Joy Boy

Joy Boy

Joy Boy is a title held by two known people, being a highly significant historical term. The first and most well-known one was an extremely relevant figure in the Void Century who played an important role in the history of Fish-Man Island and left behind a certain item of unimaginable value on the last island of the Grand Line, thus becoming a legendary and much remembered figure in the world of One Piece.

He was first mentioned on the Poneglyph read by Nico Robin while at the Sea Forest. Based on the historical recordings of this Joy Boy left on the Poneglyphs, it was believed that Joy Boy would return around 800 years after the Void Century. After Monkey D. Luffy awakened his Mythical Zoan-type Devil Fruit, the Hito Hito no Mi, Model: Nika (also referred to as the Paramecia Devil Fruit “Gomu Gomu no Mi”), and his heartbeat took on the sound of the “Drums of Liberation (解放のドラム, Kaihō no Doramu?), Zunesha stated that Joy Boy had returned, indicating that Luffy has become the new Joy Boy.

History

First Joy Boy

More than 800 years ago, during the Void Century, the residents of Fish-Man Island made a promise to a great man known as Joy Boy. He attempted to raise Noah with Poseidon’s aid, but broke his promise to Fish-Man Island due to an unknown reason.

At some point, he became a comrade of Zunesha.

At a different point, Joy Boy came across an island, which would later be named Laugh Tale by Gol D. Roger, and left behind a treasure that would become known to the world as the One Piece.

Legacy

The original Joy Boy left messages regarding his return 800 years later. One of those messages was to Fish-Man Island and to Poseidon, apologizing for breaking his promise, and promising that someone would fulfill it in the future. Another message was left at the unnamed island, claiming that he would return in 800 years’ time.

Over 20 years before the present, when the Roger Pirates conquered the Grand Line by reaching the then-unnamed island, they read the message and learned the true history of the world but decided to leave it as is, realizing they were too early. Roger found the story hilarious and declared that he wished he and Joy Boy could have lived during the same period upon learning the true history, and subsequently named the island Laugh Tale.

Fish-Man Island’s half of the promise was almost broken during the events of the Fish-Man Island Arc, when Monkey D. Luffy was asked to protect the island no matter what the cost, even if it meant that Noah had to be destroyed in the process. Before Luffy could destroy the ship completely, Noah’s fall was stopped by a group of Sea Kings that were summoned unknowingly by Shirahoshi, thus saving Fish-Man Island and maintaining the nation’s promise to Joy Boy. However, the ship was still heavily damaged. The Sea Kings then took the ship to the Sea Forest, where they planned to fix it.

Second Coming

You couldn’t be Joy Boy… either, it seems…
— Kaidou about Luffy

According to King Neptune, there is a legend in the royal family regarding the person who will fulfill Joy Boy’s promise.

Amatsuki Toki used the abilities of her Devil Fruit to travel to Wano in the future in search of the day of Joy Boy’s return.

During the Roger Pirates’ journey, after Kozuki Oden joined, they traveled to Fish-Man Island and on their way, both Roger and Oden heard the Sea Kings talk about the birth of someone who will lead them in 25 years along with the new Poseidon. After the crew’s discovery on Laugh Tale, Oden returned to his home in Wano Country, which also had a connection to Joy Boy, and made plans to open up the enclosed land in preparations for Joy Boy’s return. However, his efforts were foiled when the shogunate was usurped by Kurozumi Orochi aided by the pirate Kaidou, culminating in Oden’s death during the Legendary Hour, thus he left the task to his retainers.

At an unknown point in time, Kaidou also learned about Joy Boy and began searching for the next one for an unknown reason. King, a member of the Beasts Pirates as well as the near-extinct Lunarian race, seemingly believed that Kaidou himself could have become Joy Boy and changed the world, although he eventually came to dismiss the figure as a mere legend. Sometime after Oden’s death, Yamato, Kaidou’s child and an admirer of Oden, took up his name and after learning the truth from Oden’s journal, worked to fulfill his dream.

After Monkey D. Luffy was knocked out by Kaidou on the Skull Dome rooftop during the Raid on Onigashima, in his unconscious state, his heartbeat gained the qualities of what Zunesha claimed to be the “Drums of Liberation (解放のドラム, Kaihō no Doramu?), causing the ancient pachyderm to declare that Joy Boy had returned. Luffy soon regained consciousness with a wild grin, as the awakening of his Devil Fruit activated. He then transformed into his Gear 5 form for the first time and challenged Kaidou again.

After Luffy won the match, as the Emperor plummeted through the crater he was punched into, Kaidou recalled an earlier conversation he had with King where he said that Joy Boy would be the one to defeat him, implying that in his final moments, he recognized that Luffy was the same Joy Boy he’d waited for after all.

Trivia

  • The Encyclopedia of Things That Never Were by Michael Page and Robert Ingpen describes Joyboy as a figure from Caribbean folklore associated with humans’ need to dance, sing, and celebrate. Joyboy has been probably brought to the Caribbean islands along with West African slaves. He smiles at all the world’s problems and cures the ills of humanity by playing his drum. Whoever hears his music is forced to dance and sing until they cast off their black veil of despair.
    • This is a considerably similar description to that of Nika, and Luffy was proclaimed by Zunesha to be Joy Boy upon assuming said god’s form, while Jaygarcia Saturn refer to Luffy as Nika (but never Joy Boy). Any connection between the two figures has yet to be confirmed.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 64 Chapter 628 and Episode 548, Nico Robin reads about Joy Boy on the Poneglyph from the Ryugu Kingdom.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 103 Chapter 1044 and Episode 1071.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 66 Chapter 649 (p. 16-18) and Episode 569, Neptune explains to Robin who Joy Boy was.
  4. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 103 Chapter 1040 (p. 18) and Episode 1067, Momonosuke says that Zunesha was Joy Boy’s companion.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 96 Chapter 967 (p. 17-19) and Episode 968, The Roger Pirates find Joy Boy’s treasure on Laugh Tale.
  6. 6.0 6.1 One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 96 Chapter 972 (p. 7-8) and Episode 974, Oden states his wish during his execution.
  7. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 52 Chapter 507 (p. 5) and Episode 400, Rayleigh talks about the history of the world.
  8. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 66 Chapter 647 (p. 11-19) and Episode 567.
  9. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 66 Chapter 648 (p. 2-7) and Episode 568, The Sea Kings stop and take Noah to be repaired.
  10. 10.0 10.1 One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 100 Chapter 1014 (p. 3) and Episode 1034, Kaidou states that Luffy could not be “Joy Boy” either.
  11. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 95 Chapter 964 (p. 9-12, 17) and Episodes 963–964.
  12. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 96 Chapter 973 (p. 11) and Episode 969.
  13. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 96 Chapter 968 (p. 4-5) and Episode 969, Roger and Oden hear the sea kings.
  14. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 96 Chapter 968 (p. 7) and Episode 969, Oden stats his plans for the future of Wano Country.
  15. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 103 Chapter 1036 (p. 3-4) and Episode 1062, King reminisces about a conversation about Joy Boy with Kaidou.
  16. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 101 Chapter 1024 (p. 16) and Episode 1048, Yamato reads Oden’s journal.
  17. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 97 Chapter 984 (p. 16-17) and Episode 992, Yamato states his wish and its origin.
  18. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 103 Chapter 1043 (p. 16-17) and Episode 1070, Zunesha declares Joy Boy’s return.
  19. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 104 Chapter 1049 (p. 16-17) and Episode 1076, Luffy finally defeats Kaidou after a long intense battle.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *