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There's no gender but with the way it is phrased (i.e. clearly referring to two different people imo) and the context from the chapter, I think it's pretty clear that that Zoro is referring to Kuina. If Zoro was referring to Luffy, I think it'd have been phrased differently.
Also as a supplement, I watch quite a few JP OP youtubers and none read it as Zoro referring to Luffy but rather Kuina so I don't really think it's contentious/ambiguous.
Thanks a lot!!!
Maybe it will be Enma who will take the place of Sandai Kitetsu, considering that cursed swords do not really exist. And at the same time Zoro will get Shusui back.

Anyway, I'm pretty attached to Sandai Kitetsu and would be sorry if Zoro replaced it.
Absolutely. This chapter was moreso about highlighting the purpose of Enma in Zoro's growth. It makes the later revelations that much more exciting.

I don't know how much more Oda plans on delving into Kozaburo's past after this chapter, as most of the essential details were covered, save his reasons for leaving the country, that may be handled in a larger flashback of someone else's. Hopefully it is the extended Zoro/Shimotsuki flashback. Perhaps shedding light onto Yasu's relationship with Ushimaru, how Zoro made into the East Blue, Tashigi and Kuina's connection, and maybe a light look at Ryuma during his time.

It's exactly as I thought ever since Hitetsu revealed the creator of Enma. That sword is a legacy of the Shimotsuki, and it will be a Shimotsuki who puts it to best use by turning it black.

It was never about Oden or Hiyori, or goodness forbid, Zoro and Hiyori :sanjimeh:. It was about Zoro and his swords. Enma wishes to fight by Zoro's side, but not while he doubts himself, and its outbursts were a wakeup call for him. The key to becoming the strongest swordsman is to become one with the blade. And the Shimotsuki believe that most strongly, as they choose to bury themselves with their blades. It feels quite fitting that Ryuma's corpse was completely burned to ash, leaving only Shusui. A blade he marked with his will, his spirit.

And yeah, it's very akin to your story. It almost feels like Oda may have been stalking you for ideas. lol

Yeah, there is Loguetown, but I feel Punk Hazard was when she truly gained respect for him. Their first meeting was under the pretense they were both just sword enthusiasts, which washed away as soon she learned he was a Pirate. She couldn't separate him from other thugs who used swords for dishonorable purposes. And in Alabasta, she mostly let the Straw Hats go as it would be shameful to turn them in when she failed to put a stop to Crocodile and his plans.

She's still unaware that the two of them are more alike than she believes. But Zoro knows. lol

Nami playing matchmaker. I can totally see that. Reminds me of Kagome trying to hook up Sango and Miroku in Inuyasha.
The irony is that Hiyori fans thought that Zoro accepting Enma was like a successful marriage proposal. However, Oda completely turned around that interpretation and focused on Kuina/Tashigi family on two occasions.

I wonder if Oda or his editors pay attention to what we say. I mean that forum is very active for better or worse. I hope he watched Shang Chi too because the last chapter gave me similar vibes. Its fitting that Marimo tames Enma by using his youth and aggressive nature while Wado Ichimonji is the opposite. Mihawk's fighting style is the perfect combination of Zoro's power and Tashigi's grace.

I think Tashigi has always respected Zoro from Loguetown but she felt conflicted. I am sure something must have happened in the past for her not to like pirate swordsmen.

Nami interacting with Tashigi is a must on Oda's do list because they are opposites and similar. Nami is cowardly, cunning, and sexy while Tashigi is courageous, naive, and conservative. They do embrace being women deep down.
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