Living a life where death is out of reach can disillusion ones mind to the value of life. When every action remains free from the ultimate consequence, what stakes would matter in ones eyes? Death becomes a dream and boredom defines itself within the realm of reality. The strength Kaido naturally possesses diminishes any semblance of challenge from approach. The actions he has taken speaks to the longing raging within his soul. Kaido demands chaos. He seeks an escape. He craves to live. And the best form of defining a life is knowing that death walks alongside you hand-in-hand. Luffy has awoken Kaido’s soul and through it, an excitement long forgotten begins to reverberate across his being. In this moment, Kaido has come to feel the joys of living once again.
The longer this arc goes on, the more I find myself growing to become fascinated by the atypical representation of Kaido as an antagonist. Like Luffy he too has a dream. Kaido wished to change the world and journey toward a destination where a different reality existed. Yet through the decades, such a desire waned and languished. Be it Kaido’s circumstances or the lack of progress or the change in belief or his melancholy attitude toward life or a combination of all or several elements, but he changed. Kaido came to seek chaos and a way to reignite the heartbeat of his soul again. Kaido did express sorrow in having to rebuild his mansion but beyond that momentary irritation, he finds himself reveling in the opposition he is facing. A challenger that can fight him toe to toe.
The drunken phases of Kaido were hilarious. All that pent up emotion and stress being able to be released. The manner in which it was presented may have been comical but how terrifying it was to see Kaido unleash in such a state. Kaido by his existence is a force of nature and seeing him freely exercise his stress through his attacks onto Luffy reminds the reader that he truly is one of the strongest existences in the One Piece world. When not shackled by disinterest or despondency, Kaido represents an unstoppable force. Coincidentally, matched against Kaido is another force of nature that shatters any concept of reason when imbued by their conviction. Luffy has learned to tank Kaido’s attack and dish his own right back at him. At the end of the war the result will depend on who possessed the greater will i.e. Luffy. Kaido has acknowledged Luffy and will come to accept that Luffy is the one who has by his journey and spirit inherited Joy Boy’s will. And by extension, I feel Kaido will also come to accept that Yamato’s assessment of Luffy was correct which could breakdown the rejection Kaido has toward Yamato wanting to joining Luffy’s crew. Once concluded, Kaido may come to be compelled by Yamato’s potential journey with the Straw Hat Pirates. Where Kaido failed, he may come to look forward to Yamato succeeding i.e. bringing about the Dawn.
I don’t see Kaido and Luffy exchanging blows for much longer as they both must be reaching their limits but I wonder if there more in store before eventual conclusion is reached? Will Kaido fall be painted in the same manner as previous arc antagonist or will Kaido deviate from such a path by following a new found desire, one that sees Kaido indirectly assisting the Straw Hat Pirates? Given the build up, Luffy will be the one to defeat Kaido but what happens after Kaido falls and admits defeat? Will he captured by the Marines or will he die? Or could a different path be left for him to travel where he comes to accept that the one to become Joy Boy is none other than Luffy. This change in perspective could serve to withdraw Kaido into the shadows where he finds excitement in following Luffy and his son’s journey toward finding One Piece and changing the world. Through Yamato and his journey, Kaido may come to feel alive.
The conversation between the Five Elders of the Marijoa is such a curious one. I can understand why they wouldn’t want Luffy causing another major wave within the world and why they wish not to have Robin running around free but what were they talking about regarding the legendary Devil Fruit that the World Government feared? What do they mean that the World Government gave the Devil Fruit a specific name in order to erase the Fruit’s name from the annals of history? Why would the World Government want to erase mention of a Devil Fruit’s name? What could the name be and how would it tarnish the representation of the World Government if it were known? There are so many questions to answer that it becomes disorientating trying to wrap my mind around potential ways in which this development could play out.
With Zunesha present, the attack the World Government envision may not proceed as they planned. And if Zunesha has appeared in the surrounding seas of Wano Kuni, I wonder if other allies of the Straw Hat Pirates have appeared. In order to defend their Captain and the Straw Hat Pirates after the Beast Pirates are defeated, the Straw Hat Pirate Grand Fleet being present would make sense – certain Grand Fleet members could have found out about Luffy’s conflict with Kaido and Big Mom during the Reverie. Very much looking forward to the coming chapters.