One Piece has set the stage for a brutal execution of Oden Kozuki with the cliffhanger from its newest episode. The Wano Country arc is still making its way through the third act in the anime, and it's setting up the stage for the final conflict in the present day by first establishing much of Wano's past through a new flashback focusing on the life of Oden Kozuki. After watching him journey through the seas with Whitebeard and Gol D. Roger's crews, Oden is now in his toughest pinch yet after failing to retake Wano.
With the previous episode of the series featuring the legendary battle between Oden and the Akazaya Nine and Kaido's forces, fans also saw how they were overwhelmed by the sheer number of foes. After this battle, Oden and his vassals were then sentenced to a public execution by boiling in which Orochi, Kaido, and the people of Wano were all going to be in attendance. But that's not the only unique thing happening.
Episode 972 reveals that while Oden managed to stand toe to toe against Kaido and even managed to deal the scar that we see on Kaido's chest in the present day, this was nowhere near enough considering Orochi and Kaido have been preparing for this full takeover of Wano for several years. So Orochi wants to make a final statement against those who would take up their swords against them.
With a giant pot of boiling oil (that we see immediately, brutally kills anyone who falls into it) standing in front of them as the means of his demise, Oden goes for one more tactic. Asserting that he absolutely needs to survive, he wagers against Kaido that he and the Akazaya Nine will be able to withstand the boiling oil for any time period set by Orochi and Kaido.
If they can survive this time limit, then Orochi should let them go free. We don't get to see how the two of them respond to Oden's final gambit, but considering what we already know about the Akazaya Nine and their journey 20 years into the future, this might not end as well for Oden as he hopes. Now it's just a matter of seeing how the anime gets to this point. But what do you think?
How are you liking Oden's flashback arc in the One Piece anime so far? Curious to see how the anime will handle what's next? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or you can even reach out to me directly about all things animated and other cool stuff @Valdezology on Twitter!