Bonney in One Piece

‘One Piece’ Chapter 1118’s Big Twist Was Everything I Wanted and So Much More

When I was picking the first iteration of my favorite female characters from One Piece, pre-Egghead, I predicted that Jewelry Bonney was going to have a big impact on the story in its final saga. Despite being present during the Revolutionary Army’s revolt during the Reverie, she’d barely been in the story post-time skip.

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Turns out, there’s the satisfaction of making a correct prediction, and then the shock of Eiichiro Oda going even further than you imagined. Because in chapter 1118, Jewelry Bonney essentially broke One Piece. And it was spectacular.

The ballad of Bonney

Huge, big, major spoilers for One Piece chapter 1118 and the Egghead arc

The Egghead arc has been many things. It’s the arc where we finally met Dr. Vegapunk; the arc where we finally learned the full truth about Bartholomew Kuma; the arc where we got our biggest taste yet of the secrets of the Void Century and wider One Piece lore; the arc where the Straw Hats have come directly into contact with the Five Elders.

But Egghead has also been an arc about Jewelry Bonney, one of Luffy’s peers in the so-called Worst Generation of pirates. The Straw Hats saving Bonney from drowning is effectively what starts the arc, after all. Since then, we’ve come to appreciate how this twelve-year-old girl cosplaying as an early twenty-something has, through her own motivation and gusto, chased her dad across the most dangerous oceans in the world.

Through realizing how important the legend of Nika was to Kuma, we’ve learned how much it means to Bonney. Kuma passed on the hope and joy that Nika makes him feel to his daughter, who went on to face more than her fair share of hardships.

Therefore, Bonney crouched over a dying (??) Kuma, witnessing Luffy in Gear 5 for the first time, was a profound moment for both Bonney and Kuma’s characters. But when Bonney’s true age was revealed, my primary concern was that she would simply become another little girl for Luffy to save. As a member of the Worst Generation, and as the only protagonist female pirate captain in One Piece, I wanted Bonney to have the ability to save herself.

Until chapter 1118, I didn’t realize the full extent of what I wanted. I didn’t want Bonney to just watch Nika. In order to stand equal to Luffy and fight, Bonney needed to become Nika.

Why only one?

Bonney is the wielder of the Toshi-Toshi No Mi—the “Year-Year” Fruit, allowing to manipulate the age of objects and living beings alike. In addition to leaving children and/or old people in her wake, Bonney also has a move called “distorted future,” which allows her to imagine different ways her body could turn out. Usually, she makes herself super buff.

But as Saint Saturn himself pointed out, the Toshi-Toshi No Mi is a Devil Fruit whose power is limited by the user’s imagination. To some extent, this is true of most Devil Fruits—Luffy’s various uses of the Gum-Gum Fruit have always been nothing if not imaginative. But the Toshi-Toshi No Mi is limited only to the futures that you, yourself, can imagine. If you can’t imagine yourself as strong, you won’t be able to create a “distorted future” that packs a punch. Bonney has run into this problem earlier in the Egghead arc.

Skip forward towards the end of the arc. The scary bird saint-monster is charging towards the Giant Pirates’ ship, which is about to escape. Even in Gear 5, it feels doubtful Luffy alone could hold him off. So Luffy, intuiting that her powers are heavily imagination-based, comes to Bonney with encouragement: “You wanna beat those guys up, don’t you?! I dunno how your powers work … but you can do it!!”

And so Bonney imagines herself in a future where she’s “the most free” … and transforms into a second Nika. A She-ka. Joy Girl?

I’ll come right out and say it: I love this. I love it so, so much. And not just because it takes a character I was worried would be given a backseat and empowers her way beyond what I imagined possible. Like when Cobra intimated to Sabo about the Will of D, One Piece has once again flicked its nose up at a “chosen one” narrative.

The belief that only one person or one small group of people can be something, or that someone’s defined by their bloodline, is a restriction that only the series’ bad guys, like the World Government or the most authoritarian Navy officers, ascribe to. One Piece‘s good guys—and Luffy especially—have never been like that. Anyone can be whoever or whatever they want.

Chopper, a reindeer, can be a doctor. Yamato can be Kozuki Oden. Sabo can carry the Will of D, despite not having a D in his name. Bonney, despite not possessing the Gum-Gum Fruit, can be Nika, too.

When will we know more?

The next chapter of One Piece, chapter 1119, will happily come out next Sunday, June 30. The chapter will drop on the Shounen Jump app around 11 AM ET. Any versions of the chapter that come out earlier are unofficial leaks.

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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.