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This potential development with Scratchmen Apoo has made me reflect on all the times during this series that knee-jerk reactions to plot twists (or the appearance of a plot twists) have led us astray. Throughout the course of this series, Oda has proven himself an absolute mastermind of manipulating our psyche around the seemingly obvious. Sometimes the seemingly obvious turns out to be exactly what we all think, but more often than not as of late, the seemingly obvious has served as a Trojan Horse for something else to COMPLETELY blow our minds. A few recent of examples of Oda's Masterful Mindfuckery:
"The next StrawHat" - We drove ourselves insane with speculation of who was going to join the crew next, positive that there has to be a new one with how long of an arc Dressrosa was. For 3 years, we spouted unfounded opinions and assumptions over who the next ONE person would be, and then 5600+ people pledge their loyalty to Luffy.
The Samurai/Mink - One of the main focal points of the entire arc is Jack's destruction of an entire country for the sake of one samurai, so of course we're led to believe that all hell would break loose the instant the Mink lay their eyes on Kin'enom and Kanjuro. Even more so when a chapter ends with Bariete ringing the bell and freaking out that they are there. Well......turns out the Samurai and Mink tribe go back like rocking chairs......to the effect of both Kings of the country bowing, and risking and arm and a leg......literally.....
"Understood" - Jack attacks Zou while Luffy is still afoot, and we're positive there's NO WAY Luffy isn't fighting Jack after what he's done. From the instant he promises to kick Jack's ass for what he did, we had every reason to believe this fight would happen. If not him, then at least Zoro or Law in the wake of everyone going their separate ways. Instead it turns out the island itself is a weapon that will take commands from CERTAIN people, and of all the certain people it could be, it turns out to be the little kid that we've slept on since we saw him copping free feels from the ladies.
Now with the way the story is unfolding now with people splitting up, there isn't a guarantee that the resolution to this Kid-Apoo-Hawkins Alliance vs Kaido confrontation will be shown next chapter, or even the one after that. Scratchmen Apoo reporting to Kaido is just a piece, and the past 50 or so chapters have shown us that it isn't wise to try and assemble the entire puzzle from this alone. But of course we're going to try nonetheless, so I wanted to see what other pieces people may think they have. The OBVIOUS picture:
1) With or without a fight, the alliance wasn't on Kaido's level, and pledged their loyalty so as to not get rekt. Or perhaps they bought into this war he's trying to start.
2) Somehow a common ground was found in that they want Shanks taken down, and they worked out some kind of agreement to pursue this mutually. Doffy and Caesar weren't direct subordinates of Kaido, so I don't think that's a necessity to work with the Yonko.
However, there are plenty of things to consider here, which could COMPLETELY blindside us down the road:
- Robin mentioned that alliances are marked by betrayal, and Kidd-Apoo-Hawkins were never necessarily friends. In fact Apoo and Kidd already had an established problem with one another. One popular possibility is that Apoo had been working with Kaido from the beginning, and actually somehow led Kaido there. Kinda hard to buy since the overarching theme of Kaido's visit seemed to be to kill himself, but only Kidd's ships were destroyed, Apoo beat up one of Kidd's crewmembers before they decided on the alliance, and in the panels they've shown of the alliance since, Apoo has said next to nothing.
- Its possible that isn't Apoo, but a relative of some kind. The only hard fact we have about Apoo's origin is that he's a long arm. It's possible that the music-themed appearance isn't solely unique to him. The "apapapa" part of what he said kinda makes this hard to believe, but stranger things have happened.
- Perhaps this is an infiltration effort, and they are feigning loyalty to try to dismantle his organization from the inside. They are aware of the blow Luffy has dealt to his forces, so maybe they saw an opportunity to slowly work at taking him down since they know they can't fight him directly yet.
Anywho, my main point for making this blog was just to hear what other people are thinking on this. I know better now than to think that this is all going to unfold exactly as we're speculating, but I'm sure there are more things to consider here that I haven't thought of.