In face of the inevitable end, the choice one has is whether they go out with a whimper or a bang and in the case of the Legendary Samurai, Kozuki Oden, the end was met with a blaze so radiant that the flames of his spirit burned within those witness to his end memories of a moment unforgettable. His actions, that were performed for the people of Wano Kuni, had their image perverted by narrations of malice through the schemes and hatred of Orochi Kurozumi. The will of his spirit didn’t end with his apparent physical death, instead it was carried through space and time in the hearts of many right through to the moment in the current time. The Kozuki will has been inherited and the wishes of Oden has been heard. The time has come for the country of Wano to be liberated from the chains of Orochi and for the Yonko, Kaido, to be defeated.
How glorious Oden’s end was. Despite how impossible and desperate the situation seemed, Oden continued to move forward and forced opened a path onto which a future where his country can be saved existed. Oden knew what end awaited him and yet still pushed forward, all the while carry the lives of his 9 retainers on his back, leaving to them his dream of opening up the borders of Wano. Carrying on his dream, Oden’s retainers fought to survive and now find themselves in a time 20 years later with the opportunity to fulfil that which Oden desired.
We finally get to see what happened with Denjiro during the past 20 years and how surprising to think he was really Kyoshiro and the Witching-Hour at that. I knew Kyoshiro wasn’t an enemy of the Straw Hat Pirates and Wano Kuni but I had kept wondering exactly how he connected to story and now I know how. To think grief and anger transformed Denjiro so dramatically that he looked nothing like he did before. What a fantastic development, I discarded this possibility because they looked nothing alike but how naive of me. Given the similarities in how they look and the ages, I had thought that Denjiro was Koushirou. Even though that may not be the case, it could still be revealed that Koushirou is somehow related to Denjiro (cousin or sibling?). The fact that Denjiro and Hiyori continued to get closer to Orochi all the while keeping their identities hidden reveals just how determined they are to continue Oden’s will and to in a sense avenge his death.
We also find out who the spy within the alliance is that has been leaking information and what a surprise, it was one of the Samurai who had been sent to the past by Lady Toki. Now it makes sense why Orochi was still so fearful by Lady Toki’s prophecy, it is because he had the spy to substantiate it. Oh Kanjuro, to think you were the one who got close to Oden to feed Orochi information. What an unexpected twist and what tremendous foresight by Orochi to implement such a scheme to assist in his desire to both transform and destroy Wano Kuni for his own vengeance and gain. Is this why Oda-sensei changed Kanjuro’s character design after his initial silhouette because he made the decision to have Kanjuro be revealed as the spy during the Wano Kuni Arc? To think such a twist was years in development, how thrilling. I didn’t suspect any of the Samurai that were sent through time to be the spy due to spy then having an easier time to kill Momonosuke but I never expected the spy to be a mentally unstable psychotic man that was a descendant of the head of the Kurozumi family. I only suspected Kanjuro once Orochi revealed the spy was an actor and that they had a Devil Fruit ability. For such an existence to have the capacity to act as a genuine ally only to behind it all be someone who wishes for a place to die so badly that they are willing to entrench themselves in such madness. It is because of such a state that Kanjuro was able to make it so far without anyone suspecting him, because his attempts at playing the ally were genuine and true. But to Kanjuro, that identity was merely a role that he wished to play perfectly all in order to serve his master, Orochi. It’s frightening to think that such an existence was created. And this was while the Kozuki were ruling. Just as Fishman Island had to confronts the darkness within its shadows, Wano Kuni will need to do the same once they have liberated themselves from Orochi, Kaido and the Beast Pirates.
Unfortunately for Orochi, the plan he had in place with Kanjuro was mainly for his battle against Oden and with a new protagonist showing up in the form of Monkey D. Luffy, the piece known as Kanjuro can only work so well when so many unknowns having been introduced into the country of Wano. Kaido had two opportunities to end it all; one when he had Momonosuke by the neck and chose to let him die by the flames engulfing the castle and two when he had captured Luffy and chose not to kill him. Not only are Orochi and Kaido underestimating Samurai but they are now also underestimating Pirates. Very much looking forward to the next chapter (is Lady Toki alive?).