Chapter Secrets – Chapter 1054 in-depth analysis

Hey! It’s been a long while, but as we enter the Final Saga, I hope to finally begin getting back into the weekly Chapter Secrets schedule. I can’t promise yet if I’ll keep it or if I’ll need a few extra breaks down the line, but for now I’d like to start covering One Piece chapters again. I’ll go into more detail in a health update in a few days if you are interested. Thank you so much for your patience over my health recovery this past year!

As we get back into things, I’ve been considering trying to change my format for Chapter Secrets for a while. I feel I’ve stuck to a very similar format for 7 years, so I wanted to see if I could slightly change my approach to it. I’m still thinking about it, but for the moment being, for the sake of not pushing my health too much with work I wrote the analysis in a more free-flowing way in text format rather than the usual bullet points in the usual format. I hope for the moment being this is still good enough to enjoy it!

ADMIRAL RYOKUGYU

To start things off, I’d like to focus at the beginning to the chapter with Ryokugyu, or Aramaki. Considering I didn’t cover last time’s chapter, I wanted to mention a few things about Ryokugyu himself. Of course, just like all the other admirals, in case you didn’t know, Aramaki’s design is based on that of a famous Japanese actor.

Going down the list, Aokiji is based on famous actor Yusaku Matsuda, Kizaru on Kunie Tanaka’s role in 1975’s comedy Truckyarou, where he played a similarly-dressed character by the name of Borsalino 2, Akin is based on Bunta Sugawara and his many yakuza roles, Fujitora on Shintaro Katsu’s famous role as the blind swordsman Zatoichi, and finally, Aramaki on Yoshio Harada’s role as the character by the same name, Aramaki, in 1990’s samurai flick Roningai.

Now, the interesting thing about the admirals being based on actors is that not only are their designs taken from said Japanese actors, but their personalities are also greatly influenced too. Aokiji follows a lot of characteristics from Matsuda’s roles, such as his love for women, Kizaru is based on an actor who played many comedy roles, Akainu’s actor played violent ruthless yakuza, and Fujitora’s character is a massive homage to Zatoichi in general. So, where does that leave Yoshio Harada? Well, let me tell you about his role in Roningai, as I’ve actually sat down and watched the entire movie for the sake of these analysis.

Well, in his role in Roningai, Aramaki was a brazen and reckless samurai who didn’t really care about his life or those he ended up hurting. In a sense, that’s actually not that far from how Ryokugyu is at the moment. However, the particular thing about Aramaki in Roningai is that by the end of the movie, he ends up redeeming himself and saving the woman he falls in love with, bringing a good ending to this reckless samurai. This is kinda fitting, since Oda did hint at in an SBS that both Fujitora and Ryokugyu could potentially end up fighting against the wishes of the World Government, though whether that will actually happen or not, especially given Ryokugyu’s current attitude, is hard to tell.

So does that mean that the same that happened in Roningai will happen in the story? Well, no, not really. After all, these movies are just a general guideline for the designs of the Admirals, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that’s how things will develop. The movies are just something Oda draws inspiration from, so it doesn’t need to be one to one. I guess we’ll see soon enough within the story.

He also seems to have a Kokuto, or black blade, on his belt

Speaking about more details on Aramaki though, the tattoo on his chest reads as “Shinagawa Shinju”. This is most likely a reference to Shinjuku Shinju, which is one of the more famous songs by Aramaki’s actor, Yoshio Harada. Shinagawa Shinju is also the story of an old rakugo tale about a courtesan entangling her own client to commit double suicide together, only to give up at the end. I do wonder if this reference goes any deeper in how in Roningai Aramaki redeems himself to save his woman, but I guess once again we’ll just have to see.

Moving on to Aramaki’s devil fruit though, the Mori Mori no Mi, as many guessed, is a plant logia. This was fairly obvious to most readers for both the fact that Aramaki seems to feed himself on photosynthesis and absorbing liquids with his fruit, and the fact that all admirals have had devil fruit powers that are related to their colors, with Ryokugyu’s obviously being tied to green, as his name literally means “green cow”. Yes, cow, not bull. Now technically bull is also a correct translation, since the original term just refers to bovine creatures in general, so “green ox” would be closer, but the Admiral codenames are based on animals from the Chinese Zodiac, and usually it’s called the ox or cow, but the translation is fairly flexible after all. Anyway, Mori is the Japanese word for forest, so while some will more casually refer to it as the Plant Plant Fruit, Forest Forest Fruit is the more accurate translation. Aramaki doesn’t just turn into a plants, but an entire forest, so it’s quite fitting. The attack he uses against the Scabbards is called “Kinniku Morimori”. When reading the kanji, the meaning of the attack is “forbidden hatred forest”, as we mentioned before with the name of the fruit, but “kinniku morimori”, read phonetically, also much more simply means “swelling muscles”, given the muscle shape of the branches. Another small interesting detail is how Aramaki mentions that he’s a logia, but while he does say logia in the phonetic reading, the kanji reading reads as “nature”. This is the natural spelling of Logia in the manga, as they are always written with this kanji reading, but it’s doubly fitting here because Aramaki is quite literally nature himself.

The sound effect under his step also reads “flower…!”

Also, before we move on, there’s this one line that Aramaki mentions at the beginning of the chapter, that the power to influence others is a power that is very hard to attain. This seems to be in reference to Luffy, which would make this statement very similar to that of Mihawk in Marineford, how Luffy has the most dangerous power in the world. Are they just referring to Luffy being a good influencer, or is there more to this power behind Luffy?

It’s also worth noting how both Yamato claiming to be Kaido’s son and Momonosuke appearing in his dragon form are both very clearly shown to Aramaki. It’s possible that he will take this information and head back to Marine headquarters if he’s driven off to let the World Government know about it. For one, it’ll likely factor on Yamato’s bounty, for the other, the Government will realize that Vegapunk’s fruit was not a failure, which could have big repercussions.

SHANKS MAKES HIS MOVE

We then switch to the Red-Haired Pirates who are now nearby Wano. It’s hard to say why exactly they are there, since Shanks says it’s not time to meet Luffy yet. He could be there to just fend off any incoming ships, since Aramaki did call in a battleship, or maybe drive off the admiral entirely himself, since he’s unlikely to fight an entire Yonko crew now, or at least a second one. I do wonder if this could potentially lead to a brief encounter between Shanks and Momo and the Scabbards, but him leaving without meeting Luffy.

Anyway, what’s interesting is when Shanks looks at Luffy’s bounty poster and thinks back at when he stole the devil fruit. What’s tricky here is that it’s hard to convey in translation whether Shanks actually knew about the fruit or not. In the original Japanese version he says “kore ga”, which means “this is…”, but the tone and meaning of it can be very influenced by the situation. He could be simply thinking back that this is another power of the Gomu Gomu no Mi, or potentially he could’ve actually known this was the Hito Hito no Mi, Model: Nika all along, but we don’t actually really know and there’s no real way to confirm it here.

We also get a look at what is very evidently a young Who’s Who trying to guard the ship. It’s interesting that his eyes are still obscured and we don’t get to see them, and that he already had horns back then, indicating that his horns are real and not just cosmetic, once again hinting at the yet unnamed horned race.

We get flashbacks of Shanks interacting with Luffy for the first time. This is a different time from when Luffy ate the Gomu Gomu no Mi, since his shirt is different from Chapter 1, and likely after it, since he already has the scar under his eye. A really cool detail of these scenes is how in the background we can see a bounty poster. This is the bounty poster of mikio itoo an easter egg character that can also be seen in Chapter 1, who is based on a colleague of Oda. It’s also fitting that Luffy’s shirt features a music note with how many times the crew used to sing Binks’s Sake. Another interesting detail is how the ship of the Red-Haired Pirates at the time looks a lot like the Red Force but is actually a different ship entirely, as indicated by the figurehead, or at least the Red Force before it underwent some major renovations. This is to keep consistency, as the ship of the Red-Haired pirates in Chapter 1 did look a bit different than the Red Force does now.

Fascinating is also the scene where Shanks shows Luffy his hat. It’s particularly fitting how he overlays it over the setting sun, which definitely fits with the symbology of the hat correlating to the sun as many believe is the case.

Going back to the present, we get to see a member of the Red-Haired Pirates who looks like a giant monkey, likely a mink if not a devil fruit user. This is not Monster, the other monkey of the crew who is far smaller and can be seen in the previous panel. This monkey mentions how he’s heard that Luffy is a monkey-like monster. Funnily enough, the shirt of the guy next to him reads as “sore omae da yo”, which means “that’s you dude”, and the tattoo of the other guy similarly reads “that’s you” as well.

After a quick mention of what Barto did during the cover story, we get the big scene of the chapter, with Shanks claiming that it’s time to go steal the One Piece. It’s important to indicate that the word here is “ubau”, which means to steal, snatch, or seize by force. This would indicate they need to take it from someone or somewhere, but it could also just be a cooler way to say “let’s go grab it”. However, it’s also important to note that Shanks’s sentence does not specify a subject in Japanese, as he says “isn’t it time to go snatch it”. So he could be saying that they, the Red-Haired Pirates, should go snatch the One Piece, but at the same time, it could also be someone else. Maybe he’s saying it’s time Luffy goes snatch the One Piece, or maybe it’s time the world at large to go and try to snatch the One Piece, it’s hard to say. I wonder if this could relate with the fact that Big Mom said a part of the One Piece exists in the Wano Country, and if Shanks could perhaps be referring to that, in some form.

Really though, the far more interesting part of this scene is how when Shanks says this, he casually happens to grab a cup of sake that Beckman poured him from a bottle. And look guys, if you know me, you already know what I think about the identity of the One Piece and how that correlates to Binks’s Sake. If you haven’t, you can check it out here, but to me, this just serves as yet another piece of evidence of how sake is often associated with the One Piece, ever since chapter 1 where we saw Higuma refuse “one piece” of sake when Shanks tried to exchange it with him. Its very focused presence here feels way too intentional to not be at least a hint of sorts.

Particularly interesting is also the label of the sake, as it’s “go-ban”, which is a Japanese type of sake that literally just means “fifth”. This could potentially be a sneaky reference to Gear 5th, but I do wonder if there is more to it, considering that the side of the label reads as “67 sake”. Is there some hidden meaning to this? I usually don’t like to try to make these connections, but I do wonder if it could be referencing Chapter 67 of the manga, which is the chapter when Sanji explains the All Blue to Luffy; a fitting connection given the All Blue’s likely importance to the endgame of the story and the One Piece. 5th could potentially reference the 5th panel of the chapter, where Gin stated “let’s meet again on the Grand Line”, which could perhaps be a reference to Shanks wanting to meet Luffy again on the Grand Line, but I’m pulling at straws here.

HEADLINES OF THE WORLD

Moving on, we finally get answers for the headlines that Morgans brought up in Chapter 956… almost a hundred chapters ago now. As many predicted, Sabo has assassinated King Cobra, or at least that’s what the newspapers are saying. Given how the Gorosei mentioned how the Alabasta Kingdom were traitors in Chapter 908, it’s quite likely that they had a hand in “erasing” King Cobra and framing Sabo as the killer. This also ties with the disappearance of Vivi, since King Imu was very clearly interested in her, but likely needs her alive. I’d like to highlight once again how Imu highlighted Vivi’s image right next to those of Luffy, Blackbeard, and Shirahoshi, all massively prominent figures when it comes to the history of the world, only though he cut those last ones up and kept Vivi with him. Something doesn’t quite add up though, as Koala, Ivankov, and Dragon seemed shocked and heartbroken at the news of what happened to Sabo, which seems odd that they’d feel that way for killing one king considering how the Revolutionaries have killed many people. Similarly, how Makino and Dadan were also crying and heartbroken. So perhaps there were some more dramatic news at first, or there is an aspect we do not yet know. We are also told about how the Revolutionaries fought at Mary Geoise, in classic Oda off-screened fashion, which is actually a panel we’ve seen before in Chapter 925, but this time without the silhouettes.

Furthermore, there’s the attempted assassination, which appeared to be on St. Charloss, but St. Mjosgard allowed the criminal to escape. I don’t think this is referring to the events we saw at the Reverie, where Charloss was almost attacked by Neptune but was then hit by Mjosgard, so I think it’s probably something separate. It’s likely this could be related to Bonney, as she felt a deep grudge towards Charloss’s family for how they treated Kuma, but we need more details to say for sure. We also get a mention of the guards at Mary Geoise, which are referred to as the “Kami no Kishidan”, or the “God Knights”.

We’re also introduced to a new Marine, Tensei, who is the chief of the Marine Criminal Investigation Bureau. The interesting thing about him is that he has a codename just like the Admirals, based on a color and an animal of the Chinese Zodiac. We’ve had Blue Pheasant, Yellow Monkey, Red Dog, Purple Tiger, and Green Ox, as well as the two Admiral candidates who got rejected Brown Pig, and Pink Bunny, but it’s interesting that now we also get Black Horse, or Kurouma, so I wonder if he too was put into consideration to be an admiral just like Chaton and Momousagi. Given his look, it’s quite likely that he too is based on a Japanese actor. This one might be harder to narrow down, but my best guess is that he’s based on Akira Kobayashi, known for many yakuza and various roles. In Battles Without Honor or Humanity Final Episode, Shishido also played a character who joined the Yakuza coallition “Tensei”, which could be the source behind Kourouma’s name.

Finally, going back to Sabo, it seems that declaring war on the Celestial Dragons had quite the success, because eight kingdoms whose kings were away during the Reverie staged coup d’état during that period of time, which has likely started to shift the political weight in the world. We see this scene in a country where the citizens have taken over, as indicated by their weapons and the execution stage with a guillotine behind them. Fresh blood can be seen next to the guillotine, indicating that a ruler was executed, which is drawing inspiration with how the guillotine became a symbol during the French revolution to execute the ruling class at the time.

We also see a bunch of flags decorated on the sides, ranging from the flag of the revolutionary army, to the crossed out S that Ace featured in his tattoo. We also see a symbol of the World Government logo pierced by an arrow as well as the Marine flag upside down, likely as symbols of rebellion. Furthermore, there are two swords crossed in one of the flags, which could just be a symbol of battle, but it is awfully similar to the symbol of the Shimotsuki clan, so I wonder if there’s any connection there, particularly with the fact that Koushiro seemed to actually know Dragon as very briefly alluded to during Luffy’s flashback, something Oda also hinted at in one of his interviews too.

We can also see a star, which is often a symbol of Revolution

Sabo himself is referred to by the world as the “Entei”, or “flame emperor”, which was the name of Ace’s greatest attack which he used against Blackbeard. It’s said that Sabo practically has even more influence now than Dragon, from whom we get a new epithet, the Hangyakuryuu, or “Rebellion Dragon”. This is a fitting title, as it refers to Sabo as an emperor, putting him on the same pedestal as Luffy, one of the new Four Emperors, as this man points out, with a mask bearing the kanji for “rebellion”. He claims that the era is changing, which is an allusion we’ve seen to many times in the series, including from Roger himself, with the swell of an era being an unstoppable change that will swallow the world.

The times and the eras are changing, and we are finally approaching the One Piece itself! Now we delve in into the final saga of One Piece!

8 comments

  1. The King is back. Thank you for this Artur and Im glad that you are feeling better enough to restart Chapter secrets.

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  2. I’m so happy that you’re back! Hope to see these regularly as we’re approaching the end. If it helps, I don’t think it’s necessary to do both text (website) and video (YouTube), I’m sure most of us would be happy with just 1 of them, if it means lightening up your load and we get to see these analysis on a more regular basis. Stay healthy!

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  3. Hi Artur,
    thank you very much for these chapter secrets. It’s a part of my weekly One Piece Routine and i missed it a lot. It’s well made and with a lot of effort. Again, Thank you very much!

    Besides my need of the weekly Chapter Secrets Fix :), your health is more important. If you need a break, then please take it. I can wait and i guess a lot of your readers can wait too.

    Stay healthy!

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