As new reports and interviews with the staff behind the series teased that One Piece's Wano Country arc would have a huge impact on the series finale overall, it's starting to increasingly become clear just what this means with each new chapter. With a new flashback to the past of the charismatic daimyo Oden that Kin'emon and the others are fighting to take back Wano for, the latest chapter of the series revealed that Oden has a tie to a surprise former member of the Four Emperors, Whitebeard. A tie that has even bigger ramifications than it might immediately let on.
Chapter 963 continues through a flashback for Oden's impact on Wano, and the end of it brought back Whitebeard with a sudden cameo that reveals what he looked like in his younger days along with some of the other members of Whitebeard's crew.
YOUNG WHITEBEARD AND BABY MARCO OH MY GOOOOOOOD pic.twitter.com/wiVfFWeRYi— Kozuki 'Chad' Oden (@Lewrl1) November 25, 2019
As the flashback reveals in Chapter 933, Whitebeard and his crew crashed landed at the Itachi Port in Wano's Kuri region. Oden, ever the adventurous, immediately rushes out to meet the ship. Sensing his speeding approach, Whitebeard gears for battle and he and Oden's blades cross with a powerful Haki. This sends those around them flying in the shockwave from the clash, and Whitebeard is taken by surprise not only by Oden's power but his personality.
Oden brazenly asks to ride on Whitebeard's ship, and this is one of his many famous attempts to leave Wano. While the chapter ends before we get to see Whitebeard's response, this is important for a number of reasons. One is that we've learned that Oden once rode on Gol D. Roger's ship, and the second is that the younger Whitebeard was once a member of the fearsome Rocks Pirates.
Now is a matter of whether or not Oden does leave with Whitebeard, and how this lines up with the rest of the timeline. Will going with Whitebeard lead to the Pirate King? Does Oden clash wth the Rocks Pirates? Future chapters may just give us our answer.
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.