One Piece Chapter 1044 Review: Luffy is Joy Boy/Nika, and More! 

SPOILERS AHEAD! This page contains spoilers from One Piece.

Chapter 1044 of One Piece broke the internet. Oda finally confirmed what the entire fandom has been speculating since the last couple of chapters: Luffy is Joy Boy is Sun God Nika.

This has to be the single most important chapter in the history of One Piece, not just because Luffy literally hits God Mode, but because Oda gives us the most organic, natural reasoning for it.

I don’t want to go into the full extent of Luffy’s powers (I’ll save the in-depth discussion of his new Gear 5 for my next article).

Today, I want to break down chapter 1044 for all the people who are too hyped to properly comprehend what just happened.

1. Luffy, the Warrior of Liberation

Chapter 1044 is titled Warrior of Liberation, which refers to Sun God Nika, and thus to Luffy, who has awakened the Hito Hito no Mi, Model: Nika Zoan-type Devil Fruit.

Chapter 1043 ends with Zunesha hearing the Drums of Liberation and declaring that for the first time in 800 years, Joy Boy has returned. Luffy, whose voice had gone dead, comes back to consciousness.

One Piece Chapter 1044 Review: Luffy is Joy Boy/Nika, and More!
Zunesha | Source: IMDb

The beating of his heart is implied as being the Drums of Liberation, last heard by Zunesha 800 years ago, when Joy Boy was last alive.

The final panel of that chapter has Luffy grinning, with the speech bubble next to him saying, “Nika.”

Chapter 1044 begins with a shot of Zunesha outside Onigashima island, and a voiceover of Luffy wondering about his cheerful and mysterious healthy temperament despite being slammed by Kaido.

“What happened to me? Why can I still stand? Even though I lost. I’m having fun for some reason. Aha ha ha ha!”

I. Sun Boy Luffy

Luffy is not just alive after his defeat at the hands of Kaido, but is actually on cloud 9, laughing, having a blast. He is in high spirits, almost as if the spirit of joy, has awakened in him.

We all know what is happening here; Oda confirmed it: Luffy’s Devil Fruit has awakened the will of Joy Boy and he becomes the Sun God Nika.

One Piece Chapter 1044 Review: Luffy is Joy Boy/Nika, and More!
Monkey D. Luffy | Source: Fandom

The Sun God Nika is a legendary warrior believed to be able to free slaves and liberate them from oppression, bringing joy to the world.

From the event that take place in the last few chapters, we can now assume that Joy Boy is a title or a will that can be inherited, akin to the Will of D.

We can’t be sure that Nika was an actual person or simply a mythical deity, but we do know that this entity, and his essence, is synonymous to Joy Boy. Luffy, by virtue of awakening his mystical Devil Fruit, becomes the Warrior of Liberation, i.e., Nika, i.e., Joy Boy.

II. The Secret of the Gorosei

The connection between Joy Boy and Sun God Nika is through Luffy’s Devil Fruit, known by the world as the Paramecia-type Gomu Gomu no Mi, or the Gum-Gum fruit.

The Gorosei, or the 5 Elders, reveal that the Gum-Gum fruit’s original name is the Human-Human fruit, Model: Nika; that is to say, that the Paramecia-type Gomu Gomu no Mi is actually the Mythical Zoan-type Hito Hito no Mi, Model: Nika.

One Piece Chapter 1044 Review: Luffy is Joy Boy/Nika, and More!
Gorosei | Source: Fandom

A name carries a lot of power, and the World Government changed the name of the most powerful Devil Fruit in history to deceive potential eaters.

In simple terms, the fruit Luffy ate, the one he took from Shanks’ treasure box, has always been the Mythical Zoan-type Devil Fruit that the World Government sought to hide.

They reclassified it as a Paramecia-type fruit to cloud its identity. The fruit that had eluded the Government for 800 years, somehow landed up with Shanks.

I’m not sure Shanks knew that the Gum-Gum fruit was actually Joy Boy’s legendary fruit, but he did know the user would turn into a Rubber Man.

The Gorosei confirm that the user of this Devil Fruit can take on the attributes of the Sun God Nika, namely, a body with all the properties of rubber, giving him the versatility to fight in whatever way he fancies.

In this way, the Warrior of Liberation, aka Nika, the Sun God, brings smiles to the faces of the people.

Awakening this Mythical Zoan Devil Fruit grants the user’s rubbery body maximum physical strength and freedom.

“It is said, that in all the world, there is no power more ridiculous!”

So, by virtue of awakening his true Zoan fruit – the Mythical Hito Hito Nika – Luffy has become the very embodiment of Joy Boy and of Sun God Nika, attaining his newest and most powerful – or rather, most “ridiculous” form – Gear 5.

It is through his awakening that Luffy has become the Warrior of Liberation; Luffy will walk in the shoes of Nika and free the oppressed citizens of Wano from the tyrannical rule of Orochi and Kaido.

2. Captain, My Captain – Sanji’s Observation

As Luffy is singing and dancing around with his new powers, the first person to respond to his awakening, is Sanji.

In the Leftbrain Tower of Pleasure Hall, Sanji has triumphed against Queen and passed out. When Luffy returns in his renewed form, Sanji, owing to his exceptional Observation Haki, is the first one to realize what is happening.

One Piece Chapter 1044 Review: Luffy is Joy Boy/Nika, and More!
Sanji | Source: IMDb

Momonosuke knows Luffy was Joy Boy because he hears it directly from Zunesha, and Yamato confirms it from Momo. But Sanji is actually the one that senses it the first. I can’t wait till we see Zoro’s reaction.

Meanwhile, on the Performance Floor, Kid, Law, Hyugoro, and Marco also (presumably) use their Observation Haki to sense that Luffy is indeed alive and well. Marco tells Nami and Otama, who both cannot stop weeping tears of joy.

3. Orochi Gets What He Deserves

A lot of people completely brushed over the Hiyori-Orochi section in the manga because of all the Nika stuff. But the Kozuki promise was fulfilled and it is actually quite an emotional scene.

In the Treasure Repository on the Second Floor, Hiyori, daughter of Oden, and Orochi, Oden’s usurper, face each other.

Orochi, being the despicable piece of trash that he is, tries to appeal to Hiyori’s humanity. He tells her that he was a pawn in the game, that he was being used by Kaido and that he actually loved Oden.

One Piece Chapter 1044 Review: Luffy is Joy Boy/Nika, and More!
Orochi | Source: Fandom

Hiyoro of course has none of it. She tells Orochi that he has betrayed every samurai to whom he owed a debt, and that yet, her father upheld his promise to him.

He withstood an hour of burning oil because he believed in the deal that he made with Orochi and Kaido to liberate Wano.

She calls Orochi wicked, foolish, and wretched, and says that she never saw him as the Shogun of Wano for even a single day.

Just as Orochi is running out of pleas, Kanjuro, the betrayer of the 9 Scabbards, reappears. Orochi commands him to burn Hiyori to death. In an ironic twist, Kazenbo Kanjuro sets fire to Orochi himself.

To understand this, you’ll have to go back to the events of chapter 1030. Orochi tells Kanjuro to activate his final fiery form and burn and destroy everything.

His words were:

“Free their souls, Kanjuro… Free us in a final blaze of glory!”

Kanjuro takes this to mean that Orochi wants them all to die together. He says, “The Suicide Pact of the Kurozumi clan. Please enjoy my final show.”

When Kanjuro fails, he comes back to his master to fulfil his words, just like Oden completed his promise.

4. Kaido is Full of Surprises

Luffy vs. Kaido thus far has been pretty dope. On the one hand we had the consecutive defeat of the 3 Calamities of the Beasts Pirates, and on the other, we had the sky splitting open with Luffy and Kaido’s fight.

When the CP0 agent interrupts Luffy and Kadio’s fight towards the end, Luffy is prematurely defeated and Kaido is declared the winner.

One Piece Chapter 1044 Review: Luffy is Joy Boy/Nika, and More!
Kaido & Luffy | Source: IMDb

With the re-emergence of Luffy, Kaido actually thanks Luffy for coming back, and apologizes for the previous interruption.

“I’m sorry about that idiot earlier. I didn’t want to win that way.”

This just goes to prove that even Kaido has some honor. If this were Blackbeard, I’m sure he would be rejoicing his victory no matter the means by which it had occurred.

There is also something that Kaido knows that we don’t. He’s made a lot of suspicious statements in the recent past, like, “You couldn’t be Joy Boy either, it seems.”

He was also creating artificial Zoan fruits called SMILES and forcing the Wano citizens to eat them. He also knew Joy Boy would return in Wano; this coincidence cannot be ignored.

It’s possible that Kaido was trying to awaken Joy Boy in Wano.

Whatever Kaido’s true character or intentions, Luffy in his Free Rubber Man awakened Nika state, flings him all over the place, much like Nightmare Luffy did to Oars.

5. True Freedom – Rubber Hose Luffy and his Devil Fruit

One of my most favorite things about the new chapter is that Luffy, Joy Boy, Sun God Nika, and the Hito Hito no Mi, Model: Nika, all stand for one thing: freedom.

Luffy’s whole journey has been about freedom. Now the Gorosei confirmed that his Devil Fruit itself wanted to be free.

One Piece Chapter 1044 Review: Luffy is Joy Boy/Nika, and More!
Luffy | Source: Fandom

Of all 3 types of Devil Fruits, Zoan fruits contain a will of their own. Knowing how important “will” is to One Piece, it only made sense to have the protagonist consume a Zoan fruit.

The Gorosei commented that the Zoan Mythical Nika Devil Fruit has been evading them for 800 years.

“It is as if the Devil Fruit is trying to escape our grasp, and it very well might be.”

The union of Luffy with the essence and will of his fruit gives him utter freedom, not just physical, but mental and emotional, too.

On the roof, his Conqueror’s Haki is striking everywhere. He is giggling from the start to the finish of the chapter, and can manipulate himself and the environment limitlessly.

Things are definitely getting “ridiculous.”

I will explore Luffy’s ridiculous powers and what they mean for his character in my next post.

6. About One Piece

One Piece is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Eiichiro Oda. It has been serialized in Shueisha’s Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine since July 22, 1997.

The man who had acquired everything in this world, the Pirate King, is Gol D. Roger. The final words he said at the execution tower were “My treasures? If you want it, I’ll let you have it. Look for it; I left all of it at that place.” These words sent many to the seas, chasing their dreams, headed toward the Grand Line, in search of One Piece. Thus began a new age!

Seeking to be the greatest pirate in the world, young Monkey D. Luffy also heads toward the Grand Line in search of One Piece. His diverse crew is joining him along the way, consisting of a swordsman, marksman, navigator, cook, doctor, archaeologist, and cyborg-shipwright, this will be one memorable adventure.

Epic Dope Staff

Epic Dope Staff

Our talented team of Freelance writers - Always on the lookout - pour their energies into a wide range of topics bringing to our audience what they crave - fun up-to-date news, reviews, fan theories and much much more.


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