Home Anime One Piece: How Many Acts Are Left in the ‘Wano Country’ Arc?

One Piece: How Many Acts Are Left in the ‘Wano Country’ Arc?

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WARNING: The next incorporates spoilers for One Piece’s ”Wano Nation” arc as much as Chapter 1036, “Bushido is the Way of Death,” by Eiichiro Oda, Stephen Paul, and Vanessa Satone, accessible in English from Viz Media.

Ever since One Piece‘s ”Wano Nation” arc opened with a curtain rising, the arc’s parallels with that of a Kabuki play have been apparent. These parallels have been compounded even additional because the arc progressed, with a number of cultural allusions in direction of Kabuki scattered all through the story, culminating within the conclusion of Chapter 924 the place the curtain closed and readers have been greeted with the caption ”Act One – Finish”.

It was this that led to a standard consensus rising among the many One Piece fan base, specifically, that the ”Wano Nation” arc would have 5 acts in complete, the identical construction as a Kabuki play. Because the arc progressed, this notion appeared more and more believable, with Act Two ending in a method that made it appear to be readers weren’t headed for the ultimate act, however as an alternative the arc’s tumultuous center chapters earlier than the ultimate confrontation with the arc’s huge unhealthy, Kaido. At current, nonetheless, the curtain has but to fall on Act Three, and it appears the arc is hurtling in direction of its climax with no act break in sight.



At the moment, all of Kaido’s subordinates have been defeated by the heroes, leaving him because the final main Beast Pirate standing within the battle. The latest chapter, Chapter 1036, ended with Luffy and Kaido within the throes of their seemingly climactic showdown, with the Straw Hat Captain buying and selling equal blows with the King of the Beasts. In another arc, such a scene would signify the approaching finish of the battle, leaving many to imagine that ”Wano” will finish at three acts in any case.

So what suggests there is likely to be extra left? Amongst followers, it is the notion that the raid has been going just a little too properly for the Alliance. ”Wano” owes as a lot to heist fiction because it does to Kabuki theater, with the Alliance’s plan to raid Onigashima mirroring that of many nice fictional capers. A core tenet of heist fiction is the trope that when the protagonists lay out all the particulars of a heist in the course of the planning levels, one thing will go unsuitable in the course of the execution.

It is this indisputable fact that makes it extremely suspicious how properly issues have gone for the Alliance. Apart from Kanjuro revealing himself to be a traitor proper firstly of the raid, their plans have not gone awry in any important method. Any issues have been totally useful to the Alliance, whether or not it is Denjiro, Yamato, and X-Drake switching sides, the surprising arrivals of Jimbei, Marco, and Izo, Queen’s stunt with the Ice Oni virus inflicting his subordinates to show towards him or the Huge Mother Pirates being taken out of the image early. The whole lot that might go proper for the heroes has carried out so.

It is a reality lampshaded by Hyogoro the Flower, who explicitly said in Chapter 989 as soon as the raid is underway that he cannot see any method of the Alliance shedding. It is an ominous line to place within the mouth of one of many arc’s heroes, a press release of unwavering religion that appears set as much as be challenged later within the arc. If not by the Alliance’s loss, then a minimum of by a significant impediment offsetting their victory. But nothing of the kind has manifested but; not even almost dying by the hands of Queen’s Ice Oni virus shakes Hyogoro’s religion within the Alliance’s broader success.



Luffy and Kaido face off.

In Kabuki performs, the top of the third act is most frequently the place an ideal tragedy takes place, leaving acts 4 and 5 to choose up the items. As the most well-liked principle has been that ”Wano” can be 5 acts, the notion of a third-act tragedy has lengthy been a supply of hypothesis among the many One Piece fan base.

The most typical principle for a possible third-act tragedy is the concept the raid on Onigashima would fail, popularized by One Piece YouTuber Mr. Morj. Morj cited earlier One Piece arcs and the way the Straw Hats’ preliminary makes an attempt to defeat the villains at all times finish in failure, earlier than selecting themselves again up and making an attempt once more later within the arc. Assuming the raid succeeded, ”Wano” can be a significant exception to this long-standing collection rule. This reality, mixed with how suspiciously properly the raid has gone, is why many followers imagine the Alliance should lose.

All through ”Wano” Oda has additionally made fixed allusions to jo-ha-kyū, a standard motif in Japanese artwork whereby actions begin slowly (jo), decide up velocity (ha), after which finish swiftly (kyū). Jo-ha-kyū will also be used for story construction for three-act tales, however it’s most predominantly discovered because the construction for Kabuki performs. The primary act encompasses “jo”, the second, third and fourth embody “ha”, and the fifth encompasses “kyū”.



The Akazaya Nine during the Raid on Onigashima.

If the arc solely finally ends up being three acts, nonetheless, then Act Three feels notably mismatched for the “kyū” portion of the story. Standing at 78 chapters, Act Three is by far the longest within the arc to date — greater than Acts One and Two mixed.  “Kyū” is outlined by brevity carried by the momentum of “ha”,  however Act Three’s gradual tempo in comparison with Act Two runs counter to this edict, implying that the “kyū” portion of the story is but to come back.

It is doable that Oda initially deliberate for the arc to observe the construction of a Kabuki play, third-act tragedy included, solely to desert the concept for any variety of causes. This appears unlikely, nonetheless as even when his preliminary plans have been scrapped, the act affords loads of tragic moments to fit an act break after. Whether or not it is the tragic finish of the Oden flashback, the Scabbards’ defeat by the hands of Kaido, Ashura Doji’s obvious dying, Luffy’s second defeat towards Kaido, or the near-fatal stabbings of Kiku and Kin’emon, there’s a multitude of dour scenes the place a curtain may have fallen.

So if a tragedy is but to come back, then what may it’s, and what story may there be to inform after? It is doable the raid towards Kaido will fail in any case, but it surely’s additionally doable that one other antagonist would possibly emerge from the shadows to take middle stage in Acts 4 and 5. Each the Huge Mother Pirates and Cipher Pol Zero pose credible threats equal to the Beast Pirates, and both faction would most likely be wanting to reap the benefits of the ability vacuum ought to the Alliance defeat Kaido.



Gear Fourth Luffy lands a hit against Kaido.

”Wano” has a number of unfastened plot threads left to tie up that might profit from two further acts, however there’s additionally lots going towards the concept. Firstly is Oda’s declaration at Jump Festa that he hoped to conclude the arc this yr. It is doable the mangaka may match two acts into the span of a yr, but it surely’s extremely uncertain, particularly with how lengthy Act Three has gone run already.

There’s additionally his broader intention to conclude the collection by 2025. Given how a lot floor One Piece has left to cowl after the ”Wano Nation” arc, Oda is probably going wanting to wish to wrap the storyline up as quickly as doable, one thing one other two acts would solely get in the way in which of.

At 128 chapters and counting, the ”Wano Nation” arc is by far the longest within the collection’ historical past. It is a testomony to its density that regardless of that size, there’s nonetheless loads of room for much more story to be advised. Whether or not the arc is in its last chapters or there’s two acts’ price of further room to cowl stays to be seen, however both method, 2022 guarantees to be a momentous yr each for ”Wano” and for One Piece as a complete.


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