Oh Luffy, the seas really love you. If you were a different pirate, your ship, your crew and you would have ended sinking down towards the bottom if the ocean. This chapter had a Reverse Mountain-esque feel to it and as it was back then, Luffy was key in finding an absurd solution to an illogical, impossible scenario. And thanks to Luffy grabbing onto two monster Carps capable of swimming up river, the Thousand Sunny ended up landing in Wano Kuni albeit on land and toppled and attacked by weird Wano beasts.
It’s sad the focus has shifted away from Zoro and Co. so soon after just returning to the forefront of the story but until the Straw Hat Pirates reunite, the Straw Hat Pirates currently within Wano Kuni will continue to exist within the background developing elements within the story that will come in play later on within this arc and the Straw Hat Pirates journey.
The interesting part of this chapter is learning that to get to Wano Kuni, one has to endure and cross a sea filled with unforgiving waves and unrelenting winds. The path Luffy and Co. took was one which became a river and led them to a waterfall which they had to ascend in order to reach Wano Kuni. It is without doubt a dangerous journey and one of the reasons why Wano Kuni is closed bordered and separate from the World Government. The curious part is what the Straw Hat Pirates encountered when they ascended the waterfall – a whirlpool. Did the whirlpool push the Thousand Sunny towards the Wano shore or did the Straw Hat Pirates get sucked up within the Whirlpool and ended up ‘somewhere’.
With such a dangerous path to getting into Wano Kuni, whom did Zoro and Co. get assistance from to reach the nation? Or did Kinemon and Co. have a safe passage in which they could travel to enter Wano Kuni? Most likely the latter as it would be quite absurd to think one would have to go to such lengths to leave and enter Wano Kuni unless of course Zoro’s miraculous sense of direction guided him through the dangers of Wano’s barrier’s of entry.
Kaido is directly involved with Wano Kuni but seeing as he has his own Island, the question beomes, will he be directly featured within this arc or will the Wano Kuni Arc pave the way for the Kaido-central arc? If this was any other arc besides the Wano Kuni Arc I would believe that may be the case but given that the Wano Kuni Arc has such a long and relevant build-up towards it, Kaido and his Beast Pirates WILL directly be involved in the inevitable conflict. Wano Kuni is one of the few nations not currently under the heel of the World Government and a nation feared for their brutal samurai. The Straw Hat Pirates will become an ally Wano Kuni and this is why Kaido and his crew will directly feature within the Wano Kuni story. This arc may lead into a second arc similar to how Water 7 led into the Enies Lobby Arc but whatever arc the Wano Kuni arc leads into, the Beast Pirates and the future of Wano will be central. Both the Shogun and the Beast Pirates will need to be defeated to save Wano Kuni.
What is up with that Octopus? It effortlessly entered the Thousand Sunny and casually integrated with the background of the crew that it took Luffy and Co. a while to notice they had stranger on board. It had to voice its greeting before it was noticed. It doesn’t look like a ninja but it could very well be a master ninja given its expert concealing skills – colour me interested. With the ‘Yooh-Pon’ Octopus having been on board the Thousand Sunny when it ran aground, we can confidently assume that it will be a recurring character within the arc and potentially connected to the next nakama candidate.
Looking forward to seeing more of Wano Kuni, its monstrous beasts and meeting the characters that will assist the Straw Hat Pirates in motivating the Wano people to rise up against their Shogun and fight for their freedom. One of those newly introduced characters may end up potentially being the next Straw Hat Pirate member. This arc has to introduce them if they are a new character!