Hi Guys. I would like to share with you three quick ideas about Oars, Pica and Big Mom. Let’s hope you enjoy them.
The two Oars were metaphoric oars.
Why did Oda name these characters like that, exactly? My bet is on their role as metaphoric oars during some culminating events of their lives. Little Oars Jr. served as the oars for the ship on which the Whitebeards Pirates reached Marineford’s main plaza, as he used his own force to move it.
Oars, on the other hand, became a legend because of being the oars for the pulling of a portion of land. I already explained in a theory how this character was mainly inspired by the legendary character of Yatsukamizu, known for performing the mythical event “kunihiki” (or land/continent pulling) that is also attributed to Oars within One Piece. A recent artwork in One Piece Magazine depicted an alive Oars performing this land pulling.
So they were both required to pull two ships, one literal and the other metaphorical, therefore playing the role of the oars. But we must ask ourselves one thing: the portion of land that Oars pulled while alive was considered a ship because of moving through the seas or because of something else? Was Oars carrying a group of people too? And where was he moving the portion to? Was he the brain behind this event or there were other people that needed a titanic oars so it could move their strange ship? It’s also interesting that Oars was introduced in an arc located in an island that worked as a ship.
Also, I would like to throw an extra idea regarding Oars, more specifically the cross on his loincloth. It’s called “moline cross”, a heraldic cross that symbolized the eighth son, was mainly used by the Order of St. Benedict and is also known as “anchor cross”. This last detail could be related to the sailing idiosyncrasy of Oars, being not only the oars of that ship but also its anchor.
Pica’s golem appearance is based on a Japanese mythical snail.
It is widely known that Pica’s appearance draws inspiration from two sources, mainly. First of all, his shapes are designed in order to remind of that of a spade (Pica is Spanish for “spade” in case you didn’t know). He’s therefore drawn with prominence of curves and spikes, and we could overall reduce his body shape to a spade (not surprisingly, as both Diamante and Trébol are also drawn in correspondence with the shapes of diamonds and clovers). In Pica, the foot of the spade corresponds with the legs and torso of Pica; the spade’s “head”, which is its most prominent trait, reminds us of Pica’s shoulders; and the little spike that crowns the whole spade is also present in Pica’s helmet, as it ultimately arises with a single spike. This helmet is also based on the chimneys from “La Pedrera” (The Stone Quarry, a famous Spanish building), which have the form of helmets and clearly inspired Pica’s head and his stone-based powers overall.
But another inspiration for Pica’s appearance that I think is ignored concerns how he looks when arising from the hill in his golem form. I’m talking about this:
Here, half of Pica’s body is coming out of the hill. During his fight versus Zoro we can see how the hill becomes spiky (sorry I couldn’t find a better picture):
I believe this appearance as a whole, with half of the golem coming out of a hill that at certain point becomes spiky, looks like a Japanese monster called Sazae-oni. Here’s a image of it:
Shellmon, a Digimon that is based on Sazae-oni too, looks pretty much like the golem coming out of the spiky hill:
There’s another funny fact about Sazae-oni that can be related to Pica’s most distinctive trait: his high-pitched voice. The most popular legend regarding Sazae-oni tells how it took the form of an attractive woman and was saved by a pirate crew, with which she slept… cutting their testicles after sex. The funny coincidence is that an abnormally high-pitched voice in men is associated with lacking testicles, just like the famous castrati, singers whose voice remained high-pitched thanks to castration before puberty.
Big Mom could be based on the goddess Ukemochi.
Let’s finish with a really quick one. Ukemochi is a Japanese divinity whose name means “Goddess who protects food”. The first point in common is obvious, isn’t it? In One Piece, the goddess of food is clearly Big Mom. I don’t think I need to support this with arguments (keep it okay, Bonney fans). But Ukemochi also shares Big Mom’s side as source of life. First, because Ukemochi is not only the goddess of food but also of fertility, which reminds us of Big Mom’s abnormal fertility as she’s the mother of an incredibly big number of children. Second, because Ukemochi can also be seen as producer of life as her death was followed by animals and vegetables coming out of her body, which is kind of similar to Big Mom’s homies and her life-related powers (as she’s able to “create life” through her body empowered by the Soru Soru fruit).
And that’s basically it. I hope you enjoyed!