What an interesting turn of events with Gyukimaru being the fox, Onimaru, a companion of the Daimyo of Ringo who passed away shortly after Wano Kuni was lost to Kaido and Orochi. Onimaru took it upon himself to protect the honour of all those who passed away in Ringo from having their graves disturbed by the Beast Pirates. He also took himself to see Kawamatsu’s mission through once Kawamatsu unexpectedly disappeared one day. For twenty years, he too has been fighting for the day when Wano Kuni can be reclaimed.
With Zoro, I earlier said that Zoro would willingly leave Shusui with Wano Kuni but now as Wano Kuni characters are trying to convince Zoro away from reclaiming Shusui, I feel that if ultimately the reasoning behind Zoro not being trusted with the blade is because of his perceived unworthiness, Zoro should flat out refuse to give Shusui up. Zoro is the rightful owner of the blade as Ryuuma’s spirit had given it to him and for all intents and purposes, Zoro has inherited Ryuuma’s will regardless of whether the rest of Wano Kuni believe him. Zoro intends to be the greatest swordsman in the world and for that to happen, I believe he NEEDS to be recognized as being worthy of Shusui and if the only way for that to happen would be for Zoro to ignore Wano Kuni and take Shusui, he should definitely do that. I don’t care if Enma was the blade that separated the skies and pierced the Moon, by Zoro accepting Hiyori’s offer, he is indirectly expressing his unworthiness of Shusui and that of a swordsman. Shusui is not a blade one replaces. Shusui is a blade that demands recognition and a future beyond being just an historic relic the people of Wano Kuni wish to attach their illusionary hopes onto. Zoro will show everyone why Ryuuma gave Shusui to him and why Shusui NEEDS to be wielded by him. Zoro will exceed both the “Sword God” Ryuuma and the current greatest swordsman in the world, Mihawk.
Did Kawamatsu know about Lady Toki’s abilities or was his belief in her prophecy based on his respect and honour for her that she would not lie? My guess is that he knew as Lady Toki would have told him her plan but regardless of what Kawamatsu knew, he believed that Wano Kuni would have a chance in 20 years from when the nation was lost. Thanks to that belief, he was able to convince Onimaru of this shortly after meeting him and as a result, many years later, the weapons Kin’emon deeply requires for the rebel army has been collected.
Hopefully Onimaru’s story continues throughout this arc because I am interested in learning what exactly he is and what sort of magic he is using to transform into a person. Does Onimaru have a Devil Fruit or is he genuinely able to utilise magic? Are animals within Wano Kuni just special due to a particular reason? Would this reason have anything to do with the Ancient Civilisation and why Wano Kuni was the home of those who created the Poneglyphs? Would Onimaru know where the Poneglyphs are kept? Also does Onimaru have some association with Ryuuma? There are so many questions to ask and hopefully we get some answers to them going forward. Onimaru’s introduction did remind of Chouchou from way back near the start of One Piece when Luffy met Buggy. In the town there was dog called Chouchou who was protecting his master shop after his master died from an illness, much like how Onimaru was protecting the memory and honour of the Ringo citizens once Lord Shimotsuki died. Very much looking forward to the next chapter and more Onimaru.