A promotional cover for the Kyoto event made me very curious as to who these two unknown characters could be.
Now they could very well be just some non-canon special characters but the details surrounding their likely characters fit in really well with a supposed backstory of Zoro imo.
The demon in the back is most likely a depiction of the Nue
As taken from the wiki:
“In the Heike Monogatari, it is described as having the face of a monkey, the legs of a tiger, the body of a tanuki (Japanese raccoon dog) and the front half of a snake for a tail. In other writings nothing is stated about its torso, so it is sometimes depicted to have the torso of a tiger. The Genpei Jōsuiki describes it as having the back of a tiger, the legs of a tanuki, the tail of a fox, the head of a cat, and the torso of a chicken. Due to its appearance, it is sometimes referred to as a Japanese chimera.”
Now whats especially interesting about the Nue is that it was said to have terrorized and made sick an emperor….and a master of arrows Minamoto no Yorishima was sent to slay the demon. He managed to do so and the emperor was instantly healed. Yorishima gained the sword Shishio as a reward.
The unknown man in the cover has arrows with him….as well as a sword. It seems clear that this man is based off of Minamoto no Yorishima….a demon slayer who killed the Nue. Now how on earth does this connect to Zoro?
Take away the hair….and both have the same exact face. Whats particularly interesting is that Yorishima has a constipated looking frown that Zoro frequently shows! On top of that in the promotional art Zoro and Yorishima have the same exact facial expression! And if you look close enough…he even has a scar on the same eye as Zoro. Basically what I’m getting at is that Yorishima is Zoro’s dad. Thereby the woman that he’s holding is his wife….or Zoro’s mom. Why? Cause a man only holds a woman like that in One Piece….if its his child or a lover. Yorishima looks too young to be the woman’s father so I believe that its his wife. Also I find it incredibly hilarious if Zoro’s dad ends up having the same hairstyle as Sanji.
From here on out is mostly speculation/fanfic but I think would make for a cool story to Zoro’s background. So here goes.
After Yorishima killed the Nue….the demon cursed him saying that he would be reborn by attaching his soul to his unborn child. This would make Zoro a cursed child….which explains various characters calling Zoro a demon and them being scared of his presence. It also explains why Luffy….a man with incredible instinct…instantly doubted Zoro during Whiskey Peak. Furthermore it explains Zoro’s Asura powers and his ability to instantly tell if a sword is cursed or not.
However….Yorishima was unable to witness the birth of his child as he was killed by the new Shogun or his prominent underling….who took his sword. When Zoro was born, he was strangely born with green hair which neither of his parents had(this was a manifestation of his demon). But soon him and his mom were exiled out of Wano because a priest realized that Zoro was cursed and the citizens of Wano…being highly superstitious…forced them out. They eventually ended up in East Blue and a few years later Zoro’s mother died….but before she passed she told Zoro how his father was a great warrior and that she wished for him to become like him. This is why Zoro ended up becoming so thirsty for strength and why he ended up challenging Koshiro’s dojo.
And as the series has progressed…Zoro has been depicted as more and more bloodthirsty…perhaps an indication of his demon gaining more and more significance.
So with this background….Zoro’s character resolution in Wano would have to do with him defeating the man who killed his father and reclaiming his sword…..and for him to “cleanse” the demon that lurks within him.
Thats a whole lot of extrapolation but am curious to hear your thoughts. Would this be a good backstory? Does it make sense? Hope ya enjoyed it