In One Piece 952, Oda is clearly setting up the bits and pieces necessary for the the raid on Onigashima in the 3rd and 4th acts of Wano. Some plot lines fall into place a bit too conveniently: Luffy manages to release thousands of prisoners, and Zoro just happens to run into a thief who has been hoarding thousands of weapons from bandits and the beast pirates. The rebels need ships to attack Onigashima? No worries, Shutenmaru has been hiding away rundown ships for years and Franky will be there to fix them up.
Then again, Oda might be setting up the raid on Onigashima as a failure and may be trying to trick the reader into a false sense of security. There is no way that a character hyped to be the strongest creature in the world, Kaido, will be taken down by a perfectly executed plan. There are some signs of Kaido’s side gaining the upper hand.
Law has been captured by Hawkins (who has so far been the MVP of the beast pirates in Wano), and it seems that the clash between Big Mom and Kaido is heading towards a possible reconciliation between the emperors to take out the Straw Hats and shut down rebellious forces in Wano. Perhaps even a restoration of the Rocks pirates is in the works in some shape or form.
Let’s go through some key moments of One Piece 952. Zoro will probably replace Shusui, and instead of gathering up the Samurai, like he promised to Luffy, he will help provide the rebel army with weapons instead. We learn that Zoro’s blade, Shusui, is a sacred treasure of Wano and the citizens of Wano believe that its theft cursed their land, and left them vulnerable to the suffering caused by Kaido and Orochi.
It seems likely that Zoro will part with the sword by the end of this arc and will perhaps replace it with a new named blade. He might be setting out on a quest to make the Wado Ichimonji a black sword just like the Shusui.
Tama’s ability is extremely overpowered against Zoans, who are already sort of the weakest devil fruit users as compared to to Paramecia and Logia. I’m hoping that Wano will go expand more on the special powers of ancient and mythical Zoans (especially those Kaido Orochi), because so far the SMILE army has been fairly underwhelming. The beast pirates should be the strongest Zoan-based pirate crew, so hopefully Tama’s fruit will not single-handedly take care of the SMILE army.
Caribou seems to have fully joined the alliance against Kaido, and will probably join the StrawHat fleet after Wano. He also knows something about the ancient weapons, which may become important in a later act of Wano.
Chopper got some shine by taking care of Queen’s virus, he will probably also play an important role by taking care of the harmful effects of SMILE on the citizens of Wano. I would, however, much prefer to see the the World Government give in to Orochi’s demands and send in Vegapunk, a plan that would backfire on Orochi, because Vegapunk might be the perfect person to cure the people of Wano.
Babanuki is alive and well, kind of not on the level of ridiculousness of Pell nuke, but this was to be expected, since Oda very rarely casually kills off characters.
The rebellion gained powerful allies in the shape of the yakuza bosses and other samurai released from Udon, it does appear that, just like in Impel Down, when Luffy gets put in jail, he usually ends up getting training and new allies in the process. This is in line with what Mihawk had to say about Luffy in the Marineford war: one of his strongest skills is to gather around allies in unlikely situations and get them working towards a shared goal.
Queen is shaping up to be the coolest Beast pirates commander: goofy, but imposing. A fight between Katakuri and Queen would be a treat to see in the future.
Rating for One Piece 952
In general, it seems that the conflict in Wano will become a much larger event than the simple takedown of Orochi’s dictatorship. Outside forces like Blackbeard or the World government might also interfere, since CP0 has been keeping an eye on the situation, and may report the situation back to Sakazuki. Moreover, it is highly unlikely that Yasuie’s excuse will hold off the paranoia of Orochi, who might try each possible method to extract the truth out of Law, or the other prisoners. In which case Orochi’s side might tip off Kaido about the imminent attack on Onigashima. With the events that transpired in One Piece 952, act two is getting very close to a conclusion. The Oden flashback will be on its way in a few chapters.160×600 – Place in of page where ad should appear –>