Big Mom is one of the most powerful characters in One Piece. In the Whole Cake Island Arc, she was practically unstoppable. Unlike other villains before her, she was not someone to beat, only someone to get away from. So when she called Kaido and tells him that she will go to Wano to try and kill Luffy, every fan got excited. Wano Arc has just become even bigger than expected. That being said, did Big Mom live up to the hype in Wano?
It turns out having two powerful Yonko in one arc is just too much of a writing wall. The stakes became too high that Big Mom always needs an excuse to get sidelined so that the heroes can have a fighting chance. When all is said and done Big Mom did not need to be in Wano.
Throughout this article, it will become clear that Big Mom should not have been in Wano as she barely has anything to do in that country.
The Amnesia Plot
The moment Big Mom arrived on Wano, her ship got instantly sanked by King. While this is an anti-climax due to the long wait the audience has been waiting to see Big Mom arrive at Wano, it is a deserving subversion. After all, if anyone can successfully delay the plans of a Yonko, it would be a high-level commander like King.
At the moment King drowned the Big Mom Pirates’ ship, King became more of a competent character in the eyes of the viewers. We understand that the league of a Yonko Commander is not too far from the Yonko themselves.
However, while the moment did help King be elevated in the eyes of the viewers, it turns out that when Big Mom appears again on the shores of a beach, she has amnesia. This is a huge disappointment because amnesia has always been understood as a lazy way to write characters off the board for a while.
Why is Big Mom uncharacteristically helping the Straw Hats in their mission and is not making everything they do more complicated than needed? Because she has amnesia. In this temporary part of the story, Big Mom is not a threat.
In fact, she is an ally. The only reason Luffy got out of prison is that there is this unstoppable beast like Big Mom to bust him out while still in a childlike state of amnesia, accidental or not. After this one task of giving Luffy a way out of prison, Big Mom’s amnesia storyline ended like it never happened.
Worst yet, Big Mom falls asleep immediately after so that Luffy and the others do not have to face a fully villainous version of Big Mom. Why did Big Mom fall asleep immediately after? The reason is kept completely vague. Whatever possible reason just makes Big Mom feel weak. For a villain implied to be equal to Kaido in strength, making Big Mom feel weak is a cardinal sin.
Even Big Mom With Full Memory Is Easy To Get Away From
Okay, so Big Mom has just got her memory back. She has teamed up with the Kaido and the Beast Pirates, so this means Big Mom will eventually clash with the Straw Hats. You would think that would be a big deal, but it turns out Big Mom is such an easy monster to get away from.
Every time Big Mom gets close to killing one of the Straw Hats, she just gets pushed away. She chases down Usopp and Chopper, but they got away from her. She goes on to kill Luffy, but Franky disturbs her. So she tries to kill Franky, but Robin and Jimbei surprise her and get her off the battlefield. It is surprisingly easy to get away from her.
Big Mom is always being presented as an unstoppable juggernaut that will never stop chasing people down. If she is always being shown to fail time and time again in killing any of her targets, it makes her look like a very ineffective villain.
She is said to be equal to Kaido in strength, so it means she cannot be defeated easily. There is no choice but to make her a constant threat throughout Wano.
It becomes clear what the problem is: Big Mom is too much of a game changer in the story that multiple excuses need to happen so that she conveniently does not change the game too much and ruin the flow of the story.
The only answer is, is to constantly get her off the board: Big Mom arrives in Wano? She gets amnesia. She gets her memories back? She falls asleep for no reason. She gets too close to Luffy? Someone outsmart her to go outside. By the end of the arc, she does not feel like Kaido’s equal anymore. She feels like a fool that can be outsmarted by anyone.
Even in the fight between Big Mom and Kaido Vs. In the Worst Generation, people are still able to fool Big Mom so she will not be a problem in the field. How many times can this happen to her?
Eustass Kid and Tralfalgar Law Vs. Big Mom
With no argument, the best use of Big Mom in the Wano Arc is her battle with Kid and Law. Big Mom may not have come across as a threat in most of the Wano Arc, but she feels like it here in this fight.
Every time Law and Kid dish out a move to take Big Mom down, it turns out it is not enough. Big Mom just goes to a new more dangerous form, or heals, and continues on. She puts Kid and Law inches to death multiple times, only stopping short every time.
When the fight is about to be over, Law and Kid give it everything they got: their most powerful moves. Yet it is still not enough. All they have managed to do is (you guessed it) take Big Mom off the board. They did not manage to knock her out or out power any of her attacks. She just got sent to another area where she cannot be a factor anymore. Everyone celebrated Law and Kid’s victory over the Yonko, but they defeated Big Mom only as a technicality.
Unlike the other times, Big Mom got chased off to another area so she won’t be a problem anymore, this final time is the only time Big Mom came out looking strong.