[Spoiler Warning] This is one of the most violent and ruthless pirates in all of One Piece. A man, who took out one of the four emperors and exchanged blows with two more. This is someone who after two years in the New World, has lost an arm but gained enormous power in return. While Luffy is going to face the mysterious and destructive powers of Blackbeard as his biggest fight in the story yet, HE is bound to take down his foil.
Shanks. And, according to Eiichiro Oda himself, the true reason that Kid wants to take down shanks is not related to losing his arm. Equipped with the frightening combination of both, a devastating and fully awakened devil fruit AND the will of a conqueror, he doesn’t show mercy to his enemies, like these ones who he had crucified and disposed of, as he is willing to do literally anything, even the most unthinkable things to get a step closer to his ultimate goal.
The throne of the pirate world. But then there is also this. The worries and love for a Nakama. Growing closer and fighting side by side with Luffy. Until we actually see him cheering for Luffy and trusting in his power. How do these two radically different traits come together in the same person. Who is this man, that shares so many similarity with the most mysterious and powerful characters in One PIece.
His red hair, his missing arm, the scars over his eyes. And what is his actual purpose as Luffy’s arguably most evil ally in the story? This gruesome depiction here is an illustration of something that really happened. Because Captain Eustass Kid and his character are inspired by the real life pirates Eustass the monk and Captain William Kid.
The was latter was infamous for his cruelty. William Kid was the son of another famous pirate, Captain John Kidd. And who knew, THIS elderly gentleman with a very unhealthy complexion is actually the infamous captain John, former member of the Rocks pirates and revived by Gecko Moria. And even though Kid looks a lot more like another certain red head, it has been speculated that this guy right here might be a much more likely candidate for Kid’s father…that he never had.
This also shows in his devil fruit powers. While Luffy is creative, flexible and funny, like his rubbery sun god devil fruit, Kid’s cold, iron-hard and edgy nature is wonderfully embodied in his Jiki Jiki fruit, that not only looks absolutely fire, but is also ridiculously powerful. Sadly we didn’t get to see much of Kid’s fighting before Onigashima, especially this moment here, where he was ambushed by Kaido..god I wish I’d get to see that.
These panels during Onigashima however, DO show us how his fruit truly works in its pure and awakened form. And so I feel like Eiichiro Oda, the Oda of One PIece has made up for this. This here for example is Punk Clash, one of Kid’s strongest abilities, turning Big Mom into such a strong magnet, that even giant steel-beams from the castle’s wall crushed into her.
While in his base form, Kid himself is magnetic, his awakening allows him to assign magnetism to areas and objects that he touches. An extremely overpowered ability, as I think Big Mom’s defeat at Kid’s and Law’s hands more than clearly proves. I think when Eustass Kid introduces himself to us for the very first time in the story, overseeing the terrible human action on Sabaody, he also gives us the most important piece of information about himself.
As he watches nobles and other people with money and influence enter the auction house to buy people like property, he tells us exactly what he thinks about this all. ‘World Nobles… Slaves… Human shops… Against the “purity” of these so-called nobles, the villains of the world look positively humane in comparison.
It’s because the world’s in the hands of scum like them that it’s all broken… I mean, we’re not the nicest of guys, but at least we’re honest about it.’ Kid is very much aware that he is not exactly on the jolly side of piracy like Luffy is. He knows very well that the things he does are terrible.
However if he sees himself down here on the moral ladder, the people who rule this world are not only 5 levels below him, but also responsible for people like him to become this twisted and cruel in the first place. And I believe, this is also how we tend to see kid as well. A much darker version of Luffy, who is willing to do messed-up things, extremely messed up things.
But at the same time, it seems pretty clear that he also is fighting for a world without the government or at least a world where he can be free from them, just like Luffy. And that’s exactly the main point of his character. What I find beyond interesting, is that Eustass Kid doesn’t only play the contrasting character for one, but TWO people in the story.
This is Kid’s giant magnetic arm next to Luffy’s gear third. Here are Luffy and Kid having a competition about literally anything in Udon prison. Who can carry the most. Who can eat the most. Who can make Queens eyes bulge the most. And this is Kid, just like Luffy, beaten by Kaido in a cell, but refusing to give up.
They hate nothing more than losing. Both on Sabaody and on Wano, we see Luffy and Kidd storming on ahead, witch Law trying to reign them in and protect their backs form any threat. And not for nothing has Kid always been portrayed as the straw hat’s number one rival amongst the supernova for becoming king of the pirates.
But what’s the deal with him and shanks? Ohh, i left you on a cliff hanger there on purpose, because first we need to talk about the delicious sponsor of today’s blog. Bokksu. Bokksu is a monthly snack box subscription service that delivers original assortments of premium Japanese snacks and tea pairings, directly from Japan to wherever you may live.
Every box has a unique theme, and so this month Bokksu is celebrating its 6th anniversary with the bokksu tanjoubi box, which if you are nihongo jouzu literally means the bokksu birthday box. The best thing about this, besides how good all this stuff tastes, is that they collaborate with traditional Japanese family manufacturers that make these snacks and candies.
I have my eyes particularly on the strawberry truffels mochi from Nigata prefecture and green tea chocolate coated azuki beans from Yamagata. So, this is the perfect opportunity to experience some great authentic Japanese food. If you want to try it out for yourself, go get your own Bokksu snack box and get $15 off your first order using my code Ohara 15 & the link in the description below! A very popular saying you might have come across somewhere before is that Kidd is Luffy without the plot armour.
And even though I don’t really like that term, because plot armour is just plot, I agree with the idea behind this. On the plus side, Kid is Luffy but not bound to the classic moral standards of a Shounen hero. He loves his crew like Luffy, but towards anyone else he is just straight out cruel. And he can use any means possible to get stronger and achieve his dream, without Oda-sensei having to worry about the message to his audience.
On the down side however, not being Luffy means that Kid also doesn’t share his ability to create allies that help him become stronger. Instead of being trained by Reighleigh for 2 years, he directly marches into the New world, where he almost loses his life to Shanks. Oh yeah Shanks. Missing arm, scar over the eye, red hair.
No coincidence, because this is the second character that Kidd is a foil to. Think about it: Shanks sacrificed an arm to inspire Luffy to become a pirate, while taking an arm from Kid, who for some mysterious reason is obsessed with him. While Shanks doesn’t mind having one arm, Kid feels the need to replace his with his devil fruit power, though I honestly do fully understand that.
The main point of comparison between this YOnko and this supernova however, is how they deal with people who laugh at them. As you well know, in chapter one, just after Luffy ate his mythical Zoan devil fruit, Shanks calmly takes a beating by Higuma and his mountain bandits. Something that Luffy imitates on Jaya with Bellamy.
If you’re curious why that was such a big deal, I made a whole blog about that scene with Bellamy and Blackbeard. The point is, Kidd behaves, well just like a kid, just like kid Luffy, he punishes and kills those who dare to laugh at his dreams, while Luffy and Shanks pity those without a dream and don’t see them as worthy opponents.
In other words, Kid quite literally to his name, needs to grow up. Which, as we will see in a second, he has been doing during the wano arc. Now, I recently bought the 14th volume of the official One PIece magazine, fittingly enough titled rivals by the way, that had a massive character discussion section about Kid, that helped me a lot with this analysis.
Finally all that Japanese study is coming in handy. The main theme of Kid and his crew is literally that of rebels, of being anti-establishment. While Kid obviously has a strong steam-punk-heavy metal theme going on himself with, just look at this attack and those goggles. And I mean the ship is just awesome, by far my favorite design in the entire story.
It’s called the victoria punk and has this giant skull as its bow. And funnily enough, apart from kid and his childhood friend Killer, the name of every of his crew members is based on famous rock bands or other music terms. Heat, who can literally breathe fire, is based on this Swedish band. This is wire, named after the English rock band.
There are also house, boogie and my two favorite Nakama hip and hop, who I think have the most most awesome and most lazy names in all of One Piece at the same time. The second and much more hidden theme in the crew is something I would have never guessed though honestly. The kid pirates are also hippies.
Look at this: killers pants or heat’s outfit. You can’t unsee it once you know. And to me it really nicely reflects these two sides of kid himself, the rough and edgy together with this sort-of kind, fun and peaceful side of him.
A fun little story I discovered in the magazine as well, is that Kid and killer are not only best childhood friends form the south blue, but they also had the same childhood crush, that spilled a bowl of Udon over herself, which is why it now is both of their least favorite foods, which is a hilarious little pun Oda-sensei has made, because both Kid and Killer were held captive in Udon Prison.
But I also think that it once again hints at Kid’s kinder and more caring side. I kind of side-tracked there for a second, but I’m convinced that we got all of these little details, because they help illustrate who Kid truly is as a character. Kid clearly has suffered through a lot of trauma and pain throughout his life.
This is him as a kid, clearly growing up in a harsh environment. According to Oda-sensei, Kid’s most important principal in life is having no concern for anyone but his Nakama. In other words for those he trusts, Kid would do anything, something he proves to us with his reaction when he finds out that Killer had been forced to eat a smile devil fruit.
Clearly it is really hard for Kid to build trust with others. Which really hits home the one time we see him grudgingly forming an alliance with Apoo and Hawkins, only to be betrayed right away. So when you look at this Kid at the beginning of wano, angry and distrusting vs this kid right here, thrilled with the joy of battle and trusting in Luffy to take down Kaido 1 vs 1, damn girl, what a glow-up.
He only joins the raid because he wants revenge on Kaido in the first place, kind-of tagging along, while still doing his own thing. Like ‘I’m not part of your alliance, but I guess you will lose without me, so I’ll come’. Strong Tsundere vibes from Kid here. I think spending time with Luffy in Udon definitely was the basis for him even tagging along in the first place.
But he is the one who will take down Kaido. THIS here however is the first change of character however, as he sees Zoro heroically risking his own life for everyone else on the roof. That’s not something a traitor would do. Over the course of the fight, Kid sees the true nature of Luffy, Zoro and Law and while he keeps arguing with them, he more and more integrates as part of the team.
He counts on Law to have his back and starts coordinating his attacks with him and Luffy. Finally, when Big Mom reappears, he focuses on separating the two yonko’s now fully believing in Luffy and acknowledging his powers. I think it’s more than likely that Kid might accompany Luffy to THIS island, where Shanks is waiting and confront him there.
Because, Elbaf has been been foreshadowed as the next major arc in the story. And so if you want to know all the crazy events that might await Kid and Luffy on the island of the giants, you really should read this blog here next and see what the story has in store for them. I really hope you enjoyed this blog, and I see you in the next one.
That’s me, Andreea Blaga, author of the blog anime-everything.com. I work as a content creator in the US. I am also passionate about Japanese Anime.