Anime

One Piece Chapter 1020: Nico Robin takes on Black Maria

One Piece Chapter 1020, “Robin vs. Black Maria,” opens with the conflict between Kaido and Yamato. Kaido reveals that Yamato ate the Inu Inu no Mi, Model: Okuchi no Makami devil fruit, becoming a “wolf deity.” According to the Yonko, the wolf is the “Guardian Deity of Wano.” To Kaido, Yamato is just another tool, like the country of Wano itself. He wants her to run it as a “weapons factory.”

However, Yamato wishes to “liberate” Wano instead. This is the dream Oden wanted for his country. Yamato releases a mouth blast called Namuji Hyoga, which Kaido counters with Bolo Breath. Kaido says that he will never allow Wano to be liberated. Kurozumi Orochi was successful in exploiting his own people for profit. In one of the previous chapters, Orochi returns. I speculated that Orochi had eight lives but after Kiado and the Nine Red Scabbards killing him he’s down to six.

Nico Robin has faith in Sanji

Kiado is unaware of his survival. Orochi isn’t strong enough to fight Kiado, so I would assume he would plot behind the scenes. Regardless, Orochi would have to be officially killed before Kaido’s plan for Yamato to work. Elsewhere, Nico Robin and Brook face Black Maria, and her subordinates, Nure Onna, Tenjo Kudari, and Number Kunyun. Black Maria fails to trick Robin with the false images of Nico Olvia, Professor Clover, and Jaguar D. Saul. Brook was unharmed as well. He notes that both he and Robin have been “being hurt by illusions.” Oda reminds us what Robin and Brook have suffered. This is important when Black Maria attempts to convince Robin that Sanji betrayed her. The Straw Hats have been through a lot together and with Robin specifically. They have a strong bond.

Throughout all of this, Black Maria wields a polearm with a wanyudo at its end. Wanyudo is a Gifter, with a big head and a body of a small pug dog. He’s made to run along a hamster wheel at the end of Black Maria’s polearm, generating fire. It seems like a terrible life, but Wanyudo is always laughing, seeking pleasure from his masters violence. Black Maria creates a floor of fire that Brook eliminates with Cold Soul. Brook decides to take on Black Maria’s subordinates, leaving Robin to fight Black Maria herself. Like many of the Strawhat’s Robin is underserved, especially when fighting. She prepares to fight using Gigante Fleur, creating a large body with nine arms.

Anime · Manga

The Top 3 revelations from One Piece Manga Chapter 1009

“Naraku”

The Nine Red Scabbards decapitate Orochi in Chapter 1009 of One Piece.
The Nine Red Scabbards decapitate Orochi

Kurozumi Orochi’s has six more lives

We didn’t expect to see Orochi again after he was decapitated by Kiado. Well, he’s back and according to his Fukurokuju, he did die. So how is he alive, well that’s unknown. It does appear that Orochi had one fewer head. If this is accurate then he has seven, well six more lives remaining. He’s going to need them because he’s weak. Not only did Kiado kill him in one blow, but he also didn’t put up much of a fight against the notably weakened Nine Red Scabbards

Kiado and Big Mom’s alliance is going to be a problem

We were already prepared for the two Yonko to cause problems in One Piece, but seeing them fight together is giving us a glimpse of how much. The relationship between Kiado and Big Mom is complicated. Frenemies is probably the most appropriate. However, they fight together well. The pair combine their strength to attack Luffy, Zoro, Kid, Law, and Killer with Hakai. What feels like a casual assault from the two requires significant effort from Zoro. 

The Worst Generation will have to work together

When faced against two Yonko what can even the Worst Generation do? Their best hope is to separate the duo. Law’s Devil Fruit powers are ineffective against the Emperors. Teamwork is all they have. As Luffy battles Kiado head-on, Kid creates a metal box that Law uses to trap Zeus. Zoro cuts Prometheus into pieces using Homura Saki: Rokudo no Tsuji while Killer gets rid of Napolean. Big Mom strikes Kid, slamming him to the ground. Surprisingly, Kid seems fine and uses repel to send Big Mom into the air. Law throws a rock at her knocking her towards the sea. Without Zeus to help she’s helpless. 

Manga

One Piece Chapter 1007: Manga Recap and Review

Cover of One Piece chapter 1007 - Caesar giving penguin children gas-filled balloons.
Cover of One Piece chapter 1007

Chopper Saves the day

I have complained in the past that many of the characters outside of Zoro, Luffy, and Sanji aren’t getting much attention. I understand it’s difficult to balance such a large cast of characters, but Oda forgets the rest of the Strawhat crew. Chopper develops a counter virus to Queen’s Ice Oni disease. This arc had set the alliance against Kaido’s Beast pirates, who clearly out numbers them. I wondered how Oda would change that deficit. When Queen’s subordinates ask “why they have to suffer from his virus.” The All-Star berates them. Queen tells them to “shut up.” He explains that they “gambled” for power and “failed.” Queen says that they’re only useful dying. Oda uses this cruelty to justify the Beast Pirates switching sides.

Queen tries to turn the samurai against the Strawhat’s. He tells them that pirates are corrupt and Chopper will probably betray them. One Piece has blurred the boundaries between who we expect to be good or bad. Pirates in One Piece are neither good nor bad by default, their behavior determines the perception. Oda doesn’t fail at much, but I think he’s unsuccessful at establishing that Wano’s society thinks of Pirates. So when Queen says that “backstabbing is part of the pirate lifestyle,” I don’t think that anyone is going to believe it. The samurai don’t buy it. They’re certain in Chopper’s honesty and are not disappointed. Chopper cures Hyogoro of the Ice Oni and releases the antibodies into the air.

Enraged, Queen demands to know why Chopper would cure his subordinates. A doctor, Chopper believes that “viruses aren’t meant to be weaponized.” Queen attacks Chopper but is blocked by the Pleasures. They have sided with their savior, Chopper. Marco grabs Queen by the neck and Chopper transforms into his Monster Point form. He draws blood from Queen, as he reminds people he’s a “Tanuki.”

The Artificial Devil Fruit

The side story in this chapter focuses on Momonosuke. He feels unworthy of the praise he receives. Momonosuke considers himself to be weak. After he transforms into his dragon form, we pivot to the CP-0’s room. Here they discuss the Artificial Devil Fruit that was derived from Kaido’s DNA. The leader hopes they destroyed it. Momonosuke is still a child, so it’s unreasonable for him to think he should be stronger than he is. Regardless, considering the Artificial Devil Fruit was created by Vegapunk and taken from Kaido, it must be a powerhouse devil fruit. I’m curious what makes up a “failure” by Vegapunks standard. The ultimate shocker is the return of Kozuki Oden. I’m not buying Oden being alive, but you never know right.

Manga

One Piece Chapter 1000: Recap and Review

Luffy joins Law, Zoro, Killer, and Kid to face Yonko's Kaido and Big Mom in the milestone chapter 1000 of One Piece.
Luffy joins Law, Zoro, Killer, and Kid to face Yonko’s Kaido and Big Mom

Chapter 1000 – “Straw Hat Luffy”

One Piece chapter 1000 won’t be released until Jan 4th, 2021. However, those of us that don’t want to wait can find it on mangafreak now. Anyway, after over twenty years, 450 million copies sold, and 97 volumes One Piece has reached its 1000 chapter. I’ll admit I expected more from this chapter, but I’m not disappointed. On the fifth floor, the Inuarashi Musketeer Squad has cleared the way for Luffy to get to the roof. Shishilian tells Luffy that he’s never forgotten that Luffy risked his life for Raizo. Luffy heads upstairs. Elsewhere, Marco grapples King and Queen, as he throws Roronoa Zoro threw a hole in the roof. Yamato reveals more about Ace and Lord Oden’s journal to Momonosuke and Shinobu. She claims that the emergence of a “young and powerful” pirate generation was predicted decades ago.

In a flashback, Ace tells Yamato that Luffy “believes that he can achieve it.” It’s not made clear what he means, but I think we can all figure it out. According to Yamato, Oden described a future when the next generation leads a new era and defeats Kaido. As she says this, we see that Luffy has made it to the roof, joining Zoro, Trafalgar D. Law, Eustass Kid, and Killer. With Kaido and Big Mom standing side by side, Luffy walks between them. Kiado challenges Luffy to “say it one more time.” Luffy ignores him, going to Kin’emon. Bloody and defeated, the Nine Red Scabbards survive.

Kin’emon begs Luffy to “save Wano.” As Kaido prepares to attack Luffy, Law moves the Scabbards with his devil fruit ability. Kaido’s attack misses as Luffy dodges. Using his Gear Third Gomu Gomu no Red Rock, Luffyknocks Kiado to the ground. He proclaims that he is “Monkey D. Luffy” and he “will surpass them” and “become the King of the pirates.”

I don’t know if it will disappoint fans that this chapter didn’t feature a great deal of action, but I think it great chapter. From the first chapter, Luffy had always had the same dream, becoming pirate king. Oda does a wonderful job reminding us how far he’s come and that he’s never lost sight of this dream. Throughout the 1000 chapters of this series, Luffy has had sets backs and disappointments but always overcame them. However, Luffy still has obstacles to his pursuit, the Yonko. I didn’t think Luffy could defeat Kiado and Big Mom, so I it makes sense that Luffy will have support. The image of Kid, Killer, Law, Zoro, and Luffy standing together gave me chills.

This entire chapter had so many subtle elements. The mink tribe and Kin’emon reminding us that despite the power Luffy has, he always is will to sacrifice for others. This puts him in direct contrast with Kaido and Big Mom, who use their strength for selfish ends. In order for anyone to become Pirate King, they need support. Over the series, Luffy has amassed a small army that wants to see him as King. His brothers Ace and Sabo believed in him, Yamato believes in him, and so does his crew. With the battlefield set, all that remains is the battle. One Piece is going to be epic in 2021.

Manga

One Piece Manga Chapter 999: Recap and Review

Beasts All Stars King and Queen attack Marco in chapter 999 of One Piece.
Beasts All Stars King and Queen attack Marco

Chapter 999 – “The Sake I Brewed to Drink With You”

One Piece manga chapter 999, “The Sake I Brewed to Drink With You,” begins with a flashback of when Portgas D. Ace and his Spade Pirates crew came to Wano. Ace announces that he intended to “take the head of Kiado.” However, Kiado and his crew left on an expedition. Yamato tells Ace to leave, as the Whitebeard Pirate notices Yamato is wearing explosive cuffs. Ace and Yamato clash, while Ace asks Yamato why they allow “to chain their wrists, but their heart as well.” Yamato expresses the desire to have an adventure on the sea. Ace is impressed and they share a bottle of sake. Ace tells Yamato of the new pirates making names for themselves. He points out Cavendish, Eustass Kid, Trafalgar Law, Capone Bege, and of course Luffy, who’s a few years from starting his journey.

Yamato is explaining all this to Mononosuke and Shinobu in the present. I think Oda is using Ace to weave Yamato and Tama into the story more. With so many characters, we can forget some and their motivation. Ace was a beloved character for fans and of course Luffy. If he inspired characters like Yamato and Tama, then they will be endeared towards us. The connection with Ace gives us a reason to care about these characters. Elsewhere, Queen orders his men to stop Marco. Confused considering Marco helped save them from the disease Queen expose them to. The Beast Pirates are reluctant. Marco tells Brooke and Robin to head into the castle while he takes flight with Zoro. Marco flashes back to a time when the Whitebeard Pirates considered invading Wano. However, they feared the potential loss of life.

Big Mom and Kaido want the One Piece

In the present, King and Queen transform into their respective dinosaur forms. Queen tells Marco that “he can’t just assume he will fly straight past them.” King says that when “Oden’s son dies,” the battle “will end.” Queen tries to shoot Marco, but in his phoenix form the bullets simply passed through him. At the top of Skull Dome, Big Mom and Kiado wait for Luffy. Big Mom tells Kiado that he can kill all the Strawhat’s except for Nico Robin. Kaido reveals that he’s planning on dropping Onigashima on a castle in the Flower Capital. Kiado expects a lot of civilian deaths as a result, but he simply doesn’t care. Big Mom asks if the Road Poneglyph is in the Capital and Kiado rebuff her.

She responds by reminding him she gave him his Devil Fruit and he owes her. Oda not going to reveal too much until the historic 1000th One Piece chapter, but I think that’s the smart thing to do. I’m interested in seeing more of the past between Kaido and Big Mom. When Luffy arrives, I don’t think he can take on both Big Mom and Kiado, I wonder who will fight Big Mom, Zoro?

Anime

One Piece Chapter 993: Recap and Review

Chapter 993 – “Wano Country’s Dream”

One Piece chapter 993 opens with an explanation of the Fire Festival. Every year in the Flower Capital, the people of Wano celebrate in the hope that someday the samurai of the Kozuki will save them. This dream was the driving force that kept them going. Able to breathe clean air, taste great water, and avoid death, the Fire Festival was the one day they were free. Oda is reminding us of what’s at stake. Meanwhile, Queen releases Excite Bullets indiscriminately into the crowd infecting victims, turning them into icy demons. The infection spreads through contact Queen orders the doors closed to trap everyone inside. 

Out of the way, you Bastards

Meanwhile, Luffy is on the first floor of the basement. He and Sanji encounter the Beast Pirate Headliner, Briscola. The Beast Pirate creates a Gorilla on his arm using it like a fist. Most Beast Pirates have rather silly devil-fruit abilities. This is more than usual (you can argue that most devil-fruit abilities are silly). Regardless, Luffy and Sanji bicker over Luffy’s tendency to waste energy picking fights. Suddenly, Jinbe arrives, using Shark Tile Punch. Jinbe says that he’s going to “escort” both Luffy and Sanji to the roof to fight Kiado. Elsewhere, Bao Huang uses her ability to see through the eyes of cats. She locates Yamato and Momonosuke leaving tower one. King orders his men to kill Momonosuke hoping it will kill the samurai’s spirit. 

I’m participating in this war

Shinobu is attacked by Sasaki while holding Momonosuke. Yamato steps in to block the attack and face the Hundred Beast Pirates Armored Corps. Elsewhere, Kaido rises unharmed by the Samurai. He tells them that their “cuts are too shallow,” and they’re “nothing” like Oden. He fires several wind scythes, cutting off Kikunojo’s left arm. I’m a little disappointed that the Red Scabbard wasn’t more effective. They were never going to defeat Kiado, but I thought they might do more damage. Luffy is going to defeat Kiado, and considering how long it might take him to get to the roof, the Red Scabbard might all be dead. Finally, I am excited to see what Yamato can do. 

Manga

One Piece Chapter 989: Recap and Review

The Strawhat's prepare for battle in Chapter 989 of One Piece
The Strawhat’s prepare for battle

Chapter 989 – I Don’t Feel Like We’re Losing

As we barrel towards this war between the two alliances, the action starts to intensify. Brooke runs Big Mom over with a bike pissing her off. At this point, the animosity between Big Mom and the Strawhats couldn’t get worse. Yamato meets Shinobu and Monomosuke. Franky introduces himself to Big Mom, showing no fear of the Yonko. He charges his Radical Beam, aiming for Big Mom. Franky is one of the most powerful Strawhat members, however, he isn’t used that often. Nami, who possesses far less power, seems more present. This is likely due to a bias on Oda’s part, which is unfortunate. 

Anyway, the Numbers make an appearance. One of them is holding the robot that Chopper and Usopp are in. Franky quickly changes his target hitting one of the Numbers with his Radical Beam. Sensing an opportunity, Big Mom attacks Franky. However, Jinbei uses Fishman Karate: Whirling Tides Throw, and Robin use Mille Fleurs: Delphinium to roll her away. Meanwhile, Queen witnesses Luffy and Zoro heading towards Kiado. Transforming into his Brachiosaurus form he stops the duo from progressing. Luffy and Zoro notice that the skies are filled with flying Beast Pirates. Regardless, the Strawhat’s join together once again, as Luffy prepares to “kick Kaido’s ass,” as his crew “handles the rest.” 

I’m getting more and more excited for this arc. A lot is going on, so Oda must set everything up. The previous chapter showed the Minks transforming into their Sulong moonlight. It’s going to take some effort on Oda’s part to balance the numerous fights that occur at once. Based on the pass I fully expect him to succeed. 

My Hero Academia Manga Chapter: Recap and Review

Manga

One Piece Chapter 983: Recap and Review

Luffy annouces that he will become Pirate King in One Piece chapter 983.
Luffy annouces that he will become Pirate King

Big Mom turns her attention to Nami

I’ve mentioned in previous reviews of One Piece that this arc is currently in the process of setting up battles. One Piece chapter 983: Thunder continues to set up more possible scenarios. At the Onigashima brothel, Big Mom has switched her attention from Usopp and Chopper to Nami. Chopper is happy that they were able to provide a distraction to save Kinemon, however, now Nami is in trouble. Big Mom wants to retrieve Zeus one of the homies that Nami stole. They hope that Sanji could help them but he’s run off to protect the prostitutes. As she gives chase, Big Mom creates new homies from umbrellas and sandals. 

Momonosuki, Zoro, and Kid

Meanwhile, things look dire for some of our heroes. Momonosuki has been chained to a cross. Orochi excites his men with the promise of his execution. Elsewhere, within the Keep, Zoro encounters several Gifters. All devil fruit users, Zoro has his hands full. However, I’m sure how strong each one is. Devil Fruit users vary in strength, so Zoro could slice through most of them. That said I would expect he probably will encounter one that’s too strong to be defeated easily. Killer and Kid are surrounded by some of the Beast Pirates. Kid lands a massive blow on some of them while they bicker about promotions.

Introducing Yamato, the son of Kaido

Luffy battles Page-One and Ulti briefly. Ulti’s angry with Luffy for the harm she caused Page-One. Luffy tells her that he’s going to become King of the Pirates. Beliving only Kiado can become King, she becomes enraged further. Leaping in the air, arching her back, she hits Luffy with a powerful headbutt, Ulti Skull Cannon. Luffy admits that the hit hurt, but is mostly fine. Realizing his strength, Utli, and Page-One uses their devil fruit abilities, Dragon Dragon Fruit Ancient Model: Pachycephalosaurus and Spinosaurus. Luffy grabs Utli by her horns and slams her into the ground. He strikes Page-One under the jaw with Gomu Gomu no Elephant Gun. Ulti grabs him and prepares to use Ulti Meteor. However, she’s knocked by Thunder Bagua from Yamato. He grabs Luffy and runs, stating that he’s been waiting for him. 

This chapter was largely set up until Yamato showed up. I imagine that despite his father, Yamato isn’t an evil pirate. It’s a common trope that the child of a villain isn’t willing to follow in the footsteps of their parents. Would he betray his father? I think it’s possible. The alliance still needs more help if they’re going to challenge Big Mom, Kiado, Orochi, and the Beast Pirates. I also think Charlotte Perospero may prove to be a potential wild card. I don’t think he will join the alliance, but help from the shadows. 

One Piece Chapter 982: Recap and Review

Manga

One Piece Chapter 982: Recap and Review

Luffy runs into two Headliners in chapter 982 of One Piece.
Luffy runs into two Headliners

In chapter 982 of One Piece, Scoundrel Meets Scoundrel, Kanjuro has finally brought Momonosuke to a partying Orochi and Kiado. After attempting to escape, Momonosuke was brutally beaten by Kanjuro. Kaido is disappointed that Momonosuke is still a child. Oda has been pointing out how evil Orochi’s regime is, Kanjuro provided a new low. Furthermore, Orochi plans on celebrating with Momonosuke’s execution. Kanjuro informs Orochi that the samurai haven’t been stopped. Fukurokuju assures Orochi that there are no signs of the alliance. Underestimating the alliance may prove to be the handicap they need. 

Nekomamushi and Marco join a group on Polar Tang. Meanwhile, Denjiro captures one of the Headliners, Sasaki. Denjiro and his forces move forward inside the dome, splitting into two groups. In the east, Chopper and Usopp have attacked Big Mom, leading her away from the samurai. Inside the brothel, Nami, Carrot, and Shinobu encounter Prometheus. Elsewhere in the castle, Luffy runs into Headliners, Ulti, and Page One. As I stated in the previous review, I believe that One Piece is going to separate the alliance into smaller groups. Denjiro’s team splitting up suggests that I may be right. At this point, it’s unclear how strong Luffy is compared when he fought Kaido. While it’s not likely he going to fight both Headliners, battling one will be a good opportunity to showcase his new abilities. One Piece chapter 982 is still building up to the inevitable battles. I can’t wait. 

One Piece Chapter 981:Recap and Review, Marco returns

Manga

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.

One Piece Manga Chapter 977 Review: The Strawhat’s Unite