So since we know that Devil Fruit powers can sometimes be nullified by powerful Haki, I’m sure a lot of people including myself are thinking there must be some kind of connection between the two other than “an armament allows you to interact normally with them”. Fortunately, I think the last chapter of the manga actually gave us a good hint about the connection between Devil Fruits and Haki, thanks to Dr. Vegapunk’s theory about Devil Fruits.
Vegaponk describes the Devil Fruit as follows: “Each Devil Fruit is a potential for human evolution that someone desires!!! If only I could be like this… If only I could be like this!! All these powers represent the many branches of humanity’s future “.
Now, if we go back to chapter 597 of the manga, when Rayleigh is explaining Luffy’s Haki for the first time, he says the following: “Never doubt – that’s what power is!”
This tells us that Haki is a spiritual force born from concepts such as conviction, willpower, fighting spirit, etc. It is a manifestation of the spirit of the worker. But more importantly, look at the wording Riley uses. In a way, the idea of not being suspicious is Just the opposite When he says, they answer you that the fruits of the devil embody it. Devil Fruits in his interpretation embody a possibility, a fantasy, a wish. The use of “if only” really reinforces this idea for me. And while one might say yes, possibilities and wishes can be fulfilled through willpower, that’s not really what Devil Fruits is about which I thought I’d come back to later. At its core, Devil Fruits is an acronym. You take one piece of the fruit, and the powers are instantaneous. Yes, you have to train them, but to actually gain the abilities as a whole, you don’t really need to do anything other than eat a bad-tasting fruit.
With these two pieces of information, you can begin to form a partial hypothesis of how the interaction of the Devil Fruit and Haki works. Let’s say a Logia fights a person with Haki, and a Haki user covers their weapon in Armament to attack a Logia user. At that moment, the “potential” within the Logia Devil Fruit collided with the Haki user’s “conviction”. In other words, the Devil Fruit says “If only this person was made of fire, they couldn’t be punched.” But Haki’s attack breaks through this form with the conviction that “my punches will hit that person”. Same with nullifying the powers of a Devil Fruit used to affect a Haki-wielder’s body. They break through the “if I could do X to this person” effect by channeling the conviction into “I am not affected by that strength.”
I mentioned that I’m going back to the Devil Fruit and Contentment combo together, so let’s go over that, because I think it really answers the question of how the awakening works. Kaido says in the manga during his fight with Luffy that “Awakening is what happens when your mind and body catch up with your abilities.” Given that we have this idea of the devil fruit representing a potential evolution of humanity, awakening is probably what happens when you train yourself to that point where your body essentially embodies that state.
I could go into DNA and Lineage Factors as to why this might be the case, but the series actually gives us a perfect example of this in the form of Lucci’s final awakening and the Guardians of Impel Down. “Usually, the powers of the Awakened Zoan absorb and control the user’s personality,” Shaka says. We see that very clearly with the Guardians of Impel Down, who have become animal-like in their mental abilities. One reason the Zoan Devil Fruit’s status might be is that Zoans embody the possibility of “if only I could transform into Animal X.” Now, a weak-willed person might allow this possibility to control them as they begin to awaken. They allowed the Devil Fruit’s animal spirit to overwhelm them, essentially becoming that animal. However, Lucci had enough mental strength and self-identity that he was able to stay in control while he was awake. He has “become one with the animal” but in a way that preserves his identity.
Someone suggested the theory that Luffy was only able to awaken his Devil Fruit on Onigashima because he, just as the Devil Fruit incarnated, became a liberation warrior when he was fighting Kaido to liberate Wano.
If we take awakening as “reaching the point where your mind and body are completely enveloped in the potential for evolution within a Devil Fruit”, then the powers gained upon awakening can be seen as “evolving further beyond what the fruit was originally dreamed of”. It is an evolution beyond what the possibility saw within the fruit. In a sense, it is boundless development.
I know this was a lot, but I really think I’m on to something here. Let me know what you guys think.
* theory DiglettsOtherHalf