Who Is Joy Boy in One Piece? Explained

As a true One Piece fan, you would remember hearing references to “Joy Boy” before episodes 1071 and 1070. Back in the Fishman Island arc, Nico Robin hinted at the existence of Joy Boy. Since then, Joy Boy has been an enigmatic title that makes fans wonder who it is or who is behind it. Now, when the Drums of Liberation reverberated in the background, Zunesha announced Joy Boy had returned and, well, it sent the One Piece fanbase into a frenzy.

The Joy Boy moniker has fans once again asking questions about its importance. So, what do we know about Joy Boy so far? Keep reading to learn about this mysterious figure in One Piece.

Spoiler Warning:  This article contains spoilers about the previous Joy Boy and Luffy from the Straw Hat Pirates in One Piece. We suggest you watch the anime and read the manga to avoid ruining the intended experience.

Who is Joy Boy in One Piece?

Nico Robin mentioning Joy Boy in One Piece manga.
Image Courtesy: One Piece by Eiichiro Oda – Chapter 628 (Shonen Jump)
  • Joy Boy Debut: Anime Episode 548 & Manga Chapter 628

Technically, the question should be what is Joy Boy in One Piece? Because many often mistake Joy Boy for being a person, but in reality, it is a title bestowed upon only two people in the history of One Piece. It should not be considered a measly title as it holds utmost respect and legendary status. So, you must be wondering who are those two people known as Joy Boy.

The answer is one mysterious figure from the Void century and the second person to inherit the title is our beloved protagonist Monkey D. Luffy.

The first time we heard a reference to Joy Boy was when Nico Robin read the poneglyphs in the Sea Forest at Fishman Island in Episode 548 of the anime. Now in chapter 1114 of One Piece manga, it is officially confirmed Joy Boy is a person who was born 900 years ago in an advanced ancient civilization during the Void century. He is considered the star aka the main character of this Void Century tale according to Dr. Vegapunk.

Moreover, Dr. Vegapunk also stated that Joy Boy had “a rubbery body and was incredibly flexible”. It sounds so similar, right? Back in the day, he had the powers of the Sun God Nika (revered by the Giants and many other people) similar to how Luffy acts now. In addition to this, in manga chapter 1114, Vegapunk said Joy Boy was the first pirate to ever set sail to the seas. So, the original pirate was the man who left the legendary One Piece treasure at Laugh Tale Island.

Robin asserted that the poneglyph in Fishman Island is substantially distinctive from the others as it is an apology from Joy Boy in One Piece. Why? Let’s find out all the answers. We discussed Job Boy’s relations and the enigmas around this mysterious character in the sections below.

Is Joy Boy a Devil Fruit User?

Luffy eating devil fruit

There is no official confirmation that the original Joy Boy was a devil fruit user. But now that Dr. Vegapunk confirmed that Joy Boy fought with the powers of Nika, the former user of the Hito Hito no Mi, Model: Nika is surely going to be the Joy Boy of the previous era.

Monkey D. Luffy, Sun God: Nika (read about the strongest devil fruits in One Piece), and the old-gen Joy Boy are somehow related, and we should learn more about them in the manga soon.

What Does Joy Boy Look Like?

Imu with the giant straw hat in One Piece anime
Image Courtesy: Fandom Wiki

There has been only one clue hinting at the possible appearance of the old Joy Boy in One Piece. In One Piece Episode 885, Imu can be seen holding Luffy’s wanted poster in front of a giant Straw Hat in a frozen state. This was heavily linked with the old Joy Boy, as the current one is seen wearing a Straw Hat as well. Read all about the Straw Hat Pirates in One Piece right here.

The enormous size of the Straw Hat suggests that this mysterious figure from the Void century could have been a giant or a Buccaneer. Also, since he is considered similar to Nika mentioned in the fable of Giants, it all makes sense now. Furthermore, if you’re wondering about Joy Boy’s gender, the title suggests that it is a male character who bears the moniker.

History of Joy Boy in One Piece

Nico Robin in front of Joy Boy's apology poneglyph.
Image Courtesy – One Piece by Toei Animation Studios (IMDb)

The history of Luffy’s forerunner could be easily summarized in a few sentences since only a little is known about their character. First and foremost, Joy Boy is a character from 900 years ago and existed during the Void Century.

Joy Boy had ties with three important nations in the One Piece world — Fishman Island, Elbaf, and Wano Country. The One Piece treasure is left on the last island known as Laugh Tale by none other than Joy Boy. Upon reaching the final island and seeing One Piece, Gol D. Roger wished that he had lived in the same era as the mysterious man. He further added it’s too early to unravel the mysteries around Void Century.

Secondly, all the Poneglyphs around the world were left by this same figure. Since the people from Wano Country made the Poneglyphs, it is indirectly mentioned that Joy Boy was working with them on this script at one point in their lives.

The one important message left by Joy Boy in Fishman Island’s Poneglyph is how he regrets failing to fulfill the promise to the Mermaid Princess. With help from Poseidon, Joy Boy attempted to raise Noah. However, for unknown reasons, it was deemed a failure.

They also mentioned that they will return and their promise will come to fruition in the future. With Luffy and his Gear 5 technique now activated, this indeed happened after 800 years.

Prophecy Around Joy Boy in One Piece

Who Is Joy Boy in One Piece? Explained
Image Courtesy – One Piece by Toei Animation Studios (Twitter)

There are numerous prophecies surrounding the man, the myth, and the legend that is Joy Boy in One Piece. These prophecies are:

  • The first one is that it was predicted that Joy Boy would reemerge precisely 800 years after the Void Century. This prophecy came into existence based on the historical accounts of Joy Boy left on the Poneglyphs.
  • The second one is the promise to the Mermaid Princess and the Fishman Island people, as we’ve mentioned earlier. They will return and fulfill the failed promise one day.
  • There were numerous instances of characters from the Void Century that confirm the return of Joy Boy. Somehow they knew all along and were waiting for their return. For example, the sea kings were talking about the return when Roger was on Fishman Island.
  • Oden also learned about the legend during his adventures and upon his return to Wano Country, he wanted to open the borders of the country for the arrival of Joy Boy.

Luffy: The Second Advent of Joy Boy

Luffy activates Gear 5 in One Piece anime
Image Courtesy – One Piece by Toei Animation Studios (IMDb)

The heated battle between Luffy and Kaido resulted in Kaido emerging as the winner. At least, that’s what we thought. Luffy was sent to the brink of his death, but he awakened the true powers that lay dormant inside him. Luffy’s heartbeat started to throb in a pattern of the Drums of Liberation. This made Zunesha recognize and announce to the world that Joy Boy had returned.

On awakening his devil fruit, Luffy was revitalized with his new Gear 5 power and was seen laughing at his brand-new abilities. This was termed the second coming of Joy Boy, as promised years ago.

Joy Boy’s return was further confirmed when Kaido himself acknowledged that Luffy is Joy Boy after all. This happened long back when Kaido told his right-hand man, King, that the only person to defeat him would be Joy Boy. It indeed turned out to be true since Luffy defeated the strongest creature on the planet with his newly awakened powers.

Now that Luffy is the second advent of Joy Boy, we will be seeing more of Joy Boy bringing freedom and smiles around the world.

Oda’s Inspiration to Create Joy Boy in One Piece

Who Is Joy Boy in One Piece? Explained

Fans are well aware that Eiichiro Oda likes to draw inspiration from various mythologies, books, folklore, celebrities, etc. from the real world and infuse them into the One Piece universe.

For example, several characters in the manga are based on Hollywood and Japanese actors. Much like that, in this case, this mysterious character was inspired by Joy Boy from the Carribean folklore. It was from the “Encyclopedia of Things That Never Were” by Michael Page and Robert Ingpen.

In this work, Joy Boy is said to be someone from West Africa who traveled to the Caribbean Islands along with the slaves. Furthermore, he is said to be laughing at the global ills and bringing smiles to people’s faces. He was also seen carrying a drum, which he used to generate drum beats that would make people dance and sing. It is done mainly to make people forget their problems and heal their existence. This character bears a huge resemblance to Luffy, isn’t it? Luffy is always seen spreading joy wherever he sets foot.

So that’s everything we know about Joy Boy in One Piece right now. Only a little about the character is mentioned in the history books, but I’m sure that we will learn more about this legend soon.

Who is Joy Boy in One Piece?

Joy Boy is a moniker given to an enigmatic figure who existed in the void century in One Piece. Now, Monkey D. Luffy is announced to be the return of Joy Boy.

Is Luffy officially Joy Boy?

Yes! Zunesha has officially confirmed that Luffy is Joy Boy by announcing his return when Luffy awakens his powers.

Is Joy Boy shown in anime?

No! Until now the precursor of Luffy which is the OG Joy Boy has never been shown in anime or manga.

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