第171回:The Right-Hand Club



Elements of Chaos

In almost every arc of One Piece, the climax includes a certain so-called ‘element of chaos’ that adds a countdown-style tension to the events which are often outside or partially outside the full control of both villains and heroes. Examples from the past would be Punk Hazard’s poison gas, the bomb in Alabasta, Mamaragan in Skypiea, the Birdcage in Dressrosa, and so on. In Wano, several chapters back we were introduced to the imminent disaster of Onigashima falling on the capital and exploding. The island’s fall and arrival in the capital is our element of chaos since it’s linked to both Kaido’s victory and defeat. Should he win, he can willingly crush the capital. If he should lose, he will unwittingly crush the capital by losing control of his clouds. This seemed like our element of chaos for the arc…until THIS happened!

As an amorphous phantom-like inferno, Kazenbo is an unprecedented element of chaos *on top of* the already tinderbox that is Onigashima itself. In fact, even if Momonosuke can stop the island’s fall, should Kazenbo be able to reach the weapon storage, it could ignite the island itself, giving Orochi the last laugh!

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The Devils in the Designs

Most of the Numbers have been revealed and although I don’t think there’s any specific rule for their design, it seems that at the very least, Odacchi has taken inspiration for their designs from prominent devils and demons of different cultures.

Inbi is clearly a Lucifer-inspired design.

Nangi, Hatcha, Kunyun, and arguably Fuga appear to be classic Japanese oni.

While Jaki and Goki appear to borrow inspiration from the Balinese queen of demons, Rangda.

Can you spot any of the others?

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One Piece Vol.97 Ch.981
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The Right-Hand Club

With anticipation mounting for Sanji and Zoro’s final showdowns with Kaido’s toughest crew members, Odacchi created a colorspread featuring a somewhat unexpected theme, the right-hands of some of the most infamous pirate crews!

While the positions all seem fairly straightforward, there was one reveal that seemingly confirms a long-standing belief among fans. Shiryu appears to be Blackbeard’s right-hand man, making him very likely to be Zoro’s ultimate opponent.

A notion that only seems to be bolstered by Shiryu appearing to side-eye Zoro in the picture. While the concept of Zoro vs Shiryu isn’t unexpected, it is perhaps somewhat eyebrow-raising considering many right-hand pirates are those who’ve known their captain the longest. According to their dialogue from Impel Down, Teach and Shiryu don’t seem to have any prior acquaintance so they must have reeeeally hit it off for Teach to place him above his long-time crew members!

Interesting to note that while Zoro is likely ambidextrous (with a preference for left) here he’s depicted holding the sword in his *right hand*. Furthermore, the term ‘right-hand person’ holds the same meaning in both English and Japanese.

One can’t help but wonder…will Odacchi treat us to a certain ‘left-hand pirate’ (or left-wing depending on your personal preference) piece of artwork in the future?

Weekly Shonen Jump #49 Ch.1031
One Piece Vol.56 Ch.549