One Piece (Wano Country) Review

One Piece (Wano Country) Review

The Longest Arc (So Far)

I’ve been watching One Piece for years by this point. And, I finally (almost) caught up to the newly releasing episodes. In fact, I could be caught up right now if I wanted to be. But, I’ll get to why I’m not at the end of this review.

Wano Country, or just Wano for short, is the longest One Piece arc to date. And, as the longest arc, a lot of stuff happens within it. It’s the culmination of everything that’s happened since Punk Hazard. That’s when the Wano Saga began.

From what I remember, Punk Hazard was the first time we heard Kaido’s name. Then, the Minks of Zou also played a huge role in the Wano arc. And, even Big Mom, the main antagonist of Whole Cake Island was present. Again, Wano is where all these other arcs come together.

Samurai of the Land of Wano from the anime series One Piece: Wano Country
Samurai of the Land of Wano

You may also recall that Whole Cake Island was a significant arc for Sanji’s character. Well, Wano is a significant arc for Zoro’s character. Zoro’s backstory is intertwined with Wano. The swords he carries are from Wano. And, it’s in Wano that he awakens his conquerer’s haki.

But, of course, that’s not all. Wano has its own story to tell. It’s the story of how Kaido and Orochi overthrew Oden Kozuki, the previous Shogun of Wano. And, it’s the story of how Oden’s son, Momonosuke, and his retainers retook the country 20 years later.

There’s a lot going on in Wano, so it’s no wonder the arc is long. But, it’s also long because of the pacing — at least for the first three-quarters of the arc. Toward the end, things speed up. However, the beginning and middle of Wano are slow. Though, by now, you should be used to that.

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Changing of the Guard

Wano is a unique arc in that it features the defeat of two major antagonists. Earlier in the series, each major arc saw the defeat of a single antagonist. Think of Crocodile in Alabasta, Moria in Thriller Bark, or Doflamingo in Dressrosa.

In Whole Cake Island, though, the Straw Hats didn’t defeat Big Mom. They escaped from her. So, when she reappeared in Wano, it meant they had to take down two of the Four Emperors. In order to free Wano, they needed to defeat both Big Mom and Kaido.

Now, Luffy was the one who defeated Kaido. But, neither he nor the Straw Hats defeated Big Mom. Instead, Law and Kid teamed up to take her down. So, we ended the arc with three members of the “Worst Generation” defeating two of the Four Emperors.

The Worst Generation preparing to fight Big Mom and Kaido from the anime series One Piece: Wano Country
The Worst Generation preparing to fight Big Mom and Kaido

And, just to be clear, it does appear that both Big Mom and Kaido are dead. They both ended up within lava deep beneath the planet’s crust. And, at one point, an eruption that happened was referred to as Kaido’s “final send-off.” So, I don’t think they’re coming back.

What this means is that there are two open slots in the Four Emperors. And, we know that some have already dubbed Luffy as the unofficial Fifth Emperor. So, naturally, this means that there are now Five Emperors: Shanks, Blackbeard, Luffy, Law, and Kid. Well, no. That’s not what ended up happening.

Law and Kid didn’t make the cut — and we’re not extending the Four Emperors to five. Instead, Luffy is now an official Emperor alongside Shanks and Blackbeard. And, much to my surprise, Buggy is, as well. We’ll find out how he became an Emperor in an upcoming episode.

Mythical Zoan – Human-Human Fruit Model: Nika

Almost two years ago, I stopped keeping up with the One Piece Manga. The reason for that was Chapter 1044, which revealed the true nature of Luffy’s devil fruit. I wasn’t happy with that reveal. And, I still have mixed feelings about it.

Apparently, the Gum-Gum Fruit is a lie. It’s not real. It doesn’t exist. Luffy doesn’t have it, despite what both he and we (the viewers) have been led to believe. I’m not sure how that works in-universe, though. When you eat a devil fruit, you’re supposed to understand what it is.

Well, it turns out that Luffy’s devil fruit is actually the Human-Human Fruit Model: Nika. It’s not even a paramecia-type fruit. It’s a zoan — a mythical zoan. And, this is why I don’t like this development. Why did Luffy have to awaken the powers of a god?

Luffy's devil fruit awakening (Gear 5) from the anime series One Piece: Wano Country
Luffy’s Devil Fruit awakening (Gear 5)

Something I liked about One Piece is that Luffy was, in many ways, a normal pirate. Yes, he has a devil fruit power. But, it was a fairly ordinary one. Being made of rubber isn’t overpowered compared to abilities other characters have.

And, yes, I know he was always going to be the king of the pirates. I know he was always going to be the next Joyboy who leads the world into the dawn. However, those things are very different from him literally being a god. This is the most “Shounen Jump” twist that could have happened.

Why not keep the Gum-Gum Fruit and say that it’s the fruit Joyboy had? Why not say it’s also the fruit Nika had? I like the awakened fruit’s abilities. But, those abilities don’t require that the fruit itself change. I can’t think of a good reason for doing that.

Final Thoughts

I’m going to give the Wano Country arc of One Piece a 7/10. It could have been an 8 if it wasn’t so long. There were a lot of slow episodes. But, the end of the arc was probably a 9. The fights against Queen, King, and Kaido were all awesome with great animation.

Alright, it’s time to explain why I didn’t catch up on the newest One Piece episodes. For the Egghead arc, I’m going to be doing weekly episode reviews. For the next few weeks, I’ll review two episodes per week. And, by March, I should be all caught up.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to share it with everyone you know. Also, follow me on your social media of choice so you don’t miss out on any future articles — links are in the footer.

Finally, I’d like to thank Roman and JasonHK for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about supporting this blog, check out DoubleSama.com/support.

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