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The Raid on Onigashima represents the redemption of the Battle of Marineford

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So, I gotta admit, when we initially came back to Ace again at the beginning of Wano, and then at the end of last chapter, I was annoyed. Like, I get that Ace is cool and popular, and he’s a fine character, but my mind was going “this guy’s been toast for over 10 years and it’s not like he had that much screen time to begin with…”

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But as of this chapter, I get it. I think I understand what Oda is trying to set up: The Raid on Onigashima is the literary reversal and redemption of the Battle of Marineford.

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Think about it:

• Oda had already previously hyped Wano as the battle to surpass Marineford in scale and scope, and we are well on pace for that;

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• Marineford was the big clash between some of the biggest names of the old generation: Whitebeard and Sengoku. But Onigashima, as Marco just stated for us, is the rise of the “New Generation”: Luffy, Kidd, Law, and more.

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• Marineford was Luffy’s greatest defeat, the point where he realized how far he still had to go, to the point of exclaiming “I’m weak!” But at Marineford, Luffy was just a loose cannon; at Onigashima, Luffy is the main star, and now, every character is acknowleding his strength, urging him on to the rooftop to fight the big fish(es).

• Marineford was also when Luffy was on his own. Because of time and circumstance, he had to run and gun his way to Marineford, even given all the allies he made along the way. He didn’t have his crew, and he was utterly defeated. Now the Straw Hats are here, all of them. Jinbe has finally joined; the crew is complete. The Avengers Assemble shot from a while back only confirms this.

• And finally, there is the Luffy-Ace connection. This is the big take away from 999 for me. Jumping back and forth between Momonosuke and Tama’s perspectives, we see them both find out about Luffy’s connection to Ace. Why? Just for the sake of it? I don’t believe that. Oda is intentionally signaling that Luffy is going to succeed where Ace failed; he’s going to fulfill the unfulfilled dreams of/for Ace: to beat Kaido, to survive and win the great battle surrounding him, and to become Pirate King.

Onigashima is the event when Luffy surpasses Ace, and the Straw Hats solidify themselves as a world superpower. It’s the place where the new generation as a whole conquers the old, and confirms the fears that were rumored about their potential back at Sabaody. The raid will succeed where Marineford failed.

*Theory by keytide22

Whitebeard not taking revenge for Oden’s Death makes totally sense!

Chapter 999 is one of the most important Luffy Chapters in the entire Manga