With conflict once again at the doorstep of Wano Kuni, will the Straw Hat Pirates be summoned to the nations defense or will the Samurai of the liberated Country endure to fend off the threat of the newly appointed Admiral? Based on what we have seen, while the Samurai can defend and fend off Ryokugyu’s attacks, they do appear to be overwhelmed by his abilities with just their current forces. If Yamato were to remain alongside them, I can see a path forward but with Momonosuke’s request, there may not be a conclusion for Yamato to this current battle. Along with the events in Wano, around the world varying forces are also making their move. Shanks has set his sights on One Piece and Sabo has become the icon for the Revolutions rebellion. Wrapping around all these developments is Sakazuki and his unphased desire to mete out justice. Once the dust is all settle, how will the structure of the conflict appear?
Yamato’s entrance was positioned at such a poignant instance. Right as Ryogukyu was displaying his zealot mentality by disregarding the rights of any individual outside the World Government’s control, Yamato appeared to both retort the Admiral and smash his head into the ground while knocking him down. It was a glorious sight that gave Ryokugyu as much as he deserved. I was prepared for Yamato to go further and get a few more hits in. A shame that didn’t happen within this chapter.
I am curious about Momonosuke’s comments to Yamato once he appears and bites Ryokugyu. Why is Momonosuke stopping Yamato? Does Momonosuke plan to avoid Yamato making the World Government his enemy now that Yamato has achieved his long sought after freedom. By becoming the villain of the World Government, he will be ensnared within another prison where he is constantly targeted. I do wonder about this though especially after Yamato expressed who he was to Ryokugyu – son of Kaido. An Admiral understands how dangerous Kaido was and wouldn’t let any of his offspring be free. By nature of being a criminals child, the child will be regarded as a criminal. The only other reason I can think of for Momonosuke’s actions are wanting Momonosuke to leave Wano with the Straw Hat Pirates. Rather than fight an Admiral, Momonosuke may wish Yamato to gather the Straw Hat Pirates and leave the Island. Regardless of Momonosuke’s comment to Yamato, I hope Yamato keeps fighting or at lease have Sanji appear to take on Ryokugyu. Zoro already has a conflict with Isshou, so it would be fitting for Zoro’s “equal” within the crew to also have a conflict with another Admiral. Would Sanji have notice the missing Samurai while partying with his crew in the Flower Capital? He is an incredibly observant individual so it would fit his character to sense a fight outside the Flower Capital.
Admiral Ryokugyu is turning out to be more fanatic than I had anticipated. Rather than expressing a point of view substantiated from genuine experience, it appears Ryokugyu is supporting a perspective he was ingrained to believe. It makes sense given his admiration for Sakazuki who is heavy-handed in the justice he applied. Ryokugyu appears to be repeating what he learned from a textbook opposed to conveying a reasoned point of view. The terrifying aspect about Ryokugyu’s character is how real it is. There are many people in the world who operate like Ryokugyu, believing in what they were told was the truth instead of experiencing it for themselves. And these even include people in high powered positions. When I was in university studying Law (New Zealand), there was a particular Judge from the 19th Century which I came across in a certain New Zealand law case that operated in such a chilling manner that it made an impression on me – Chief Justice Sir James Prendergast. In a case that involved a block of land and certain obligations, the Treaty of Waitangi was called into consideration as it was the agreement established between the British Crown and a large number of Maori chiefs. At that time Prendergast ruled that the courts lacked the ability to consider claims based on aboriginal or native title. He regarded the Maori as a “primitive and barbaric” tribal society who possessed no legal status and therefore no legal rights that could be upheld. He deemed The Treaty of Waitangi a “simple nullity”. Today the treaty is widely accepted to be a constitutional document that establishes and guides the relationship between the Crown in New Zealand and Maori. Relative to current sensibilities, the perspectives of the past are quite shocking but it merely was a reflection of the times and the laws in place then. Prendergast wasn’t evil or a bad judge, he was just a product of society’s view point at that time. Similarly, Ryokugyu is a product of the current view point wrapping the world where the the Tenryuubito are revered as gods and those unaffiliated with the World Government are seen as holding no legal status.
Turning to Shanks and the Red Hair Pirates, what were they talking about when the focus shifted to them? What does “there’s a weird one mixed into the bunch” mean? Are they referring to Brook within the Straw Hat Pirates? Whoever it was, it is fascinating to learn that Shanks now intends to set his focus on One Piece though it does make one wonder why he is returning to Wano. What does Shanks plan to do and what will his response be to Barto burning his flags and replacing them with Straw Hat Pirate flags? The most likely reason for Shanks to be in Wano is for the Road Poneglyph. But even with the Road Poneglyph, how does he plan to decipher the language? Will the Red Hair Pirates be the ones who kidnaps Robin? If they do such an act, it would give Luffy a reason to target Shanks.
The news concerning Sabo was both expected and completely surprising. I was suspecting Cobra to be the one who had died but I didn’t suspect Sabo to be his killer. Though, that may not be the case in actuality. The news may have reported it but the facts of the matter could be different entirely. Sabo isn’t one for murder, especially if that person is someone like Cobra, who was able to look at Nico Robin and understand that she wasn’t evil. I dunno if Bonney was caught up in the conflict in her attempts to save Kuma and if she was the one who actually brought about Cobra’s death. Bonney could have used him as a hostage to bargain for Kuma’s life. She may have taught using one of the descendants of the 20 founding families could have held weight when issuing her demands. Or was Bonney the one who attempted to kill St Myosgard? If so, it would be interesting to see what the interactions between Myosgard and his attempted murderer were before he let them go. Did Myosgard convince his killer that he was different from the rest of the Tenryuubito? Potentially. What I did not expect or interpret in any form was how narratively powerful within the One Piece world a Revolutionary agent killing a descendant of one of the 20 World Government founders would be. It was so obvious yet I didn’t anticipate such a development at all. I will be curious to see how Vivi is handling everything but chances are she is either with Sabo or Bonney or all those characters could be together. Very much look forward to the next chapter.
Enjoyment level: 9/10