Joy Boy is a significant historical figure with a name shared by two known individuals. The first of these figures played a pivotal role during the Void Century and left behind a valuable item on the final island of the Grand Line, becoming a legendary figure in the world of One Piece.
This historical persona was initially referenced on a Poneglyph that Nico Robin deciphered at the Sea Forest. According to inscriptions on these ancient stone tablets, it was believed that Joy Boy would return approximately 800 years after the Void Century. A momentous turning point occurred when Monkey D. Luffy, following his awakening of a Mythical Zoan-type Devil Fruit known as the Hito Hito no Mi, Model: Nika (often referred to as the Paramecia Devil Fruit “Gomu Gomu no Mi”), emitted the rhythmic “Drums of Liberation.” Zunesha, the enormous elephant carrying an entire island on its back, declared that Joy Boy had returned, suggesting that Luffy had assumed the mantle of the new Joy Boy.
More than 800 years ago, during the Void Century, Joy Boy forged a promise with the inhabitants of Fish-Man Island. He had endeavored to raise the massive vessel Noah with the assistance of Poseidon but ultimately broke this pledge to Fish-Man Island for reasons unknown.
At some point in his journey, Joy Boy formed a bond with Zunesha.
Joy Boy also stumbled upon an island, later named Laugh Tale by Gol D. Roger. He left behind a treasure that would go on to become the legendary One Piece, shrouded in mystery to the world.
Legacy-wise, the original Joy Boy left messages regarding his return, including an apology to Fish-Man Island and Poseidon for his unfulfilled promise, assuring that someone in the future would honor it. Another message was inscribed on the unnamed island, proclaiming his return in 800 years’ time.
When the Roger Pirates reached the previously unnamed island and uncovered the messages, they learned the true history of the world but decided not to reveal it yet, deeming it premature. Roger expressed his desire for both Joy Boys to exist simultaneously after this revelation.
During the Fish-Man Island Arc, a crisis emerged where Fish-Man Island’s side of the promise nearly broke, as Monkey D. Luffy was tasked with safeguarding the island, even if it entailed Noah’s destruction. Fortunately, a group of Sea Kings summoned by Shirahoshi intervened, saving the island and upholding the promise to Joy Boy, albeit with significant damage to the ship. The Sea Kings subsequently transported the vessel to the Sea Forest for repairs.
Regarding the second coming of Joy Boy, Kaidou made cryptic remarks about Luffy, implying that he might be Joy Boy. According to King Neptune, there is a royal family legend concerning the individual destined to fulfill Joy Boy’s promise.
Amatsuki Toki utilized her time-traveling abilities to journey to the future Wano in pursuit of the day when Joy Boy would return.
During their journey, the Roger Pirates, including Kozuki Oden, overheard Sea Kings discussing the birth of someone who would lead them in 25 years, along with a new Poseidon. Following their revelations on Laugh Tale, Oden returned to Wano Country, a place linked to Joy Boy, and endeavored to open the enclosed land in preparation for Joy Boy’s return. Regrettably, his efforts were thwarted by the shogun at the time, Kurozumi Orochi, and the pirate Kaidou, resulting in his demise. Oden entrusted his retainers with the task.
At an undisclosed point, Kaidou became aware of Joy Boy and began searching for the next Joy Boy for reasons unknown. King, a member of the Beasts Pirates and a Lunarian, initially believed Kaidou could become Joy Boy and bring about world-changing events but later dismissed Joy Boy as a mere legend. Following Oden’s death, Yamato, Kaidou’s child and an admirer of Oden, adopted Oden’s name and, after learning the truth from Oden’s journal, dedicated herself to fulfilling his dream.
Luffy’s confrontation with Kaidou on the rooftop of Skull Dome marked a significant moment. After Luffy’s initial defeat, Zunesha proclaimed the return of Joy Boy upon hearing the “Drums of Liberation.” Luffy then regained consciousness, unleashing his Devil Fruit’s power and attaining his Gear 5 form for the first time. Kaidou’s subsequent reflection on a conversation with King hinted that he recognized Luffy as Joy Boy in his final moments.