Following the events of One Piece chapter 1050, Big Mom and Kaido were spectacularly defeated in succession by Trafalgar Law, Eustass Kid and Luffy. We saw the former emperors immersed in the underground pool of lava and presumably caught in the underwater volcanic eruption.
But what does all this mean? Are they dead?
The dialogue between Charlotte Pudding and a member of the Blackbeard Pirates in chapter 1064 seems to indicate that both Big Mom and Kaido are dead. The world at large probably thinks the same.
But the reliability of this report needs to be considered before coming to a conclusion. We know that Scratchmen Apoo is the one who leaked everything that happened on Wano to “Big News” Morgans. The whole world may be currently believing whatever Apoo has led them to believe.
Let’s analyze this further.
Comparing Kaido and Big Mom’s scenario to previous One Piece deaths:
One Piece fans are quite used to fake-out deaths as Eiichiro Oda is quite notorious for making us believe a certain character is dead, just to bring him back later. In Alabasta, Pell was supposed to have sacrificed his life carrying that bomb away from the city, yet he miraculously survived.
In the most recent example, we have surprisingly learnt that Jaguar D. Saul – who was shown to have died at the hands of Aokiji – is still alive and kicking somewhere in a “secret place” as described by Vegapunk.
That said, these were still minor characters in the grand scheme of things. Big Mom and Kaido, on the other hand, are two major antagonists alongside being massive figures in the world of One Piece.
One Piece characters usually die only in flashbacks. The only major characters that have been killed off in the present are Whitebeard and Ace, who were given grand, emotional and meaningful deaths. Neither Big Mom nor Kaido were given that.
One would assume that if Big Mom and Kaido had to be killed off, then they would receive deaths of similar magnitude. The counter to this argument would be that Whitebeard and Ace were not antagonists and were characters that readers were supposed to root for. Big Mom and Kaido are the characters we are supposed to root against.
But you could also argue that Izo and Ashura Douji’s deaths were not given the respect they deserved despite being one of the protagonists in the Wano arc.
So, the conclusion here is that we cannot be certain about how the deaths of Big Mom and Kaido were supposed to be treated as the criteria is ambiguous and Oda’s behaviour has not been consistent in this regard.
Can Big Mom and Kaido survive the lava pool?
The one thing we know for sure is that both Big Mom and Kaido were sent flying into the underground lava pool. So, if we are going to argue that they are alive, then we must think about how they get out of this situation.
We know that Big Mom and Kaido are one of the strongest Haki users in the world, but will that save them from boiling hot lava? Armament Haki works against Akainu’s magma because it is a devil fruit power. It is a known fact that Haki is the counter to devil fruit power.
That said, the lava they are currently surrounded by is natural and we have no evidence of Armament Haki successfully providing a good shield against it.
Even if we do assume that Haki will protect them from natural lava, we have to speculate whether they had enough strength left to maintain a significantly strong Haki until they could escape the lava pool.
Kaido has been fighting non-stop for the entirety of the raid on the roof of Onigashima. First the Red Scabbards, then the ‘Worst Generation’ group, then against Luffy alone, then against Yamato, and then finally against Luffy for a second time at full power.
Despite being the ‘Strongest Creature in the World’, I doubt that he still has the energy to conjure such strong Haki. None of the opponents he faced were “small fries” and every opponent was a fighter of an elite calibre. It is only natural for him to get exhausted after fighting all night while maintaining his power.
Moreover, the story kept hinting at Kaido hitting his limit every time the scene panned towards a crumbling Onigashima. We cannot forget the fact that Kaido was also keeping a whole island afloat in the air while fighting the aforementioned opponents.
Onigashima falling apart slowly was a sign of Kaido’s deteriorating strength.
Although in Kaido’s case, there is another factor that determines his survival in underground lava. The former emperor was said to have skin tougher than anyone else which was capable of withstanding any amount or any kind of damage as long he wasn’t hit by an advanced application of Haki.
His near-invincible exterior might be his only saving grace against boiling lava.
In Big Mom’s case, she also fought multiple opponents like Kaido, though not nearly as many and for as long.
Her first fight happened on the roof of Onigashima against the ‘Worst Generation’ pirates which consisted of Luffy, Law, Kid, Zoro and Killer. Big Mom’s 2nd and final fight, which was also the most taxing fight for her was against the duo of Law and Kid, where she got defeated.
Fighting against Law and Kid, Big Mom broke several bones, and her internal organs were completely fried by the awakened ability of Ope Ope no Mi. Not to forget Kid’s ‘Damned Punk’ laser attack, which also contributed a significantly large amount of damage.
While falling from Onigashima, Big Mom did utter the words “Don’t you dare assume that this’ll kill me!”
I should mention the possibility that these might just be the final words of a resentful Emperor who was too prideful to accept her defeat. Either that or this is Oda telling the readers that he isn’t done with Big Mom yet.
There’s also the aspect of Big Mom’s homies. We do not know what happened to Prometheus, Hera and Napoleon after she was defeated, but we do know that Zeus is still alive and kicking inside Nami’s Clima-tact.
However, there is no proof of the fact that Big Mom’s homies will die if she dies. The Mother Carmel incident could have served as definite precursor by deducing what happened to Pandora after Carmel died. Sadly, it is still unknown what happened to Pandora after that incident.
What if Kaido and Big Mom are really dead?
If Big Mom and Kaido have well and truly died, then what will be the repercussions?
As far as we know, Kaido being dead should not affect the world at large. With his commanders out of the picture and his whole army decimated, he has no one that is going to support his operations (Doffy too is captured, which makes the underworld nexus almost defunct).
Moreover, the Land of Wano was the sole piece of territory that Kaido ruled over. With it being liberated by Luffy, he has also lost his base of operations.
On the other hand, Big Mom’s case is quite different. She and her first son Perospero are the only members of the Big Mom pirates deemed to be killed or defeated.
Even if she did die, she has left behind a huge army and entire territories under her for her children to take over. It might be quite obvious in this situation that her second and strongest son Charlotte Katakuri will become the new leader of the Big Mom pirates.
So, how will this new version of Big Mom Pirates under Katakuri’s leadership operate? This is where things get interesting.
Katakuri is not going to be the same iron-fisted cold-blooded ruler as her mother. We’ve seen that he has morals and values his family above all else.
On top of that, he now has immense respect for Luffy after their fight on Whole Cake island which might hint at a possible alliance with the Straw Hat Pirates or even the Grand Fleet in the future. At least we do know that Katakuri holds no outright hostility towards Luffy.
The last we see, Charlotte Pudding is a prisoner of the Blackbeard Pirates because of the powers of her ‘third eye’. Dealing with this situation will be the immediate priority for the Big Mom pirates, in my opinion. This inevitably pits them against the Blackbeard Pirates.
Who knows, maybe Luffy might even team up with Katakuri against Blackbeard. That sure is an exciting thought?
The one thing we do know for certain regardless of Big Mom’s fate is that Katakuri and the rest of the crew will have a role to play in the upcoming war.
Another factor we will have to consider while speculating if Big Mom and Kaido are dead is that their devil fruits will return to the wild. The Soul-Soul Fruit and the Fish-Fish Fruit Model: Azure Dragon are two of the most ridiculous devil fruits we’ve seen in One Piece. In fact, Kaido’s fruit is considered to be the strongest Zoan Devil Fruit to exist.
Will Oda have any plans to utilise these fruits again? Or will he just let them be lost in the annals of history? Sadly, this is a question no amount of speculation can answer.
However, there is also another possibility that we have to consider.
What if they are alive instead?
If it is later revealed that Kaido and Big Mom are indeed alive, then what role with they play in the story going forward? Is there even any significance to keeping them alive?
Big Mom being alive will just ensure more chaos and she will just become a nuisance again in the final war. Her character has taught us that she’s unpredictable and irredeemably selfish to the core and that nothing will stop her from getting her revenge.
I do think her death will be better for the story and even the Big Mom pirates as a whole since they might actually have a chance for some nice development as I discussed before.
That said, I think Kaido being alive will open some interesting threads to follow. We get a glimpse of Kaido’s past and what shaped his character until this point in his life. I think it was half-baked in some ways and it still didn’t give us a solid picture of how and why Kaido changed as a person, and a majority of the fanbase holds the same opinion.
Kaido had the potential to be the best antagonist in One Piece and fell quite short of expectations for the reasons mentioned above. If Oda decides to keep Kaido alive, then I’m sure we will get a deeper understanding of his ideologies and his actions.
This can lead to some really interesting and unexpected events and might have the potential to change the course of the final war. Who knows, he might even see meaning in Luffy’s seemingly simple dream. But of course, it will all come down to how it is executed.
What are your thoughts on Kaido and Big Mom’s defeats? Do you think the two behemoths from the One Piece universe have bid us eternal goodbyes? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section!