Let’s make one thing very clear. Yamato as an ally would be nothing but a goldmine for the Straw Hat Pirates. Ever since she made an appearance stating her admiration for Oden, Yamato has been one of the favourite candidates to be a Nakama and the 11th member of the Straw Hat crew (since Jinbei has already joined officially).
More fans jumped on the Yamato joining Straw Hats bandwagon after she openly stated that Luffy, being Ace’s brother, should give her a ride on the Thousand Sunny.
But, while there are many who believe that Yamato would join Luffy and crew, there are also naysayers who don’t see this happening. One of the reasons is that Yamato is too comfortable of an ally (read mighty strong and convenient appearance in the plot).
And when One Piece chapter 994 dropped, the possibility of Yamato not joining the Straw Hats has gained more traction. As more chapters released, both Yamato joining and not joining the straw hats remained equally plausible.
And so the debate rages on!
Will Yamato Join the Straw Hats?
This is a situation that could go either way. However, based on what happened in the recent chapters of One Piece, Yamato has a very high chance of joining the Straw Hat Crew
In chapter 984 and 985, Yamato stated how much she wanted to go on a voyage. She considered Oden’s journal as her bible and wanted to follow his ideals.
She even asks Luffy to let her sail on the Thousand Sunny. But first she wanted to open up Wano to the world.
Since Luffy didn’t turn down her offer, there is nothing that stops her from going on the voyage.
Even in chapter 1025, Kaido constantly keeps pointing out that Yamato doesn’t belong with the samurai of Wano and that she would stand out regardless of what she chose to bear on her shoulders.
While the samurai proving Kaido wrong would be a good narrative outcome as far as One Piece plot is concerned, Kaido’s statements could also be hinting at Yamato joining the Straw Hats in the future.
But then, like I said, there are hints in the series that say otherwise.
In One Piece Chapter 994, Yamato lays down her Oden roleplay for a moment to introduce her “real” self to Momonosuke. While she is still in awe and a total fan of the monstrous Samurai, Yamato understands the high stakes of the current situation.
This forces her to drop the act and be serious for a moment. Yamato realises that the only way she can live up to her ideals is by protecting Momonosuke. And she promises to do so, even if it requires her to lay down her life.
This could mean that instead of joining the Straw Hats, Yamato could stay back in Wano as Momonosuke’s new retainer. If Yamato indeed pledges her service to Momo, then she may even give up her dream of getting out of Wano. In fact, she’d help him open up Wano in line with Oden’s wishes.
Also, the Red Scabbards may not survive the battle with Kaido, which could be another reason why Yamato decides to stay back in Wano with Momonosuke.
However, based on the happenings of chapter 1041, there seems to some changes to the Momonosuke scenario atleast.
What if Momonosuke himself joins Straw Hats?
There is only a slim chance that Momonosuke would continue journeying with the Straw Hats. As Wano arc progresses, we have seen the young lord thinking in the lines of a Shogun. He is trying to put on a brave face for his subjects and constantly keeps wondering how a Shogun would react in his situation.
Momo is steeling himself for taking up the role of a ruler in the future. That would also suit his character development. Transforming into a dragon and trying hard to prevent Onigashima from falling on the Flower Capital proves that he ready to step up.
However, considering what happened in One Piece chapter 1041, he might follow his father’s footsteps and go on an adventure with Luffy and co.
Momonosuke was curious about what his father and Roger found and Laugh Tale. He seemed genuinely interested in finding out more about the world, about the void century and a lot of other things. If this pushes him to travel with Luffy and crew, it goes without saying that Yamato too will join them.
Thus she would end being the 11th member of the Straw Hat Crew.
However, naysayers would argue that Momonosuke has already had his adventure. He was with Oden on Roger’s ship for a while. And then he travelled all the way to Zou and Punk Hazard after being teleported to the current time, which was nothing less than an epic voyage in its own right.
For Momonosuke, his current priorities are clear. Defeat Kaido. Open up Wano to the world (and good governance).
But as we said before, there is still a slight possibility that Momo would go along with the Straw Hats (after all he sees Luffy as a friend too), leaving the administration to Hiyori and the Akazaya Nine (if they survive the battle that is).
This would then allow him to know the secrets locked away in the island of Laugh Tale, just like his father did.
I definitely want Yamato to join the Straw Hats. Oda might come up with a crazy way to make that happen too. But, I also tried laying out the other possible outcomes that may happen, in this post.
What are your thoughts? Do you think Yamato will be the 11th Straw Hat member? Let us know your opinions in the comments section below!