Speculations A Look at Inherited Will in the Land of Wano (ZKK: Part 1)

(Poll questions are in the OP)

  • Q1: Yes

  • Q1: No

  • Q2: Yes

  • Q2: No

  • Q3: Yes

  • Q3: No

Results are only viewable after voting.


𝐀𝐬𝐩𝐒𝐫𝐒𝐧𝐠 𝐌𝐚𝐬𝐜𝐑𝐞𝐧𝐧𝐲 𝐏𝐞𝐭
@Zenos7 and @KiriNigiri have my gratitude for their direct assistance with the panels. I also want to than @Garp the Fist for his Grand Wano Death Compilation thread; several of my panels were directly lifted from them. Finally, @Light D Lamperouge has my gratitude for helping stitch the panels together and somehow stay within the 40 image limit.

This essay would not be possible without their enthusiastic support.

I tag a lot of people from my posts. If you want to be removed from my tag lists, let me know. Likewise if you want to be added.

There seems to have been a lot of confusion in regards to some recent events in the manga. I decided to make a thread to clear up some of that confusion.

Inherited will is a major theme in the world of One Piece. The Pirate King Gol D. Roger spoke of inherited will in a famous speech:

It's so important that it was featured as the cover of the landmark Chapter 100. It's played a role at other times in the story (Sabo inheriting Ace's will was a significant sub theme of Dressrosa's), but it has been very prominent in Wano.

The Unfulfilled Will of Oden
Most of the narrative around inherited will in the Land of Wano has to do with Oden (Ace's will to defeat Kaido, inherited by Luffy is another major narrative around inherited will, but it's not my main interest, so I'll leave it out for the sake of brevity).

The will of Oden was to Slay Kaido:

And to open the borders of Wanokuni:

This will was left unfulfilled at the time of Oden's death. However, long before then, Oden told us he will find a way to pass on his will:

And that his soul (will) would live on:

As I show in the coming section, he was able to successfully pass on his will.

The Inherited Will of the Scabbards
The Scabbards inherited Oden's will to Slay Kaido:

And to Open Wano's Borders:

They resolved themselves to die so that they may fulfill Oden's will:

Alas, they were unable to fulfill Oden's will and could only lament their failure:

It seems the Scabbards were fated from the very beginning to fail in fulfilling Oden's will:

This notion of predestined failure would show up again later:

Interlude: Swords and Inherited Will
Swords also inherit the will of their previous wielders. They give strength to their comrades and enable them destroy their enemies:

The weapons of Wano inherited the will to continue the battle with the Beast Pirates:

The Inherited Will of Enma
Now that it has been established that swords also inherit the will of their wielders, it is time to ask what the inherited will of Enma might be. The very introduction of Enma provides us with an answer:

Enma's introduction emphasised that it gave Kaido his lone grievous scar. The editor's footnote of "Inherited Will...!!" helpfully pointed out that by receiving Enma Zoro was inheriting the will to fell Kaido.

At Yasuie's execution, that no one has been able to fulfill Oden's will to slay Kaido was mentioned with special focus given to Zoro:

This may have been highlighting how Zoro has taken up the mantle of that unfulfilled will of Oden's.

Since the raid began, Zoro has expressed the desire to fight Kaido on numerous occasions. The below collage contains all the occasions I'm aware of:

Even as the battle on the rooftop has progressed, Enma has been specially highlighted above all of Zoro's weapons:
  • After Zoro's Rengoku Onigiri failed to do as much damage as he wanted, Zoro commented that he needed to "unleash this Enma" more:
  • When Zoro deflected Kaido's demolition Gust, Enma was his weapon of choice:
  • When Zoro moved to strike Kaido down with his Hiryuu Kaen, he once again chose Enma as his weapon of choice:
  • Big Mom warned Kaido to dodge Zoro's attack, commenting that Enma was "no ordinary sword":

The special focus on Enma throughout this arc has been because of the will it inherited.

Zoro's use of Enma for Hiryuu Kaen in particular has very deep symbolic meaning. Hiryuu Kaen was the attack Zoro used to defeat Ryuuma:

Zoro's posture while executing Hiryuu Kaen was a perfect mirror of Ryuuma's when he slew a dragon:

Zoro mirrored β€” and was about to replicate if not for Mama's timely warning β€” Ryuma's feat of Dragon Slaying with the blade whose will it was to slay Kaido. It serves as foreshadowing for Zoro properly replicating the legend over the Flower Capital.

Inherited Will Made Manifest
Over the course of the Onigashima raid, there's been a theme of the visage of Oden made apparent in those who inherited his will.

The Scabbards
When the Scabbards first struck Kaido, he sees the visage of Oden:

The scar he recieved from Oden began to throb:

Kaido was astounded and questioned why the Scabbards could pierce him, wondering if they also used Oden's Ryuo:

When the scabbards cut him, he was insulted that they could hurt him β€” samurai who did not measure up at all to Oden:

Kaido further tells the Scabbards that in them he saw the visage of Kozuki Oden:

As such, he could have let them kill him (fulfilling Oden's will):

With each throb of his scar he remembers Oden:

He boldly declares that they are not Oden, that never again shall a "monster samurai" of his likes appear:

He laments that they don't even have enough power to open up his old scar, concluding that they cannot do it:
(Here, doing it refers to killing him).

Kaido's dismissal of the samurai as failing to measure up to Oden, and not being worthy bearers of his mantle ties into the earlier point about predestined failure. The Scabbards are simply not fated to be the ones to fulfill Oden's will. Only a "monster samurai" of the likes of Kozuki Oden can fulfill Oden's will.

Roronoa Zoro and Enma
In chapter 1002 When Zoro prepares his Hiryuu Kaen, Kaido immediately takes notice of Enma and we see a closeup of Kaido's face with fear evident:

Kaido then comments that he senses Oden's presence in Zoro's sword:

In Chapter 1003 he notices a "strange haki" arising from Zoro's katana:

He once again gets a special feeling and finally notices that Zoro wields Oden's sword:

Might Zoro be the "monster samurai" that is fated to fulfill Oden's will? It seems plausible. Kaido's reaction to Zoro cutting him was very different from his reaction to the Scabbards.

Kaido was impressed, and commented that Zoro would counter his Tatsumaki with another Tatsumaki:

Kaido challenges Zoro by responding with a (presumably) even more powerful attack: "Tatsumaki: Gale of Destruction":

When next we see Kaido, he is greatly having fun fighting the Supernova and uses his Hybrid mode:

Before and after, only one man in the land of Wano was able to tame Enma:

Zoro has now replicated that feat that only Oden could accomplish:
(He may have not yet fully mastered it, but he's capable of adequately using the blade without turning into a husk).

Accomplishing a task that only Oden was able to accomplish sets up Zoro to be that "monster Samurai" of the likes of Oden.

Aside from failing to slay Kaido, before his death, Oden was unable to turn Enma Black. Hitetsu suggested that Zoro might accomplish that task Oden left unfulfilled by forging Enma into a Kokuto:

The set up to blacken Enma when Oden was unable to foreshadows that Zoro will surpass Oden. If Zoro is to surpass Oden by making Enma Black, then he seems to be best positioned to fulfill Oden's will. A "monster samurai" even beyond the likes of Kozuki Oden.

If I'm right that Zoro is the "monster samurai" that shall fulfill Oden's will, then I would expect the following to happen:
  • During the battle, Kaido would praise Zoro specifically (separately from praise given to the other Supernova)
  • During the battle, Kaido would explicitly acknowledge Zoro as a samurai on par with Oden
  • During the battle, Kaido would express joy in combat against Zoro and hope for him. That if it is Zoro, perhaps he could do it.

Interlude: P0ll
There are a few questions for the p0ll:
  1. Do you agree that Oden's Will is to Slay Kaido and Open Wano's Borders?
  2. Do you agree that Enma (& Zoro) inherited Oden's will to Slay Kaido?
  3. Do you agree that Zoro is the "monster samurai" that shall fulfill Oden's will?

A summary of my arguments above from all of the above are:
  • Oden's will is to Slay Kaido and Open Wano's Borders
  • The Scabbards and Enma (and by extension Zoro) inherited Oden's will
    • This is why Kaido saw the visage of Kozuki Oden when the Scabbards attacked him
    • This is why Kaido felt Oden's presence in Zoro's sword
  • The Scabbards were predestined for failure and were left unable to fulfill Oden's will
  • Only a "monster samurai" of the likes of Oden could fulfill his will
    • Zoro is that "monster samurai"
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𝐀𝐬𝐩𝐒𝐫𝐒𝐧𝐠 𝐌𝐚𝐬𝐜𝐑𝐞𝐧𝐧𝐲 𝐏𝐞𝐭
Good thread as usual
Are you gonna update your zoro attack list because of the spoilers?
I haven't seen spoilers yet. But man, I have 178 alerts to go through.

I'll deal with that, then check out the spoilers.

OT: I think I like hiding poll questions in the OP. It's very annoying when I spend half a dozen hours on an essay and people comment or vote without even reading it.

Hiding poll questions should mitigate that somewhat.
Oda does not sideline Luffy entirely. this is expected.

Zoro gets the storyline with Hiyori, Hitetsu, Yasuie and O-Toko.
Luffy gets the storyline with Momonosuke, Hyogoro, Yamato and O-Tama.
both are emotionally invested.

this is the first time in OP were a different character than Luffy meets the "princess" of the arc, befriends old relevant people and makes a promise to help them. and also, carry on the will of someone else. in this case, Oden.
this is normally exclusive to Luffy.

its not shared either. Oda has given Luffy a similar path instead of making them overlap (except for Odens will, Momo/Hiyori/Yamato).


𝐀𝐬𝐩𝐒𝐫𝐒𝐧𝐠 𝐌𝐚𝐬𝐜𝐑𝐞𝐧𝐧𝐲 𝐏𝐞𝐭
I just want to say, that was a great read.

Thanks for the hard work.
You're welcome. πŸ˜‹

I'll write Part 2 that focuses on Ryuma sometime later this month. Maybe during a break week.
Zoro's glory ends in dealing deadly slashes to Kod D. Oh, inherits the Samurai's will (from Swordsman to Samurai), and be the strong vice-captain to aid Luffy no matter.

Opening Wano Borders and Oden's will lives in Luffy.

Zoro is the tank and heavy hitter
Luffy carries all the wills.
On the topic of inherited will items and swords in one piece inherit the will of their previous owners just a few examples:
- Chopper and dr kuriha inherited dr hilulks will through his sakuras and has completed his dream and will to have sakura blossom in his country.
- Luffy inherited the king of pirates will, And his hat, Coincidence ? I dont think so, Rogers hat probably inherited his will and found its way to luffy who can carry on with his will.

Back to the topic of Zoro and his sword, Oden is not that special in this case, Because it seems all of Zoros had a will in a way or another:

-Wado ichimoni inherited kuinas will to be the strongest swordmen in the world and Zoro carrying that will.
-Sandai Kitetsu had to accept Zoro and was a cursed sword that harmed previous owners until Zoro held it, In that way that Sword had a will to be carried by someone worthy.
-Yubashiri was only given to Zoro after its owner seen Zoro's display of Skill and courage, In a way it inherited its the will of its owner to be owned by a skillful swordman
-Shusui, Inherited ryumas will, And ryumas corpse told Zoro that the sword it self would want Zoro to be its owner, Shusui inherited ryumas will and with being with Zoro it made its way back to ryumas hometown and fulfilled its wish.

Thats the same with enma, Enma choose Zoro and accepted him because he will and can carry its will, To slay down Kaido

Do you understand now Zoro deniers? Zoro didnt pick up enma, Enma picked Zoro
It was Enma who choose Zoro and nobody else
Because Enma knows the only one who could carry on with Her previous owners will(oden) is Zoro himself
Very nice post. There are even more examples of the inherited will. It's one of the main themes in the series actually. Dunno if I was the only one, but at the moment Kaido was revealed to be a dragon for the first time (well now he's more like a fish judging by the name of his DF but you get my point nonetheless lmao) I remembered that scene of Zoro beheading an artificial dragon at Punk Hazard. At that moment, I came into the conclusion that Zoro would play a very important role in Kaido's fight and thus far this seems to be the case.

It doesn't really matter if you love, hate or are indifferent towards Zoro, it's undeniable that he's going to play a very important role in this fight. Oda wouldn't do all this build-up for anything. To like it or not is a different story though. That depends on Oda's execution and on the perspective of each reader.

To answer the questions quickly: Yes on all. Although on the third, it should be noted that bringing down Kaido will a collective effort and by no means it will be something that will be fulfilled by Zoro alone, far from it IMO.