As of Chapter 1053, Luffy’s bounty has gone up to 3 billion Berries. However, considering everything he’s done, this seems like a small increase.
Monkey D Luffy has done a lot recently to earn him infamy in the One Piece world. His actions and newfound power have made him personally responsible for the defeat of Kaidō, a decades-long Emperor of the Sea. On top of that, he has unlocked the true abilities of his Devil Fruit and made himself the new Joy Boy. This is to say nothing of all the powerful allies he’s made along his voyage, two of whom helped dethrone Big Mom, another Emperor. He has become a new Emperor of the Sea in terms of strength, influence, and title. All of these things put together should have caused his bounty to skyrocket, but they didn’t.
Luffy’s bounty has only gone up from 1.5 billion Berries to 3 billion. Not only is this lower than Kaidō’s 4.6 billion, but he shares it with Eustass Kid and Trafalgar Law. Considering how Luffy beat Kaidō one-on-one while the other two beat Big Mom two-on-one, this seems rather unfair. However, as has been proven time and time again, bounties are not always a proper reflection of strength. There are a number of factors that have led to Luffy and the others receiving the bounties they got.
First of all, it’s important to understand exactly what Luffy did that was worthy of a bounty increase. He and his crew were all central figures in the Ninja-Pirate-Mink-Samurai Alliance responsible for defeating the Beast Pirates’ top brass. These pirates had made Wano their base of operations for decades, yet Luffy and co. were effectively able to drive them out of it.
What’s even bigger than the defeat of the Beast Pirates is the defeat of Kaidō, the world’s strongest creature. If he hadn’t gone down, the defeat of the rest of the crew wouldn’t have mattered; he could have easily taken down everyone else on the opposing side by himself, especially after they’d been weakened from fighting. Luffy delivering the decisive blow that knocked him out is what ultimately led to the Ninja-Pirate-Mink-Samurai Alliance’s Raid on Onigashima being a success.
On top of all this, the Raid on Onigashima also saw the defeat of Big Mom. With the defeat of both her and Kaidō, the balance of power on the world’s open waters will undergo a massive shift that nobody is prepared for. Luffy may not have been directly responsible for bringing down Big Mom, but the fact that he was allied with the pirates that did says a lot about his influence.
Something that might trump all of this is Luffy’s Devil Fruit Awakening. By realizing his Fruit’s true power and assuming the form of the Sun God Nika, Luffy has officially become the reincarnation of Joy Boy. He is now one of the greatest threats to the World Government’s centuries-long rule.
Three billion Berries doesn’t sound like it should cover everything Luffy has recently accomplished. For one thing, Kaidō, the Emperor he defeated, was worth over 4.6 billion. If Luffy really has surpassed Kaidō, then his bounty should reflect this. It should therefore be much closer to Kaidō’s bounty, if not higher than it.
What makes this bounty increase feel particularly underwhelming is the fact that he shares it with Kid and Law. While Luffy was able to fight Kaidō one-on-one, Kid and Law needed to work together to beat Big Mom, arguably the weaker of the two Emperors. With this in mind, Luffy’s bounty seems like it should be a little bit higher than theirs, at the very least.
With all that said, it’s important to understand the decision to cap Luffy’s bounty at 3 billion. For one thing, this bounty is a reflection of what the world knows about what happened in Wano. Since the country’s borders are closed up, the flow of information regarding what’s actually going on inside is severely limited. From an outside perspective, two Emperors fell at the hands of three members of the Worst Generation. This limited understanding of the situation is what makes these three pirate captains seem equally responsible for the Emperors’ defeat.
Furthermore, the bounties, while sounding low, make a sort of sense based on who the Worst Generation was fighting. Big Mom was worth 4.388 billion Berries while Kaidō was worth 4.611 billion; putting these bounties together brings their combined value up to 8.999 billion. Whoever assigned the three captains their bounties probably rounded this value up to 9 billion and split it between them.
It’s also likely that the World Government kept Luffy’s bounty increase relatively low in order to hide the boy’s true importance. Surprisingly, it’s not just the fact that he’s essentially powerful enough to defeat an Emperor on his own. He’s also an inheritor of the Will of D and, more importantly, the Nika Devil Fruit; both of these things suggest that Luffy will be the next Joy Boy. Raising Luffy’s bounty any higher than necessary would only serve as further proof of this. The Five Elders even demanded that Luffy’s D initial and his Gear Five picture be removed from his wanted poster as an extra precaution.
If anybody found out that Luffy was Joy Boy, it would lead to a global upheaval. He’d become a symbol of freedom, which would then inspire and encourage all sorts of uprisings the world over. If that happens, not even the World Government will be able to restore order. In order for the World Government to maintain control, it’s imperative that nobody find out that Joy Boy has returned.
With all that said, 3 billion Berries is still a pretty high bounty for Luffy. Not only is it twice what he was worth before, but it’s much higher than what he needed to be called an Emperor; for comparison, Blackbeard wasn’t even worth 2.25 billion at last count. In the grand scheme of things, a 3 billion Berry bounty is nothing to sniff at.
As for whether Luffy should be worth more than 3 billion, the answer is probably yes. For everything he’s accomplished and everything that makes him a threat to the World Government, he’s certainly worth more than either Kid or Law. The World Government, however, probably has its reasons for keeping Luffy’s true worth a secret, especially the chaos that would ensue. For now, 3 billion Berries will have to do.
Marc York is a writer for CBR. He possesses an understanding of comics, video games, and movies, and his true expertise comes forth when it comes to the topics of anime and manga. His knowledge spreads to the past, present, and future of both the anime and manga industry, especially when it pertains to titles under the Shonen Jump banner. Marc also likes to write about the movies he’s watched in theaters; these aren’t officially published articles, but they may be seen on his Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/marc.york.7