One Piece Introduces Transgender Samurai

One Piece may have just pushed its TV series into the Wano arc, but the manga is well into the story by now. After dozens of chapters, fans are settled into all of the arc’s main players, but it seems the series just revealed a rather important fact about a fan-favorite character.

So, you’ve been warned! There are major spoilers for One Piece chapter 948 below!

Recently, One Piece put out a brand-new chapter, and it was there fans met with some familiar faces. After Big Mom was taken out of the Wano prison by Queen, Monkey D. Luffy was tasked with breaking out of the hold despite all the guards in his way. Initially, things looked grim when his fellow prisoners tried to subdue him, but the entrance of several famed samurai livened things up.

Of course, one of these fighters was the lovely O-Kiku, a samurai who has been traveling with Luffy’s crew for some time now. Oh, and it turns out O-Kiku is a transwoman.

The chapter revealed Kiku is actually named Kikunojo and known as the most handsome swordsman in Wano. To those around the country, the samurai is referred to as Kikunojo of the Fallen Snow, but fans were surprised to hear Kiku was biologically male. When asked about it, the fighter had a simple response:

“This one is a woman at heart,” Kiku said.

This is not the first character in One Piece to either crossdress or come off as transgender. Characters like Bon Kurei have been associated with queer gender identities for years, and Kiku is the latest to join that group. Now, fans are eager to see just what Kiku can do on the battlefield as the Red Scabbards prepare for battle... and fans know the samurai isn’t about to take any mercy on anyone.

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So, which of these new Wano samurai warriors is your favorite...? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics and anime!

Eiichiro Oda's One Piece first began serialization in Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump in 1997. It has since been collected into over 80 volumes, and has been a critical and commercial success worldwide with many of the volumes breaking printing records in Japan. The manga has even set a Guinness World Record for the most copies published for the same comic book by a single author, and is the best-selling manga series worldwide with over 430 million copies sold. The series still ranked number one in manga sales in 2018, which surprised fans of major new entries.