And here I was sad that I wouldn’t get to see Zoro until we get deeper into this arc. What a welcome surprise to have Zoro back in the focus so soon since the start of this arc. Even better is the fact that the two strongest Straw Hat Pirates are together and find themselves in a very precarious situation having encountered Basil Hawkins and his lackeys. What will the result of their meeting be and does Hawkins have a plan beyond survival in regards to siding with Kaido?
Zoro has become a nationally wanted criminal within Wano Kuni after his display of “rebellion” in an earlier chapter, which is hilarious but his representation as a Samurai will do wonders in reinvigorating the way of the sword once the people begin to see him as a force standing against the unjust and oppressive entities corrupting Wano Kuni. The inevitable change of heart by the people of Wano will also see him get to keep Shusui. Zoro has been through too much with Shusui to part with it now, especially after Ryuuma passed it onto him. In addition, I believe the katana Luffy took from Hitetsu, Nidai Kitetsu, will end up being wielded by Zoro. Zoro’s sword style is Santoryuu and he has three swords already but that doesn’t mean he can’t carry four or more swords on person or have a selection to choose from before disembarking from the Thousand Sunny at the beginning of the arc. There is also the possibility of one of Zoro’s swords breaking i.e. Sandai Kitetsu, and being replaced by a new sword i.e. Nidai Kitetsu, but I don’t want any of Zoro’s current swords to break so this route isn’t one I’m hoping for at all. Zoro will get all the Kitetsu blades. Zoro has established that he has gained the favour of Sandai Kitetsu therefore it wouldn’t be inconsistent if Zoro could wield the other Kitetsu blades. Additionally, Zoro’s demonic aura does fit the cursed theme of the Kitetsu blades. I also wonder if Hitetsu has been waiting for someone like Zoro who could wield the cursed blades to arrive, if so, Zoro will be the perfect swordsman to entrust the cursed Kitetsu blades to.
I suspect after Luffy and Zoro dispose of Hawkins’s lackeys, Hawkins will reveal to Luffy and Zoro his intentions and situation surrounding Wano Kuni and the threat of Kaido. At some point the Worst Generation Supernovas will work together within this arc so rather than hold the inevitable off, fully embrace the development and have Hawkins set-up the threat within this arc as a monstrous and unbeatable one with a minimal chance of overcoming. Have Hawkins’s cards set-up the Straw Hat Pirates as the force affecting the likelihood of saving Wano Kuni and defeating Kaido. From an impossible scenario to one having a chance of success.
With Tama, while she has been introduced as a compassionate character who NEEDS the Straw Hat Pirates help, I don’t feel she is going to join the Straw Hat Pirates. She will come to like Luffy and see him for who he really is. The main reasoninh behind my objection is because Tama is too young and inexperienced to become a Straw Hat Pirate member at this stage in the story. We are too deep into the story that Nakama Candidates will need to be those who have experience within the New World, a skill valuable within the current story setting or one that will become valuable and/or the strength necessary to survive within the New World. The current climate has opened up the door for a former Shichibukai to join the Straw Hat Pirates, any new additions will need to bring the same or similar value and weight to the crew. If not for their fighting capabilities, why would the candidate be relevant to the story? Such questions need to be asked when considering who could be the next Straw Hat Pirate member.
The women Zoro saved, why was Oda-sensei being secretive about her face? We have yet to have one clear image of her. Plus there is a story behind her presence within the Wastelands and having been chased by the Beast Pirates. One does not just run into an average character in an environment overflowing with mutated beast and lawless individuals. I smell a deeper mystery behind this character, her connection to the Beast Pirates, her intentions and her relevance within this arc. She is now within Zoro’s debt and sounding like a person who honors their debts, we can expect to see more her within the coming chapters until she has repaid him somehow (unfortunately she doesn’t have booze). This character may help cure the poison currently in Tama or she could be a Kunoichi undercover trying to stop the Shogun. I may be grasping at straws but a lot can be inferred from ommittance.
While I am happy Zoro is back and reunited with Luffy, I have a bad feeling that the poisonous food Zoro has been eating could put him out of commission at a very inconvenient time when he is needed. This could be the moment the female character repays her debt to Zoro by assisting him. Very much looking forward to the next chapter.