One Piece: The Akazaya Nine Become Eight After a Deadly Deception

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for One Piece Chapter #1008 by Eiichiro Oda, Stephen Paul and Vanessa Satone, available in English now from Viz Media.

One Piece's previous chapter saw the Akazaya Nine, or Nine Red Scabbards, wake from their bout with Kaido in the Onigashima Treasure Repository. All their wounds have been cleaned and they've been bandaged up accordingly. As they're about to return to the fight, their mysterious savior arrives. Their former master Kozuki Oden has returned, but is this really the man he claims to be?

Chapter #1008 starts with the Akazaya Nine relieved to see Oden back in the flesh as he assures them he came to the future thanks to Toki's time travel powers. Yet two of the nine retainers, Ashura Doji and Raizo the ninja, are unconvinced. Doji reminds the conflicted Kin'emon of a key phrase Toki told them before she sent them into the future: "Mankind can not return to the past." Toki could send herself and others forward in time, but never backward, meaning it would be impossible for Oden to have been saved from his execution beforehand.

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Doji punches Kin'emon across the face to knock some sense into his friend before slashing Oden across the cheek. Yet strangely, Oden does not bleed, and his face seems to tear like paper. The fake Oden then stabs Ashura through the chest, solidifying this is no ally before them. Only one person is capable of replicating Oden's appearance and personality so accurately -- Kanjuro the painter, the traitor who spent so many years alongside the Akazaya Nine.

When the Akazaya Nine first arrived at Onigashima, they fought Kanjuro outside the entrance, with Kiku leaving the traitor mortally wounded in Chapter 985. Yet it seems Kanjuro is still clinging to life, using his remaining strength to control his ink Oden clone from afar. He doesn't expect to live much longer but he will die knowing he "pierced the very heart of the Kozuki Clan!" While his Oden clone fights the retainers, the real Kanjuro will go after Momonosuke and end the accursed bloodline he hates so much.

Before the retainers get past the Oden clone and save Momo, the clone lights a bomb strapped under his robe. He then runs between the retainers intent on blowing them all to smithereens, but Ashura Doji makes the ultimate sacrifice, leaping onto the clone as they both fall out of the Repository window. The clone tries to break free, but Doji leaves him one final message: "Never defile Kozuki Oden again." A fearsome explosion consumes the two, leaving behind only Doji's katana as the smoke clears. Unfortunately, there is no time for remaining eight to mourn the loss of their dear friend -- they still have to find Momo and stop Kanjuro.

Luck isn't on the Akazaya Nine's side, however. As soon as they make it out of the repository, the Mammoth All-Star, Jack the Drought arrives. They have no time to waste which is why the mink, Dogstorm assures them all to go ahead as he deals with Jack himself. Neither of them have fully recovered from their previous fights, which is why Dogstorm isn't worried. Even when Jack taunts the mink tribe's "King of Day" by saying there's no full moon inside the palace to activate his Sulong form, Dogstorm retorts by saying he has no poison gas to utilize -- which is what the Mammoth All-Star originally used against the Mink tribe in Zou.

That's all for the Akazaya Nine in One Piece Chapter #1008, but it seems that Yamato and Shinobu will have to be closely on guard to protect Momo from the dastardly Kanjuro. Although Ashura Doji never truly got his chance to stand out amongst the scabbards as Kiku and Kin'emon did, his death will not be in vain. If we are to see a happy ending for the people of Wano, then the pillars of the Kozuki Clan will be needed to finally open Wano's gates to the world.

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