The climatic moment approaches with the weight from decades of pain, suffering and death characterising it. Oden was Wano’s hero but on the day he died, the night representing such a tragedy never ended. Its darkness continued for 20 years encapsulating the whole of Wano and bringing about a reality defined in misery and destruction. Throughout such devastation, a single hope remained in the hearts of the people of Wano. A hope symbolizing the Moon reflecting the light from the Sun within the darkness. Toki’s prophecy of the dawn in 20 years time. On that prophecised day, Wano will be set free and the sun will once again shine on its people. The hope of Wano across 20 years have amassed on this day and the representation of it lies in the form of a titanic fist thrusting itself down from the Heavens onto the embodiment of darkness imprisoning Wano.
Luffy’s final attack is spectacular. Bajrang Gun remains incredibly overwhelming and unbelievable. It truly conveys itself as a divine fist coming down from the Heavens to impart its encompassing justice onto the darkness perverting the universal balance. The association with Hanuman via the name of Luffy’s attack “Bajrang” (one of Hanumans synonyms) is a very fascinating development as the theme of the Sun is also central to Hanuman, who is a divine Vanara (monkey). I am familiar with Hanuman’s lore and as per Hindu legends, before Hanuman was born his mother, Anjana, had consumed payasam (sacred pudding) which was dropped by a Kite (bird) when by divine ordinance it snatched a fragment of the payasam away from the source as it was being delivered to a king. The payasam was dropped over a forest where Hanuman’s mother was worshiping Vayu (Wind God). Vayu noticed the falling payasam and delivered it to the outstretched hands of Anjana. After consuming the payasam, Anjana gave birth to Hanuman.
The story of how Hanuman received his boons (power) takes place when he was child. When confusing the red-coloured sun as a fruit and leaping toward it, Indra, the king of Heaven intervened and struck Hanuman with his thunderbolt. Hanuman’s father, Vayu, became upset and proceeded to withdraw all the air on Earth. With the lack of air, immense suffering to all living beings resulted. Lord Shiva (God of Destruction and one of the three principal deities) intervened and resuscitated Hanuman, which in turn prompted Vayu to return air to the world. To express his remorse, Indra granted Hanuman a wish/boon. Other gods also came to grant Hanuman wishes/boon. Such blessings empowered Hanuman and assisted in defining the legend he would become. What is curious about the story of Hanuman is the relevance of Vayu, the Wind God. Relative to One Piece, Dragon appears to take the role of Vayu seeing as he possesses the ability to manipulate wind. Does this mean that he possesses a Wind God Fruit (Hito Hito variant)?
We finally get confirmation that Yamato’s saviors from the sacred cave he was chained in were the Wano Daimyo. I suspected as much and am glad the clues lined up to actuality. The Daimyo tried to challenge Orochi and Kaido but they were unable to match Kaido’s strength. As a result, they fell and three of them were captured and imprisoned on Onigashima to be converted. This is where they met Yamato, whom inspired them into action once again after passing their wills onto him. Once the Daimyo and Samurai rebellion were quashed, the remaining Samurai and citizens proceeded to wait for Toki’s prophecy to come to pass. Over the next 20 years, the people of Wano endured sufferings, death and the hopelessness that came from the consuming darkness overwhelming their spirits.
Regarding Orochi, he has been the main antagonist for Wano since Kaido’s arrival. Kaido may have been the obstacle preventing liberation but the one who made Wano suffer for 20 years was Orochi. Contrary to how some perceive Orochi, he was not incompetent. He may have been a fool but he knew how to wield the power he had in pursuit of his desires.
The focus on Orochi summarizing his disdain for Wano within this chapter allowed for his relevance as an antagonist to be noted once again after his detachment from the attention of the narrative after being betrayed by Kaido. The people of Wano tragically suffered because of his hatred and even the lands were extensively ruined. Rivers have been polluted, lands have been left desolate unable to yield crops, people have had the freedom of emotion robbed from them and children have come to know of a world only defined in suffering and torment. Wano has been left broken with its people hanging onto the edge with just the hope they have in Kozuki Toki’s prophecy and the belief in some grander existence overseeing the injustices going on around Wano. For this one day in the year where the people are able to forget about their misery, they release their hopes into the heaven’s praying for it to be heard.
Orochi’s ultimate defeat wasn’t exactly through Denjiro but from the coalesces of uncertainties overwhelming him, of which Hiyori dominated. Orochi is methodological in his antagonism but when situation after situation introduced inexpectancy, the foundation for scheming disappeared. Orochi hid and became more cautious of further unexpected variables. Orochi would have remained concealed if not for Hiyori’s presence and the web she ensnared him in since becoming Komurasaki.
Hiyori played Orochi at his own game and won. Power isn’t defined in how hard a punch one can throw is but in how hard one can shatter another person’s resolve. Orochi was a master at mentally tormenting his opponents (Oden and Wano). Hiyori employed a similar strategy against Orochi in regards to playing a part and biding ones time to strike when there was an opening. Orochi could deal with physical threats like Sukiyuki, Oden and his retainers by employing deceptive tactics of camouflage and espionage but he was not prepared to face an opponent who use the same methods against him.
Hiyori used whatever power she had to bring about Orochi’s defeat. The shaminsen Hiyori played was used to both attract Orochi to her and to notify Denjiro where she was. Zoro was able to hear Hiyori’s shaminsen from outside of Onigashima, so it seems likely that Denjiro, who was looking for Hiyori and Orochi, would also pick up on the sound. Additionally, within the confusion caused, Hiyori was able to secretly place a seastone nail on Orochi without him noticing. All that effort by Hiyori led to Orochi revealing his final Yamata no Orochi head which Denjiro beheaded. If Orochi wasn’t killed, at the very least he should have lost the ability to utilise his Yamata no Orochi form.
With Orochi now defeated, the final opponents left are Kaido and the remaining CP-0 agent. Luffy and Kaido’s final attacks have clashed with the outcome seemingly positioned to take place in the next chapter barring a shift in focus to Kaido’s past. Beyond the battle Luffy and Kaido are engaged in, Momonosuke and Yamato are below Onigashima attempting to move it away from the path of Luffy’s titanic-szied fist. Everything Momonosuke has experienced has been building up toward this moment. Will he grab ahold of the future he wishes to bring about and drag it into the present moment? Will Momonosuke be able to bear the weight of Wano and its future on his back? I believe he can. Momonosuke will embrace his destiny and summon the power to move Onigashima away from the path Luffy’s fist will be directing a defeated Kaido. Very much looking forward to the next chapter.
Enjoyment level: 8/10