D&A’s Checkpoint Check-In (January 2023)!

Hey guys. Well, January 2023 is pretty much over at this point, and many are wondering what will become of the future of D&A. In our earlier post (from last year) we started that we’re in a period of ‘where do we go from here?’ and what is the next step, or next phase of our journey. Regardless of what direction we go in, we’re still happy and grateful to all of the awesome fans and voice actors we’ve met during the start of our nerdy lil’ journey. The doors are still open if you’re interested in writing contributor posts to our blog, as long as you make sure your grammar is good, and you fact-checked your sources. We know this post will probably leave you with more questions than answers, so for the ones that you do have, here’s our answers to them.

Is This The End of D&A Anime Blog and D&A Studios Entertainment?

No. We’re still creating videos and content on our Youtube page for you guys to check out (we’ll leave links below), and while we may not post as often as we used to, there’s awesome reviews and articles coming from our contributors. Everyone has a dry spell at some point in their journey, this just happens to be ours.

Will D&A Make Appearances at Conventions?

This one’s been the hardest to answer; mainly due to logistical standpoints, and financial conundrums in regards to location and travel. Our convention future is up in the air; with no actual timetable of when we’ll return to them. (We probably will, we just don’t know when.) There’s periods where we even thought about hosting our own convention-like event for two days, however we would need the support of our fans and the anime community to make it happen.

Will The Nerdz of the Decade Podcast Return?

We don’t have an official timetable of when the podcast will return with new episodes, but we’ll update you on when (and if) it returns. We do want to bring more guests o the show, but we’re playing it by ear in terms of their availability.

That’s all we’ve got for now, so until our next post, stay nerdy and keep rooting for us.

Anime Training Arc=Badass Protagonists

Chainsaw Man, Ep 11 Review

When an anime protagonist wants to overcome insurmountable odds and beat an enemy that kicked their butts, what do they do? They have an anime training arc, get stronger, and then go back for a rematch. In this case, Special Division 4 has a collective anime training arc to take down the Katana Man. However, will it be enough to take down the Katana Man and his Devils?  

Yes. That’s what happens with an anime training arc.

Training Time’s Over, Time for Payback 

Having trained under Kishibe for an unspecified amount of time, Denji and Power start to show some improvement. At least, that’s what Kishibe says, since he pushes back their training to once a week. However, he also lets them know that they’re going to be launching their mission to take down the Katana Man and his rogue Yakuza the next day. The Special Division’s future rides on their success; if they fail, Denji and Power die. In other words, they shouldn’t fail.

The success of what will happen is the main source of drama for the episode, with Makima even visiting the Yakuza upper echeleons to get more intel…is what I wish she was just doing. In addition to that, she then intimidates the Yakuza into cooperating with the government or face destruction.

This moment show’s how no-nonsense Makima is about her job. When the Yakuza boss refuses to cooperate at first, saying they’re a necessary evil to keep worse gangs from outside Japan out, she doesn’t have it. She gives him a bag of eyes from their other members, their families, and more. It’s a morbid sight and one that would intimidate most people. As I’ve said before, Makima scares me. 

The Raid Begins! The Other Members of Special Division 4 Make their Debut!

The third act of the episode sees Special Division 4 start their raid on the forces of the Katana Man and Sawatari (the girl with the Snake Devil). This moment serves as a chance for us to meet the other members of their group, and most of them are either Devils or Fiends. 

It’s more apparent now why Makima’s Division is cause for concern. Most of the members are either crazy people, Fiends, Devils, or some combination of all three. Denji fits right in with all these oddballs, for better or worse. 

Aki’s Anime Training Arc Pays Off

The real highlight of the episode, though, is Aki. He made a contract with the Future Devil, who, despite it’s strange appearance, is a troll by nature. It likes to mockingly say that “the future rules,” and unlike others, it’s worked with, it barely asks for anything from Aki. All it wants is to live in his right eye, and it will let him see a few seconds into the future. 

The catch to this, though, is that it wants a front-row seat to Aki’s inevitable death, something it found very interesting. Like I said, it’s a troll. 

As I said last week, it’s pretty evident that most of these people aren’t going to live to see retirement. The implication that Aki’s death is so morbid that the Future Devil wanted a front-row seat to it makes it pretty obvious. However, it’s still disturbing to see that the series equivalent to Sasuke will likely die before the anime ends.

Regardless of the short life expectancy, it’s clear that the anime training arc’s paid off. The Yakuza are going down. The one regret that I may have is the fact that the first portion of the anime ends next episode. Here’s hoping they can finish the Katana Man Arc in that time. 

Happy Holidays everyone!

I Give “Mission Start” a 3/5

Kishibe Arrives! Begin the Anime Training Arc!

Chainsaw Man, Ep 10 Review

The first round between the Yakuza of the Katana Man and Public Safety Division 4 of the Devil Hunters has ended. Both sides have retreated to lick their wounds and mourn the dead. In this case, most of Division 4’s either dead or quit. Aki’s lost his partner, Denji got his butt kicked, and Power? She ran away like a coward. Thus, in accordance with the laws of Shonen anime, this defeat means the protagonists must train to get stronger. To do that, Makima brings in someone crazy. So crazy that he makes Denji and Power look sane in comparison: Kishibe.

Master Kishibe Pulls No Punches

With most of their members dead or quitting Public Safety to go private, Makima needs to make sure her remaining members (the main trio, Kobeni, and Madoka) are up to the task. To that end, she arranges for each of them to get stronger in some fashion. For Aki, this means forming a contract with a new Devil. For Denji and Power, though, this means training under the strongest Devil Hunter they have: Kishibe.

Kishibe only likes three things in life: booze, women, and killing Devils, and he’s good at the last one. So good, in fact, that he was Aki and Himeno’s teacher at one point. In other words, he’s as nuts as they get, and brutal to boot. When he meets Denji and Power at a cemetery, the first thing he does is attack them and beat them to near death.

While his training methods sound sadistic, there’s a method to his madness. Only the strongest and craziest people can become Devil Hunters and survive. And with his monstrous strength and lack of fear, Kishibe’s crazy and strong enough to train Denji and Power. 

The bad news? His training methods involve beating them within an inch of their lives until they can beat him. It’s brutal, Spartan, and sadistic…but effective. They do slightly better the next day.

Aki Goes Devil Shopping

As for Aki, he finds himself dealing with a different problem. After what happened with the Katana Man and that girl with the Snake Devil, he’s out of a Devil Contract. Thus, his next step is to get a new one from one of the Devils the Public Safety Division has captured. What follows is like a cross between going to buy something at the store or adopting a new pet. In this case, the “pets” are Devils that can kill him.

The one that Aki considers is the Future Devil. Considering how it represents the fear of the future (which can be pretty scary), I can imagine that such a being must be pretty strong. The uncertainty of the future scares a lot of people, thus making it very dangerous. 

I’m suddenly very worried.

None of These People Will Live to See Retirement, Will They?

The more I watch Chainsaw Man, the more I realize something bad: none of these characters are going to live to see retirement, are they? 

I’m being serious. With the rate of casualties as a Devil Hunter, I don’t think anyone of these people can expect to die in their sleep from old age. Not Denji, not Power (can she even age?) And certainly not Aki. Thanks to his contract with the Curse Devil, he only has two years left to live. He knowingly gave up his chance at a long life to get revenge on the Gun Devil. And I thought Sasuke was bad.

Regardless of their short lifespans, the trio fo Denji, Power, and Aki seem determined to live life to the fullest. Firstly, that means finding the Katana Man, and putting him in his place. And once they undergo their anime training arc, they will do so. For Himeno.

I Give “Bruised and Battered,” a 3/5

Makima Scares Me Now

Chainsaw Man Ep 9 Review

To paraphrase Wolverine from the X-Men comics, “All right, Yakuza bastards. You took yer best shot. Now it’s my turn!” 

That was the exact thing that went through my head while watching the new episode of Chainsaw Man. The Devil Hunters got ambushed by the Yakuza and seemed to be on the ropes. However, the Yakuza failed to finish the job. Now it’s their turn to hit back, and Makima’s not taking any prisoners. She’s killing them!

Round One! Winners: Yakuza

Last episode, the Devil Hunters came under attack by Yakuza working for the guy whose grandpa Denji killed in the first episode. Now that man can turn into a Katana-Devil hybrid similar to Denji, and he wants them all dead. What follows is probably the best fight in the anime to date. Chainsaws and Katana slashing, blood’s pouring, and it’s just flat out epic.

Sadly, it’s over all too soon, with Katana Man slicing Denji in half to beat him, which is also awesome. And with Aki out, Himeno dead, and Power missing, there’s no stopping Katana Man and his associates (including the girl with the Snake Devil) from taking Denji.

However, the Yakuza made one big mistake, one that a lot of villains make. When you’re out to kill your enemies, never turn your back on them until you’re sure they’re dead. 

Now it’s Makima’s turn.

Makima…She Scares Me

As someone who’s only watched the anime, I have no clue how Makima survived the Yakuza’s attempts to kill her. For now, I’ll chalk it up to plot armor/contract with whatever Devil she has in her back pocket. It doesn’t matter, though. What matters is what she does next…and it honestly scared me a little. 

So after killing her would-be assassins off-screen without batting an eye, Makima comes up to her colleagues and tells them “I’m going to need a temple and some death-row inmates.” As soon as I heard that, I knew where this was going: she was going to sacrifice them to use some terrifying powers to deal with the thugs who decided to mess with her people. 

I don’t fully understand what she does, but seeing Makima sacrifice these condemned prisoners makes the Yakuza explode! It’s like something out of Death Note, but far bloodier. It was horrifying! Seeing all those criminals blood and guts exploding is nightmare fuel.

If I didn’t have my reservations about her before, now I’m convinced: Makima is dangerous. However, what she does is one of the three best moments of the entire episode.

Where Was this Kobeni Last Arc?!?!

The last great moment of the episode comes from, of all people, Kobeni. Kobeni, who I kept saying wasn’t cut out for being a Devil Slayer, and a female version of Usopp, but less lovable, saves the day. After killing her assassin (her friend doesn’t make it, though,) she tracks down Katana Man and the snake girl. Then she manages to fight them both off and send them running for the hills. In a series already filled with badass moments, this one stood out.

When I was watching this, though, all I could think of was “where the heck was this Kobeni when they were trapped in the hotel?!? I want more of it!” 

In all seriousness, though, I was actually impressed with how badass Kobeni was in this episode. Not only did she kill her attacker, but she saved Denji. As far as I care, that makes up for her trying to sacrifice him a few episodes ago.

Let the Devil Hunt Begin

So, the episode ends with both sides regrouping following the first battle. While many Devil Hunters died, including Himeno and Arai, the Yakuza got off far worse. As for Denji, I’m sure he’ll recover. He’s regenerated from being chopped into pieces thanks to Pochita, so he should be able to grow back the lower half of his body.

This episode was by far the best one yet. I’m glad I started watching Chainsaw Man, because it’s one of the best shonen anime in this new generation of the genre. The one hang-up I have is how the action sequences end too soon. I need the chance to enjoy them, Studio MAPPA! 

Oh, and RIP to Himeno and Arai. We hardly knew ye, but the former will live on in fan-art.

I Give “From Kyoto” a 4/5

Ash Ketchum Says Goodbye in 2023

Ash Ketchum and Pikachu’s Story to End in 2023, Make Way for New Heroes

After 25 years of trying, Ash Ketchum finally did it. He became the very best like no one ever was. Sadly, this also means that our time with Ash Ketchum is coming to a close. 

The Boy Who Became the Very Best…

In November 2022, Ash Ketchum, the fictional protagonist of the Pokemon anime, set the Internet ablaze. News came out of Japan that the latest episode had seen Ash defeat the Pokemon world champion Leon in a battle that could only be described as the stuff of legends. In other words, our boy Ash was now the Pokemon champion.

Fans all over the world cheered for Ash Ketchum. After so many years of being denied, Ash Ketchum became the best trainer in the world. However, this presented a unique problem. With Scarlet and Violet about to release, would we see Ash continue his journey? The answer turned out to be no. 

In a video released on social media, the Pokémon company announced that starting in January, the next batch of episodes for the anime would close the book on Ash and Pikachu’s journey. The anime would cover a new generation of trainers in Paldea, featuring their own starter Pokémon.

…Like No One Ever Was

Thus far, fan reactions have been mixed. Ash Ketchum and Pikachu have been the face of the franchise for 25 years. Their journey’s a big part of why Pokemon got so popular and beloved by generations of children. Saying goodbye is something we all suspected could happen. It actually happening, though, is surreal.

On the other hand, fans also argue that it’s time for Ash Ketchum to rest. He did what he set out to accomplish: he became the very best like no one ever was. While I doubt that this is the last we’ll truly see of him, it’s time to let Ash go. Our boy needs to continue his adventures alone.

Ash Ketchum was the very first anime protagonist I ever met. Pokémon was my gateway to the world of anime, and without it, my life would be very different. I stopped following Ash actively after the Johto League, but he always had a place in my heart. Letting our boy go will be incredibly hard, but I’m just glad he finally became the very best. Besides, now we can debate whether the new girl is Ash’s daughter. 

RIP, Kevin Conroy. You are The Batman

Who’s the greatest person to ever play Batman? Anyone from the 1960s might say that it was the late Adam West, and some might argue that it was Michael Keaton or Christopher Nolan. But us Millenials know the truth. When it comes to Batman, the GOAT wasn’t even someone who played it live-action but left a massive impact. That person was Kevin Conroy, who, we recently learned, passed away after battling cancer. He was 66 years old.

When people thought about Batman for thirty years, his voice came to mind. Beginning in 1992, Kevin Conroy provided the voice of the Dark Knight in Batman: The Animated Series, a role that he would keep returning to for the rest of his life. The fans loved Kevin Conroy as Batman. Just something about his voice captured the essence of one of the greatest fiction heroes. It was just so dark and serious; we couldn’t get enough of it.

Kevin would continue to play Batman throughout the history of the DC Animated Universe. He was so prolific and popular that Batman made at least one appearance in every DCAU show. And when he did, people paid attention. From his days with Robin to the possible future of Batman Beyond, Kevin Conroy remained a constant for fans.

Eventually, though, the DCAU ended, but that wasn’t the end of Kevin’s tenure as the Caped Crusader. Far from it. He would reprise his role as the iconic Dark Knight in Rocksteady’s hit games, the Batman: Arkham series. His return as Batman, with Mark Hamill reprising his role as the Joker, was a big part of the game’s massive success. 

Following this, Kevin would reprise his role as Batman several times, much to the delight of his legion of fans. With his passing, fans of Batman are left absolutely devastated.

I was too young to watch Batman: The Animated Series in its heyday, and I only discovered it through either watching newer shows like Batman Beyond, Static Shock, and Justice League and later through streaming services. I became a fan of his by playing the Batman: Arkham games. I was lucky enough to meet him at NYCC several years back and get him to autograph my game copy.

And take a photo with me. 

Kevin Conroy was a great guy, and I don’t think anyone can ever hope to match him as the Dark Knight. But the fact that so many people are mourning his loss is a comforting feeling. When people think of Batman from now on, they’ll hopefully think of Kevin Conroy along with him. 

RIP, Kevin Conroy. You are Batman.

Rest In Power, Kevin Conroy (1955-2022)

Power is One Weird Devil

Chainsaw Man Episode 3 Review

I have seen a lot of oddballs in my years of watching anime. Monkey D. Luffy’s a pirate who can turn into a rubber hose god but is also very dumb. Haruko from FLCL is so weird that I can’t understand what’s happening inside her head. Then we have the likes of Power from Chainsaw Man. If I wasn’t fully convinced last week, then this week’s episode convinced me that Power is out there. That, and I think Denji would fit right in with the likes of Sanji, Master Roshi, Jiraya, and Mineta. 

Power, the Cat-Loving, Bloody Devil

After taking down a Devil at the tail-end of last week’s episode, Denji learns that much to his annoyance, he’s now partnered with Power. The only problem is that she’s a veritable cloudcuckoolander. She constantly brags about how awesome she is and how she dislikes humans or Devils. The latter of which is due to one of them taking her pet cat, Meowy (who she may have been planning on eating), and holding it hostage. The only reason she’s working for Makima is so she can get her cat back. Somehow, she ropes Denji into helping her rescue her cat…by promising to let him grope her boobs. 

Denji’s really starting to remind me of a more laid-back version of Issei Hyoudou from High School DxD

On the surface, Power seems like a very abrasive character, despite her good looks making her one of the waifu of Chainsaw Man alongside Makima. She’s proud, boastful, and thinks highly of herself. Underneath the attitude that reminds me of Vegeta, though, she’s not as bad as she acts. Despite the flashbacks saying she only adopted Meowy so she could eat it later, she does care about it. I think. 

Then again, it is revealed that the only reason she roped Denji into this was so she could sacrifice him to said Devil in exchange for her cat. So, she manipulated him the entire time.

Denji Will Stop at Nothing to Get a Girl

Denji’s quest for boobs means he won’t become a Devil’s dinner regardless of intentions. Transforming into Chainsaw Man once more, Denji pursues the Devil into a nearby city for a bloody showdown. This is also the moment where Denji reveals that he’s more anti-hero than a hero at this point. His motives are selfish, and while he’ll avoid causing civilian deaths, he won’t cry over them if it happens. Case in point, he takes a car with a man inside of it and throws it at his opponent. The guy bails, but still. 

Motivations aside, we all know why we’re here: the fighting. I said it before, and I’ll keep saying it: the animation studio’s do an excellent job blending 2D and 3D animation during the fight sequences. The result is chaotic, bloody, and a spectacle to watch. Seeing Denji standing in a pool of his enemy’s blood is just so cool to look at. Denji, you’re going to go far in this Shonen Business. As for Power, you are very weird. Keep doing you, though. You may not be on my waifu list, but I understand why people stan you.

I Give “Meowy’s Whereabouts” A 3.5/5

D&A’s Checkpoint Check-In! (October 2022)

Hey guys n’ gals! We’re under three months away from 2023, and with that comes some changes in the form of an experiment. For the last couple of months we’ve been trying to figure out a way to implement our premium content on our blog, and it look like we might’ve figured out FINALLY how we’re going to do that! Japan is rich in so many things; from tourist destinations, to fashion, culture, cuisine, music, and of course media (anime). It was also brought to our attention that we may want to try and reinforce the educational aspect of our brand; as we’ve stated this in our mission statement. With that being said, here’s what we’ll be working on come the month of November.

Premium Content Experiment

So we’ll be working on trying to (hopefully) implement our premium content for our fans to enjoy. We know we’ve stated that we were going to do it this month and the month before, but we’re hoping this time that we have something going. As far as we know we’re leaning more towards Japanese Cuisine for our premium content; telling you its history, and where to find it. We’ll keep you guys updated on this experiment, and also when the first video drops.

One-2-One: Waifu Wednesday Edition

For the whole month of November, we’ll be bringing our ‘One-2-One’ character analysis series back; but with a heavy emphasis on waifus from various different anime genres. Some are fan favorites, while others are hand-picked by us.

That will do it for this checkpoint check-in, so until our next monthly check-in (and post), stay nerdy my friends! 😉

The Race For One Piece is On! But Where Do the Contender’s Stand?

A Look At Where Everyone Stands in the Race for the One Piece

The state of One Piece right now could best be summed up by a quote from Dr. Strange: “We’re in the endgame, now.” After 25 years of twists, turns, laughs, and tears, Eichiro Oda’s preparing to take his legendary masterpiece into its final phase. The moment the Wano Arc ends, fans should expect nothing less than a race to the finish line that is Laugh Tale. The grand prize: not just the One Piece, but the truth about the Void Century and the history of the world. It’s going to be a very tight race, though, with the most powerful pirates competing to make it to Laugh Tale first.

While the Straw Hat Pirates come out of Wano as the crew of one of the Yonko, they’re facing stiff competition from their fellow pirates. With the manga on break this week, now’s the perfect time to look at where the top contenders each stand in terms of strength, power, and how close they are to reaching Laugh Tale.

Buggy and his New Alliance Are a Major Wild Card

One of the first enemies that Luffy ever fought, Buggy seemed destined to become comic relief as the rubber wonder moved on to bigger enemies. Then came the events at Impel Down and Marineford, which outed him as a former member of the Roger Pirates, gave him instant notoriety, and earned him the title of one of the Seven Warlords. The loss of that title, though, didn’t diminish his power. Somehow, the Clown got elevated to the status of Yonko alongside Luffy and former crewmate Shanks!

Despite the world thinking he’s a mad genius, fans know that Buggy’s a joke. However, he’s a joke that’s managed to talk former Warlords “Hawkeye” Mihawk and Crocodile into working with him as part of his new group, Cross Guild. Even more brazen, though, is that his group put bounties on the Marines. That takes guts!

With the amount of power and influence that Buggy has gathered, albeit unintentionally, he could stand a serious shot at finding the One Piece. He’s also got the motivation: due to getting sick at the penultimate island, Buggy never got to see Laugh Tale. Now, he could change that, either on his own, or by forming an alliance with another Yonko.

Shanks is Throwing His Lot into the Ring.

What can be said about Shanks that hasn’t been said already? He’s a former member of the Roger Pirates, the man who inspired Luffy to become a pirate, and one of the four Yonko. After his recent display of Conquerer’s Haki in Wano, though, Shanks has elevated himself to Giga-CHAD levels of awesomeness! And this is while he only has one arm.

Until now, Shanks has shown no interest in reaching Laugh Tale or finding his former captain’s treasure. However, with Luffy now standing alongside him as a fellow Yonko, that attitude’s gone right out the window. Having thrown his proverbial hat into the ring, Shanks is setting himself up for a confrontation with Luffy. Given how his mastery of Conquerer’s Haki ranks among the strongest in the world, Luffy’s idol might also be one of his biggest obstacles to finding One Piece. Or, he might end up being a powerful ally. 

Trafalgar Law Knows Almost as Much as the Straw Hats Do.

The Straw Hats have been allied with Trafalgar Law for what’s likely been a few months in-universe. From the fan’s perspective, though, it’s been about a decade of having Law hanging out with Luffy. While the Straw Hat’s antics may annoy him at times, this alliance has been nothing but good for the captain of the Heart Pirates. Not only did he get revenge on Doflamingo, but he managed to learn almost everything the Straw Hats did about Laugh Tale and the Road Poneglyphs. 

While he may not be a Yonko, that doesn’t change the fact that Law took down Big Mom alongside Kid. That along makes him one of the toughest pirates alive. Add in the fact that he has access to at least two of the Road Poneglyph’s (three, if Luffy shared the one from Big Mom with him), and he’s got a good chance of making it to Laugh Tale. 

Kid Seems to Have His Own Lead on Finding One Piece

The last few arcs have been absolute hell for Captain Kid. His first alliance to take down Shanks ended when he got betrayed and captured by Kaido. To add insult to injury, his first mate, Killer, got force-fed a SMILE fruit, rendering him permanently smiling. No wonder he promised not to trust anyone outside of his crew again. However, that didn’t stop him from joining the Alliance that raided Onigashima, and that saw him and Law take down Big Mom. 

Law and Kid now stand on equal footing regarding power and prestige, and thanks to the former, Kid now has a copy of Wano’s Road Poneglyph. While this alone won’t be enough to get him to Laugh Tale, he already seems to have another lead in the form of someone with “flame marks.” How this will factor into the race to Laugh Tale remains anyone’s guess, though.

Blackbeard Is Luffy’s Greatest Threat

Of all the rival’s that Luffy has to face to reach One Piece, his greatest will likely be none other than Marshall D. Teach, AKA Blackbeard. It’s likely Eichiro Oda always meant for Blackbeard to be Luffy’s last and greatest obstacle to becoming King of the Pirates. After all, Blackbeard is, in essence, a natural foil to Luffy.

Let’s recap. Both Luffy and Blackbeard started forming their crews around the same time. Both kept said crew’s small in number, but filled with highly capable individuals. Furthermore, each has gone on to have a massive impact on the world in different ways. Lastly, both are now Yonko with a fleet of thousands of pirates ready to fight for them. The big difference between them is that unlike Luffy, Blackbeard seemingly wants to be the Pirate King for the power it will give him.

Given how Blackbeard’s directly responsible for the events that led to Ace’s death, it’s safe to say that Luffy hates his guts. Given all of this, a showdown between the two is coming. And when the dust settles, only one of them will be walking away.

Luffy is Closer Than Ever to Finding One Piece

The boy who will be a king, the second coming of Joy Boy, and the newest Yonko, Monkey D. Luffy. We’ve followed Luffy from the beginning, seen him go from a rookie upstart to a rubber-hosed demigod of freedom. The Wano Arc marked a turning point in Luffy’s growth as a fighter, going from not being able to lay a scratch on Kaido to besting the strongest beast in the world. He’s more than earned the right to be called a Yonko by now.

We all know that Luffy’s the one who will be King of the Pirates, but just how close is he? Crew filled with people who can go toe-to-toe with the best the World Government can throw at them? Check. Awakened Devil Fruit powers? Check. Three of the four Road Poneglyphs meant to reveal the way to Laugh Tale? Check. It’s plain for everyone to see that Luffy’s the closest to finding the One Piece right now. Should he make it past the might of his fellow Yonko, then his dream of being Pirate King will be within his grasp.  

Wano Country Was Peak One Piece. Change my Mind

Ten Greatest Moments From One Piece’s Wano Country Arc

After four years and 150 chapters, One Piece nears the end of the story of Wano Country. The biggest arc of the legendary manga to date, Wano Country had it all. The protagonists ascended to new heights of power. Fans got even more clues to the mystery surrounding the One Piece. And Luffy essentially became the Shonen Popeye.

With an arc that saw almost everyone share the spotlight, it’s hard to decide which moments were the best.

Kaido One-Shots Luffy

Everyone knew going in that Kaido would be the strongest Luffy faced up to that point. However, I don’t think anyone expected him to lose so easily. After getting the attention of the drunken Kaido, Luffy hits him with his strongest attack, only for Kaido to knock him out with little effort.

This moment hammered home the point that Luffy still wasn’t at the level of the Yonko. Fortunately, instead of killing him like a smart villain would, Kaido threw him in prison, where he trained to get even stronger. Dumb move, Kaido.

Yasuie Gets the Last Laugh on Orochi

One Piece is known for having some reprehensible villains, but Orochi might be among the worst. Unfortunately for the heroes, he was also very cunning. When he gets word about the upcoming rebellion, he wastes no time in arresting anyone involved. It’s only thanks to the sacrifice of Lord Yasuie that the heroes even get some breathing room.

By allowing himself to be publicly executed by Orochi, Yasuie convinced everyone that the coming rebellion wasn’t real. As a result, he died making the brutal tyrant look like a paranoid fool. He got the last laugh after all.

Zoro Gains the Blade of Oden

After Yasuie’s death, Zoro found his sword Shusui stolen by a thief who was determined to return it to the frame of its previous owner where it belonged. Needless to say, Zoro got it back without much effort. Then, Oden Kozuki’s daughter, Hiyori, offered a trade. In exchange for returning Shusui, she would give Zoro one of her father’s two swords, Enma.

To say Enma is a powerful sword is an understatement. Enma’s downright terrifying, able to split off an entire section of the coast in one swipe! That is insane!

Oden Kozuki’s Introduction

After hearing people gush about how great a man Oden Kozuki was, fans finally got to meet him at the start of Act 3 of the Wano Arc. After failing to leave Wano once more, he crashes the funeral of an old friend and proceeds to use his crematory pyre to boil himself some Oden.

This one scene tells people a great deal about who Oden was. He’s loyal to those he considers friends and will always honor them, even if others might not understand it. No wonder he fit right in with the Roger Pirates.

Oden Recalls Reaching Laugh Tale

Speaking of the Roger Pirates, the Wano Country Arc gave fans the most detailed chronicle of their final voyage to date. Told through the journal of Oden himself, fans follow the Roger Pirates all the way to Laugh Tale, the supposed final island of the Grand Line. While we don’t know yet what they found, it was enough to make them all laugh until their sides split. Hopefully, One Piece fans the world over will laugh and cry the same amount the day the series comes to an end.

Oden’s Legendary Hour of Execution

If people thought the way Gol D. Roger went out was amazing, then Oden Kozuki’s death rivals it in terms of badassery. Sentenced to death by boiling oil, Oden endures the burning pot for over an hour while holding his retainers above him in a battle for their freedom. While Orochi decides to kill them anyway, Oden ensures his retainers escape before allowing Kaido to kill him. It was less an execution, though, and more of a sign of respect to the man who came closest to ending Kaido.

The Raid on Onigashima Begins!

This was a moment years in the making. After struggling to gather enough people to challenge Kaido, the Alliance of Pirates and Samurai finally marches on Onigashima. In a moment that’s equal parts badass and cathartic, the Red Scabbards sneak up on Kaido and plunge their swords into his chest. They fail to kill Kaido, but it’s still awesome to finally see them about to make Kaido face Justice for his crimes.

Luffy Pummels Kaido into the Ground

Luffy is the man who will become King of the Pirates, and that means he has no time to deal with a mere Yonko. In the series 1000th chapter, Luffy faces down the likes of Big Mom and Kaido…only to ignore them and focus on his fallen friends. Then, to add insult to injury, Luffy pummels Kaido into the ground. And unlike last time, it hurts the beast. All hail the King, people.

Kid and Law Defeat Big Mom

Big Mom is one of the most sadistic, sociopathic pirates in all of One Piece and one of the strongest. Her grudge against Luffy meant that a fight between them was inevitable, or so it seemed. In one of the greatest team-ups in the franchise, Eustass Kid and Trafalgar Law show just why they’re part of the Worst Generation of Pirates. The fight is close, but in the end, the two take down the Yonko, sending her into a magma chamber far below Wano Country.

Luffy Awakens His Devil Fruit

Since the reveal that Devil Fruits could awaken to get even stronger, fans waited for the moment when it would happen to Luffy. When the moment finally came, it didn’t disappoint. Pushed to his absolute limits by Kaido, Luffy wound up awakening his Devil Fruit and gained a power that made him a rubber-hosed God in the mold of Popeye. What followed was one of the silliest fights in Shonen history as Luffy proceeded to wreck Kaido. Joy Boy has returned!