Though One Piece is happening a month-long hiatus, its creator managed to squeeze in a pleasant Pjourney Month shock for readers in his newest chapter.
As is custom in each saga conclusion of One Piece, celebratory feasts had been lots following Luffy and Kaido’s battle on the conclusion of the Wano Nation arc. Nonetheless, Luffy’s bottomless gullet and Zoro’s legendary alcohol tolerance had beenn’t the primary focus of One Piece’s 1052nd chapter. As a substitute, it was the gender affirmation of two trans characters throughout a bathhouse scene.
When the Straw Hat’s navigator, Nami, floats the thought of taking a communal tub with the Straw Hat’s latest member (or so he has determined), Yamato responds saying they will’t as a result of there are not any combined baths inside Wano’s fort. Kiku, a Wano samurai, follows up Yamato’s remark asking Nami if it’s okay that she joins her within the tub. What follows are two very busy and equally healthful manga panels of Yamato within the males’s tub and Kiku within the ladies’s tub with the Straw Hats pirates. Whereas these panels come off as innocuous fan service, one thing One Piece notoriously by no means shies from, they’re really essentially the most tripling down but of Kiku and Yamato’s genders as a trans lady and trans man respectively.
Whereas innocuous on the floor, the genders of those two Wano characters have usually discovered themselves as a scorching subject of debate among the many One Piece fandom, which is saying one thing given the most important lore drops the Wano arc has given followers all through its 148 chapters.
Kiku refers to herself on quite a few events with feminine pronouns all through her battles alongside Luffy and crew. When Chopper asks Kiku if she is a person after an onlooker describes her as “essentially the most good-looking swordsman of Wano,” she responds saying “this one is a girl at coronary heart.” Luffy, as observant as ever, solely feedback on how scary her masks is. Which is honest, it’s a fairly scary and funky masks.
Whereas Yamato additionally sports activities an equally scary and funky masks all through his first look in One Piece, his introduction brought on each readers and Luffy to scratch their heads in confusion. Though some followers have dismissed Yamato’s gender as admiration for Oden and his heroic mannerism going a step into the absurd, the manga affirms his gender as reality as a substitute of translation subtext. All through Wano, Yamato refers to himself with he/him pronouns that even the baddies adhere to whereas addressing him. Even Kaido respects Yamato’s pronouns, regardless of being the arc’s main antagonist.
Whereas detractors of Yamato’s trans id see it as followers studying an excessive amount of into the subtext of his language round his gender, regardless of the characters actually saying they’re trans within the precise textual content on a number of events, the newest chapter of One Piece serves as a definitive tripling down from Oda of each Yamato and Kiku’s trans identities. And affirming their genders beneath the guise of a bathhouse fanservice scene will stand the take a look at of time as essentially the most galaxy-brained Oda approach of placing to mattress discourse amongst his fandom. Respect.