Under the rule of corrupt government officials and an unsympathetic leader, the once free and honorable land of Wano Kuni has devolved into a lifeless wasteland where freedom is shackled and the supply of fresh produce is monopolized by the wealthy and powerful. The poor and unimportant are discarded to the outskirts of the land away from the eyes of oblivious minds. The unwanted individuals reside in the town of leftovers where they are sold the scraps of unwanted goods used by the Shogun and his allies. Despite any intention the individuals have to want to change their situation, they are entrapped by the constant fear of the Beast Pirates listening in and killing them for any hint of rebellion or animosity towards the Shogun.
With the addition of the newly introduced Samurai and the movements of Law, we are moving towards the story of the Seven Samurai where villages hired seven ronin to defend their village against bandits looking to raid their farms and steal their crops. In the current events of One Piece, the seven Samurai have not all been introduced and assembled yet but the bandits aka. the Beast Pirates have stolen the farm that belonged to the people during the rule of the Kozuki Clan, the previous rulers of Wano Kuni before being overthrown by the alliance of Orochi and Kaido. In addition, the Beast Pirates have kidnapped Tama due to her having tamed one of their beast/animal guards forcing Kiku, Luffy and Zoro into action which in turn has forced Law into action due to his complete lack of fate in Luffy not kicking up another storm. Given that, the “Samurai” we can say with certainty represent the seven Samurai are Luffy (Oda-sensei gave him a sword for a reason), Zoro, Kiku and Law. One of the remaining three should be Kinemon, who would benefit immensely by being included as he is the retainer of the Kozuki clan and has an already established story with the Straw Hat Pirates. Another character who is most definitely part of the Seven Samurai is Brook, he is both a main character and a swordsman. The final member isn’t as clear but there are a few swordsman who are relevant to Kaido such as Drake and Hawkins. Either could fill the role but seeing as Hawkins has been introduced as an antagonist and Drake hasn’t been revealed to currently be on Wano Kuni, it may be a stretch. The only other character I can think of currently revealed to be relevant in this arc that would serve as an ally to Luffy is Hitetsu. Saying that, it would be cool to see Cavendish again.
With another character having created drama for the Beast Pirates a few weeks prior to Luffy and Co. reaching the Island, the final Seven “Samurai” member could be that character if it is not one of the Straw Hat Pirates. Tsuru recently arrived in Okobore and Kiku herself has only been in the town for a month but I doubt they stole food from the Beast Pirates as Tsuru wouldn’t have been running away from them if she were adept in the art of theft and as Kiku has identified herself as a Samurai, she wouldn’t partake in something as dishonorable as theft. It would be a fascinating twist if this character who is targeting the Government Officials and the Beast Pirates were a Kunoichi and she represented one of the Seven Samurai. What a great way to inspire Tama by having her hero be a Kunoichi.
Having seen how Tsuru and Kiku have been presented, I haven’t got the vibes of a Straw Hat Pirate nakama from either of them. They both seem interesting and will have core roles to play within this arc and as Wano Kuni residents but little has been engrained in them by Oda-sensei to present them as having a role on board a pirate ship sailing towards the end of the Grand Line. Tsuru has a very unique and creative character design but her soul is very much tied to Wano Kuni as illustrated by her deep fondness when talking about the Wano Kuni of the past and the lives of the people being the silver lining of the cloud that is the current bleak scenario the people of Wano Kuni find themselves in. Tsuru is kind-hearted and understands the suffering ongoing within the nation, she just has no power to do anything on a grand scale about it. Fortunately, the Straw Hat Pirates have arrived. Tsuru will be key in restoring the old Wano Kuni and she may be part of the Kozuki clan i.e. a relative of Oden or she could be Momonosuke’s mother. Kiku seems like a very powerful and smart character but her association with the Samurai will set her up becoming the catalyst for the revival of the Samurai once Wano Kuni is saved from Orochi and Kaido. Kiku has been introduced alongside Zoro because Oda-sensei most likely intends for Zoro to be the voice inspiring Kiku to push past her doubts (of being a female given her current speech) and to rise to her potential. We may even get Zoro passing on Shusui to Kiku signaling his belief in her and her worthiness of wielding the legendary blade. This may be how Zoro ends up receiving Nidai Kitetsu from Hitetsu.
With the showdown between Luffy, Zoro and Kiku against the Beast Pirates fast approaching, I am very much looking forward to seeing how the Island of Wano Kuni is shaken up as a result of the assault by the Straw Hat Pirates. Also I am curious to learn where the other Straw Hat Pirate members are and whether Tama is a member of the Kozuki clan.