Even though minimal coverage has been focused on Kozuki Oden as a character relative to the Wano Kuni Arc, he has been established as an honourable and powerful character, one who cared about the country of Wano Kuni and wished for it to genuinely prosper both economically and socially. With his son now standing in his position foreign to the weight shouldered on such a leadership role, how will Momonosuke react to the responsibility and courage asked of him? From now on, Momonosuke cannot merely reside in the background and leave the mess in the Wano Kuni for someone else to clean up, he has to proactively lead the eyes asking questions of him to fight for their own freedom and future.
Momonosuke understands he is special but I don’t believe he realises yet how much hope and pressure the citizens of Wano Kuni place in his existence praying for an answer to the nightmares manifested within their nation and within their minds. The people of Wano Kuni have internally envisioned within their reality Momonosuke as the force needed to guide them through the current tragedy and beyond. Which in my opinion is a major fallacy given that Momonosuke is still so young and vulnerable and that there is a limit to what he can do with such a lack of experience at carrying the weight of Wano Kuni’s burden. Rather, there is another who is better suited to the represent the guidance Wano Kuni needs in such a crucial time.
Hiyori, the forgotten daughter of Kozuki Oden who has continually carried the weight of Wano Kuni within her spirit for twenty years never forgetting that Wano Kuni is more than a land to be exploited and ravaged. That the people who once made up the nation carried within them the pride and honour of Wano Kuni. Despite the world around her telling her “no”, Hiyori continued to believe that change is possible. She believed in the words her mother spoke before passing and in the spirit of her father and what he helped inspire. Hiyori never gave up on fighting for Wano Kuni. And thanks to Kawamatsu during her youth, she was able to reconcile with her reality and accept the sadness born from her loss enabling her to find the courage she needed to fight the battle many had given up on.
One of the core qualities Hiyori has that Momonosuke does not is shared experience. Hiyori knows and understands what the people of Wano Kuni have gone through. What they have suffered. What they have had to endure. And what they have had to sacrifice. This is why when Hiyori mentioned that she would like be the one who kills Orochi, it establishes a shared feeling across the people of Wano Kuni. Those affected by Orochi’s whims, madness, terror and narrowmindedness all have the desire to end the suffering he wrought not because they want revenge but because his downfall is something personal to them and they want others to not feel such misery and agony.
That statement from Hiyori also illustrates to Zoro that Hiyori desires to be more than someone to be protected. Zoro’s reaction indicates that he realises this and understands that saving Wano Kuni is more than the Straw Hat Pirates defeating Orochi and Kaidou. He also understands the implications of what Hiyori is saying. I’m sure, Zoro is also getting the sense of what type of person Hiyori is. From what we have seen earlier with Hiyori’s display of pride and strength when she stood up to Orochi as Komurasaki, we know she is a fighter and takes pride in her Samurai spirit. If Zoro is by her side and together they convince Gyukimaru to join them, we will have more of a basis to believe that Hiyori is the right person to lead Wano Kuni. Even if Hiyori does not have the right of succession, she is whom Wano Kuni need. Once Kawamatsu rejoins Hiyori, he will also realise this and help the other Red Scabbards understand this. Wano Kuni has another Kozuki they can believe in!
I am very curious about the stories of the Supernovas, they each have become such important characters and are key in drowning out the current world order and establishing a new one that will become the next era. Kid announces his disinvolvement with Luffy but one way or another, the two of them will be forced to work together. Trafalgar Law will also be involved at such a point given the equal status Oda-sensei expressed during the Sabaody Archipelago Arc. Whom I’m concerned about is Hawkins’s with his crazed look and sadistic torturer face. Him being part of the Beast Pirates is definitely a step he needs to take to further his own agenda.
Have to mention that the JUMP covers for One Piece previous issue and this issue make a fantastic One Piece poster. I love how Oda-sensei reflects Robin, Nami, Sanji and Zoro against Rob Lucci, Hancock, Sabo and Law. Makes me wonder if we will see Rob Lucci at some point during this arc given the CP0 involvement and if Hancock will be involved in some capacity. Sabo is too connected to the events in Marie Geoise to feature within this Wano Kuni Arc. Very much looking forward to the next chapter.