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Chapter 1016 confirms that Yamato will be the 11th Nakama

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Let’s go straight to the scene from the end of Chapter 1016. Kaido has assumed his dragon form and return to the roof to confront his daughter Yamato. Kaido tells Yamato Luffy and Momonosuke are dead and says she should have protected them better. He then mocks her, asking if she thinks removing her chains means she can simply leave Wano.

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What’s interesting here is Yamato’s declaration that once Kaido is cleared out of Wano, she’s going to sail the seas with Luffy.

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Now, I admit, this proclamation is a big moment for Yamato. When Yamato tells her father she will drive him out of Wano, Kaido responds, saying, he wouldn’t settle for taking up residence anywhere else because Wano is special. Now of course, this is a huge question mark at this point.

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We know Wano itself is seemingly special, but we don’t know why controlling Wano is so important in the present point in time and what role the nation is meant to play in the endgame of the series. We know the Kozuki Clan played a pivotal role in in the past by creating the Poneglyphs and protecting the road to One Piece for the past 800 years. We know that Oden waned to open Wano’s borders to the world to prepare for the return of Joy Boy. We also saw in chapter 957 Senogku tell Sakazuki that it’s no small coincidence so many powerful pirates have set their sights on Wano.

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There’s also a potential implication here that Kaido has some personal connection to Wano. In the past I have speculated about a potential Super Giant connection. Kaido’s horns and the skull dome of Onigashima are very similar to Oars, the Continent puller and the unique climate zones of Wano lend to the idea it could have been pieced together long ago. None of which is definitive proof of anything in particular, but it seems to paint an interesting picture.

Kaido then assumes his hybrid form, telling Yamato to accept the role he has carved out for her as shogun of Wano, or new Onigashima, because she stands no chance of defeating him in combat. Yamato says she knows she stands no chance, but plans to hold Kaido off until Luffy returns. We then close on wide panel showing the clash of their conqueror Haki above the skull dome.

For such a brief encounter, Oda managed to pack in a lot of small details. Of course, we’re left with the big question of what exactly Kaido means when he says Wano is special and whether or not he has any direct ties to Wano. I think this clash between Kaido and Yamato could be the catalyst for a flashback focused on their backstory, fleshing out both of their characters. I don’t get the impression Oda will explore the God Valley incident in full at this point in time mainly due to the fact it may reveal key details about characters like Shanks that Oda is not ready to get into quite yet.

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