Enigmatic, introverted and reserved, Robin may not always be frank with her feelings but when it comes to living the life saved by the Straw Hat Pirates, she is valorously expressive about her gratitude. It may not be in words but her actions speak just as loudly if not more so. Robin has lived a life where she was forced to detach herself from the construct of society and exist as a independent player within the shadows. Camaraderie and fellowship were nonexistent within such a world for Robin. That is, until she met Luffy and the Straw Hat Pirates. Robin’s perspective and heart changed since her encounter with them. The joy she now feels is a direct result of the connections she has made with her fellow nakama. Robin realises she is not living life alone, she has others which she can live alongside. As a result, when those bonds are challenged, she won’t sit idly by and let others undermine those she cares about. Robin is aware that ignorance is bliss but she is also aware that vengeance is a dish best served cold and that is exactly what Black Maria has coming for her. The Devil Child has awakened and with it, the Lotus will bloom.
I finally understand the context in which Sanji’s request for assistance was made and my goodness, when read in that context, Sanji’s actions and Robin’s response are heart-warmingly beautiful. Those events from two years ago have come full circle. Sanji may be mocked for his actions but the meaning behind his request can only be understood by the Straw Hat Pirates.
The words Sanji wanted Robin to say during that time two years have become the words Sanji had shouted to Robin in his moment of need. When Sanji confronted Robin two years ago in Water 7 and during his rescue attempt with Usopp and Franky on the Puffing Tom, Sanji wanted Robin to say those words. Those simple words that encapsulated her belief in them. In the bond they share. An expression of faith. Sanji wanted Robin to request her nakama to help her. This becomes immensely more reflective after the events in Totto Land where Sanji arrived at the point where he too needed to rely on his nakama but failed to do so initially. Only after a reminder of who he is and where he belongs did he understand how it felt to be on the other side. Sanji now has no issue with relying on his nakama, And equally, he wants his nakama to have no issue with relying on him. Robin gets that and understands the significance of Sanji requesting her assistance. Those words mean more than just the reading of the dialogue. It is an expression of his belief in her. As expression that he is the type of person reflected by his principles. An expression that he and the rest of the Straw Hat Pirates won’t abandon her.
The rest of the enemy forces on Onigashima Island may laugh but Nico Robin knows. She knows the context surrounding Sanji’s words and what he meant. The Beast Pirates continue to underestimate the Straw Hat Pirates and that will be the hammer closing the final nail on the coffin called defeat. Their hubris makes them blind to the reality in front of them. The Beast Pirates have been cornered by those intending to defeat them. Black Maria has yet to realise it but she has been the one ensnared in the web called delusion. Brook has set the stage for Robin in such a smooth and chilling manner. And Robin is now ready to perform her part in defeating Black Maria. I can’t wait for the battle to come back in focus. I. Am. Excite!
Turning to Luffy, I love how he is more concerned with the lack of meat on hand than with his injuries. Normally, meat isn’t the solution all problems but in the case of Luffy, I guess his rubber body is beyond normal. The barren part of Wano they are in will be a problem though but strangely, there is a solution that presented itself within the scene. Caribou and his Numa Numa no Mi could be the unlikely hero that turns the tide of war back into the Samurai Rebellion’s favour. Caribou could still be holding onto the meat pie granny gave him in his cover story (chapter 728 cover). It may only be one pie but that one pie could be the difference between Luffy reaching One Pie[ce] or not. I wouldn’t put it past Oda-sensei in making a call back to such a mundane development in a cover story. Caribou’s relevance has been hanging in the air for a while now and his role may in fact be assisting Luffy getting back in the fight.
Momonosuke’s time is also coming. His fears, apprehension and youth will need to take a backseat to the responsibility he has chosen to carry. Just as Oden carried the weight of Wano on his shoulders during his execution, it is now Momonosuke’s turn to carry the weight of one of Wano’s saviors on his back. Momonosuke is will need to transform into his Dragon form and take Luffy back up to Onigasima. Belief and resolve are what Momonosuke need. And I after what Momonosuke has been through with Yamato and the knowledge he has acquired from the little he has read of Oden’s journal, I belief Momonosuke has what it takes to rise to this challenge. Momonosuke has been constantly being saved by others through his quest but now a moment for him to save others has arisen and he won’t back down from such a role. Momonosuke may even use his Devil Fruit powers to keep Onigasima from crashing onto the Flower Capital or at least part of it – Caribou could use his Numa Numa no Mi to suck up some of the debris that falls toward the Flower Capital.
Turning to the Kaido VS Yamato battle, it appears that the Devil Fruit’s representation as Wano’s Guardian Deity holds symbolic meaning to Kaido. It appears that the reason for Kaido wanting Yamato to become the shogun of his New Onigashima sovereign is not because Yamato is his child but because Yamato had accidentally consumed the Inu Inu no Mi, Model: Okuchi-no-Makami. Such a possibility dilutes Kaido’s affection for Yamato and blurs their relation as Parent and Child. Does Kaido only care about Yamato becoming the Shogun because Yamato currently possesses the Mythical Zoan Devil Fruit? There does appear to be more to their relationship given the events that led to the current point. If Kaido only cared about the Devil Fruit and not Yamato, he would have already killed Yamato to rebirth the Devil Fruit (I assume he has knowledge of the Devil Fruit cycle considering Queen is one of his subordinates). The fact that Kaido hasn’t killed Yamato implies that Kaido can’t bring himself to kill Yamato – Kaido still cares for his child. Beyond the stress and agony Yamato had caused Kaido (from Kaido’s perspective), Kaido still values the relationship they have. Kaido may not show it in a fatherly manner but I wonder if that is all Kaido knows. At the very least, even though Kaido doesn’t agree with Yamato, I believe Kaido respects Yamato and does not want him to die. Yamato holding the Inu Inu no Mi, Model: Okuchi-no-Makami may be the reason for Kaido wanting Yamato to be the shogun of his New Onigashima but it is not the only reason Kaido has to care about Yamato.
The current battle may help Kaido embrace his true feelings and express them to Yamato who will have the opportunity to understand how his father feels. And extending beyond their feelings, Kaido could even share the history of his family with Yamato as well as his reasons for his actions over the past twenty years. If Kaido wishes to make Yamato understand his point of view, he will need to do more than just swinging his kanabo and firing his Blast Breath. Kaido should be aware of how stubborn and resolved Yamato can be, not to mention how ineffectual his beatings are. Kaido may not like to engage in excessive dialogue explaining his actions but this situation calls for it if he wishes to make an argument for Yamato to join him. This was an excellent chapter. Very much looking forward to the next one! And yeah, I really do love Yamato’s Mythical Zoan form, it looks divine, ferocious and majestic.