SPOILERS AHEAD: for those of you who haven’t read up to chapter 913!
Eiichiro Oda isn’t short of ideas when it comes to the numerous lands in the One Piece World. The new story arc finally brings the Straw Hat crew to the land of Samurai. Readers were first introduced to two samurais back when the team landed on Punk Hazard, Kin’emon and Momonosuke. Since then, the land has been hinted at on many occasions, the last one being when half the crew was separated on Zou. Luffy, Nami, Sanji and Brooke have finally shipped off to the Wano country to rejoin the rest of the crew, almost immediately getting themselves into some more trouble.
So, what do you need to know about the Wano Country?
#1: Ancient Japan
Wano is an isolationist country and has been able to maintain that status with the help of the turbulent weather surrounding its borders. We also know that it is pretty much illegal for foreigners to step into the country from Luffy’s welcome party. Besides Wano’s beautiful landscape, the country is populated by Samurai who have so far lived up to the stereotype of ancient Japan. We’ve seen the armour, the weapons and even a Men-yoroi (the facial armour worn by Tama’s master).
#2: The Samurai
Speaking of weapons, we are also introduced to world known katana and it’s Luffy who is first to take an interest in the weapons. Before leaving to find a doctor for Tama, he takes one of the named swords from Hitetsu. Nidai Kitetsu, also meaning Demon-Splitter, is one of the 21 Great Grade Swords, forged by a legendary craftsman but this one, in particular, has a curse on it. Having been the second to have been made from its grade, the effects of its curse seem to cause death to its wielders.
There is another great aspect about Wano and I doubt that readers would have been able to miss it. The land is also inhabited by giant animals that at first glance seem quite similar to the Mink. We soon find out that although they can fight and carry weapons, they are not able to talk and are susceptible to Luffy’s Haki. So far, we’ve seen a baboon, a crocodile and even a Komainu (the lion-dog statue you find in Japan).
#4: The Bad Guys
Similarly to the lands that Luffy’s crew has visited before, Wano has a dark side to it. The water in the country is contaminated from factories owned by one of the Yonko. That’s right, this could only mean that we’ll finally get to meet Kaidou. Kaidou has been mentioned on many occasions and most recently, we’ve seen a conversation between him and Big Mom over Den-Den-Mushi. If Luffy struggled to defeat only one of the yonko before, he and his crew are going to have even more trouble now that they about to face two of them. Although things might be different this time now that the crew is in the same place. We also get an idea that Kaidou is partly responsible for the poverty within the country alongside the Shogun of Wano: Kurozumi Orochi. Although we have yet to see the country’s ruler, we find out that he has allowed the Beast Pirates (a crew from the worst generation), to decimate most of the land, leaving the inhabitants to suffer from famine.
In total, that makes four enemies for the Straw Hat crew, the two Yonko, the Beast Pirates and the Shogun but Luffy and his team are never short of allies. Marcus and the Whitebeard Pirates don’t seem too far away but from the chapter we’ve recently seen Marcus in, the Armada doesn’t appear to be what it once was.
#5: The Kouzuki Clan
You may have seen Tama and her master Hitetsu mention the Kouzuki clan on several occasions. Kozuki Oden was a descendent of the clan and ruled over the Kuri region in Wano. This region includes the beach and the village that Luffy has visited so far. Having been to Raftel with Roger D. Gold and having the ability to read poneglyths, Kaidou executed Oden and his wife. Luckily, his son Momosuke (that little boy who can turn into a dragon), was able to escape and he seems to be the hope that the people of Wano have been waiting for.
Tamao tells Luffy that she wishes to be a Kunoichi when she grows up. Now if any of you read or watched Naruto, you’ll know that a Kunoichi is a female ninja. Alongside this, the Straw Hat crew have had to infiltrate the country (although keeping a low profile has never been the crew’s strongest skill). All these little things would suggest that ninja are out there and hopefully we might see the appearance of few. Though, as cool as it may be, I doubt we’ll be seeing Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura teaming up with the Straw Hat crew any time soon.
By Samuel Dawson
Images provided by Eiichiro Oda/Toei Animation