Future Events Contra Zoro vs King

What will Zoro do after he recovers?


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Dr_Professor83

Unlicensed Plague Physician
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#1
Courtesy of @Cinera


Contra Zoro vs King
Disclaimer
As usual, I tag a lot of people for my posts. If you want to be removed from my tag lists, let me know. Likewise, if you want to be added.


Introduction
It seems to be taken for granted by the majority of the fanbase that Zoro will fight King after his recovery:


I was slightly leaning towards Zoro vs King for the last month or two, but I've reconsidered my position after extensive discussion with others. I now think Zoro probably wouldn't fight King, but I'm only weakly confident (51% - 55%). Normally such low confidence in a position would not merit a thread, but given how the position I think to be incorrect (however unsure I may be) is the majority opinion, I feel sort of obligated to refute it.

The post is going to be long (3,000+ words and 37 images), so buckle in.

The post will be structured as follows:
  1. The most reasonable arguments for Zoro vs King and why I find them lacking.
  2. The case against Zoro vs King
  3. Conclusions
  4. Summary


Arguments for Zoro Vs King
There are six main arguments I'm aware of for Zoro vs King:
  1. The meta-narrative
  2. Zoro's current location
  3. The Beast Pirates are reserved for the Strawhats
  4. Zoro is done with Kaido
  5. King can be used to stall Zoro
  6. King can help Zoro improve his Haoshoku

I'll give a brief overview of each argument, and then explain my reservations with them.

#1: The meta narrative
King fits the archetype of Zoro's traditional arc opponents.
  • Archetype characteristics
    1. He's the strongest subordinate of the antagonist.
    2. He's a swordsman.
    3. He seems to share a rivalry with Sanji's opponent.
    4. He's overly serious.
  • Other examples:
    • Cabaji (2/4)
    • Daz Bones (4/4)
    • Kaku (3/4)
    • Ohm (2/4)
    • Ryuma (3/4)
    • Hyouzou (2/4)

I think this is a somewhat persuasive meta argument. However, no matter how compelling they are, such superficial similarities should not take precedence over an in story narrative. Zoro has no actual narrative with King and instead has quite the extensive (and unfinished) story with Kaido.

I feel that the disparity in narrative rules out King as being Zoro's main arc opponent. Thus the superficial similarities to Zoro's prior arc opponents are not convincing. That said, I could see King taking the role of a minor opponent for Zoro akin to Ryuma.

#2: Zoro's Current Location
Some believe that Zoro was only brought to the Live Floor to face King. If Oda intended for Zoro to face Kaido, why not leave him on the Rooftop? It makes no sense to send Zoro below the Rooftop and then send him right back up to the Rooftop. That would be needlessly convoluted.

I disagree with the two main claims of the above argument.

Zoro wasn't sent below the Rooftop just to face King (if that is indeed what Oda was planning), but also — primarily — to receive healing:


Whether Zoro is fighting King or not, Oda would have still sent him to Chopper's location for treatment. Chopper's role for the remainder of the arc seems to be overseeing Zoro's recovery.

As for the convolutedness of sending Zoro below the Rooftop for treatment then sending him back to the Rooftop, I don't see it as a stumbling block? Oda's handling of Yamato vs Kaido was far more convoluted:
  • Yamato was running around with Momonosuke for nearly 20 chapters.
  • Kaido was on the Rooftop for that duration.
    • Oda deliberately avoided Yamato trying to head to the Rooftop when Kaido was on it.
  • Yamato wants to fight Kaido.
  • Kaido wants to kill Momonosuke.
  • Yamato separates from Momonosuke to head to the Rooftop.
  • Immediately after, Kaido goes to kill Momonosuke while Yamato heads to an empty Rooftop.
    • If Yamato had remained with Momonosuke she would have encountered Kaido.
    • If Kaido had remained on the Rooftop he would have encountered Yamato.
  • Yamato challenges Kaido from the Rooftop.
  • Kaido flies back to the Rooftop and their battle begins.

The sheer convolutedness of Yamato vs Kaido seriously undermines any argument along the lines of: "It makes no sense to send Zoro below the Rooftop and then send him right back up to the Rooftop". At least Zoro being sent below the Rooftop was a requirement for his healing.

#3: Marco Cannot Defeat King
The most reasonable argument against Marco vs King I've seen is that Marco cannot defeat King because the Beast Pirate Executives are reserved for the Strawhats.

I think this argument is just plain wrong as I'm pretty confident that Inuarashi will be the one to defeat Jack. Oda showed Inuarashi vs Jack alongside Franky vs Sasaki and Jimbe vs Who's Who, with all three fights featuring the subordinates interfering with our heroes.

We later saw the converted Gifters deal with the interfering subordinates and free up both Jimbe and Inuarashi to deal with their respective opponents:


I think Inuarashi is meant to be Jack's main matchup. This debunks this entire argument.

There may be other reasons one has to oppose Marco vs King, but I don't think any has been articulated clearly (persuasively?) enough that I feel the need to refute them. If one is presented, I may add it to this section in the future.

#4: Zoro is Done With Kaido
The argument is that Zoro's story with Kaido has completed. In Chapter 1010 Luffy asked Zoro (and Law) to leave matters to him, and declared that no matter what, he will defeat Kaido:

Later in Chapter 1012, Zoro reaffirmed Luffy's declaration and declared that Luffy will definitely prevail:

Zoro has already entrusted the battle with Kaido to Luffy and has no business fighting Kaido anymore.


I think this is an actually persuasive argument (especially as it has ample basis in the manga) but remain unconvinced. The crux of my disagreement is that Zoro has a lot of unfinished business with Kaido, and I do not believe that Oda will leave those plot threads unresolved. As such, I simply cannot accept the conclusion, regardless of how persuasive the argument initially appears to be.

If Zoro's unfinished business with Kaido is to be resolved — and I'm moderately confident it will be — then Zoro is going to confront Kaido again.

#5: King can be used to stall Zoro
The story does not need Zoro to fight Kaido right now:
  • Yamato is currently stalling Kaido.
    • Thus, Zoro is not needed to fulfil the role of stalling Kaido.
  • Yamato stated that she would hold back Kaido until Luffy returns.
    • She'll probably succeed at that.
  • Yamato and Kaido's battle needs privacy due to their personal relationship.
    • It's unlikely that Zoro will interfere.

As such, something will be needed to occupy Zoro in the interim. Given that Zoro is on a time limit when he recovers, he'll likely immediately jump to fighting, and after Kaido, King is the most suitable opponent.

While King can be used to stall Zoro, I don't think he will be needed to fill this role. Chapter 1017 featured Chopper and Miyagi decide to administer the ultra regenerative medicine to Zoro. The effects of the medicine and Zoro's actual recovery can take as long as Oda needs it to. There is no real guarantee that Zoro will be fully recovered within the next 5 chapters, and to be honest I do not expect him to be. It seems that Chopper's role for the rest of the arc will be Zoro's treatment:



So I don't really expect this to be completed quickly.

Furthermore, Zoro and Luffy were shown receiving treatment in the same chapter:


If this was deliberate (and if it continues), then Zoro will return to action at the same time as Luffy (this may be after Yamato and/or King have been defeated).

If Oda takes the long route with Zoro's recovery, then King will not be needed (and may be unable) to stall Zoro.

#6: King can help Zoro improve his Haoshoku
Last but not least, I (and others) have floated the argument that a battle with King might help Zoro learn (or further refine) the ability to clad himself and his weapons with Haoshoku. Zoro seemed unaware that he used Haoshoku against Kaido in 1010:


His words to Sanji reinforce that it is an ability that he is himself unaware of:

I am not against Zoro getting a hang of Advanced Haoshoku before challenging Kaido again, but:
  • Zoro's next major power-up has been hinted to be Blackening Enma and not Advanced Haoshoku per se:
    • Blackening Enma (if it happens this arc) would happen against Kaido.
  • Kaido offers Zoro a much better opportunity to refine his Haoshoku further as haki blooms in the height of combat:
[*]Zoro has indicated an urgency to return to combat (presumably against Kaido), and so probably wouldn't take a training detour:


Against Zoro vs King
In this section, I would like to cover the main arguments that have dissuaded me from Zoro vs King. I also recommend that you see this wonderful post by @spawn.

There are four main arguments:
  1. A lack of narrative for Zoro vs King
  2. A lack of reason for Zoro vs King
  3. A lack of purpose for Zoro vs King
  4. A lack of setup for Zoro vs King


A Lack of Narrative
There is no narrative tying Zoro and King together. By itself, this isn't such a critical stumbling block as Zoro has fought several opponents with whom he has no narrative. However, when you factor in Zoro's extensive and unfinished narrative with Kaido, it becomes a compelling argument against the match.

Why should Zoro fight King — with whom he has no story — when his story with Kaido has not yet been completed?

Furthermore, most other Executives battles had a narrative that made the fight meaningful, beyond just being a battle between a member of the Alliance and one of Kaido's Executives.

Robin and Black Maria
Black Maria wanted to capture Robin for Kaido:



Jimbe vs Who's Who
Who's Who was introduced as someone who recognised Jimbe from his time as a Warlord, and whose true identity was of some importance:

Inuarashi vs Jack
Jack wanted to settle his grudge with the minks and get revenge, warning Black Maria not to intervene:

Inuarashi decided to engage Jack to prevent him from making any more victims:

Queen vs Sanji
Queen vs Sanji was first set up when it was revealed that Queen had some connection to Sanji's biological father (Judge).

We, later on, learn that Queen and Judge were part of the same research group (MADS):


The fight would serve to conclude Sanji's unresolved plotline with the Vinsmokes and offer him the opportunity to fully acknowledge his name and heritage, something that he commended Momonosuke for doing:

Given how most other Executive fights had some narrative backing them up, the abject lack of a narrative for Zoro vs King really undermines the credibility of that particular matchup.


A Lack of Reason
Narrative aside, there's no actual in story or character consistent reason for Zoro to fight King:
  • Zoro doesn't want to fight King.
    • King also doesn't want to fight Zoro.
  • Zoro does not need to fight King.
    • King is currently fighting Marco and has no freedom to interfere with Zoro.

There have been no interactions between Zoro and King. The one time Zoro and King were featured in the same chapter, Zoro completely ignored King and showed him no more regard than he did Queen:

As a matter of fact, Zoro has had more interactions with Queen than he has with King.

Queen held Zoro's bounty poster while mentioning the need to take out the top fighters of the Strawhat Pirates:

Zoro cut Queen's Gatling Gun, then declared that he had no time to waste with Queen's games:

The abject lack of any real interaction between Zoro and King seriously undermines the validity of the matchup for me.


A Lack of Purpose
From a meta perspective, there's no actual purpose to a Zoro vs King fight:
  • A Zoro vs King battle accomplishes nothing for Zoro.
    • Zoro already knows how to cut fire.
    • King is not the strongest swordsman on Onigashima (that's Linlin).
    • Zoro is unlikely to grow stronger through fighting King, as so far, Oda has made Zoro look like the much more formidable combatant.
    • As far as we're aware, King has no connection to Zoro's backstory.
  • A Zoro vs King fight accomplishes nothing for the story.
    • Marco is available to defeat King, so Zoro isn't needed.
    • A king fight isn't even needed to stall Zoro before he returns to the Rooftop, as his recovery can take as long as Oda chooses.

  • An example of a fight that has a purpose would be Queen and Sanji:
    • Fighting Queen would provide an avenue to explore Judge's history in more detail.
    • Fighting Queen would provide an avenue for Sanji to become much stronger.
      • Considering the outcome of Sanji's brief clash with King, even with his Raid Suit, he's considerably below the likes of the Calamities.
      • Sanji could learn how to fully maximise the capabilities of his Raid Suit and combine it with his Diable Jambe and/or (potential) Vinsmoke enhancements.
    • Fighting Queen would provide an avenue for Sanji to accept his Vinsmoke heritage, completing his unresolved story from Whole Cake Island.
      • Sanji commended Momonosuke for boldly declaring his Kozuki name:
      • Might Sanji also boldly declare his name as "Vinsmoke Sanji" and fully accept Germa's power?

The lack of a compelling meta-purpose to Zoro vs King is another reason I'm doubtful of the fight; what is the point of Zoro fighting King?


A Lack of Setup
There is still no setup for Zoro to fight King, and I'm starting to get worried that we're at a point where it may be too late to do so.

I think we've moved past the stage of setting up the Executives fights, and we're now at the part where the Executives begin to fall in quick succession. As such, I think the Executives matchups we're seeing currently are the final matchups.

The reason I believe the setup phase is over is due to the progression of the Executives' fights over the last ~3 chapters:
  • 1015:
    • Start of Queen vs Sanji
    • The last Executive fight to be set up (?)
    • Setup for Yamato vs Kaido
  • 1016:
    • Events
      • Ulti is defeated.
      • Ulti and Pay Pay's defeats are announced.
      • Beast Pirates fodder ask if they are going to lose.
      • Start of Yamato vs Kaido.
    • The Executives begin to fall.
  • 1017
    • Events
      • Stragglers are removed from the Executives' battles:
        • Jimbe vs Who's Who
          • Who's Who transforms into his Hybrid form
        • Sasaki vs Franky
        • Inuarashi vs Jack
      • All these fights properly begin in this chapter.
      • Queen transforms into Hybrid.
        • Proper start of Sanji vs Queen.
      • 4 battles intensified in this chapter with 2 Hybrid reveals and 3 battles seeing the stragglers removed.
    • The Executives battles really pick up.
  • 1018:
    • Events
      • Jimbe vs Who's Who
        • Who's Who's apparent defeat
    • Chapter dedicated to an Executive fight
    • Another Executive is defeated (?)

If Who's Who is confirmed to truly be defeated in 1019, then it would reinforce my position that we've moved past the setup phase.


What's Next for Zoro?
I think that Zoro is going to have another confrontation with Kaido. Zoro has a lot of unfinished business with Kaido, and I addressed that in a dedicated thread.

I don't want to rehash either of those two threads here (this is way too long already), but suffice it to say that there's been no closure to the following scenes, and such closure is best delivered through another encounter between Zoro and Kaido.


Yasuie's Declaration
At his execution, Yasuie declared that for 20 years no one has been able to take Kaido's head, Zoro heard him and called out to him:


Kaido is yet alive.


Enma
Hitetsu suggested that Zoro might surpass Oden, and forge Enma into a kokuto:

Enma is still not yet black.


Kaido and Oden
Kaido despairs that never again shall a monster samurai of Oden's calibre appear before him:

Kaido has still not yet recognised the existence of a monster samurai of Oden's calibre.


Zoro's Declaration
Zoro had an entire character arc in Onigashima about his desire to face Kaido in combat. This character arc culminated in an earth-shattering declaration that he came to cut down Kaido:

Zoro has still not yet cut down Kaido.



Conclusions
At this point, I think Zoro probably doesn't fight King. I'm not really aware of any strong arguments in favour of the fight, and there are several arguments that I find compelling against the fight.

I find Marco to be a more compelling candidate as King's opponent. I'll make the argument for Marco vs King some other time.


Summary
To summarise what I've said above:
  1. The arguments in favour of Zoro vs King suck:
  2. There are strong arguments against Zoro vs King.
    • There is no narrative tying Zoro and King together.
    • There's no actual in story or character consistent reason for Zoro to fight King
    • From a meta perspective, there's no actual purpose to a Zoro vs King fight
    • There is still no setup for Zoro vs King, and we may have moved past the setup phase for the Executives' fights.
  3. When Zoro returns to action, it will be for another confrontation with Kaido.


 
#5
Zoro isn’t going to fight Kaido without Luffy, Kaidos main opponent is and always will be Luffy.

Luffys destined to defeat him, he’ll get the last hit, he’ll do the most damage, he’ll get the most credit. Zoro isn’t going to go up to Kaido and leave the same impression on him Luffy does.

Zoro will fight king for the time being since he’s getting the ultra recovery medicine Luffy isn’t.
 
#7
So how do we address that this whole thread lies on a false dichotomy in which Zoro either has to fight King or Kaido, excluding facing both of them, having a short yet important role against the emperor, etc.?
Well its not false dichotomy... Its just fallacious and baseless opinion of zoro vs king...


Zoro honestly after this development wouldn't fight against anyone except for the parameters set in the plot for zoro vs King and Kaido where the argument strongly leans towards zoro and Kaido facing off

As i said facing king will be of no perk or profit to zoro's character... especially seeing his condition and relying over a ephemeral drug..

Its mind boggling to assume that zoro will waste his final moments in wano doing unproductive, anticlimactic side plot crap... Or even fight King.. Seeing his goal was to fight and dice Kaido.
 
#9
Well its not false dichotomy... Its just fallacious and baseless opinion of zoro vs king...


Zoro honestly after this development wouldn't fight against anyone except for the parameters set in the plot for zoro vs King and Kaido where the argument strongly leans towards zoro and Kaido facing off

As i said facing king will be of no perk or profit to zoro's character... especially seeing his condition and relying over a ephemeral drug..

Its mind boggling to assume that zoro will waste his final moments in wano doing unproductive, anticlimactic side plot crap... Or even fight King.. Seeing his goal was to fight and dice Kaido.
Edit: the whole point of the drug woukd go to dump if zoro does side plot crap... The fact that he got drugged should set high expectations and thrilling /suspenseful possibilities for the character.. Not anticlimactic Bs lol
 
#12
Well its not false dichotomy... Its just fallacious and baseless opinion of zoro vs king...


Zoro honestly after this development wouldn't fight against anyone except for the parameters set in the plot for zoro vs King and Kaido where the argument strongly leans towards zoro and Kaido facing off

As i said facing king will be of no perk or profit to zoro's character... especially seeing his condition and relying over a ephemeral drug..

It mind boggling to assume that zoro will waste his final moments in wano doing unproductive, anticlimactic side plot crap... Or even fight King.. Seeing his goal was to fight and dice Kaido.
"Anticlimatic side plot crap" is quite subjective here; considering that Zoro will never, ever be more important in this story than Luffy and that Luffy promised to take Kaido down way before Zoro had it in mind or developed any kind or conflict against him, what I'd consider anticlimatic would be Zoro entering a versus he's bound to be eclipsed in by his captain as his only task left in Wano.
 
#14
So how do we address that this whole thread lies on a false dichotomy in which Zoro either has to fight King or Kaido, excluding facing both of them, having a short yet important role against the emperor, etc.?
cuz nothing left for zoro other than king or kaidou

every bigshot of Beast pirates is busy with someone .
also sanji is fighting queen and zoro should not fight less than queen which leave onle king or kaidou .
----

yeah for now zoro may not face or fight those 2
for ex his next plot is to destroy the island before it land on the capital , then after that its the same king or kaidou cuz the island will not knock zoro down .
 
#16
"Anticlimatic side plot crap" is quite subjective here; considering that Zoro will never, ever be more important in this story than Luffy and that Luffy promised to take Kaido down way before Zoro had it in mind or developed any kind or conflict against him, what I'd consider anticlimatic would be Zoro entering a versus he's bound to be eclipsed in by his captain as his only task left in Wano.
You're Pre supposing the fact that zoro won't fight Kaido with Luffy and others..so from that perspective both of their motive converge
 
#17
cuz nothing left for zoro other than king or kaidou

every bigshot of Beast pirates is busy with someone .
also sanji is fighting queen and zoro should not fight less than queen which leave onle king or kaidou .
----

yeah for now zoro may not face or fight those 2
for ex his next plot is to destroy the island before it land on the capital , then after that its the same king or kaidou cuz the island will not knock zoro down .
No, no, the false dichotomy I'm referring is why the thread assumes it has to be King OR Kaido, not both of them at different points and degrees during what's left of Wano. Obviously the minimum he should get is King.
 
#20
It’s existence in general is unrealistic and broken. The drug is designed to allow the minks to continue fighting so having it last the whole night makes sense for the drug
If yes then zoro's fight better last for the whole night
Post automatically merged:

...I'm not? Indeed my first post here was pointing at the false dichotomy of the thread, implying I'm open to Zoro fighting Kaido in some way (whether with Luffy only or with more people).
No thats not what i meant, i meant zoro fighting with Luffy... Not solo.. Since what you said depicted that Luffy should be the primary fighter against Kaido without zoro being secondary
 
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