We potentially haven’t seen Zoro be pushed to his limits yet post timeskip which has left many questioning:
-Just how powerful has he become?
-Is his eye really permanently damaged?
-Will he ever get from A to B without going through every letter in every alphabet?
Well unfortunately I wont be speculating on those for now, what I will be doing, using reasoning combined with instances with the manga and potential influences as to a new skill or skills he may obtain.
FINALLY!! We have at last landed at, alongside Elbaf, one of the most mysterious islands that Oda has introduced. Clearly Japanese inspired, from the latest chapter was can extrapolate that it is most likely based on the famous Edo-period. During this early period, arguably the most famous swordsman who ever lived made his name: Musashi Miyamoto
A renowned figure to this day, he was known for skills as a swordsman, creating the Niten-Ichi-Ryū-School or Nito-Ichi-ryū style of swordsmanship.
His philisophical views on what it meant to be a swordsman as well as a human.
However more importantly to this theory his skills as a writer, authoring one of the most famous books in swordsmanship: The Book of 5 Rings.
The five “books” refer to the idea that there are different elements of battle, just as there are different physical elements in life, as described by Buddhism, Shinto, and other Eastern religions. The five books below are Musashi’s descriptions of the exact methods or techniques which are described by such elements:
-The Book of EARTH
-The Book of WATER
-The Book of FIRE
-The Book of WIND
–& Finally The Book of VOID
This is interesting to note, as I mentioned Wano-Kuni is clealry based on Japan, I also believe that its general topography will also be similar to Japan itself, i.e. a collection of ‘Islands’ if you will. Japan itself is made up of 4 main lands:
What I bring forward is that Wano-Kuni will also be compromised of 4 Islands, each Island a representative of each Book of Rings by Musashi Miyamoto
An island of EARTH
An island of WATER
An island of FIRE
An island of WIND
When I say represented, I do not mean the philosophical nature of each of those chapters, but something more presentable in terms of the story. In this case each of those islands would have an affinity towards a sword style that would incorporate a nature based attack into their sword play.
Not realistic? Take a look at the below:
Brook already regularly manipulates the use of cold temperatures, mainly Ice in his swordplay. Granted this is due to his Devil Fruit channeling his soul into his sword, and therefore release the ice of the underworld which comes from his Devil fruit modified soul. However it lays the groundwork for such possibilities.
However I can accept that is a stretch in regards to my presentation, therefore look at the below:
Kinemon, or rather ”Foxfire” Kinemon, generates fire in his attacks, something he has confirmed in the manga in reference to his blade:
Now the question beckons, is the fire due to a unique nature of his Katana, or is it a style he learnt as a swordsman, whether it is one or the other, I believe this is down to Kinemon being from one of the Lands that represents the FIRE chapter of Musashi’s book, or rather: An island of FIRE
Think about what this would help ground to some extent:
-Room for Zoro to grow outside of the traditional Haki and experienced based growth
-An explanation for the irrational isolation of the WG of Wano Kuni, in other words why engage with a populus that (being based on Edo-era), would be pretty much a nation of warriors with unique abilities, (another potential similarity to Elbaf)
In short I believe Zoro will eventually gain an aptitude for one of these styles.
That being said, in reference to Kinemon claiming it is his sword that burns his enemies, I believe Zoro will not gain a new sword here.
Thus leaving the final chapter of the book available: The Book of VOID
This chapter in the book is a short epilogue, describing, in more esoteric terms, Musashi’s probably Zen-influenced thoughts on consciousness and the correct mindset.
What this may mean for Zoro is heresay for now as I believe that due to not getting clarification whether Mihawk has changed his view on what it is to be a swordsman has not been explained.
But I do believe this style will be most likely wielded by only the best of the best, and in this case probably by the Shogun who is seemingly the ruler, (bar any emperor), of Wano Kuni.
*Theory by Speak123