Eiichiro Oda briefly took an extended detour away from the Wano Country arc's third act to go back in time and flesh out the legend of Kozuki Oden, and in this flashback we found out many of the decisions and events that led to many of the current facets of the present One Piece world. Now that we've seen how Oden really lost his life at the hands of Orochi and Kaido, the series is now closing the loop on much of the past events before it can truly kickstart the war for Wano with Luffy and the others.
After Oden's execution and the following destruction of his house sent the Akazaya Nine flying through the Wano region and 20 years into the future, the latest chapter of the series filled in yet another crucial piece of history as it showed how Momonosuke first met Oden. Chapter 973 of the series featured some intense moments that really flesh out why the young heir is so afraid of Kaido.
Chapter 973 of the series sees Kaido and his forces tearing their way through Oden's house (with the same fire that eventually killed Momonosuke's mother and sent him into the future) and Kaido grabs Momonosuke by the neck and holds him over the balcony. As he continues to choke Momonosuke, Kaido asks his name and assumes that killing this boy will end the Kozuki Clan. Momonosuke refuses to relent, however, and thinks of his father as he tries to be brave.
Realizing it's Oden's son, Kaido instead lets Momonosuke go and assumes the fire will kill him. This moment fleshes out some pretty long in the works foreshadowing. Ever since we were introduced to Momonosuke during the Punk Hazard and Zou arcs we learned he was deathly afraid of heights and hated his dragon form.
Now with this terrifying first introduction between the two, there's a complete explanation that Eiichiro Oda has been hinting towards for several years now. Oda once mentioned how impacting the Wano arc would be for the series as a whole, and moments like this make this seem increasingly clear.
What do you think of this meeting between Momonosuke and Kaido? Can you believe Eiichiro Oda has been planning this exact moment for so long?Let us know your thoughts in the comments or talk to me directly about all things anime and other cool things @Valdezology on Twitter!