Koby is speed-running through the Marine ranks and might end up as admiral orange crab at the end of the story, wielding the Mera-Mera no mi. There are very few characters I have changed my mind about as drastically as with Koby, the little annoying pink-haired harry-potter-glasses Koby, that we got to meet at the very beginning of the story.
When I first started getting into One Piece, he was pretty damn annoying to me, I’m not gonna lie. I was here for pirates and epic fights and wanted to see Luffy and Zoro beat people up. The few episodes with Koby were enough for me. Jump forward a few episodes, more, no like a few hundred episodes, what? A THOUSAND? Holy hell.
It’s like someone accidentally left the printer on. Anyways, nowadays my opinion on Koby has done a full 180 degree turn. To me in a way he is the embodiment of great writing in One Piece and one of the most quickly growing characters in the story, and I guess it took some time for me to grow as well as a person to realize that.
I completely lost my thread here. *tries to calm down* One Piece. Today I want to talk about Koby’s very unique role in the story, what his encounter with Boa Hancock probably means for Luffy, and of course, you know the drill, a crazy theory about how Koby will become Marine Admiral Orange Crab, inheriting Ace’s and Sabo’s Mega Mera no mi.
Yes another dead brother. I know. Koby’s role in the story is one of the most interesting and creative ones in One Piece, which really says something. At first glance, it might be easy to think that Koby is supposed to be to Luffy, what Garp was to Roger, a rival and foil in the marines. However, Koby has neither the power, nor the necessary presence in the story to fill that role.
Much rather it is Smoker, who chases Luffy from Island to Island and slowly but steadily forms a bond with him, such as Garp and Roger did. To me personally Koby’s relationship to Luffy is much closer to the one Luffy has with Shanks. He was the one who inspired Luffy to follow his dream and even though Luffy never really gets to see Shanks, he keeps chasing after him and catching up in strength and experience.
And the way I see it, it’s the same for Koby. Luffy was the one who inspired him to follow his dream to become a marine and even though he barely ever sees Luffy, he strives to catch up to him as fast as he can. He is the first an maybe most important example of Luffy’s unique ability to make allies and friends wherever he goes and bringing out the best in people.
With Luffy by his side, Koby goes from the small, plump and cowardly boy to a full-blown Marine Captian, with Haki and Rokushiki powers in just 2 years. He is still far behind Luffy, but considering that Luffy has been training his entire life with Garp and Ace and Sabo, I think it’s more than impressive how fast Koby has developed.
He starts as a people pleaser with little self-value on Aida’s ship, which is of course understandable if you want to survive, who is too scared to step out of his comfort zone to actually chase his dream. Inspired by Luffy’s confidence he finally awakens his inner flame of courage and decides to take the necessary step to turn his life around.
Essentially Koby stops making excuses and starts taking things into his own hands, accepting the risk that he might fail or be rejected. Under Garp’s special training and following Luffy’s quick rise in the pirate world, even though he still is undeniably Koby, every time we see him he has more and more confidence and power.
He still cries a lot, but it’s completely different, because instead of self-pity and cowardness he now is a man that simply embraces his emotional side and is as caring and kind to people as any straw hat. Again, in true Luffy-fashion, his new big dream is to become a marine admiral, mirroring Luffy’s dream to become pirate king.
Luffy inspires Koby that anything is possible. Marineford then is a true milestone in his development. The moment he was determined enough to step in front of Akainu the coldest and most unforgiving Marine out there, well-knowing that it will probably cost him his life, but with 0 regrets, was when Koby gained 20.000 extra respect points in my book and in yours probably as well.
Just like Luffy, he is now prepared to embrace his values and ideals and life for them. In that moment he is the ultimate contrast to the cruel war-mongering of Akainu and shows us what the Marines could and let’s be real, should be like. Something for which he even earns the respect of Shanks himself.
He keeps rising through the ranks and now is holding the 6th highest position in the countless Marine ranks, taking on more and more important tasks. Not only is he now on his way to fight the former warlord Boa Hancock, but he also is part of the secret Marine organisation sword, that actively is fighting to free the Marines form the hand of the corrupt world government.
So to my eyes at least, Oda is clearly building Koby up to play an important role in the story. On the one hand he shows us how great and special a person Luffy truly is, throwing out seeds of friendship with a future top-marine in the second chapter of the story. Koby is a personification of the effect Luffy has on people.
On the other hand, he is now imitating Luffy on the Marine side, and is being set up as one of the ‘proper ones’ that will lead the navy on the right path once the world government is taken down. An absolutely fantastic supporting character that is written very unconventionally, but that I absolutely have grown to love.
So, where does our pink-haired bad-boy go from here? The abolishment of the Shijibukai System was one of the major outcomes of the Revery and threw a lot of heavy hitters back into the game. I’m super excited to see where Mihawk is going to end up, Buggy is surely gonna run into Luffy again at some point, but the most interesting storyline right now is undoubtedly Boa Hancock’s confrontation with Koby.
The scared kid from East Blue versus the revered Pirate Empress. Now the outcome of this battle is heavily debated, after all, both are pretty powerful. Koby has shown us how much stronger he has gotten, while hancock is even able to use conquerors haki. But of course, the one thing that combines this unlikely duo, is their love for Luffy.
Hancock is the self-declared future wife of the pirate king, while Koby is the biggest member of the Luffy-fanclub, second only to Bartolomeo maybe. I am more than curious to see how this fight is going to turn out, but I am convinced that sooner or later, both of them will realise that they are on Luffy’s side.
And I don’t put it past either of them to team up and come for Luffy’s aid, maybe even still in Wano. However what’s even more fun to think and speculate about is whether Koby will actually fulfil his big dream and become a marine admiral by the end of the story. And there is a super interesting theory about this, that exist in a number of different variations and with different twists, so it’s hard to figure out who to credit for it.
Nonetheless it’s an incredibly fun one and makes surprisingly much sense. Now as a premise for this theory, we of course have to assume that koby WILL actually become and admiral at some point. You could say against that, that he still seems to have a long way to go, but then the rate at which he has been growing has been pretty damn insane.
Plus we don’t know if there might not be another time skip somewhere ahead of us. The biggest clue however lies in the fact that this is Koby’s declared dream. Koby mirrors Luffy and One Piece is a story about dreams. So while Oda could simply go and be like, ah yeee you gonna be an admiral in the new marines some day my boy and they lived happily ever after at the end of one piece, why bring it up in the first place? So I do think that Koby will fulfil this dream, just like the straw hats will fulfil theirs.
The basis of this theory is the pattern that Oda uses to create the admirals in One Piece. As you know, each admiral has a color associated with their devil fruit power, as well as an animal. Thus, with the original trio we have the red dog, akainu, the blue pheasant Aokiji and the yellow monkey, Kizaru.
Later we get the purple tiger, Fujitora as well as the green bull, Ryokugyuu. Another common pattern is the number 3. There always 3 admirals. Never more and never less. Based on that alone it would be pretty hard to figure out more about Koby and his future in the marines. However, there are actually 2 more patterns hidden this system, that you’re maybe not familiar with.
The first is the color system. It might seem a bit random at first, but red, blue and yellow are actually the 3 primary colors, that you can use to make any other color. I actually love design and stuff, so I’m pretty excited that we’re talking about color theory now. Now let’s mix each of these primary colors together.
Red and blue gives us purple. Blue and Yellow gives us green. And Red and yellow gives us orange. Now Aokiji and Akainu have already been replaced by green and purple. Kizaru still remains, but following this pattern would be replaced by an orange admiral. Under the assumption that that’s koby, this would make him the orange….what exactly? And you may or may not believe me, but there actually is a pretty clear pattern to the animal theme within the admirals as well.
You’re already familiar with the legend of Momotaro from my blog on Momonosuke. Here’s a quick refresher: It’s an old Japanese story about a boy who on his journey to defeat an oni, meets a pheasant a dog, a monkey and then in the second phase of the story a tiger and later on a bull.
During this second part, the Monkey picks up and plasy with a Crab that defends itself. The Dog goes to kill the Crab, and fails to, instead it can only throw the crab with its mouth and knock it unconscious. Later the crab comes back and attacks the dog during the final phases of the story of Momotaro. Now for full disclosure, this is only one of the many variants of the story, that is however particularly prominent in the south of Japan, where Oda is also from.
The order in which each animal appears, corresponds perfectly with that of each admiral in the story. So once we have met admiral green bull. I believe we will meet admiral orange crab, who is gonna be none other than koby himself. Sound way more reasonable than orange crab should, am I right? I feel the same way.
But it all seems to fit really nicely. A bit too nicely. The 2 conflicts between the dog and the crab might tell us more about this. Let’s just go back to this scene her for a moment . Koby steps up to Akainu. A clear clash in morals and codes of justice. Akainu TRIES to kill Koby, but fails, in the end only knocking him unconscious as shanks steps in, who uses his shell, his haki to defend against Akainu’s logia abilities.
A bit too much coincidence don’t you think? And this would also foreshadow a rematch between Koby and Akainu, this time on the same level. Now what we still need to figure out is what ability Koby might have that would coincide with the orange theme. If koby becomes an admiral, he needs a fruit to back it up.
There is probably more options out there, but the best one that comes to mind is subscribing to my channel for next generation anime content. And the second best is Ace’s mera mera no mi, that is as orange as it gets. Ace even has a direct connection to Akkainu, like as direct as it gets. Now the only problem with this is obviously that Sabo has already eaten Ace’s fruit.
Sabo, who fights with claws, just as a crab. Now if only there was any sign that Sabo might not survive and lose the fruits ability to someone else. The reverie really turned that idea on its head for me. If Sabo was in comparable trouble to Ace, that might well lead in his death, or who knows maybe he has already died.
And who better for Luffy to inherit both of his brother’s wills than Koby? But hey, that’s just a theory, a One Piece theory. And, if you want to know why Koby could inherit Ace’s and Sabo’s will by eating their fruit, I strongly recommend you watch exactly that blog, right here.
That’s me, Andreea Blaga, author of the blog anime-everything.com. I work as a content creator in the US. I am also passionate about Japanese Anime.