With the recent revealing the existence of secret Marine Force “SWORD”, there has been discussion of Aokiji and possibly even Akainu being a part of this organisation, and this made me do a bit of digging.
I’m not sure if this was mentioned anywhere, but on the cover page of 592, Akainu is seen shirtless and with a sword tattoo on his right shoulder. This may be a stretch, but knowing Oda, it isn’t impossible to believe that this tattoo might signify being part of SWORD.
When looking into Aokiji, what I found was intriguing. The time we have seen him shirtless wasn’t canon (Film Z Bath House Scene), however when we do see him his right shoulder is heavily scarred, and therefore any tattoo that was potentially there before his fight with Akainu is now gone.
When looking into Drake, there aren’t any panels where his right shoulder would be showing. When looking into Coby post timeskip, it’s the same.
Assuming Oda is hiding their arms for this reason, perhaps Akainu and Aokiji’s fight meant more than just a duel for the title of Fleet Admiral. It would explain:
- Why Aokiji (someone who has a sense of justice) left the Marines and would join Blackbeard, perhaps for intel or sabotage
- Why Akainu brushed off the Gorosei’s comments about Aokiji.
- Why Punk Hazard looks so grand yet symmetrical to show the aftermath of their duel: perhaps it was done deliberately to make sure noone would suspect anything
- Why Akainu told Kizaru not to go to Wano, because there was a plan involving X Drake (although in a recent chapter X Drake tells Coby that their previous plan cannot be fulfilled due to the lack of manpower).
*Theory by lucabearr