One Piece always seems to manage to continue to grow a world in creative ways. Elements that seemed like small tidbits from years ago can suddenly become relevant within seconds. Worldbuilding has always been Eiichiro Oda‘s greatest strength and the final moments of this chapter truly solidify that. Yet, we also get a dense chapter filled with some of the series’ best action and some actual character development for a villain, who seemingly was left behind and barely explored outside of the way he took over Wano. The battle between Luffy and Kaido may have done more for the character than the rest of the entire three acts of this storyline.
If I bring it up, it may be good to start there with a look at this latest chapter. Kaido reveals he had a secret up his sleeve all along. He’s an alcoholic. Okay, technically yes but the point is that alcohol seems to make him unleash most of his abilities. We get some Drunk fu from a man who can turn into a fire-breathing dragon and he is taking it out on Luffy. the different phases showing a personality that he had seemingly hidden away. The Emperor of the Sea is having fun as someone is finally putting up a challenge. His smile also fits perfectly into King’s flashbacks on when he believed he may be Joy Boy.
Most of the chapter is about this fight, as we get some creative sequences with Kaido switching between the different moves. You can see Luffy smiling at times throughout, and he’s gotten quite creative in how he takes on his enemy. That headbutt looks quite painful and there’s a lot of weight to the events that are unfolding. You can feel every single punch as the battle continues to unfold. It seems uncertain if the fight will truly come to an end in the next few chapters, but we’re definitely in the endgame now.
The big revelation at the end, however, is the true selling point of this chapter. 1037 randomly moves to the Red Line’s Sacred Marijoa. Suddenly, the Five Elders are discussing a secret Devil Fruit. Something about one that hasn’t awakened in “centuries upon centuries” and even was given a fake name. As this is being discussed, the World Government’s ships are closing in on Wano. Yet, a giant shadow has arrived and is ready to take care of an issue the Straw Hats never realized they had. It’s the giant elephant known as Zunesha, who has been traveling for quite some time to a specific location. Could that have been Wano all along?
So, the lines on the Devil Fruit seem to imply the awakening has a connection to the giant elegant, but they imply that it hasn’t reached its true power in a long time. Plus, if you think about it: there have been two massive teases in this arc. First, we find out that Who’s Who was supposed to be guarding the Gomu Gomu no Mi, but it ended up getting stolen by the Shank’s crew. Secondly, Kid and Law have revealed they already had their awakenings at some point in time. Last, but certainly not least, the chapter is all about Kaido and Luffy’s fight. So, it seems very possible that Luffy’s original fruit might be hiding a rather curious secret that we’ll find out about in the next few chapters.