With the recent reveal of Zoro’s lineage in the SBS for Volume 105, I’ve seen lots of people upset that it wasn’t explored more during Wano. But I’m curious, what would be the added significance of establishing Zoro’s heritage in the manga versus in the SBS?
Zoro has never cared about his ancestry or origins beyond his friendship with Kuina. The only person that would even definitively know this information is Koushiro, who’s way back East Blue. Even if the old heads of Wano figured it out after the Ushimaru parallels, and told Zoro “hey you’re actually pseudo-royalty and the descendent of Ryuma”, would Zoro care? Would it have changed anything about how the events of Wano shaped out?
The people of Wano have already recognized him as one of their saviors, and a couple like Hyou and Kawamatsu made the Ryuma connection on their own which is plenty enough for me. I have no issue with the deep dive happening in the SBS because, as Oda said, it isn’t going to be relevant to the plot. Zoro’s arc has never been about his lineage or having a secret connection with an old hero; he’s out here making a name for himself out of personal pride and a promise to his deceased friend which helped shape his world-view.
I feel like the same people who complain that Zoro’s family history wasn’t explored more in Wano are the same people who get upset when an important character is revealed to have been special since birth due to their lineage. One Piece has showed us time and time again, that one’s birth does not dictate their standing in the world and it’s up to their independent will to determine how far their ideologies will get them.