A wild Kaido appears! And an equally wild Luffy attacks. I did not expect that, for Luffy to challenge Kaido right then and there. I understand that Luffy reacted to Kaido blowing up Oden Castle but to have Luffy put in such a situation where he would unleash Elephant Gun on Kaido, how utterly crazy. For anyone within the One Piece world who isn’t a Straw Hat Pirate, Garp or Shanks to have thought they knew Luffy, they definitely were wrong. I don’t think even Hawkins’s conditional predictive powers could have foreseen this particular set of events. Luffy punched Kaido! Luffy PUNCHED Kaido in the head!! Kaido was mad at Luffy before but with that personal strike, he will be furious once he realizes what went down i.e. Luffy’s fist.
Seeing as both Kaido and Momonosuke ate Devil Fruits that allow them to turn into Dragons, there is presumably some connection there and potentially Momonosuke could help shed light on how the Straw Hat Pirates plus allies can go about defeating Kaido. The SMILE Devil Fruit Momonosuke consumed also brings up the question, did Vegapunk use Kaido’s Devil Fruit as the base for creating an artificial one? Did he have a blood sample of Kaido’s? Or was there a different Dragon class Devil Fruit that he used? Why did Vegapunk consider the artificial Devil Fruit a failure? Are the side effects that negative? Also with Momonosuke having a Dragon Devil Fruit and having turned into Dragon form before Kaido fired his Heat Breath, I wonder if Momonosuke would have been able to eat the fire to protect everyone. Or did he do what he did on Punk Hazard and create clouds to climb while carrying the others? There’s is so much mystery surrounding the artificial Devil Fruit Vegapunk created, especially with Kaido now being revealed to have a Dragon Devil Fruit.
On the note about how the Straw Hat Pirates plus allies could have survived Kaido’s blast, it could have been defended against/evaded by one of the characters present at the scene especially those of Law’s crew whose abilities have not been fully revealed as of yet. One of those characters could have guarded the others against the blast or have an ability to help avoid it. It would help establish that the Heart Pirates have other capable crew members beyond Law (Bepo hasn’t established himself as being strong yet). Regardless of how those at the Oden Castle ruins survived the blast from Kaido, they have inevitably survived. That scenario only occured to force Luffy to engage Kaido with the likely end result being Luffy comprehending the sheer strength and monstrosity of Kaido. Luffy may have come a long way since entering the New World but if Kaido was serious, I don’t believe Luffy stands a chance.
Hawkins’s educated hunch, what a perceptive bastard. If not for him, the Oden Castle ruins wouldn’t have been targeted and the current situation wouldn’t have eventuated. Yet within this maelstrom of misfortune, the Beasts Pirates have come to learn how fearless and incomorehensible Straw Hat Luffy is. To challenge a Yonko, the Yonko known as the strongest creature in the world within his own territory and without a hesitation, the Beast Pirates have without doubt never met anyone like Luffy yet. But with Kaido woken up by Luffy’s punched, what will happen now? Law will likely grab Luffy and force a retreat although not before Luffy expresses his intention to defeat Kaido. Between the punch and inevitable challenge by Luffy, Kaido will have no choice but to seriously go after Luffy, unless of course the punch Luffy landed on him barely injured Kaido contrary to how it looked this chapter. Additionally, the people of Wano Kuni will witness the courage of Luffytaro and a few spurred on by their desire to escape their suffering, they will gather behind Luffytaro to stand against their oppressors, Orochi and Kaido. Once people realise Kaido isn’t undefeatable, they will hope again.
Unconnected to contents of this chapter, I am really curious to see where Zoro got lost. If Zoro’s track record is anything to go by, he is where he needs to be. Zoro’s focus is intrinsically linked to the spirit of the Samurai forgotten within Wano Kuni, so where Zoro ends up, we can be sure a relevant part of Wano Kuni’s story will be revealed/expanded on. Looking forward to the next chapter.