It’s practically obvious to everyone that we will get a Kaido flashback in this arc, whether he dies or not: of course, there will be a part about his time in the Rocks Pirates, but we will also get to know possibly one of the most important people for him: his wife.
Because, let’s face it, Oda hasn’t done much yet to give his personality some depth and not being just an arrogant, cruel, child-beating antagonist with a penchant for alcohol and an obsession for death, and a figure such a woman he loved could be a great opportunity for doing so.
Some might speculate that she’s actually dead and that’s why Kaido started drinking.
It could be true but, knowing Oda, he would never introduce a deceased character of that importance out of the blue, without some sort of foreshadowing: a well-kept grave located in a secret place where an important character stumbles upon in the Onigashima raid (on screen, obviously), a framed portrait on a desk or a wall, a name seemingly being thrown offhandedly in a conversation… but there is nothing in Wano which even remotely resembles one of those things.
Therefore, she must be alive.
(Also, there are already too much fundamental figures in various characters’ history who ended up dead in flashbacks, such as Bellemere, Rocinante, Russian and so on. Come on, Oda.)
Is she going to be someone new, at least?
Well, that’s a possibility, however in next arc(s) new characters will be introduced and One Piece has got more than a thousand of them already… quite a lot, aren’t they? Consequently, there is a very good chance for her to be someone who has been already introduced into the story.
Of course, there must have been some sort of foreshadowing when she had been introduced, too: she was the lover of a Yonko, after all. Has there been a woman with an unknown lover in the past arcs?
It was her:
And I believe that the mysterious man she fell in love with was none other than Kaido himself. But wait, there’s more: Gloriosa has also eaten a Devil Fruit. An extremely powerful one.
Don’t worry, I will explain everything on the way. Now, hold onto your seat, because this will be quite the long ride.
Kaido and Gloriosa comparison
Kaido of the Beasts, Governor General of the Beasts Pirates, one of the Four Emperors, the Strongest Being in the World and Gloriosa, a former Kuja Ruler. These two may have little to nothing in common… or have they?
Probably the most striking difference between them is their respective height: while Kaido easily dwarfs normal humans, Gloriosa is shorter than Luffy; however, both of their heights are currently not canonically stated.
Unstated as both of their ages are, although it’s clear that both of them are past their younger days: in Gloriosa this is highlighted by her grey hair and wrinkled face, but it’s clear that Kaido is not that young any more, too, having crow’s feet under his eyes and forehead lines. It is likely that these two are quite close in age, actually.
A notably interesting fact is, canon heights and ages of the various characters, along with things such as their favourite food, are revealed in the SBS corner in manga volumes. And yet, not even one of these little pieces of information has been revealed for both Kaido and Gloriosa.
It’s very unlikely that nobody has ever sent these question to Oda, or that the latter forgot to answer them; given the importance of the two characters in the arc where they have appeared, there must be a very specific reason why Oda didn’t tell us a thing. More than that, when Gloriosa talked about her Love Sickness in chapter 522, there was no flashback; not even silhouettes.
That’s pretty suspect, giving the importance Love Sickness has in the course of the story. I’ll give my two cents: maybe because the silhouette would be easily recognisable? There aren’t many people (or beings) like Kaido, after all.
Could it possibly be that… he has been saving these facts all along for their flashback with their significant other? With each other?
Oh, let me tell you an another interesting thing: Love Sickness appeared first in chapter 522 and Kaido’s named chapter is 922. Exactly 400 chapters later.
With these things and questions on mind, let’s move on to their position. Kaido is now an Emperor of the Sea, and Gloriosa was an Empress of the Kuja. Also, while Gloriosa was an Empress Kaido held no particular position, except by maybe being a pirate captain; and now the tables have turned, Kaido being an Emperor and Gloriosa being a nobody. A neat little parallel, isn’t it?
Now, let’s get to their Haki usage and knowledge: Gloriosa seems to have some knowledge about how it works and the characteristics of the people who are able to use the various Colours: in fact, in chapter 521 she comments about Luffy’s Haki, surprised by how he willingly bowed his head to Hancock to help those who saved him instead of a boat to leave the island without a second thought. She is not a confirmed user of any form of Haki; however, in a place where pretty much every powerful warrior can use at least Observation and Armament, it is hinted she is a wielder of these two colours at least and, since she used to be an Empress, there is also a chance she can use Conqueror’s, too. Kaido is a confirmed Observation, Armament and Conqueror user, and also one of the very few people, as he himself stated in chapter 1010, who can make the latter colour flowing through their body and coat their weapon(s). In the very same chapter, he also recognized Zoro’s illusions while performing Ashura as a manifestation of Conqueror’s Haki, revealing his in-depth knowledge about the subject.
Last but certainly not least… their strength. Kaido one-shot Luffy in Gear Fourth despite the Emperor being so drunk he could not stand on his feet properly; also, he was able to clash against a fellow Yonko for days and tanked pretty much both all the Scabbards’ hits and the majority of the Supernova’s attacks on the rooftop. Moreover, how can his absolutely epic introduction not be taken into account? He fell from a Sky Island literally 10000 metres above the sea level and he ended up with… a strong headache. I’ll tell you what: Gloriosa fell from a great height, too! In addiction to it, she landed without suffering any serious consequences, as shown in chapter 517, where she landed on her feet seemingly undamaged after Hancock quite literally threw her out of the Kuja Castle. As Gloriosa herself said, she might have grown old, but she is still a Kuja warrior. Also, being a former ruler where strength is beauty, she undoubtedly was a force to be reckoned with in her prime.
That being said*… Maybe they’re not so different, after all, huh?*