Luffy’s straight forward personality and condensed outlook on life has led phim to attacking a Headliner in order to protect an old man called Hyougoro, who happens to be one of the people the Straw Hat Pirates require in order to rally a rebellion before their assault on Onigashima Island against Kaidou. Hyougoro is a man of legend within Wano Kuni who is deeply respected and beloved by many longing for the days before Orochi’s upheaval that cast the people’s reality into a nightmare of misery, hopelessness and despair. If the Straw Hat Pirates and their allies seek to establish a significant force to take on the Beast Pirates, they will require Luffy to escape with Hyougoro.
Hyougoro sounds like a complete badass from the stories mentioned within this chapter where he is both powerful and responsible. Despite his status as a Yakuza boss in the past, he helped those in need and punished the ignorant abusing their power. If Wano Kuni had a superhero, Boss Hyougoro of the Flower would be it. Sadly though, time waits for no one and naturally Hyougoro has subsequently lost his strength with age. Being imprisoned and having less than enough food for two decades only added to that loss of strength which has left Hyougoro in his current state. He was reduced into a man on the verge of death unable to perform the labours required of his circumstance forced upon him by the Beast Pirates. Despite that though, Hyougoro’s spirit and chivalry remains ironclad. He is prepared to give his life to save Luffy. Such conviction expresses the respect and love Hyougoro has built up for Luffy and the spirit which Hyougoro has tempered over his life having never dulled with his confinement. If Luffy and Hyougoro do end up escaping, Hyougoro would without a doubt assist Luffy in his endeavour’s.
Raizou has the means to free Luffy and Hyougoro after having stolen the prison keys but given the situation with Queen setting up the execution, Raizou has zero opportunity to remain concealed long enough to unlock Luffy’s Kairouseki shackles. Raizou would need to create a distraction to lure attention away from Luffy so that he can create a moment long enough to unlock the kairouseki cuffs. Liberating as many prisoners as he can could create a sufficient enough distraction. Raizou’s companion, Kawamatsu, from 20 years ago could also end up being the distraction they require to save Luffy. I’m curious as to why Oda-sensei is keeping Kawamatsu’s appearance literally in the shadows for the moment. Is his character design such a spoiler that its reveal would diminish a future twist or development? How significant will Kawamatsu be going forward? And Is Kawamatu the ‘bone spitter’? Given that Kawamatsu and Raizou are related from 20 years ago, it seems likely that Kawamatsu is one of the nine Red Scabbards and a Samurai/Shinobi.
Several of the Headliner’s stationed within the prison have been introduced. Will these character serve a bigger role within the arc beyond being the ‘incompetent jailers who lost the prison key and allowed Luffy to escape’? Their character designs are fun and cool so I hope we get to see more of them during this conflict between the Straw Hat Pirates and the Beast Pirates. I assume that given the three Calamities, the Straw Hat Pirate alliance will need to divide their forces up to take on the three Calamities separately. Luffy at his current level could likely defeat a Calamity especially if they are around a similar level as Katakuri but the enemy reserved for Luffy, Kid and Momonosuke is Kaidou. Zoro, Sanji, Jinbe, Law and the Mink will lead the alliance forces into battle against the Three Calamaties. I cannot see Jinbe not being included in this battle. Orochi could be dealt with at the same time or before the climatic battle with the Straw Hat Pirates. Alternatively, Orochi’s story could begin within this arc where after the defeat of Kaidou, he ends up fleeing and aligning himself with another powerful faction that are the enemies of the Straw Hat Pirates i.e. The Blackbeard Pirares. Most likely though given the relational close proximity of Orochi and Kaidou, I don’t see Orochi’s relevance extending beyond Wano Kuni and Kaidou.
Those Octopus’s, they are of the same species as the one who appeared at the start of the this arc whom compelled the Straw Hat Pirates to ride the waterfall into Wano Kuni. They all look the same but the one who was on the Thousand Sunny isn’t any of the ones shown at the bathhouse. The mischievous Octopus was too characteric in his introduction to now be so docile and forgettable. I wonder if that Octopus has any connection to Komurasaki. Anyway double thumbs up for the bathhouse scene.
What a surprise, Queen is such a humorous character with a great character design inspired by Obelix from the French comic series Asterix. He may be a calamity but he has a amusing personality which will likely be dyed darker as we get to see his sadistic side. Queen won’t get his way with executing Luffy and Hyougoro, so his inevitable reaction at the failure will be worth witnessing. Queen’s affection for Komurasaki will also likely be used against him later in the arc, whether it be by Komurasaki herself or another character aware of such a one-sided crush.
With Hyougoro’s relevance increasing, I am curious to learn his connection with Kyoshiro and Komurasaki. How did Kyoshiro take the spot once filled by Hyougoro? Could Kyoshiro be Hyougoro’s son? Looking forward to the next chapter.