One piece has reached its turning point. Luffy may have just heard about a new power from a surprising source — one that could defeat Kaido.
WARNING: The following contains the spoilers for One Piece Episode 936: “Get the Hang of It-Wano Country’s Haki, Ryuo!” now streaming to Crunchyroll, Funimation and VRV.
In the last few episodes, Luffy has been practicing to beat each of the Queen’s guards and Udon Prison guards, trying to find out how to use his Haki in new, amazing ways, all in an attempt to gain enough strength to kill Kaido. While every opponent has been defeated by him in the sumo ring — all while defending the old man Hyogoro — he has failed to achieve his goal: to throw a shot that causes enemies to fly without hitting them.
Nonetheless, the old man he’s been shielding all this time may be much more power than Luffy had been led to believe. Hyogoro, the former leader of Wano’s Yakuza, has a lot of strength in his little old body. And he’s happy to share his secrets with Luffy.
The Pirate, The Queen and The Yakuza
Hyogoro is an elderly man who had met Luffy in Udon Prison. In the old man he ended up finding a kindred spirit and companionship in his company. Luffy also gave extra food tickets to Hyogoro so he could eat, offering Hyogoro a chance to find some fun after years of working away under the rule of Orochi and Kaido.
Yet Hyogoro isn’t just an old guy who didn’t like Orochi. He is now the yakuza’s former chief, a strong and feared person recognized throughout Wano. Nevertheless, Luffy’s blissfully unaware of this, even as he and Hyogoro are put in a life-and-death sumo match, courtesy of the villainous Queen. The two have clamps around their neck that, if they leave the ring, will constrict and pop their heads off. They fight until nothing stands in their way to allow them to escape, assuming Queen holds his word.
For the most part, Luffy shielded Hyogoro, sometimes using his Haki to telegraph his movements in an effort to help the old man stop attacks that would kill him otherwise. Nevertheless, through years of incarceration, Hyogoro, observant and sharp as a nail, picks up that Luffy is trying to do something much bigger than he can do. And he does have a solution.
The New Power
Luffy discusses what he wants with Hyogoro, as well as previous encounters of others who used Haki in the previous to push opponents around them. Although Hyogoro admits that while Haki is a foreign idea to him, he knows of a Wano technique that can turn the spiritual energy into a sword that, in a certain sense, envelops the entire body. Swordsmen also use this to strengthen their sword-swinging techniques.
Hyogoro, showing off the technique, shows this strength against the two opponents. When asking Luffy to guide him to evade attacks using Haki, he’s demonstrating the power against their rival, Alpacaman. Turning his hand black and radiating purple-pink energy around his fist, Hyogoro jammed his open-palm close to the throat of his foe, imploding it without placing a finger on him.
Hyogoro leaves us in shock, turning towards Luffy and offering the strength to teach him. With an excited smile on his face, Luffy accepts immediately. If this technique proved to be so effective in the old, jail-weary yakuza leader, it is hard to imagine how much strength Luffy will produce in its much stronger construction. It is probable that the new strategy used by Hyogoro might also be what Luffy wants to turn the tides against Kaido himself.