The fight rages. A father advances. A son weights through the multitude of emotions swelling up inside them. Illuminated by the light of a full moon, the two reflect back on their relations and expose their intentions through the actions they express. The future they each seek, conflicts. And present at such a convergence, they clash. As Yamato comes to terms with their father’s rejection of their dreams, he recalls memories of his past where he met people who not only believed in him but accepted him and his dreams. Yamato wants to be a Samurai and inspired was he by the legendary warriors that gave their lives for the future. Alongside Oden were the unnamed Samurai that saved Yamato. And on him, those Samurai placed their hope to carry their wills into the future where Wano Kuni could be saved. The burden Yamato chose to carry was not only his own desires but that of the nameless Samurai and Kozuki Oden. They believed in him and he has chosen to believe in himself too. The spirit of the Samurai burns radiantly within the resolve of Yamato.
For me, I find Yamato to be an incredibly fascinating and exciting character. What I find truly compelling is how they handled themselves as a living being within the environment they were in. They should have been riddled with despair and engulfed in a darkness that all but crippled them. Yet, as the hopelessness of everything around them raged. something within Yamato anchored onto a constant that weathered them through the storm of despondency. The spirit of a Samurai touched Yamato and became the flame that would not only save Yamato from succumbing to the darkness that is the negativity of their mind but also enabled them to discover the strength they held within. In addition to being left in awe, Yamato leaves me inspired.
Kaido has reached a point where the end point of his desires appears to overwhelm any love he holds toward Yamato. He has no issue striking Yamato with killing blows in their current battle and even in the past, had no issue with placing Yamato in front of deaths door. Kaido could not accept Yamato’s admiration for Oden and rejected it by chaining Yamato up and leaving him in a cave without food for a month. Placed on the brink of desperation, Kaido intended to break Yamato’s spirit and force him to concede to his will. His methods were inhumane yet the question still remains, during that time, would Kaido have really let Yamato die? Would Kaido have felt nothing if his son was unable to survive and died of starvation? Does Kaido not love Yamato or does his belief in Yamato extend so far that he believes no matter the struggles Yamato is met with, he will overcome them? Could Kaido’s treatment of Yamato be an extension of the treatment he suffered? And does the blood shared between the two come into play? There exist a strange bond between father and son and I don’t believe the form of such a bond is exactly how it appears. Kaido may detest Yamato’s reverence for Oden but there is a level of respect Kaido for his son. It may appear Kaido values Yamato as only an asset toward reaching his desires but I believe there is more to their relation than that. Once Kaido begins to share his history and the relevance of his blood, Yamato may come to understand the nature of his father’s actions and the intent behind them.
Equally, Yamato sharing their beliefs, dreams and desires will impact Kaido’s perspective of his son. Yamato does not want to reject his father as is conveyed through the numerous times Yamato is surprised at his father placing him in fatal situations. Deep within Yamato’s heart, he sees Kaido as as father and continues to believe that the father that exist within his heart is a reflection, at least in part, of the man now crushing Wano Kuni under his tyranny. Yamato does want his father to accept him and his admiration for Oden. As the two continue to battle, deeper layers of their heart will be exposed and a greater understanding they will each have for the other will be reached. I don’t see the relationship between Kaido and Yamato remaining as such. Through this battle and the upcoming battle Kaido will have against Luffy, he will realise the weight of Yamato’s choices. Kaido may not understand those choices but I believe he will come to acknowledge them as he is defeated and everything he built and worked for over the decades dissipates in front of him. The relevance of Joy Boy and the person who will carry on what Joy Boy started will be integral in Kaido’s perspective going forward. Depending on what Kaido really seeks, Yamato may end up continuing that.
Turning to the nameless Samurai within the cave that saved Yamato, they are in all likelihood famous Samurai of Wano Kuni. Samurai that are now too ashamed to call themselves by their name.
The Samurai Rebellion keeping the Beast Pirates from interfering with Zoro and Sanji’s battle against King and Queen were great moments to see. They all wholeheartedly believe in Zoro and Sanji taking down the two top members of Kaido’s army. Jinbe’s curiosity of Kaido’s status was noteworthy and a potential foreshadow to the gratitude they will feel toward Yamato once they are informed who the one keeping Kaido busy was. Kaido isn’t tearing apart the Rebellion solely because Yamato is now on the roof of the Onigashima Skull dome challenging his father. Jinbe is aware of the strangeness of Kaido’s absence and will continue to wonder who to thank for it, hence the question he posed to Brook. Usopp being Usopp was fantastic. Very much looking forward to the next chapter and seeing more of Yamato’s flashback.