r/OnePiece Aug 29 '22 Silver 3 Gold 1 Platinum 1 Helpful 5 Wholesome 5

It's a shame that in a land full of samurai, all Oda did was prove Kuina completely correct about her dream to be a powerful swordswoman being impossible and pointless. Discussion

I'm sure this post will lead to a bunch of people complaining about "headcanon" and "theories" being the only cause for disappointment, but whatever. I don't really care, I feel like this has to get brought up.

Kuina's backstory is pretty damn sad (relatively speaking). She's clearly the best swordsman of the group but she's practically giving up to her fate simply because she's a woman. She sees that she's already getting biologically weaker than the boys and her dad tells her she can't be a master swordsman. Obviously she doesn't get to live to see that dream through because of Fall Down D Stairs, everybody knows that.

It is insanely disappointing that Oda did absolutely nothing to prove her wrong in Wano. Not a single thing. There are no swordswomen in Wano to speak of. Nobody to inspire the next Kuina. Just a big ol' sausage fest. Even Kiku. Kiku is a woman (I'm not arguing otherwise, don't kill me), but biologically Kiku is a male. Meaning it still doesn't prove Kuina wrong at all. For a story where one of the central themes is that you can be who you want no matter what you're born as, to have no swordswomen in all of Wano is insane. Apparently all Kuina's dream is good for is giving Zoro a sword to carry her to the finish line. And like a bunch of character moments for Zoro in Wano, we kinda just... skip talking about it entirely. It's not even a mention. I would have even been fine with like a Shang Chi ending where there weren't a bunch of swordswomen before, but we see them being trained so that when we eventually circle back around they'll be ready. Just SOMETHING to show Kuina's dream is not dead even if it isn't currently a reality. But nope. Oda said fuck Kuina's dream.

And I'm sure the Oda Defense Squad is gearing up for battle ready to defend his honor. I'm sure all of them are ready to blame the genre and not Oda's writing, because nothing Goda does can ever be wrong. But there's no way you can tell me it's the genre's fault that in an arc with like, 200 fucking characters in it, he couldn't create a single strong biological swordswoman to prove Kuina wrong. Not even a little girl who really likes swords and can eventually become strong when the story is over that Zoro can take under his wing. Nothing. In a story that is adamant about how dreams never die, Oda decided Kuina's dream wasn't even really worth the time of day in Wano. He couldn't even let Hiyori get the kill on Orochi, of course Denjiro steps in to save her while she helplessly sits there accepting death. It's such a slap in the face to Zoro and Kuina's backstories that we left Wano without even a hint that her dream can be a reality. And I think it should be talked about more, cause I haven't really seen it brought up that much as we head out of Wano.

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u/MJDooiney Aug 29 '22

I’m curious what Tashigi’s role will be in the endgame. There needs to be some sort of payoff between her and Zoro with her looking so much like Kuina and being a swordsman. I’d hate to see her shoved off to the side again.

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u/zzzthelastuser Aug 29 '22

I’d hate to see her shoved off to the side again.

"Watch the stairs!"

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u/Wandering_Apology Aug 29 '22 edited Aug 29 '22

I warned you bro, i warned you about those stairs!

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u/[deleted] Aug 29 '22

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u/TastyBrainMeats Aug 29 '22

It keeps happening!

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u/SumYumGhai Aug 29 '22

The bounty poster for Down D. Stairs

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u/DivineVein88 Aug 30 '22

Down D Stairs is so powerful, Marine invented a way to print GIFs on paper to catch him!!!

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u/wammys-house Aug 29 '22

Lmao, you guys are ruthless.

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u/AlternativeDay6426 Aug 29 '22

You cant stop things from keep happening constantly

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u/Wandering_Apology Aug 29 '22

Just as you can't outrun what's already here.

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u/TrojanPiece Aug 29 '22

Mari... She...

AYOOOO PIZZA HERE!

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u/xXKarasumeXx Aug 29 '22

She did fall down stairs once and narrowly avoided getting skewered by her own sword, so I guess you could say she did prove herself against Down D Stairs

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u/TrojanPiece Aug 29 '22

Mari... She...

AYOOOO PIZZA HERE!

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u/Ehrenvoller Aug 29 '22

Her character is smokers sidekick i doubt it will be deeper than that

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u/Brocoolee Aug 29 '22

Yeah but then why focus of her being doppelganger of Kuina when she was introduced? Will that not be tied to anything at all? If so thats pretty dumb to have it that way in the first place

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u/steamtowne Aug 29 '22 edited Aug 29 '22

Zoro meets her just before leaving the East Blue, starting his journey towards being the World’s Strongest Swordsman. Tashigi is the embodiment of what Kuina feared: being left behind as a swordsman because of her sex. It’s why Zoro finds it difficult looking at her early on; Tashigi literally chases after him but is unable to keep up.

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u/DreadWolf3 It's coming home Aug 29 '22

She was introduced 25 years ago or some shit like that. At that point Oda had no idea manga would get this scope - it is more than possible that she doesnt have a role to play in this version of the story.

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u/krazyboi Aug 30 '22

25 years ago, I thought dinosaurs were alive. Now... not so much.

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u/Jail_Chris_Brown Aug 30 '22

Chickens are very much alive.

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u/HungerMadra Aug 29 '22

Because oda dropped that thread

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u/RTear3 Aug 29 '22

If Oda's willing to drop a bunch of plot lines in an arc he hyped up for years, yeah it wouldn't surprise me at all if Tashigi's plot thread was tossed out as well.

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u/HungerMadra Aug 29 '22

Oda plants many seeds, not all will be harvested. I mean, do you expect to meet Franky's parents?

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u/PauloRyan2345 Aug 29 '22 edited Aug 29 '22

This is one thing that i don't think we need Tom may not be his biological dad but he's his daddy

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u/HungerMadra Aug 29 '22

I agree, but oda definitely left the seed there in case he wanted to pick it back up. Same with several other strawhats.

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u/The_Sinful Aug 30 '22

Nami and Nojiko are celestial dragons confirmed!

Idk, was stupidest random theory off top of my head

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u/Ehrenvoller Aug 29 '22

Shoulve never been confirmed to not be kuina that would change alot

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u/BGTheHoff Aug 29 '22

Oooh, you think she isn't dead, but was abducted from the hospital, but saved by marines who raised her to be a marine?

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u/Ehrenvoller Aug 29 '22

Oda confirmed kuina to be dead but imagine if it was tashigi that had amnesia from her battle with down d stairs

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u/FriendlyJenky Aug 29 '22

I never knew that.. where did he confirm that?

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u/Cold-Conclusion Aug 29 '22 Helpful

where did he confirm that?

Down D. Comments

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u/Quirrelwasachad Pirate Aug 29 '22

In D. Manga

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u/TheHardestBoof Pirate Aug 29 '22

You think they buried who?

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u/Masenkokidd Aug 29 '22

Not really, she's still weak and while she can grow I doubt she'll be powerful enough to be noteworthy

Edit: spelling

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u/dirkdragonslayer Aug 29 '22

20+ years ago she was introduced, probably to be a recurring rival to Zoro. Maybe earlier storyboards had smoker as more of a recurring character, constantly on the tail of the straw hats like he was in Arabasta and Punk Hazard. Maybe the duo weren't popular with the editor or fans or they wanted the big name admirals to show up more.

Oda says the entire series is planned out, and I believe that's true in broad story strokes, but there's definitely plans that could change in in 25 year run. Franky was added to the crew because Oda really liked the voice actor for Bon-chan and wanted him to be part of the main crew. There definitely was going to be a shipwright in the crew, but the design and personality was designed on a whim.

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u/Nazis_cumsplurge Aug 30 '22

People that think Oda planned the entire story of ONE PIECE are delusional. He probably had some goal posts planned, like the ending, but beyond that I would be surprised.

So much redundant and useless shit he has added to the story on a whim, or removed.

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u/zer1223 Aug 29 '22

Yeah I think it's going nowhere, and Oda originally had some kind of idea for this plot thread but eventually lost interest in it or he realized whatever he was planning wouldn't work. There's no other explanation I can come up with for why he just hasn't brought it up again

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u/EiichiroTarantino Aug 29 '22

It's shocking to me that Tashigi didn't even get a mention in Wano.

That arc is the perfect opportunity to solve or at least hint something, anything about the whole Tashigi/Kuina connection.

Oda please release Wano the extended version.

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u/Former-Increase4190 Aug 29 '22

Release the Oda-Cut!!!

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u/triplepeniseanis Aug 29 '22

there is no mystery. Kuina is confirmed dead, and Tashigi just happens to look like her. Same way that Ushimaru Shimotsuki looks like Zoro but is confirmed to not be his dad

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u/ploinkth Aug 29 '22

Wait, that wasn't his dad?! When did we confirm that?!

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u/terryaki510 Prisoner Aug 29 '22

Confirmed in an sbs rather than in the story, just like many other pieces of important plot-relevant information. LOL

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u/Soul699 Buggy's Devoted Follower Aug 29 '22

I mean, even in term of age it wouldn't make sense for him to be Zoro's dad.

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u/ploinkth Aug 29 '22

Considering this is the world of like 30 ft tall humans, I wouldve suspended my disbelief at this guy's age to be Zoro's dad considering g he looks just like him lol

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u/Force3vo Aug 29 '22

If a woman can keep a baby in extended times, reproduction in one piece works differently anyways.

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u/EiichiroTarantino Aug 29 '22 edited Aug 29 '22

Mystery or not, Oda still has to solve this Kuina/Tashigi thing.

If there's really no narrative connection between them, then there's still their similar thematic thread, about gender and expectations.

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u/BEENHEREALLALONG Aug 29 '22

The one thing I really fear one piece will be is it will turn out like Bleach. Especially since we’ve started getting really close to the end. An enormous amount of interesting characters that we all want to see more of but since time is limited and the end is near it’s all going to be so unsatisfying and rushed if they do get any screen time at all. My fear only deepened when the absurd amount of characters in Wano were introduced. I hope this isn’t the case but we haven’t even seen vegapunk and the series is allegedly in the final stretch.

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u/MJDooiney Aug 29 '22

I don’t know exactly how true this is, but supposedly Kubo was forced to wrap Bleach up sooner to make room for a new series. It had long since fallen out of “big three” status by that point.

That would never happen to One Piece in a million years. Shueisha will give Oda as much time as he needs to wrap up the story the way he wants.

Let’s just hope he doesn’t pull a Game of Thrones and waste an opportunity like that.

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u/Im_regretting_this Aug 29 '22

Actually, according to Kubo, it was his health that forced him to pick up the pace near the end, though he claims he ended it the way he wanted to it. If anything, the rumor throughout the years was that Kubo had wanted to only write Bleach for five years but kept expanding it at the request of WSJ. The tension between Kubo and Jump was pretty well known. Even though sales were lagging, it’s still the 12th best selling manga of all time. I doubt they would’ve forced him to end it, though when Kubo told them he was planning to wrap it up in a few months, they may have given him an exact deadline rather than let him choose. I could be wrong, but that seems most likely to me.

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u/GoodFellaVN Aug 29 '22

In the promotional material for the new animated series, he actually says that a lot of his ideas didn't make it to the manga (due to health issues as you mentioned)

He claims that those ideas will be animated here and we'll finally be able to see his complete vision.

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u/Im_regretting_this Aug 29 '22

Wait…really? If this actually happens I’m gonna be so excited!

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u/GoodFellaVN Aug 30 '22

Yes ^^
He also confirmed that the heavier scenes won't be cut this time, unlike the old anime.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=er_7oCFVO2E

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u/_grandmaesterflash Aug 29 '22

From what I understand Kubo had long-running health issues that eventually forced him to abruptly end the manga.

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u/RealVintageValues Aug 30 '22

Bleach has always kind of been the "awkward child" of the big 3 compared to the global phenomena that are Naruto and One Piece.

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u/wilzc Aug 30 '22

Bleach started off strongggg. But LOOL turd halfway through

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u/RandomBooho Aug 29 '22

Shouen jump was lowkey always hating on bleach💀

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u/MJDooiney Aug 29 '22

To be fair, it probably belonged in a monthly magazine. The higher page count would have made the story actually progress in each chapter.

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u/Shinikama Aug 29 '22

Maybe should have moved like Jojo did, to a more permissive serial?

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u/RTear3 Aug 29 '22

but supposedly Kubo was forced to wrap Bleach up sooner to make room for a new series.

Tbf the pacing towards the end of Bleach was attrocious. Kubo spammed "but this isn't even my final form" for fights to an insane degree which dragged down every fight. Also Kubo didn't need to keep on adding abilities to Yhwach when he already proved himself to be the strongest in the verse at the beginning of the arc. No wonder they forced him to end the manga.

Shueisha will give Oda as much time as he needs to wrap up the story the way he wants.

Nah that's not the issue here. Oda is human and has been working on the same manga for 25 years. Judging off of what he's said in interviews, it sounds like he actually wants to enjoy his life and travel the world at some point which I don't blame him for.

It's starting to become obvious in the writing that Oda's starting to feel bogged down by the sheer amount of characters and plot threads that he's setup. The end of Wano is the most egregious example with all the plot threads and character interactions that went unfulfilled or offscreened. Not to mention that he spent almost a decade keeping Green Bull a mystery only to make him look like a chump for Film Red hype (I know Shueisha likely told him to hype up Film Red but I doubt they forced him to ruin GB's first impression like that.)

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u/Ukantach Aug 30 '22

Yep. Oda wrote himself into a corner by including too many unnecessary chararacters and details during Wano, and was unable to resolve many of those. Also all the cliffhangers with no stake whatsoever only to give us random deaths with no buildup and a racist Hiyori.

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u/CoderWhoReddits Aug 29 '22

tough to do justice to everything in 4 years

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u/Isneezedintomymilk Aug 29 '22

yeah, i'm really hoping for some sort of satisfying payoff, especially after how tashigi was treated in punk hazard :(

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u/MJDooiney Aug 29 '22

Maybe Mihawk will recognize her skill before cutting her down with Yoru.

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u/Isneezedintomymilk Aug 29 '22

honestly, that might be a pretty honorable and emotional end to the character if it had a chance of happening (it doesn't tho, as oda is hard pressed to even hurt his female characters most of the time) bcs tashigi certainly has a samurai's view on her own life, and she wanted to die in battle with honor in punk hazard

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u/MJDooiney Aug 29 '22

I think since Cross Guild’s whole deal is hunting Marines, there’s a pretty good chance he’ll face her before facing Zoro.

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u/Zestyclose_Armadillo Aug 29 '22

Tashigi beat Mihawk off-screen and became WSS.

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u/ipisswithaboner Aug 29 '22 edited Aug 30 '22

Probably will just be relegated to being fodder permanently like Smoker

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u/Sky_Paladin Aug 29 '22

At the end of Punk Hazard, when the Marines and Pirates were just chilling, I half expected Tashigi and Zoro to have an argument within earshot of Law, for him to go "OK I got you fam" and do the heart switcheroo thingy.

Then Zoro could fight Tashigi in the other's body so that they could both find out how much of Zoro's ability was talent and skill, and how much was just testosterone.

Can you imagine how crushed Zoro would be if he lost to Tashigi after the body switch, and similarly, how validated they all would have been if Zoro won?

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u/Fourth_Sin Aug 29 '22

She has a LOT of potential, especially considering her lineage. Which means....

She'll be written as a crying damsel once again. Smh.

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u/itsTraX Aug 29 '22

I'm pretty sure Tashigi is supposed to serve as a character to prove Kuina wrong but even she hasn't really showed anything since Loguetown lol

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u/Primary_Painter_8858 Aug 29 '22

If anything Tashigi and her inability to handle things herself just proves Kuina right. Zoro is always saving her, so she makes it even worse tbh.

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u/Kumadori012 Aug 29 '22

Tashigi has proved Kuina wrong though. The fact she isn't a super powerful one does nothing to change that. Kuina, as far as I read into it, was of the impression that female swordmen were too weak. Now, that might be her fathers fault, or her own shortcomings, but Oda has shown there are several strong female swordmen. And while you might see Tashigi as useless, she's still in the position with Smoker, so she's obviously not weak. More clumsy and struggles with focus.

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u/JuiceZee Aug 29 '22

No it was moreso her thinking women could never reach even close to the potential as men can as a swordsman and nothing has proved her wrong if tashigi is the strongest swordswoman we know. That said big mom uses a sword?? But I guess that’s not her main way of attacking

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u/Kumadori012 Aug 29 '22

Smoothie, Amande... Can you consider knife-users?

There aren't many. Female characters generally not using swords as weapons in OP.

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u/Ok_ResolvE2119 The Revolutionary Army Aug 29 '22

Can you consider knife-users?

Oof! Right in the flashbacks.

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u/[deleted] Aug 29 '22

Smoothie proved that female swordsman are useless even more

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u/Grenadier020 Aug 29 '22

Big Mom is the right answer, there aint that much people who could take one swing from Napoleon and survive.

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u/WL19 Aug 29 '22

Big Mom's swordsmanship has all the skill of swinging a giant club that happens to be shaped like a sword.

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u/W1D0WM4K3R Aug 29 '22

But Big Mom isn't a swordswoman. She's a woman who uses a sword. Yeah, that might sound dumb, like I'm being misogynistic, but there's a lot more to Big Mom than Napoleon. She's just a wild outlier, not even among women, but among people lmao.

But swordswomen should get more representation, I'm just saying I'd be pretty sad if it was just Big Mom.

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u/Serious-Flamingo-948 Aug 29 '22

No you're right, people keep mixing swordsmen with people who use swords. This applies to men too. Buggy, Arlong, Spandam, Drake, etc. use swords but I don't think they can be considered swordsmen.

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u/miki_momo0 Aug 29 '22

It’s a lifestyle and mindset kind of thing. The vast majority of pirates use swords day to day, but there are only a handful of true swordsmen among them

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u/BlipsAhoy Aug 30 '22

Many use guns without being specialists too. Bege shot Oven in the face from a pretty crazy distance, but calling him a "sniper" in the sense of Yasopp or Van Augur would be off the mark.

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u/Kureiton Aug 29 '22

Kuina was already strong enough to beat the adults in her village. She was already a strong swordsman, so I'm not actually sure a mid tier like Tashigi would prove her belief wrong if she already felt this way while beating grown men

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u/Thialase Aug 29 '22

several strong female swordmen

who?

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u/AlexTheNotSoGreat01 Void Month Survivor Aug 29 '22

A a not so fun "fun fact": In the manga, Zoro defeated Tashigi without much in their Loguetown clash, with even less effort than in the anime.

The fact was almost entirely off-screen and he only used one of his swords. While I couldn't tell if he used the other ones and just re-sheathed them between scenes or if he actually defeated her with just one, it's still pretty notable.

The Anime version wasn't really that much better for Tashigi, but still made her look better imo

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u/Jamessgachett Aug 29 '22 edited Aug 29 '22

She was called weak by law smoker and so many person in Punk Hazard She got shat on that whole arc so disapointing.

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u/NoodlesDatabase Aug 30 '22

Yeah but she takes the kids to vegapunk.

So still bad, as the woman falls into a traditional gender role

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u/Brook420 Bounty Hunter Aug 29 '22

Thriller bark? Do you mean Punk Hazard?

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u/Affectionate-Room359 Aug 29 '22

Tashigi is a pretty girl that collects swords and is Smokers secretary. That's here sole purpose in the story since Oda never extended much about her.

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u/Roojercurryninja Aug 29 '22

it's funny that oda made smoker say, pay attention tashigi, whatever is going to happen in alabasta will be important, do what you think is right

fast forward to punk hazard and all agency is gone as she's continiously getting saved by others

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u/Affectionate-Room359 Aug 30 '22

She even got a new rank, just to do nothing woth it.

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u/boopsnoot Aug 29 '22

It's a problem persistent through so many popular Shonen, they really don't like good female characters with depth and character growth lol. But, that's Shonen for you so not that unexpected

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u/dstanley17 Aug 29 '22

There are plenty of Shonen series that do right by their female characters. Just uh... never ones' published in Jump. It's less about the genre/demographic and more about the people who the run the scene (which given some questionable comments by Shueisha, isn't that surprising).

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u/darkbreak Aug 29 '22

What's Shueisha said?

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u/dstanley17 Aug 29 '22

I mean, they’ve said a lot of sketchy things. But the one thing I always think about is when they talked about how they had never hired a female editor before… like, ever, and how they came off really proud about that (because “women can’t understand a boy’s heart”, or some nonsense).

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u/darkbreak Aug 30 '22 edited Aug 30 '22

That sort of thinking is why female characters are often lacking in shonen manga. At the very least a female editor could bring a new perspective on things. Regardless, as long as the story and characters are developed well as things go on why does the gender of the editor matter? J.K. Rowling made a series about a boy and everyone around the world loved it. No one questioned her on writing about a male character because the writing was so good.

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u/Roojercurryninja Aug 29 '22

it's funny to me that i really like tashigi and smoker despite the best efforts of oda to make them really weak and unable to literally do anything

i don't remember an important fight where smoker "won" and tashigi has been depicted as laughably weak even after she met zoro 2 years ago

for god sake give them some independent moments, having to be bailed out constantly by others has ruined tashigi as an intrinsically interesting character for me

it's such a waste

now that i think about it, i do feel like the way oda writes women is a bit lacking

here's luffy, the protagonist who isn't exactly smart, oh wow he uses his devil fruit to an ingenious high level

also here's nico robin one of the main characters who is undoubtedly one of the smartest people in the series who has survived for 20 years ALONE starting at 8 years old

how will she elevate her devil fruit abilities? oh it's easy just slap harder, just make it bigger

jewelry bonney - the only female supernova - first post timeskip moment is her getting caught by blackbeard

yea but ulti was strong right? she headbutted nami and nami is fine

oh but we have big mom, an absolutely terrifying strong women, only that she could arguably be infinitely stronger if she wasn't so ... dumb / impulsive

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u/IBizzyI Aug 30 '22

Oda's handling of women is really bad period, a lot of people bring up the well-written moments for female characters and since One Piece is a really big and well-made story, you will find several good things and you can make an impressive list.

But the real point is that compared to male characters, women in One Piece are like a second class, he has a very strong bias toward guys (at least with the Big Mom and Beast pirates it got somewhat better in the composition of the crews, but not really in relevance).

If you would ask Oda naturally to come up with "10 cool character designs" I think he would make at least 8 more likely 9 male.

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u/SirRumpleForeskin Aug 29 '22

The Kuina Tashigi thread has been lost since Punk Hazard lol. Guess Oda lost interest in it.

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u/shikavelli Aug 30 '22

A lot of OP fans need to come to terms with Oda just losing interest in stuff and it not being as important as he thought it would 20 years ago.

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u/Cornfapper Aug 30 '22

>Country full of sakura trees

>Chopper doesnt even notice

like bruh

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u/HokageEzio Aug 30 '22

That's another one I see people point out. Such a great opportunity to call back to one of the most beloved moments in the series.

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u/Scary-Cockroach-4720 Aug 30 '22

Oda probaly never thought about this

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u/ThatIslandGuy8888 Aug 29 '22 edited Aug 29 '22

I think Whole Cake Island had more Swordswomen than Wano itself. There’s Smoothie, Amande and her twins etc.

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u/theg0dmst Aug 30 '22

I love the design of all of those characters, but they weren't very useful in the story were they?

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u/IBizzyI Aug 30 '22

Yes, Whole cake island is one of the seldom occasions, where women actually had a similar range of character designs then man-

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u/ThatIslandGuy8888 Aug 30 '22

Can’t argue with that!

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u/Lukundra Aug 30 '22

Their designs were awesome too.

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u/[deleted] Aug 29 '22

Kuina could literally beat grown men as a child, her dad was an idiot

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u/TheAbyssalSymphony Aug 29 '22

Her dad was also very much brought up in the male-centric traditions of, you guessed it, Wano. So it makes sense that you would see that played out in Wano.

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u/YearningConnection Bounty Hunter Aug 29 '22

It would have been perfect for Hiyori the supposed Tomboy to be exactly like Kuina and train in secret.

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u/Filmologic Explorer Aug 29 '22

Yes! I was really dissapointed about her just not even meeting with kid Momo, and then didn't go with the others to the raid and instead just kinda showed up to play music and witness Orochi die. I had kinda hoped she would be the one to kill Orochi. Maybe Denjiro could've helped her with her sword training and after giving Enma to Zoro, she could borrow Momo's sword since he wasn't even gonna use it, and sneak in to assassinate Orochi.

I actually do like Wano and even the raid a lot, but there are just so many missed opportunities, unresolved plotlines, and a few too many things I could honestly do without. I still enjoyed it though all things considered, just a few nitpicks

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u/mcallisterco Aug 29 '22

Exactly, and this is really the answer for the entire situation that this thread is about. Wano was based on Feudal Japan, and Feudal Japan was an incredibly sexist land. That's why there's no powerful female swordsmen from Wano, the culture and traditions of the land simply wouldn't allow it.

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u/zirroxas Aug 29 '22

Yes, and that's the problem. Nobody challenging that backwards assumption in that land that embodies it is a missed opportunity at best.

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u/BryceMMusic Aug 29 '22

Hiyori would’ve been perfect for this. She was even under Denjiro’s wing for so long, it’s asinine that he didn’t train her to be a samurai. She should’ve killed Orochi and shown that she can be physically strong with a sword too.

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u/FerMendezG10 Pirate Aug 29 '22

I also wanted desperately that Hiyori was good with the sword. It makes no sense that Denjiro didn't train her if the priority was to keep her safe

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u/CreativeNfunnyName Aug 29 '22 edited Aug 29 '22

My headcanon i just came up with is that oden wanted hiyori to be a swordsman. Why else would he entrust her with one of his swords? surely not for her to give it away to random mosshead.

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u/Kirosh2 Lookout Aug 29 '22 edited Aug 30 '22

Oden : "Listen Hiyori, in 20 years a mosshead with three swords will show up in Wano. He will be useful to fight against Kaido, but needs a boost, so be sure to find a reason to give him Enma so he can become stronger. It's very important. Do you undestand?"

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u/wilzc Aug 30 '22

Oh. Sleep with him too. For warmth I mean. 😈

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u/rohithkun Aug 29 '22

Not just any sword, Enma. It even scared Kinemon who is fairly powerful

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u/trashykiddo Aug 30 '22

Why else would he entrust her with one of his swords?

people pass down shit in their family all the time, it doesnt necessarily mean that they expect them to use whatever artifact it is. it could just be more of a legacy thing.

that said i do think it wouldve been a lot better if hiyori was at least strong enough to use ACoA with enma

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u/Space_Monke64 Aug 30 '22

Well considering it’s feudal Japan, maybe Oden wanted her to give it to her future husband?

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u/Le_San0 Aug 29 '22

Honestly, most likely that it's a family heirloom

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u/cheap_boxer2 Aug 29 '22

I’ll do you better: Hiyori, being an actual adult, should have been the next ‘shogun’ instead of Momo. She should have been strong and capable, and appointed by Momo as a naturally more reasonable fit

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u/Jebhuz Aug 29 '22

As logical as this sounds, i think it would go against the whole “opening Wano” theme. Oden wanted to see the world and doing it changed his life and made him saw the importance of reconnecting Wano to the world. Momo was changed by the trip as well, as he finds not only foes but friends in the outside world. He decides to not open Wano yet, but it comes from knowing a little more of how things are in the world.

Not saying that Hiyori would be bad as a leader or not willing to do it, but that whole theme would be pointless if it goes from “i saw the world and we should not be afraid, follow me to connect to everybody” to “some foreigners came and wreck our shit, but other foreigners saved us from another foreigner, lets be friends”.

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u/BlipsAhoy Aug 30 '22

Thank you, finally. The amount of people ignoring key background info about Wano's place in the world and saying it'd be better to break the narrative thematically to satisfy westerners' "progressive" headcanon is crazy.

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u/dragonkid123 Aug 29 '22

You know what...makes since. Over the literal 8 year old child that has no connection or memory of the 20 yrs of suffering like hiyori does. It would of been better for hiyori to be shogun( i know women cant be shogun but this is fiction you can do anything)

And momo to be a great warrior or even dyaimo over the one his father ruled and make it prosper as he did.

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u/NinetyFish Aug 29 '22

Ooh. Hiyori serving as shogun, while Momo pulls an Oden and goes out traveling the lands of Wano cleaning up the inevitable huge amount of problems and bandits and etc. left over from the Kaido reign.

Gives Hiyori a role and also gives you an Oden parallel.

Though I suppose part of having Momo as the shogun is wanting Momo to surpass Oden and not just follow directly in his footsteps, like Yamato the Oden cosplayer is.

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u/YearningConnection Bounty Hunter Aug 29 '22

Like many things in Wano its a missed opportunity. There were too many story beats to pack into Wano. It'd be great if Oda could give that off to the anime team so they would have extra content to adapt and it could be canon filler to a degree. Which feels good for the anime onlies and gives a reason to watch the anime for the manga onlies.

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u/Imperatia Pirate Aug 29 '22

After a couple of hundred episodes of the anime failing to expand on anything and instead dragging out frames to waste time, I don't really faith in that happening. But, I'd be glad if it did !

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u/galmenz Pirate Aug 29 '22

the anime almost never delivers, even in the early days they would rather make filler than adapt cover stories, i think only the coby and helmeppo one got the luxury of being animated

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u/CrazyChatter Aug 29 '22

They don't adapt cover stories because the viewership drops rapidly when Luffy is not in the episode.

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u/EiichiroTarantino Aug 29 '22 edited Aug 29 '22

Wha... Damn that would be amazing.

And we were told over and over how tomboy Hiyori is too so it IS quite a huge misopportunity that Hiyori was not written having interest in combat/self-defense skills.

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u/obsessedowl Aug 29 '22

I really really can't fathom why Oda didn't do this. And he was even making a waifu for Zoro how come he didn't do this, we know he would love a female swordsman. Fucking Oda wasted so so much this arc i cant believe it

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u/rain_dragon Aug 30 '22

Zoro might actually have been interested in Hiyori if she could fight with a sword.

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u/SnooComics7583 Pirate Aug 29 '22

Would of been really sick that right after Zoro beats King if they did it somehow near there she manages to take back the sword for that very moment of cutting down Orochi in a double page spread showcasing absolute skill

If she trained in secret watching all the others and determined to avenge her father it would make it all the better

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u/TheMaskedDeuce Cipher Pol Aug 29 '22

For a looong while, I was hoping she inherited Oden’s strength specially when Momo was still a weak cry-baby.

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u/psychord-alpha Aug 29 '22

Even the reasoning doesn't make sense. How can you claim "biologically weaker" in a world where people can become rocket-proof and strong enough to sink ships with their bare hands just by training?

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u/Gengar_49 Aug 29 '22

Big mom cetainly aint "biologically weaker" than any character in the entire verse as well lol

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u/OnionLegend Aug 29 '22

Biology wouldn’t compare one woman to all men

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u/TitledSquire Explorer Aug 29 '22 edited Aug 29 '22

Logically it wouldn’t compare ALL women to all men either, cause then you have many complications such as age, illness, devilfruit, etc. in the first place it was never as simple as kuina believed, it was a childish thought.

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u/jhugh Aug 29 '22

Big Mom is the best example. Also Tsuru is definitely gotta be pretty beastly. There's even Hina and Hancock at mid tier.

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u/zyh0 Aug 29 '22

Hancock is not mid tier lol

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u/kilawolf Aug 30 '22

Bruh you are not putting Hina and Hancock together...

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u/BloodyKitskune Aug 29 '22

My brain immediately goes to Smoothie too who is a really strong pirate who is a swordsperson.

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u/UmdAvatarFan Aug 29 '22

Average Human Woman Kuina are naturally weaker then men which is true.

It isn’t fair to compare Big Mom to Kuina, who may or may not be an experiment of gigantification

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u/spartan1204 Aug 29 '22

Boa Hancock is fairly strong even without her devil fruit powers.

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u/Jinyu_waterspeaker Aug 29 '22

Thats one thing that always confused me about most anime/fiction communities. People get upset when a woman is written as physically strong. Like find me a guy in real life that can suplex a mountain.

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u/The_Sinful Aug 29 '22

You mean you can't?

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u/Sherr1 Aug 29 '22

But it does make sense tho. "Biologically weaker" is a relative term, and the fact that you can sink a ship with bare hands doesn't contradict it at all.

If in imaginary world average man can lift 10 000 kilos, and average woman only 9 000, then women in that world are biologically weaker.

And in OP world men are clearly stronger. Only 1 woman in Shichibukai, 1 woman in supernovas, 0 woman as Admiral, 1 in Yonko, Garp, Roger, strongest swordsman, Rocks leader, Oden, Joy boy - outside of BM all other powerhouses in OP world are male.

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u/YNNTIM Aug 29 '22

That's because we're reading a shonen. Luffy literally goes around rescuing princesses from bad guys.

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u/MegalomanicMegalodon Aug 29 '22

Man it feels like forever since any of the crew has had something that involved their original dream. All blue, greatest swordsman, map the world, and so on. But I guess most of the origin stories are just hanging in the back of the plot now, not forgotten but definitely away from a spotlight.

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u/Iakoy Aug 29 '22

I feel like most of their dreams except for maybe Robin, Usopp, and Chopper are endgame dreams.

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u/mr_blue596 Aug 29 '22

Same can be said about many characters,the most obvious one is Chopper.

When Chopper was introduced to the story with the ramble balls,he had a very unique style of fighting,switching many form during combat with a big surprise in the end with Monster point.I can't recall a fight Chopper had recently (since Fishman Island) where he didn't went to Monster point immediately.

Wano was kinda perfect place for Chopper,an army full of Zoan users,many with SMILE.He could have shined with his knowledge of Zoan type fruits while showcasing his mastery and versatility opposed to other Zoan users.He spent most of the arc as Monster point,baby point(what ever it called) and did some doctoring,total waste to develop his charcters imo.

And it's a recurring problem,any Strawhat beside Luffy,Zoro,Sanji doesn't get any significant fights,many haven't got one in years.Robin got her first one in years against Black Maria,Frankie haven't used any Cola in years.

It doesn't feel like the Strawhats are a Yonko level Crew,compered to the rest (except the Cross guild maybe),it's the monster trio who are doing most of the work and the rest fight some fodder and once a while do a cool thing.

It can be resolved by giving the rest of the crew at least one form of basic Haki and more fights.

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u/lmao_he_said Aug 29 '22

Even the OG Yonko crew do not really have that many strong members out of the top 4 and whatever there are can easily be equated by total SHC GF. We simply haven't had a battle where the SHC's real allies(the GF) have fought yet. Although I do agree chopper and Franky haven't shined much in battles but they don't have to. People like Barto, Cavendish and Sai will easily fill the shoes of "not really a YC but close enough" members of the other Yonko crew. Tbh only Luffy,Zoro and Sanji(+Jinbe) have to be better than others in combat within the SHC grand fleet.

Brulee is much loved and one of the more relevant members of the BM crew and there are lots of other fighters stronger than her but she was one of the reasons why wci had such strong survelience system(although it was exploited in enemy's favor at The end). The rest of the shc can serve as such too. Being a Yonko is having more resources and utility on top of combat power and SHC is going to to have world class members in all relevant roles needed in a pirate crew.

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u/Embarrassed_Dog6834 Aug 29 '22

Oda is always keen to setup what is in my opinaient future plot thread that would be very interesting to explore, but with the end game in sight it seems like he is lackluster when it comes to delivering a decent end to relevant plot points

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u/amm0ranth Aug 29 '22

hiyori was such a waste of potential it's insane

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u/ThatDayBowBowSong Aug 29 '22

I completely agree with you OP, but imagine thinking Oda would write his female characters with anywhere near the same amount of respect as the males after 1000+ chapters. There doesn't exist a fridge large enough to hold all the bodies he's stuffed in there, and he'd get beyond an F- on the bechdel test.

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u/stopbeingyou2 Aug 29 '22

In defense of this. There was Big Mom.

But this does actually make a lot of sense. Considering Zoros village was apparently founded by samurai of Wano. It seems like women not being samurai is a very cultural thing.

That doesn't make it right but it does explain it.

It's not on Wano to prove women can be Swordsman. Honestly speaking they're the ones that need to be shown it the most.

Makes me sad we didn't have any smoothie action.

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u/Kumadori012 Aug 29 '22

Because the women generally speaking were Kunoichi. This is also true in real life. Women weren't samurai warriors. They were ninjas, and assassins. Which was also the case in Wano.

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u/MiserableAd9132 Pirate Aug 29 '22 edited Aug 29 '22

Technically she was wrong. Kuina straight up believed that women couldn’t be as strong as men, but wano and almost every other arc showed us women with terrifying abilities. Big Mom, Yamato, Ulti, and many other female characters were fighting on equal grounds with male characters.

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u/Daiguren_Hyorinmaru_ Aug 29 '22

Well, OP didn't mention strong women weren't there in One piece at all. Just that we don't see any strong swordswomen. Maybe that will change in the future by the time we see wano people next time.

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u/SudsInfinite Aug 29 '22

Literally this. They may not be swordswomen, but they are all incredibly strong characters that were fighting as equals to and beyond the abilities of most of the other men in the story

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u/hunted7fold Aug 29 '22

While big mom isn’t a swordswomen, she does have a sword, and has one of the strongest sword attacks in the series, ikoku sovereignty

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u/Grenadier020 Aug 29 '22

Big Mom can oneshot like 99.9999% of the male population in a 1v1 with one swing of napoleon, she is old but she still is one of thetstrongest characters of one piece.

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u/HalfMoon_89 The Revolutionary Army Aug 29 '22

All of whom had some sort of leg-up in the form of Devil Fruits or non-human heritage. Where's the Zoro equivalent of a powerful female character? Someone who is strong on the basis of training alone?

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u/EiichiroTarantino Aug 29 '22

Yes, they're strong, but none of them are the kind of swordsmaster that Kuina strived to be.

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u/laurel_laureate Aug 29 '22

Yeah exactly, and specifically on the topic of female swordsmen, Vice Admiral Gion is one and she was considered for the position of Admiral.

Sure, she was passed over (likely because of DF reasons), but the fact she was considered at all shows that she's on the top tier of Vice Admirals and all of them can use Haki.

She's the lookalike of Tashigi's goal as far as strength and skill with a sword goes.

So I'd say her character's existence disproves Kuina's beliefs strongly, which is a shame because just a bit more knowledge of the world than her isolated Wano-citizen-founded village would have taught her about legends like Tsuru and made her not give up on her dream to be strongest.

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u/horseback_heroism Aug 29 '22

I'm both for and against this. On one hand, I've noticed that Oda reserves the highest tiers of power for male characters. The rare female powerhouses are either gonks (like Bigmom) or don't really have a major role to play (like Smoothie). Other strong female characters are mid-carders like Robin and Ulti. Not sure where Catarina Devon fits here.

But with Yamato's introduction I'm not so sure anymore. She's a clear stand-out from both BM and Smoothie, who are the strongest female characters we've seen so far. Maybe Oda is changing his representation of female characters. Or maybe he just can't afford to do it a lot, given the target audience (shonen = young boys).

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u/AdohamHicoln Aug 29 '22

In Punk Hazard, didn't Zoro admit that the reason he went easy on Monet and even Tashigi (earlier on) was because they were women? Oda already fucked up the Zoro and Kuina storyline.

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u/mishumishumishu Aug 29 '22

Not sure if someone's already posted it, but I always think of this comment when the topic of women in this series is brought up. Particularly I always think of the last bit:

But instead women are put on a pedestal and treated with kids gloves. Unless they're being victimized by the villain, or unattractive, or getting in a girl on girl fight. And this difference between men and women is a foundational idea in the series, and it's fucking garbage.

Like, it's all I could think of when I saw Hiyori these last few chapters. Instead of her getting the finisher on Orochi, she just stands there and cries while Denjiro swoops in out of nowhere to do it for her.

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u/Akainu14 Aug 29 '22

She’s the daughter of Oden for christ’s sake how could he make her completely and utterly useless? Even if she wasn’t physically strong give her some kind of weird power or fighting style, give her a banjo gun like one of those Ninja or something fuck.

She was a good character but Oda even nerfed her intelligence by not giving her any plan after she’s had 20 years to prepare.

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u/topdangle Aug 29 '22

I honestly thought Oda was going to make her a powerful swordswoman, though I guess Wano is Japan so it includes the tropey way of writing "strong" japanese women that are mostly just headstrong. I hate that type of writing in all kinds of media. being only headstrong does not make you strong but the idea that it's all you need to be a strong woman is in so many forms of media, especially stuff coming out of Disney.

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u/Milk_Chocolate_4-4 Aug 29 '22

I don't know what it is in anime where you can have people flying, shooting lasers out their mouths, but the one impossible thing is to have a woman that's just as strong or stronger than a man.

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u/badluckartist Thriller Bark Victim's Association Aug 29 '22 edited Aug 30 '22

The entire theme of Wano seems to be "you were born this way, so you are this way". Then when he plays with that idea and it seems like he's going to go a different direction, it fumbles the message even harder. In example: Oda used his one binary transwoman, who is beloved and accepted for who she is both in-universe and by the fans, and used her to reinforce Kuina's apparently-correct assumption about swordsmanship and being born a woman.

Guess who he had RIGHT FUCKING THERE to prove Kuina wrong? The one character who just keeps getting worse and worse in hindsight, Hiyori. The flipping daughter of Oden, introduced as the baddest of bitches, ended up being a helpless uWu waifu with no combat abilities whatsoever, despite a 20-year grudge of patience to kill Orochi. Arguably one of the strongest Scabbards was with her the entire time, but apparently never thought to teach her how to use a sword. Her entire plan once teleporting to Onigashima was to stab Orochi with a seastone nail, and then... wait around for Denjiro to get the kill? WHY WAS THIS CHARACTER NECESSARY IN ANY WAY

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u/AdvantageHot9427 Pirate Aug 29 '22

I do agree to some extent that we should've gotten a strong female swordswoman, but I do gotta disagree with you a bit as well. Kuina believed that in general men are stronger than women, and that as girls get weaker they get weaker than boys, maybe while wano didn't have a strong female swordswoman it still had a lot of strong female characters which prove kuina point wrong, such as yamabro, ulti, black Maria, big mom. Basically what I'm saying is I do think we should've gotten a stronger swordswoman, but kuina point wasn't just that swordswoman are bound to be weaker than swordsmen, but it was that when it comes to overall fighting women, whoch oda disapproved by showing strong af female characters. Atleast this is my take.

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u/AdvantageHot9427 Pirate Aug 29 '22

Also technically big mom was the strongest sword user at wano, she uses a sword so

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u/Turnipntulip Aug 29 '22

Sure, but you might as well call her sword a sharp club. She certainly doesn’t( didn’t? She’s dead for sure right?)use sword to cut stuffs. She uses it to pulverize stuffs. In that sense, calling her a swordsman is technically true, but no one think of her as one.

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u/zehahahaki Thriller Bark Victim's Association Aug 29 '22

It irks me so much that she isn't considered when the latest info on her states she masterd elbaf swords style

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u/AdvantageHot9427 Pirate Aug 29 '22

Yea fair. I shouldn't have used big mom as an ex here, but basically ny point was that one piece has proven that there are strong af female characters.

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u/BlueHeartbeat Pirate Aug 29 '22

I just wish Hiyori would have killed Orochi, was really disappointing that she had to be saved.

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u/wevento Aug 29 '22

I think that we should have seen more about samurai, swordmanship and swords in general

Wano arc was so damn long but we got almost nothing for zoro. That should have been his arc like the cake island for sanji

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u/ImmaRobber Aug 29 '22

I agree with everything you said, but if I were to choose one thing out of all of this arc that pissed me off the most in regards to this, it would be the fact that Hiyori didn't get the kill.

It was such a good opportunity to show that Oda can write women better. I was so extremely disappointed to see that her "sTroNg" moment was just that she pointed a fucking fan at him and yelled right after she was saved by sTroNg bAdAsS mAn (don't get me wrong, I'm not hating on him, I love Denjiro)... But Oda really missed the mark on this one so hard.

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u/ObberGobb Aug 29 '22

This is the biggest problem with One Piece's length. Things from early in the series get ignored or forgotten.

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u/Nyadnar17 Aug 29 '22 edited Aug 29 '22

Seems like a weird take considering Haki, that is sheer fucking will, is shown to be enough to conquer the entire world. Kuina’s story is tragic because her well meaning father crippled her will in his ignorance.

I wish women characters got to do more to but that’s not gonna make me ignore the fact Big Mom was portrayed as one of the most powerful creatures on the planet.

Lastly if I have any real complaint it’s not about the lack of female swordmen. It’s about the lack of swordspeople period. Honestly seems like Zoro and mihawk are the only two people on the planet that give a damn about the title.

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u/terryaki510 Prisoner Aug 29 '22

Hiyori sneaking onto Onigashima, monologuing at Orochi, and proceeding to become a damsel in distress was maybe my least favorite thing in this arc. Could see it coming from a mile away too, once it was apparent that Denjiro was MIA.

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u/OrganicWeed765 Aug 29 '22

I think whats worse is Hiyori would be the perfect candidate for this. Instead she does fuck all during the arc, that could have been done by other characters, while Oda introduces a strong female character. Gives her so much panel time, barely adressed anything about her apart from her always saying she wants to join the crew and then not have her join. All those panels should have been given to Hiyori and build her as a strong badass swordswomen figure imo.

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u/Ok_Return1976 Aug 29 '22

I really do get your point, specially if OP main concept is about having dreams to achieve and in kuina‘s case that was portrayed as if all the determination and extremely hard work won‘t pay of.

BUT there‘s something you may have missed;

After the confrontation of kuina and her father she didn‘t stop training (so that she won‘t lose to zoro) even if she thinks herself that what her father told her was true, but then comes the scene where kuina was dueling an adult swordsman, at that moment her father made a comment „she‘s breaking the woman wall „ or something like that, that sentence made me think a lot about this whole „weak swordswoman“. I think at that moment her father thought that she may have a chance as small as it is to realize her dream after all.

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u/Some_Pen_Cil Aug 29 '22

The problem with the “there are tons of strong female characters in One Piece” argument, is that Oda has repeatedly sectioned off “swordsmen” as being mostly their own thing, even making a point that, even characters who have a sword, or sharp objects, aren’t necessarily a swordsman. This distinction is really important to the framing of Zoro’s story, but it also means that Kuina’s thesis “a woman can’t be the strongest swordsman” hasn’t even been challenged in the narrative so far. There hasn’t been a definitively strong, definitively swordsman, swordswoman in One Piece. The followup to Kuina’s really sad declaration and death has just not happened yet, and though I think it will be actualized at some point (probably with Tashigi in some way), I agree with the OP in that it will feel incredibly hollow when a woman appears and definitively shows “A woman can be the strongest swordsman!!!” after the entire rest of the narrative is completely absent of them.

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u/AncalagonV Aug 29 '22

Oda: "You can be whoever you want to be, break down all barriers and be free!...unless you're a woman" 😂

A necessary critique, and you know what, you're pretty spot on. Wano did nothing to support the narrative that women can be swordsmasters as well. The only prominent female characters were Shinobu and Black Maria. The first being a mostly gag character whose appearance was made fun of until she "had the ugly sucked out of her" by Green Bull. The second being a character who did essentially nothing other than fight half naked against Robin and provided another nose bleed moment for Sanji.

Tama and Hiyori should both have had more of a power moment than what they got. Tama will train to be a kunoichi with Shinobu after helping the raid with her devil fruit, sure. Hiyori got to cut a head off Orochi, but was robbed of the final blow by Denjiro, who also deserved a cool moment like that but not at Hiyori's expense imo.

Some moments supported the narrative you mention, but kind of a lost opportunity overall.

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u/SturbyT Aug 29 '22

Hiyori should have been trained by Kawamatsu and later Denjiro. With 20 years of secret training she should be taking down atleast one Tobi Roppo and Orochi.

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u/behindyourknees Aug 29 '22 edited Aug 29 '22

Shonen in general sucks with female characters, I think is in part because the genre aims to sell to 12-14 year old boys.

A strong ( not even talking just power level, could be strong in the sense that they are driven towards there goals), young, female, not overly sexualized, that exist to be more than just a male love interest characters are few and far between in the genre. Especially when you look at shonen coming out in the mid 90s to mid 00s, which one piece absolutely is a product of.

It’s my biggest gripe with Shonen, and anime in general. It does feel like a lot of shows create the female cast to basically be an accessory to a male cast.

Like it’s rare to see female characters actually go though a character arc that’s somewhat believable and realistic in shonen. Most of the time it’s just the female character overcoming some childhood trauma with the help of the MC ( almost always male ) and than basically relying on the MC to prevent themselves from reverting back into the previous state. I think that sends a really unhealthy message to both male and female readers about how to deal with issues you.

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u/Latter_Leg3641 Aug 29 '22 Helpful

Just gotta say, OP, that while people are arguing against your post using "in-universe One Piece logic", the truth is that, no matter how hard the "written text" tries to say that you can be a strong female sword user, it means nothing if such strong female sword user never actually appears lol. You are 100% correct in my eyes.

Yes, in the world of haki, women should technically be just as strong as men, which is what most people arguing against you are stating.

BUT that strong women has (almost*) never appeared, so the underlying ideological bias of OP is pretty clear, if hard to accept to most people who hate to see cultural criticism applied to their media.

*If a gender literary critic analysed OP it would take them 3 seconds to realise that for a women to be strong in OP they have to either: 1. be ugly, and thus, "less feminine", like Big Mom and Catherina (the woman on BB ship); or 2. be strong because of their "sexiness" like Boa, Kalifa or Black Maria (who is the literal encarnation of a black widow, the archetypical image of the femme fatale lol).

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u/MasterKurosawa Aug 29 '22

I'm generally just appalled by the excuses people make when someone criticizes the way women are often written in One Piece. Sure, there's plenty of "strong" women in One Piece, as in, strong compared to fodder, but in relation to their peers they are very often the weakest member - or heavily sexualized or underutilized or any mix of those. Big Mom is mockingly called "Big Meme" by the fandom because of her portrayal in Wano and she's widely considered the weakest Yonko (outside of maybe Shanks who is an unknown quantity), Smoothie is far as I recall the only female Yonkou commander and simultaneously the only one who wasn't ever relevant in any capacity (outside of that one dude Urouge beat off-screen who really shouldn't count considering he's hardly even a character and not a commander anymore), Kalifa is the weakest CP9 member and hella oversexualized, and the less we talk of Tashigi the better... Hancock might honestly be the only female character who does not rank among the weaker members of her group.

There are some more balanced groups, to be fair. The Tobi Roppo seemed fairly close in strength, same for Ms Valentine and her partner Mr 5 and Mr 4 and that one mole lady (it breaks down a little when you consider how Mr. 1 gave Zoro a good fight while Ms Doublefinger was beaten by Nami, and how the Tobi Roppo still reek of tokenism a little by having Nami and Robin fight "the women", something Nami notably has already been doing since forever, while the men refuse to ever fight a woman who is NOT also ugly), but overall I think it's really not deniable that Oda has issues with portraying women as as capable as men, and that when he writes a "strong" woman said womanhood - or absence thereof - often becomes a core part of their character - the "sexy" trio you mentioned being prime examples of this kind of tokenism. They're not entirely just tokens, but it's clear that their gender is far more emphasized than it typically is with male characters.

Honestly, I just feel really weird when someone unironically presents Smoothie as example of a strong female character - it makes me wonder if we're even reading the same manga tbh.

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u/IBizzyI Aug 30 '22 edited Aug 30 '22

The Kalifa bit does give me memories like I openly rolled my eyes when the power score came up and she was the weakest, I was just like why Oda why? Before that I thought she would be behind the wolf guy, she seemed like one of the more prominent members.

Smoothie is interesting for me, in that she proves a bit of my suspicion towards Oda's biases, or the big mom crew in general, even if he forces himself to do a more diverse cast, the male ones still become more prominent.

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u/Darkelementzz Aug 29 '22 edited Aug 29 '22

Kinda true. Only female samurai we got was the one yakuza boss and Kiku. Meanwhile we got 3000x more male samurai

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u/reddituser_1982 Aug 29 '22

In a story that is adamant about how dreams never die, Oda decided

"Fuck Kuina's dream in particular"

16

u/steamtowne Aug 29 '22 edited Aug 29 '22

Hmmm yeah, I actually agree it’s disappointing. It seems like Oda forgot about Kuina entirely. I don’t think Tashigi was ever meant to fulfill this role, as she seems to represent the opposite: an embodiment of what Kuina feared she would turn out like as she got older—which is why Zoro has such trouble being around her.

And I think the above is effective for the early part of Zoro’s journey. But the other side of that coin is still absent in his story: meeting a female swordsman who proves this isn’t always the case, that a woman can compete at that high level. Wano would have been the perfect place just before the final saga, giving Zoro some peace of mind through a skilled female swordsman who embodies Kuina’s dream and disproves her fear.

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u/Alzusand Aug 29 '22

It seems like Oda forgot about Kuina entirely. I don’t think Tashigi was ever meant to fulfill this role, as she seems to represent the opposite: an embodiment of what Kuina feared she would turn out like as she got older—which is why Zoro has such trouble being around her.

this is basically what it feels to me. tashigi tries her best and its not weak but she isnt strong either at least not strong enough to be relevant when it matters. and zoro is always saving her and ahead of her.

she is the walking embodiment of kuina was right

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