Chapter 1002 shows how Fights in One Piece are not about Power Levels


Chapter 1002 is a masterclass in deconstructing the idea of power levels and the more stereotypical shounen battle trope of being stronger to win. Law’s Gamma Knife, Luffy’s Advanced Haki, Zoro’s Enma, and most important of all Killer’s Sonic Scythe all demonstrate so clearly how Oda builds fights around the unique abilities of each fighter over raw power.


This chapter highlights something I’ve been saying since the Red Scabbards were shown to able to injure Kaido.

A more stereotypical shounen might have the main character reach deep inside and summon more strength than the bad guy, or have had him doing physical or spiritual training to increase his raw power before hand.
Now this isn’t a bad thing necessarily, but overused it can make fights boring and predictable.

Being able to injure Kaido isn’t entirely about “power level”. And this isn’t Dragonball.


Power levels exist but Type Weaknesses also matter. Water types are weak to Grass types but you can potentially teach a Water type, Fire type moves(or any other moves that Grass Types are weak to) in order to damage a Grass Type even if the Grass Type is superior in terms of level. Basically: You can bring down something higher level than you if you have the right moves that are effective against it. Which is why the Red Scabbards could land attacks on Kaido and why the Supernovas are able to injure him here.


As Kaido himself says they all have the right “Counters”. So again, this isn’t about power level. So what we’re seeing is that Killer has the right technique to injure Kaido despite not being on the same level as him.

This is also why Brook can cut Zeus and Nami can damage a weakened Big Mom. They had the right moves that were effective against her.

Hence why even Luffy can be defeated by Caesar Clown. He was taken by surprise by a move that was highly effective against him. Or why Luffy can be temporarily brought down by Apoo. Again, taken down by a technique he wasn’t prepared for. This can happen to anybody no matter how strong they are.

One Piece combat has always been like this but people have often been either too focused on power levels to notice or just brushed it off as “plot” rather than understanding it’s how fights work in this series.

Oda drew the Map of Wano as the Map of Human Brain!

In Chapter 1002 Oda dropped hints at how Black Blades are forged!