What is the Great Treasure in “ONE PIECE”? | Fujinsei

The heights that the ONE PIECE series has reached are on another level. Nobody can deny that. A Guinness World Record is certainly more than enough proof of its greatness. It’s also my #1 favourite series. But like so many people, I also wonder what in the world is the great treasure, ONE PIECE, which is the namesake of the series itself. What is this mysterious treasure said to be of unimaginable value that Gol D. Roger, the Pirate King, left for all the world to seek just before he was executed?

Roger’s declaration of the existence of the great treasure ONE PIECE catalyzed the Great Era of Pirates. The ultimate goal of our main protagonist, Monkey D. Luffy, is to become the next Pirate King by claiming ONE PIECE. From the very start until now, this treasure is shrouded in mystery. Of course, we are given some hints here and there of what it might be, but we won’t know what it actually is until the series finally concludes. I can’t wait for that moment!

The Bonds of Nakama

There are so many theories among fans of what the treasure might be. Some speculate that ONE PIECE might not be an actual physical treasure like gold and gems, but the journey itself and the strong bonds between the nakama who successfully travelled the entire Grand Line to the last island, Raftel. Given the emphasis that the series put into the theme of “nakama”, this theory doesn’t sound impossible.

However, this might not be the case at all. It seems that during one interview with the mangaka — the great Oda Eiichiro-sensei himself — he confirmed that ONE PIECE will be an actual reward. But of course, he didn’t say what the treasure is. Well, duh. I haven’t seen the actual interview, so I can’t verify the validity of it but almost all ONE PIECE fan sites and forums have discussed this alleged interview.

Now that’s out of the way, let’s discuss other theories of what ONE PIECE might be:

Luffy’s Straw Hat

This iconic straw hat is perhaps the most important representation, not only of Luffy himself, but of his entire pirate crew. They’re called the Mugiwara Ichimi (麦わらの一味 / Straw Hat Crew), after all. It was given to him as a child by Shanks, and later revealed to be originally owned by the Pirate King Roger himself.

I personally disagree with this theory. To be honest, I find the idea that Luffy’s straw hat is ONE PIECE all along utterly ridiculous. Of course, I acknowledge its importance in the series. It’s like the symbolic proof that Luffy is Roger’s heir and the next Pirate King, and also represents their shared values regarding freedom and adventure. But as the great treasure? Hmmm. I’m not sold on this theory. Unless the straw hat is some kind of a magic key or a disguised map leading to the greatest treasure or the truth of the universe, I don’t think that the hat itself has material value other than its significance to Luffy’s relationships and character development.

The Source of the Devil Fruits

Another prominent but equally mysterious element in the series is the existence of the Akuma no Mi (悪魔の実 / Devil Fruits). How did these fruits came into being in the OP universe? Some fans speculate that the ONE PIECE might be the source of these disgusting-tasting but highly-coveted fruits. It might be a tree; we don’t know.

I personally don’t believe this theory. Yes, the existence of these devil fruits are important and highly valued in OP, but I don’t see the benefit of laying claim to the source of these fruits. If their source is really ONE PIECE, what advantage will you get? Do you get to reproduce all the devil fruits you wish? Do you get to control all the devil fruits in the world? Do you get to create new devil fruits? What’s the point of having this as the treasure ONE PIECE? Besides, all of these don’t sound as impressive, especially since we already know that Zoan devil fruits can be artificially manufactured. And thanks to the genius scientist Vegapunk, we also now know that even inanimate objects can “eat” devil fruits.

I admit that this theory may be possible because of the value of the devil fruits. However, having these fruits as the ONE PIECE treasure just feels disappointing from a fan perspective. I didn’t invest countless hours of my life just to have this kind of pussy ending. And I trust Oda-sensei to give us a hundred times better ending than this when the time comes.

All Blue

All Blue is the legendary sea where it’s said that all 4 seas (North Blue, South Blue, East Blue and West Blue) meet. As a result, fish from the 4 seas can be conveniently found here. Sanji’s ultimate dream is to find this mystical sea.

Hmmmm. Unless All Blue has another significance besides it being a chef’s ultimate dream, I don’t get why this could be the ONE PIECE treasure. What? Don’t tell me that the great treasure is some kind of a delicious rare fish. Although I have a feeling that Luffy will welcome this theory with open arms given his gigantic appetite.

Nah, I don’t think All Blue is ONE PIECE at all. But perhaps All Blue can be found after the discovery of ONE PIECE. It just seems appropriate that the discovery of ONE PIECE will spur the achievement of all the Straw Hats’ dreams. Wouldn’t that be awesome?

Rio Poneglyph

Rio Poneglyph is the ultimate poneglyph pieced-together from the texts of all the other poneglyphs in the world. It’s said to contain the true history of the world, including the truth from the mysterious Void Century, and of course the significance of the family carrying the D name, including the meaning of the “Will of D” (Dの意志 / D no ishi).

I personally think that this theory is most likely to be the actual great treasure ONE PIECE. If you think about it, Rio Poneglyph can be described as the ultimate historical “one piece”. Get it? Besides, all throughout the series, we are dropped hints here and there about the significance of the “true history”, the “Void Century”, the D family as the natural enemies of “god”, and the “Will of D”. All of these questions will be answered when Nico Robin decodes the Rio Poneglyph.

Robin is the lone survivor known to date from the Ohara Incident, where its citizens were massacred by the Marines’ Buster Call. As a result, she’s the only one in the world (so far) who can read and decode the poneglyphs. Remember that Ohara was bombed to nothing because the archaeologists were researching the Void Century which is extremely forbidden.

It is greatly hinted that the truth about the Void Century will be so shocking and so ginormous that it’ll shake the entire system of the World Government and those hateful World Nobles or Celestial Dragons (天竜人 / Tenryuubito). There are so many speculations floating around of what might’ve happened during this century. Some say that the D family are the true rulers of the world before the establishment of the World Government. This actually seems likely, although of course we don’t know for sure.

If you’ll remember during the Sabaody Arc, Silvers Rayleigh admitted to Robin that the Roger Pirates learned the true history. However, he also said that the truth they discovered might not be the same as the truth the Straw Hats will discover if they successfully reached Raftel Island. He also implied that they didn’t have the power to do anything about their discovery of the truth. Perhaps this is due to Roger’s fatal illness, so he may not had enough time to act on the knowledge he got from the true history. This may be why he surrendered to the Marines to be executed, so that he could reveal the existence of the great treasure ONE PIECE, passing the opportunity to the next generation. Of course, these are all speculations, so we don’t know for certain.

Like I said, I believe that the Rio Poneglyph is the most likely form of the great treasure ONE PIECE. Its content has the potential to turn the world upside-down, so it has unimaginable value. But since the series has not ended yet, we won’t know the true form of ONE PIECE until Oda-sensei reveals it. I have a strong feeling that it’s going to be the Rio Poneglyph, and I argue that it’s the most logical based on the hints dropped throughout the series. However, Oda-sensei is also known for throwing plot curveballs to us fans. What do we know? The ONE PIECE treasure might not be the Rio Poneglyph at all, but something else completely. We’ll know in a few years.

Here are my other (unlikely) theories of the true form of the great treasure ONE PIECE:

Actual treasure of gold, gems, etc.
 I just feel that it would be too anticlimactic for the ONE PIECE treasure to be something as normal as chests of gold and jewels. Perhaps this kind of monetary treasure will be an extra to the discovery of the actual ONE PIECE, but I doubt that the great treasure itself will consist exclusively of gold and gems.

Gol D. Roger, Portgas D. Ace, Edward Newgate (Whitebeard), and all the people we wish didn’t die
 Hey, this is just a theory, okay? I’m free to wish that. . .(wipes tears) Ace might still be alive. (sobs uncontrollably) But of course, I highly doubt it. Although. . .you know, this might be one of Oda-sensei’s curveballs. Still. . .this is not Naruto, so no chance of Edo Tensei (穢土転生). . .Ace!!!!!!!!

Secret to Eternal Life
 Besides Trafalgar Law’s Ope Ope no Mi’s Immortality Surgery (不老手術 / Furou Shujutsu) which sacrifices his life to give eternal life, perhaps ONE PIECE is the secret to eternal life. But I highly doubt it. If this were the case, then shouldn’t Roger have used this to cure his illness and live forever instead of surrendering and getting executed? Oh well. Just a thought.

Honourable Mention:
 A Hidden But Thriving Village of a Former Powerful Civilization Before the Formation of the World Government
 Sort of like Atlantis but in ONE PIECE style. It’s been hinted before in the series that during the Void Century, there was a powerful civilization that the newly-formed World Goverment had to destroy in order to rule over the world. Perhaps — and this is just perhaps — the great treasure is the remnant of this lost civilization. And maybe this lost civilization is the origin of the people bearing the name of D, just like Luffy, Ace, Roger, etc. I don’t know. Seems out there, I know, but it also feels likely. We’ll see.

Reading through various fan sites and forums, there are still so many other theories floating among fans about the true form of the great treasure ONE PIECE. The ideas of my fellow fans are just so amazing, ranging from the utterly ridiculous to the perfectly logical.

How about you? Have you ever wondered what the great treasure ONE PIECE is? If so, what are your ideas about its true form?

 ONE PIECE Official Website (Japanese)
 Weekly Shounen Jump’s ONE PIECE Manga Official Web Portal (Japanese)
 ONE PIECE on Toei Animation (Japanese)

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Originally published at fujinsei.com on October 22, 2016.

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