My readers may have noticed by now that I like to talk about who may or may not join the Straw Hats a lot. It’s probably the most frequently recurring theme across all of my theories, but this does not come without consequence. Because of all of the different angles I’ve examined, I naturally have come to multiple conclusions, conclusions which cannot all reasonably overlap, especially not with other, outside theories.

The crew’s Japanese name, “Mugiwara no Ichimi” can potentially be translated as either “Straw Hat Crew” or “Straw Hat Thirteen”, so if that theory is true, then there simply isn’t room for the myriad of characters I have suggested. This is further compounded by the MFMM pattern, the idea that after Luffy, there will be twelve recruits, four from each sea, following the pattern of male, female, male, male. If this theory stands, then only one of the many females I have suggested, including Pudding, Monet and Carrot, can possibly be the female recruit for the New World.

That is, if those two theories stand.

Obviously I can’t have every single one of my theories come true, but if I can find a way around the Straw Hat 13 and the MFMM pattern, then I can at least get my top three girls. I’ll admit now that I don’t have a particularly strong argument against the Straw Hat 13 other than the distinct possibility that it’s a coincidence and Oda simply isn’t following it, but most of the support for that theory comes from how likely the MFMM pattern seems, so taking that down will be like two birds with one stone.

There are two major flaws to the MFMM pattern that I personally have noticed since I first learned of it; Luffy and Vivi.

I understand why Luffy is left out of the MFMM pattern; the idea is that the pattern follows the people that Luffy recruits, and Luffy obviously didn’t recruit himself. But the fact remains that Luffy is a member of the crew, and his inclusion changes the implication from four members per sea to five.

Now we get to the tricky part. Even if Luffy is counted and there were five members added in East Blue, it doesn’t change the fact that only four were added in Paradise. But that isn’t technically true either. Don’t forget that, although she ultimately turned down the invitation, Vivi was for all intents and purposes a member of the Straw Hat Crew.

Even now, Vivi is still considered an honorary member, even getting her own number, color, animal, etc. like the rest of the Straw Hats in an SBS.

Yes, her number is 5.5, demonstrating that technically she isn’t a member, but technicalities work both way. She still has a number, which you just can’t say for anyone else outside of the Straw Hats.

Honorary or official, it’s undeniable that the Straw Hats consider Vivi one of their own. She traveled with the crew as their friend…

…fought with them…

…and even demonstrated the skills that she brings to the crew as a member.

As for Vivi’s departure, she didn’t simply turn down Luffy’s invitation, she left crew. She was along for the journey, then had a choice to make whether to continue to be or stay behind. She simply chose to stay behind.

This wasn’t the first time such a thing had happened, and it definitely wasn’t the last either. Nami, Robin, Usopp and now even Sanji all explicitly left the Straw Hat Crew at one point or another, but sooner or later came back. Not one of them had any intention on coming back, though; Nami stole from them and intended to repeat the process with a new crew, Robin intended to die, Usopp had a fight with Luffy and didn’t believe it could be patched up, and Sanji intended to have a clean break from them to protect them from Big Mom. If you look at it that way, Vivi’s departure seems a lot less permanent, as her dialogue in her goodbye implies a definite desire to come back.

Just like the rest of them, she clearly doesn’t intend to come back, as she wants to fulfill her duty as the princess of Alabasta, but she also still seems to be clinging to the hope that the possibility is there. Whatever her intentions are, though, no other Straw Hat has left the crew permanently, so why should she be any exception?

So what does this mean for the MFMM pattern? Adding in Luffy and Vivi, we’re left with MMFMM-FMFMM. Not nearly as clear of an alternating pattern as MFMM repeating itself. But what if it’s not meant to be an alternating pattern, but an increasing pattern? Rather than 3M1F, what if it’s -1M+1F each sea?

In East Blue, we have four males (Luffy, Zoro, Usopp, and Sanji) and one female (Nami). In Paradise, we have one less male (Chopper, Franky, and Brook) and one more female (Vivi and Robin). In the New World, we only have one known definite male so far (Jinbe), but three females with a strong possibility of joining based on various patterns (Pudding, Monet and Carrot). This would still leave room for a male later, like the commonly predicted Elbaf giant, Bentham as the ship’s guard, Smoker as the ship’s quartermaster or rigger, or some other yet unmet man (my personal hope is for an alien if they go to the moon with Monet).

One could argue that if Vivi does end up coming back, then she would be considered a New World Straw Hat, and that would be fair, but given that she would be rejoining rather than joining, I personally would count her as a Paradise Straw Hat.

Even if Vivi doesn’t end up rejoining, though, her significance to the Straw Hats in Paradise still sets up a Plus One Female pattern, priming us for the possibility of three females in the New World.

But maybe this is all just wishful thinking to justify all of the people I want to see join. I admit, the possibility is there, but the evidence for Pudding, Monet, Carrot and even Vivi are pretty strong in their own rights, so this would be the best way to resolve that. However, it requires throwing out the Straw Hat 13 and MFMM pattern, and assumes that Monet is alive and Vivi is coming back, both of which are relatively controversial topics among theorists. This would still leave us with Pudding and Carrot, both of whom seem to have equally strong chances right now.

For my theory on how to resolve that issue, join me over here (link to come) where I examine the Failed Recruitment Theory.

Thank you all for reading,
Theory by Tokiro Oumaga

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