What Is the Zodiac Theory in One Piece? Explained!

zodiac theory one piece

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Mystery and plot twists are nothing new for the One Piece saga, and Chapter 1054 seems to be bringing even more questions throughout the community. The Zodiac Theory has been analyzed by One Piece fans for several years, but we may be getting closer to pinning down the exact meaning throughout the series as the story progresses.

The newest concept of the Zodiac Theory in One Piece revolves around linking Admiral/ Marine characters to Zodiac symbols. But, the original and more well-believed theory still revolves around each of the Straw Hat Pirates being linked to a Chinese Zodiac sign animal – indicating that there will be 13 total crew members at some point.

Although the Zodiac Theory has been shrouded with confusion over the years, it seems to be making more and more sense as we get more insight into potential future events. Stick around as we discuss some of the most prominent explanations for the Zodiac Theory in One Piece, as well as how it could directly impact the story’s development.

One Piece Zodiac Theory (Explained)

The Zodiac Theory within the One Piece saga has taken a range of forms over the years, initially being seen as odd or nonsensical. But, the more we learn about the characters, the more the entire concept seems to fit in.

Zodiac Theory 1: Chinese Zodiac Signs

It originally started off as a means of explaining that the Straw Hat crew would finally end off with 13 members at the end, with each of the Straw Hat Pirate members being linked to a Zodiac sign (hence the name). The mainstream belief was that the Zodiac Theory links each member to a symbol of the Chinese Zodiac. Although, the numbers might seem a tad off since there are actually only 12 signs in the traditional Chinese Zodiac.

But, the Zodiac Theory does consider the fact that a cat is frequently referred to as the 13th sign of the Chinese Zodiac, although in a casual sense. The numbers do line up considering this final inclusion since each of the crew members could be likened to a sign or animal.


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However, the theory itself didn’t come without a flood of doubts and confusion – primarily since many of the base links did not quite fit in when the theory was first introduced. This is since it was first established long before Yamato joined the Straw Hat crew.

Straw Hat Crew Members Linked To Chinese Zodiac Signs

It’s taken quite some time for all of the Straw Hat Pirate crew members to be linked to certain Chinese Zodiac signs – or, more specifically, animals that resemble these signs. Below is an outline of how each of the members has been linked to the Chinese Zodiac so far:

Straw Hat Crew MemberChinese Zodiac Sign (Animal)
FrankyBull/ Ox
SanjiGoat/ Big Horn Sheep

This only leaves out the Rabbit and the Dragon within the Chinese Zodiac signs. It is quite likely that Carrot would be linked to the Rabbit sign – assuming that this character is actually going to join the Straw Hat crew at some point.

However, deciphering who would fit the Dragon symbol is a bit trickier, although Chapter 1052’s details do give us some cues as to who the primary candidate would be. Initially, based on the understanding of the Zodiac Theory, it was assumed to be Momonosuke.


But, fans now believe that (in light of recent details of the new issues) the more probable candidate may be Vivi Nefertari, who is a descendant of the Celestial Dragons. Despite the fact that the Nefertari family originally refused the status, their ancestral origins still place them in the Celestial Dragon group.

Again, this would be assuming that Vivi Nefertari is going to end up joining the Straw Hat Pirates as well. But, this actually seems quite likely considering the latest details and even the initial spoilers for One Piece Chapter 1054.

Chinese Zodiac Theory (Evidence)

The basis for this theory stems from the color spread depicted in Chapter 652, seen below thanks to Sportskeeda, which portrays each of the Straw Hat crew members strategically placed next to an animal. Each of these animals (or, at least a similar animal since it is just a teaser) can be linked to the Chinese Zodiac, which could in turn links each character to a Zodiac sign.

one piece animals

In addition to the evidence given within the One Piece saga, extra support has also been given throughout SBS questions. Oda, the author and the illustrator of the One Piece series, did provide some answers with regard to fans’ questions about linking Straw Hat members to Zodiac signs, albeit somewhat ambiguous.

Zodiac Theory 2: Marine Admiral Chain of Command

With all that being said, the introduction of Kurouma and Ryokugyu has thrown a spanner into the works, so to speak, and many fans are now questioning the Chinese Zodiac basis entirely. It’s been theorized that the Zodiac Theory could potentially link to the Marine Admiral Chain of Command, with signs being linked to a certain Admiral One Piece characters or higher-level Marine One Piece characters that have been seen so far.


There are a few concrete links that fans have created with this theory so far, with some questionable links and a few remaining uncertain, but it is close enough to bring questions as to whether or not the Chinese Zodiac association was ever accurate. Below are the links that have been made with the newest version of the Zodiac Theory in One Piece:

Marine/ Admiral or Higher-LevelZodiac Symbol (Animal)
RyokugyuBull/ Ox

This leaves 3 remaining symbols with this theory, however, namely the Rat, Snake, and Dragon symbols. While there are no suggestions for the first two, the Dragon symbol could potentially be linked to Monkey D. Dragon, which would support the theory of Dragon being an Admiral within the Marines as a result of his father Garp’s status.

While there is substantial evidence for both theories, the association with the Chinese Zodiac signs is still far more common and popular within the community. Still, only time will tell which of these two theories proves to be true, since it could potentially link to both – perhaps there may even be a brand new association that fans haven’t managed to piece together just yet!

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