One Piece Chapter 1081 Review/Recap
I’ve been saying for years now: the Blackbeard Pirates will be Luffy’s greatest obstacle. Two powerful crews that started around the same time and have turned the world upside down? Oda doesn’t write coincidences like that. We’ve gotten glimpses into the Blackbeard Pirates power post time-skip before, but these last two chapters give us our best look yet. More importantly, they show us how Kuzan, a former Marine Admiral, decided to join his former enemies.
Just as it looks like Koby’s about to reach the safety of Garp and the Marines, those plans get derailed by the arrival of Kuzan, the former Navy Admiral Aokiji. Then things transition to a flashback to a year ago, with Aokiji roaming the New World in a slump. That’s when the Blackbeard Pirates try picking a fight with him, so he freezes them all solid, save for Blackbeard himself. Blackbeard’s not willing to risk his crew, and Kuzan doesn’t want to fight, so the two sides end up standing down. Then, they start getting drunk together.
Kuzan starts venting his regrets about losing to Akainu, what happened at Ohara, and more. Blackbeard explains that they’re hunting for the Road Poneglyphs, including the one held by the “Man marked by flames.” Then, Blackbeard gets the idea to invite Kuzan to join his crew, saying that he can live life by his own rules with them.
In the present day, Garp demands Kuzan let Koby and Hibaru (who he froze) go, with Kuzan refusing to back down against his mentor. As a result, the Hero of the Marines and the former Admiral begin to clash!
Meanwhile, on Winner Island, the battle between Blackbeard and the Heart Pirates ends. Law’s defeated, his submarine’s sinking, and the Heart Pirates are at their mercy. However, Bepo somehow manages to go Sulong in the day, distracting the Blackbeard Pirates long enough for him and Law to escape. Despite wanting to go back for his crew, Bepo refuses, putting his faith in them. Thus, the Heart Pirates suffer a humiliating defeat.
Like I said, the Blackbeard Pirates are going to be Luffy’s greatest challenge. Not only do the majority of them now have Devil Fruits, but they now have a former Admiral among their ranks. And with the Heart Pirates defeat, they have two of the four Road Poneglyphs.
As bad as things look for Law and the Heart Pirates, though, I do not think this is the end for them. Oda’s spent so much time focusing on Law up to this point, so I doubt he would kill him off so suddenly. My best guess, Law will have to regroup with his crew and restart their efforts, or just go to Luffy. As for how Bepo pulled that off, I think he used one of Chopper’s Rumble Balls. They might let the Minks go Sulong for a brief time.
What most concerns me, though, is Kuzan. I understand he left the Marines behind, but joining the Blackbeard Pirates seems like a sudden shift. Did he really lose that much faith in the Marines, or is he working an angle? That will be something to keep an eye on.
Overall, another banger of a chapter, and an important one, at that. The Blackbeard Pirates are also hunting for the “Man marked by Flames.” We don’t know who they are yet, but I have some ideas. I won’t share them yet, though!
I Give “Kuzan, Tenth Captain of the Blackbeard Pirates,” a 4/5
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