Wano’s latest chapters were insane and I feel like we’re slowly reading a build-up for the climax of this arc.
Despite all the debates on will raid end in failure or not and how things will go further, I have a theory on how Wano Arc will end.
Wano Arc will end at the Dawn of the Raid Night
There are some interesting thesis statements we can get from Kaido in Chapter 985:
If we expand with more weapons factories and turn the populace of the Flower Capital into a labour source, then it will transform into a lawless land…
As well as:
Tonight, Onigashima becomes the Flower Capital! Wano will be no more!
Now, this is a usual setup for the final battle and I will tell why. Firstly, there is a similarity in arcs, when Straw Hats try to bring freedom in a country with big examples being Alabasta, Fish-Man Island and Dressrosa. These arcs have two big features of the final fight and the climax of the story.
1. Native Spectators
To draw a simple connection on this, Luffy always fought or at least finished the main villain of the arc with citizens of such country watching it:
- Alabasta – K.O Crocodile, punching him up to reveal a true villain of the conflict for those fighting during the rebellion.
- Fish-Man Island – effectively appeared with his crew to save King Neptune, with Fishmans practically begging him to save the country from Hody.
- Dressrosa – fought with Doflamingo after he revealed himself as a tyrant and everything was translated by the Colosseum commentator Gatz, while citizens watched his battle and Bird Cage.
2. Time Limit
This is a simple tension building tool that Oda loves to use, and it works great so far.
- Alabasta – the time limit was set with the start of rebellion and bomb ticking. Within that time, it was planned that Straw Hats will beat Baroque Works. Luffy didn’t manage to beat Crocodile within this time limit, but he did beat him shortly afterwards.
- Fish-Man Island – time limit here was Noah’s falling on the giant bubble of Fishman Island. Luffy beat Hody within this time limit and though he didn’t stop Noah, Shirahoshi helped by summoning Sea Kings.
- Dressrosa – Bird Cage was a time limit here. Luffy beat Doflamingo and the cage disappeared afterwards.
In the latest chapter, we are introduced to both features of the final fight needed for this arc. It’s native spectators, who are Flower Capital citizens (or Wano citizens overall) and the time limit, which is “tonight” as Kaido said.
This suggests that Kaido has some means of transferring Onigashima to Flower Capital, literally or metaphorically. There is also a threat to citizens as he wants to exploit them as a labour source, which means we are now at the point, where a big part of the villain’s true motivation is revealed. So, it can be said that “Luffy needs to beat Kaido until he gets to Flower Capital or he will terrorize its nation and Wano will be no more”.
Lastly, there is a thematical connection with Kaido’s abilities and the prophecy of Toki. This part might be interpreted as a stretch, but the connection is interesting to say. Kaido ate a mythical Zoan Fruit, which transforms him into a dragon who can fly by creating clouds (Chapter 922 and SBS). It might be that additional ability of his Mythical Zoan is to create such clouds, those changing weather or simply creation of the clouds.
The appearance of the clouds with Kaido’s introduction in Wano (with rain suggestions)
It also fits as he is a Disaster/Calamity that came to Wano and brought Wildfire, Plague and Drought to the country. And after a stormy night, people wait for peaceful dawn. As Toki said:
You are the moon unaware of the dawn. May your purpose be fulfilled and cast nine shadows on the night woven of 20 years and you shall know the brilliance of the dawn.
It could be addressed to Orochi, due to Toki knowing both him and Scabbards. However, it can also be related to Kaido due to some form of connection of Wano and Thriller Bark arcs, with the legend of Ryuma being a personal journey for Zoro in both arcs, Kaido (Moria) and Big Mom (Lola) hints being introduced simultaneously (ending in both of them participating in Wano), it’s possible Luffy will lose a short fight with Kaido in Onigashima and the rest of Straw Hats (9 as in nine shadows) will buy him some time, similarly with Oars, for him to return and clash with Kaido on Flower Capital.
It also makes the conflict personal, as now the crew is at danger from Kaido’s hands, which is a big theme both for Gecko Moria and Luffy, who realised he still has Nakama to protect after Marineford War. It might be a stretch but it lies well with the metaphorical speech of Lady Toki. And the defeat of Kaido will bring dawn to Wano in similar way dawn was the endpoint of Thriller Bark. But if the dawn was a threat to Straw Hats during Thriller Bark, in Wano it’s a symbol of hope and freedom that will be brought to the nation.
*Theory by ki_dragon817