The freedom to sail. The freedom to adventure. The freedom to dream. The freedom to live. Underpinning Yamato’s enchantment with the world is the ability to experience it freely. Through the stories noted in Oden’s journal, Yamato has become fascinated with what lies beyond the borders of Wano. From the age of eight, Yamato has been holding onto the dream of going out to sea and on adventures. The appearance of Ace not only allowed Yamato to bond with someone appreciative of their dream but also have information conveyed about the new generation of pirates making a name for themselves in the world. Through such romanticism for adventure and freedom, Yamato has come to know about Luffy and his prominence in Ace’s eyes.
Despite the hostile meeting Yamato and Ace had upon their initial encounter, Ace quickly came to understand the situation Yamato was in and thanks to his passionate nature, Yamato was able to confront their true feelings and express them unashamed – to go out to sea and adventure. The gesture of destroying Kaido’s prized dragon statue at the entrance of Onigashima symbolised Yamato embracing the freedom within themselves. Ace in turn freely acknowledged that conviction by impressing his “spirit” onto the dragon statue which Ace expressed was to be a warning for Kaido for when he returns.
Yamato and Ace share sake bottles with Yamato promising that if they ever get the bindings off, they will go out to sea. This moment heavily supports the reality that once Yamato helps liberate Wano Kuni from Kaido, they will go out to sea for an adventure. Whether it be with the Straw Hat Pirates or another group, it has become clear at this point that Yamato will not remain on Wano Kuni after the arc. The Straw Hat Pirates though are the likely candidates for whom Yamato will adventure with when they leave Wano considering the bond Yamato had developed with Ace, the relation they now have with Luffy and Yamato’s affinity with the Straw Hat Pirates. In addition, Yamato is also curious about the “Will of D” which they have become knowledgeable of through the entries within Oden’s journal. Alongside the Straw Hat Pirates and Law, Yamato will come to learn more about the “Will of D” and how those with the initial will play a part in shaping the age.
Upon Yamato’s enquiry, Ace also shares information of the rising pirate rookies around the world. Yamato is left in awe by the stories of the other pirates such as Cavendish, Kid, Law and Bege who had set out to sea around the world. Yamato will meet Law and Kid on Onigashima and fight alongside them. Yamato will meet Bege when they leave with the Straw Hat Pirates and they eventually face off against Big Mom in the future. Yamato will also meet Cavendish who is part of the Straw Hat Pirate alliance. If and when Yamato does join the Straw Hat Pirates, they will meet the rest of the Straw Hat Pirate Grand Fleet captains with the Straw Hat Pirates who aren’t familiar with them yet. Just as Oden was left in wonder at the presence of Whitebeard and Roger, Yamato is left in awe at the famous pirates of their generation – Ace, Cavendish, Kid, Law, Bege and of course Luffy.
Diving deeper into the stories Ace shared with Yamato concerning Luffy, I wonder if Ace mentioned Shanks’s connection to Luffy and how it was Shanks who inspired Luffy to become a Pirate (Luffy’s Oden so to speak). I would consider that a likely possibility given Ace’s love for talking about Luffy and his acknowledgement of Yamato as a friend. Ace had by this time recognised Yamato’s passion for adventure and their love for the freedom pirates exercise, so it would not be out of character for Ace to talk about Shanks, Luffy’s idol, to Yamato. It would explain why Ace believes in Luffy so strongly.
Focusing on Ace’s tattoo, I am curious about whether the conversation Ace and Yamato shared extended to the meaning behind it, in particular the crossed out S. If Ace was talking about his little brother, the conversation could have shifted to Ace talking about the “other” brother, especially with Ace and Yamato sharing sake bottles. Yamato could have been made aware of Sabo at that time and how Ace has to protect his little brother for both Sabo and himself but I wonder if Yamato is now aware that Sabo is alive. If Yamato is aware of Sabo’s presence in the Revolutionary Army, does Yamato realise the connection to Luffy? Considering Sabo is currently in trouble, it would be exciting to see two characters connected to Ace who couldn’t save him now join together to save Sabo, the brother who Ace thought dead. And through Yamato and Luffy reuniting with Sabo, the three could visit Ace’s grave to express the fulfillment of Ace’s promise from three years ago via pouring sake cups and sharing a drink. The three could also pay their respects to Whitebeard who Ace thought of as a father. There is much relevance and emotional substance in aligning Yamato with the Straw Hat Pirates post Wano.
As Yamato shares this story with Momonosuke and Shinobu, the two find out that Yamato is the child of Kaido’s. They also find out that there was pirate who tried to save Wano Kuni before and that this pirate was the son of Roger and the elder brother of Luffy (who is now fighting Kaido to save Wano Kuni). Yamato mentions that for Momonosuke to meet Luffy out of all the countless pirates present in the sea, that can only be considered an act of fate. One that will help see Wano Kuni liberated and the dream of Oden fulfilled. Beyond the act of fate though, there is one character to be appreciative of who made these events possible. A character whose actions led to Momonosuke and Luffy directly meeting. Thank you, Monet!
Yamato even notes the “D” in Luffy’s name while looking at the Oden’s journal. An aspect which Yamato appears to be deeply curious in. Coupling this curiosity with Yamato’s desire to sail the seas, their love for adventure and their awareness of the “Dawn”, I find the potential of Yamato becoming a main character very appealing and relevant.
Regarding Tama, I am glad she is finally aware of Luffy’s relation to Ace and the pain Luffy endured when he first found out Ace had died. With that knowledge Tama has come to understand and appreciate Luffy more. As for the plan Tama proposed which Nami agreed to proceed with, I wonder if it has anything to do with Tama’s Devil Fruit ability. Given the countless Beast SMILEs Fruit users present on Onigashima Island, Tama could use her abilities to pacify the Beast Pirate SMILE users and turn them against the rest of the Beast Pirates. Or does the plan involve something else entirely?
Marco has decided to assist the Straw Hat Pirates by attracting the attention of the Beast Pirates giving Brook and Robin the opportunity to escape into the castle (should have called Brook, Soul King, Marco!). On top of focusing the Beast Pirates on him, Marco has grabbed a hold of Zoro and has begun flying him to the roof of the Onigashima Skull dome where Kaido and Big Mom await. Queen attempts to shoot down Marco but without possessing Kairoseki bullets, Queen’s shots are unable to harm Marco. King though still stands in the way of Marco and Zoro with the intention of ending any who stand against the Beast Pirates. Will Zoro create an opening for Macro to transport him or will they be impeded by King?
With the Whitebeard Pirates, contrary to what I had initially suspected, they knowledge of Oden’s death albeit several years after it had happened. They had considered attacking Kaido many times but when they recognised their actions would put the people of Wano at risk, they decided against proceeding. Ace wanted to go alone but Whitebeard stopped him questioning how Ace would defeat an enemy Oden couldn’t defeat. Izo and Marco requested Ace to take them along whenever Whitebeard gave him the go ahead though. It’s weird Whitebeard didn’t target Kaido to avenge the execution of his “brother” but considering the elements Whitebeard had to weight up and his ignorance of the true suffering ongoing within Wano Kuni, it does seem logical that he could have decided the avoid making things worse for Wano Kuni. Is is just a shame that someone who could have saved Wano Kuni didn’t even attempt to do so regardless of the consequences. How exactly did Whitebeard intend for Wano Kuni to escape their suffering, torment and tyrannical ruler?
Teach comments were amusing and so like him. He did acknowledge Oden was really strong though. If Yamato does represent Oden, joining the Straw Hat Pirates would definitely turn Teach’s head and make him sweat when he hears news of Kozuki Oden joining the Straw Hat Pirates.
As expected, Robin is the target of the Yonko. I wonder if Big Mom ordered Perospero to target Robin and capture her. More so that Kaido, Big Mom definitely has the end game in mind. What I am still curious about is the “true eye to awaken” feature of the three-eyes tribe. Will awakening the “third eye” really give the user the ability to interpret the Poneglyph text? If so, the only reason I can think of for why is because the three-eyes tribes are or were intimately linked to the Ancient Kingdom as one point in the past. If “awakening” allows the user to access abilities locked away within their blood, it would be logical for a three-eyes member to decode the Poneglyphs if the three-eyes clan were able to understand the language in the past. Very curious about Pudding involvement going forward.
Kaido intends to land Onigashima Island atop the remains of the Kozuki Clan castle. Along with destroying the symbol for the Kozuki clan, Kaido will end up killing many other people celebrating the Fire festival yet Kaido does not care. I shouldn’t expect anything more from Kaido but what a fiend he is. Big Mom’s comments regarding the Road Poneglyph location is very curious. I wonder if the Road Poneglyph resides within the tree that the Flower Capital castle sits on. Considering the Road Poneglyph in Zou was also located in a tree central to the land, I suspect it could be the same for Wano Kuni. Or Big Mom’s comment could be exactly what it means and the Road Poneglyph is not currently located within the Flower Capital. In that cast, I wonder if the Road Poneglyph could be stored behind the giant gates under the ruins of the Kuri Castle. Those gates are very suspicious.
Enjoyed Big Mom antagonising Kaido by referring to him as someone she thinks of as a little brother. Also pleasant surprised at the true form of Kaido’s Devil Fruit. It makes sense given the legend of the Koi that became a Dragon but what a creative spin on a Dragon Devil Fruit. To have it be a Fish Fish Devil Fruit. I love it. Big Mom was the one to give Kaido that Devil Fruit when they were in God Valley on the day Rocks fell. As a result, Big Mom believes Kaido owes her a life long debt for that.
What a substantial chapter this was. I am still processing the content it contained. Will Momonosuke reveal his dragon form to Yamato? Can Momonosuke do what Kaido is currently doing to Onigashima Island? If Onigashima Island needs to move to another destination can Momonosuke be the character able to perform the role of lifting Onigashima Island and moving it? And if not, how else will the Straw Hat Pirates and Yamato stop Onigashima Island from landing on Wano Kuni. Very very much looking for chapter 1,000! Can’t wait!