Luffy ascending the castle to the rooftop:
CP0 boss ascending the castle to the rooftop:
- Luffy’s an opponent who’s given Kaido a thrill he hasn’t experienced since battling Oden. Kaido brought out all his big guns. He had to stop playing with his food like Big Mom asked. You can tell he’s cherishing combat for the first time in a while. He says “Winners don’t need rationalizations”, but he’s been struggling with his imperfect victory against Oden for 20 years. Also, he’s seeking a death as legendary as Oden’s, Whitebeard’s and Roger’s. This battle was a canvas to paint his redemption story of achieving victory with no excuses, or to die honorably against a worthy opponent. This is why CP0’s interference is a plot device to further Kaido’s character arc rather than a battle assist. Kaido would’ve won regardless. Yet, he’s once again haunted by an imperfect victory riddled with excuses. I have to think now’s a perfect segue for Kaido’s flashback.
I’ve always appreciated One Piece’s boldness in portraying its stoic characters as quirkily as possible. World’s strongest creature? Doesn’t matter, if you’re drunk you go through the full gamut of emotions. Anger, bloodlust, depression, and yes, even flirtation. That nuance is making Kaido far more memorable. Pre-raid, he was largely monotonous. Holding off on exploring his backstory was an issue as well. Oda kept dangling interesting tidbits of his philosophical outlook, without payoff. I believe it was to save the God Valley/Joy Boy/Rocks lore till the arc’s climax.
- Kaido is, quite simply, the strongest character we’ve seen in combat thus far. The number of notable blows he’s tanked throughout this raid gauntlet is unbelievable. Unreal defensive capacity! On top of that, his diverse offensive arsenal coupled with zoan versatility, are making Luffy, even in his strongest forms of Gear 4th, seem ordinary. And Luffy is all but an ordinary fighter!
I now understand what Oda meant by this:
Luffy’s solution needed to be a destined legendary awakening shonen power up to put this monster down! Remember, rubber always bounces back
The sky lanterns carrying Wano citizens’ wishes will reach Luffy on Onigashima, as he awakens his devil fruit. It’ll mark Joy Boy’s prophesied arrival to liberate Wano
- Multiple beautifully illustrated action panels this week. Kaido’s last Thunder Bagua being my favorite. The attack’s impact really pops due to the CoC black trails contrasted with negative white space.
- This dialogue was very interesting
Kaido knows Wano samurai perception is a mere exaggerated legend. Just like Oden. The marines are afraid of the unknown. Oden was a closed off idiot. Solely carrying burdens he never had to. Just like Wano. He continued to live on as folklore of embellished tales. Wano citizens need to move on from trying to emulate Oden. Opening up Wano’s borders might be too on the nose, but it’s perfect symbolism for rejecting that boomer samurai ideology. Which is why Momo, Kaido and Yamato’s self-actualization arcs have been introduced in the first place. In the One Piece verse, trying to become someone will always fail. Yamato and Momo will never become “Oden”. And unlike Luffy, Kaido will never become Joy Boy.
- My anticipation of X-Drake’s importance as a fighter is no more. It’s obvious Oda will not make him into a valuable combatant. However, I still expect him to be an important leadership figure within the new marine hierarchy.