There are 3 cases of foreseeing methods within the story of One Piece. The first is the usage of future sight(Advanced Observation Haki) which enables you to see a few seconds into the future.
The second is Madame Shirley’s ability to foretell the future and it works 100% of the time.
The third is the most elusive, it is the ability of Hawkins to determine the odds of certain attributes, which include probability of defeat, success, evasion and lastly death.
Why is this relevant? It hasn’t been yet stated how this ability works and we finally are in the arc were Basil Hawkins is relevant. It is also the same arc in which almost certainly the truth about Zoro’s eye will be revealed. He will have to go all out and if his eye has an ability it will be shown.
Luffy & Madame Shirley
It is to note that Madame Shirley’s ability is basically the same ability as future sight. The difference is that Luffy and Katakuri(for simplicity sake I will just say Luffy from now on) are not using a crystal ball, they are using Observation Haki to determine what will happen in the future. Madame Shirley on the other uses the crystal ball to find out what will happen next but that is the trick Oda is playing. Of course the crystal ball has not the ability to foresee the future and Madame Shirley believes it helps in her fortune telling. It is just a crux of her and not the source of her ability. We can see this in the “prophecy” she is making about the human with the straw hat.
She first sees the destruction of Fishman Island in her crystal ball, then leaves her cafe and gets another vision of someone who looks like Luffy afterwards. Shirley sees in her head the image of the perpetrator.
Her natural talent in Observation Haki(we have seen this because she noticed that Luffy was the one who knocked out the 50.000 Fishmen while everyone else was in the dark) enables her to see for a very long time into the future, possible weeks and months. We have seen this phenomenon of being naturally versed in Haki with Big Mom already. Linlin was an Armament Haki Master from a very young age and without any training. Unless she is in shock and her haki is disabled(as we have seen with Observation Haki in Luffy vs Katakuri) her body is like a metal balloon.
There is precedent for this kind of explanation which can be applied to Observation Haki as well. Hell, the title of Big Mom’s flashback chapter is “natural born destroyer”. Another case is Aisa with her natural talent for Observation Haki which by extension justifies the same explanation for Shirley and her future sight. Though their is an apparent difference between Luffy and Shirley’s future sight that matters but with some scrutiny doesn’t hold up. It is the claim the Madame Shirley can for certainty determine the future while Luffy can alter it. This is a big problem if true but let’s see if Oda showed us how it actually works.
We get told from Camie that Madame Shirley foretold certain events, that include the war at Marineford, Whitebeard’s death and more. Why do people believe that she can’t alter the future? Well, the reason is that she didn’t try to change those events. If she would be another Whitebeard level person and help him survive she could, but she can’t and therefore didn’t attempt to do it. Just because she is powerless doesn’t mean she couldn’t change it in actuality. She was fed up in being unable to change something terrible to come and that is why she stopped doing it.
That is why it’s the same ability as future sight(Observation Haki) and it can be altered. The funniest thing is that Oda admits to her being able to change the future. Madame Shirley tried to stop the Straw Hats from destroying Fishman Island, she knows it can be changed or she wouldn’t have attempted to do so…the slickness of Oda is unreal. Now that we can explain Madame Shirley’s and Luffy’s ability to foresee the future we have to figure out the last candidate to make sense of this ability.
His ability isn’t haki for a certainty which I have finally realized what you probably did long ago. I was really thick about it and tried to incorporate Hawkins method of foretelling into my haki theories but he was always the odd guy(pun intended) out and his ability didn’t fit anywhere. I don’t know why I had such a hard time grasping this simple conclusion but Oda showed us exactly what is going on with his ability.
It is the game of the “straw man’s cards”, it is his devil fruit ability and not haki that enables him to determine the odds, which makes perfect sense because Hawkins didn’t enter the new world yet and comes from one of the four oceans. We have only seen tribes and Grand Line players use haki.
His cards can literally alter reality by them killing his own crew mates for a better card. Hawkins even explains that a greater risk (lower odds to success in one area) will give him greater (higher odds to success in another area) chances to surpass his own limits. This proves that he isn’t using haki but his devil fruit to determine the odds. He is playing cards god damn it, of course he is figuring out the odds with his cards that are his devil fruit ability. So the only way to foresee the future is observation haki but their is another truth to observation haki which hasn’t been revealed yet. We entered Wano and right of the bat a long awaited mystery was revealed. We just had to look and yes, pun intended.
Believe it or not, we have seen what Zoro’s eye can do in action. Zoro stood “trial” and was accused of being a murderer. He has no way of knowing who the murderer is and there are witnesses who claim that Zoro was the culprit.
From his perspective he should understand that the judge can’t decide any other way. People are claiming he is the murderer and he even has the National Treasure of Wano. They want him to commit seppuku and give him a honorable death but then something very strange happens. We see the moment were Zoro finds something out that he can’t know. Look at the exact panel where Zoro realizes that this guy is the actual killer.
It was the exact moment were he opened his left eye and Oda cleverly put the sword over it so we can’t see it. He finds out who the true killer is and gives us even his thought process. “I smell blood…” So someone is the true killer here. “You…” Zoro sees that the judge is the killer and than he asks the question “You’re the actual killer, aren’t ya?”. The other party doesn’t respond but Zoro cuts him down anyways. Zoro doesn’t just kill somebody because maybe, especially when they were told to lay low and he could just escape. Being willing to kill people(we know Zoro doesn’t mind killing bad guys) is different than murdering someone because of a guess. He knows something he can’t possible know unless his eye gives him the ability to determine truth in some sense.
It hasn’t been stated yet if this is a curse, Observation Haki or whatever but what makes believe that this is Observation Haki is because Zoro didn’t had one of his swords with him. Oda made it seem like his ability is a kin to Mihawk, who probably doesn’t have a cursed blade. It resembles the ability of Mihawk’s eyes who we know has amazing Observation Haki and is able to follow seemingly any movement.
Hell, this might be even the reason why Oda gave us the internal monologue of Mihawk, someone who has the ability to determine truth.
Others never mention this ability but Mihawk sees Luffy for the 2nd time and determines exactly what makes Luffy dangerous. It follows weirdly the same kind of thought process with Zoro and the killer. We have precedent that you can alter the appearance of things with the usage of haki.
So by extension it is possibly that with prolonged usage of Observation Haki you can manifest a black circle in your eyes. Funnily enough this was explained by MIHAWK to ZORO, the two people who seem to posses these eyes. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
Oda is clearly conscious of Mihawk’s eyes and showed them to us as a kid. He didn’t posses his iconic hawk eyes yet which indicates that he acquired them later in age through some kind of process.One can even go so far as to state that this is the way Imu stays in power.
Im-sama knows if someone is lying and those who aren’t 100% loyal and close to him are killed. One can take it very far but I don’t want to speculate too heavily here. It is just to state that Observation Haki can enable you too see truths without the opposite party being even aware of it as we have seen with Zoro. It probably manifests in ones eyes and that is why Zoro’s closed eye was covered right when he determined that the judge is the murderer.
*Theory by Donal D. Trump