I noticed a little something about the Emperor’s crews, of the six “Emperors” we have in the series (Big Mom, Kaido, Shanks, Luffy, Blackbeard, Whitebeard) each having a crew structure that mirrors the other, but at the same time they are complete opposites.
Big Mom and Kaido
Each of these crews is designed around Devil Fruits, Kaido’s mostly tares and Big Mom’s mostly food-themed. Both teams are very massive and have a top-down approach, with Kaido and Big Mom at the top, and then each of the armies being headed by three commanding officers.
However, they are contradictory in a big sense. The Kaido crew is said to be well deserved, and we see this in effect with Kaido offering an All-Star location to Tobi Roppo and then immediately again with Queen offering the Tobi Roppo venue to Gifters.
Your place in the crew is based on the value you give to the fight, which is merit in the strict sense of the word. What is the opposite of merit? favoritism.
While there is still a power structure within Big Mom’s crew, the vast majority of her army is headed by her children who serve as officers, because she trusts no one but family.
And if you want to ally with her, you will probably marry into the family as we saw with Bege, Aladine, and Germa.
Both teams are organized by “teams” with an individual leading an entire squad, and this was in the Whitebeard crew the likes of Ace, Marco, Jozu etc.
However, the composition of these crews is again almost completely opposite. Whitebeard’s ship was treated as a family, if you were an ally to it you were a “brother” or “son”, then to encounter a ship means to get rid of the wrath of the family. It is also worth noting that Whitebeard took this approach to his crew after having first-hand experience in the Rocks’ environment, which was said to have been subjected to extreme violence and infighting.
Which brings me to the Blackbeard crew, which is literally filled with the worst criminals imaginable. They have no loyalty to each other, they are united by pure strength. In this way, his crew mirrors that of the Rocks, his ship is named after him and he currently resides on Beehive Island, where the Rocks crew was originally formed. In many ways, they are the complete opposite of family.
Luffy and Shanks
The last comparison was between Luffy and Shanks. Here’s how Branio described Shanks’ crew during his bounty reveal.
It reads a lot like the dynamic of the Straw Hat crew, doesn’t it? Even the crew size looks roughly the same. At Marineford we saw 9 members on the board, and one a little further from the board. We also know that Rockstar is a recent recruit. She is 10 (maybe 11 members).
Branio’s description of the red-haired crew can be used well to describe the Straw Hat crew as well. A small, well-rounded crew that trusts their captain a lot. They even have 10 Shanks crew members (11 if you consider a former Vivi).
The only thing left, I wonder if there would be a major difference between these two, like the other Emperor’s crews running parallel to each other. There is still a lot of mystery surrounding Shanks so I hope there’s a cool turn around for him to make his crew “Mirror Mirror” Luffy.