Video version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQy6jcwmXbk
BIG NEWS ON THE SUNNY
The chapter opens up with the Straw Hats shocked by the headlines outlining Cobra’s murder and Vivi’s disappearance. Among them, Chopper laments the death of Cobra, commenting his kindness while he recalls a moment when he thanked them. This moment in particular is from Chapter 213, when Cobra thanked the Straw Hats in the royal baths for their service in saving his daughter and country.
Similarly, Zoro brings back another moment from the past, which is from Chapter 490 when Luffy mentioned he didn’t want to bother Ace by going after him. You can even see the attention to detail where Oda drew Captain John’s armband onto Luffy’s arm as he still possessed it in that scene before he gave it to Buggy.
Meanwhile the person in the barrel whose name starts with “Car” is unfortunately not Carrot, but Caribou. Just a few chapters ago he mentioned that he wanted to comment on his knowledge of the Ancient Weapons Pluton and Poseidon to a “certain someone”, an individual that he already mentioned in Fishman Island, being someone that he seemingly hasn’t met yet but he knows would have a great interest in those weapons. However, to actually leave the island, Caribou needed to sneak on a ship since only the Worst Trio were actually leaving, so he had to sneak in a barrel just like he did during the Straw Hats’ initial trip to Fishman Island.
Robin continues to read the newspaper on which we can actually spot a picture of New Marineford with its iconic shape. As Robin comments on Buggy’s rise as a new Yonko thanks to Cross Guild and Luffy mentions how this must be a mistake, you can also spot Nami in the subtly nodding in the background, as she’s one of the few who actually knows about Buggy’s shenanigans. Meanwhile, Brook is serving Chopper and Usopp some tea, while Zoro and Sanji are still fighting behind them even several panels after Sanji insulted him.
LUFFY’S TRUE DREAM
Then, Luffy mentions once again the goal that lies at the end of his dream. You’re likely already well familiar with this goal, but allow me to give you a brief history on it: this goal was first alluded to during Chapter 506 when Rayleigh mentioned how when he met Shanks at Sabaody around 12 years ago, Shanks explained to him that Luffy said the exact same words that Roger once said. Though this lacked a lot of context, it was followed up during Ace’s death in Chapter 574, where Ace mentioned that his only regret in life was not being able to see what lied at the end of Luffy’s dream, though this was accidentally omitted in some translations such as the official English volume release.
This was then later brought up in Chapter 585 when Luffy declared his end goal was in front of Ace and Sabo, with the camera cutting away to not let us hear what he said. This was later brought back during Chapter 1000, where it was more properly explained how this is meant to parallel Roger’s words, just as Shanks indicated. In fact, we saw Roger declaring that exact same thing in Chapter 966 where it paralleled exactly how Luffy told the same thing to Sabo and Ace, something that the anime went even further to very clearly depict. Yamato was moved by this, realizing how Luffy claiming these exact same words made him the most likely person to be the new Joy Boy who could one day change the world, something he would likely achieve through this specific dream.
So to be clear Roger’s dream was to find the final island in the Grand Line and be the first to properly circumnavigate the world, whereas Luffy’s dream is to become Pirate King. However, after those dreams, there is a goal that they want to achieve which could only be possible if they manage to get to that point. Roger realized that he was too early and that someone would one day surpass him to achieve it, but now Luffy, just like he says in this chapter, might be able to actually achieve this goal if he becomes Pirate King. A goal that is very much like Luffy, childlike and silly, enough to make someone laugh. As Luffy mentions, it made Ace and Sabo laugh, and even says that Shanks laughed until tears sprang to his eyes. Just like Roger and his crew did when they reached Laugh Tale.
So then, what exactly is this goal at the end of his dream? Well, we don’t know of course, but you already likely know that I have my own theory regarding it. I already spoke about this long ago in my first episode of the True History, and ever since then the theory has become quite popular, but my theory is that Luffy’s goal at the end off is dream… is to throw the biggest party in the world.
Since I’ve already talked about it so much I’ll try to sum this up as quickly as I can, but I think what’s important to realize about the moment when Luffy talks of his dream with Ace and Sabo is not what happens in that scene, but what happens as a result of it. Because of what Luffy said, Ace decides to exchange a bottle of sake between the three of them, laying the first step to Luffy’s dream, to exchange sake with the entire world in the world’s biggest party. Inspired by the days that he partied together with the Red-Haired Pirates, prompting him to declare his dream to Shanks, Luffy loves parties above all else; they are the ultimate way to connect people together, where all differences are tossed aside to gather and laugh together. And even Oda himself mentioned how he wants to end the series with a massive party right as they find the One Piece, which only lends more credence that as the finale of the series, this is what really lies at the end of Luffy’s dream. The idea of throwing a party to connect the whole world may sound childish, silly, and downright laughable, but it’s such a purehearted ideal that, just like Nami puts it, is so much like Luffy.
THE LULUSIA KINGDOM
However, we suddenly forcefully shift from such a beautiful wholesome scene to quite a dramatic one, making for quite the contrast. Sabo manages to get in contact with the Revolutionary Army in Kamabakka Kingdom, though he doesn’t use a white den den mushi to encrypt the call, allowing the wiretapping department from Marine Headquarters to pick up the call. If you don’t recall, white den den mushi are a special type of den den mushi that block out any interception, allowing for private calls. We first saw them being used in Chapter 593 by Dragon to communicate privately without the Marines tracking them down. On the flip side, black den den mushi are used to listen in on calls, which we see the Marines using here.
As they point out, Sabo is not using a white den den mushi to block out his call, which the Marines believe is due to the urgency of the situation. By the way, as a small detail, you can see that Sabo has a bandage over his nose and one on his cheek, which is identical to the ones he wore as a kid during Luffy’s flashback as a nice callback.
The Revolutionaries listen to what Sabo has to say, but interestingly, among them appears to be one that seems to have black wings of sorts. Are they just decoration, some sort of power, or could this actually be a Lunaria among the Revolutionaries?
Anyway, the Marines comment on how Sabo is currently located in the Lulusia Kingdom. Now, the Lulusia Kingdom has quite the history, as we’ve seen it here and there in a few spots across the series. For starters, one of its inhabitants, Moda, was present in Ace’s cover story, implying that Lulusia was the Kingdom that Ace visited during his cover story. Much later we finally saw it in 904, where it was assaulted by a subordinate captain of Blackbeard, the pirate Pinkbeard, but the Revolutionaries came in just in time to rescue the country. Belo Betty encouraged the people of the country through her fruit, which must’ve given them the necessary courage to stand up to their tyrannical king and overthrow him.
Speaking of which, the King was also already previously presented, as King Seki first appeared at the Reverie conference in Chapter 908 talking with Queen Lemoncheese about the state of the Wano Country, and was later named in the anime and the Vivre Card. As the people of the country commented and his Vivre Card elaborated on, Seki is a tyrannical ruler who takes the money of his people, bringing poverty to his country. We can also see in this chapter his daughter Princess Komane, who first appeared in Chapter 903 as she was kidnapped from her ship while going to the Reverie, but was later rescued by Koby and Helmeppo.
And by the way, the Lulusia Kingdom sports what looks fairly similar to Russian architecture, so its name Lulusia could be losely referencing that of real life Russia. The island’s architecture is also a great example of visual storytelling as we see the division in wealth between the King and the people by how massive the King’s castle is compared to the small town below.
Going back to Sabo’s call, he mentions how he wasn’t the one who killed King Cobra, but instead something happened in the Empty Throne room of Pangaea Castle, where someone sitting on the throne did something. This is basically implying that Imu killed King Cobra in the Empty Throne room, given the threat that he posed for his interest in the True History, which the Government then covered up by blaming Sabo for it. Sabo also mentions how he believed there was no King of the World, which would hint at the fact that Imu is seemingly a man, though since someone like Big Mom spoke of wanting to become Pirate King, it’s possible the position’s gender doesn’t necessarily reflect that of the one who attains it. This position is particularly interesting though, because we get spelled out that Imu is the King of the World… the exact same position that Rocks D. Xebec always wanted to attain, once more hinting at a connection between the two.
Once again this is something I’ve already talked about before so I won’t repeat myself, but do keep it in mind because this connection only seems to get more apparent as time goes on. However, before Sabo can mention the existence of a King of the World, the Gorosei order for the wiretapping to be cut, so the Marines don’t get to hear the information, only the Revolutionaries.
THE FINAL ANCIENT WEAPON
However, before Sabo can elaborate any further, we see a mysterious shadow appear in the sky, with the citizens commenting how there seems to be an actual thing within the clouds covering the island from light. From this thing suddenly a bunch of bolts of light descend upon the island, completely eradicating it in an explosion, wiping away the island as it falls beneath the waves.
So the clear implication here by the way the panels are framed is that Imu commanded a certain something to launch an attack on the island. This seemingly served to wipe out the Kingdom of Lulusia for defying the Government, but the Gorosei comment how it must be fate that Sabo ended up on an island they were planning to destroy, as it allows them to kill the man who found out about Imu’s identity before he can reveal it to the world. The question more than anything is how Imu did this and it undoubtedly has to do with the large thing in the sky. We can very briefly see the outline of it in one of the panels, but it appears to have some sort of triangular shape, almost like an UFO of sorts, though it’s hard to tell.
Really though, for a weapon of this power with the capability of destroying the world to exist, it can only really be one thing: an ancient weapon. After all, power like this has only been attributed to Ancient Weapons, with Crocodile commenting how Pluton is capable of wiping away an island in a single blast, just like we see here. But since Pluton is supposedly under Wano and Poseidon is Shirahoshi, then this would only leave it to be… the Ancient Weapon Uranus. Now of course, it could still be something else, but the idea is worth considering. It would make sense because in Grecoroman mythology Uranus is the god of the sky, which would fit with how this weapon flies in the sky and delivers its attacks from the heavens. And if the implication that Imu was the one capable of unleashing this weapon is true, then that fits even more, because it lines up with the idea that all weapons have a person counterpart who is the one that can unleash them upon the world. Shirahoshi is the only one who can unleash the Sea Kings, Momonosuke is the only one that can open Wano to unleash Pluton, and Imu is seemingly the only person that can unleash this powerful weapon. If you’ve seen Film RED you might also have an idea to what exactly this flying triangular thing could possibly be, which adds a lot of much more interesting insight to this scene, though I’ll leave it for you to discover if you haven’t seen the film yet.
A power like this explains a lot of things, such as for example how God Valley was wiped out from the map, just like we literally see that happening to Lulusia in this chapter. This brings the question as to why the Government hasn’t used this weapon more for things like Ohara, but given how it needs to mobilitate this massive thing to attack, it’s possible its use may be limited in some form.
Also, I’ve mentioned before how in terms of parallels, the two most important arcs in One Piece are Skypiea and Dressrosa. Skypiea serves as a microcosm of the world of One Piece, while Dressrosa is a microcosm of how the World Government operates. In the case of Skypiea, we saw Luffy fighting against someone acting like the god of the world, which is quite similar to Imu’s position. What interests us however is Enel’s Raigo attack, a giant thundercloud that similarly to this attack descended from the sky to wipe out an entire island, though it wasn’t with the same speed and power as Imu’s attack here.
On the other side of the coin however we have Dressrosa, where Doflamingo was made a clear parallel of Imu, even wishing to attain his National Treasure of Mary Geoise, and treating Dressrosa in the same way the Government treated the world. In this case, Doflamingo’s ultimate attack was called “16 Holy Bullets Divine Execution”. And what is it that we see in this chapter? A divine execution through sixteen bullets descending from the holy skies. The bullets are literally 16 here, so the parallel could not be more evident. Just how much did Doflamingo actually know…?
A NEW ADVENTURE
Eitherway, it’s time we move on: the chapter ends a few days later, where the Thousand Sunny is marching through the cold waters of an area in the New World. The water is so cold that a Sea King completely froze up, being now tossed around by the waves. Nami comments on how the climate likely means there should be a winter island nearby, which might be the location of the next arc. Elbaf didn’t seem to be a winter island, so this seems a good sign that we’re heading onto a new island. The Straw Hats come across a “dansui uzu”, or warm eddy in English, which is a type of whirlpool current. In this case however, the current isn’t at sea level, but instead floating above in the skies. As Nami points out, this means that from somewhere the whirlpool is being pushed into the sky, that somewhere quite possibly being the next island where they are meant to land on. Luffy however notices with his haki that there is a person inside the water, with Sanji also noticing that it’s a lady. Speaking of which, you can spot the number “32” on Sanji’s outfit, which reads as “San-ji” in Japanese.
Zoro attacks the eddy to free the woman inside using a wave attack called “Yakkodori”, which he first used against Hody Jones in Chapter 617 and later more recently against King as well. The kanji reads as “port bird of misfortune”, but it’s a pun on yakko odori, a traditional Japanese dance.
As Chopper and Luffy are blown away, from within the eddy comes out a young kid, being very clearly Jewelry Bonney, whose bounty has over doubled since the pre timeskip. Since we last saw her in Mary Geoise trying to rescue Kuma, it’s quite a question as to how she got here. It’s quite likely that she was involved with the attempted murder of St. Charloss, as she mentioned that she would take revenge for his family harming Kuma, and since it was mentioned that St. Mjosgard helped the perpetrator escape, it’s likely this was referring to Bonney escaping from Mary Geoise. It’s also possible that perhaps Kuma used his powers to help her escape, which would explain why she ended up stuck in such a terrible place. Regardless, Bonney already once had a chance encounter with Zoro in Sabaody Archipelago, but it’ll be interesting to see her interact with the Straw Hats from here on out. Alongside Urouge, she is pretty much the final Supernova who has to yet be relevant to the story, so it’s pretty exciting that she might actually headline the upcoming arc.
We are finally entering a new arc in One Piece and I can’t wait to see what it has in store!