Ah, the Totland Arc, a story ripe with new landscapes, tons of factions, and a big fat wedding to top it off. A lot has been set up in the current 13 chapters of its run, and I can't wait to see how all this setup will pan out in the end. One of the more notable aspects of the arc is that it has not one, but two villain groups who are currently very much against the Straw Hats: The Big Mom Pirates / Charlotte Family and the Vinsmoke Family. But which group is going to be the final villains in the end, the ones who receive comeuppance from the Straw Hats? That's the topic of my blog today, and my answer is that it will be the Vinsmokes.
Why the Vinsmokes?
Last year Oda stated that this year would be the Year of Sanji (even though he's only appeared in 7 of this year's chapters). It's highly unlikely that the Totland Arc is going to end within this year, but it is clear that Oda is intending for this arc to greatly revolve around Sanji. In Chapters 832 and 833 we got quite a bit of development on him and his relationship to his blood family, which was not too pretty. Luffy's always fought bad guys who've hurt his friends, and although Big Mom is clearly trying to do so as well, the Vinsmokes' treatment of Sanji creates a much more personal conflict.
I'll touch on this more when I turn my attention to Big Mom, but the Vinsmokes are a much more reachable goal for the Sanji retrieval team to beat, especially since they only constitute a half of the crew. The Vinsmokes are strong, definitely, but not too strong for the Straw Hats to beat. Sanji could even possibly take the reins and take out the final boss Judge by himself. (As I constantly have to remind people, Sanji putting up a fight against Judge does NOT mean Judge is weak, it just means Sanji is pretty strong himself). And while we've yet to really see most of the Vinsmokes' fighting styles, their history as a warrior nation with highly advanced technology is bound to give them some unique fighting styles.
Why not Big Mom?
Honestly, I think most of the arguments I have aren't really for the Vinsmokes being the final bosses, but against the Big Mom Pirates being them. It's clear that Big Mom and Luffy have a very antagonistic relationship, that started in Fishman Island, and Big Mom's subordinates have made it very clear that they are watching the Straw Hats and are going to play with them until they die. That's sure to get Luffy's blood boiling, all right. And it is evident that Big Mom is going to play a heavy role in this arc, with the most obvious factors being her Road Poneglyph and her possessing the keys to Sanji's cuffs. But regardless of how much she, her family, and crew get involved, I don't see them as something the Straw Hats can defeat.
I mean, just look at Chapter 835, when Nami is running from all the homies; she says "We’re up against the crew of a Yonko!! We’re the ones who were taking them too lightly!" The Sanji retrieval team is currently being overwhelmed by a fraction of Big Mom's forces. How can we expect a motley team of eight people, Jinbe and Sanji eventually included, to go up against a Yonko? It took the combined forces of the Marines and Shichibukai just to bring down Whitebeard, and there's yet to be any proof that Big Mom is significantly weaker than Whitebeard. And looking at Kaido, the Straw Hats are going to have to rely on a mega alliance of super strong warriors to have even a dream of taking him down. So I don't see why Big Mom will be any exception to this. And disregarding Big Mom herself, the Straw Hats have to deal with 84 children, a powerful pirate crew, and hundreds upon hundreds of homies. Chopper was brought down by just a swarm of tree homies.
So yeah, I can't really see any tangible way for Big Mom to be defeated in this arc. I'll be very disappointed if Oda just makes her weak enough for that to happen. And there's definitely the possibility of the Straw Hats teaming up with people to take her down, but given the stakes raised for the upcoming fight with Kaido, I don't really see how anything they could logically get could push them over the top. Sun Pirates, yeah, Firetank Pirates, eh, Grand Fleet, a possibility. But I really don't think that's enough.
Given Big Mom's involvement in this arc, I predict that one of two things will happen. She'll fight Luffy and easily defeat him, thus showing him how much he needs to grow before he can fight a Yonko. That or she ends up allying with him in some way, although I feel that that could easily give him a win over Kaido. There's still a lot of unknowns in this arc and I don't really want to reach into thin air this much, so for now I'll just sit back and watch, though still convicted that Big Mom will not be the final boss.
Who do you think will be the final villain of this arc? Big Mom? Vinsmoke Family? Both? Neither? Share in the comments!