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第177回:Don’t Go Crushing Waterfalls

2022/08/04

COMIC

Don’t Go Crushing Waterfalls

Momonosuke declared to Zunesha that he was not quite yet ready to ‘open’ Wano to the world. While there’s certainly the political sense of ‘opening’ a country, Zunesha’s involvement in such an act strongly suggests that there’s a *physical* aspect to opening Wano. Something that potentially makes the country physically more accessible to the rest of the New World. What exactly that suggests is open to interpretation at this point, however, the cutaway view of Wano’s underground in this chapter and the deep sea volcanic eruption might offer a few hints.

Firstly, if Zunesha is involved in the ‘opening’ of Wano, there’s a significant chance that whatever the task involves, it requires a tremendous amount of (likely) destructive force. Judging by the extraordinary difficulty of entry into Wano presented by the waterfalls, and the apparent flimsiness (compared to Zunesha) of the waterfalls themselves, it’s possible that Zunesha may destroy the waterfalls themselves.

Normally, this would simply push the barrier wall of entry further back, but as we see in this chapter’s cutaway, even the mass of land behind the waterfalls has been severely damaged (if not destroyed) by Kaido and Mom’s descent. In turn, the volcanic eruption may serve to create a rocky mass that extends from the central archipelago, all the way out to the waterfall.

If this is the case, if Zunesha was to eliminate the waterfall, a relatively stable (or at very least so half as ‘vertical’) path to Wano would be opened, creating a literal ‘opening’ to the country.

As for whether the waterfalls are necessary for the country at this point, Momonosuke’s success as a protector or the people of Wano and his assumption of his dragon form has completed the legend of the carp who ascended the waterfall in order to become a dragon. With the journey complete, the waterfalls have served their purpose and protected Wano until a worthy heir with claim to Shogun reappeared.

Weekly Shonen Jump #26 Ch.1050

Redemption Arc

The Kozuki Shogunate ruled Wano since ancient times and below them stood the five families of Daimyo: Shimotsuki, Kurozumi, Uzuki, Amatsuki, and Fugetsu. The names of all clans, Kozuki included, bear a common thread, a kanji that represents the moon. All of them, that is, except the Kurozumi (黒炭) clan. Interestingly enough, it was the Kurozumi clan that betrayed the united clans and attempted to take the Shogunate for themselves by any means necessary. Even their name ‘Jet Charcoal’ gives them a nefarious theme compared to the other families which all seem to suggested a poetic aspect of the moon.

But only rarely has Odacchi relegated his villains to mustache-twirling levels of villainy without an ounce of humanity or at the very least, hints of mental instability. (Captain Kuro and Doflamingo certainly stand out as the biggest tenable exceptions) Are we really going to believe that Odacchi is willing to consign not just one person, but *an entire family* to being irredeemable?

A year or so ago, a fan presented me with a theory regarding the relationship between certain two people. They offered a different perspective than my own on their relationship and while I certainly wasn’t pleased with the option in terms of what the story demanded or required, the logic was sound. The suggestion required considering that the Kozuki clan itself was actively attempting to make sure that the Kurozumi bloodline survived at any cost. The reason for such selfless dedication to a task which, at face value, appears to be counterintuitive (albeit humane) remains to be explained but it may play into an aspect of the series that reaches far beyond the boundaries of Wano.

While I can’t go into exact detail on this unique relationship, one of the biggest hints can be found on this page of the manga. So whip out those kanji dictionaries and a magnifying glass and hopefully you’ll find the grave results of Shogun Orochi’s actions in handing Wano over to Kaido!

Weekly Shonen Jump #27 Ch.1051
One Piece Vol.96 Ch.965

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