“Who is Vegapunk?” Certainly not an unfamiliar question in the One Piece fandom. First mentioned in the early days of One Piece in chapter 433, Vegapunk has been a mystery that has kept fans on edge for nearly a decade. Little did we know that our theories and ideas wouldn’t even be close to what Oda had in store for us.
If Imu is the one who pulls the strings, then Vegapunk is the one who plays a massive part in enabling it and has played an enormous role in setting the current state of the world by introducing Artificial Devil Fruits, Pacifistas, Seraphims, and god knows what.
So, when we finally got a face reveal of the character, it was surprising not just to see that the mad scientist did not look as fans had expected them to be, but Vegapunk also turned out to be a girl. But is that really true?
Is Vegapunk a girl in One Piece?
Being introduced immediately after Wano (Chapter 1060), the reveal of Vegapunk was already a shocker, even more so when they turned out to be a girl. Throughout the series, Vegapunk is repeatedly hinted at being an old man.
It is later revealed that the body we see is Punk-02, Lilith the Evil, and not the main body, “Stella.”
Vegapunk has somehow managed to create 6 bodies, each capable of independently functioning as a person. The six bodies each take after one personality trait of Vegapunk.
- Punk – 01 : Shaka, the Good. Shaka or Shakyamuni is the Japanese name for the Buddha (Prince Siddhartha, Gautama Buddha). By taking the name of an enlightened being, Oda might be alluding to Vegapunk’s underlying ascetic and spiritual nature here.
The helmet that Shaka wears is similar to Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, one of the French techno-pop musician duo Daft Punk. We see that Punk-01 is very perceptive and can even order Lilith, meaning there is some hierarchy among them.
- Punk – 02 : Lilith, the Evil. Lillith is often seen as a primordial she-demon by many. By taking on this name, Punk-02 might be an embodiment of the evil nature that Vegapunk had, which is suggested by the name too.
In our short encounter with her, we see that she’s a very rash decision-maker, unable to judge that the Straw Hats were far stronger than her. It seems that it’s pretty common for her to rob pirates who venture into her territory in the name of research funding. In a sense, she’s a pirate too.
Her main research areas seem to be creating robots and cybernetically enhancing Seakings.
- Punk – 03 : Edison, the Thinker. Named after Thomas Alva Edison, the inventor of the light bulb, phonograph, and the motion picture camera. No detailed information is available on Punk 03 yet.
- Punk – 04 : Pythagoras, the Wisdom. Pythagoras was an ancient Greek philosopher identified with the teachings of Metempsychosis or the “transmigrations of souls.” The idea is that every soul is immortal and enters a new body upon death.
This idea is very similar to our current understanding of how devil fruit powers are transferred. As such, Punk – 04’s main area of research likely is Devil Fruit-centered.
- Punk – 05 : Atlas, the Violence. Named after the ancient Greek Titan Atlas who was cursed with lifting the sky on his shoulders by Zeus, Punk 05 too shares similar characteristic to her namesake. Like the titan, Punk -05 is also a giant, reminiscent of the Giant kids from Punk Hazard. Did Vegapunk finally succeed in creating artificial giants?
Atlas seems willing to explain how all the inventions work. But also has anger problems taking it out on her holograms. Based on what we see, her primary area of research is climate control.
- Punk – 06 : York, the Greed.
Well, the mad scientists did manage to make copies of their bodies and persona as Oda would have us believe for now. But who exactly is Vegapunk, and why all the mystery surrounding him?
Who is Vegapunk really in One Piece?
First introduced by Koby as the genius scientist who enabled the marines to sail across the Calm belt, Vegapunk has a long list of achievements that have changed how the world works.
Born in the Winter Island, Future Land Baldimore, Vegapunk was a prodigy with ideas far beyond what the technology of that time allowed, even as a child. In his younger days, he devised a geothermal system to heat the whole island. His laboratory was considered a national treasure. But most of his ideas were incomplete as they lacked the funding and manpower to execute them.
Sometime in his life, he got together with Vinsmoke Judge, Ceasar Clown, and Queen to form MADS. They worked on many illegal experiments, like bloodline elements, before they were finally disbanded by the World Government.
Under the World Government, Vegapunk had tons of funding which led to him trying to create Artificial Devil fruits and Artificial Giants. He also modified Bartholomew Kuma and turned him into the first pacifista PX-0.
He further replaced the Warlords with his new creations, the Seraphims.
His personality seems to have changed with age. A kind and passionate child who wanted to solve the problems of his island turned into a cruel man who didn’t care about experimenting on criminals.
However, that side only seems like a punk. Many in the fandom often theorize that Vegapunk is a part of the Revolutionary Army, due to his reluctance in killing off Bartholomew Kuma. True, he made pacifistas out of him, but the underlying motives and intentions still remain unexplored.
Is Vegapunk alive? Is he an old man?
In episode 610, Vegapunk is seen ordering Ceasar’s arrest, in which he sounds like an older man. Considering how Ceasar and Vegapunk were associates for many years, we can assume that Vegapunk hadn’t created his satellites yet.
After the incident of Punk Hazard 4 years ago, Vegapunk is assumed to have gone to his new Egghead Island, a place that’s 500 years in the future.
- Based on his previous research, it’s likely that Vegapunk extracted his own bloodline elements to create modified clones of himself.
- There’s also a chance he managed to replicate Big Mom’s powers and transfer parts of his soul into other bodies (like Voldemort and his Horcruxes).
- Satellite is derived from the Latin word satelles meaning “guard,” “attendant,” or “companion,” because the satellites accompanied their primary planet in their journey through the heavens. Maybe Dr. Vegapunk was so intellectually ahead of everyone that he was lonely enough to create modified humans and gave them their names? Or as Kaku explains, he didn’t have enough hands to get things done so he just made more.
Why is the World Government trying to kill Vegapunk?
If you take a look at history, this was sort of expected. The World Government is an oppressive organization that has always tried to eliminate threats to stay in power.
As such, they were threatened by Vegapunk’s intellect, they tried to make full use of it. Now that he has fulfilled their needs by completing the Seraphims, he is a threat again. Since Vegapunk seems to be working under the World Government only for the funding and not as they share the same ideals, he is a ticking time bomb.
It is only a matter of time before some other power, like the Revolutionary Army, offers him more or abducts him gaining access to dangerous technology like the Seraphims. Or maybe Vegapunk himself was sick of the actions of the World Government and has shown signs of defecting? Only time will tell.
Alternatively, as Lucci mentions, it might have something to do with the mass destruction of Lulusia. Maybe Vegapunk recreated the ancient weapon capable of destroying whole islands. This is another case of being cursed with knowledge.
Finally, what if Vegapunk’s research unknowingly led him to the truth of the void century? From what we know, nearly all of the mysteries are linked to it, so it’s not a stretch to say Vegapunk accidentally stumbled upon something that he shouldn’t have known.