One Piece: Zoro’s Return to Battle Is Imminent, But at What Cost?

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for One Piece Chapter #1017 by Eiichiro Oda, Stephen Paul and Vanessa Satone, available in English now from Viz Media.

With the way events are progressing in One Piece's Onigashima Raid, the Straw Hats and their Wano rebels are still in a tough bind. Kaido remains as strong as ever, only two of the Tobiroppo have fallen, three of the Akazaya Nine are on death's door, and Luffy is in the process of recovering with the help of the Heart Pirates. So of course, now is the time when Zoro steps up, once again proving what makes him the first mate in Chapter #1017.

As the performance hall is enveloped in the chaos of Beast Pirates vs Samurai, the tides of battle have only just turned in the alliance's favor. O-Tama's voice reaches through all the Gifters who ate her Dango, so they have pledged loyalty to Luffy and Momonosuke to defeat Kaido. However, it is unlikely this surge of new soldiers will be enough to take down any of the heavy hitters, which is why Zoro decides to do something reckless -- and in typical Zoro fashion.

Since Chapter #1012 of One Piece, Zoro has been in a full-body cast recovering from the injuries he received from Kaido. With Sanji carrying around this goofy-looking cross-shaped bandage burrito, it's almost like Oda had been watching Trigun and decided to throw a Nicholas D. Wolfwood reference into One Piece. Luckily the mink tribe doctor, Miyagi, may just have a way to bring Zoro back into the fight.

As Miyagi explains to "Baby Geezer" Chopper, the goat mink brought with him some ultra regenerative medicine from Zou that could bring Zoro back to fighting fit status. However, this will only be a temporary solution, and once it's over the strain on his body will be twice as bad.

Zoro, of course, doesn't care about the risk in the slightest, demanding Miyagi just give him the medicine. They aren't in a situation where they can pass up any opportunity that could improve their chances of victory. Zoro realizes that, saying "The only thing that matters is being able to fight now!"

Zoro Take's Luffy's Pain

What One Piece fans love about Zoro is how self-sacrificing and unequivocally loyal the swordsman is in fighting for his Nakama. He puts himself through so much punishment, not even considering the consequences for a second as long as it will etch out a victory or even just mean the survival of his friends.

One of his best moments that illustrates this is at the end of One Piece's Thriller Bark arc. In order to save the lives of his captain and crewmates, Zoro took on all of the pain that Luffy experienced over that day at once with Kuma's Paw-Paw Powers. The experience was excruciating and even had lasting effects going into the Sabaody arc, but when Sanji asks what exactly happened, Zoro simply responds "nothing happened" despite the blood surrounding him.

Zoro will take on any burden for his friends and not even mention it. He's good with a sword, but not much else, so he makes up for it by going through hell and back for the sake of his Nakama. It's likely that whatever happens after Chapter #1017, by the end of it, he will be in an even sorrier state than after the run-in with Kuma. But knowing the kind of stubbornly loyal moron Zoro is, he won't complain to Luffy, Sanji, or anyone until it's all over.

Jujutsu-Kaisen-Sukuna-Fushiguro Yuuji Itadori Death
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