Disclaimer: This article contains One Piece manga spoilers
One Piece fans should begin to take a retrospective look back into the Wano Country arc. It’s been a long journey, but Act Three is finally coming to an end.
With the final saga underway, the Straw Hats are now heading off to find a new island in search of the final Road Poneglyph.
One Piece readers went through many highs and lows in Wano Country. Here are some of the best and worst moments in the arc.
Note: This article is subjective and reflects the writer’s personal views.
Buggy’s Yonko status and 3 other Wano Country moments that One Piece readers will never forget
1) Oden’s entire flashback
Kozuki Oden was a legendary figure in Wano Country. It was very telling when Luffy didn’t fall asleep listening to his backstory.
Oden had a very interesting life, from start to finish. This was the man who gave Kaido his first permanent scar, a feat that wouldn’t be replicated until 20 years later. He also survived boiling water for an hour while holding up his retainers. His spectacular death even inspired Kaido’s son Yamato, who took on the Oden persona for himself.
Of course, that’s not even getting to Oden’s time at sea. The moments that stood out from this period include Roger versus Whitebeard, Oden joining their respective crews, and Roger finding the One Piece treasure.
2) Shanks scares off Ryokugyu
Shanks finally made his move in the Wano Country arc.
Ryokugyu is a rogue Admiral who decided to pay a visit to Luffy during the arc. Of course, Shanks didn’t let him get very far. The above tweet really demonstrates the size and scale of his power.
Despite being several miles away, Shanks managed to scare away the Admiral with his Conqueror’s Haki. Keep in mind that Ryokugyu is the same person who tried fighting Luffy and the Straw Hat Pirates together.
Eiichiro Oda really knows how to hype up Shanks.
3) Buggy becomes a Yonko
One Piece fans have been joking about Buggy becoming a Yonko for several years, but it finally happened in the Wano Country arc.
Ever since Kaido and Big Mom were defeated, Buggy has unexpectedly risen to Yonko status. He was previously a former Warlord on the run from the Marines.
Buggy continues to surprise readers with his crazy antics. He now runs the Cross Guild, which contains powerful subordinates like Crocodile and Dracule Mihawk. He also places bounties on the Marines.
One Piece fans can hardly believe this starter villain now has the same prestigious title as Shanks. He is definitely going to be a major player in the end game.
4) Luffy unlocks Gear Fifth
This is arguably the most hypeworthy moment in the Wano Country arc, let alone the entire One Piece series.
Luffy finally awakened his Devil Fruit and unlocked Gear Fifth. With the power of cartoon physics, the Straw Hat defeated Kaido and ended his reign of tyranny.
Readers were also completely shocked by the true nature of his fruit. The World Government has been going after it for over 800 years. The fruit was originally known as the Hito Hito no Mi, Model: Nika. It was also classified as a Mythical Zoan. However, it was renamed to avoid suspicions.
Additionally, Zunesha believes that Luffy is the second coming of Joy Boy. There has never been a bigger lore drop in One Piece history.
Big Mom’s amnesia and 3 other Wano Country moments that One Piece fans were let down by
1) Zoro’s character is barely fleshed out
Many readers believed that Roronoa Zoro would have a dedicated backstory in Wano Country. Very little is known about his past beyond his training in Shimotsuki Village.
Zoro’s character isn’t explored much in the Wano Country arc, not counting a brief flashback with Shimotsuki Kozaburo. All he really did was develop his fighting techniques and gain a new weapon.
Some readers worry that Zoro’s past will forever remain a mystery. Wano Country would’ve been the perfect location to reveal his past, but that ship has now sailed.
2) Big Mom’s amnesia subplot
A good number of fans believe Big Mom’s amnesia was nothing more than a lazy plot device.
By the early stages of the Wano Country arc, Big Mom was still a powerful Yonko who could’ve easily crushed Luffy. In the end, she was given a forced amnesia subplot, making her look weak in the process.
Even when she regained her memory, Big Mom fell asleep, so Luffy wouldn’t need to deal with her. She was also reduced to someone who moved everybody around like chess pieces.
Big Mom’s only goal here was to remove the Beasts Pirates from the Udon Prison. This was very convenient for Luffy since he wouldn’t have to fight Queen in a drawn-out battle. Either way, some readers thought it was too contrived.
3) Kaido’s flashback is way too short
One Piece fans have been conditioned to expect flashbacks from major villains. Big Mom had a very extensive one back in the Whole Cake Island arc. Kaido also had one right before Luffy defeated him. However, there is a huge discrepancy between their flashback durations.
Big Mom had a few chapters dedicated to her, while Kaido only had a few panels. It’s very likely that Oda will wait until a later date to reveal what happened to the Rocks Pirates. However, he still could’ve expanded Kaido’s childhood a little bit more. He isn’t the most fleshed-out villain at the moment.
Kaido was the main antagonist force of Wano Country, but his motivations were largely unclear.
4) The lack of meaningful deaths
There will always be arguments over whether or not Eiichiro Oda should kill off relatively major characters. Of course, that’s never been his writing style for the One Piece series. More often than not, it’s the minor characters who take the axe, sometimes in a very sudden fashion.
By the end of the Wano Country arc, Kin’emon and Kikunojo had survived what should have been a heartbreaking end. Some readers believe that it would’ve built more stakes. By comparison, Ashura Doji and Izou died very unexpectedly. Their anti-climactic deaths lacked the same emotional resonance.
Oda sometimes writes better fakeout deaths than actual ones. Some readers would’ve been satisfied with Kaido spiking Kin’emon to a bloody pulp. Instead, they got Izou dying from a random gunshot wound. This problem also extends to Orochi and Kanjuro, who lived far past their expiration date.
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