One Piece: Big Mom & Kaido’s Alliance May Have Just Broken

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for One Piece Chapter #1011 by Eiichiro Oda, Stephen Paul and Vanessa Satone, available in English now from Viz Media.

One Piece's Wano arc has unfolded in some pretty unexpected ways, with the Onigashima Raid, especially, playing with our expectations as readers. Eiichiro Oda's at his best when his characters are confined to a single location while pinballing off different adversaries, obstacles and time constraints, which always leads to shocking developments. Chapter #1011 of the manga provides yet another example of that, revealing that one of the two major antagonists of this arc may have just switched sides.

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The last time we saw Big Mom, she was recovering from nearly drowning thanks to the combined efforts of Law and Kidd. After being saved by Prometheus, Kidd and Killer splintered off from the roof to chase after Big Mom. Now, in Chapter #1011, Big Mom retaliates, releasing a new electrical attack from a different homie she now calls "Hera." Prometheus had asked Big Mom for a favor in the previous chapter, and this might be what the sun homie was asking for, leading to the Soul Soul Devil Fruit-user to make an entirely new lightning homie to replace Zeus.

Big Mom's devastating attack, Fulgora, causes herself, as well as Kidd and Killer, to crash back inside Onigashima; however, the two Kidd Pirates land on the third floor while the Yonko lands on the second.

On the second floor, the young kunoichi, Tama, along with Nami and Usopp on the back of Komachiyo are being chased by the Tobiroppo, Page One. Page One launches himself onto the rear end of Komachiyo, which leads to a hilarious set of panels of the cowardly duo trying to attack all the weak points on Page One's face and neck. The braver Tama directs Komachiyo to the open palace area, where the clever kunoichi plans on giving a command that can reach all of the Beast Pirates that she befriended through her dumplings.

Usopp shoots two consecutive Pop Green projectiles that knock off Page One, but just as they seem to be out of the woods, Big Mom looms ahead. The Yonko appears ready to tear into Usopp and Nami... that is until Tama greets her with a friendly smile.

Strangely, all of Big Mom's wickedness and malice melts away, replaced with only a friendliness towards the young kunoichi. According to Prometheus, this is Big Mom's "mother mode," something which only manifests around very young children. As Nami and Usopp hide in the fur of Komachiyo, Big Mom thanks Tama for helping her when she lost her memory in Okobore Town. Tama admits to Big Mom that Okobore Town was burned down by Kaido's men, and upon hearing this from the crying young kunoichi, Big Mom's rage returns.

At that moment, Page One catches up with Komachiyo and thinks Big Mom is here to help him take down Nami, Usopp and Tama. Instead, Big Mom reminds Page One that even in the cruel world of pirates, "there is still a code of honor," which she follows up with a terrifying punch to his neck infused in haki.

Big Mom getting temporary amnesia back when she first arrived at Wano did seem like a weird, tangential storyline at the time, but having it come back into play in such a rewarding way is a strong payoff. It's similar to a very out-of-the-way sidequest early in a JRPG suddenly enabling the recruitment of a late-game boss to your party much later on. At the moment in the One Piece manga, Big Mom is definitely directing her anger towards Kaido's men, but depending on how things play out, she may just end their alliance and declare war on Kaido as well.

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