One Piece, Chapter 960 Review/Recap
One Piece has spent the entire Wano Arc building Oden Kozuki into this lather-than-life legend. How he was the only person to injure Kaido. How he was a member of the Roger and Whitebeard Pirates. Yet the Wano Arc’s entering its climax, and we know so little about the man. Thus, before the final battle for Wano, One Piece gives us its traditional, expository flashback. This is the story of Oden Kozuki.
Thirty-nine years ago, Oden Kozuki already garnered a reputation at age 18 for all kinds of trouble. With Oden having failed to leave for the 38th time, his father decides to disown him for his troublemaking. As for Oden himself, he’d already return to the Flower Capital to pay respects at a man’s funeral and cremation. By cooking a bowl of oden and drinking sake over the deceased crematory pyre.
While all of this is going down, a young Kine’mon steals a white boar from a group of Yakuza. His plan is to sell it, but before he can, the Flower Capital’s attacked by a giant Mountain Boar God. While everyone’s terrified, Oden confidently tells Kine’mon to give him the boar.
I will not lie: when I all of Oden Kozuki’s exploits in his youth, I couldn’t stop laughing at how crazy they were. The stuff he got away with before he turned 18 sounds like something out of an American Tall Tale. Here’s a list of everything he did up to this point, and I’m taking this directly from the chapter:
- Threw his wet nurse across the room before he was a year old
- Was already defeating wild animals by age 4
- Started visiting the Red Light District at 6. Proceeded to get himself banned by the Yakuza and declared war on them by age 10.
- Became the boss of the quarry he was sent to.
- When the Capital suffered from drought, he tried diverting a river, causing the place to flood
- At age 15, he started taking women from the Capital for his own harem, and started a war with their loved ones when they came after him.
Like I said, tall tales, and they’re awesome! With his larger than life personality and inhuman feats, it’s no wonder why Gol D. Roger, Whitebeard, and even the Navy leaders respected him. He’s as rowdy and crazy as many of them.
However, that being said, I think underneath his irresponsible demeanor, Oden Kozuki wanted what’s best for Wano. While eating his namesake food over a man’s pyre was disrespectful, it should be noted that he drank his sake like he was sharing a drink with an old friend. He cares about Wano, in his own crazy way. If he didn’t, then why would he try to save it when there’s a drought?
Oden’s Red Scabbards
In addition, this chapter gave us a look at what the Nine Red Scabbards were like in their youth. We knew that they were ne’er-do-wells, but that’s about it. The most important thing about the Red Scabbards, though, is that we saw their ninth member, Denjiro. As several people point out, he looks a lot like Zoro’s sword master: whether this is a coincidence remains unknown, but I hope to see where this goes.
This Will Be Fun
I was somewhat frustrated that the manga switched to a flashback right before the final battle. After reading this chapter, though, I’m on board for what comes next. I want to see how Oden left Wano, what he did with Whitebeard and Roger, everything. In addition, Eichiro Oda’s proven himself a master at world building. I know that he knows what he’s doing with his story. We may have to wait to find out how the Straw Hats got themselves out fo their mess in the present, but it will be worth it.
I Give “Enter Kozuki Oden” a 5/5. Great setup for a flashback.
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