As expected, the Beast Pirates are within Wano Kuni and it didn’t take long before they were introduced within the arc story. Kaido currently has some factories set up within Wano Kuni producing something not yet currently revealed – Weapons? Chemicals? Ships? What was surprising was seeing the leader in charge of the group scouting the area of Wano Kuni where Luffy landed being Basil Hawkins.
The Kid/Hawkins/Apoo alliance was short-lived and as was revealed before, they were destroyed by Kaido. Apoo and Hawkins became subordinates of Kaido but Kid refused and has ended up being imprisoned and tortured by Kaido. Whether it was by survival or some deeper agenda similar to Capone, Apoo and Hawkins have joined the Beast Pirates. Along with those two, Drake is also part of the Beast Pirates which means that currently there are 3 members of the “Worst Generation” in the Beast Pirates. If we include Kid and Killer, there are 7 members of the Worst Generation relevant to the current arc – Luffy and Zoro along with the five mentioned before. Urogue may become relevant as well given his meeting with Kaido but if Oda-sensei is spreading the focus the Supernovas receive across the arcs, Urogue and potentially Bonney may become relevant within the Elbaf Arc.
Given how we have not seen Killer and the rest of Kid’s crew imprisoned, I assume they were able to get away thanks to Kid?) and will be the medium through which Luffy comes to find out about Kid’s capture by Kaido. Oda-sensei went out of his way during the introduction of the Supernovas to highlight Kid and Law alongside Luffy. Law has had extensive focus since the start of the New World saga alongside the Straw Hat Pirates and will inevitably receive more with his direct tie-in with the Will of “D”. This is why I believe given Kid’s current predicament that he will serve a role similar to Law within the Wano Kuni Arc and any arc that directly connects to it. Kid will become one of the main focal characters within this arc and have a key role in the battle against the Beast Pirates.
Tama is a new character introduced that serves as the expression of the true Wano Kuni. She is kind, considerate and determined. Even when food is hard to come by, especially rice, she offered it all to Luffy, a stranger she just met, as gratitude for the help he provided. At eight years old, Tama is displaying a maturity and humanity beyond her years and situation. The circumstances engulfing Wano Kuni has forced its people to conform to an extreme set of standards at the expense of their core nature. I believe for the most part that the citizens of Wano Kuni want to behave like Tama but the weight of their current governance bearing down on them beckons their fear to overwhelm their humanity. The Straw Hat Pirates will serve as the wind to dispel the cloud of doubt and the Kozuki Clan will embody the beacon of light for the people of Wano.
Tama has a direct connection to Ace and will inevitably have an important connection to Momonosuke. Tragically, Tama has ingested the polluted river waters filled with chemicals from Kaido’s factories and has ended up in a situation where she may die (obviously this won’t happen). Luffy will now need to find Chopper or another character who is able to help. Tama has just turned eight meaning that when Tama was five or younger, she met Ace. Ace was an important person to her that she has been waiting for since the day Ace left Wano Kuni and promised to return. We all know that Ace is dead (/tear) but such news has not made its way to Wano Kuni further stressing the extreme closed borders of the country. Luffy will have to break the news to her but fortunately through himself, Luffy can fulfill one of Ace’s promises that Ace couldn’t keep. Oda-sensei teased Tama’s connection to the Kozuki Clan during her first appearance but rather than just knowing someone who is part of the Kozuki Clan, I believe she is a member and has some connection to the Poneglyph carving skills relevant to the Kozuki Clan.
Through Tama we learn and can confirm several pieces of important information about Wano Kuni: there is a food issue within Wano Kuni regarding not everyone being able to afford enough to eat adequately each day. This reinforces what Kinemon and Momonosuke were feeling at the end of the Punk Hazard Arc initially refusing to eat the food Sanji cooked as they felt it would be betraying the suffering their fellow friends and family were going through. Food is available within Wano Kuni, it is just not readily available due to the current Shogun’s rule and policies.
The closed borders of Wano Kuni means that no news relating to the outside world can get in or at the very least get in unfiltered by the corrupt government officials. Ace’s death, the death of the Pirate King’s son, has not made its way to Wano Kuni. This means that any news covered within the last two years in the story has not made its way to the general public within Wano Kuni. This may explain why the Beast Pirates scouting the beach Luffy landed on did not recognize him despite his current bounty. Luffy’s bounty increase to 1.5 billion beli only made its way into the news that morning and with the state of Wano Kuni (not a member of the World Government), newspapers containing the current event ongoings aren’t delivered to Wano Kuni.
We also learn from Tama that Kunoichi’s are a thing, meaning that ninjas will become relevant within the story of Wano Kuni. It sounds obvious but regardless of Raizou being a shinobi, it didn’t mean the shinobi would be relevant to the story when the Straw Hat Pirates got there but now with one of the new characters revealing their admiration of the Kunoichi and their dream to become one, shinobi have become a whole lot more relevant. The One Piece community has been hungry for the introduction of a Kunoichi and once one is introduced, that character will have a good chance of being a Straw Hat Pirate candidate. Any Kunoichi now introduced will have to have a really special character design and character introduction to justify any argument for their inclusion within the Straw Hat Pirates.
Excited to see how the story develops and how the Beast Pirates will be handled in all of this. Looking forward to the next chapter.