One Piece's Most Anticipated Fight Ending Confirms A Popular Fan Theory

Warning: Contains spoilers for One Piece chapter 1049

The longest and most anticipated fight in the history of One Piece has finally concluded: after many dramatic twists, Luffy has beaten Kaido once and for all, literally striking the Emperor down and ending his tyrannical rule over Wano. The outcome of this epic confrontation also confirmed a popular theory that fans have been debating for a while.

The fight between Luffy and Kaido has been the main event of the momentous raid on Onigashima, which saw the forces of the Pirates-Samurai-Ninja-Mink alliance attack Kaido's Beasts Pirates and the samurai loyal to the usurper Orochi. After a gruesome all-out battle, Kaido's numerically superior forces are pushed back, his top officers all lying defeated. Kaido's power alone, however, is enough to repel the attackers, so everything hinges on the result of Luffy's personal fight against the Yonko. After awakening the true power of his Devil Fruit, the Straw Hat captain is finally able to put Kaido on the ropes. In the end, the outcome of the battle is decided by a frontal clash between the two fighters' most powerful techniques: Luffy's Bajrang Gun and Kaido's Rising Dragon Flaming Bagua.

Related: One Piece's Luffy Vs. Kaido is More Epic Than Ever In Viral Animation

In the end, Luffy's Haki proves to be superior. In chapter 1049, Luffy's colossal punch, imbued with the Ryuo technique he learned in Wano, blasts through Kaido's defenses and his flaming hot body, punching the Yonko's dragon form so hard that it falls all the way from the sky to Wano, burying him in the ground. Before losing consciousness, Kaido reminisces about his past conversations with his second-in-command, King. The two talk about the legendary figure of Joy Boy, a mysterious savior who was prophesied to change the world. Kaido tells King that Joy Boy will be the one who will be able to beat him one day, and his defeat at the hands of Luffy proves that - at least from Kaido's perspective - the Straw Hat Captain is indeed the man from the legend.

One Piece's author Eiichiro Oda still has to reveal who or what Joy Boy actually is and his significance, but readers know that Wano's last rightful ruler, Kozuki Oden, wanted to open his isolationist land to welcome the arrival of Joy Boy. The fact that Luffy has liberated Wano from Kaido and Orochi's grasp, which kept the island closed from the world, means that Kaido's final thoughts actually have great significance. If Joy Boy is truly a liberator and bringer of happiness, then no one fits the description more than Luffy, who has helped many countries and people in regaining their freedom and their smiles. The battle between Kaido and Luffy is also the battle between two ideal worlds: one where the weak are trampled by the strong, and one where everyone can live free of oppression.

This fight has been perhaps the best in the long history of One Piece, and one of the most memorable in shonen manga history. Kaido was firmly established as the strongest creature in the world and this long battle, where he never looks overwhelmed despite Luffy's constant power-ups, proved his worth as a villain and as a character. The end of the fight also proves that this was not just a contest to see who is the strongest, but a clash of ideals with the fate of an entire country at stake. Just like Oda said in an interview in 2016: "My audience will not be satisfied if the reason for defeating Kaidou is just because Luffy’s punch is so strong." In the end, Luffy won because his ambitions - represented in the manga by the power of Haki - are stronger and purer than Kaido's. Fans of One Piece can be excited to see what comes next but they will surely remember this epic battle between Luffy and Kaido for years to come.

Next: One Piece is Positively Jaw-Dropping in New Colored Panels

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