Imu’s design, subordinates, and actions can very easily be seen as direct references to Nyx, the greek goddess of night. Furthermore, Imu having the Night God Fruit would enable them to simultaneously embody the two most important themes of the world government’s rule (The long night and Gods of the World) while also enabling luffy as the sun god to serve his role as the one and only natural enemy of One Piece’s final villain and bring about the dawn.
Being the villain that needs to be taken down in order to bring about a new dawn, it is almost guaranteed that Imu will be the final villain of One Piece. With that in mind, as well as the fact that every main villain since the beginning of the Grandline has had a devil fruit (excluding hody jones), it is safe to say Imu will have one as well. So we did our best to figure it out.
Like pretty much every important One Piece villain, Imu’s fruit has to fit their character, their design, and the setting in which the reside (ie: Kaido with the Dragon fruit in Wano, Eneru with the lighting fruit in Skypiea).
In Imu’s case, it took us some time to think of what would fit them the best. The World fruit, as the ruler of the World? The control fruit, as the one that’s been behind the scenes the whole time? The earth god, like the one referenced in Skypiea? The moon god, as the counter to the sun god? Maybe just the God fruit straight up, as the most powerful being possible?
None of those options sat right with us, so we went back over some chapters from Skypiea and Dressrosa, as well as 906-908, 1037, 1044, 1052 and 1060 to look for any clues. We also did our best to read up on some real world deities that Oda could have potentially researched when coming up with the idea of Im. The more we read, the more it all seemed to point towards one conclusion, which was that Imu has the Night God fruit.
THEORY STARTS HERE:
Now before you think “that’s stupid” and click off this post, please bear with me. The truth is that everything we have seen of Imu – be it their appearance, where they live, how they were introduced, or how they fit in thematically with the larger story of One Piece – heavily references Nyx, the Greek Primordial Goddess of the Night.
Apparent References to the Nyx in One Piece:
Nyx, or the roman Nox, is night incarnate. According to Homer, she was, “the subduer of Gods and Men,” and was often depicted as “covered with a dark garment and accompanied by the stars in her course.”
As the one standing above both every living thing as well as every other Celestial Dragon, Imu’s place as the one in control of both men and god is thoroughly intact. Furthermore, Imu’s appearance and her direct subordinates (the five elder stars) could pass as direct references to Homer’s description of the goddess.
But the references don’t stop there. In the Fall of Troy, the Nyx is described as appearing following the fall of the sun into the sea, where she “came floating up o’er the wide firmament, and brought her boon of sleep to sorrowing mortals,” and was also described as “flooding all the earth with darkness bringing men release from toil.” Both of these ideas heavily resonate with how the World Government (and by association its ruler) have been portrayed throughout the series:
The World Government came into power at the end of the void century, where they managed to defeat the ancient kingdom and joy boy (who had the sun god fruit). In doing so, they brought about a long night where the world awaits a new dawn. In doing so, they have kept everyone away from world war, but only by creating a deceptive daydream that perpetuates their control, just as Nyx is said to “spread darkness” but also bring the “boon of sleep.”
This can be connected back to chapter 908, where Imu was formally introduced right after the Reverie – the meeting of the world’s monarch – begins. If Imu were to be the night god, and have brought about the “boon of sleep” then the name of this meeting has an even deeper meaning than it does already.
Why this works: a thematic escalation of themes and Luffy’s role as Imu’s natural enemy.
Now, with the potential references aside, let me get into why we think this idea works the best with the escalation of one piece’s themes.
Defeating God, dispelling the long night and bringing about the dawn:
Throughout the story, the World has been depicted as being in a state of awaiting the Dawn (in particular this has been referenced since Zou). As we know, the darkness that has prevented the dawn is largely attributable to the World Government, and it is heavily implied that the toppling of the World Nobles will finally bring about the dawn.
Furthermore, the World Government has been portrayed as a malevolent God who exploits, deceives, and brings judgment on its people in whatever way best suits its own interests. Because Imu is set to be the villain that is representative of both the long night and god, it is plausible for Imu to have a power that would articulate both of ideas at the same time.
Luffy as God’s natural enemy:
Since the days of Skypiea, Luffy has been set up as God’s natural enemy. This was further articulated in the Dressrosa arc, where it went from Luffy being the natural enemy of one God to Luffy’s family being the natural enemies of the Celestial Dragons.
However, I think the wording of the Skypiea quote is very important, because if Imu is a direct escalation of the themes first set up in Skypeia, it is likely that Luffy is meant to be Imu’s “one and only natural enemy” at the end of the story. And the story also seems to indicate as much as well with the best evidence for this coming in chapter 1037 and the later reveal of the sun god fruit:
Here, we see that the World Government has gone out of there way to change the name of Luffy’s fruit and Luffy’s fruit alone, which lends credence to the idea that the Sun God fruit is the greatest threat to Imu’s power. Thematically, it would make sense if this was a setup for the culmination of Luffy’s role as God’s one and only natural enemy.
Furthermore, if this were the case, it would then be necessary for Luffy’s devil fruit to somehow be in direct contrast with that of Imu’s, which only really leaves the options of either a Moon God or a Night God. That said, the Moon has always been the symbol of those who maintain the light during the night while waiting for the dawn (Whitebeard, Kozuki clan) so it really only leaves the option of Night God as the perfect opposition to the Sun God.
Theory by aonepiecefan (https://www.reddit.com/user/aonepiecefan)