One Piece Chapter 981:Recap and Review, Marco returns

Captain Kid attacks Apoo in chapter 981 of One Piece.
Captain Kid attacks Apoo

Luffy, Kid, and the others are overwhelmed

As predicted, neither Luffy nor Kid could manage to hide their identities for long. One Piece chapter 981, Engagement, opens with Kid delivering a devasting hit on the traitor Apoo. Understandably, Kid is outraged and resentful of Apoo’s behavior. Generally, unable to trust anyone, Kid seems particularly hurt and maybe embarrassed by the events that lead to his defeat at the hands of Kiado. Apoo is nihilistic. He doesn’t think that it was ever possible to defeat an emperor and the alliances between pirates always end badly. Queen orders the Beast Pirates to kill Luffy, Zoro, Kid, and Killer. However, they’re overwhelmed by the Beast Pirates. They flee after one of the Numbers, Haccha attacks them. It’s revealed that Apoo’s devil fruit ability can only “reach where you can hear them.” 

The Samurai make their move

Kinemon and his group are on the eastern side of Onigashima. The Beast Pirates are still unaware of their presents, so the samurai have altered their plans. Instead of sending the full force to the rear entrance, they are instead opting to split into two groups. They hope to trap Orochi and Kiado. However, they arrive at an unexpected obstacle, a brothel that houses one of the Flying Six, Black Maria. Lucky for them (unlucky for Sanji) the brothel was empty due to news of Luffy’s arrival. As they pass someone leaves the brothel, it’s Big Mom. Meanwhile, her children arrive in Wano, looking to take Luffy’s head. Suddenly, Marco the Phoenix arrives, sending them falling back down the waterfall. He’s joined by Izo and Nekomamushi, as the prepare to join the fray. 

Marco the Pheonix returns

More help arrives

Oda was smart to reintroduce a character, Marco, while also using him to prevent the Big Mom Pirates from entering Wano. The Strawhat’s alliance is already a major underdog, adding Big Mom’s children would be overkill. Izo is an underdeveloped character so far. The most important thing we know about him is that he’s from Wano, the older brother of Kikunojo (one of the Nine Red Scabbards), and he’s the commander of the 16th division. We can assume he’s powerful because he’s a commander other than that his abilities are unknown. Nekomamushi is a different story. While I don’t think he has shown all his abilities, he’s at least as strong as Jack

One Piece is still setting the stage for the upcoming battles. The Beast Pirates remain ignorant of most of the intruders. If Luffy, Kid, Zoro, and Killer can continue to be a distraction they might go undetected. That said I expect this arc to result in many characters separating into even smaller groups, eventually resulting in one on one battles. That said it’s probably in the best for them to avoid one on one battles with Big Mom and Kiado.

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