This One Piece article is based on spoilers. Only those interested in spoilers should take a read.

One Piece 973 raw scans came out early this week. Contrary to the previous chapter’s final panel announcement, this chapter gives us a little bit more of a flashback. It’s a good thing though, as it bridges, some final missing gaps between Oden’s execution and the present time.

The events of the upcoming chapter focus on the events immediately following Oden’s execution. The first couple of pages, however, takes us down memory lane from when Oden was still with Roger. It shows the fatherly side of Oden and the kind of relationship he had with his children.

I think it’s only fair as his children will be the ones to carry on their father’s wish. A series of events are also revealed to clarify some details that I believe are essential for the next part of the story. These revelations include Denjiro adopting a new character as Kyoshiro.

The scattered Scabbards

One of the story gaps revealed in One Piece 973 raw scans is about the Nine Red Scabbards. It has always been a question of why Toki did not send everyone into the future.

After escaping the public execution, Kaido’s men pursued the scabbards and Shinobu on the way to Kuri. Inurashi and Nekomamushi were separated from the rest while they continue to argue about who caused Oden’s death. Next, Denjiro and Ashura decided to fight while the rest rushes to Oden’s castle.

Kinemon, Raizo, Kanjuro, Kawamatsu, and Kiku managed to reach the castle. Although not all of them were shown in the panel, we know from previous chapters that they were the ones who were present when Toki sent Momo to the future. As for Shinobu, the last time she was seen was while she asked Kinemon if she can also be considered a Kozuki.

The unanswered gap

Meanwhile, in Kuri. Kaido burns down Oden’s castle and took Momo choking him nigh death. However, he threw Momo back at the castle believing he would die in the burning castle. A little later, the remaining Scabbards arrive and Toki reveals her plan.

Toki sends Momo, Kinemon, Kanjuro, Raizo, and Kiku twenty years into the future. Shortly after, Kawamatsu escapes the castle with Hiyori while Toki creates a diversion.

A little disappointing part about One Piece 973 raw scans is that it still does not explain why Hiyori was left behind. Especially considering that a few moments earlier, Toki assured her terrified children that she will send them away to safety. Could it be a part of their plan to take down Orochi?

Toki’s purpose for traveling into the future

Toki went into some sort of plaza in Kuri after escaping the burning castle. This is where she declared her famed prophecy. A few panels before that, a brief flashback shows Toki and Oden’s conversation about the world being overturned.

Oden knew that Toki traveled several times into the future to witness a certain event that will change the world. He then revealed that what Toki is waiting for will happen in twenty years from that time. This specific exchange clarifies some things about Toki.

She lived about 800 years ago when the world was already in turmoil. It is possible that the world-changing event Oden talks about is the main goal of the fallen Great Kingdom and she wanted to see whether it would happen. This means she may not have a direct association with Joy Boy since Joy Boy left clues about when this event will transpire.

One Piece 973 highlights and release date

One of the main highlights of the upcoming chapter is the story about how Denjiro changed his character to Kyoshiro. This chapter will also detail how Denjiro and Hiyori plotted against Orochi in preparation for the return of their allies.

One Piece chapter 973 will be officially released on March 8, 2020, in the Weekly Shonen Jump.

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Image credits: One Piece official Twitter account

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Lambert Nathaniel
193 Posts

I am a university teacher who can't get enough of anime and manga. My class' group names are based on my favorite characters, especially from One Piece. I read manga or watch anime every chance I have. I started reading manga just a few years back and I was hooked the first day. I usually follow fan pages and am consistently given a Top Fan Badge. I also love baking and cake decorating and trying to make anime-themed cake designs.

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