This post is to discuss why I think we’ll get a final crewmate and who that crewmate will be
Nine Senior Officers
Currently the Straw Hats have Luffy and 9 Senior Officers. Chapter 1058 highlighted this aspect and what the roles for each on the crew are. I think this highlight will be used to juxtapose Blackbeard’s crew in a chapter coming up with all of his crewmates’ new bounties and possibly their positions as well.
Ten Titanic Captains
Blackbeard’s crew grows at a similar rate to Luffy’s crew and it seems that they are meant to parallel the Straw Hats. Blackbeard starts with his equivalent of the East Blue 5. After Impel Down he has 9 crew members not including himself. After timeskip he has (potentially) the final main member, totaling to 10.
There won’t be anymore Straw Hats
A common sentiment that I have been seeing recently is that Jinbe is the final crewmate. In Chapter 1 Luffy states he wants about 10 crewmates. This would give some wiggle room for Oda to not hard commit to X amount of crewmates if he changed his mind. However, in 2020 One Piece Magazine 10 once again states Luffy wants about 10 crewmates and clarified that Luffy was not including himself in the count. They also question who the final crewmate will be. While Oda does not write these magazines it feels weird to me to highlight this scene 20 odd years after chapter one was published unless they had reasons to expect a final crewmate.
Side Note: In the Japanese volumes Luffy says “まずは仲間集めだ １０人はほしいなア！！”
Which with my limited knowledge of Japanese translates to “First I’ll gather nakama. I want 10 people!” I don’t see the “about” that is added to the English translation, if anyone knows if this was something that was changed or if I am missing a nuance to the sentence please let me know.
The crew has been planned for a long time
Another reason I believe there will be a 10th crewmate is looking at the early sketches for the crew. Most of the crew was planned out early on in the series. Franky and Robin are the big exceptions, being two completely different people. The rest of the ideas have been kept mostly the same. The crew was always planned to have a fishman helmsman and Oda just changed some things and scrapped Jinbe being a villain. The big takeaway for me is if Oda had Luffy say that he wants about 10 people in his crew Oda most likely had sketches for what those 10 would look like. Jinbe’s prototype was erased in the first released image and it it’s possible the 10th crewmate has been erased from the most current sketch.
Yamato mentioned multiple times that she was going to join the crew, only for her mind to be changed at the last minute. I think this could be priming the readers for another crewmate. Carrot may also be another red herring depending on your view of her. Oda did something similar in Water 7, where he introduced a bunch of shipwrights to hide/act as red herrings for who would join the crew.
Jinbe’s toast seems to have been delayed twice now, first on his reintroduction on the way to Onigashima and second when he’s alone during the festival. I don’t think Oda would have off-screened this, instead I think he is waiting for the final member so they could have a final toast together. Jinbe is conveniently absent from the big party going on.
The Final Straw Hat Pirates Member
I believe the the final Straw Hat member will be Nefetari Vivi.
Chapter 1085 seems to finally confirm Vivi’s entry into the crew: Cobra Nefertari in fact gave Sabo the task of revealing to his daughter and Luffy the fact that the Nefertari Family is part of the D Clan, and consequently Vivi could also have inherited the Will of D. This revelation now becomes fundamental for the development of the story, as it makes Vivi one of the characters destined to put an end to the World Government and not to make Cobra’s sacrifice in vain.
At this point Vivi will have to join Luffy’s crew: discovering the truth about the Void Century, about the D. and the creation of the world as it is known in One Piece will be imperative, and the only way to obtain all this knowledge is to reach Laugh Tale together with Luffy.
Vivi is already a Straw Hat
In the Vivre Cards she is listed as a Straw Hat. Most of the crew know who Vivi is and have a relationship with her. Franky, Brook and Jinbe are the only ones to have not met her. Having Vivi come back would allow her to feel part of the crew more naturally. Vivi joining again could mirror her initial voyage. Vivi joined first at the very start of the Grand Line, if she joins again she would join at the very end of the Grand Line. One of the first islands they sailed together to had Giants. Where are the Straw Hats possibly going in the next island or two?
Vivi is too weak to join
This is the most common argument I see against Vivi joining. While I think she would be the weakest on the crew, Oda can make her as strong as is needed. He could say that she trained the past two years to protect Alabasta from people like Crocodile. He could have her eat a powerful devil fruit. Or he could just have her be weak and not really participate in fights. I think strength is the weakest reason to give for a character not to join.
Vivi has no role on the crew
This is true. I really can’t think of a fitting role for her. We saw her in the crow’s nest on the way to the Reverie so my mind immediately jumps to look out, but that doesn’t fit her the same way it fit Carrot. It’s possible she might not have a role and will just be labeled as a princess.
Theories/Fun Facts – These next few are fun facts/theories that I think would be neat if Vivi joined.
Vivi’s specific number is 5.5
All the Straw Hats have a specific number associated with them. Luffy is 1, Zoro is 2, Nami is 3, so on and so forth each Strawhat all the way up to Jinbe who is 10. In SBS 76 Oda revealed that Vivi’s number is 5.5. Double that number since it will be the second time she joins and what do you get? That’s right 11! Coincidentally that’s the number that the next Straw Hat would be given.
Vivi has a lot of panel/chapter appearances
Despite appearing mainly in the Alabasta saga Vivi has comparable panel/chapter time to other StrawHats. The data is a bit outdated but I don’t think the standings would change too much as it is mostly Wano characters. Vivi now is probably between 15-25th in terms of panel chapter appearance, which is a surprising amount for how little she appears. See her total for panels up to Chapter 908.
All Straw Hats would be introduced pre-timeskip
If Vivi joins then all Straw Hats would have been introduced before the timeskip. It would be neat and gives us a stronger connection to the characters and more time with them.
*Theory by rcp24