Current Events Zoro's Desire to Fight Kaido

Who is Zoro's main opponent in Wanokuni?

  • Kaido

  • King

  • Orochi

  • Mama

  • Queen

  • Jack

  • Someone else (reply in thread)


Results are only viewable after voting.

Cinera

𝐀𝐬𝐩𝐒𝐫𝐒𝐧𝐠 𝐌𝐚𝐬𝐜𝐑𝐞𝐧𝐧𝐲 𝐏𝐞𝐭
β€Ž
#1
Acknowledgements
@Zenos7, @HA001 and @Zemlya have my gratitude for their direct assistance with the panels.

This essay would not be possible without their enthusiastic support.


Disclaimer
I tag a lot of people from my posts. If you want to be removed from my tag lists, let me know. Likewise if you want to be added.


Introduction
Ever since the raid on Onigashima began, Zoro repeatedly expressed his desire to fight Kaido. This is prima facie very surprising, as this is the first time β€” to my knowledge at least β€” that Zoro has repeatedly expressed a desire to fight the principal arc antagonist. In fact, excluding his battle with Mihawk, Zoro never expressed as much desire to fight his main opponent for the arc, as he did Kaido. This has generally been because Zoro's other opponents were people he fought in his role as the Firstmate of the Strawhats. They represented obstacles in Luffy's path, and so Zoro took them on to let Luffy face the arc antagonist.

With the exception of Mihawk, Zoro has never expressed as much desire to defeat any of his opponents as he has Kaido.

The sentence above is a very important point. If you're going to take one thing away from this essay, let it be that.

Giving the exceptional nature of Zoro's expression of his desire to fight Kaido, I decided to compile all of the instances (that I am aware of) into a post for ease of reference.


Imgur Album with all the panels in this post:

Imgur Album with the original pages the panels were cut from:



Zoro's Desire to Fight Kaido
Vs Apoo (Part 1)
After Zoro met up with Luffy and they confronted the horde of Gifters, Zoro advised Luffy that they should only defeat the bare minimum of opponents (presumably to conserve their strength to face Kaido):

This theme of conserving their strength to face Kaido comes up again during the raid.

After Apoo injured Zoro and briefly knocked Luffy out, Zoro picked up Luffy's unconscious form and ran away from the battle. He chastised himself for letting them take damage so early into the raid. If they let themselves take damage early on, they wouldn't stand a chance when the time came to face Kaido:


Zoro once again mentions the needs to conserve their strength for the battle with Kaido. From the very beginning of the Raid, Zoro's priority has been to defeat Kaido.


Vs Calamities (Part 1)
When Luffy tries to head to the Rooftop to face Kaido, Zoro declares that he would go with him:

Normally, Zoro would stay behind to defeat whatever subordinate of the arc antagonist is blocking Luffy's path, but not against Kaido. Zoro breaks from tradition and declares that he'll accompany Luffy to the battle against Kaido.


While they are rocketing upwards, Zoro questions Luffy to verify that Kaido was indeed on the Rooftop. Luffy affirms that he is, and that Kinemon and the other Scabbards are also fighting him:

Again, Zoro is maniacally focused on getting to Kaido.


After Queen intercept Zoro and Luffy's trip and King blocks off the Rooftop, we see the both of them complain that they can't get to the Rooftop and that the Calamities have completely blocked off the sky:

Again β€” and I recognise that I belabour this point β€” but in traditional arcs, this would be when Zoro volunteers to stay back and hold off the calamities so that Luffy could progress and face Kaido. This did not happen (the role of staying behind and clearing the way to the arc antagonist was instead given to Marco).


Later on, we see the Strawhat crew rally together:

Luffy declares that he would take on Kaido and the others should handle the rest and watch his back:

The other Strawhats affirm Luffy's order and declare that they'll handle things:

Zoro reaffirms that he just needs to get to the Rooftop and confront Kaido:

Even in a scene where Luffy declares that he shall face Kaido and asks the Strawhats to watch his back, Zoro is singled out to reiterate his intention to fight Kaido. I don't know if Luffy was implicitly excluding Zoro from the declaration to handle the rest and watch his back, but if he was, then Zoro declared his defiance to a direct order from Luffy.

Whichever the case, Zoro was singled out from the other Strawhats that were to watch Luffy's back and handle the situation on the Live Floor.

Again, this is a massive deviation from the normal formula. This is another opportunity that Oda was given to have Zoro confront one of the calamities. Luffy literally ordered the Strawhat crew to defeat the enemies on the Live Floor, but Oda singled out Zoro and had him reiterate his desire to face Kaido.


Vs Apoo (Part 2)
Zoro demands that Apoo hand over the antidote and tag teams him with Drake. He declares that he wants to hurry up and back up Kinemon and Co against Kaido, lamenting that afighting Apoo would only waste his time:

Again, Zoro is solely concerned with hurrying up to fight Kaido. He doesn't want to waste time and energy fighting anyone else. He's willing to double team a weaker opponent if it would let him get to Kaido faster.


Later on during the battle, Zoro notices Kiku's arm fall down from the Rooftop, causing him to become angry:


He immediately knocks down Apoo and retrieves the antidote:

Notice how it's an event related to the ongoing Rooftop battle that causes Zoro to get serious. Prior to seeing Kiku's arm fall down from the Rooftop, Zoro was trying to conserve his strength and avoid wasting time in pointless battles to hurry up and face Kaido. Once he realised that the stakes had risen β€” that those Scabbards he wanted to help were in mortal danger β€” his entire approach changed, and he stopped trying to conserve his strength.


After Zoro successfully retrieves the antidote, he leaves the situation on the Live Floor in Chopper's hands:

Again, this is a break from tradition. Delegating a problem to be handled by another Strawhat so that they can face the arc antagonist is a role Luffy normally takes. Yet, during the Onigashima raid, Zoro did just that.


Climax
Later on, when Queen tries to shoot at Chopper (and Apoo), Zoro gets mad and cuts Queen's weapon:

He questions Queen's stupid game and declares that he didn't come to Onigashima to waste time on nonsense:

Thereafter comes Zoro's declaration of his intent to kill Kaido:

A declaration puntuated by a massive earthquake. The bystanders speculate that it's the result of Zoro's fury or his Colour of the Supreme King:

The earthquake was just a coincidence (Kaido had begun lifting Onigashima at that moment), but it was a deliberate coincidence that served to emphasise Zoro's declaration of his desire to cut down Kaido.

This is the climax of Zoro's character arc throughout the Raid. At every turn, at every point, he was consistently β€” relentlessly β€” reaffirming that his main priority (his sole purpose) on Onigashima was to fight Kaido. The culmination of that relentless desire was this grand proclamation. As far as epic proclamations to defeat the arc antagonist go, I think this is one of the best.


Resolution: Marco
Zoro later on expresses the wish to fly straight to the Rooftop, but laments that getting through either of the Calamities wouldn't be easy:

Marco declares that the Strawhats are the real muscle in this battle and offers his assistance:

After figuring out the situation on the Live Floor, he declares that he shall fly Zoro to the Rooftop:

Marco then holds off King and Queen and sends Zoro upwards to the Rooftop:

Instead of Zoro staying back to hold of the antagonist's strongest subordinates so that Luffy could make it to the Rooftop, Marco holds back the antagonist's strongest subordinates so that Zoro can make it to the Rooftop. Zoro took on the role of a hero that needed to be delivered to the location of the final conflict vs the arc antagonist.



Conclusions
Kaido is Zoro's main opponent in Wanokuni.

Zoro and the Calamities were on the same floor for several chapters, yet Zoro completely ignored them and was solely focused on getting to the Rooftop to face Kaido. The lone time Zoro had any sort of confrontation with a Calamity at all, it was to declare his intentions to kill Kaido.

Had Oda intended for Zoro to face King or Queen as his opponent for the arc, Oda would not have had Zoro ignore them for several chapters and focus only on Kaido. At this point, if King or Queen gets in Zoro's way, it wouldn't be for an arc fight, it would be Zoro making quick work of them to return to facing Kaido.

The manga is pretty clear, Zoro vs King is an unfated confrontation.



Summary
  • Zoro had an entire character arc subplot on Onigashima regarding his desire to confront Kaido that climaxed in a literal earth-shaking declaration that he shall cut down Kaido.
    • Zoro repeatedly expressed his desire to conserve his strength and avoid taking damage so that he could be in the best condition to face Kaido
    • Zoro repeatedly expressed his desire to make it to the Rooftop so that he could face Kaido in battle
    • Zoro declared to Queen that he did not come to Onigashima to play his stupid games, that his purpose was to cut down Kaido
  • The traditional formula of Zoro holding off the arc antagonist's strongest subordinate(s) so that Luffy might face the arc antagonist was subverted in Onigashima.
    • Zoro delegated handling the situation on the Live Floor to Chopper.
    • Marco held off the Calamities so that Zoro might face Kaido.


I tagged everyone that voted for Zoro defeating King, King as Zoro's main opponent or otherwise expressed the notion that Kaido isn't Zoro's main opponent this arc. I apologise if the tag is unwanted.

~Snip~
 
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Cinera

𝐀𝐬𝐩𝐒𝐫𝐒𝐧𝐠 𝐌𝐚𝐬𝐜𝐑𝐞𝐧𝐧𝐲 𝐏𝐞𝐭
β€Ž
#4
#5
First of all nice post. I really hope Kaido is Zoros main fight this arc. But there are some scenarios in which its not.

1. Luffy wants to 1vs1 Kaido
- in this scenario i think Zoro would deal some major damage to Kaido, allowing Luffy to have a fair 1vs1 against Kaido.

2. King flies to the roof to help his capitan Kaido
-in this scenario i could see a similar situation happening we saw with pica. "you have no business with my captian"

3. Zoro gets defeated/overpowered and finds another opponent
-in this scenario without a weakened Kaido, Luffy needs some help even stronger than Zoro. If thats really Oden, he could be the one

4. Zoro fights Big Mom (very unlikely)
-in this scenario the SN will split up between the 2 Yonko. although its very unlikely to happen and even more unlikely that Zoro wont stay with Luffy


overall i still think in every scenario Zoro will still be the one to behead weakned Kaido in full zoan. Maybe because Luffy doenst want to kill. Maybe because Luffy allready turned his back on Kaido and its Kaidos last try to attack Luffy or destroy the Capital. Maybe just for the sake of him being the new Ryuma.
 
#7
Nice post, you can also add the fact that aside from Luffy, he is the only one to have shown a haki strong enough to injure Kaido.

There are 2 yonko on the rooftop, Luffy can't defeat them both by himself and with the usual narrative of the Straw Hats being the ones to outshine any other group during arcs, Zoro has to be part of the group who fights the Yonko. And as usual he'll have the second most important role in Defeating the enemies.

It would be a real let down now if he goes back to King especially after what King has shown. So yeah let's go for Kaido.
 
#8
No ones saying Zoro won’t make a different in the Kaido fight; my post was just saying, Zoro will fight King one v one then go back to assist Luffy vs Kaido.

However, I have to ask, who does Luffy fight in your scenario? Or do you expect Luffy not to get a one v one?

If you watched Dragon Ball Super imagine Luffy vs Kaido to be Goku vs Jiren. Goku didn’t one but he showed that he will obtain the power to surpass him. That’s what Luffy vs Kaido would be.
 

Cinera

𝐀𝐬𝐩𝐒𝐫𝐒𝐧𝐠 𝐌𝐚𝐬𝐜𝐑𝐞𝐧𝐧𝐲 𝐏𝐞𝐭
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#14
1. Luffy wants to 1vs1 Kaido
- in this scenario I think Zoro would deal some major damage to Kaido, allowing Luffy to have a fair 1vs1 against Kaido.
I find it hard to imagine that Zoro would care if Luffy wants a 1 vs 1. We already had Luffy declare that he is going to face Kaido and the other Strawhats should watch his back:

On the same page, Zoro reiterated that he wants to get to the Rooftop and face Kaido:


2. King flies to the roof to help his captain Kaido
-in this scenario I could see a similar situation happening we saw with pica. "you have no business with my captain"
This trope has already been subverted with Marco holding off King and Queen to let Zoro face Kaido:

Also, see my above reply, Zoro does not care if Luffy wants to face Kaido in a 1 vs 1. He has a personal desire to defeat Kaido in combat. Zoro was given a climactic scene where in an earth-shattering declaration he declared his desire to cut down Kaido:



Zoro is not going to leave Kaido to hold off King so that Luffy can face Kaido. Even when Luffy asked him to do that, he refused.

Aside from that, Marco has already taken on the role of holding back King. It would be underwhelming if Marco failed at that goal.


3. Zoro gets defeated/overpowered and finds another opponent
-in this scenario without a weakened Kaido, Luffy needs some help even stronger than Zoro. If that's really Oden, he could be the one
Even if Zoro gets overpowered, he's not going to find another opponent. His entire character arc throughout the Onigashima raid has been building towards his inevitable confrontation with Kaido.


4. Zoro fights Big Mom (very unlikely)
-in this scenario, the SN will split up between the 2 Yonko. although it's very unlikely to happen and even more unlikely that Zoro won't stay with Luffy
As you acknowledged yourself, this is unlikely.


I don't think Zoro facing someone other than Kaido as his main fight is consistent with what has been shown of his character and character arc in Wano.
 
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#15
I find it hard to imagine that Zoro would care if Luffy wants a 1 vs 1. We already had Luffy declare that he is going to face Kaido and the other Strawhats should watch his back:
On the same page, Zoro reiterated that he wants to get to the Rooftop and face Kaido:
well its differnet if Luffy orders him to leave he is his captian afterall

Zoro is not going to leave Kaido to hold off King so that Luffy can face Kaido. Even when Luffy asked him to do that, he refused.

Aside from that, Marco has already taken on the role of holding back King. It would be underwhelming if Marco failed at that goal.
but Marco already failing rn idk imo its impressive enough that he held back 2 YC while healing the WHOLE live floor at the same time

Even if Zoro gets overpowered, he's not going to find another opponent. His entire character arc throughout the Onigashima raid has been building towards his inevitable confrontation with Kaido.
Zoro can slice up kaido and still find another opponent its not like only one thing can happen
 

Cinera

𝐀𝐬𝐩𝐒𝐫𝐒𝐧𝐠 𝐌𝐚𝐬𝐜𝐑𝐞𝐧𝐧𝐲 𝐏𝐞𝐭
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#16
No ones saying Zoro won’t make a different in the Kaido fight; my post was just saying, Zoro will fight King one v one then go back to assist Luffy vs Kaido.

However, I have to ask, who does Luffy fight in your scenario? Or do you expect Luffy not to get a one v one?

If you watched Dragon Ball Super imagine Luffy vs Kaido to be Goku vs Jiren. Goku didn’t one but he showed that he will obtain the power to surpass him. That’s what Luffy vs Kaido would be.
In my scenario, Zoro doesn't defeat his arc opponent in a 1 vs 1 either. I expect Luffy and Zoro to tag team Kaido and defeat him together. Neither Luffy nor Zoro defeat their opponent in a 1 vs 1 IMO.

Luffy declared that he shall surpass the Yonkou and become Pirate King. Zoro declared that he came to cut down Kaido:


Those who declare that Luffy would defeat Kaido in a 1 vs 1 ignore Zoro's declaration above. Furthermore, Luffy declaring that he will surpass Mama and Kaidou and become Pirate King does not mean that he will of necessity surpass Mama and Kaidou in Wano:
  • Luffy is not becoming Pirate King in Wano
  • Luffy's declaration has no associated time limit

If the other 4 Supernova are defeated and Luffy gets a moment like against Katakuri where he declares that he wants to beat the Yonkou Kaido at his strongest then I would be convinced of a Luffy 1 vs 1 against Kaido. Otherwise, I remain sceptical.


Wait so whitebeard thought as roger as a rival even tho hes stronger than him
:crazwhat:
Luffy's true rival for PK is Blackbeard.
 
#18
In my scenario, Zoro doesn't defeat his arc opponent in a 1 vs 1 either. I expect Luffy and Zoro to tag team Kaido and defeat him together. Neither Luffy nor Zoro defeat their opponent in a 1 vs 1 IMO.

Luffy declared that he shall surpass the Yonkou and become Pirate King. Zoro declared that he came to cut down Kaido:


Those who declare that Luffy would defeat Kaido in a 1 vs 1 ignore Zoro's declaration above. Furthermore, Luffy declaring that he will surpass Mama and Kaidou and become Pirate King does not mean that he will of necessity surpass Mama and Kaidou in Wano:
  • Luffy is not becoming Pirate King in Wano
  • Luffy's declaration has no associated time limit

If the other 4 Supernova are defeated and Luffy gets a moment like against Katakuri where he declares that he wants to beat the Yonkou Kaido at his strongest then I would be convinced of a Luffy 1 vs 1 against Kaido. Otherwise, I remain sceptical.



Luffy's true rival for PK is Blackbeard.
Again I’m not going to say Luffy will beat Kaido 1 v 1; there’s a reason there’s going to be nine people up there according to the prophecy. However, I do think Oda will give Luffy his 1 v 1 against Kaido which is what has been set up throughout the arc. Luffy vs Kaido is becoming a major selling point of this arc. And it seems Oda is going to deliver with how much he’s hyped up kaidos interest in Luffy rather recently.
 
#19
Again I’m not going to say Luffy will beat Kaido 1 v 1; there’s a reason there’s going to be nine people up there according to the prophecy. However, I do think Oda will give Luffy his 1 v 1 against Kaido which is what has been set up throughout the arc. Luffy vs Kaido is becoming a major selling point of this arc. And it seems Oda is going to deliver with how much he’s hyped up kaidos interest in Luffy rather recently.
The prophecy never says 9 people will fight kaido.
 
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