Right when everyone believed that the long-awaited conclusion of Luffy and Kaido‘s battle couldn’t get even more epic, the One Piece anime adds the cherry on top of this memorable cake with an extended flashback showing the past of the man known as the World’s Strongest Creature. Even if it wasn’t especially long, this flashback managed to hit all the right chords and surely improved the very brief sequence shown in the manga.
Episode #1076 of One Piece brought to fans of the series the payoff they had been waiting for years. While Luffy’s ultimate Gear 5 attack clashed with Kaido’s giant flaming dragon form, the governor-general of the Beasts Pirates, in classic shonen fashion, saw glimpses of his past flash in front of his eyes. When this sequence appeared in the manga, in chapter #1049, it was only three pages long. This was a disappointment for fans who have become used to One Piece‘s long and emotional flashbacks, and who were eager to learn more about Kaido’s past, especially due to his connection to the mysterious Rocks D. Xebec.
Kaido’s Flashback Gets More Focus And Better Pacing In The One Piece Anime
While episode #1076 did not add new scenes or characters to Kaido’s flashback, it still managed to do justice to this hugely-anticipated moment. The sequences that were compressed in the manga, here got the time and space to breathe, thus making every moment more valuable and meaningful. Kaido’s rough upbringing as a child soldier in the Vodka Kingdom is shown more clearly, with a lot of focus on the moment he was betrayed and sold to the Marines by his king in exchange for a seat at the Reverie table. Through his meeting with Rocks, Big Mom, and Whitebeard, Kaido becomes the fearsome pirate and Emperor of the Seas he is in the present, until Kurozumi Higurashi offers Kaido rulership over Wano, giving him the means to accomplish his dream of plunging the world into war.
The flashback in the anime especially conveys how Kaido formed his beliefs that the worth of a man can only be judged on the battlefield, and that war is the only means to true justice. As a kid, Kaido shows a particular dislike for the fact that his country has to pay a tribute to the Celestial Dragons, who claim the right to rule over other people. This feeling then explodes when Kaido is sold to the Marines as a political bargaining chip. While these moments were also shown in the manga, the anime obviously has the means to make them leave a lasting impression through the use of music, voice acting, and animation. The anime also paces them better, having the flashback sequences pop up in various moments of Luffy and Kaido’s final clash, adding even more drama and intensity to the entire scene.
Kaido’s flashback makes it clear that he is also a “liberator”, much like Luffy, with the difference that Kaido’s ideal of freedom is reserved to strong people and built on the oppression of others. Obviously, many One Piece fans will still be disappointed that Kaido’s flashback did not reveal more secrets – especially about the Rocks Pirates. However, watching this flashback play out in the One Piece anime with better pacing and more focus is truly an homage to Kaido, a character who is by right among anime’s most memorable villains, despite the fact that his past remains mostly shrouded in mystery.