One Piece Chapter 1023’s main theme is resemblances. While watching Zoro fight from a distance, Kawamatsu and Hyogoro discuss how Zoro’s “resembles Shimotsuki Ushimaru.” A member of the Shimotsuki Family, Ushimaru was the last daimyo of Ringo, the northern region of Wano Country. He’s the direct descendant of Shimotsuki Ryuma. He appeared during the Thriller Bark Arc, where he was defeated by Zoro. At some point in the past, his grave was robbed by Gecko Moria, who took his corpse and sword, Shusui. Oda is excellent at referring back to past characters and moments. It’s remarkable storytelling and I wonder how long Oda was planning this specific narrative? Regardless, Zoro not only returned Shusui, he also has “one eye” like Ryuma did.
Momonosuke’s resembles Kaido
Oda appears to want the Wano arc to explore the significance of swordsmen in One Piece. Sword users have always been present in the series (especially Zoro) but haven’t been given the same spotlight. Continuing this theme of “resemblance” in the previous chapter Momonosuke begged Shinobu to use her Devil Fruit ability to age him. It seems to be successful. However, Shinobu is in tears as Momonosuke now resembles someone. We don’t see who he looks like but the obvious answer would be Oden. At the same time his devil fruit transformation resembles Kiado’s dragon form. Momonosuke may have aged but he hasn’t obtained any of the skills necessary to fight at the level of Luffy or Kaido.
Elsewhere, the moon returns allowing the mink to transform into their Sulong forms. Inuarashi and Nekomamushi battle Jack and Charlotte Perospero. The mink’s already used this form and it didn’t seem to do much. Hopefully Jack and Perospero gets what’s coming to them. While I’m enjoying this arc its still frustrating how little focus each fight gets. I understand it’s not possible to depict every fight but I would have preferred if Oda focused on some to there completion then moved on. That said the expansion of the lore is certainly enjoyable and I hope Oda continues to expand on it.