Why does Ace’s death feel different after the Wano arc?

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One Piece is a popular anime that approaches friendship, adventure, mystery, action, and even tragedy flawlessly. The well-written characters make the series even more captivating. Portgas D. Ace is a fan-favorite character even more than a decade after his death.

His death is heartbreaking and a major turning point in the series. After Ace’s death, Luffy decides to reunite with his crew and trains with Rayleigh to improve his Devil Fruit abilities and his haki. He was introduced in the “Alabasta” arc as Luffy’s brother. As the second division commander of the Whitebeard Pirates, Ace was a powerful fighter with a bounty of 550 million berries. So we can only imagine how shocked he was to die like this.

How does Ace die?

Being a high-ranking commander under one of the four yonko is just one reason for his capture by the Marines. He was also the son of Gol D. Roger, the Pirate King. His lineage and strength are the main reasons why the navy is trying to make him a warlord. Ace never agrees with this, so he becomes one of the most wanted criminals.

When the series introduces him in the “Alabasta” arc, Ace seeks to capture Blackbeard. Blackbeard betrays the Whitebeard Pirates by killing their first division commander and stealing the Yami Yami no Mi. Ace, being his direct commander, feels responsible for his crimes and sets out to sea alone in pursuit. Ace reunites with Luffy after a long time and also encounters the Straw Hat Pirates.

ace death with luffy

ace and luffy

However, things take a drastic turn when Blackbeard defeats Ace and hands him over to the Marines in exchange for his Shichibukai status. The Marines use this opportunity to the fullest and announce Ace’s public execution to capture the Whitebeard Pirates as well. What follows is a full-scale war between Pirates and Marines. Luffy also arrives to rescue Ace along with the allies he meets at Impel Down. As the war is on, Akainu finds an opportunity to deliver a killing blow to Luffy.

Ace appears to save him and gets impaled by Akainu’s fist. He thanks Luffy for loving him and dies in his brother’s arms. Although he’s a popular character, fans only know bits and pieces of his past, when he was a kid and hadn’t yet joined the Whitebeard Pirates. However, the audience learns more about him in the “Wano” arc. His promise to Otama and his friendship with Yamato make fans relive his tragic death once again.

When does Ace go to Wano?

Wano one piece

Ace goes to sea in the hope of being known to everyone in the world. Arriving in the New World, he finds Shanks and tells him about Luffy.. Ace also asks him about the scar Blackbeard gave Shanks. Nearly four years before the current timeline, Ace, along with his crew, the Spade Pirates, arrive in Wano. There, they see the devastating situation of people being left to suffer at the hands of Kaido and Orochi.

Ace helps them find food and water, creating a special bond with the locals. The Spade Pirates even attempt to fight Kaido and free Wano. However, when they reached Onigashima, Kaido went on an expedition with the best members of the Beasts Pirates. Ace damages Kaido’s castle and encounters Yamato, Kaido’s daughter. After this unsuccessful battle, Ace leaves Wano, vowing to return and take Kaido’s lead.

Ace’s ties to Otama and Yamato

Otama and Ace

For Otama and Yamato, Ace was special. Ace meets Otama shortly after arriving in Wano and befriends her. The people of his town suffer from a shortage of food and water. Ace tells her that he will make Wano a country where she can eat as much as she wants. Otama starts looking at him and asks him to take her to sea with him. However, she is still too young at this time. He makes another promise to take her with him if she becomes a Kunoichi the next time he comes to Wano. Ever since Ace left Wano, Tama has kept that promise. However, since Wano Country is cut off from the rest of the world, she never learned of his death.

Meanwhile, Ace encounters Yamato as he destroys Kaido’s castle. Yamato fights him out of boredom, but the two quickly become friends. They bond over sake when Ace tells him about Luffy. Yamato makes a Vivre card for him and takes a piece for her, and they say goodbye, promising to meet again.

Why is Ace’s death different after the Wano arc?

Sabo falls from Ace

Since the “Dressrosa” arc, Ace has been mentioned several times. Whitebeard mentions after Ace’s death that just as there will be someone to inherit Roger’s will, someone will come to inherit Ace’s as well. In Dressrosa, Luffy reunites with his missing brother Sabo, who not only inherits Ace’s willbut also the powers of the Mera Mera no Mi. Sabo’s memory of their past is harrowing, but viewers still had other things in store.

During the “Wano” arc, Ace is an important character even though fans only see him in flashbacks. When Luffy arrives in Wano, he learns about the connection between Otama and Ace and that she waited for him without knowing the truth. The way Luffy nonchalantly says that Ace died two years before angers Otama, though she later regrets it when Nami tells her that Ace is Luffy’s brother. For Yamato, it’s even more tragic because she keeps Ace’s Live card. She notices when his life is in danger and when he eventually dies. However, she is a captive of her father, Kaido. Unable to escape confinement, she can only watch Ace’s Live card disappear before her eyes.

Moreover, the way Oda Eiichiro shows the resemblance between the two brothers makes viewers relive the tragedy. Luffy makes the same promise to Otama that Ace made back then. Yamato talks about his past with Luffy and tells him that he reminds him of Ace. Since knowing Luffy, she has been waiting for him to come to Wano and join her in defeating Kaido..

Although Luffy and Ace aren’t real brothers, they were raised together. Their carelessness and kindness were the same. Although viewers already knew this, for some reason, it’s even more evident in the “Wano” arc. The way Luffy masks his sadness every time Ace is mentioned reminds the audience of how devastated they were by Ace’s death.