One Piece's newest flashback details Yamato's bond with Ace. When the Wano Country arc was first getting started, one of the more surprising developments early on was the reveal that Ace had been to the land of Wano several years before. Not only did it further tie Ace into Luffy's current adventures in the country, but it also tied Ace to characters like O-Tama. But the previous chapter of the series ended on a cliffhanger that teased Ace and Kaido's son Yamato had developed a bond in his past venture to the country as well.
Now Chapter 999 of the series has picked up where that cliffhanger left off and further explores how Ace and Yamato formed a bond when he went to Wano years before. As it starts, the two of them had been fighting with one another until Yamato realized that all Ace really wanted to do was defeat Kaido.
Chapter 999 of the series opens with Yamato and Ace fighting with one another upon their first meeting. Yamato is defending Wano while Kaido is out at sea, and Ace is only interesting in taking down Kaido because of his dark deeds. Yamato lets it spill that he has no real vested interest in protecting it, and it's here that Ace notices Yamato has shackles around his hands.
As the two of them fight, Ace tries to speak to Yamato's heart about being chained down by his father. It's here that Yamato listens and begins to wreck a dragon statue in Kaido's image as he declares that he also wants to go out to sea and live free just as Oden once did. Ace then laughs and helps to destroy the dragon statue as well as a message to Kaido that he'll be back someday.
The two of them bond further about Ace's adventures at sea, and he begins to open up about some of the pirates beginning to make a name for themselves. But while they are all getting bigger, Ace also mentions that his little brother (who had yet to go to sea at that point) will be bigger than all of them. This lays the foundation for Yamato's ties to Luffy years later, and it's another reflection of just how influential Ace truly was in his prime.
What did you think of One Piece's Ace and Yamato flashback? Hoping the series ties more adventures to Ace in the future? 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!