It is becoming increasing clear that the force that will challenge the current age won’t be just the Straw Hat Pirates but the next generation as a whole. Those that represent the powers standing against the status quo will be the architects for the future age for all intents and purposes. The Straw Hat Pirates won’t be alone in their fight against the past. As such, the focus given to the allies supporting the Straw Hat Pirates isn’t just a passing acknowledgement of their relevance but rather an expression of their continued importance to the change about to arise.
Kid and Law being able to awaken their Devil Fruits even if minimally helps to establish their growth against top tier enemies. Such a portrayal speaks to their path forward continuing to hold relevance within the future arcs of One Piece. Those that represent the next generation aren’t merely waiting for the Yonko or Marines to disappear, instead they are directly taking the fight to these opponents with complete intention of winning. The bonds born during this conflict will grow into a relation that will have cataclysmic consequences for those standing against the next generation.
And within the story of the next generation standing against the current era is the story of Yamato, who has held a fascination for pirates since a young age with knowledge of their importance to a history long forgotten. Yamato witnessing the efforts and capabilities of Kid and Law within this chapter wasn’t inconsequential. It was rather a signal by Oda toward his intention to continue to wrap Yamato within the story of the next generation who will determine the path forward for the coming era. Yamato has been long aware that the forces who challenge Kaido and the current era are the next generation of pirates. Yamato believes completely in Luffy and after seeing what Kid and Law can do, he will understand the necessity of joining forces with other pirates crews when the major war against the World Government begins. Set up has occurred with the pay off due to arrive in the future.
Every single member of the Eleven Supernovas are part of the next generation. Even characters like Apoo, Hawkins and Drake belong to the force that will help shape the future age. Hawkins is now aware of what may happen after seeing the Tower card and even though he stood with Kaido, it was only based on a consequence of his readings. If fate draws Hawkins toward going against Kaido, he will do so, which is what the Tower card now represents. And with Apoo, he understands what his best path forward is and is aware how the current moment represents an opportunity to crush Kaido. None of the current future generation members on Onigashima have any loyalty toward Kaido, they are all looking out for themselves with the intention to exploit any advantage they can get. All of their stories have been slowly building up toward them standing against Kaido. The next generation members plus Yamato may very well be the nine shadows prophesized by Toki or even if they aren’t, their intentions will conflict with Kaido’s.
Drake is an interesting case considering his position as a Marine. Is he currently aware of the Marines movement toward Wano or the CP-0’s mission to capture Robin? Personally, I don’t think so. Based on Drake’s previous report to Koby, he was shocked to learn the CP-0 were in Wano which conveys the level of secrecy existing between World Government and Marine organisations. Drake may have been informed by Koby or another SWORD member about the Marines movements toward Wano but I wouldn’t be surprised if he wasn’t aware. Once Drake finds out about the Marines and/or CP-0 movements, how will he act? Will he continue to support the Straw Hat Pirates or will his goals begin to deviate from the Straw Hat Pirates? I suspect Drake may continue to fight with the Straw Hat Pirates even against the CP-0. Drake’s turn was eventized by Oda-sensei with Drake asking Luffy directly about siding with him. I don’t see such an alliance breaking before the conclusion the arc. Apoo may presume he understands Drake but there is an honorable side to Drake that will compel him to remain aligned with Luffy until the end of the arc.
As expected Kin’emon is still alive but how curious that it was Law’s powers that helped keep Kin’emon alive. Kin’emon’s body being severed before by Law helped to negate the fatal damage he would have received from Kaido had he not been able to separate his body. How curious Law’s Ope Ope no Mi is. No matter how you look at it, Law’s abilities all seem tailored toward preventing death. When Kin’emon was about to die, Law’s powers kicked in and allowed his body to be severed by the powers rather than Kaido’s stab. This make me wonder about the Ope Ope no Mi’s effect on Monet’s heart. If the Devil Fruit does help prevent death, it supports the reality that Monet is still alive even after the injury she received from Caesar’s attack on her heart cube.
With Usopp heading toward Kin’emon and Kiku, will he run into Kanjuro’s apparition of the Kurozumi anger? Based on Orochi’s message to Kanjuro, Kazenbo appears to be heading toward the basement of Onigashima where the weapons and explosives are stored. It seems more likely that Yamato may run into Kazenbo on his way to the basement. It would not only give Yamato an enemy to face but also increase the tension surrounding the role he has. If Yamato does have to face a ghost-like entity, this could allow him to highlight more of his Inu Inu no Mi, Model: Okuchi no Makami. Very much looking forward to the next chapter.