Character Discussion Ace and Yamato

Was Yamato in love with Ace?

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Courtesy of Cinera.

Yamato's meeting with Ace four years ago has been the most significant event in the last decade of her life. It left a profound impact on her, and even in the course of her entire 28 years, it's probably second only to witnessing Kozuki Oden's execution.

I'd like to deconstruct their relationship and assess the impact it had on Yamato.

If you're interested, here's an Imgur album containing the complete flashback:

What Ace Meant to Yamato
Ace is the only person that Yamato has ever called friend:

Momonosuke questions her use of the word "friend", and Yamato reaffirms it.

Ace was Yamato's first — and only — friend.

Unless, I'm mistaken we've only evermostly seen Yamato smiling when Ace is involved.

When she states that Luffy reminds her of Ace:

When she reminisces about Ace to Momonosuke:

When Ace tells her about the rookie Supernova that are making names for themselves, she is filled with glee:

When Ace tells her about Luffy's true dream, she cries tears of joy for those are the same words the Pirate King said:

She laughs as she tells Ace that she bets he and Luffy would have gotten along well with Roger:

When she says goodbye to Ace, she looks really happy. She hopes that it's not the last time she sees him and trusts that they would meet up again some day:

She trusts that Ace would live up to his promise and come back for her later in the future.

Yamato believed that Ace was the star of the next generation, and the one who Oden was waiting for:

Ace's Friendship With Yamato
After they reconciled, Ace and Yamato partied together:

Ace shared his love and pride for Luffy with Yamato:

Yamato teased him about it:

Ace got so caught up in his excitement that he even went as far as sharing Luffy's dream with Yamato:

They got along so well, that Ace asked her to set sail with him:

Yamato made him his Vivre Card, and they agreed that they'll meet up again in future:

Ace's Impact on Yamato
Ace saved Yamato. Yamato had been a caged bird all her life, and it was through her meeting with Ace that she began to dream of flight.

Ace told Yamato not to let Kaido shackle her heart as well:

In response, declared her desire to be free and destroyed the head of Kaido's dragon statue:

Said statue was a symbol of Kaido's power:

Ace affirmed her decision by melting the head so that it could never be put back together:

He declared that it would serve as his warning to Kaido until when next he returns:

Ace's words to Yamato bear tangible fruit four years later when Yamato confronts Kaido. She declares to Kaido that she has come to sever the chains that bind her to him:

The chapter was named after this declaration:

Yamato has been a Princess locked in a Tower all her life, and in Ace, she saw her Prince Charming. She believed that Ace would be the one to defeat Kaido:

Yamato's Yearning
Ace invited her to set sail with him, but Yamato had to reject his request because of the shackles that bound her:

Yamato swore to Ace that should she ever be freed from her shackles, she would set out to see as well:

Even though she had to deny this request, Yamato wanted so desperately to sail the seas with Ace:

To Yamato, Ace was her most important person. He was:
  • Her first and only friend.
  • The only one to make her smile.
  • Her saviour and hope.
  • The one she believed to be the saviour of the world.

Ace and Yamato were such good friends. Luffy and Yamato — Luffy and any other Strawhat really — haven't shown such a good rapport together.

This was by far my favourite flashback in the manga.

It really fleshed out Yamato as a person, and made me better able to empathise with her as another human being.