And the Razzie award goes to-
Though on a more serious note, this was a pretty good chapter just for how it raises the stakes on every front.
-Onigashima has finally hit Wano mainland.
-Two of the Scabbards are fatally wounded.
-Kaido begins his rampage on everyone now.
-Two of the strongest fighters on the alliance are out of commission.
Things are getting bad to worse. Kaido adds salt into the situation by claiming Luffy's total defeat. Once they hear the apparent deaths of two of the Scabbards, how will the greater forces handle it?
Morale is a key part in warfare, and Kaido seeks to crush it before claiming victory. He's made a habit of breaking the wills of those he fights and respects. And the Alliance is mostly composed of Samurai, whom Kaido reveres. He wants the force that are rallying behind Oden's ideals to be at his side, and uses the defeat of their strongest ally as leverage.
Or you can even say he's testing them, trying to separate the weak from the strong.
This chapter does a really good job of fleshing out Kiku in very subtle ways. Kiku cannot bear to strike at Oden, even a fake one for two reasons:
1. She is the youngest of the Scabbards, and sees Oden as more like a father than lord. There's more sentimentality at play here, and it's juxtaposed by Momo's relief of seeing his father.
2. Oden's death is still fresh on her mind. Remember that she and half of the Scabbards travelled through time. To them, Oden's death happened mere months ago.
Kiku is generally a gentle soul as well, preferring to live in peace and nurturing others. She still tries to uphold her Samurai responsibilities, such as finishing the job she started against Kanjuro. Needless to say, it takes more than physical abilities to be a warrior. Some things must be shed in order to see a mission through.
Kin'emon demonstrates that by ending Kanjuro and his illusions quickly in one of the best drawn slashes of the entire raid.
When Kaido emerged, he carried that resolve by facing him, though with devastating results.
Kin's fate is irrelevant, as it appears he's done for the rest of the arc. Though if he is dead, he passed on a Samurai Warrior.
Momo's headaches only ever happened when he communicated with Zunisha. There might be something lurking around Wano or Onigashima which responded to his demand that he should not die.
Momo must now understand the importance Yamato placed on him, stating he will bring " the dawn." This may go to explain why Yamato wants to become Oden. Oden's last wish was to help usher Joyboy's return.
Speaking of "becoming,"last thing I want to discuss: Kaido spoke about Luffy failing to be Joyboy. It sounds similar to Yamato's consistent proclamations of wanting to be Oden.
Kaido also says "either." He is most likely referring to Roger, the only Pirate King in existence.
However, Roger failed in carrying out whatever Joyboy left, citing as being "too early."
This is a clear case of inherited will, and it appears Kaido and Yamato both interpret inheriting someone's will as literally becoming that person. Why they think this is still unknown. But it is curious how much Kaido knows pertaining to the One Piece without having seen the treasure itself. There is only one source he could've gotten that from, and that's his former captain Xebec, a D himself, and the oldest one we know.
Drama aside, theory crafters are going to have a field day with this chapter.