The Thousand Sunny sails off into the sunset in ending 20 of One Piece

The World of ‘One Piece’ Has Changed Forever

Since chapter 1109 of One Piece, we’ve been waiting for Doctor Vegapunk’s automated broadcast to reveal “the truth of the world.”

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The delivery of the actual message was stalled because, in the video, Vegapunk wanted to give the people of the One Piece world “10 minutes” to set up their video transponder snails. He even invented instant coffee in the interim. But we had no clue how long that would last from the readers’ perspective. Would it be a Dressrosa situation? A Hunter x Hunter Chimera Ant arc situation? In other words, would 10 minutes last a year in real-time?

Thankfully, it would not.

Major spoilers ahead for One Piece chapter 1113!!

Vegapunk not only starts his message in chapter 1113, “Stalemate,” he gets right to the damn point. On the way, we get confirmation that, yes, the broadcast was triggered because the real-time Vegapunk’s heart stopped. RIP to a real one.

Beyond that, for weeks, we’ve all been wondering what Vegapunk’s “truth” will be. Will he talk about what happened during the Void Century? Will he reveal that the Empty Throne isn’t empty after all and shed light on Imu’s identity?

Instead, Eiichiro Oda blindsided us all. “What I am about to tell you is so preposterous. you might even burst into laughter. However, you all have the right to know,” Vegapunk says. “To make a long story short, the world as we know it will sink into the sea.”

Two decades of sinking islands, and we didn’t notice

Enies Lobby from above in One PIece

Note: much of the following information was sourced by One Piece Podcast episode 815 and the podcast’s Discord.

The reveal that the world of One Piece will sink into the sea is one whose profundity grows on you. My immediate reaction was the same as the poor Navy grunt in the penultimate panel of the chapter: “Huh?”

But the more you think about it, the more mind-blowing it becomes, because this is far from the first mention we’ve gotten of the sea-consuming land. The first mention actually came courtesy of the Long Ring Long Land arc, aka the Davy Back Fight arc—the arc that I have to constantly remind myself is not anime-only filler.

Tojit, the eccentric old man the Straw Hats befriend, explains that Long Ring Long Land is an island shaped like a ring (with ten hills), but that is normally divided by the sea into ten islands—the island’s true shape only surfaces during an hours-long low tide window every year. That arc began publishing in 2003—21 years ago.

There’s also the curious case of Wano, which was originally an island with a giant mountain in its center. Walls “grew” around the island somehow and drowned the old Wano with rainwater.

But the biggest example is Water 7, an island that has been actively sinking for hundreds of years. The current houses are simply built on top of the roofs of the old ones, and the denizens of Water 7 know that the town will become uninhabitable in a matter of decades. Curiously, Mozu and Kiwi stress that, “it isn’t that the sea level’s rising, it’s that the island is sinking!”

Water 7 is in close proximity to Enies Lobby, an island where it’s always daytime and which is suspended above a giant hole in the ocean so deep, no one can see the bottom. There was no other phenomenon like this in the One Piece world until the Motherflame’s erasure of the island of Lulusia, which created a suspiciously similar hole in the ocean. Furthermore, an earthquake occurred six days after the Motherflame’s attack which raised the worldwide sea level one meter.

We still don’t know what happened to make Enies Lobby that way, and especially why it’s always day, but we can now suspect its giant void and Water 7’s sinking problem are likely related. It’s striking, too, that the erasure of Lulusia is connected to a rise in the sea level, which makes me wonder whether the Motherflame not so much “disappeared” Lulusia as “sank” it in some capacity. Which begs the question: is the World Government trying to cause the sinking? If so, why? How could a world with no land to rule over possibly benefit them?

The Fish-Man Island and One Piece‘s endgame

The profundity of the “world is sinking” reveal goes even beyond the fact that Oda is presented us with multiple examples of sinking islands over the last two decades. The final panel of chapter 1113 is of a mermaid beneath the sea, which naturally draws our attention to Fish-Man Island.

During the Void Century, the denizens of Fish-Man island made a freaking arc, called Noah. Joy Boy made a promise to Fish-Man Island relating to Noah, which seems to be about to move its denizens up towards the island. But Noah must not move until a “certain day” and that promise never came to be. Why the species most adapted to live in a flooded world would want to migrate to the surface remains a mystery.

But it begs several questions about the history of the island and its inhabitants. After all, Fish-Men and mermaids were horrendously discriminated against in the period following the Void Century, which makes you wonder if there’s any connection between the mysterious Ancient Kingdom the World Government fought against and the current Fish-Man Island. What does it mean that Fish-Man Island is directly beneath the Red Line, anyway?

It’s also interesting to note that Noah breaching the bubble around Fish-Man Island during that arc would have destroyed the town, and Shyarly, the local fortune-teller, foresaw that Luffy—now known to be Joy Boy 2.0—would bring about the destruction of Fish-Man Island.

Furthermore, we know what two of the three Ancient Weapons are, and they’re both sea-related and submerged beneath water. Pluton is a giant battleship currently submerged in the sunken, abandoned Wano. Poseidon is Shirahoshi—a mermaid who can talk to Sea Beasts. If the World Government is indeed causing the sinking, the Ancient Weapons could be the methodology through which the Ancient Kingdom fought to control the sea.

On the other hand, during the Ohara flashback, Saint Saturn (speaking via transponder snail) chastises Clover that the revival of the Ancient Weapons “poses a danger to the world” and worries about someone with “evil intent” getting their hands on them. Granted, Saturn’s among the least trustworthy characters in the entire series, but his choice of words is still striking.

However, in all likelihood, the full truth won’t so neatly assign “good guys” and “bad guys.” Vegapunk hints as much during his broadcast, saying he’s not trying to convince anyone the World Government’s intent is evil. He continues, “I will not apply the labels of good and evil at all, in fact, because I understand too little about him to begin with.” “Him” could be Imu … or it could be Joy Boy.

One single sentence ripped open two decades’ worth of careful world-building, and in the process opened the gates to a flood of questions. Suddenly, the Devil Fruit eaters’ curse to sink into the sea became much more serious.

(featured image: Toei Animation)


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Author
Kirsten Carey
Kirsten (she/her) is a contributing writer at the Mary Sue specializing in anime and gaming. In the last decade, she's also written for Channel Frederator (and its offshoots), Screen Rant, and more. In the other half of her professional life, she's also a musician, which includes leading a very weird rock band named Throwaway. When not talking about One Piece or The Legend of Zelda, she's talking about her cats, Momo and Jimbei.