I’m not going to beat around the bush – I’m convinced Vegapunk is coming to Wano. This, I know, is pretty controversial: “Why would the Government ever risk bringing Vegapunk to Wano?”
The World Government has no reason sending arguably one of their biggest assets to Wano. When the idea was first proposed back in chapter 929, I don’t recall anyone taking the idea seriously. However, I do think it isn’t fair to dismiss the possibility entirely solely because the idea, at first glance, is stupid.
Allow me to play Devil’s Advocate. I want to explore the legitimacy of Vegapunk coming to Wano, starting by addressing the very counterpoint I mentioned above – Why would the Government risk letting Vegapunk out of their sight?
Sentomaru was first introduced to us as Vegapunk’s Bodyguard. This is very interesting because why would Vegapunk need a bodyguard if he’s supposedly never allowed to leave his lab? Better yet, what is his bodyguard doing on Sabaody, running around with Pacifistas, instead of doing his job? Simple – Sentomaru only acts as Vegapunk’s bodyguard when Vegapunk needs protection. When would this be? When he’s out of his lab, either on some Government mission or conducting some sort of experiment.
Sentomaru’s character design also screams Wano.
He has the same cross-pretzel thing Oden wore and is one of the few characters who actively uses Advanced Armament Haki, something that’s prominent on Wano. His name is also uniquely Japanese, a naming quirk Oda has only really predominantly given to those who are from Wano. I think because of the connections, it’s fair to speculate that Sentomaru could either be from Wano, or is at least connected to the island in some way.
So let me ask you this – Would the Government still refuse to let Vegapunk go to Wano even though he has a bodyguard? Someone we know possesses the only known technique that can potentially damage both Big Mom and Kaido, the two threats he’d encounter on the island? Who is also possibly somehow connected to the island in question?
Sentomaru is arguably the perfect person to bring Vegapunk to Wano. He literally calls himself the man with the strongest defense in the world.
Chapter 987 showed us that you can use Ryuo to pierce a Yonko’s defences; Luffy learned it for this very reason. Since Rayleigh also described it as a barrier that protects your body, I think it’s fair to assume Sentomaru could use the technique’s protective nature to successfully shield himself from a Yonko’s attack.
Just the kind of guy the Government would want protecting their best asset.
2-CAESAR’S GIANT CHILDREN
Even if we ignore Sentomaru for a second and continue with the possibility that the Government doesn’t want Vegapunk on Wano, what’s stopping Vegapunk from going if he wants to?
First off, what do we know of Vegapunk anyway?
In Chapter 592, Kitton and his grandfather – the duo Franky meets while on Vegapunk’s home island – describes the scientist as the kind of man who would physically weep because he was unable to help the people of his island. They also mention that the one roadblock Vegapunk encountered when trying his experiments on his home island was a lack of funds and technology.
We later learn from Punk Hazard that Vegapunk was against Ceasar’s dangerous experiments and took full responsibility for the destruction of Punk Hazard. Yonji later tells Sanji during Whole Cake Island that Vegapunk was actually arrested by the Government for discovering the Bloodline Elements, and has likely been working for them ever since.
Lastly, he was weirdly sympathetic towards Kuma and granted him one final wish: a single programming of his choice.
All of this, to me, paints the image of a man who wants to use his knowledge and pursuit of science for good, but was forced to work for the World Government in order to avoid arrest because his discoveries threaten their rule. They struck a deal: in exchange for providing him with the resources he lacked, he’s allowed to continue his pursuits of various branches of science on the condition that they make use of his discoveries. However, despite knowingly working for corrupt individuals, his sense of justice pushes him to use his knowledge for good wherever he can, such as with Kuma.
So what happens when Smoker and Tashigi bring this man a boat full of children who fell victim to Caesar’s gruesome experiments?
The children are significant because they bring knowledge of everything Caesar was doing on Punk Hazard. Vegapunk would know he continued to experiment with weapons of mass destruction. He would also learn that Ceasar explored the creation of fake Devil Fruits. Hell, Vegapunk could even know that Momonosuke ended up eating the fake fruit he left behind because one of the young girls saw Momo eat it.
Vegapunk, to me, seems like the sort of character who would want to undo the injustices Caesar created. The man who once wept over not being able to help those in need finally has the resources to do so. Once he learns that Ceasar tried to recreate his attempt at creating fake devil fruits, and recognizing his own failures at having done so (remember – Momo’s fruit was considered a failure), I see no reason why Vegapunk wouldn’t insist on going to Wano to investigate how far reaching the consequences of Caesar’s experiments have become.
As it happens, Vegapunk is likely the only person in the story who could and would undo what happened to the people of Ebisu town.