第166回:Rising Sun God



How the Zoro Sausage is Made

The revelation of Zou’s potent rejuvenating medicine makes Zoro’s role in this arc take an impressive 180° but even more than its role in this arc, I think it’s most interesting to consider how this development helps makes Odacchi’s job a little bit easier beyond Wano.

Although the introduction of this medication was quite sudden, there’s little danger of it becoming an overpowered panacea thanks to some unpleasant side-effects that will inevitably cause Zoro a great deal of suffering (to the delight of his fans I’m sure). But how does this play into what comes after Wano is wrapped?

I think at this point, it’s no secret that Wano will have an *exciting* conclusion. And I mean beyond just the Onigashima battle. Our heroes are deliberately being contained in this veritable bubble of a self-contained society meaning they’ve been cut off from world events for some time now. Even we, as readers, know more about what’s going on in the world than our main cast. After Wano concludes, there may be a number of major forces that compel our heroes to move hustle along their journey at considerable speed lest they face potentially lethal consequences. And that’s going to be the core issue, speed.

The Strawhats will very much likely have to MOVE to their next stop, wherever that may be and in order for that to be the case, Odacchi’s job will be to put them at a severe disadvantage against whatever force opposes them. Assuming that the alliance will (somehow) manage to deal with Kaido, that will make them one of the most powerful forces in the world. If Odacchi has them operating at tip-top shape, there won’t be much that can stand in their way *if* they’re united.

Enter Zou’s medication.

If Zoro is taken out of commission after the battle at Onigashima, it suddenly becomes much easier for us to believe that the Strawhats would have to run, rather than face off against an opponent. We’ve already seen in Thriller Bark that Zoro is willing to sacrifice his life to save his captain, and there’s little doubt that he’d do the same post-Onigashima. Therefore, if Zoro physically cannot act in defense of the crew, one pillar of the Monster Trio is taken down and we don’t even know how some of the other crew members may be temporarily nerfed after the outcome of their current battles.

The worse their shape after all is said and done, the faster they’ll have to get to their destination rather than making a stand. While Luffy might be okay taking a stand, he’s not going to so against odds so overwhelming that it will mean sacrificing the lives of his entire crew as well.

So I applaud the arrival of Zou’s medication and I look forward to seeing how it will continue to affect the story even after our current battle is concluded!

Weekly Shonen Jump #30 Ch.1017
One Piece Vol.95 Ch.956
One Piece Vol.95 Ch.957

Rising Sun God

A Sun God, eh? I dunno about that, sounds a bit suspicious to me. Some of the terminology here suggests that we might be hearing about events that occurred further back than anything we’ve ever heard of in the series and if there’s one thing history taught me about ancient societies, it’s that they tend to make up a lot of stories for that which they don’t understand. Just taking one look at Nika’s wild hair makes me think that’s exactly how Nika (whoever they are) wound up being a ‘god’. The fiery-looking hair seems to point towards an explanation that’s much simpler than deific origin, a Devil Fruit.

While Devil Fruits do grant god-like powers, we know all-to-well that the people who eat them are more often than not, regular earthbound (or cloudbound) beings. Did Nika consume the Flame Flame Fruit? In doing so, did Nika’s powers make them appear as if a god among their people?

Perhaps even more intriguing are the parallels that could be drawn between Luffy and this so-called Sun God. In a column from 2018:

I examined how Luffy’s attire seemed to show reflections of the sun, and now we’re learning about the existence of a figure so infamous, that while their name is a taboo, their existence still hasn’t been wiped out! Does Luffy share something more than a smile with Nika? If so, does it perhaps explain Luffy’s Red series of attacks? We’ll have to wait and see!

Weekly Shonen Jump #31 Ch.1018