WARNING: The following contains spoilers for One Piece Episode 960, "The Number-One Samurai in the Land of Wano! Here comes Kozuki Oden!," now streaming on Crunchyroll and Funimation.
In Episode 959 of One Piece, Luffy's allies suffered a major blow to a plan 20 years in the making. Now, in Episode 960, Momonosuke pleads with the honor-bound Scabbards to retreat, regroup and live to fight another day, but the retainers of Wano's rightful ruler argue that they can't afford to wait another year for this opportunity. As Kin'emon reflects on the words of their deceased daimyo and the Scabbards head on to meet their fate, a flashback ensues introducing the figure at the very center of the Wano conflict: Kozuki Oden himself.
Despite the respect and high-regard that seems to be attached to Oden's name in the present day, the Oden of the past seems to be anything but a legendary hero. Fitting quite well with his tall, muscular, and downright imposing form, Oden seems to be a big fish in the small pond that is the isolationist country of Wano. While his tendency to stand out has gotten him into some trouble in the past, there is clearly more to Kozuki Oden than his official introduction lets on.
Oden Was Exceptional From The Day He Was Born
Sending his nanny flying at not even one-year-old, burning down a yakuza owned gambling hall at age nine, and instigating an incident known as the Harem War at age 15 are all on the list of Kozuki Oden's accomplishments in his lifetime. A restless soul with a taste for challenges, excitement and adventure, Oden's antics have earned him a less than stellar reputation despite his status as the son of Kozuki Sukiyaki, the former Shogun of Wano. After his 38th attempt to set sail from the country illegally, his father even makes an official move to disavow him, proving that the trouble Oden has caused was too much even for the Shogun.
While he may seem crass, it seems that it's simply a lack of communication that results in Oden's reputation. A perfect example of this in Episode 960 of One Piece is displayed when Oden crashes a funeral to unceremoniously cook his namesake over the cremation fire. As the bereaved family watches on, the tone of the situation shifts when Oden finishes his meal and pays the deceased, revealed to be a friend of his, his respects. He calmly excuses himself from the funeral, and the family looks on, less upset than they were when they first found Oden. There is an energy about him, an intent that is difficult to gauge but ultimately seems pure -- energy, fans will likely recognize, that is incredibly similar to series protagonist Monkey D. Luffy's.
A Catastrophe Was The Catalyst For A Fateful Meeting Between Oden & Kin'emon
While Oden refuses to march to the beat of any drum but his own, a young Kin'emon is shown to be causing a fair amount of trouble himself. After attempting to steal a boar he believed to be worth a decent amount of money, Kin'emon soon after learns that simply having the boar has incurred the wrath of its monstrously larger parent. As people flee the capital, an intrigued Oden drops in on the young Kin'emon and Denjiro. He tells them to give him the little boar, and he quite clearly has a plan in his mind.
From a lifetime of impressive feats -- to being disowned by his father to crashing a funeral in a spectacular fashion to preparing to take on a rampaging beast -- Oden's debut in the anime has certainly started with a bang; something fitting, viewers will know, of only the most noteworthy of One Piece characters. With this in mind, it's really just a matter of discovering how Kozuki Oden grows from a restless, teenaged misfit to a respected and beloved leader, father and friend. As fans anxiously await the next episode to see how Oden's story continues, one thing is for certain: it will definitely involve a really giant boar.