One Piece: Oden’s Incredible Journey From Disavowed to Daimyo

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for One Piece Episode 962, "Changing Destiny! The Whitebeard Pirates Cast Ashore!" now streaming on Crunchyroll and Funimation.

The story of Oden Kozuki is one that One Piece fans won't soon forget, though his place in the land of Wano may have some puzzled. While initially introduced as Momonosuke's true father and the deceased heir to the Shogunate, the current flashback arc and, in particular, Episode 962, has revealed much more about Oden's character and history, along with his wants and desires. Not only are we shown how he came to assemble the Nine Red Scabbards, but that his path to the Shogunate wasn't as straightforward as we were initially led to believe.

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After his disavowment in the last episode following his near-city destroying defeat of a mountain-sized boar, Oden and his companions found themselves roaming the countryside. Eventually, they came to Kuri, a locale well known for its lawlessness and harsh environment where only the strong could survive.

Upon breaking down the gates to the district, Oden proceeds to decimate the native ruffians, proclaiming the area too restrictive while wondering why anyone would want to live there. With his strength firmly established, Oden makes the snap decision to live as the king of Kuri and quickly begins making changes. Together with his retainers, and the formerly wild men of the land, he redirects their energy towards building and making Kuri more habitable for the people, earning their respect and admiration.

This accomplishment earns Oden the title of "Daimyo of Kuri" from his father, but this appointment was very much in name only. While the people of Kuri are thrilled, and Oden himself celebrated, others still had concerns. For one, Oden is most certainly not a typical Daimyo, and his personality hasn't changed in the slightest with the new position. Secondly, rather than allowing himself to be assigned "wise and sober men," Oden instead asks for Kin'emon and the others to become his Samurai, a position they readily and happily accept.

It's not until six years after receiving the title that Oden meets Dogstorm, Cat Viper and Kawamatsu, truly completing the Nine Red Scabbards as we know them from the present day. At this point, the group goes off to steal money from Yasuie. During Oden's time leading Kuri, he's been lending Orochi money due to his ties to Yasuie. The future usurper has never paid back this money and thus has more-or-less bankrupted Oden.

However, Yasuie catches the untrained Samurai with ease -- and after reprimanding them, he surprisingly gives them more money, telling them to educate themselves and become retainers worthy of Oden. As the soon-to-be Shogun of Wano, it only makes sense that those supporting him should be the best Samurai in Wano. When Oden finally returns to the capital three years later, the people expect to laugh at the "Daimyo" with his ragtag group of ruffians. Instead, they stare in awe as the regal Samurai pass by with heads held high, extruding strength and poise -- with only Oden himself sporting his usual goofy grin.

Oden acknowledges he hasn't changed much, saying that rather than becoming a great man, he's the same man as before and was simply made great. In doing so, and demonstrating humility, Oden wins his father's respect and finally becomes a Daimyo not only in title but in the hearts of everyone across Wano. He went from being the reckless son to a dependable authority figure, and someone the people of Wano could easily come to rely on.

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