A dream held by many upon entry into the New World that has driven their path of uncertainty further into the unknown towards a treasure substantiated by their ambitions; the desire to become the Pirate King. But when encountering a presence incomprehensible to their reality, all but a resolute few find their spirits crumbling into submission with no choice but to abandon their beliefs in favour of a life entrenched in servitude. Kaido embodies that incomprehensible presence and the members of the Beast Pirates represent the individuals once motioned by their choices now subservient to the designs of the Strongest Creature. Yamato aware of the characteristics of his father now seeks to join together with the resolute few who are able to remain convicted in the face of an existence overwhelming to the senses of many.
Even though we have just been introduced to Yamato in this chapter, we can still deduce the reasons for his current actions based on the dialog Kaido has expressed concerning Yamato and the context in which Yamato decided to disappear in. If Yamato supported Kaido, there would be no reason for his current actions. Rather, because he has isolated himself from other Beast Pirates, this heavily implies that Yamato disagrees with certain decisions made by his father or at the very least does not support them. That disagreement has now precipitated itself through Yamato’s actions of knocking out Ulti and fleeing with Luffy from the Beast Pirates chasing them. Given that Yamato turned on the Beast Pirates to assist Luffy and has expressed to Luffy that he has been waiting for him, it can be presumed that Luffy embodies something Yamato seeks. Delving into the realm of speculation further, I would surmise that Yamato has become tired of seeing people’s spirits broken down by his father and instead wishes to meet someone who is able to stand face to face with Kaido without compromising their dreams. Given the upheaval the Straw Hat Pirates have caused throughout the world since the start of the series, if Yamato was able to acquire information about them, it would be natural for him to believe that Luffy would be a person capable of challenging Kaido. I suppose even without that information and only knowing how Luffy reacted once knocked unconscious by Kaido, that too would be enough to convey to Yamato what he needs to know. Oda-sensei having Luffy declare his intent of becoming Pirate King again in this chapter could be seen as defining the difference between people like Luffy and those such as the Beast Pirates whom knelt once experiencing Kaido’s power. That display of conviction also serves to parallel Luffy’s encounter with Kaido in preparation for his encounter with Kaido’s son, Yamato, which I believe is the impetus for Yamato’s current actions that will develop into Yamato assisting the Straw Hat Pirates against Kaido, Orochi, Big Mom and the Beast Pirates.
Yamato’s introduction was spectacular. If Oda-sensei wanted to introduce an important character within his story, this is the way for it to be done. Through the span of three pages, Yamato has become an immensely fascinating character whose entrance beckons curiosity. What is he? How does he know Luffy? Why was he waiting for Luffy? Where was he hiding? Is there a particular reason why we have not heard about Yamato before reaching Wano Kuni? Does Yamato have a bounty? Was Yamato the presence that distracted the Beast Pirates when they encountered Kid? And the most important question, what does Yamato look like behind that mask? Based on what we have seen of Yamato, his design is incredibly memorable. Much like Franky who was introduced wearing a mask to set him apart from everyone in the Water Seven Arc, Yamato too has been given a design that leaves his presence and image imprinted within the mind. Yamato’s first panel in the manga mirrors that of Kaido’s when Kaido took out Gear Fourth Luffy in one hit with the same move. Yamato also utilises a Kanabo like his father, though unlike Kaido, Yamato does not use a spiked kanabo but an iron-studded kanabo. Oda-sensei’s very deliberately wanted the audience to make the comparison between Yamato and Kaido and at the same time have the audience realise the differing strengths between the two through the dynamic panel he portrayed Kaido in who only utilised one arm against Yamato’s panel where two arms were used with a less electric drive. In the span of a few panels, we came to appreciate how powerful Yamato is and why the Tobi Roppo were summoned to search for and to secure Yamato. Given Yamato’s chains, if there are genuine chains and not merely accessories, it would mean that Kaido has had at some point bound Yamato and had him chained. Yamato’s outfit suggest that he is influenced by Wano Kuni culture which in turn indicates that he has at the very least had a chance to immerse himself in the Wano Kuni society. The addition of the Hannya mask further illustrates Yamato’s respect for the culture of Wano Kuni. If anything, one would think that Yamato seeks to protect the Wano Kuni culture he has come to love.
Perospero is about to join the chaos ensuing within Onigashima Island and in contrast to Big Mom, Perospero has no intention of supporting the alliance between the Big Mom Pirates and the Beast Pirates. With such a wild card entering the mix that seeks to disrupt all parties plans, how exactly will the events shift now that Perospero is here. Given that Perospero is the reason Pedro had to sacrifice himself, the Mink’s will surely react once they realise Perospero is on Onigashima Island. Will Carrot be the one to challenge Perospero or will the Mink as a collective end up facing Perospero and his sadistic madness? And is Perospero really alone? Could he not have taken others along with him? Hopefully with Perospero arriving on Onigashima and being part of the focus, we get to learn what happened to the Germa 66.
The big announcement Kaido plans to make and the reason for why he requires Yamato’s presence is because he most likely plans for Yamato to marry one of Big Mom’s children. Very much looking forward to the next chapter and learning more about Yamato. Could Yamato be a potential Nakama candidate? If not, would Yamato end up being the protector of Wano Kuni once Kaido and Orochi are dealt with in order to repent for what his father has done over the past two decades? What if the big secret Kaido is keeping and the reason for keeping Yamato chained up is because Yamato is not Kaido’s son but his daughter. Can’t wait to see how the arc develops.