Chapter 1066 of the One Piece manga has not left anyone indifferent. Called “Ohara’s Will”, the episode contains one revelation after another about the Void Century, Vegapunk and even the Revolutionary Army commanded by Dragon, Luffy’s father. Much of the episode consists of a Straw Hat chat with Shaka, one of the six incarnations of Vegapunk himself (who comes to being a version of Pain and Voldemort with the signature of Eiichiro Oda). During his conversation with the mysterious Navy scientist, the great mysteries of the world come to light and Robin soon raises aloud the question we were all asking ourselves. How does Shaka know so much about that time if the documents that spoke of the subject were lost with the destruction of Ohara, the island from which our beloved archaeologist hails?
It is then that Shaka, Vegapunk-01, admits to having been on said island and having seen how some giants rescued Ohara’s books and they were taken to Elbafhis own kingdom. Some giants in front of which was… Saul. Exactly, the same Saul who encouraged Robin to laugh during the worst moments of her childhood. The author of the phrase he has clung to for his life the Demon Girl, today Light of the Revolution. “Even though you think you are alone, the ocean is vast. Someday you will surely find colleagues and friends who will fight for you and protect you”. A piece of his past that still resonates in our memory as a very particular sound. Dereshi shi shi shi, dereshishi shi shi shi!
Until now we all thought that Saul had died at the hands of Aokiji, the former admiral with ice powers. After all, there was a very explicit panel in which we saw Kuzan attacking the giant with Ice Time, the attack with which he was also on his day about to freeze and kill Robin and Luffy. In fact, at the end of Water 7, when Aokiji spoke to Robin in the middle of the mugiwara celebration party, the famous Blue Pheasant said the following: “Jaguar D. Saul was a good friend of mine. Since that day he fought for Ohara 21 years ago, I have followed what he started and helped you escape from that island. What he gave his life to protect you, it is my duty to follow you and make sure you don’t waste yours.” White and in the bottle… right?
Saul’s resurrection so long later has not been liked by a large part of the community and many think that it means one of the biggest script holes One Piece has ever had till the date. Why hasn’t the giant tried to contact Robin in these last 20 years? And if Dragon knew he was alive, how come he didn’t tell the archaeologist during the two years she spent in the Revolutionary Army? Not to mention the chilling dèjá vu that runs through our backs and reminds us the most famous deus ex machina in anime history: dragon balls.
One of the most recurring criticisms of One Piece has to do precisely with this, with Eiichiro Oda’s difficulties to say goodbye to his characters, and the argument is strengthened more than ever with the resurrection of Saul. The mangaka already threatened to bring Kozuki Oden back during the Onigashima War, back in the final stretch of Wano, but we were lucky and it all ended in a momentary trick by Kanjuro. Even so, said trick served as a cliffhanger prior to a break and the mere idea caused the chaos and rejection of the majority of fans. Many wonder what’s next if we keep bringing back the likes of Saul. That Ace is still alive? Pedro? Rosinante? And why not Bellmere?
The turn of the helm has splashed and affected many more issues. Doubts about whether Aokiji was good or bad are cleared up, since he has no longer killed anyone and his story loses the nuances that led him to be one of the grayest characters and fascinating of how many make up the navy. It becomes clear that his current alliance with Blackbeard is pure fairy tale and that, when the time comes, Help the Straw Hats. On the other hand, if the giant survived and saved Ohara’s books, that means that the Government’s Buster Call failed and that it is enough to travel to Elbaf to discover the mysteries of the Void Century. And while the genocide of his people continues to haunt Robin, his past is far less tragic now. There are still people alive from it and people’s knowledge of it has not been wiped off the face of the earth. He has stopped being alone and condemned to oblivion.
Of course there are also those who are in favor of the return. Robin’s excited faces alone would have been worth it, and God knows (ie Goda) the archaeologist deserved a treat. She was already playing. But also, the defenders of surprise assure that Aokiji never used his Ice Time attack, but Ice Time Capsule, which would have preserved Saul’s body. Either that, or that the flames from Buster Call caused Kuzan’s ice to melt (and then burn, which is why many consider it the man with the burning face). In any case, his hypothetical death occurred out of shot, off camera, and anything could have happened. Not to mention that his full name is Jaguar D. Saul, with D. Like the rest, we are facing another of the characters called to change the world and it is clear that he will be able to do so in the immediate future, when he returns to history more than 600 chapters after his death (we are going for 1067 and it was in 397). 16 years have passed.
For or against, the news is a shock and shows once again that Eiichiro Oda has decided to push the accelerator face to power finish One Piece in three years, the one you have already recognized as your goal from now on. It will not be the last surprise and for us, as long as they serve to give us more reasons to see the Straw Hats in Elbaf, welcome. Usopp’s test of courage, Ohara’s books, Kid…