“The Akazaya Face-off! Kikunojo vs. Kanjuro!”
A lot of the first half is a good bit of dialogue and threatening going on as the troops are being rallied and it works pretty well overall. There’s a good sense of reinforcing the power that Kaido has and what he’s intent to do and it does lead to a lot of chest-thumping basically. But it also has a key moment with a beheading that happens that seems to shock all of Kaido’s troops while absolutely delighting Big Mom, all partially intent to intimidate Momonosuke even more. Kaido is working hard at doing just that and he’s holding strong as much as he can. But the reaction of the rank and file to the beheading really felt weird in their shock because it’s exactly the kind of thing that a tyrant like Kaido would do, and has basically done with how the land of Wano has been run for so long.
The back half largely deals with Kanjuro when you get down to it and the kind of history that they have with him and it’s decent, in general. With so many people still struggling with the fact that everything he did was an act and that he doesn’t care about any of them, it’s still too hard for them to process even with all the evidence and the way that he’s operating in the here and now. With this particular fight, there’s a good history to it and seeing that play out definitely helps to make it work better but it’s the kind of history that would have been better introduced earlier in some form so that when it unfolds here, it would be just more of the fight itself with the meaning without having to reach back into the past as often as it does. Still, bringing things to a close, seemingly, for Kanjuro is welcome even if it does seem too soon in the grand scheme of this storyline.
Kaido’s plan to obtain the great treasure infuriates Orochi, but his unexpected violent move silences everyone. Meanwhile, at the back entrance of Onigashima, Kikunojo squares off against Kanjuro and gets into an emotional fight with her former colleague.
Thanks for reading! See you next week!