I expected this result but for Luffy to be instantly KO’d in Gear Fourth with one hit by Kaido, I didn’t anticipate such a decisive and overwhelming end to their first bout. It was glorious seeing Luffy unleash on Kaido and force Kaido back to his human form but the way Kaido finished the fight conflicts with everything that occurred just before. Why did Kaido not unleash earlier?
I am tempted to believe that Kaido let himself get damaged by Luffy in order to build up energy/force within himself and/or weapon to unleash on Luffy. If Kaido was so overwhelmingly strong, why did he let himself get knocked around for so long? Surely after he reverted from his Dragon Form to his human form, he would have been ready to unleash on Luffy, but he didn’t and I believe it is because he couldn’t at that time. Kaido seems like tanker which makes me believe that in order to unleash his crushing blows, he allows himself to get damaged to help build up force within himself. Whether he is able to absorb some of the force from his opponents blows or it is the result of the Devil Fruit or both, but I can’t shake the feeling that the force Kaido unleashed on Luffy contained Luffy’s energy which he passed onto Kaido during his blows. If this is the case, Luffy will need to learn how to nullify that ability in order to ultimately overwhelm Kaido.
I found it awkward that Tama left as Luffy and Co. headed off to Oden Castle Ruins in an earlier chapter (919), especially considering the importance Tama will serve in this arc. Her ability alone is enough to shift the balance of power in favour of the Straw Hat Pirates given that most of the Beast Pirates if not all likely have some sort of Zoan Devil Fruit or a SMILE version of the Zoan fruit. As shown with Speed, Tama’s dango can pacify the target (animal/beast) and motivate the target to want to follow and protect the user. Tama can single-handedly cripple the Beast Pirates. With such an important character leaving with only Speed, it felt foreboding at that time but I rationalised that surely Oda-sensei wouldn’t have her be captured again. I was wrong. Speed and Tama were attacked by Kaido and Speed was left injured. Tama’s whereabouts were left unknown but if Speed was injured and arrived in the town from being carried by Kaido on his Dragon form, it seems likely that Kaido also captured Tama. The rumours Kaido heard would have left him little choice than capturing Tama.
With Luffy overwhelmed it is time for Law to step in to save Luffy. It should be clear to Luffy now, he needs a plan to take on Kaido that involves more than getting mad. But now that the Beast Pirates know of Luffy and Law’s presence in Wano Kuni, their plan will need tweaking. If Tama is captured, she may end up meeting Kid. Looking forward to the next chapter and finding out whether Kin’emon meets Tsuru.