...motherFUCKER MOTHERFUCKING FUCK. THAT WAS THE LAST, UTTER, FUCKING STRAW FOR ME. I FOUGHT FOR CARROT4NAKAMA. I FUCKING LOST FRIENDS FOR HER. I WORE THE BUNNY EARS IRL. I HAD FAITH. I HAD FAITH IN YOU, YOU FUCKING BASTARD. YOU SHATTERED EVERYTHING. I WAS ONE OF THE MOST LOYAL ONE PIECE FOLLOWERS. I MANAGED TO GET DOZENS OF PEOPLE PEOPLE INTO IT. AND THIS IS HOW YOU THANK ME AFTER 6 YEARS WORTH OF PATIENCE TO FINALLY SEE CARROT JOIN THE CREW? FUCKING HELL, FUCK YOU, ODA. FUCK YOU. YOU AND YOUR SHITTY FUCKING LITTLE MANGA. YOU LYING SACK OF SHIT! I HANG THE THE GLORIOUS NOX PIRATE FLAG OVER MY BED, AND MY GOD I WILL NOT GIVE IN. YOU LITERALLY WOULD HAVE TO CLAW IT FROM MY COLD, DEAD FUCKING BODY. I WILL DENY, DENY, DENY WHAT YOU JUST DID! YOU'RE AS GOOD AS DEAD TO ME! YOU TRAITOROUS OLD FUCK! FUCK PEDRO. FUCK CARIBOU. FUCK NAITO. FUCK ODA. FUCK WANO. FUCKING GOD DAMN MOTHERFUCKING - BLAND, HELL-BOUND, BROKEN, DISGUSTING AND WASTING PANELS FOR SUBVERTING EXPECTATIONS !
Because he has little to no agency. He barely feels like a character just like Shanks
He's a character with motivations that just so happen to perfectly fit the needs of Zoro as a character.
If all he does is fight Zoro at the end then all that does is prove that there wasn't much more to him to begin with and unfortunately that's likely since there isn't much else to his character. He wants to fight someone stronger than his old rival, no?
Well all he has to do is train Zoro then sit on a random island waiting for him to come back to scratch that itch
I want him to be in the main story so he's more than just a goal for Zoro
And I wanted him to stay away from the main story so that it would feel there is more to him than being Luffy's cheerleader.
He is Zoro's end goal. That is his purpose. He doesn’t need additional purpose. Purpose and characterization are not the same.
He has gotten characterization. He is a loner, but amenable to little intrusion. He is strong but not interested in reigning. His biggest interest in life is to fight people he deems worthy of fighting and he will go as far as to train people to get that.
Mihawk having nothing to do with Luffy and the story at large is a massive bonus. It means Zoro's dream doesn't rely on Luffy. With or without Luffy, Mihawk is there for Zoro to surpass.