One Piece: Luffy's Final Attack Brings the Wano Story Full Circle

Warning: Contains spoilers for One Piece chapter 1048

As the epic fight between Luffy and Kaido for the fate of Wano rages on in One Piece, the Straw Hat Captain launches his final attack that will decide the outcome of this all-out war. Luffy's powerful technique will bring the story of the longest arc in One Piece history full circle.

The arrival of the Straw Hat Pirates on Wano Island was motivated by a lot more than chance or adventure. Their purpose is to defeat the strongest pirate captain in the world, Kaido, one of the Four Emperors. Kaido conquered Wano twenty years before and turned it into a nightmare for its inhabitants, who are forced to live in miserable conditions and work as slaves in weapons factories. The battle between the Straw Hats and their allies on one side, and Kaido's Beasts Pirates on the other, is not just to determine which captain will get one step closer to becoming the Pirate King. Luffy carries on his shoulders the hopes and expectations of an entire country whose inhabitants spent the last twenty years waiting for a prophesied savior and the return of their rightful rulers, the Kozuki Clan.

Related: Luffy Vs. Kaido is Setting An Impossible Standard for One Piece's Finale

During the assault on Kaido's fortress of Onigashima, his numerically superior forces suffer constant setbacks. The Beasts Pirates' top officers have all been defeated, as well as Big Mom. Only Kaido is left standing, but his strength is so overwhelming that if he is not defeated, Wano has no chance to be free. Luffy is the only one who can do it, especially after awakening the true powers of his Devil Fruit. Both combatants have had the upper hand for a time and it seems that either could win, but this fight is finally about to be decided with the next blow. In chapter 1048 of the best-selling manga created by Eiichiro Oda, both combatants are using their best move. Kaido's Raising Dragon Blazing Bagua is up against Luffy's Bajrang Gun, a colossal punch that puts together some of his strongest techniques: Gear Third's inflation, Gear Fourth's coiling effect, and finally the mastery of Haki that Luffy learned on Wano.

After his first quick and humiliating defeat at the hands of Kaido, Luffy trained in the Udon prison under the tutelage of Boss Hyogoro, who taught him how to use Haki (called Ryuo in Wano) to project his power inside an enemy's body, destroying it from the inside without making contact. This proves to be fundamental as Kaido's ultimate form makes his body burn hot enough to melt stone. This has an even greater meaning, however. Luffy's crazy new powers let him fight on par with Kaido, but to beat him he needs something that he learned on Wano and was passed on to him by one of the people Kaido has oppressed for so long. This arc has been about much more than Luffy's personal feud with Kaido, as proven by the brief flashback shown in this chapter. While fans eagerly wait for a long sequence revealing details about Kaido's past, what they get is instead focused on the strife and abuses suffered by Wano at the hands of the tyrant. It is also significant that if Luffy's attack will be effective, it will push Kaido all the way down to Wano's ground, metaphorically striking him down from his seat of usurped power.

One Piece has tons of action and fights, but it is also capable of delivering satisfying stories from every point of view. Luffy and his friends have been real liberators everywhere they have been, and the Wano Arc has focused as much on the island and its inhabitants as on the Straw Hats. If Luffy will be able to defeat Kaido thanks to a technique he learned from the people that the Emperor has crushed under his heels for so long, One Piece will bring the beautiful and emotional Wano story full circle.

Next: One Piece: Luffy's Gear 5 Already Has Its Epic First Statue

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