Throughout the Wano Arc I have noticed a remarkable amount of parallels between Blackbeard and Orochi, I believe looking into these may shed light into some of the bigger mysteries of the One Piece world.
I will start with Kurozumi Orochi – Orochi was born to the persecuted Kurozumi clan, one of the six royal families of Wano. Interestingly enough, Kurozumi is the only family whose name does not have the kanji for “moon” in it. Instead, it translates into “Black Charcoal”. This is in stark contrast to the other family names, which translate to frost moon, heaven moon, light moon, rain moon, and wind moon. I’ll circle back to this later.
As we have become more familiar with Orochi, we have learned just how abhorrent he is. Through backstabbing and trickery, he has climbed his way into a position that is not his. Not only that, he has killed and betrayed the very people who took him under all in the name of revenge. Furthermore, he has demonstrated himself to be a coward in the face of danger and/or death.
This brings me to another character that although ambitious, has shown himself to be cowardly and evil – Blackbeard.
It’s no secret that Blackbeard is a particularly peculiar character. Even though he is one of the famed members of the “D” clan, his behavior is nothing like the other Ds we’ve been introduced to (Luffy, Roger, Garp, Ace, Jaguar, Law). While these people are largely principled individuals with a strong sense of friendship/loyalty Blackbeard is the complete opposite. He backstabs, kills, and even cowers in the face of death, while all the others smile.
Now I want to highlight some very strong parallels Oda has made between these two characters in Wano arc.
First – Let us compare both of their introductions. Blackbeard’s new world design and his new bounty was finally unveiled in this arc, this is for all intents and purposes his reintroduction since the time skip Chapter 925.
4 Chapters later Orochi is introduced (I use introduced as Oda putting his name and title on the page, we’ve seen him briefly before).
Note the glaring similarities of these two panels in their introductions. Both are sitting in a throne/title they have taken from a successor who previously took them in(for Blackbeard, the Yonko position he got from Whitebeard, for Orochi the Shogun title he got from Sukiyaki). Each celebrating with drink and women in hand. Even the dialogue is similar, Orochi is saying not to confuse Wano with heaven, while on the page before Blackbeard is telling Moria that the island is a paradise.
Both of these characters also executed someone that previously took them in and they broadcasted it while their family wept as they watched. Blackbeard executed Whitebeard at Marineford while it was broadcast to the world while Whitebeard’s “Sons” watched and cried.
Orochi executed Yasuie while he broadcasted it to the country and his daughter O-Toko watched and wept on the sidelines.
Both characters are orphans, Orochi’s family was killed due to their clan name.
Whitebeard picked Blackbeard up as another orphan to take care of.
Both characters were said not to sleep (at least as kids). Orochi claims he couldn’t sleep due to being scared. Buggy commented to Shanks that Blackbeard also did not sleep.
Blackbeard had to kill two other people in order to get the powers he wanted, the only character we’ve seen do as much in the series. First he killed Thatch in order to get his fruit, he then killed Whitebeard to get his second. While we haven’t seen Orochi kill anyone for his Yamata no Orochi, I feel this is important to point out: when the older Kurozumi woman presents him the fruit here, you may notice something. It’s missing the swirls that are unique to every devil fruit we’ve seen, perhaps suggesting the “devil” is not yet in the fruit meaning the previous owner might have to die first. If this were true, this is yet another direct parallel between the two.
I believe Oda is drawing such direct parallels between these two for good reason. If we take what we know about Orochi’s back story, the Kurozumi’s, the need for revenge, etc. are we able to deduce something more about Blackbeard and the larger narrative at play?
For example – take the first image we got of Blackbeard as a child.
He’s sitting beat up in the snow, looking up at the moon and crying. Given the many parallels between him and Orochi does this symbolize anything? Orochi was also a child living in squalor who had to (figuratively) look up to the moon. In this case, the “moon” would be the royal families of Wano who all have Moon in their name.
Is the persecution of the Kurozumi clan and the inherited will of revenge another parallel related to Blackbeard, who has a ship named after Rocks D. Xebec?
Are the Moon-related epitaphs (and the Kurozumi’s non-moon related) another parallel between the D name, which has often been theorized to have to do with the moon? Could the similarities between Orochi and Blackbeard shed light into why Blackbeard seems so different than other Ds just like how the Kurozumi’s are the only royal family without the moon kanji?
*Theory by africhic