The King of the Beasts Kaido has been the primary antagonist of the One Piece Wano arc and was foreshadowed for quite a long time before that. And, considering he’s knocked out Luffy with one attack and jumped from a Sky Island with little to no injuries, it’s safe to say this bad dude matches his reputation.
But, there are a lot of sides to Kaido, some of which are obvious while others are more surprising. It’s interesting to uncover the stuff many people didn’t pick up on, so let’s look into it.
10. He Respects Proper Pronouns
Kaido’s son was just recently introduced in the last couple of chapters, and he was another character that was hinted at for quite a while. Thankfully, him showing up quickly marked Wano as one of One Piece’s better arcs. Turns out that Yamato, Kaido’s Son, was actually biologically born as his daughter, but now identifies as male and wants to be just like Oden.
It’s pretty neat for the mangaka, Eiichiro Oda, to nonchalantly include a transgender character like this (one that fans already love quite a bit). And although there have been a few mistakes, what’s more surprising is how accepting Kaido seems to be with the whole thing. Fans are happy that he is, but the guy’s a murderous scumbag, so it wouldn’t have been at all surprising if he refused to call Yamato his son.
9. His Design Has Changed Multiple Times
This happens a lot of times in manga where future villains or protagonists are hinted at through their silhouettes but their designs change along the way. Kaido has been hinted at since just after the Enies Lobby arc and has been seen in silhouettes and promotional material multiple times. The thing is, those versions of Kaido look insanely different from the final version that appears now in Wano.
This is very likely just because Oda decided to change up the design along the way, but wouldn’t it also be incredible if this was actually hinting at a piece of lore? Perhaps Kaido’s body takes on many different forms and shapes due to his immortality or ability to reincarnate with his Dragon Zoan (another reason Zoan’s are underrated). Even still, Kaido’s final design isn’t all too beloved, as fans tend to lean towards some of the series’ other antagonists.
8. This Dragon Is Technically Not Mythical
Speaking of Kaido’s Zoan Fruit, it’s still technically unnamed in the One Piece canon, but it’s also not actually considered a “mythical” Devil Fruit. There are a couple of different Zoan type fruits, Regular, Ancient, and Mythical. Regular can be any animals or creatures, Ancient are usually based on animals from long ago such as dinosaurs, and Mythical are based on creatures from fantasies or folklore like Sengoku’s underrated Buddha Zoan.
But, thanks to Shimotsuki Ryuma (the undead Wano samurai seen during the Thriller Bark arc), One Piece fans know that Dragons did actually exist in Wano at some point. So, instead of Mythical, Kaido’s fruit should technically be Ancient, though maybe it counts as Mythical because it’s based on an Eastern Dragon rather than a Western one.
7. His Story Is Likely Oda’s Version Of A Shuten-Dōji
There are a ton of aspects of Kaido’s design that point towards the folklore and culture of the continent of Asia. The Tsuna design of his belt, the giant club he uses similar to an Oni, and the entirety of Wano are just a few of many references to Asia. But, the amount of similarities Kaido has with a particular Japanese Demon called the Shuten-Doji is staggering.
This Shuten-Doji was an Oni Leader of Japan who took his power by force and loved drinking sake. He was giant, imposing, and eventually defeated by a band of honorable samurai who use disguises to sneak into his lair and take him out. Sound familiar?
6. Kaido Has A Drinking Problem
This is something even fans didn’t notice at first, but Kaido is always drunk, and that’s not an exaggeration. This Emperor of the New World is rarely seen without a sake bottle in his hand, and whenever he is, everyone best beware. In fact, the first time he goes up against Luffy in Gear Fourth, Luffy manages to knock him out of his drunken state and that pisses him off so badly that he destroys Strawhat with a single strike (not one of his best moments). Kaido drowns his sorrows in booze, celebrates with booze, and gets by from day to day on an absurd amount of booze.
5. Power Is Everything To This Emperor
Every Pirate Captain has different things they’re looking for, it’s part of what makes this setting so fun. Luffy is simply looking for standout people who would make both good friends and good crewmembers. Gecko Moria was looking for the best subordinates to help make his Shadow Army and who would do all his work for him.
Meanwhile, Kaido is simply looking for the strong. It doesn’t matter if they’re part of another crew, nor does it matter if they’ve been trying to kill him. If they manage to impress Kaido, he wants them for his crew. And, if they don’t want to join, they go to prison until they do. Kaido respects power above else, and this shows when he puts Luffy in prison rather than killing him even though this kid just ruined his entire SMILE pipeline.
4. A Small Family For Such A Big Man
Each of the Four Emperors of the New World represents very different things. On one level Big Mom represents Family and companionship, Red-Haired Shanks represents Freedom and Romance, Blackbeard represents Greed and the evil side of Freedom, while Kaido represents Strength in all forms.
And this contrast works even better when Linlin and Kaido are in the same room because viewers can then see how many people Linlin has in her family while Kaido has just one. Charlotte has 85 children and Kaido only has one.
3. He’s The Reason Gecko Moria Is The Way He Is
It’s always awesome to see all the threads that connect the characters of One Piece to each other, especially when looking back at past events and noticing how far ahead Oda had planned.
For example, it only happens a couple of times, but during the Thriller Bark Arc, Moria keeps talking about how he needs to create the most powerful army and soldiers. Fans also find out in this Arc that Moria once went head to head with one of the Emperors of the New World, Kaido, in quite the Legendary battle.
Turns out both of these things are connected, and Gecko Moria only wants to become so powerful to get revenge on Kaido for killing his entire crew, the Gecko Pirates, 22 years ago. So Kaido is literally the reason Moria is so insane and dead inside.
2. No Smiles, Only Frowns
There are nice smiles, odd smiles, uncomfortable smiles, and intimidating smiles. Kaido would obviously be part of the last option, having a smile that can scare someone silly. As such, Oda chooses to save the moments where Kaido smiles for when he’s acting truly evil or is in a very drunken stupor. Otherwise, Kaido always has this comically large scowl on his face, almost like he’s putting maximum effort into frowning at all times. It works well for his design, but fans never noticed just how little the guy smiles overall.
1. He’s Almost Confirmed To Be Inhuman
So there are obviously a lot of homages in Kaido’s design. Shuten-Doji, Yamata No Orochi’s, and Oni’s in particular are references uses from folklore in Asia. But, what is Kaido in the One Piece canon? Multiple people refer to him as a “thing” rather than a human, and his horns are staggering similar to Oars and Oars Jr. Kaido is invulnerable, absurdly large, and can turn into a dragon.
There’s no concrete answer yet, but we know for sure that Kaido isn’t a bog-standard human. He might be a Dragon that can turn into a human, an experiment gone wrong by Vegapunk, or even a Continent-Puller like Oars.