Cricket, but an Ancient Weapon could potentially be very valuable to Vegapunk. If the Straw Hats are in league with Vegapunk, they'd probably be tasked with retrieving Uranus without being told what it is in exchange for whatever they want from Vegapunk. This could potentially even be related to the technological advancement by the Special Science Group (SSG) led by Vegapunk that ostensibly will be able to replace the Shichibukai system as one of the Three Great Powers.

Since the Marines keep talking about Vegapunk and SSG's project in the future tense, it seems that it either hasn't been completed yet or just isn't quite ready to be implemented for whatever reason. The reasonable assumption is that this is related to the Pacifista project, which I'm perfectly willing to believe, but I cannot think of what kind of invention could be more powerful and effective at fending off the Yonko than an Ancient Weapon. Obviously I don't think that SSG created an Ancient Weapon, but that they've either created the means to attain an Ancient Weapon (a spacecraft to reach Uranus on the moon) or a weapon on par with an Ancient Weapon that could reasonably be expected to require an element from Uranus to be completed and operate at comparable or greater power. Honestly, a spacecraft on its own has a lot of potential to be an effective deterrent against criminal action, as it could potentially lead to a satellite network that would grant the World Government increased access to information. This wouldn't be a deterrent in the sense of manpower, but it would give the World Government a distinct advantage. Of course, a literal space weapon is probably a greater deterrent, as it could be used similarly to Enel's God's Judgment wherein he would smite dissenters with lightning.

This would even help explain Uranus' somewhat strange name. The Ancient Weapons have been explicitly stated to be named after ancient gods, but which three gods are pretty telling. For one, they are all specifically Greek gods, which explains why no one bats an eye at King Neptune's name despite Neptune being our world's Roman equivalent of Poseidon. Pluton, interestingly, is actually a later Greek name for Hades to differentiate the god from the location, and not a corruption of the name Pluto on Oda's part as I originally thought. I also always thought that Uranus was a Roman name, since all of the other planets in our real world solar system are given the names of Roman gods, but for some reason astronomers went with the Greek Uranus instead of Roman Caelus.

Secondly, and more importantly, is what those three god's represent. Upon the defeat of their father, Cronus, three gods inherited the world and divided its domains among themselves: Poseidon received the sea, Pluton the underworld (and by extension all of the mineral treasures found within), and Zeus the sky, while all three shared domain over the Earth and Mt. Olympus. You may have noticed that Uranus is absent from that list. For those unfamiliar, Uranus was the primordial personification of the sky itself, and the father of Cronus with Gaia, the personification of the Earth. If Oda had wanted the Ancient Weapons to represent land, sea and sky, he could have gone about it two ways: Gaia, Pontus (personification of the sea), and Uranus, or Pluton, Poseidon, and Zeus. Instead, though, he chose to overlap the two, with Pluton, Poseidon and Uranus, mysteriously leaving Zeus as the odd one out. You may say that he did this to leave room for Big Mom's cloud Homie, Zeus, but why in context would the Ancient Kingdom that made the Ancient Weapons choose to do that? It's not like they knew that Big Mom would put her soul in a cloud and wanted to save a thematically appropriate name for her. No, I believe that the name was always meant to be a subtle hint about its nature.

Like I said, Pluton rules the underworld, and therefore all of the subterranean treasures housed beneath the surface of the Earth, including stones, precious metals, and the seeds that would grow for harvest. With this in mind, we can understand why Pluton the Ancient Weapon is the name for a battleship. Not only is it a killing machine that could send countless to the underworld (as undoubtedly the other two could as well), but it is constructed of metals, stone, and the wood of trees that sprouted from the soil. Likewise, Poseidon, as ruler of the sea, could have been the basis for a weapon that quite literally controlled or destroyed water, but just as appropriately was used as the moniker for a mermaid with the unique talent to communicate with the sea's most powerful and destructive lifeforms, the Sea Kings. This also points to the nature of each Ancient Weapon having a distinct identity, with Poseidon being a living being leading other living beings and Pluton being a man-made weapon.

So what does that mean for Uranus? Obviously, since Uranus is a sky god and both Pluton and Poseidon have been themed around their respective domains, it is only logical that Uranus is a weapon of the sky. However, if it were that simple, then it would have made more sense for Zeus to be the Ancient Weapon of the sky. So why Uranus and not Zeus? Because if Zeus' domain is the sky, then it would only make sense for Uranus, the personification of the sky itself and its original ruler, to be granted the next level of the sky: space. Of course, Uranus isn't "God of Space," the closest equivalent to that would probably be Chaos, God of the Void, or Erebus, God of Darkness, but it's not too hard to imagine that the Ancient Kingdom could have had multiple levels of sky, with the clouded sky being Zeus' domain, the heavens beyond being Uranus, and the darkness even further being Erebus.

As for the literal identity of Uranus, I'm not confident we have enough information to say for sure. I've seen many theories over the years, with probably the most popular being Uranus as the tree that bore the original Devil Fruit, with the logic seeming to be that if Poseidon is an animal and Pluton is technology, then Uranus should be a plant. I don't believe this one myself, as aside from the potential height of the three, I don't feel that it fits the sky theme, and it isn't a particularly destructive weapon in its own right. Some have also suggested that the Oro Jackson egg may house a bird that will grow to be Uranus, and that Roger picked up the egg to protect Uranus from the World Government. This would make the trifecta people (Poseidon being the one commanding the Sea Kings and not the Sea Kings themselves), technology (Pluton), and beasts (Uranus), and it would be a perfect explanation for the egg, but I'm still not satisfied with it. I think that the Ancient Weapons must be creations of the Ancient Kingdom, things that cannot have existed naturally. The ability to commune with Sea Kings, while currently a random genetic trait, is a skill that likely needed to be developed and cultivated in ancient times. Pluton, obviously, is a ship that was designed and constructed by human hands. Therefore, Uranus must also be a creation of the Ancient Kingdom, not a discovery. A tree or a bird may have been bred to have certain characteristics, and that would certainly be justified, but I think it's more than that. I think if Poseidon is man's conquest of animals and Pluton is the harvesting of resources, I think that Uranus is another aspect of nature that humanity took under its control. I think that the city of Birka, or at least the technology running through it, is a clue to this. This is just a guess at the moment, but I think that either the moon itself was converted into Uranus or Uranus was installed within the moon. I think this is meant as an allegory for conquest of the land itself through acts such as land development, analogous to the themes presented in Skypiea surrounding the desire to control the Vearth of Upper Yard. At that point the question is why they named it Uranus and not Selene, Goddess of the Moon, but that's probably more for the drama than anything else. Either way, I envision Uranus as either a space station or satellite laser, probably originally intended to be used for land development (maybe even once used to shape the world into the five seas and Red Line, though there's reason to believe Oars was involved with that thanks to his epithet of Continent Puller), but converted into a more literal weapon. Again, all of this is just a guess, and I can easily see this aspect being wrong since most of this is pure conjecture rather than being based on existing evidence, but I stand firm in the belief that Uranus is at least located on the moon and is the reason why so many powers will be racing to the moon.

As an aside, I did see one theory recently (Mr. Morj's The True Nature of the Ancient Weapons) that suggested that the Ancient Weapons are meant to reflect the three colors of Haki, with Pluton's weaponry being a literal interpretation of Armament Haki, Poseidon's command over the Sea Kings representing Conqueror's Haki, leaving Uranus to somehow represent Observation Haki. Within the context of the video, it was suggested that Im's treasure, the giant straw hat kept in a vault below Mary Geoise, is actually Uranus, and is a sort of oracle that changes shape to represent a future threat to its owner.

This would most definitely fit the precognitive abilities of Observation Haki, and I am quite confident that this is the reason that Im is apparently keeping a giant straw hat in what appears to be a freezer as any other explanation seems really out there and silly, but I don't personally think that it's Uranus. It very well could be, since we have no other indication that other objects of great power exist, but I also don't see any reason that new and independent objects can't be introduced. Still, it doesn't really fit the sky theme at all aside from the fact that it currently resides in Mary Geoise, the land of the "gods", or heaven on Earth. That definitely wouldn't have been a factor in the original naming of the weapon by the Ancient Kingdom, though, and aside from the fact that having the ability to see future threats coming would have been super helpful for Uranus and his severed genitals, I don't personally think there's enough justification to link Im's straw hat to Uranus. Instead, I think that my idea for Uranus as a satellite could still work on the basis that it could be used more explicitly for the gathering of information and immediately striking down opposition. As I said earlier, this would make it a perfect parallel to Enel's God's Judgment, which would be even more appropriate on the basis that said attack was used in conjunction with Enel's own Observation Haki, then referred to as Mantra. Again, it could go many different ways, but I'm sticking with Uranus as a moon-based satellite since it fits both the naming convention, the themes of humanity's conquests, and now the Haki pattern.

Back to our story, just before the final battle with Enel, we see a flashback from Wyper's perspective wherein he is told the true events of Noland the Liar, including his interaction with Calgara and the Shandians, the Knock Up Stream that rocketed half of Jaya into Skypiea, and the cultural significance of the Golden Bell.

Just as this story revealed how the Shandians came to be in the sky, a flashback on the moon may reveal the exact circumstances that led to the Sky People abandoning Birka and migrating to Earth. This flashback would likely be told from the perspective of one of the Automata left behind, probably starting from their creation, leading up to their deactivation and some of the events following their reactivation by Enel. As we've established, the Sky People left the moon because of a lack of resources, but they must have had resources long enough to build a society, so something likely caused their resources to dwindle faster than ever before. This information could transition into learning the true origin of the World Nobles, as they have most certainly been portrayed as the type of people who would overproduce without allowing resources to replenish. We would also learn what motivated the Sky People to leave the Automata in Birka rather than taking them with them, possibly being to guard Uranus or whatever other treasure is hidden within Birka, though that would call into question why they were deactivated if they were meant to be guards.

Once Wyper's flashback ended and he learned that Luffy was fighting so he could ring the Golden Bell as a symbolic message to Noland's descendant Cricket, he set aside his pride and conceded that Luffy had just as much right to ring the bell as he did. With his final attack on Enel, Luffy knocked Enel into the bell, ringing it loud enough for Cricket to hear it in the Blue Sea bellow, but breaking one of the columns supporting the bell in the process.

On the moon, the object of desire, whether it be Uranus or a power source or the remains of a dwindling resource, it most definitely has significance to the Automata. Whichever Automata we are following, they will likely let out one final plea for Luffy's help just as Wyper did, and Luffy's final attack will somehow involve the object. The object will likely be damaged in some way or possibly even destroyed. If it is Uranus, this will likely necessitate it being repaired back on Earth if the crew takes it to Vegapunk, removing it from the story until it is more convenient for the narrative.

Once the major conflict was settled on Skypiea, the crew returned to the Blue Sea via octopus balloon, and Enel, the villain of the arc, flew off into space to reach the moon. Soon after, it was also revealed that one his followers, Gedatsu, had fallen to the Blue Sea and made a life for himself. We've already established that the Birkans descended to Earth via balloon, so depending on the nature of the enhancements that the Sunny receives, this could easily be the case for them as well. The Space Pirates, analogous to Enel's escape to space, will probably leave Earth's vicinity forever, realizing that they're no match for the people of Earth or that they misunderstood the precise nature of what they were looking for. One of the Space Pirates, though, will somehow end up on Earth, allowing the story to preserve some alien presence. Long ago, I once considered that the Straw Hats might actually recruit one of the Space Pirates, mirroring Sanji and Brook's recruitment as the final male of a particular sea encountered on a floating vessel (either the Space Pirate ship, their own ship, or even the moon floating in Earth's atmosphere) and formerly being a member of another crew or group, but unless Carrot and Pudding get skipped, I'm not banking on that. I haven't eliminated the possibility, it's just not one I'm holding out hope for, though it could be pretty neat and would definitely contribute to the crew's theme of racial unity, especially since this would be the one member that can't be considered human at all. If the crew does in fact learn about the moon from an alien and said alien travels with them for a time, then I'll be the first to hop on this particular train.
So now the crew is back on Earth. They've either successfully retrieved the object for Vegapunk, messed it up but given him something just as if not unintentionally more valuable, or destroyed the object in the process but somehow he's fine with it and fixed their issue anyway. I'm sure there's other things that could happen, like they learn that the object is Uranus or something else that would be devastating to let fall into the hands of the World Government so they either try to steal it or destroy it, but that's not really important. What's much more important is what Monet decides to do after returning from the moon. Though I can't predict the conversations or actions that will occur over the course of the arc, I am sure that something that Luffy says or does will strike a chord with her in the same way that Robin decided to join because Luffy saved her life when she had decided she was ready to die. Similarly, something that Monet says or does will convince Luffy that she is a good person, which will prompt him to either extend the invitation when the time comes or accept her request to join, whichever Oda decides to go with.

One major argument against Monet joining has always been how fiercely loyal she is to Doflamingo, to the point that she's willing to throw her life and possibly her values away for him if she did indeed value the children. People always ask what would cause Monet's faith in Doflamingo to shatter, but I think that's the wrong question. I don't think she necessarily needs to lose faith in Doflamingo, but rather she needs to gain faith in Luffy. Whatever happens on or just after the Moon Arc, I think Luffy's actions will demonstrate to her how strong of a chance Luffy has at taking down the World Government. If Luffy were to succeed, that would presumably mean that all of their institutions, including Impel Down, would be shut down, meaning that Monet's best chance at getting Doflamingo back would be to travel with Luffy. In other words, until we reach the arc where the majority of Monet's development occurs, Monet will travel with the crew with either the open or silent intention of using them as a means to free Doflamingo. Reuniting with Doflamingo will likely be presented as Monet's dream for her first few arcs, until her true dream is revealed in the arc where her loyalties officially shift towards Luffy. We'll go over what that dream may entail later, but for now all that matters is that she will likely join Luffy for Doflamingo's sake, not in betrayal of him.

As a final note on the Moon Arc, I would be extremely interested to see what effect traveling to and being on the moon would have on Carrot if she joins the crew, seeing as she is a Mink who can use the light of the full moon to enter her powered up Sulong form. Would having what is effectively moonlight stretching out as far as the eye can see trigger her transformation, or is it in reality only a fraction of the moonlight because she's only looking at a relatively small amount of the moon's surface in comparison? Would she be made ill from trying not to absorb the light? Would she fight blindfolded through the arc? Would she get cool shades to filter the light? Could she perhaps bring a moon rock back with her that reflects normal light or lights up when charged with Electro to act as a miniature full moon whenever she wants so her Sulong form isn't limited to the contrivance of all major battles being perfectly timed to be on the night of the full moon? If absolutely nothing else, the image of a rabbit going to the moon seems too good to pass up, given that it's common in Asian countries, Japan included, to see a rabbit instead of a face in the moon as the West does. It also might be worth noting that in the Japanese version of the story behind the rabbit's image being imprinted on the moon, the rabbit is accompanied by a monkey and a fox. If Oda follows this logic, it's not hard to see that the monkey would be Monkey D. Luffy, while the fox may be represented by the Space Pirates, as the leader and the one that attacked Enel initially are both fox-like in appearance. It's not really that important for this theory, but it adds a bit of flavor and might at least give us a little bit of insight to the inspiration behind their design.

Before we move on to any future developments involving Monet, let's review the arc in which she joins: Following the events of Wano, one or both of two things is likely to happen; the defect in the Artificial Devil Fruit that caused Vegapunk to deem it a failure will manifest and harm Momo, or Momo will want to seek a cure for the people of Wano that have been turned into Pleasures by Caesar's SMILEs. Either one would justifiably motivate the crew to seek out Vegapunk with Momo on board, making him an honorary Straw Hat just like the previous royal member, Vivi, as both plan(ned) to leave the crew once their task is complete. Grateful for the crew's help in defeating Kaido and freeing Wano, secret government agent Drake offers to return the favor by leading them to Vegapunk, likely even being the one who suggests getting Vegapunk's help in the first place. From there, events begin to mirror those of the Sky Island Saga.
  1. Proof of a World in the Sky: to mirror the St. Briss falling from the sky on the way to Jaya, a vessel falls on the crew from the sky, possibly carrying an Automata, a Space Pirate, or a message from someone on the moon. If the Automata is not currently functioning or the Space Pirate is unconscious, the crew may initially think that they just fell from a Sky Island and not realize that there's a need to go to the moon until a conversation with Vegapunk makes it clear, but either way, this is the first indication that there is more to the sky than they initially thought.
  2. Unexpected Passenger/Guide: to mirror Masira's unintentional boarding of the Going Merry along with his Eternal Pose to Jaya that Robin stole, someone will board the Sunny, potentially being either the Automata or the alien, and/or the crew will need someone to guide them to the island that Vegapunk is on, as he is presumably somewhere difficult to find for his protection. Drake, likely being on board, sends out some kind of signal (or provides the crew with the means to send out said signal) that alerts Vegapunk that an ally wants to make landfall, and Monet appears to guide the crew. It is likely at this point that we learn that after Monet survived her heart trauma, she woke up alone on Punk Hazard, found and put Vergo back together, then chased after Smoker and the children, leading them to Vegapunk. Vergo, still seen as a government official, puts in a good word for Monet to work as Vegapunk's assistant, which he likely accepts on the basis that he wants to study the effects of the Op-Op Fruit on her body.
  3. Skill Demonstration: to mirror Robin's demonstration of her archaeological skills when the St. Briss fell (foreshadowing her usage of said skills on Skypiea), Monet specifically guides the crew using celestial navigation, indicating to the readers that this is a viable option when other forms of navigation fail and likely foreshadowing her contribution to the Moon Arc. Presumably, Vegapunk had a less efficient way of allowing others to visit his island before Monet arrived, and her skills have been a helpful improvement.
  4. Expert Help: to mirror the repairs and aerodynamic upgrades given to Merry by the three man led Saruyama Alliance of Cricket, Masira and Shoujou, Sunny is upgraded for space travel by three scientists, likely being some combination of Vegapunk, Vinsmoke Judge (Vegapunks former partner), Drake (astrophysicist), and/or another character we haven't met yet. Vegapunk will likely have a deal with the Straw Hats that they will retrieve something from the moon for him in exchange for his help with their Artificial Devil Fruit/SMILE problems. However, if Vegapunk is an enemy, then Caesar (Vegapunk's main rival) will likely take his place in the above scenario and agree on the basis that Vegapunk is making a spacecraft and he just doesn't want to be outdone. As Caesar is likely an enemy, though, he will likely be working on his own spacecraft to send Urouge to the moon, facilitating a Space Race. The upgrades will likely revive the Emperor Penguin Mode seen in the film, Stampede, but it's also possible that the Sunny will be fed the Bird-Bird Fruit, Model: Chicken to mirror the design of Merry's Flying Mode, though this is unlikely.
  5. The Saboteur: to mirror Bellamy's assault on Cricket for his gold and to laugh at his dreams, Bonney will arrive to exact revenge on Vegapunk for what he did to Kuma. During the commotion, Caesar will steal something important from Vegapunk, only to be beaten by Luffy again for his troubles.
  6. Guiding Bird: to mirror the need to use the South Bird to accurately reach the Knock Up Stream, Monet will accompany the crew on their journey to provide her astronomy knowledge for space-based navigation, as earthly navigation techniques likely won't work on the moon or the return trip.
  7. First Encounter: to mirror Wyper's immediate attack on the crew when they reached the White Sea, a Space Pirate will immediately attack the crew when they arrive on the moon. Furthermore, as Gan Fall fought off Wyper, so too will Enel fight off the Space Pirate.
  8. God's Army: to mirror the four priests of Upper Yard and the Skypieans under Enel's reign, the crew will meet the Birkan Automata led by the four Earth Automata.
  9. War for the Land: to mirror the Shandian's raid on Upper Yard over the Vearth, the Space Pirates will mount a raid on Birka over the resources of the moon. Furthermore, as there were four major factions in Skypiea (Straw Hats, the Shandians, God's Army, Gan Fall), there will be four major factions on the moon (Straw Hats, Enel's Automata, the Space Pirates, and Urouge).
  10. Klabautermann: to mirror Merry's Klabautermann appearing in the middle of the night to repair Merry and return it to its base form from Flying Mode, Sunny's Klabautermann will likely make their first official appearance, though likely not to remove the augmentations that Sunny needs to return to Earth.
  11. Investigation: to mirror Robin's separation from the group to investigate the ruins of Shandora using her archaeological skills, Monet will somehow utilize her astronomical skills to investigate Birka. This will likely be where we start to learn the bulk of the history of the Sky People.
  12. Object of Desire: to mirror Robin's investigation turning up the location of the Golden Bell, Monet's will turn up the location of whatever item or resource Vegapunk asked the crew to retrieve.
  13. Hint to the Void Century: to mirror the Historical Poneglyph housed within the Golden Bell which revealed the location of Poseidon, the item that Monet finds may be revealed to be or be related to Uranus.
  14. The True Story: to mirror the flashback to the events that led to half of Jaya being launched to Skypiea along with the true story of Noland the Liar just prior to the final battle with Enel, a flashback will occur detailing the true events that led to the Sky People migrating to Earth, possibly from the perspective of the Automata. This could potentially be where we learn the connection between the moon and the World Nobles if there is one.
  15. The Final Battle: to mirror Luffy's the heavy symbolism of Luffy's ringing of the Golden Bell during the final battle with Enel, Luffy will defeat the leader of the Space Pirates in a battle directly involving the object of desire on the moon, possibly resulting in it getting damaged or even destroyed like the pillars that held up the Golden Bell.
  16. Enemy Retreat: to mirror Enel flying into space on Maxim after his defeat, the Space Pirates will return to their ships and fly back to their home planet after their defeat.
  17. Fallen Enemy: to mirror Gedatsu's fall to the Blue Sea and his subsequent reform from a villain into a humble hot springs attendant, one Space Pirate will find themselves on Earth and making a life for themselves. Depending on the narrative flow of the arc, said Space Pirate may or may not be the final recruit of the Straw Hat Pirates, but I'm not counting on it.
  18. Return by Balloon: to mirror the crew's return to the Blue Sea via octopus balloon, the crew's return to Earth will somehow incorporate balloons, which we have seen as the primary method for lunar travel by the Sky People who lived on the moon and the Automata.
After returning to Earth, Monet will have the option to leave the crew, as strictly speaking she was only meant to act as their guide, but because of something Luffy said or did, she'll decide to stay with them. Her outward reasoning will likely be that she believes Luffy will one day play a major role in dismantling the World Government, which in turn will lead to Doflamingo's release from Impel Down and her reunion with him. Luffy won't have too much trouble with this, partially because he's not the type to worry about future events that much, and partially because he'll have decided by this point that Monet is a good person. Thus, Monet joins as the crew's astronomer, unaware that this ability will be crucial to finding Laugh Tale in the future.

I don't think that all of these events are absolutely necessary, nor do I think they'll necessarily happen in a way even close to what I've proposed, but given the story elements that Oda has set up so far, I think it is at least fair to say that at some point or another we will definitely meet Vegapunk and SSG, see Uranus, and learn about Bonney's relationship with Kuma. Monet's return isn't necessarily guaranteed, but as we've established with her intact heart, we can safely say Oda wrote himself a way around her death for a reason, so she most likely will come back. Less necessary but still highly likely are learning Urouge's backstory and learning more about the Sky People, as well as seeing what's become of Enel and the Automata in Birka over the last two years, since they're some of a minority of characters that we haven't seen since the timeskip. Any and all of these events could easily happen at any time and independently of each other, but they also can fairly easily be connected through various shared elements between each of them. Vegapunk is connected to Monet through the Punk Hazard children, Bonney through Kuma, and the moon through the Automata. The moon is connected to Monet through her apparent interest in astronomy, and to Urouge through Enel and the lost history of the ancient Sky People. Therefore, while these disparate elements may not all be absolutely vital to telling the story that Oda wants to write, it wouldn't be too surprising to see them all taken care of together. Even if the way I've laid out here doesn't reflect the final product, their resolutions could still be related in some way or another, this just happens to be the most logical way that I personally see to string them together.
Chapter 3: The Monet Retrieval Arc (Monet's Backstory)

After seeing that basic synopsis of the Vegapunk Saga, you may be wondering why my suggestions don't have a particularly strong focus on Monet outside of her reintroduction and recruitment. This theory is supposed to be about Monet, after all, so shouldn't her return arc put her in the spotlight? I definitely understand where you're coming from, but bear in mind that Robin's first arc as an official member of the Straw Hats similarly barely focused on her. She was vitally important, as she was the one who was able to determine that they needed to reach the sky, found Cricket on Jaya, caught the South Bird, found Shandora, and interpreted the runes and Poneglyphs to find the Golden Bell, but she was ultimately just another player in the arc. It was not in any way, shape, or form Robin's arc. It only vaguely hinted at her backstory through the Poneglyphs and the explanation of what the Rio Poneglyph is, and while it did give us greater insight to her character through her fight with Yama, she didn't get any moments that furthered her character arc. Similarly, I expect the Vegapunk Saga to show us how different Monet is than we originally believed and explore her personality and interests, but not to tell us her backstory or motivations. In short, both arcs serve as a vehicle to demonstrate the abilities of former enemy pirates and expand on their personalities, but save their histories for a few arcs later.

So let's fast forward to a few arcs later.

I can't really hazard a guess to exactly where within the story this will happen, as it could just as easily be in the middle of another large event or as a breather between big events, but I believe there will come a time where the crew finds themselves on the same island as someone related to Monet's past. The easiest way to do that would be to have her meet with either Sugar or Doflamingo, either one possibly broken out of Impel Down by Vergo, as unlikely as that may be. I'm actually not sure if Sugar is even in Impel Down, but if she is, she's probably not on Level 6 with Doflamingo, so of the two, she'd definitely be the easier one to get out assuming she didn't just somehow escape on her own beforehand anyway. It might not even be a meeting with Sugar, though that would be the most appropriate for finalizing her backstory, character and development. Whether it's Sugar, Doflamingo or a stranger, I think that the island itself will in some way be related to her backstory.

To properly dive into her backstory, I think it's important to understand what we do and don't already know. I went over most of this earlier, but for anyone who skipped that section, the gist is that Monet and Sugar were saved from a "misfortunate environment" at ages 17 and 9 respectively by Doflamingo, likely because he recognized that their upbringing would make them loyal to whoever saved them from it, and then gave them their Devil Fruits, possibly because they were somehow thematically appropriate for them, but that's hard to say. We don't know exactly where this environment was, but given that Monet and Sugar are stated to be from North Blue just like Doflamingo, it's fairly likely that their misforunate environment was also in North Blue and not on the Grand Line, a Sky Island or as slaves in Mary Geoise as many people have theorized. All of those things are possible, as their family may have traveled to the Grand Line or ended up at a Sky Island at some point and they may have been taken by the World Nobles for whatever reason, but it takes fewer assumptions to conjecture that they were raised where they were born and were found by Doflamingo before he entered the Grand Line.

Beyond that, we only have two more clues to Monet's past: her vanishing tattoo and her childhood ornithology book.

(image of child Monet was not officially colored, but provided by my lovely wife)

Oda presumably added the book to indicate that her decision to undergo a presumably irreversible surgery to become a harpy was based on a lifelong interest in birds and not a snap decision based solely on how dope it would be to have wings and talons. We'll go over later whether her interest in birds has any deeper implications for her backstory or is just a fun sidenote, but for now, let's focus on that tattoo.

I've seen a few suggestions for what it may be depicting over the years, one of the most popular that I recall being that it's a jester to represent Doflamingo's codename of Joker. This was based on the several wavy appendages with rounded ends giving the appearance of a jester's cap, and it was believed that she hid it to obscure that she was an agent of Joker. This one has kind of fallen through in my eyes, though, on the basis that we never saw a similar insignia at any point during Dressrosa or affiliated with either Joker's weapons trade or SMILE trade at any point. I remember one theorist suggesting it was some kind of beetle, with the appendages on the sides being legs and the one at the top being half of a pair of pincers. I don't personally see it myself as it's missing a pair of legs and the top appendage seems misshapen, but I suppose that could all just be stylistic. Given the position of the tattoo on the curve of Monet's arm, the spiked speech bubble in front of it and its small size in the panel resulting in pixel blurring when enlarged, a lot of the specific details are obscured, so any guesses are probably no better than a Rorschach test, but I think I may have a pretty solid guess. As near as I can tell through all of the obfuscations, there are three notable details: the wavy, rounded appendages arranged in a semicircle, a black oval with a white circle in the center on the left-most side of said semicircle, and a black lump also on the left-most side positioned below everything else. To me, these features suggest that this is a Jolly Roger, specifically a profile-view style Jolly Roger such as that of the Alvida Pirates or Usopp's current personalized Jolly Roger.

Specifically, the black bump at the bottom (which seems to have a small white bit within it) appears to be the jaw, possibly with exposed teeth, while the black oval with a white circle in the center appears to be a stylistic eye. It's positioned a little oddly, but I think the idea is to draw as much attention to the eye as possible, as it's probably an explicit symbol of the associated crew or organization. The Jolly Roger being in profile would also explain why there only seems to be one of these ovals, as there doesn't seem to be another one peeking over the curve of Monet's arm. Assuming that these features are the jaw and eye of a skull or head, the wavy appendages would logistically be hair or some kind of headwear. If it's headwear, it could still be a jester's cap, but the design doesn't really evoke that image for me. I'm much more inclined to believe that it's hair, and considering the prominence of what I believe to be an eye and the person that is bearing this particular Jolly Roger, I can only think of one image this is trying to convey: Medusa.

If a Jolly Roger is in part meant to be a warning of impending death, then I can't imagine a better Jolly Roger for Medusa. What appears to be wavy hair could be a simplification of the snakes that make up Medusa's hair, with the rounded ends being the heads of the snakes, while the enlarged eye represents Medusa's main method of killing her victims, turning them to stone with her gaze. To help visualize this, my wife provided her interpretation of the tattoo.

I also think it's appropriate for Monet of all characters to be the one to bear a mark depicting Medusa, as Medusa, the harpies, and even the Centaurs and Satyrs featured in Punk Hazard all come from Greek mythology. I think that Punk Hazard's heavy reliance on Greek imagery may have been meant to foreshadow a deeper connection between Monet and Greek myths. It may also be worth noting that traditionally (though not as often these days) the Gorgons were depicted with wings, and harpies were at one point compared to Gorgons, but it's hard to say if either of those things have any bearing here.
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There are a few possibilities of what the Medusa Jolly Roger indicates, as the crew it symbolizes could either be Gorgon themed or led by/made up of literal Gorgons. It's easier to assume the former on the basis that we haven't met any Gorgons in the story, but I think that Oda has laid the groundwork for such a reveal later. The more obvious setup comes from our first exposure to the concept of the Gorgon myth on Amazon Lily.

To prevent anyone from ever seeing the Hoof of the Flying Dragon brand on their backs, Gorgon Sisters Boa Hancock, Marigold and Sandersonia convinced their people, the Kuja, that they had defeated and been cursed by the Gorgon to bear the Gorgon's eyes upon their backs and turn anyone who saw them to stone. Their Devil Fruit abilities, the two models of Snake-Snake Fruit and the petrifying Love-Love Fruit, both further supported their tale, as they happened to mirror the legend. What's particularly interesting to me about their story, though, is the implication that the Gorgon is a preexisting myth. Sure, it's possible that the Gorgon Sisters made up the concept from scratch since the Kuja are a fairly isolated tribe who wouldn't necessarily know the specifics of myths from outside their own island, but I doubt they did that since it sounds like they specifically took advantage of their Devil Fruits' similarities to the existing tale. We've seen time and time again that elements of Greek mythology are fairly well known among the general populace of the One Piece world, as not only are the Ancient Weapons and a few of Big Mom's Homies named after gods and titans, but the entire crew was pretty instantly able to recognize the pirates of Punk Hazard as centaurs, not to mention Monet's official designation as a harpy. Interestingly, I can't find any instances of anyone using the term satyr to refer to the sheep-legged members of Punk Hazard, but the fact that Law made satyrs instead of sheep centaurs suggests that he at least is familiar with the concept. Usopp knew about the three-headed dog of the Underworld, Cerberus, as a child, Nami was excited to see Gan Fall's pet bird Pierre turn into a pegasus with the Horse-Horse Fruit, and the Awakened Zoan Jailer Beasts of Impel Down are explicitly named with the prefix Mino-, one of them even being named Minotaur.

All of these instances suggest a near universal familiarity with mythological creatures within the context of the One Piece world, so it wouldn't be out of place for this world to have the story of Medusa and the Gorgons as well. What's more, despite the fact that many of the previous mythological creatures were stated to be only legends, a handful of mythological creatures, both Greek and otherwise, have been demonstrated to exist within the One Piece world, including manticores, sphinx, basilisks, krakens, unicorns and an unseen gryphon in Big Mom's collection, not even counting the implications of Mythical Zoan Fruit such as the Phoenix Model Bird Fruit or Nine-Tailed Fox Model Dog Fruit.

Because so many mythological creatures have been explicitly shown to be real animals within the context of the One Piece world, I would honestly be more surprised to learn that the Gorgon isn't at least based on something in reality. Likewise for harpies, centaurs and satyrs. Of course, I don't necessarily expect it to be a human-shaped animal with snakes growing out of its head, though that is a possibility. Given the fact that the Gorgon Sister legend states the Gorgon cursed them and the image shown depicts it wearing a toga, I'm inclined to believe that the Gorgon is meant to be a sentient creature, even if that particular story was all a lie. This to me implies that there are two possibilities that are more likely than the Gorgon being an animal; the Gorgon is likely either a human who a Devil Fruit (possibly Snake-Snake Fruit, Model: Gorgon) or a previously unidentified reptile-like race.

The proposal of a reptilian race isn't particularly new. I've only really been plugged into the theory mill for the last few years, but I'm sure that once Oda had introduced both a race of fishfolk and beastfolk, it probably wasn't long before fans speculated that lizardfolk wouldn't be too far behind. I myself started entertaining the possibility after we met Morgans, as I had originally thought that he was evidence of a birdfolk race, which inspired me to think of other possible races we may have yet to meet, though that has since been disproven as I mentioned earlier. However, hope for a birdfolk race has since been reignited.

After being captured by the Beasts Pirates at Wano, Big Mom claims that of all of the races in the One Piece world, her kingdom of Totto Land is only missing three. We know that she is missing the Giants for sure, since she burned that bridge when she set Elbaf on fire as a child and then botched the repair-effort when she tried to trick Giant prince Loki by replacing his runaway bride Lola with her twin Chiffon, but the other two are a bit of a mystery. We have a very clear clue for one of them, as Big Mom made this claim as an appeal to King the Wildfire to get him to join her crew and kingdom, as he is of a race that ostensibly disappeared from history.

We don't have a ton to go off of for the nature of this race, as King is the only confirmed member that we've seen, but I think we have enough information that we can draw a few conclusions, the most obvious being that this is a winged race, as that is the only identifiable feature that King has considering that that's the only part of his body not completely obscured in leather. Our second is that this race is likely not related to the Sky People, as not only are the shape and size of his wings completely different from the tiny and specifically oriented wings of the Sky People, but his wings have actually been shown to be capable of independent movement as he was able to flap them in irritation when speaking to the Flying Six, though no indication yet that they can allow for powered flight.

As I said earlier, I'm quite confident that the wings of the Sky People are accessories rather than biological traits, as we have at least four instances of Sky People either removing (Gan Fall and Haredas) or replacing (Enel, Urouge, and possibly even Wyper given the damage his wings took at Upper Yard) their wings.

Thirdly, he doesn't seem to be the last of his race, as shortly before we were introduced to King, we were also introduced to another winged man in Wano, Tenguyama Hitetsu.

Not only do Hitetsu's wings look similar to King's, but they both for some reason are depicted wearing masks. I don't imagine that they have beaks under their masks given that the shape of the masks don't really allow for that and we can see Hitetsu's lips through his, but I don't think it's a coincidence that Oda gave them that similar visual trait. I don't know if they're hiding something or if Oda just wanted to prime us for the idea of a winged man in a mask, but there seems to be at least a small relationship between them. It may also be worth noting that in the anime, Hitetsu's introduction is a shot from his perspective of him seeming to fly above a forest and soar towards his home, but this may have just been an embellishment on Toei's part, so I'm not going to take it as fact just yet. Either way, we've been given the distinct impression that King and Hitetsu's wings are both functional, suggesting that they are both from the same potentially flightful race.

Presumably, this race is meant to be the avian equivalent of the aquatic Seafolk (Merfolk and Fishmen) and mammalian Minks, with each member of this race having the wings of a different bird. It's hard to say what kind of birds King and Hitetsu have the wings of, but the Seafolk are usually pretty hard to get a read on too, so I'm not too sure it really matters. I am interested to learn whether King's bird DNA has anything to do with the fact that he's constantly emitting flames, since that clearly isn't related to his Pteranodon Devil Fruit. Perhaps he's a phoenix Birdfolk and can heal his wounds with his flames? Or maybe he's a rainbow crow, and his wings are blackened with the ashes of his flames which he can quell to reveal the true splendor of his wings for some kind of power up? Or perhaps it's unrelated and he's just using a technique like Sanji's Diable Jambe? Hopefully we'll find out soon, since Onigashima's starting to heat up.

I'm also curious if this winged race is even meant to be Birdfolk at all, as it could be a more general "Winged Folk" and apply to any winged creature like bats and insects in the same way that Seafolk can also include mollusks like octopus and squids. I doubt it, and there isn't really any reason to believe that at present since all we've seen so far have been bird wings, but I'm not going to say it's impossible just yet.

Regardless of the parameters of the winged race, we're still left with one more unaccounted for race missing from Totto Land. There is some chance that Big Mom is referring to a race we already know about, but I have reason to believe that she isn't. Some people seem to believe that the third race she's missing is the Three-Eyes, since she only has a half-breed in her daughter Pudding, but since she seemed like she would be satisfied with just having King as the sole representative of his race, I'm inclined to think she feels that one is enough to represent an entire race. That said, I have wondered why Pudding is the only one, since Pudding must have had a father at some point, so it's possible that when Big Mom said one of the races was erased from history, she meant that she personally killed all of the Three Eyes other than Pudding to ensure that no one else would potentially have access to the Three-Eyes' ability to hear the Voice of All Things, but given how she talks to King, I still think she meant that his race is the one that supposedly went extinct.

I also once thought that Big Mom meant she was missing the Sky People, but I don't think that's the case anymore. Big Mom definitely does know about the Sky People conceptually, since she's had an encounter with Urouge in the past where he defeated one of her Four Sweet Generals, Snack, so soundly that she was reduced to only having three. The signature feature of Big Mom's empire is her information network, so thorough that she even knows the secret method for entering Wano by riding the giant koi up the waterfall, so it would honestly be shocking if Big Mom didn't know about the existence of Sky Islands or the method of reaching them. This is compounded by the fact that before Enel took over Skypiea, it wasn't unheard of for pirates to reach Skypiea via High West (presumably a mountain based on how Gan Fall talks about it) and then leave via Cloud End. In fact, we also know that the people of the Sky Islands have been known to go down to the Blue Sea either temporarily or permanently. Haredas specifically says that he and the other inhabitants of Weatheria frequently make trips to the Blue Sea for research purposes, while an unknown number of Gan Fall's Divine Squad escaped to the Blue Sea out from under Enel's rule, as evidenced by the group of ten seen for sale in Disco's Human Auction House.

Though Disco himself believes them to be ordinary humans, it's clear by their iconic antenna hairstyle that they are in fact Skypieans, despite the fact that they are missing their wings. The fact that they have only a single, central antenna rather than two is proof that they were once members of the Divine Squad, as this is a defining feature of those in their ranks. Though Gan Fall escorted them to other Sky Islands, they likely decided to escape the White Sea entirely just to be safe. By extension, I think this is further proof that their wings are removable, as they seem to have abandoned them to better fit in with the humans of the Blue Sea. They probably kept their hairstyle on principle, as this is a symbol of their culture that wouldn't seem too out of place in comparison to their wings.

Because there have been so many ways for information of the Sky Islanders to reach Big Mom's information network, I cannot imagine that she isn't aware of the tribe of people who wear wings that live in the sky. This would make it plausible that she counts them, but that's also the same reason I think she doesn't: she knows that the wings are accessories. She knows that they don't have any notable special abilities or physical traits. Their wings and antenna are completely aesthetic and removable. As far as anyone is concerned, they really are just humans that live in the sky and have a specific sense of style. The one thing that Big Mom probably doesn't know is that the Sky People are from the moon, as even the Sky People don't seem to know about that since Enel seemed surprised to learn that. If she learned that, she'd probably be a lot more interested, but since there isn't a viable way for anyone to attain that information, we can only assume that Big Mom knows about the Sky People but either doesn't care to bring any to Totto Land or already has and they've changed their style to better fit in with the citizens of the Blue Sea. Honestly, if she cared to get them, there's no reason to assume she wouldn't have access to them, as again, there are definitely methods of reaching Sky Islands that she must know about. There's presumably nothing keeping her from getting one of the Sky People, so the only reason she wouldn't is that she doesn't consider them worth getting.

If Big Mom counts the Three-Eyes among her people, doesn't count the Sky People as a separate race from humans, and has all other known named races represented except for Giants and the winged race, then the only remaining option is that the third race is one that we haven't met yet. I remember when she first said this line, the idea of a reptile race was actually pretty popular because we hadn't learned that Kawamatsu was a Fishman yet and instead were told he was a kappa. The common consensus was that the kappa weren't kappa at all, but instead were a reptilian race that the people of Wano referred to as kappa because they didn't know any better, with Kawamatsu specifically being a turtle reptilian. Part of this turned out to be true, it's just that kappa seem to be their understanding of Fishmen, not reptilians. On that note, Hitetsu's name and appearance suggest that the myth of tengu in Wano comes from the winged race, rather than him taking on that name and aesthetic to fit the bill. Either way, since we have a race of sea creatures, mammals, and now apparently birds, reptiles seem like they would be a worthwhile addition to the world.

I suppose she could mean she's missing the aliens, but there's no indication that anyone on Earth knows that aliens are real, and there's probably multiple races of alien, so she would likely consider herself as missing more than three races. Alternatively, there could be an insectoid race, as we've never seen the face of the beetle-themed Heracles, or even a plant race since the Mushroom Person seen in Big Mom's collection indicates that there is a fungal race.

Either one would be cool, but I think that a reptilian race would be more fitting and has just a little bit more precedent at the moment with the legend of the Gorgon and the Medusa tattoo. Heracles doesn't really have any definitively insectoid features, as he only has four limbs and otherwise seems to just be wearing insect-like clothes with his helmet and shell over his cape, and not only does a fungal race not have any bearing on there being a plant race, but we can't even say for sure that the Mushroom Person is a person at all, as it could just be a human-shaped fungus. Plus, a reptilian race could potentially introduce a fire-element controlling race to complement the water-elemental Seafolk, the terrestrial lightning-elemental Minks, and the potentially air-elemental winged race, whereas an insectoid or plant race would lend themselves to being plant-elementals, a niche more or less filled by the agriculturally gifted Dwarves. It may even end up explaining the origin of fire-based techniques like Diable Jambe, with the reptilians being the long-forgotten progenitors of a fire martial art equivalent to Fishman Karate/Jujutsu or Electro, but that's not too important.

Because of how varied the animal races are in how they portray their hybridization, it's hard to say how the reptilian race would look. The Mermaids are human from the waist up and have fish parts replacing their legs, while the winged race seem to be completely human but with bird wings adorned on their backs. Fishmen are human shaped, but have gills, webbed hands, and generally have fins along with other fish traits, but otherwise just look like humans with inhuman skin tones rather than looking like literal fish. Thus far, the Minks have been the most extreme, looking more like animals with human limbs and posture than humans with animal traits. While there are similarities, each race demonstrates the combination of human and animal in fairly unique ways, so if there is in fact a reptilian race, logic stands that they would be distinct from the races that came before them. I can see a couple of ways to go about this, like making them look almost completely human except for easily concealable details, like patches of scales under clothes, claws under gloves, slit-eyes behind sunglasses, or even a head of snake hair under a hat. They could also have the opposite approach from Minks which look like animals walking as humans and be given limbs that specifically make them move in a more reptilian fashion, like a snake tail in place of legs that causes them to slither or lizard limbs for crawling quickly and climbing walls, or limbs with the appropriate length for walking on all fours with a turtle shell.

Alternatively, they may be the least obviously human, having more saurian postures and more pronounced animal-like facial features, only being clearly humanoid upon closer examination or when they begin conversing, but I find this unlikely since our hypothetical Medusa wouldn't really fit that bill. My favorite idea for them though, unlikely as it may be, would be for all of them to iterate on the base idea of a Gorgon, with living reptiles replacing their hair or possibly other body parts. I have trouble imagining generalized body parts being replaced in a way that doesn't overlap with the Gifters or veer into body horror, but I love the idea of incorporating reptiles into hairstyles, like a crocodile jaw pompadour or a turtle-shell bowlcut. Maybe the chameleon that Coribou wears as a wig was meant as foreshadowing all along.

Obviously I'm not saying that Coribou is a reptilian, but I think it would be interesting if it were a part of the reptilian culture to wear one's appropriate animal as a living headdress and Coribou picked that up somewhere. Of course, it could also just be that Medusa's hair happens to be shaped like snakes, and all reptilians have reptile-shaped hair, but whether it's genuine hair, living hair, or a living hat, I think it would be really fun for the reptilian race's design to expand on this idea. If it is just hair, it'd be neat if they could control the hair the same way that the Boa sisters did when using their Snake Hair Possession technique in their fight with Luffy.

All that said, I don't think anyone would complain if the reptilian race wasn't too different from the Fishmen or Minks, just being scaled humans with the appropriate traits of their individual animals. However they look, I do think that since the Seafolk encompass all sea life and not just fish, it wouldn't be too odd for the reptilians to also embody the cold-blooded creatures that are often confused for them, amphibians. Salamanders and caecilians look like lizards and snakes without scales (some of them even actually do have scales), and frogs have the same sort of projectile tongues as chameleons, so while it's wildly inaccurate to call amphibians reptiles, it'd be no more out of place than calling an octopus or even an orca a fish (though the latter was non-canon). Really it would just be a nice way to incorporate amphibians into the mix without needing to make an entire separate race for them.

As for how the Gorgon became associated with the ability to turn people to stone, I think it's fair to say that not all reptilians have this ability. It's more likely that there was once a particularly well known snake-reptilian that ate a Devil Fruit, possibly the Love-Love Fruit or some other petrifying Fruit. That said, I did mention earlier that the reptilians could be the representatives of an element we thus far haven't seen from the rest of the races. I proposed fire earlier on the basis that reptiles are commonly associated with fire, particularly through dragons but also through the mythological Salamander (not to be confused with the real life, amphibian salamanders), but currently the only characters that we've ever seen use fire techniques and exhibit the subsequently required heat resistance have been human (Sanji's Diable Jambe, Luffy's Red Hawk, Doflamingo's Overheat, Marigold's Salamander, Pearl's Fire Pearl mode, etc.) Therefore, humans may actually be the fire elementals, leaving the reptilians to represent the final unused classical element of earth. Though many are aquatic or arboreal, it's common for reptiles to burrow, with their mystical relatives the dragons being near-universally associated with caves. It isn't as natural a fit as fire, but associating the reptilians with earth wouldn't be any more odd than the Minks using their fur to generate static electricity, and it would give us all four of the classical elements in conjunction with electricity, a common fifth addition. I suppose they could also use poison, but venom isn't as universal in reptiles as burrowing behaviors, and I personally feel it would be a missed opportunity to bring in the earth element. Either one could work for the idea of petrification, though, with paralytic poison being mistaken for turning a target to stone or literally covering a target with mud and dirt to immobilize them.

Some people may argue that Big Mom already has a reptilian race in Totto Land, with characters like Aristocroc living in the Seducing Woods or what appears to be a frog man attending Sanji and Pudding's wedding, but while it isn't explicitly said as far as I can find, it seems pretty likely that they're Homies made by Big Mom, given that we've seen her do the same with mammals and birds.

I suppose the frog man could be a reptilian, but I feel like the race would have been acknowledged more directly by now, and like I said earlier, I can't imagine that Big Mom wouldn't have strong armed them into joining Totto Land by this point. Still, maybe that is the case, and this was a hint that said race exists and Big Mom is trying to gain political favor with them instead of forcing them. Only time will tell.

Regardless of their design, the question still remains what they have to do with Monet. All we really have to go on right now is the fact that she seems to have a Medusa Jolly Roger, and as I said earlier, that could easily be the symbol of a Gorgon Devil Fruit user. While that is definitely possible, I think that the reptilian race's involvement with Monet hearkens back to the same basic idea I presented during my theory on the Vegapunk Saga: the loose ends are likely connected.

Big Mom very specifically says that one of the missing races disappeared from history (I double checked, in Japanese she literally uses the numeral 1), and yet we have no reason to believe that she has some kind of feud with the remaining race. Interestingly though, she never actually clarifies that King's race is the one that's faded out. We can take this a couple of different ways: 1) King's race is the one that died out with him being one of very few survivors while the other race is very difficult to find, or 2) the other race is the one that died out and King's race is heading in the same direction, making them very rare. As previously stated, it's strongly implied that she was referring to King's race as the one that disappeared, but it could still potentially go either way. Regardless of which one is near extinction, the other is either hiding out or in such low numbers that even Big Mom and her information network can't find them, since I'm pretty sure if she knew where they were she'd be able to strong-arm them into joining up with her, especially considering they probably don't have the military might to fight back like the Giants. So the question is, what happened to both of these races?

"Disappeared from history" gives the impression that they died out a long time ago, possibly centuries ago, but it could mean that they just went extinct, and if there's one still floating around, then they had at least two within the last century to make that one...unless King was born from an egg and just took a really long time to hatch...but that's just a bit too speculative for our purposes, and since I'm fairly certain that Seafolk are born via live birth, I have to assume that the winged and reptilian race are much the same. Either way, it's very possible that these races died out or went into hiding within the last decade or two, possibly around the same time.

Two races slipped through Big Mom's fingers at the same time, one possibly related to reptiles while Monet secretly bears a mark that may be related to said race, and the other related to birds while Monet has a hidden reason to have wanted to become a bird herself. What I am proposing is that the winged race and the reptilian race nearly wiped each other out, and Monet was present for their final confrontation.
Just like everyone else in the Straw Hat Crew, if Monet is going to join, she must have had someone important to her that she lost. Logically, this person or persons could easily be her parents, killed in the making of her misfortunate environment, but I think that this person is tied to her motivation to become a bird. I think that one or more of the winged race, likely originally from the New World and erroneously referred to in their homeland as Harpies, flew across the Calm Belt into North Blue (as North Blue is in the New World hemisphere) and landed on Monet's island, either with the intention of settling down or escaping some kind of danger, not unlike Jaguar D. Saul escaping from the Marines when he landed on Ohara in Robin's backstory. Regardless of whether it's a flock of Harpies or just one, I think that Monet will likely have formed a strong bond with a particular individual, who I'm willing to bet was named Monet and served as the inspiration for our Monet to choose that as her codename, as the name itself doesn't really seem to have any theme to it like most of the others (Dellinger after the derringer gun, Gladius after a kind of sword, Lao G being the Chinese and Japanese words for old man, Baby 5 was probably five when her mother abandoned her, Senor Pink probably likes pink, etc.) On that note, Sugar's codename may turn out to be Monet's nickname for her in their childhood. This friendship also likely inspired her to read up on ornithology, possibly to better understand how to treat wounds if they are in fact refugees or just because she's a meticulous person and wants to satisfy her curiosity. Whatever the case, things are calm for a time and Monet cherishes the Harpy, until the time for reckoning comes. A group of reptilians, let's call them the Medusa Pirates, cross the Calm Belt, likely utilizing Yuda, the snakes that ward off Sea Kings considering their affinity for snakes, to pursue the winged folk that may have escaped them.

Whatever the reason for the conflict, the Medusa Pirates have nearly finished clearing out the winged race, but may or may not be the last of the reptilian race themselves. Either way, the Medusa Pirates' invasion proves to be the last stand for the winged race (as far as these individuals are aware, at least, likely not knowing about King or Hitetsu in Wano), and regardless of how gloriously they go out, Monet believes that she's seen the last of the winged race. Without the Harpies to protect the island, the Medusa Pirates decide to make this land their territory, as North Blue is most certainly not capable of fighting off New World pirates, and they can start rebuilding their race from here.

Since Sugar was nine when Doflamingo arrived to save the sisters, this takeover likely happened after she was born, making Monet at least eight herself at the time, though I suppose it's possible that Monet's parents had their second child under reptilian rule. Either way, I imagine their parents didn't survive, leaving Monet to act not only as sister to Sugar, but mother as well, likely sowing the seeds for a strong maternal instinct in her despite her age. Needing to provide her child sister as happy a life as possible for what Monet imagines will be a very short life would parallel quite well to how lovingly she treated the Punk Hazard children knowing that Caesar didn't intend for them to live more than five more years. Honestly, the realization that Doflamingo forced her to relive that experience may be what shatters her faith in him as we talked about earlier, but we'll worry about that later.

Under the rule of the reptilians, Monet was branded with the Medusa Pirates' Jolly Roger and enslaved. Here she may have felt caged, possibly even literally, and likely longed for the good old days when she spent her time watching the Harpy fly. If only she could fly away from this cage, free as a bird. And thus, her dream was born: to be able to fly freely like the Harpy she met all those years ago. It was likely at some point between the arrival of the reptilians and her salvation by Doflamingo that she realized that even if she were to escape the island, she would still be under the rule of the World Government. This may have been when her focus shifted from birds to the stars, as the only place she could be free would be the unclaimed territory of the moon.

At 17, Monet's cage was finally broken by the arrival of Doflamingo, on his way to Reverse Mountain to enter the Grand Line and begin his quest to reclaim his birthright of Dressrosa, only intending to make a stop for supplies at this particular island. However, his crew was attacked by reptilians, though they routed the attackers without any trouble. Thus began Doflamingo's campaign to rid this island of the reptilians, not out of any sense of obligation, but to make a statement that his crew were not to be trifled with, not even by New World pirates. In doing so, Doflamingo drove the reptilians into hiding, burying themselves so thoroughly that even Big Mom couldn't find them. Depending on their design, this may be as simple as covering up their reptile traits, hiding in plain sight for the entirety of the series, but otherwise may see them returning to their homeland and hiding somewhere secret. From the blood and rubble crawled Monet, holding her unconscious sister in her arms, asking to be taken from this cage, likely mirroring Nojiko asking Bellemere to save her and Nami. Doflamingo, recognizing lost children that can be molded to his purposes, readily agreed. Once he learned of Monet's desire for freedom, Doflamingo may have filled her head with empty promises that once he became Pirate King, he would abolish the World Government and create a world where she could be as free as she wished, and thus a solider willing to die for him was born. Ironically, Monet would find herself tethered time and time again, with Doflamingo directing her to cage herself in various locations for the sake of missions. A maid in Dressrosa, a secretary at Punk Hazard, and who knows where else doing who knows what for who knows how long. Years later, it was on one of these missions that Monet met Trafalgar Law, and seeing the extent of his abilities, saw an opportunity to fulfill at least one of her childhood dreams, to be able to literally fly through the sky as the Harpy had before her. It wasn't until Doflamingo's defeat that she was able to make a choice of her own, of who to fly after when she awoke on Punk Hazard.

Of course, this could all be wildly off base. While the timing would be convenient for tying off all of these loose ends, it's most definitely not a requirement. Oda could approach this any number of ways, but if a clash between the winged and reptilian races isn't to be, I think he could also draw more heavily on the legend of the harpies, as obviously they were a strong inspiration for her character. There are two major stories surrounding the harpies in Greek mythology, one being the myth itself, and the other being the supposed inspiration for the myth. Either one could work individually, but I think that if Oda were to do this, he likely would have come across both in his research and drawn elements from each. Both stories center around the blind king Phineus. In the myth, Zeus punished him for an indiscretion against the gods both by rendering him blind and by eternally placing him in front of a feast that the two harpies, Ocypete and Aello (though some iterations have a third), would always steal, eat, or sully just before he could eat any of the food. In the supposed base story, Phineus went blind from old age, and his daughters Eraseia and Harpyreia fell into poverty from living lives of debauchery, presumably because their father couldn't supervise them. In the former, the harpies were driven off by the Argonauts Zetes and Calais, known collectively as the Boreads, while in the latter, the girls were taken by the duo, I assume either as their wives or to save them from the poverty they saddled themselves with.

In this scenario, sisters Monet and Sugar, analogous to either of the two pairs of sisters, may be the daughters of the king of this island of North Blue. With the arrival of the Medusa Pirates, in this timeline being led by a Devil Fruit user rather than being a crew of reptilians, the king was deposed and potentially blinded, and his eldest daughter was left with the responsibility to care for herself and her young sister, Sugar. In order to make ends-meet, Monet swallowed her pride and approached the Medusa Pirates, reluctantly earning their brand on her shoulder as a parallel to Nami. As the harpies of mythology stole food, Monet stole treasures and likely food as well. As Sugar grew, she may have taken to this lifestyle as well. Monet held no love for this lifestyle or the crew she was forced into, but as we know, she is always willing to put aside her principles for those she cares for. It is only when the Donquixote Pirates, standing in for the Boreads of the Argonauts, arrive and drive off the Medusa Pirates that Monet sees an opportunity to escape. Through Doflamingo, Monet and Sugar are taken away just as Phineus' daughters were by the Boreads. Ironically, when Doflamingo was deposed, Monet once again took the opportunity to escape her situation, though likely with much more trepidation and justification through mental gymnastics.

On a less important note, the two pairs of sisters may both provide inspiration for Monet and Sugar's real names. I'm not saying their names will be Ocypete and Aello or Eraseia and Harpyreia, but I mentioned earlier that Monet's real name may allow her to fit the Alphabet Pattern, so a variation of either Ocypete or Harpyreia would definitely qualify her for either OP or GH. I'm personally hoping for Harpyreia, as I just think that's a cooler name and that may tie into her motivation to become a harpy. Of course, a member of the winged race is still free to be a part of this story, and would likely be more helpful for explaining that choice than just a fascination with birds or a thematically appropriate name. Her transition from a fascination with birds towards a fascination with space and her reasoning for being so loyal to Doflamingo probably would both remain in tact from my original idea as well.

Like I said though, I personally like the former of the two better, as not only does it tie up a number of loose threads rather well, it also doesn't assume that the story is based on outside material. While Oda has used fairy tales and myths for inspiration before, I don't think we can assume that he'll do it again, and even if he does, there's no telling how closely he'll stick to the original story, and it's not like the story of the harpies is anywhere near as well known as say Usopp's inspiration, The Boy Who Cried Wolf.

Regardless of which Oda goes with if either, I am confident of three things: Monet's tattoo indicates that she was inducted into a pirate crew, and she later hid it because she was ashamed of that fact as a parallel to Nami; the thematic similarities between wanting to fly and go to space indicate an interest in freedom, which likely ties in to her desire to make Doflamingo Pirate King; and her motherly qualities stem from needing to care for Sugar from a young age. The interracial relationships of the One Piece world, the existence of Gorgons in any form, or even an explicit inspiration from Greek mythology are less necessary, though I still think there's strong reason to believe that those will play a part.

Now that we have a fair understanding of the elements of Monet's backstory, we need a place to reveal it. Mind you, this doesn't have to take place on a particular island necessarily, and all that really matters is for relevant people to make their reappearance, but I think that Oda has already foreshadowed this particular island, albeit quite subtly.

I think that there may be an island that is populated heavily by creatures from our world's Greek mythology, such as the sphinx, manticore, pegasus, and cerberus. In much the same way that the sphinx and manticore have very human-like faces but are still definitively animals and not animal-like people, I think that this land will also have centaurs, horses whose necks give the appearance of a human sprouting from the torso, satyrs, goats that stand upright, and possibly even harpies, birds with human faces. Of course, the Harpies may actually be the winged race, misinterpreted in the same way that Fishmen are mistaken for kappa in Wano. I'm not simply conjecturing the existence of this island, though, as I think that Oda has already shown us one of its inhabitants: the Minotaur.

When Oden was traveling the New World with Whitebeard, they came across an island that seemed to be home to a horned giant with particularly large lips carrying a spiked club, all features seen on the signature Jailer Beast of Impel Down, the Minotaur. Admittedly, the Minotaur doesn't seem to be as gigantic as the man that Oden met, but this may be a side effect of a giant using a Zoan Fruit, a phenomenon we have never seen before. Still, the resemblance is uncanny, and I don't think that's an accident or a coincidence. Remember how I said earlier that all of the Jailer Beasts are named with the prefix "Mino-?" That's always seemed strange to me, since the word Minotaur refers to the creature, Asterion, as the bull of King Minos of Crete, who likely does not exist in this world. Therefore, the name must come from something, and I believe that it comes from either the giant seen here with the Jailer Beasts being named after him and his cow-like qualities, or from the island where the giant bull-like man originates, which I have decided to temporarily dub Minoa. Either one works, but I like the latter a bit better myself. The point is, I think that either this giant was captured and became the Minotaur himself, or is the Minotaur of myth in this world and the awakened Cow Zoan was unwittingly named after him.

As it's the island where all Greek myths come from, I envision Minoa as being explicitly based on Greek culture, likely with its main city being based on the Acropolis of Athens and containing temples like the Parthenon and theatres like the Theatre of Dionysus. To have more story significance than just a backdrop for Monet's backstory, this may also be where we learn more about the Ancient Weapons, or at least the gods that they were based on. There may even be a Ponegylph here that elaborates on the purpose of all three Ancient Weapons in tandem rather than just where they are.

So some time after returning from the moon and officially recruiting Monet, presumably after one or two smaller or even one quite significant arc, the crew arrives on Minoa. They see all of the creatures they've only heard about in myths, some of them looking on in awe, some wishing to test their mettle against them, and others wondering how they'd taste, but Monet seems to be feeling unease. She's never been here before, but she's avoiding looking at the buildings and doesn't seem excited about the wildlife. While roaming the island, the crew eventually come across a familiar face: Sugar. This, of course, is the first thing on the island to interest Monet, likely bringing her joy to see her sister again when she likely thought she never would again.

Sugar explains that she escaped from the Marines, possibly with Vergo's help, possibly during the commotion of Jack's failed attack on the ship that Doflamingo was on (a scene that still hasn't been fully addressed by the way), and through a series of events somehow ended up on Minoa. This may be the first time that Sugar is seeing Monet since her surgery, so it's hard to say how she'll react to Monet being a harpy, but depending on which of the proposed backstories is true, she may allude to it and point out that Monet is just like "that person" now. After a brief conversation, Sugar will realize that Monet is accompanied by the Straw Hats, to which Monet will explain that she's using them to free Doflamingo. It is here where we begin Monet's final parallel to the other female recruits: the temporary departure.

Sugar will likely ask Monet to leave the Straw Hats and go back to being with her, either to work towards rebuilding the Donquixote Pirates and free Doflamingo, or abandoning everything just to be a family again. This could go one of two ways, both of which I think would be interesting variations on the formula as we've already seen it. The more predictable of the two would be the straight parallel, where Monet decides to sever her ties with the Straw Hats and return to her family. This would be the most similar to Vivi's departure, where the person in question isn't being coerced or threatened by someone with power over them, but where they are asked to make a choice between two things that they love. The major difference, though, is that Monet would be asked directly in a more personal setting, as opposed to Vivi who had to make the choice between herself and her country. Both of Monet's options would be more centrally focused on herself, not her duties. Of course, the person asking may have more selfish intentions, but both options would more or less be equally viable for Monet.

The second option would be a complete subversion, where Monet is the first one to simply choose to stay with the crew, the decision that everyone else likely would have come to had they not been under some level of duress. Of course, this will likely form a rift between Monet and Sugar, which will become the emotional focal point of the arc.

Whichever route Oda chooses, the arc will most heavily focus on Monet's relationship with Sugar. If Monet goes with Sugar, the Straw Hats will likely feel bittersweet about the parting, but accept it as her choice as they did with Vivi, but will end up crossing paths with them again when the central conflict of the arc arrives. If Monet leaves Sugar, then Sugar may end up in some kind of danger and Monet will plead with the Straw Hats to save her, likely as a parallel to Sanji's plea to Luffy to help him save his family on Whole Cake Island.

It likely goes without saying at this point that I believe the danger, whether it targets only Sugar or both sisters, will be the remains of the Medusa Pirates, as Minoa is their homeland and where they have been in hiding for the past thirteen years. Monet's discomfort earlier is revealed to have been because of either the stories she had heard of Minoa from the winged individual of her youth or similar structures that the Medusa Pirates forced the people of her island to construct. We learn all of the details: the Harpy, the battle between races, the blinded father, the recruitment, the brand, the rescue, Monet's dreams, and even the moment she decided to become a harpy. Naturally, when Luffy comes to rescue Monet and Sugar (or Sugar with Monet's help), the scene will have a direct parallel to when Doflamingo saved the sisters all those years ago, but with some key difference. Most likely, Luffy will say something reassuring that is almost word for word what Doflamingo told them, but some simple change in the sentence will prove a difference in intention. Whereas Doflamingo's words in retrospect will prove to have been manipulative, Luffy's will prove to be sincere and caring. Alternatively, Luffy will say something completely opposite of what Doflamingo said. Either way, this will be the moment that the last vestiges of Monet's faith in Doflamingo will crumble away, but rather than chain herself to Luffy as she did to Doflamingo, she will simply use her newfound freedom to choose to follow him.

Though a number of important plot points may arise here, such as the two unknown races, possibly a Poneglyph, and of course a major character's backstory, I don't really expect this to be a very long arc. They'll likely arrive at Minoa at the end of a chapter, explore and meet Sugar in the next, hear Monet's answer at the beginning of the third and deal with those consequences, hear her backstory in the fourth and fifth, spark the conflict in the sixth, resolve it by the eighth, and then have falling action for the next two. This could be shortened or lengthened as Oda sees fit, but I don't expect it to get so much focus that it takes more than 20 chapters at the absolutely maximum.

Even if I'm off the mark about most of Monet's backstory, there's no winged people or reptilians or Medusa Pirates or Greek imagery, the one thing that I am completely confident in is Sugar's reappearance and invitation for her and Monet to be a family again. Consider both Sugar's visual design and her narrative purpose. She was arguably the crux of Doflamingo's plan to control Dressrosa, as he used her Hobby-Hobby Fruit to make dissenters disappear both literally and from the public consciousness while also building a massive and obedient labor force, but she was only able to do that because said Devil Fruit had so many different functions rolled into it. Its primary ability was to turn people into toys, hence its name. Its second was to grant the user authority over said toys, which is a logical extension of the previous ability, since toys are the playthings of their master. The third is the aforementioned ability to erase the victim from the collective memory of the entire world, which is...definitely a jump from the others, but I suppose both it and the forced servitude angle are a form of mental power, and it works extremely well for the plot, so it's fine. The fourth ability though is eternal youth, which simply isn't related at all and serves almost no narrative function. Aside from making a creepy child antagonist, the only role it seemed to play was getting Luffy and Law to drop their guard around her, putting them in danger of being turned into toys, prompting Usopp to awaken his Observation Haki to save them. Aside from that though, Sugar could just as easily have been a full grown woman or a standalone character and nothing about that scene would have necessarily changed, especially since Law and Luffy didn't know who she was anyway and could have thought she was just a defenseless bystander. Her being a child ultimately played no vital part in the narrative. Assuming, of course, that her part in the narrative is complete.

Like I said, even as an eternal child, Sugar could easily have been a standalone character, her backstory didn't need to be tied to anyone other than Doflamingo, and her involvement in the plot would have made just as much sense. And yet she's Monet's sister. Monet, who however subtly has been implied to harbor strong maternal instincts to children. Sugar was nine when she was saved by Doflamingo, and ten when she was given the Hobby-Hobby Fruit. I don't think it's a coincidence that Oda had her be eternally frozen with a face that Monet would heavily associate with their past. Whether Monet being motherly was based on Sugar's design or vice versa, these seemingly disparate character choices suddenly click together once you learn that they're sisters. In isolation, they're just character traits, but taken in conjunction they potentially set up a very powerful reunion and exploration of their shared backstory while also providing new avenues to explore a member of the crew.

Not only would Monet offer a new take on reuniting with family once thought to be lost by potentially having a conflicted reunion with someone she loves but who represents hardship in her life (compared to Luffy and Sabo having a tearful and relieved reunion or Sanji immediately fighting his brothers and father), but it would also shift the temporal focus of the motivation to leave. Nami left the crew because she was trying to raise money to someday buy Cocoyasi Village from Arlong, making her motivations future-focused. Robin, on the other hand, left the crew to protect them when they were threatened by CP9, giving up on her own future to protect the happiness that she'd found in the present. Though both of course have elements of their past, Monet's is the only one that would be past-focused on the basis of trying to actually return to a past state (joining the crew specifically to reunite with Doflamingo, being given the opportunity to return to being Sugar's older sister) as opposed to trying to retain a current state (Usopp not wanting to replace Merry even though she was breaking down) or create a new one (Nami trying to free Cocoyasi Village). I believe this is why Oda gave Sugar eternal youth, to physically root Sugar in the past whereas Monet is rooted to it mentally. Over the course of the Minoa Arc, Sugar likely won't be able to completely move on from her past because she is both literally and symbolically stuck in it, but will likely make the first step to finally growing up by the end. Similarly, Monet will either also find herself stuck in the past until Luffy drags her out of it, or she'll try to run from it until she's forced to confront it, though I think the former is a bit more likely. This is also why I think that the tattoo is so important and likely tied to a person or group of significance, to have a specific person act as the antagonist, a ghost from Monet's past. It will only be once that ghost is silenced that the two sisters will have the emotional maturity to separate and live on their own while still acknowledging that distance hasn't worn down their relationship.

Though it isn't quite as necessary, this would also be an appropriate place thematically to address the hypothetical feud between the winged and reptilian races, as that too would fit the Minoa Arc's theme of the inability to leave the past behind. A Poneglyph would of course be the perfect way to top all of this off, as an eternal relic with information from the past would likely be the best way to hammer that theme home.

While we're on the subject of departure arcs, I'd like to take a brief moment to address a statement I made much earlier. As I've said both in this theory and several others, I strongly believe that Monet will be Straw Hat #13, with 11 and 12 being Carrot and Pudding respectively. If they joined, I think fans would expect them to have a departure arc, as every other female Straw Hat and even a few males have had one as well. Much like Monet, though, I don't think they'd have particularly long ones if they did at all. Pudding, in particular, I see actually turning the formula on its head, as in a sense she's already begun her departure arc. Though she obviously hasn't joined the crew, she most certainly had the option to run away with Sanji after making the wedding cake for Big Mom and during the commotion that Big Mom's hunger tantrum wrought. However, for whatever reason, she decided not to, staying behind in Totto Land with a crew that she doesn't love and who doesn't love her back. She gave up on the future she wanted, presumably to prevent Big Mom from having another reason to chase the Straw Hats. After the events of Wano, where Big Mom is sure to be defeated, it seems likely that we'll at least be given the opportunity to explore Pudding's motivation for staying behind, and she'll likely be given a second chance to change her decision and work for the future she wants, not unlike Robin's decision to keep living when confronted by Luffy after leaving the crew.

Carrot, on the other hand, easily could have a brief departure, but unlike Nami and Robin who left because of their own private struggles, Carrot would probably leave for reasons more similar to Usopp after having a falling out with the crew. More specifically, I think that Carrot could justifiably have a crisis of conscience and become disillusioned with the crew after some event makes her question what Pedro really died for. We haven't really spent much personal time with Carrot since Pedro's death, only really seeing her tearfully asking Sanji to thank Pedro for his actions rather than apologize or mourn him. A powerful scene, to be sure, but as of yet Carrot hasn't really taken hold of the idea of the Dawn of the World that Pedro was always referring to, and I think to get the closure she needs for Pedro's death, she needs to find her own answer to why she should believe in that beyond just that it was what Pedro believed in. She loves the Straw Hats, clearly, but I don't know that she sees in them what Pedro did, and I think it would be important for her development to question what he saw and ultimately find it. It would be best if the seeds for that were planted in Wano, as a similar idea was brought up when Kaido accused Momo of only wanting to be shogun because his father was, but it could come at any time. What would prompt Carrot to second guess herself so strongly I have no idea, but I imagine that it would have a fair bit of build up, stemming from multiple instances piling on top of each other, and would be resolved fairly easily through open communication or a decisive action. Given that Robin and Usopp's departure arcs overlapped, Carrot's could easily occur at the same time as Monet's, with the final straw for Carrot being related to Monet's departure, but it's hard to tell. Either way, I think that Carrot's would be fairly short, but would also be one of Carrot's biggest moments of character development.
Let's review: Some number of arcs following the Vegapunk Saga, the crew arrives at an island inspired by Greece, which I am calling Minoa for now to justify Impel Down's Minotaur's name, which is home to all of the animals from Greek mythology. On this island, the crew meets Monet's sister, Sugar, who either managed to escape from the Marines before being taken to Impel Down or was somehow released thanks to Vergo's influence. Personifying the idea of being stuck in one's past due to her Devil Fruit making her eternally ten years old, Sugar gives Monet the choice to go back to being a family with her and leaving everything else behind. Though there's some chance Monet will reject this invitation, it seems like it would be more beneficial in her development to accept and leave the crew, mirroring Nami, Robin, and even Vivi's departure, being closest to the latter's because it was a willing choice not made under duress.

While roaming Minoa, Monet and Sugar are attacked by the Medusa Pirates, the crew that attacked their hometown in North Blue as children, as deduced by Monet's obscured tattoo resembling a head with one large eye and snake-like hair. During this confrontation, Monet recalls her childhood, where she discovered a love of ornithology from observing a member of King's winged race, referred to as the Harpies by the people of Minoa. The Harpy was followed to North Blue by the Medusa Pirates though, either made up of members of a reptilian race or led by the user of the Mythical Snake-Snake Fruit, Model: Gorgon (depending on whether we've already met the third race that Big Mom doesn't have in Totto Land yet). Upon finding the Harpy, the Medusa Pirates killed them, supposedly wiping out the entirety of the Harpy race in the process, and went on to take over Monet's island. To take care of her likely infant sister, Monet put aside her scruples and volunteered to join the Medusa Pirates, earning their Jolly Roger in the same spot that Nami bore Arlong's, and began stealing as a parallel to the harpies of Greek mythology. Monet's need to care for her sister from such a young age is revealed to be the reason she became so easily attached to the children of Punk Hazard. As Sugar grew, she likely also began stealing, increasing the parallel by having two thieving harpy sisters. During this period, Monet's began to dream of true freedom, and her interest in ornithology began to shift to astronomy, likely believing the moon to be the only place that she could go where no one could cage her.

As the Boreads of the Argonauts arrived at Thrace to drive off the harpies of legend, the Donquixote Pirates arrived at Monet's island and drove off the Medusa Pirates. Monet approached and asked Doflamingo to take her and her sister away from this island so that they could finally be free. Doflamingo saw the opportunity to make the sisters loyal to him and agreed, claiming that he would become Pirate King and grant them true freedom, but ultimately just trapping them in his own cage instead. Doflamingo taking the two from their misfortunate environment mirrors the supposed inspiration for the original tale of the harpies, wherein the Boreads took the two impoverished princesses of Thrace away from their own misfortunate environment.

Back in the present, Luffy somehow learns that Monet is in trouble and goes to help her, his arrival being made to clearly parallel Doflamingo's. Once Monet and Sugar are saved, Luffy says something that mirrors Doflamingo's words, but rather than those words taking advantage of Monet and shackling her to her savior, these words are meant to free her from the shackles of her past and allow her the true freedom to choose where she goes from here. With her newfound freedom, Monet decides to rejoin the Straw Hats, though this unfortunately means leaving Sugar once again. Sugar, however, also is unstuck from the past and experiences the growth necessary to finally stand on her own, not needing Monet or anyone else to take care of her anymore. The two part, but assure each other that they will always be sisters.
Chapter 4: Conclusions

The biggest argument that I anticipate being levied against all of this though is the timing. Oda claimed near the end of 2019 that One Piece would end in five years, which is approximately 250 chapters, rounding up Jump's typical 48 issues a year to 50 and ignoring Oda's tendency to take one week off every month, or 12 chapters a year. He said this around chapter 960, so assuming he's not underestimating how many chapters he'll need to finish up, that would mean the story ends at about 1200, or if we go with our strictest estimate, 180 chapters remaining at 1140 , and unfortunately Wano is shaping up to be going for a decent while longer since at 980 the crew has only just started causing trouble at Onigashima. At the current pace, my best guess is that Wano will end around but probably not much later than chapter 1050, giving us about 150 chapters of Wano total, the longest single arc thus far assuming that Onigashima is considered a part of Wano.

For now, we'll assume our most generous estimate of 250 rather than the conservative 180, so that leaves us 150 chapters left to work with, which sounds like Oda would want to dedicate to a final huge arc where everything else in the entire series comes to a head at once, but honestly with how crowded Wano alone has been, not even considering the entirety of the Yonko Saga and the fact that the Dressrosa Saga was just prologue for the Yonko Saga, I imagine Oda will want to take a bit of a breather in that time, maybe a year at most. Therefore, I think the entirety of the Vegapunk Saga will be no more than 50 chapters, with approximately 25 chapters dedicated to the Vegapunk Arc and Moon Arc each, maybe even less. With 100+ chapters remaining, I think there'll be enough time to either split up the remaining conflicts of Blackbeard and the Marines into 50 each or use the entire 100 for them simultaneously. Remember, Marineford itself was only 31 chapters, Oda clearly knows how to handle a ton of characters clashing at once just fine. Some may argue that Oda would need to use all 150 for set up, and I agree with that, which is in fact why I think the Vegapunk Saga is an important step. Not only could it be used to finally show us Uranus so all three of the Ancient Weapons can be brought out in the final conflict, but it could give us the final hints we need to mostly piece together the Void Century ourselves before Oda gives us the full story and would help facilitate the two remaining Supernovas being drawn into the greater conflicts of the story, while also solidifying Vegapunk and SSG as major players in the final war.

Regardless of whether the final 100 are split into a Blackbeard-centric Saga and an Akainu-centric Saga or an all-encompassing Laugh Tale Saga, it's not too hard to see some of those chapters being dedicated to Monet if she's a part of the crew, as Oda would want us to be as emotionally invested in her as the rest of the crew. I don't think she'll have as big of a personal arc as Nami's 27 chapter Arlong Park Arc or Robin's 56 chapters Enies Lobby Arc, but as I stated previously, her backstory and development could be wrapped up in about 10-20 chapters to give us one final relatively low-stakes, more intimately involved arc before we run into the hundred character battle royale of the finale. Hell, if Oda wants, he actually could put a flashback centered on Monet's past in the Vegapunk Saga just to get it over with, I just couldn't think of a good place to put it myself that would mirror the Sky Island Saga, since none of the flashbacks there focused on Robin or even any other of the Straw Hats.

Since this theory ended up being the length of a literal novel, I imagine that a summary of all of the most major tenets of this theory are in order, as by this point many people have likely either been able to keep everything in their head at once, read the entirety of this theory in shifts and forgotten aspects between breaks, or were put off by how long this theory is and decided to skip ahead to the abridgment. So now, for the final time, let's review:

Fans believe in Monet's return for a variety of reasons, the strongest of which being that Oda specifically showed a panel in which her heart was revealed to be intact after Caesar's attempted stabbing. This, coupled with several small hints about her backstory, such as the apparent astronomy books seen strewn about her workspace, the tattoo on her arm that only appeared in one panel and was hidden behind a speech bubble, and her seemingly meaningless sisterhood with Sugar, all implied to readers that more was to come from Monet. In particular, the astronomy books seemed to imply that Oda had some intention of bringing the story back to the moon as he had done with Enel, where he revealed the existence of aliens and revealed that the winged Sky People originated on the moon. From there, people began to believe that Monet would actually join the Straw Hats as an astronomer and help them on their journey to the moon, as she was the only one ever shown to be interested in astronomy. In response to arguments that she would not fit, people noted hints of a motherly and more merciful personality than people originally noticed, along with her Snow-Snow Fruit fulfilling Luffy's constant desire to snow. She has also been found to fit many patterns with other recruits, such as her color scheme, hairstyle, introductory panel, the time delay between her last appearance and possible recruitment, and several others. While other pieces of evidence have been noted by fans over the years, such as the resemblance between one of Monet's attacks and a horde of suspicious sea rabbits, a snow-themed color spread believed to be subtle foreshadowing of the crew's final roster, and the letter that Chopper received on Punk Hazard, none of these particularly hold up to scrutiny. That said, these bits of evidence falling through are not in and of themselves counterarguments for Monet's return and recruitment, they simply don't contribute very strongly to the main body of evidence.

For Monet's return, she must have both a method and a reason to leave Punk Hazard. Her ability to fly can solve the former easily enough, though because Brownbeard and his men ventured into Punk Hazard to find those affected by Caesar's Shinokuni gas, it's possible that they found Monet as well and arrested her, which would provide a fairly easy way to reintroduce her. Alternatively, they missed her because she was in a sealed room, ultimately leaving her to her own devices. In this scenario, she likely found Vergo and her heart unabated, then needed to decide her next course of action. As she did not appear in Dressrosa during or after said arc, she likely did not fly to Doflamingo's aid, and because she hasn't accosted the Straw Hats in what is canonically about a two month span, she most likely did not fly after them either. Therefore, she most likely followed Smoker, Tashigi and the children back to G-5 headquarters with Vergo's help due to the motherly desire to protect the children she developed during her time as their caretaker, likely excusing her actions as fulfilling her duties to protect Caesar's experiments and not being needed to protect Doflamingo. Upon arriving at G-5, she likely found that the children had already begun their journey to be healed by Vegapunk, and so had Vergo use his Marine connections (which he still has because Smoker was reluctant to report that Vergo, who he believed to be dead, was really a pirate) to bring her to Vegapunk as well. Monet spent the remainder of the gap watching over the children, most likely being hired by Vegapunk as a secretary either through Vergo's recommendation or because of Vegapunk's interest in the effects that the Op-Op Fruit had on her body.

After the events of Wano, the crew will likely seek out Vegapunk's help, either because something has gone wrong with Momo's Artificial Devil Fruit (deemed a failure by Vegapunk himself) or because they believe he can cure the Pleasures affected by Caesar's SMILEs. Drake, grateful for their help in overthrowing Kaido, uses his connections as a member of SWORD to guide them to Vegapunk, thus beginning a series of events that mirror those of the Sky Island Saga. A vessel carrying either one of the Automata or a Space Pirate falls from the sky, though the passenger is likely unconscious, giving us an indication that there's something more to the sky, just like the St. Briss falling indicated the existence of Sky Island without necessarily overwriting the current goal. The Log Pose stops working because Vegapunk's island cannot be found via Log Pose, so Drake calls for help from Vegapunk, who sends out Monet to guide them via celestial navigation with her astronomy skills, foreshadowing the skillset that will help later in the arc in much the same way that Robin demonstrated her archaeology with the skeleton from the St. Briss. Upon arriving, the crew meets the children again, learning the specifics of what happened after Punk Hazard, and then finally are introduced to Vegapunk. They explain what they need from Vegapunk, who says that he will help on the condition that the Straw Hats help him retrieve an object from the moon. This is likely where the one who fell from the sky awakens, revealing that they actually fell from the moon and are desperate to return. Luffy agrees, both so he can get what he came for from Vegapunk and so he can have an adventure on the moon, and Vegapunk and Franky set to work on upgrading the Sunny to be capable of space travel, possibly with the help of Judge and Drake to more accurately mirror the three-man team of the Saruyama Alliance enabling Merry's Flying Mode. We also learn that Caesar has returned as well, possibly having escaped Totto Land with Judge, and is himself working on a spacecraft to be manned by Urouge, who has his own reasons for wanting to go to the moon, thus kicking off the One Piece world's Space Race. The Sunny's upgrades are interrupted by Bonney, though, in much the same way that Bellamy sabotaged Cricket on Jaya, who is seeking revenge for Kuma's cyborgization. We finally learn the truth about why Kuma voluntarily underwent the procedure, possibly getting hope for Kuma's humanity to return, and Bonney is either sated or left to run away with nothing to how for her efforts depending on whether her arc is meant to be resolved yet. During the commotion, Caesar steals plans or a piece necessary for completing the upgrades just as Bellamy stole Cricket's gold, and Luffy tracks him down and fights him to retrieve it. Once the upgrades are complete, Vegapunk volunteers Monet to act as the crew's spacial navigator, as Nami's navigational skills won't be any help on the moon, similar to the South Bird being necessary to find the Knock Up Stream.

Once the crew reaches the moon, they are attacked by one of the Space Pirates only to be saved by Enel, much like how Wyper attacked them in the White Sea before Gan Fall saved them. The crew learns that Enel has gained a new following in the Automata of Birka, and has even established four new priests, the Automata of Karakuri, just like the four priests of God's Army back on Skypiea. It is revealed that Enel has been at war with the Space Pirates for the past two years over some item or resource unique to the moon, just as he once was with the Shandians over the Vearth of Upper Yard. The Space Pirates launch their greatest assault yet, but this time the Straw Hats are present to lend the Automata (not necessarily Enel) their aid. Urouge has also made it to the moon, though the lack of the piece that Caesar lost to Luffy proves to have detrimental effects, crashing his ship or making it unfit to return home. Urouge, upon meeting Enel, reveals that he was once one of Enel's priests, but was thrown from Skypiea after defying orders, as evidenced by the tattered God's Army uniform beneath his black robes and his Birkan-style wings. Thus, the conflict has become a four-way battle between the Straw Hats, the new God's Army, Urouge, and the Space Pirates, just like the war at Upper Yard between the Straw Hats, God's Army, the Shandians and Gan Fall. While the war is going on, Monet ends up separated and uses his astronomy skills to find the object that Vegapunk sent the crew to find, just like how Robin used her archaeology to find the Golden City of Shandora. Monet likely fights a Space Pirate at this point as Robin fought Yama. It may or may not be revealed at this point that the object is Uranus, the third Ancient Weapon, but it will be clear that this object is the reason the Space Pirates are invading, similar to the Golden Bell being the most treasured object to the invading Shandians which had the Poseidon Poneglyph embedded in it. Luffy and the captain of the Space Pirates fight over Uranus, resulting in Luffy's victory but also Uranus being damaged. Victorious, the Straw Hats return to Earth with the damaged Uranus in tow much like the gold they took from Skypiea, while the defeated Space Pirates fly back to their homeworld as Enel flew to the moon. One of the Space Pirates, though, ends up on Earth, either by being launched from the moon during battle or by asking to join the Straw Hats, depending on the events of the arc. Back on Earth, the crew gives the broken Uranus to Vegapunk, possibly not realizing its significance until its too late or after learning that Vegapunk is trustworthy, but either way removing it from the story until it is more convenient to be brought back. The crew receives the help they asked for from Vegapunk, and Monet is given the choice to join the crew or stay with Vegapunk. As the children have likely been cured and Monet was moved by something Luffy said or did on the moon, she decides to continue traveling with them, justifying her choice as believing Luffy will one day dismantle the World Government and reunite her with Doflamingo.

A few arcs later, the crew arrives at Minoa, a Greek-inspired island where all of the animals are mythological creatures. There, Monet meets her younger sister Sugar, who escaped from the Marines (possibly with Vergo's help), who asks Monet to leave the Straw Hats and go back to being her family. Monet is conflicted, but ultimately chooses her sister, as being stuck in one's past becomes the major theme of the arc and Monet is desperate to reclaim the life she once lost with Sugar. Appropriately, the eternal youth granted by Sugar's Hobby-Hobby Fruit serves as a symbol of this theme, making her literally stuck in her past. Monet and Sugar are attacked by the Medusa Pirates, members of the reptilian race who once attacked their homeland in North Blue. It is here that the audience learns that the reptilian race is the third race aside from the Giants and winged race that Big Mom is missing from Totto Land.

We then get a flashback of Monet's childhood, where a member of the winged race, also named Monet, escaped reptilian persecution in Minoa to the island that our Monet, then known as Happy (name pending) once lived on. The winged Monet told Happy about Minoa and the winged race (referred to as Harpies), prompting Happy's interest in ornithology. The Harpy Monet was followed by the Medusa Pirates across the Calm Belt, however, and was ultimately killed before the Medusa Pirates took over Happy's homeland. To take care of her baby sister, nicknamed Sugar, Happy put aside her morals and voluntarily joined the Medusa Pirates, earning a tattoo of their Jolly Roger, a side-profile Gorgon with a giant eye and snake hair. Now officially a pirate, Happy stole to get food for Sugar, similarly to the original harpies of Greek mythology stealing King Phineus' food. Over the years, Happy began to dream of freedom, even entertaining the notion she may one day be able to run away to the moon where no one could cage her anymore. As the Boreads arrived on Thrace to drive off the harpies, Doflamingo arrived to drive off the Medusa Pirates, forcing them so far into hiding that even Big Mom couldn't find them anymore. Seeing an opportunity to escape, Happy asked to join the Donquixote Pirates with her sister. Doflamingo accepted, and falsely promised that one day he would become Pirate King to abolish all governments that may cage Happy, making her into a loyal pawn. As all Donquixote Pirates have a codename, Happy chose the name Monet to honor her fallen friend, while Sugar retained her childhood nickname. Monet and Sugar's induction into the Donquixote Pirates may also be a reference to the Boreads taking King Phineus' poverty-stricken daughters in one version of the harpy tale.

Luffy of course arrives to help Monet and Sugar, his arrival likely mirroring Doflamingo's to drive home how meaningful his actions are to Monet. He defeats the Medusa captain and says something to Monet, his words being either near identical but more truthful than Doflamingo's, or being the complete opposite. Finally being free of her past, Monet decides to continue traveling with Luffy after all, tearfully parting ways with Sugar. Sugar is more accepting of this than Monet expected, though, and also decides that it's time for her to stand on her own and grow up, agreeing to be more mature when the two meet again.

With the time constraints that Oda has put on the series, we can expect the series to end around chapter 1200 or so, so the Vegapunk Saga and Minoa arc should only comprise a total of between 60-75 chapters together at absolute most, but Oda has shown he can get through arcs quite quickly if he wants, so this seems like an acceptable time frame.

At this point, I've put forth so many ideas that there's pretty much no way I'm 100% right. In the end, though, it's alright if things don't play out the way I envision them. I don't really expect them to, either. I do not claim to know what's going on inside Oda's head, nor do I think I'm anywhere near as good a writer as he is. Oda writes his story to give us certain expectations, while also leaving room to surprise us by both exceeding and subverting those expectations. This theory is effectively a list of my expectations based around all of the plot points that Oda has set up so far, I just happen to see how they can all come together by centering on one particular character. As I've said several times in this theory, I imagine most if not all of the specific details I've projected will be wrong, but in much the same way that Oda's characters and arcs have clear parallels, I suspect we will be able to notice distinct parallels between this theory and the canon arcs that deal with Monet's return and backstory. Rest assured though, I will not be upset even if absolutely none of this turns out to be right.

Expecting a theory to be right is missing the point. A theory is just a way to organize one's expectations, to exercise one's ability to read and think critically, and to share that underlying thought process with the world. If Oda completely defies all of my expectations, that won't ruin the experience for me, because I know from all of the work I've put into writing my theories over the years just how much work Oda puts into crafting his world. I know that even if he does something I don't expect or doesn't do what I want, the end product will be still be just as well-written and fun to read as it has always been. As much as I wholeheartedly believe that Oda has set up his story to bring Monet back, One Piece will hold just as much value to me even if she is confirmed in canon to be gone for good. I do not love One Piece because Monet is in it. I love Monet because she inspired me to truly read One Piece. Before, I was reading One Piece every week because I just wanted to see where it was going. I didn't feel too strongly about it, I had just been keeping up with it for so long that I didn't want to stop, but I wasn't absorbing any of it. I didn't even really like Monet that much when she first appeared. I wasn't upset when she supposedly died because I wasn't attached to her, and I thought she was just the evil, slightly above generic henchwoman that most people seem to have written her off to be. It wasn't until years later that I remembered someone once suggested she could have been a candidate for Straw Hat that I decided to look into her more, and what I found opened up a whole new world to me. I found that people had uncovered so many small details to her character and arc that I never could have dreamed I would find on my own, and when I kept digging, I found that it wasn't just her: fans did the same thing for every character, for every arc. All of One Piece was so much deeper and more complex and far, far more interesting than I had ever given it credit for, and I never would have known that if it weren't for Monet. That's why I'm so attached to her, because she gave me One Piece. I want her to come back because it would be the perfect end to my own little narrative arc, bringing everything full circle and rewarding me for all of the time and effort I've put in.

But it still doesn't matter if I'm right. This theory is not my way of trying to convert people into believing in Monet, that would just be a nice bonus. No, this theory is a love letter to Eiichiro Oda himself, my way of saying thank you for creating a world that I could explore so deeply and so thoroughly, and for creating a character that I could grow so attached to that I found the motivation to do it. Monet is my City of Gold, my Sky Island. I've done my research, I've patched up my ship, and I've followed my Log Pose, and right now, it's pointing up. All that's left to do now is ride the Knock Up Stream and see where it takes me. Whether she's waiting for me in the clouds or not isn't the point. If I reach the end of all this only to find that the treasure I hoped for doesn't exist, how could I possibly look back at this journey and not be satisfied?

I hope all of you feel the same, not about my theories, but your own. I hope you've enjoyed yourselves scouring this sea for every hint of the treasures you seek. I hope you found others to share your adventurous spirit with. I hope you weren't so afraid of being wrong, of being laughed at, that you hid your ideas. Whoever you think is going to join the crew, whatever islands you think they'll visit, what new races you think they'll meet there, whatever shape you think the Ancient Weapons will take, whatever you think happened during the Void Century, and whatever you think the One Piece truly is, I hope you had the guts to bet on your dreams. As long as your ideas are rooted in the story, then the only one who can tell you you're wrong is Eiichiro Oda himself. If it turns out you're right, rejoice. If it turns out you're wrong, mourn. But always find a new dream to chase.

Whether it's the City of Gold, or Sky Island, or Monet's future, there's never been a person who's proven they don't exist. Sure, people might laugh, calling it an absurd fantasy, but so what?

Isn't that fantasy precisely what makes it romantic?

Until next time. Thank you all for reading.

-Tokiro Oumaga
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It seems you love your Monet more than I love my Vergo, and more than @Red Admiral loves his Shanks. This is some real PK level shit :cheers: I'll try to read it all. Vergo and Monet are the real deal!
I don't know what PK level means, but it sounds like a compliment, so I'll take it!

Don't feel too bad if you can't do all of it, I put summaries for a reason, haha. Still, if you do, I really hope you enjoy it!