Eiichiro Oda loves using interpretations of real-life mythology in One Piece, and the rivalry between Luffy and Blackbeard is no exception.
One Piece is a larger-than-life adventure featuring larger-than-life characters with fantastical powers. It should come as no surprise that creator Eiichiro Oda loves to draw inspiration from real-world mythologies, which are some of the most grandiose stories around.
Whether it’s Elbaf, a nation of giants that is a direct reference to Nordic mythology, Sengoku’s Buddha devil fruit or Momonosuke’s relation to the Japanese tale of Momotaro, One Piece is rife with mythological references from all over the world. Blackbeard and Luffy’s relationship could also be a reference to a mythological tale from one of the oldest civilizations on Earth: Egypt.
One Piece’s Blackbeard and the Egyptian Mythological God, Apophis
Luffy, Nika and the Egyptian Sun God Ra
As for Luffy, the connection to Ra is more readily apparent. In the battle against Kaido during the raid on Onigashima, Luffy was severely damaged to the point that even fans thought he had died. However, his devil fruit suddenly awakened its true abilities, revealing it was not the Gomu-Gomu no Mi, but the Hito-Hito no Mi, Model: Nika.
In One Piece’s mythology, Nika is the god of the sun said to spread joy wherever he goes, and seeks to bring smiles to the faces of the oppressed. Such benevolence is closely related to Ra, said to be the father of all creation who arrived in the universe to banish the existing darkness.
The true name of Luffy’s devil fruit brought with it another connection between the captain of the Straw Hats and the real-life sun god. The ship the Straw Hats sail on is the Thousand Sunny, the figurehead of which is the head of a lion — but it also distinctly looks like a sun.