Last Minute Preparations
One Piece, Wano Arc, Act Two Recap
One Piece is now well into what’s likely its biggest story yet: the Wano Arc. The second act came to a close last week, and there’s a lot to unpack! With the Straw Hats about to enter their greatest battle yet, I think now’s a good time to recap some of the major events of Act Two as we make last minute preparations.
Luffy Seizes Udon Prison and Gains an Army
Luffy didn’t get as much attention in Act Two, with most of the action following the other members of the Alliance. He was imprisoned inside Udon because Kaido wanted to break him into his subordinate. That’s not going to stop him from playing a major role in what happens, though.
As I predicted, he was in charge of Udon within a few days, though not how I pictured it. An old enemy showed up and starting attacking the prison, and Luffy used the opportunity to take control of it. Now the thousands of prisoners within, all of whom have an axe to grind with Kaido, have joined the Alliance. Out of those new allies are some very powerful people. Aside from Cairbou, Luffy managed to win over an old man named Hyogoro. Back in Oden’s day, he was the head of the Yakuza, and with him, the Yakuza’s old guard has joined the Alliance.
Orochi Hears of the Alliance’s Plans
I hoped that the Alliance could keep things secret until the day of reckoning came, but that rarely happens. Orochi was able to hear rumors of the Alliance’s plans, and made efforts to counter them. His people started arresting rebels and potential allies across Wano, and even though they believe he’s crazy, he’s actually right. Many of those allies remain imprisoned on the day of the final battle.
Fortunately, though, two critical pieces of info seem to remain unknown to Orochi. First, he doesn’t know that the Nine Red Sheaths are alive, and most have reunited. The fact that he doesn’t know could be th decisive factor in the war. Even so, the Alliance has largely lost the element of surprise. I’m not going to count those men imprisoned off the board yet, though.
Big Mom’s in Wano
Big Mom really holds a grudge against people. After being humiliated by Luffy on her home turf, she follows him to Wano with her children to kill him. It goes awry when she’s thrown overboard by Kaido’s men, and she ends up suffering amnesia. She ends up reverting to the kind personality she had as a kid and becomes an ally of Chopper’s group as they go to rescue Luffy. In the fight that follows, she gets hit on the head and ends up remembering everything.
After being captured by Kaido and brought to him, the two clash for some time. Then, in a complete reversal, the two decide form their own alliance to conquer the world. Then they’ll fight each again.
This is the worst possible scenario. I don’t know if Luffy can handle two Yonko at once. Hopefully, she won’t have time to bring her armies to Wano. If she does, there’s no way the Alliance can win. I still think Luffy can win, though.
RIP, Lord Yasuie.
While traveling around Wano, Zoro ended up befriending this weird old man named Tonoyasu. I didn’t think much of him at the time, but I have learned all too often to never underestimate a fool. Tonoyasu turned out to be far more important than we could have imagined.
In reality, Tonoyasu was really Lord Yasuie, the last of the feudal lords from before Orochi came to power. He acted as a mentor and father figure to Oden Kozuki and the Nine Red Sheaths, and waited for the day they would return. When he realizes that their plans were in danger of being discovered, he made the ultimate sacrifice.
Letting himself be captured, Yasuie was then personally and publicly executed by Orochi. However, he used his last moments to convince everyone that the rumors about the Nine Red Sheaths were a prank he made up. He then proceeded to mock Orochi for the coward he is before his life ended.
Yasuie’s death hit those who knew him very hard. The Nine Red Sheaths were driven into deep mourning, while the village he lived in couldn’t even express their sorrow. They were cursed to smile forever by Doflamingo’s SMILE fruits. Zoro was enraged to try and kill Orochi then and there, and still intends to do so. The hardest hit, though, has to be his daughter Toko.
His sacrifice wasn’t in vain, though. His dying act left Orochi’s men doubting about the rebellion, and the changes he made to their symbol gave them a new location to group at. I hope he watches from the afterlife as Orochi falls. RIP, Lord Yasuie; forever respect.
Momonosuke’s Sister, Hiyori
One interesting thing we learned in Act Two is that Momonusuke has a little sister named Hiyori. When he and some of the Nine Red Sheaths were sent to the future, she was left behind. This was done to ensure that the Kozuki Clan would survive in some form. So now she’s an adult, which is weird.
Hiyori did pretty well for herself in that time. Under the alias Komurasaki, she rose to become the top Geisha in Wano, and considered the most beautiful woman in the world. She also had Toko, Yasuie’s daughter, as her attendant and best friend.
After an incident at Orochi’s palace, Hiyori had to fake her death to protect Toko and fled the capital. She ran into Zoro, and the three stayed together for a while until the time came for Zoro to rejoin with the others. She also seems quite fond of him.
Despite my concerns at first that she was the kind of person who was pretty on the outside but ugly on the inside, Hiyori’s proven her selflessness. She slapped Orochi for trying to kill Toko, and refused to apologize for it, opting to fake her death instead. She’s also quite cunning, using her looks to swindle corrupt men out of their fortunes. And, admittedly, she’s cuter without all those jewels and headpieces adorning her hair. I have a feeling she shall play a major role in the final battle, though I don’t know how.
The Monster Trio Gets Stronger
The Straw Hats and their Alliance are facing an enemy like nothing they’ve ever fought before. It’s going to take all their skill and luck to win this fight, but I’m confident they can do it. Most importantly, though, this Act has seen the Monster Trio skyrocket in terms of strength.
For those who don’t know, Monster Trio refers to the three strongest fighters in the Straw Hat Pirates: Luffy, Zoro, and Sanji.
Despite getting his family to leave him alone after Whole Cake Island, Sanji still got an unwelcomed gift in the form of a Raid Suit. While he at first refused to use it, events in Act Two forced to do so. It took his already superhuman strength and managed to make it skyrocket. Plus, it lets him turn invisible like he always wanted.
After losing Ryuuma’s sword, Shusui, Zoro was hellbent on getting it back. Hiyori, however, persuaded him to let it remain as Wano’s national treasure once more. In exchange, she gave him one of her father’s swords, Enma. The blades powerful enough to slice through an island. Yet because it drains its user of their Haki, only Oden Kozuki was ever able to master it.
As for Luffy, he used his time in Udon to train his body to get even stronger, even while wearing Seastone handcuffs. His main problem, though, is getting his Armament Haki to the point where it can override Kaido’s and let him hit the Yonko. With help from Hyogoro, Luffy’s mastered another advanced form of Haki. Now he stands closer to an even playing field with Kaido.
Prepare for War
It doesn’t matter how you look at this. One Piece is about to enter one of its biggest chapters yet; one that’s going to shake the heavens. When the dust settles, I think this could end up leaving a big impact on the manga industry, if done right. This can easily end up being the biggest story One Piece has told since Marineford. I can’t wait!
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