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This is the End of Big Mom’s Reign?

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Simply put, in isolation, losing a fight shouldn’t be enough to strip an Emperor of their title. Not to downplay their accomplishment, but it’s also important to remember, the fight was 2 on 1, so individually, Law and Kid are still outclassed by Big Mom and their strategy depended on using gravity against her.

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Absent Onigashima’s present altitude, which provides the opportunity to push unconscious Big Mom through to the mainland, their attacks alone would seemingly prove insufficient. All of which suggests that Law and Kid both have some room to grow before they truly achieve the same level of strength as the current Emperors. This victory also comes after a very long war of attrition – as Kid described in chapter 1038, a rain wearing down a mountain. Notably, Big Mom was arrogant and dismissive of Law and Kid for most of their battle. She assumed victory and turned her back on her opponents and chose not to evade or block Kid’s final attack using the rail gun. This fits with the notion that the Emperor’s complacency and overconfidence is in part responsible for their undoing.

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The World Government forces are on route, and so I suppose it’s possible Big Mom will be captured along with Kaido, but I personally believe this is rather unlikely given that unlike Kaido, she has a clear exit strategy. While Kaido’s crew – the Calamities and Tobi Roppo – have all been defeated, half of Big Mom’s crew is still circling the island looking for a fight and I imagine they’ll swoop in to rescue her and escort her to safety. I could even imagine her falling all the way through the crater to the yet to be seen underground port, just as her children arrive.

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Big Mom’s reputation was already damaged by Luffy’s incursion into her territory during the Whole Cake Island arc and this apparent loss to Law and Kid will only further diminish her standing. Which doesn’t necessarily imply she will cease being an Emperor, but could serve as motivation for her story moving forward. I still suspect she could serendipitously stumble upon Wano’s Road Poneglyph before the Straw Hats get a chance to view it, giving her a consolation prize of sorts, and also necessitating another encounter between the Straw Hats and the Charlotte family in the future, potentially on Elbaf.

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On that note, perhaps Big Mom will again set her sights on the land of giants in an effort to restore her now severely damaged reputation and, if Totto Land were to be ransacked or conquered, to begin rebuilding her Empire.

There are many ways her story could progress from this point and again, I don’t man to diminish Law and Kid’s accomplishments here. In fact, I’m very happy to see just how seriously they may rival Luffy in the future. But I just think it’s important to keep things in perspective. Big Mom’s defeat on Wano is less representative of her fall than it is the rise of the Worst Generation – and unlike the old and brittle, this new crop of pirates still have plenty of room to grow. Kaido wondered just how high Luffy’s ceiling goes and it’s nice to know that sentiment extends to his fellow worst generation rivals Law and Kid.

If anything, coupled with Kaido’s impending defeat, we may be seeing the entire power structure in the New World collapsing, fitting with other major events like the dissolution of the Seven Warlords decided at this year’s Reverie. We already saw that the death of a single Emperor, Whitebeard, and the rise of Marshall D. Teach, precipitated two years of chaos around the world. Law and Lufy already irreversibly broke the gears of power when they set this chain of events in motion on Punk Hazard and there’s no turning back. The Worst Generation aren’t rising to replace the Emperors as static rulers.

In his letter to Toki, Oda suggested the crop of pirates who would arrive in the New World 20 years after his death are going to lead the charge in a war great enough to split the seas apart and I suspect that statement is free of hyperbole. Luffy, Law, and Kid are all going to be key players in these future events, but hat doesn’t necessarily mean Big Mom’s role in the story has ended, especially considering how much remains unresolved. As such, I believe she may be ‘bruised, but not broken’, leaving Wano. The way this fight was written elevates Kid and Law, for sure, but it still took two of them working together, Big Mom ignoring them as a legitimate threat, willingly tanking Kid’s last attack, and being pushed through a hole in the floor to prevent her recovery in order for them to claim victory. While I’m sure Morgans will have a field day reporting Big Mom’s downfall, as is usually the case, the real story may be far less sensational than the inevitable headlines in the morning paper.

*by Straw Hat Jedi

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