So, I know I am very late to this chapter and the next one is pretty much already out, but I still wanted to take some time to catch up on One Piece Chapter 1036 after the holidays. This chapter uses its time to give us an epilogue on Zoro’s fight, catch up with everyone throughout the raid as well as set up the return to Luffy and Kaido’s showdown. There’s a lot happening in this entry and just highlights how well Eiichiro Oda manages to juggle every single moving piece throughout the arc.
Zoro’s takedown is quite brutal, as the man literally lost a piece of his wing as a result. Though, the true loss is highlighted in the flashback to King’s time with a more enthusiastic Kaido. We once again get a reference to Joy Boy, as Oda sets up a curious parallel between these two combatants. Two men who swore to never lose a fight are at the breaking point to define which one would succeed. The declaration of Zorro’s to be “The King of Hell” is a powerful moment and is highlighted by the visuals.
Though, I love Oda can still keep a powerful moment and add something a bit goofy, such as Zoro being so powerful a swing of his swords can push him right back to the floating island. It’s the same when we return to Yamato, who is still desperately trying to find a way to the armory to ensure that when the island drops it doesn’t blow up Wano. Her new ally Fuga crashing into Rokki is worthy of a new nominee for best One Piece faces.
There are a few more vignettes that give us quick updates on what is happening, such as Big Mom’s continued onslaught, the battle between Raizo and Fukurokuju, and Orochi enjoying the company of Komurasaki. I’m a little disappointed that Drake was taken down off-screen by CP-0 and hope the set-up from his revelation still gets some build-up at one point, but it seems unlikely for now. Yet, I also thought the same with Apoo and he just keeps getting back up. So, you never know.
Out of everyone in this chapter – and there are some great character moments – Usopp truly gets to shine in my opinion. It’s such a great moment as he fights a ton of Breast Pirates to protect Kiku and Kinemon. His speech calling out their “leave us behind” mentality is just an incredible showcase of how much character growth he went through. His survivor mentality is also a perfect contrast to the samurai’s honor code, and it truly gives him a moment to stand out with everything happening in the raid. Izo’s appearance is also such a poignant moment, as he unveils the mark that has always remained on his back.
We’ve finally at the final part of the chapter and it’s finally time to see just how the one-on-one is going between Luffy and Kaido. They say very little once we return to the top of Onigashima, as they are just wailing at each other with all their moves. It’s obvious they are hitting their limit, but the smiles on both faces just highlight the words from King earlier in the chapter. We’ve finally returned to the fight that’ll shake the world as we know it and what a way to lead into it.