One Piece, Chapter 963 Review/Recap
Since One Piece started the flashback to the life of Oden Kozuki, I’ve had mixed feelings about it. I like them, but they don’t tell us the important things. I want to know how Oden got out of Wano and his connection to Roger and Whitebeard. Thankfully, this chapter sees the story starting to get to the good stuff. In the short-term, though, we see the Nine Red Scabbards become true Samurai.
Thirty-three years ago, a young Kawamatsu found Inuarashi and Nekomamushi washed ashore in Kuri. The superstitious locals tried to burn them thinking them to be monsters, only for Oden to tell them off about it. Grateful, the trio follow Oden home and pledge themselves to him. Sometime later, the group of nine tries stealing money from Yasuie, only for him to give it to them. Thanks to his kindness, they get the proper lessons they need in order to become true Samurai. When Oden returns to the Flower Capital three years later, they’re able to create a formal procession. Needless to say, everyone’s jaws dropped.
Oden rushed to the Capital because he heard his father was ill, but he turned out to be fine. However, this would be their last meeting ever. Later that year, Whitebeard’s ship washes ashore on Kuri beach. Seizing his chance, Oden goes to meet the Whitebeard Pirates. Clashing blades with Whitebeard, he asks the future Yonko one thing: let me sail with you!
Well, there you have it, folks: the formation of the Nine Red Scabbards. The greatest Samurai in all of Wano; and something I didn’t care about. The one thing I appreciated from their story is confirming what Kawamatsu is: he’s a fish-man. I didn’t want to assume what he was, though, because of all the crazy stuff we’ve seen in One Piece.
As interesting as seeing the Scabbards becoming samurai was, the ending’s what I’m most interested in. I don’t know how Whitebeard got his massive ship into Wano, but I know that this is the moment Oden’s waiting for. He’s going to join the Whitebeard Pirates and escape to the outside world at last, thus cementing his place in history. We know he’ll be fine, but seeing him hold his own against Whitebeard drives home how strong he is. The samurai of Wano are dangerous, indeed.
However, the most important thing about this chapter is something that others may overlook. Oden’s father had fallen ill, and we know that he dies before Oden returns to Wano. Then we see that Orochi’s now a servant for Lord Sukiyaki. All I’m doing right now is speculating, but I know a hint when I see it: Orochi poisoned Oden’s father. We may have to wait a while to learn the truth, but that’s what my gut tells me.
The point is, I’m glad the manga’s going to start answering the lingering questions about the Wano Arc. It’s the perfect way to tie up loose ends before we see Luffy kick Kaido’s ass. We’ll most likely have to wait unto 2020 to see the Samurai strike, but I think it’s worth it.
I Give “Becoming Samurai” a 3.5/5. Also, that Mountain God Oden sliced up is still alive!
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