Some may view Luffy’s fight with Katakuri as just a fight, but it was more than just a fight. It was Luffy actually saving Katakuri.
How exactly that’s the case? I’ll explain.
Katakuri – Who is He?
Katakuri was the big brother who was deemed perfect. He could do no wrong. He could say no wrong and he could think no wrong. All his peers and siblings wanted his love and attention. He had a reputation and image to uphold because he cared for all of them.
Imagine the pressure of having to live up to a standard that’s nigh impossible? All for the sake of others.
A part of his perfection was complemented by his status of being undefeated which is not important from a power perspective (even Kyros was undefeated), but rather, a complementary exhibition to his perfection.
What Does Luffy Do Wherever He Goes?
Luffy does one thing wherever he goes, it’s to save people. Not just saving them temporarily, he saves them entirely. He doesn’t just save, but he liberates people; he delivers freedom to the shackled.
- We merely need to go through every arc, and it’s the same thing over and over and over again:
- Goes to Cocoyashi Village – Saves Nami and saving her saved the entire village.
- Goes to Drum Kingdom – Saves Nami and Chopper, and as subsequently leads to saving the entire nation.
- Goes to Alabasta – Saves Vivi and essentially saves an entire country from slavery and subjugation.
- Goes to Skypiea – Liberates the country from annihilation from an all knowing dictator, Enel.
- Goes to Dressrosa – Liberates them from another dictator.
What Luffy does is save people, liberate people, free people. He gives people freedom.
How Was Katakuri Saved?
Quite simply, he was relieved off his responsibility and role of being perfect. His record of being undefeated anchored all other forms of perfection and imposed other ridiculous ideas of perfect such as:
- Never having laid on his back.
- Being the most handsome because he’s perfect.
- Free from mistake.
- Always being dignified.
- Even his siblings such as Flampe held him in such esteem that she interfered in his battle, so he could maintain a fabricated and unreal image. She had a false perception of her brother.
His defeat was not just a defeat, his defeat was liberating, it was freedom. Luffy saved him by defeating him. His defeat allowed him to be himself, to accept himself physically, to accept his own flats and imperfection… to stop trying to trying to be perfect. While he did all this due to love for his siblings, it as far too burdensome and unsustainable.
This was a role that’s part the result of the tyrant and dictator that is Big Mom which is something people need to bare in mind.
Why Was His Defeat Important?
His defeat was important for few reason.
- It was first and foremost to save Katakuri which has essentially built a link between the 2. We know Katakuri has grown to respect and like Luffy. Katakru was shackled by what would be an impossible responsibility, and Luffy saved him.
- It goes back to what this story is all about… FREEDOM. There’s something Luffy does that he didn’t do at WCI and that was save the entire Nation. He saved 1 important person, but not the nation.
As the image in this subtitle shows, it shows Katakuri asking Luffy if he’ll return to WCI to defeat Big Mom. Why is that important? Why is Katakuri asking that? He’s asking that because he wants he wants others to be freed.
Big Mom is a dictator:
- She doesn’t allow her children to live life as they want (e.g. She hates Lola for making her own choices/arranged a marriage for Pudding).
- She doesn’t even allow people she gives invitations to… to reject her invitations.
- She kills people who decide not to conform to her wants and whims.
- Even the people of WCI are not allowed to leave because she’s controlling.
- She wants a country with all races, yet she’s racist to her own daughter for looking different.
Yes, WCI may have food and protection and external beauty, but it’s at the cost of no freedom. It’s not done out of love or compassion, but rather out of selfishness and a twisted mindset. The aesthetics that is WCI is a facade to a truly enslaved country.
It’s why there has been a build up in the relationship between both Big Mom and Luffy:
- He says he’s returning to WCI after Kaido.
- He says his first visit was without his entire crew, thus why Sanji was simply the goal. and not actually defeating Big Mom.
What’s the relationship with Katakuri’s defeat? It’s there to highlight unfinished business, thus why Katakuri asks if he’ll return and why there’s build up between the 2 since 300 chapters ago.
Yes, Big Mom may currently be in Wano, but it doesn’t mean she will always be in Wano; on another note, Luffy cannot defeat 2 Emperors in 1 arc as it’s unrealistic, impossible (even the WG cannot pull this off) and should be expecting Big Mom leaves or gets written out the story eventually as there’ll be a return to WCI – there’s a reason Oda induced amnesia into Big Mom which is likely to justify why she’ll likely not play a huge role in that arc.
As Katakuri asked and Luffy has said, we should be expecting a return to WCI for Luffy to complete his act of liberation. It’s the central theme of the story. And while that isn’t initially always Luffy’s intentions, it always ends up as the result (e.g. Luffy helped Rebecca simply because she fed him, and that ended up being what led to him ultimately liberating Dressrosa).