The chapter framed itself within the context of Luffy representing Joy Boy, an existence prophecised to precipitate change. Within the narrative of an unfair world ruled by the whims of unjust nobles, the suffering of the people gave rise to a longing for liberation. Those aware of the legends of Joy Boy came to believe in its manifestation and approached life with such a thought in mind. King saw Joy Boy in Kaido. And despite Kaido’s doubt in Joy Boy’s existence, he had hoped for the contrary. The World Government feared Joy Boy and attempted to hid his existence from the world. Oden came to find out the importance of Joy Boy and desired to open Wano for this person. And finally, there is Yamato, who realised the identity of Joy Boy while grieving over Ace’s death. The man Yamato has waited for since that day. Within this chapter, the threads of Joy Boy all converged onto Luffy who drove his fist down from the heavens and sent Kaido flying into the depths of the Earth. A display that illustrated the overwhelming nature of Luffy’s Haki that has now knocked down the world’s strongest creature.
Kaido initially rejected Luffy’s relation to Joy Boy earlier when he knocked him off Onigashima but in the moment Luffy expressed what world he wishes for as he drove down his punch, Kaido subconsciously came to recall the comment he made to King regarding Joy Boy being the one who will defeat him in the future. Within that moment, Kaido accepted Luffy as Joy Boy. An opponent he had been hoping to meet for a long time. A person who could genuinely change the world. Even though Kaido sought to establish a world where war created the battlefield of equality and freedom, he recognised the value of Joy Boy. In a sense, Kaido’s hopes aren’t that far off from Yamato’s who also wished to meet Joy Boy. There is also the existence of Rocks whom Kaido may have initially believed to be the one who could change the world considering Rocks was after the throne of the world.
Taking the whole of the Wano arc in account, within the context of this chapter, at forefront of the Joy Boy embodiment was the belief Yamato held in Luffy. From their very first meeting Yamato always believed in Luffy and in his ability to defeat Kaido. Ever since the day Ace died, Yamato has come to recognise Luffy as the one whom Oden wished to open Wano for. Oden also desired to assist Joy Boy when he did appear. Now, for a character whom has inherited Oden’s will, it seems fitting for them to carry that will forward and assist the embodiment of Joy Boy. Even within this chapter, Yamato once again states their belief in Luffy in order to encourage Momonosuke to produce flame clouds and prevent Onigashima from falling down.
Kaido’s flashback encompassing decades of life was very brief. It gave the audience a general idea why Kaido would come to dislike humanity and pursue a path of destruction but the intricacies involved barely featured. What happened to Kaido’s parents and/or any other family he had. How did Kaido come to be on the Kingdom of Vodka and why would he follow the King? Did Kaido just desire battle? How did the story of Kaido getting captured by the Marines and escaping play out? The time Kaido spent with the Rocks Pirates was also glossed over. I suspect the story detailing Rocks, his desires and the truth of what happened on God Valley will be revealed at a later time when Blackbeard and/or the World Government/Tenryuubito comes into focus. With Kaido now defeated and likely on his way out of the focus of the story, the character who will add relevance to Kaido’s significance within past events will be Yamato. As the Straw Hat Pirates get closer to the secrets of the world, events that transpired on God Valley will be revealed. Such history could be recounted from several characters who were present on that day – Big Mom or Garp or even Kaido. If Teach has a connection to Xebec D. Rocks, he too may be aware of what happened on God Valley. Ever since Kaido revealed his disdain for Pirates, due to their characteristic of betraying others, I always suspected that Rocks was likely the reason for this anger. Rocks may have turned his back on his crew during the God Valley incident in order to escape himself.
After the God Valley incident, the events detailing Kaido’s capture on Punk Hazard and his encounter with King weren’t detailed within this chapter. The research the Marines did on Kaido will become relevant at a later time and Yamato will be the one adding personal relevance to those events considering he is Kaido’s child and an Oni too. Potential arcs that can delve deeper into this story of the Oni and Kaido’s DNA could be the arcs centered around Giants and Vegapunk. If Oni are related to Ancient Giants, an arc featured Giants would be a fitting place to expand on the story. As for the research done on Kaido, Vegapunk was heading the research into Giantification, Dragons and Artificial Devil Fruits which all likely incorporation DNA from Kaido, so he would be the most relevant character to further explore how the Marines utilised the DNA they obtained form the world’s strongest creature.
Another key aspect to Kaido’s life which was completely omitted in this chapter was his encounter with Yamato’s mother and the feelings he had toward her. Considering Kaido’s disdain for humanity, the chances of Yamato’s mother being a human seem unlikely. Rather, it could be another Oni or a race that was subjected to cruelty by humans – a Lunarian like King or a different sky person variant? If King exist, it seems plausible that other Lunarian could also exist too. King may have had an older sister who Kaido married. Yamato’s mother may even belong to a race/clan that will become relevant in the future story. During the time Higurashi met Kaido and proposed the deal to him, Yamato would have either just been born or still growing inside his mother’s womb. Yamato is currently 28 years old and Higurashi met Kaido 10 years after the God Valley incident which took place 38 years in the past. For Oda to completely Yamato and/or his mother during that scene/time is very curious. Such a moment when his child was born would have been significant moment in his life.
There are also further aspects to Kaido’s story remain a mystery even after the flashback in this chapter such as why Kaido chose to settle on Onigashima. Does that Island hold some importance to Kaido? Additionally, why does Kaido call Yamato his son? Biologically, Yamato is his daughter yet he does not refer to Yamato as such. What happened in the past for Kaido to treat Yamato as his son? Was it the dying wish of Yamato’s mother? Further, the efforts Kaido took to obtain the Okuchi no Makami Fruit were detailed but based on how angered Kaido was at Yamato for consuming the Devil Fruit, there is a story to tell.
Another mystery that demands clarify is the event that took place two years ago while the Marineford War was ongoing. Kaido and Shanks encountered each other but after certain events Shanks was able to arrive at Marineford and stop the War. Did Kaido not battle Shanks and if not, why not? What did Shanks do or offer to get Kaido to retreat? Now that Kaido is defeated, I don’t see him providing clarify on the matter but it will likely explained when Shanks encounters the Straw Hat Pirates. If Yamato is part of the crew at that time, Shanks would have a reason to recount his meeting Kaido two years ago. Through the journey with the Straw Hat Pirates, Yamato may come to find out more about his father and the type of person he was.
If Yamato does join the Straw Hat Pirates, how will Moria’s story intertwine with in. Seeing as Moria holds antagonism toward Kaido, will he extend that hatred toward Kaido’s child? If Moria does join the Beast Pirates, it could establish another conflict Moria has with the Straw Hat Pirates.
The remaining CP-0 agent, who was briefed over the events taking place around Onigashima, has escaped. That agent has knowledge that the Straw Hat Pirates and Samurai Rebellion defeated the Tobi Roppo and All Stars of the Beast Pirates. He is also likely aware that the Law and Kid defeated Big Mom. And given the agents proximity to the climatic clash between Luffy and Kaido, he will be aware that Kaido has been knocked down. Armed with such knowledge, he should be able to brief the World Government on how dangerous the Straw Hat Pirates have becomes.
If Oda is serious about picking up the Nine Shadows story thread and highlighting it, he could do so in this climatic moment where Kaido has been overpowered by Luffy. This could be the moment where Kaido awakens his powers requiring the Nine Shadows to gather together to fully defeat Kaido. I have expressed in the past that the setting for Kaido’s defeat being the execution site of Oden would be very symbolic for Wano and the story. This 20 year long Night for Wano began on the day and in the place Oden was executed. Dawn may arise for Wano in the same place as and when Kaido falls there. This would require Kaido to still be conscious and for the fight to transition toward the Flower Capital. Oden’s execution site may also be where Momonosuke cancels his Dragon transformation and returns to his human form, which would look like a certain figure that would bring the people of Wano to tears. Very much looking forward to the next chapter.
Enjoyment level: 8.5/10