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Manga Spoilers Lose the Battle, Win the War - Why the Outcome of the Raid on Onigashima Doesn't Matter

Discussion in 'One Piece Theories' started by Marco Polo, Sep 12, 2019.

  1. Marco Polo

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    #1 Marco Polo, Sep 12, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
    Thanks to @Admiral Ryokugyu for inspiring the train of thought that led to this theory.

    So, Wano Act Two has just finished, and we were left with this cliffhanger:

    wanotheory1 (2).jpg

    The key component of this ending is that the outcome of the war on Wano will "alter the very fate of the world". From a lot of Oda's comments in interviews etc, we've known that he's been planning for Wano to be a hugely important arc for the future of One Piece, and we've known that the outcome of this war will be hugely significant to the One Piece universe for quite some time. However, we may well have made some wrong assumptions about what that world-altering change may be. Going in to the arc, we assumed that the alliance would be taking down Kaido and altering the balance of power in that way. However, fairly early on in the arc, we were introduced to one hugely unexpected variable - Big Mom. At first this was met with a lot of confusion from readers, and as we watched her bumble through the early parts of Act Two with amnesia, readers were quick to lose their patience and question why she was here in the first place. However, her memories returned and she went straight for Kaido's head, but rather than fight to the death, they ended up seeing eye-to-eye on something and teaming up as of Chapter 954 - a huge and unexpected plot twist.

    wanotheorywe'rescrewed (2).jpg

    Now, the question on everyone's lips after Chapter 955 is this: How can Luffy's alliance of 4,200 overcome Kaido and Orochi's army of 30,000, plus however many Big Mom brought with her?

    Now, there's a series of answers. One is that Jinbe arrives with the Sun Pirates and Germa, and that helps even out the numbers. Another is that the Straw Hat Alliance show up. A third answer is that all the aforementioned parties show up. All of these ideas are geared towards the idea that we see the Straw Hat Alliance take down Kaido and Big Mom. That's the goal, right? That's the "world altering event" that happens, surely? Two Yonko going down would cause chaos! That must be Oda's intention!

    As amazing as it would be to see Luffy and co take them down, that outcome is incredibly unlikely and potentially damaging to the delicate power system that we have in One Piece. The way things are shaping up, the most likely outcome for the Raid on Onigashima is overwhelming defeat. However, that might just be Oda's intention. This theory is going to delve into the possible ramifications of the Raid on Onigashima failing, and why it might not be a big deal at all.

    Before I start the "theory" part of the theory, I'll explain where this line of thought comes from. This post by Admiral Ryokugyu about the structure of kabuki theater began to get me thinking:

    After first going through a long stretch of denial about the idea of the Fire Festival plan failing, I eventually accepted that train of thought and began to explore where it might lead. The Wano arc is one that's laid out very differently to One Piece - unlike any arc that's come before it, this is being shown to us very deliberately as being a show. No other arc in One Piece has this kind of narrative lens applied to it. This got me thinking - What if the Raid of Onigashima is just a distraction from the true goal of the arc?

    Right before Wano began, we had the Reverie. All the world's big players meeting up, and a series of subplots left on cliffhangers - Shanks, the Revolutionaries and Im, the being who sits above even the Gorosei. Now the reason I highlight Im is because his introduction as the "supreme entity" in the One Piece world is one that brings huge end game implications. Prior to his introduction, the question "Who is the final villain?" was one that caused a lot of debate. Some said Akainu. Others said Blackbeard. However, he is a standout candidate as the end-game boss. Cue mental images of Luffy, having finally reached Raftel, finally obtaining the One Piece, staring down this mysterious king, ready to kick his ass or whatever it is that Luffy does.

    Hold on. Did I just say something important? Something about One Piece, the treasure that all the biggest pirates are chasing?

    Now, some of you might be starting to see where I'm going with this. Others of you might be saying, "But, but Maruko! Finding One Piece is miles away! Luffy has to beat all the Yonko before they go to Raftel, right? That's at least 2 more arcs after this one!"

    For those of you questioning why the One Piece is being brought up at all, let me remind you of something. The Straw Hats are halfway to Raftel. What do I mean by that? Well, as we found out in Zou, to reach Raftel, one must find all four Road Poneglyphs, and combine the co-ordinates found on each Poneglyph to pinpoint one location - Raftel. The Straw Hats have the details from two of the four Poneglyphs - the one found on Zou, and the one found on Whole Cake Island. That makes two. The third Road Poneglyph is in Wano, and the whereabouts of the fourth is currently unknown.

    Hold on. I've just said something important again, haven't I? Something about there being a Road Poneglyph in Wano? A Road Poneglyph that the Straw Hats haven't found yet?

    Hopefully now some more of you are seeing where I'm going with this, but for those of you who still aren't quite with me, I'll ask you the following question:

    What outcome would be considered a "succesful" outcome from the Wano arc?

    The obvious answer to this, and the one we've all been debating feverently is that the Raid on Onigashima is a success and Kaido and co are taken down. However, I would like to propose an alternative course of events.

    At the end of Wano Act 3, we're met with the taste of overwhelming defeat under the might of Kaido and his forces. However, Luffy and co. have been lucky enough to survive Kaido and Big Mom's onslaught, but have been forced to retreat. In Act 4, we see the Straw Hats licking their wounds, deeply pained by their lack of success against the Yonko, and the impact their failure has had on the people of Wano. However, one of the Straw Hats reveals that during the chaos, they managed to locate Kaido's Road Poneglyph in Onigashima. And not only that, they've managed to obtain a rubbing of it! Now they have three of the four co-ordinates to Raftel and to One Piece. They're one step closer to helping Luffy achieve his dream of becoming Pirate King! Now all they need to do is locate the fourth Poneglyph, whose location is still a complete unknown. However, they'll have find it before the Big Mom/Kaido alliance, who are now the front runners to take over the world, as per their ambition. In all likelihood, their plans of world domination involve finding Raftel and becoming Pirate King and Queen. In fact, it's almost certain that they do - after all, they've each obtained one of the Road Poneglyphs for themselves. Right now, they don't stand a chance against them, but with the One Piece... who knows? Maybe they'll be able to avenge the people of Wano.

    EDIT: @GoldenVenus rightly brought up the question of "how" the SHs will get their hands on a Poneglyph rubbing, so I'll propose an idea here. We can almost certainly say that the Road Poneglyph is in Onigashima - if it wasn't, we'd have come across it already. So by process of elimination, it should be there. It's also where Kaido's base is iirc, and he'd want to keep something like that close to home. It won't be a case of one of our characters tripping and falling and bumping into the Poneglyph - they'll probably have someone sent out to find it. However, even with the confusion of the raid going on, it's likely to be strongly guarded. A character with a perfect mix of stealth and strength would be ideal here, both in terms of sneaking past the guards and in being able to fight their way out if they get caught. Luckily, we have just the character for that - Sanji, equipped with his handy new Raid Suit he got from his family. it's likely a high-ranking executive will be involved in the guarding of the Poneglyph (maybe Drake and the Flying Six?) given how important it is (remember, Brook had to face Big Mom herself when he got caught), but I highly doubt Kaido/BM will be there to guard it - they'll probably be occupied with the main alliance fighters.

    The Wano arc is one that is crucial to the dreams of three of the Straw Hat Pirates. For Luffy and Robin, finding the Road Poneglyph brings them closer to Raftel and finding One Piece and the Rio Poneglyph respectively. For Zoro, the acquisition of Enma, an incredibly powerful katana, brings him one step closer to becoming the World's Greatest Swordsman. You could also argue that surviving brings Nami, Usopp and Franky one step closer to their dreams, but theirs are relatively vague in nature. However, the fulfillment of their dreams is bears no relation to the outcome of the Raid (unless they die, which I think is highly unlikely).

    To conclude: the current events in the manga are a fun distraction from the chaotic state of the One Piece world, one that will become increasingly chaotic as the outcomes of the Wano arc and the Reverie are revealed. For this arc to be considered a "success" for Luffy and his crew, they only need to survive and obtain the information held on the Road Poneglyph in Wano, setting us up for a crazy race to the finish line. The end goal we've been chasing since Chapter 1 could well be closer than we thought.

    That's the theory.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Admiral Ryokugyu

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    First and foremost, thank you so much for this theory. People need to know this.

    I agree 100% with what you said. That's also what i believe is gonna happen. I'm happy that what i said caused this train of thoughts of yours.

    Reading this was satisfying because it's what going on inside my head. They only need the Road Poneglyph, they can kick Kaido's a$$ later. Oda wants a gigantic war so that he can start driving the story to an end. If Kaido and BM win the war, they'll proceed to conquering the world. This will cause the Navy and the Revolutionaries to make their move, and a gigantic war will start.

    Oda said once that " One Piece world will be thrown into turmoil in the end ", and in the new chapter he says " the war that will shake the fate of the world itself .. ".

    Your choice of words was on point. The defeat will be overwhelming. They will be crushed easily and Act 3, just like in the kabuki, will be a tragedy with lots of bloodshed, despair, and broken promises.

    gg @Marco Polo
     
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  3. Marco Polo

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    This is also a very important element that I didn't mention much - the WG seem to be pretty content to let the Yonko rule their respective territories, but now that two of them are teaming up and making major plays, they're unlikely to sit and wait.
     
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  4. GoldenVenus

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    I like the poneglyph theory. The Poneglyph being in Wano means that this would be the perfect time to snatch it away. And considering the amount of manpower they have, there's no way they can win against BM-Kaido. But I doubt Kaido would just leave the poneglyph somewhere without any protection? Someone must be guarding it right?

    However, there's one thing I'm uncertain of. Considering Luffy's nature, even if he's defeated, do you really think he would leave without avenging the people of Wano? I mean, it just doesn't seem like him, so I have my doubts.
     
  5. Admiral Ryokugyu

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    #5 Admiral Ryokugyu, Sep 13, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
    Marineford must have taught him that a fighter must recognize his limits. He can't beat Kaido. Even plot armor won't save him this time, because Oda spent all of it on the Katakuri fight.

    I know he'll be mad about his defeat, but he must accept it and move on. There are times when you simply can't do anything about it, and knowing that you can't control everything is important. Luffy acting stubborn will only result in him getting knocked out over and over again. Kaido is not Doflamingo.
     
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  6. Marco Polo

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    So I didn't talk about the actual logistics behind getting the Poneglyph that much, but the point of the theory was more to show that getting the Poneglyph = success. However, there is one crew member that is perfectly "suited" to getting into a heavily guarded area to find the Poneglyph, as well as defend himself from any potential danger - Sanji, aka Soba Mask. The likelihood is that the Poneglyph is in Onigashima (since we haven't come across it yet and the only place left to visit is Onigashima itself), so if it's timed right then a rubbing can be obtained during the raid when the guards are stretched. But again, if it were to be Sanji then I have no doubt he'd be able to fight his way out of the situation. I'll edit a little about this into my main post.

    If he realises he can avenge them, then he's the type to do it by any means possible. If his past experiences with loss have taught him anything, it's that taking your time with things is almost better.
     
  7. mysticalflute

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    Oda has been building up this arc for YEARS now. The scabbards and Momo have been involved in the story for, what, 3 arcs now? Kaido has to be taken down this arc, otherwise, what was the point in having Momo and company around for so long?
     
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  8. Kyros

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    So even after 5th act the SHs only get the road poneglyph, then what about Luffy’s promise to Tama. I don’t think they will leave Wano without helping the citizens of the country. They should defeat Kaido and Orochi to truly liberate the country.
     
  9. Trafalgar D. Mortyllien

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    Very Nice theory that makes sense but...
    They need to go to Elbaph somehow and make Usopp The Brave Warrior of the Sea or this series was waste of my time (just kidding) But seriously make Usopp awesome
     
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  10. Marco Polo

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    Interestingly, it’s not Kaido that has to go down to fulfill Momo and co’s purpose; it’s Orochi. As long as Orochi has been killed by the end of the arc, Momo can take up the position of shogun. In all likelihood, Kaido and Big Mom’s goals take them back out to sea - meaning Wano would be both without a shogun and free from pirate control. Toki’s prophecy only spoke of Orochi, if I remember correctly.

    I think an Elbaf arc is inevitable, but as for when it happens I couldn’t tell you
     
  11. Juggy

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    #11 Juggy, Sep 13, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
    This is my concern as well. I loved your theory Maruko, but what @Kyros wrote bugs me as well. Luffy made a promise. Also Marineford was an epic failure, where Luffy learned his place in pirates' world. He learned that he has to grow more to reach the top tiers. We had a time skip and training, which I don't see it coming again since OP is reaching its finals. What would come after if they lose in Wano?

    What makes you think that Kaido would leave his factories? Orochi is just a puppet and a puppeteer is Kaido. Only with both of them dead, Wano is free.

    Edit: typo
     
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  12. Admiral Ryokugyu

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    What does " lose in Wano " mean to you ? Is it losing the Battle of Onigashima ? Or dying before freeing Wano ?

    It's actually the second one.

    The Battle of Onigashima doesn't really matter. They might get crushed easily by Kaido and Big Mom, but the two Yonkos will then proceed to execute their own plans of world conquest and thus leave Wano behind, which will leave Orochi exposed to Zoro's blade.

    Since the beginning of the arc, we had 2 big villains related to Wano: Kaido and Orochi. Kaido is unbeatable right now when we look at the alliance's power level, but Orochi is a piece of cake. They get crushed in the battle of Onigashima, Kaido and Big Mom leave Wano, Orochi is now without Kaido's protection and he thinks that the rebels are dead, the remaining rebels including Straw Hats rise again in Act 4 and take him down. Guess what that means ? Wano Country is now officially freed, and Momonosuke is the new Shogun. Now they got a copy of Kaido's Road Poneglyph + Wano is freed from Orochi's tyranny, while Kaido and Big Mom are out there fighting the Navy to conquer the world, resulting in a gigantic war that throws the world into turmoil and creates a diversion while the Straw Hat Pirates are connecting the dots to find Raftel.

    So, you still believe that winning the battle of Onigashima is the only way of " winning " in this arc ?
     
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  13. Juggy

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    Ok, lets say BM and Kaido crush the rebellion. It seams plausible, since it is combined power of two Yonkos after all. SHs then, will have to fake Luffy's death and they have to do it damn good. BM literally wants his head off.
     
  14. Admiral Ryokugyu

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    Not anymore.

    - Kaido wants Luffy's head because Luffy ruined his SMILE business. Kaido was doing his SMILE business in order for him to build a big army of SMILE users. But now that he got the Big Mom Pirates with him, he doesn't need an army of SMILE anymore, and as a result Luffy destroying his business will no longer trigger him.

    - Big Mom wants Luffy's head because he ruined her reputation. Now that she got the Beasts Pirates with her, she won't care about what the world thinks of her anymore because she's about to conquer it and rule it, so why would she care about what the target of her conquest thinks of her ?

    So what i'm trying to say here, is that Kaido and Big Mom won't be targeting Luffy anymore, because what he did to them no longer matters.
     
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  15. Kyros

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    I too thought the possibility of Kaido leaving wano with big mom. For him to leave first his factories must have fulfilled their purpose and he have no further use of Wano. Orochi is not the owner of factories.


    I think it’s time SHs and allies need to defeat a yonko and show growth. I’m not sure how many arcs are pending but they would require such strength to venture in to further islands.
     
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  16. Marco Polo

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    @Admiral Ryokugyu has said what I’m thinking pretty succinctly - that even if the Straw Hat alliance loses to Kaido/BM, the death of Orochi is enough to free Wano and avenge Oden.

    Kaido no longer has use for Wano and the factories since he’s allied himself with Big Mom. His reason for running the SMILE factories was so he could fill a crew with powerful ability users. He’s been stockpiling power so he can go out and conquer the world. However, now he’s in this alliance, he’s gained access to a highly skilled crew of pirates who will fight his corner - he’s ready to take the world on now, and he’s got a high chance of success. The SMILEs were means to an end, but now that end goal is in sight without them, so he doesn’t need them any more.

    The key words I see here are “show growth.” If we examine what the main fighters in the SH crew (Luffy/Zoro/Sanji) have shown in this arc, we can see that all three have grown in strength. Luffy’s learnt this advanced Armament Haki technique, Zoro gained Enma and Sanji showed a big increase in strength and speed with his Raid Suit. The big issue here is the timeframe of the Wano arc - as much as we’ve seen them getting to grips with their power ups, to expect them to make the powerjump needed in just two weeks is a lot to ask. They’re not far off, and had it just been Kaido they may have pulled it out of the bag, but the addition of Big Mom makes this a step too far at the moment. As long as we see encouraging signs, I’m not too worried whether they win or lose.
     
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  17. Seiryu

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    Great read for sure. For open ended theories, the [lengthy] set-up is key for sure. I will 100% agree in the short term...but the "boring adventure" limitation has to come into play (same concept as @Kyros mentions with the promise to Tama and directly to Ace). Act 3 and parts of act 4 can be negative, doom n gloom for Luffy's alliance, but act 5 has to be the defeat of Kaidou (I guess Big Mom if Kaidou does leave Wano Kuni under her supervision).

    The aspect of worldwide chaos breaking out is GREAT as fans. It's still too early for that to happen. If Luffy cannot participate legitimately, it is a repeat of the Summit War. Too much overlap and more importantly lack of progress by Luffy. Morgan's article was foreshadowing for the rest of the world, and Luffy not being able to live up to it reflects on his failure as the protagonist. So I will fully agree with short-term chaos, but it should not spread past this arc. We can have isolated chaos like having the WCI war come up. Or a back to back Yonkou war (I'm still biased to think Kaidou first and Big Mom second with Luffy solely focused on Kaidou this entire time).

    To reference our believability/connectivity terms, too much is lost with the fan-service driven aspects. It would be freakin awesome in the short-term (a year or so), but the rest of the series gets thrown off.
     
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