One Piece's Wano Country arc took a brief detour from the third act with a flashback exploring the legend of Kozuki Oden and his final days in Wano, but we were left on a major cliffhanger that saw Luffy and the others thwarted by Shogun Orochi as he somehow found out they were planning to enter a port. As it was an ambush meant to take him by surprise, there was a wonder as to how Orochi managed to find out about this plan in the first place. The latest chapter indeed confirmed the worst case scenario as there was a traitor in the midst.
With the flashback now over and the loop has closed on some major events in Wano's past, Chapter 974 of the series returns us to Wano's present to right after Orochi had successfully thwarted the rebellion ambush. Kin'emon and the other members of the Akazaya Nine were prepared to throw caution into the wind and attack Orochi on a rowboat, but they were soon met by Kaido's forces.
Putting the pieces together, they realize that their plan was leaked to Orochi once more. Meaning that one of the Akazaya Nine was a traitor. But before they can argue about it, Kanjuro reveals that he indeed is the traitor and has been working with Orochi. Even though he was prepared to die alongside Oden with the rest of them, it's revealed that he had been living through this "role" as Kanjuro in order to find a fitting place to die.
Kanjuro is a member of the Kurozumi family, and as Orochi explains in a flashback, he was a part of a theater troupe with his family. They were killed during the persecution of the Kurozumi clan in Wano, and ever since then he had been working with Orochi in order to play out the grand role he had been searching for on his path to death. He reveals that he carries no ill will toward the other Akazaya, but had been sending Orochi information all this time such as when they were on Zou.
He would've kept his traitorous role a secret, but Orochi gave him the final order of taking Momonosuke to Onegashima. Kin'emon tried to take him out, but it's revealed that this Kanjuro was also a painting (and revealed he had been hiding his true skills in that regard as well). Now with the traitor revealed, all bets are off as the war for Wano officially begins!
How do you feel about Kanjuro being the traitor? Was there proper build up to this reveal? Did you notice any clues? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or talk to me directly about all things anime and other cool things @Valdezology on Twitter!