Over the past 4 chapters it seems clear to me that Oda is putting in a lot of effort to set up the direct threats of the World Government, laying the groundwork for the battle that is now on the horizon.
In Chapter 1053
- We got our first full look at Ryokugyu, the final Admiral, and a glimpse of his strength. Giving a first proper look at their ball park power level. Definitively placing all the Admirals far above Yonko Commanders. Seemingly confident he could take a New Emperor.
In Chapter 1054
- Ryokugyu further flexed his power, brushing off even Advanced Conqueror’s Haki attacks.
- We meet Kurouma (Black Horse). Previously Chaton (Brown Pig) and Momousagi (Pink Rabbit) were gag characters created for an SBS, supposedly Vice Admirals considered for promotion. But with Kurouma it seems Oda is expanding that to set up potentially an entire Zodiac of Marines that are stronger than an average Vice Admiral who would be candidates for promotion to full Admiral. Meaning potentially up to 6 more very strong marines left to be revealed.
- Sakazuki introduces the idea of The God’s Knight of Mary Geoise, creating the idea of a new World Government faction with potentially strong fighters. That’s now the Marines, Cipher Pol, SSG and Gods Knights.
In Chapter 1055
- Continued Ryokugyu dicking. But also now noting he would be wary going up against an original Emperor.
In Chapter 1056
- Revealing Buggy is putting out bounties on Marines. Assuming they’ll scale with same as pirate bounties it will allow Oda to hype Marines through bounty numbers. Even if power isn’t the sole reason for bounties it is a huge factor. We may soon be given the bounties for the Admirals in the high 3 bil – low 4 bil range. It gives him an easy way to communicate the threats to come and hype the World Goverment threat.
It’s not a lot yet but to me this does feel like Oda is laying the early seeds he’ll expand upon in the coming arcs. He’s already preparing the threat of the World Goverment for the final war.