It has been quiet awhile since Portgas D. Ace made a showing in One Piece, but the pirate is never far from fans’ minds. Over the years, the character has become one of the franchise’s biggest heroes, and One Piece just name-dropped the late pirate with a surprising throwback.
So, you’ve been warned! There are spoilers for One Piece’s 911th chapter below!
If you are caught up with One Piece, then you will know its latest chapter has a big reference to Ace. The character may have died at the Battle of Marineford, but his legacy still lives through those he touched. Not only does Monkey D. Luffy bear the older man’s legacy, but a little girl in Wano named O-Tama has been waiting for him.
The new chapter of One Piece saw Luffy run into a little girl named O-Tama who helped the boy escape two thugs. The pair were about to sell the girl to a red light district for her ties to a forbidden clan, but she was able to flee with Luffy made an appearance. The girl took Luffy home to feed him, and it was there O-Tama’s master explained why she was living so far from civilization.
“She could live elsewhere, but this child has been waiting here,” O-Tama’s master explained. “For the person who promised her that they would come back here again. A pirate named Ace!”
So far, there is no word on how the pair is connected, but fans do know Ace has a history with Wano. As the story goes, the Whitebeard pirate wound in Wano where he met someone who taught him how to weave Kasa — or bamboo — hats. Ace promised to return to Wano to see O-Tama later on, but it seems the Flame-Flame user died before that could happen. So, you can only imagine the girl’s reaction when she learns Ace was killed some years ago.
Eiichiro Oda’s One Piece first began serialization in Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump in 1997. It has been collected into 87 volumes, with a few chapters yet to be included. It has been a critical and commercial success worldwide with many of the volumes breaking printing records in Japan. The manga has even set a Guinness World Record for the most copies published for the same comic book by a single author and is the best selling manga series worldwide with 430 million copies sold worldwide.
Were you surprised to see Ace name-dropped so suddenly? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics and anime!