This week’s One Piece Cover request is by Ari; we see Karoo is jealous of the flocks of sparrow singing for Vivi. The Cover art request shows Karoo at the bottom of the tree while Vivi is on the tree branch, enjoying the sparrow singing for her. The cover art by Oda illustrates the comedic moment in view, as Karoo is frustrated that Vivi’s giving her attention to all the sparrows, but not him. This illustration alone captures the personality of Karoo very well while still showing that Vivi also cares for all creatures.
One Piece chapter 1023 opens where we left off in the previous chapter, with both Zoro and Sanji standing after they attack both King and Queen together. Both King and Queen quickly recover from the ground; while Marco also remembers a story that White Beard told him about God, after seeing King. Both Zoro and Sanji quickly engage in their battles against King and Queen, only for Sanji to suddenly mention that the second time he uses the raid suit, his body starts to feel kind of off. However, they continue to stand their ground, despite that both Zoro and Saji may seem to be at a disadvantage at sizes against King and Queen.
Kawamatsu then had an interesting discussion with Hyogoro about Zoro after they both saw him in battle. As it appears to both of them, Zoro reminds them of the previous Daimyo Shimosuki Ushimaru; from his appearances and sword fighting style. Hyogoro then mentioned that Ushimaru was also a descendant of Shimotsuki Ryuma; Kawatsu then said Zoro returned the Shusui blade to Wano and felt that it was faith. He then mentioned that Ryuma also was a one-eyed samurai, with a striking resemblance to Zoro’s appearance right now.
We then get a cutaway scene with Jack from the Kaido’s Pirate, ready to attack Inuarashi from the Mink’s tribe. Jack believes that Inuarashi must be worn out; he then mentions he’s not holding a grudge for not revealing to him when Raizo was hidden on the Zou Island because Jack and his crew have done damage to the entire Mink tribe already. However, Inuarashi mentions that the Mink’s tribe wouldn’t live with themselves had they sold out to Raizo. Inuarashi then quickly changes to his Zulong form, as Jack saw a wreck on the roof’s opening, allowing the Moon to appear before them and allowing the Minks to transform to their Zulong form. At the same time, we also see Nekomamushi transformed to his Zulong form, leaving Perospero on the ground.
On the second floor of Onigashima, Raizo continues to battle Fukurokuju. During the battle, Fukurokujo insults Raizo for fighting for a young child’s honor like Momonosuke for the sake of the Kozuki clan. Raizo then quickly replied Wano would shape Momonosuke and will not let hope die. The scene then cuts away to Udon-Tokage Port, where Law’s crew are yelling in fear that Kaido is here; however, it appears that the team might have mistaken that dragon for Kaido. Luffy stands right in front of a giant grown dragon who seems to be none other than Momonosuke, fully grown. It appears Shinobu has successfully conjure her ability to make Momonosuke age to the age of 28 years old. She then cries as Momonosuke as an adult reminds her of someone. Luffy then tells Momonosuke they’re now ready to take back Wano.
This chapter starts to provide the reader with more revelation for Zoro, as many have theorized that there are some connections that Zoro may have with Wano. Although it may be slightly small in details, it’s enough to leave readers more excited to learn more about it once they go into details. Another moment many have been waiting to see is Momonosuke to somehow join in on the fight on Onigashima. While we know Momonosuke can’t battle as a child, it has been hinted sometimes in the story that it’ll be necessary for him to become an adult to aid this battle with Luffy. So once Momonosuke decided to let Shinobu age him up, his adult dragon form looks similar to Kaido’s dragon form — in size and appearance. This immediately gives readers the sense of victory that we’ve been waiting for and a promising climatic battle coming up.