Video version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qk9gu4w3vic
Garp vs Kuzan
Garp makes his grand landing on Hachinosu as his battleship safely lands thanks to Prince Grus, who uses a move called “Nyuudou Gunyo”, which is meant to be a pun given the similar pronunciation, on “nyuudogumo”, which is the Japanese word for cumulonimbus, essentially making a cloud made of clay, a “Claymulonimbus” if you will.
Meanwhile Koby and Hibari make it back to the ship, but Hibari is frozen in place by Kuzan. This is actually far more fitting than you might imagine, as we previously brought up how Hibari is one of the few characters in the series to speak in a Japanese Hiroshima dialect, the only other one being Sakazuki, which has led many Japanese fans to speculate Hibari is Akainu’s daughter. This would make it particularly fitting that Kuzan is being petty towards him by freezing his own daughter out of the bunch. Though it also brings into question why he didn’t try to freeze Koby directly, but maybe it is yet more evidence that he is willing to let Koby go and is only putting up appearances for the sake of not letting Blackbeard think he’s betraying him.
Kuzan is formally finally introduced as the Captain of the 10th ship as we all thought, and we get the details of how he joined Blackbeard, which appeared to be quite coincidentally, something that adds doubt on Kuzan’s true motives. But it’s also entirely possible that he specifically tracked down and provoked the Blackbeard Pirates for just this motive, so Oda keeps playing us with his true allegiance. It’s fascinating however to hear how Blackbeard explains that he and his crewmates aren’t friends, simply collaborating with each other for their own interests, which to him is what being a “pirate” is all about, an ideology that clearly stands in clear contrast with Luffy’s.
Kuzan being here at Hachinosu also means he can’t be at Egghead, which instead only leaves Catarina Devon or Laffitte possibly going there. His clash against Garp is particularly fitting though, as while this hasn’t been explored as much in the main story, Kuzan was one of Garp’s biggest protégées, even referring to himself as his number one here, and someone who always looked up to him. In Chapter 0 in particular, we see how much Kuzan admired Garp and his attitude of acting on his own independent of the World Government, which is precisely why he claims here that he also wants to live his life his own way. Garp however adds that to lose your way or hesitate is a weakness, which may again be hinting at Kuzan’s not fully committing here. Garp swiftly tosses Kuzan down a hole with an attack he calls “Blue Hole”, with the kanji reading as “Sinking to the Bottom of the Ocean”. This is likely mockingly in reference to Kuzan being “Aokiji”, or the “Blue Pheasant”.
Law vs Blackbeard
Towards the end of the chapter, we also see the Heart Pirates having been defeated much like the Kid Pirates, though the difference is that Bepo manages to make use of a drug Chopper made to transform into Sulong without a full Moon, allowing the crew to scatter and run away, giving them a leg up over the Kid Pirates by allowing them to regroup at some point, though while it’s not confirmed, it’s fairly likely the Road Poneglyph Rubbings for Zou and Wano have ended up in Blackbeard’s hands. At the same time, Law also kept his life and avoided having his power stolen, which Blackbeard pondered between using it to becoming perennially youthful or selling it. Selling it may seem like a waste, but you have to keep in mind the Government was willing to pay five billion belly for it, likely because Imu-sama may have wanted to seize it given the power it can grant and fearing that someone may try and enact the plan Doflamingo attempted to pull off to become King of the World, though you can watch my video for that if you want more clarification on that.
One tidbit of interesting information Blackbeard brings up though, is the connection between the Rocky Port Incident and the 100 heart incident, as it was mentioned that Law became a Shichibukai by bringing the hearts of 100 pirates to Marine Headquarters. Now we know that he stole those hearts at Rocky Port, which indicates that the Rocky Port Incident he was a mastermind of resulted in him stealing the hearts of 100 pirates there to then give to Marine HQ for his Shichibukai promotion, with this incident having been his first step towards his grand plan in taking down Doflamingo and later Kaido.
But let’s step back from this scene and go back to the scene where Blackbeard and Kuzan first met, which took place about a year ago on a certain island in the New World. Kuzan ended up freezing Sanjuan Wolf, Vasco Shot, Doc Q, and a few others, which prompted Teach, Devon, and Augur to come check. The two however quickly got along, with Teach referring to Kuzan as an “ice candy” and Kuzan making a quick joke about Akainu getting “heated”.
In this panel we also see Sanjuan Wolf’s power properly in action, as in the former panel he is colossal, while here he is closer to only twenty meters in height like a normal giant, having shrunk down himself to his normal giant size by deactivating his powers.
It’s here though when Devon brings back up again the identity of “Hinokizu”. Now this has been translated in a lot of ways, but really the most accurate translation of this individual would be “Firescar” (or “Burnscar” in the Viz translation). Particularly since in Japanese “Hinokizu” is written in katakana, making it sound like a nickname more than an epithet or an ornate description, so “Firescar” as a single word is probably the most apt translation here. The only things we know about this “Firescar” is that they are allegedly a man, and that he has some knowledge about the location of one of the Road Poneglyphs. As Blackbeard explains, the other two are in possession of Kaido and Big Mom, while the final one’s location is unknown, though that’s because it’s hidden on Zou.
Laffitte however finally gives us some better context on Firescar, claiming he’s a man said to ride around the seas in a pitch black ship, and that anyone who tries to approach it is sank to the bottom of the sea in a giant whirlpool, with Laffitte speculating that it may be the work of a devil fruit ability user.
There was some speculation before that Firescar could be Jaguar D. Saul, having been scarred by fire in his battle at Ohara, now hiding at Elbaf with the final Road Poneglyph. But this chapter makes it seem evident that Firescar is someone moving across the seas on a ship. Now, there’s a very real possibility that Firescar is a completely brand new character who Oda will introduce for the Final Saga, as I’m sure there’s still a few new designs and concepts he wants to introduce. But at the same time, there’s also one man who perfectly fits most of these requirements: Monkey D. Dragon.
This is because particularly, in the manga, Dragon’s ship, known as the Wind Granma, named after the ship that Fidel Castro used during the Cuban Revolution, is drawn in the manga to be pitch black, down to the masts and every part of it, which would perfectly fit this definition. Really the only caveat is how in the anime, as well as the digitally colored manga, which is considered to be completely canon in terms of coloring choices compared to the anime, the Wind Granma has a more varied color scheme, and there’s also the fact the sails don’t appear to be black like in Laffitte’s depiction. But it’s still possible that maybe this was a mistake on Oda’s end when reviewing the color schemes for the digitally colored manga and may be fixed down the line to match the appearance of the black and white manga.
This kinda brings into question why they would refer to Dragon as “Firescar” rather than his publicly known identity, but this could all just be a result of how rumors are thrown around, with the rumor starting in one place and people hearing of it not realizing who exactly it is talking about. And while it is possible that he may have a hidden fire wound somewhere on his body we haven’t seen, it’s also completely possible that the nickname “Firescar” may refer not to a wound on Dragon’s body, but perhaps the mark on his face, giving the impression of being like a scar and thus making people remember him by that nickname.
And it would be very fitting, because it makes sense that Dragon wants to honor the will of Ohara by trying to gather the poneglyphs. In fact, it was even brought up that the reason the Revolutionary Army referred to Robin as the “Light of Revolution” and were looking after her is specifically because of her knowledge of being able to read the poneglyphs, proving that the Revolutionaries were interested in decoding the True History just like Clover once tried to. Not to mention how it would be a fantastic way to actually involve Dragon into the story, who has otherwise… well, just kinda been there the whole time, and have him become a central figure of an arc, which the Revolutionaries have been in big need of, having recently claimed that they are making their preparations to begin a big Revolution.
But really, more than anything else, what really fits the definition of Firescar really well is the fact that Dragon already has the power to create whirlpools. We’ve seen before that Dragon appears to have some wind-related powers, having been able to generate wind at Loguetown to help Luffy set sail, and even being seen directly transforming into Wind in Chapter 794, which would suggest he has a wind Logia fruit, potentially the Kaze Kaze no Mi. It’s also possible that maybe it’s some weather related Paramecia or even a mythical Zoan, but it’s hard to say for now. But at the very least it’s certainly related to wind, especially what with his ship being called the “Wind Granma”, and wind can affect whirlpools, which he may use to keep people away from his ship, thus starting the rumor.
And in the end, I think that Dragon’s powers will play a big role in the story to come, because after all, what is the thing that we have been constantly been warned about the D. clan?
glad to read you! 🙂 I don’t know I am not completely sold on Dragon being the “Firescar”… a part from the ship color problem (it would be quite a big error from Oda part on such a major topic), the supposed devil fruit should be something more like “whirlpool” than “storm”. Lafitte says ships are sunk in a whirlpool but doesn’t talk about storm (to be honest the 2 could be related, the storm “making” the whirlpool).
In any case, I think that the whirlpool is related to Fishmen in some way. We know they’re capable of creating them, so I think Oda is playing with us here, everyone will think that is Dragon but it’s a fishman!
My favourite theory about this is the one saying it’s and old member of the Roger’s Pirate, may be Scopper Gaban aided by Sunbell the fishman. After all, we almost have no info about the whereabouts of the “not main” ex Roger Pirate. The only ones we know about are Rayleigh and Crocus, so there plenty is of room for some surprise. What do you think?
Thanks for your review as always, reading you is always a pleasure as you normally notice things that I do not. 🙂