One Piece Chapter 1038 officially released this past Sunday, January 30, and with it, fans found Straw Hat swordsman Roronoa Zoro in quite a bind. It would seem upon initial reactions that someone masquerading as or a genuine Grim Reaper has come to collect Zoro’s life.
While it’s a safe assumption that Zoro will find a way to live through this enigmatic encounter, what’s still unknown is who the skeletal stranger could be. While the most popular theory right now is Brook, there are a few reasons this doesn’t make sense, as more sensible alternatives are available.
Here are all the best theories on who Zoro’s visitor, as seen in One Piece Chapter 1038, could possibly be.
Could Brook be playing dress-up, or is Zoro’s One Piece Chapter 1038 visitor someone completely different?
One Piece Chapter 1038: Zoro’s visitor is Brook?
While Brook is always good for a laugh, there are a few major reasons why it’s unlikely that Brook is Zoro’s guest for One Piece Chapter 1038.
The first and foremost concern is that Brook was last seen in the basement with Nico Robin as of chapter 1032. Zoro is currently situated outside of the Skull Dome’s Right Brain Tower, as seen in One Piece Chapter 1038 during Franky’s appearance. While Brook certainly had the time to get there in six chapters, there are a few reasons why this doesn’t make sense.
The first issue is that Brook has already devoted himself to protecting Robin, something he’s been doing for several chapters now. Zoro has also already seen Brook’s ghost form in Fishman Island, as well as Brook having already used his ghost form once during the Wano arc.
While Brook playing a prank on Zoro would fall into Oda’s writing style quite well, this doesn’t feel like the case here. This is especially true when considering Brook has been protecting Robin essentially since her infiltration into Orochi’s harem.
Yet, if Brook isn’t who’s standing over Zoro right now, then who is?
One Piece Chapter 1038: Zoro’s visitor is Basil Hawkins?
One somewhat likely for Zoro’s One Piece Chapter 1038 visitor is Basil Hawkins. First and foremost, he’s been shown to create a strawman which wields a scythe. While this version of the strawman was much larger than Zoro’s visitor, it’s likely Hawkins can change the size of his creations.
Furthermore, Basil Hawkins predicted earlier in Wano that the chances of a certain man living when all is said and done was one percent. While the anime seemingly confirms X Drake to be the man in question, the manga could change courses and make it Zoro. Also a possibility is Hawkins’ betrayal of Kaido after steadfast loyalty up to this point, and Hawkins is trying to help Zoro rather than hurt him.
While Basil Hawkins is a better candidate than Brook, there are even better options for who Zoro’s visitor in One Piece Chapter 1038 could be.
One Piece Chapter 1038: Zoro’s visitor is Gyukimaru?
First and foremost, Gyukimaru is indeed seen to be a hooded figure. While Gyukimaru is lacking a scythe, he does wield a naginata, which is essentially a long wooden staff with a blade roughly one-third the length attached.
It’s entirely possible Zoro is hallucinating from pain and fatigue and interpreting Gyukimaru’s naginata to be a scythe. Killer (as Kamazo at the time) was also present in the three-way fight and using scythes, another possible explanation for Zoro’s viewing a naginata as a scythe.
Gyukimaru also criticized Zoro heavily and called him unworthy of wielding Shusui. It’s entirely possible that Gyukimaru is being inserted into the scene to finally accept and praise Zoro’s skill, potentially even returning Shusui to him.
However, there’s still one more option for who Zoro’s guest could be.
One Piece Chapter 1038: Zoro’s visitor is the embodiment of Enma?
A final option for the skeletal stranger in One Piece Chapter 1038 could be the embodiment of his sword, Enma. Considering Zoro has just tamed Enma and is figuratively discussing becoming King of Hell, Enma could be presenting a challenge to Zoro in the form of the Grim Reaper.
The explanation for this would likely be that Zoro needs to defeat Enma’s embodiment in order to unlock and wield the full extent of Enma’s power. While the Achilles heel here is why this apparition is appearing only now, it could be explained that Zoro needed standard or Advanced Conqueror’s Haki.
Gyukimaru heavily criticized Zoro for being selfish, thinking only of his base desires and not understanding where a Black Blade comes from. The embodiment of Enma could present a challenge that Zoro must overcome using something other than brute strength, possibly by considering what Enma wants.
Understanding and conquering this challenge could be Zoro’s first step to refining his Conqueror’s Haki, as well as creating a Black Blade of his own. This could further serve to explain why Oden was able to wield Enma without any trouble while also still leaving Zoro’s strength and status as it currently is.
Although Zoro has learned to trust Enma, it’s entirely possible this trust is yet to be a two-way street. Perhaps Enma’s embodiment confronting Zoro is the final step to achieve this state of mutual trust and cooperation.
While Brook being Zoro’s visitor is a possible explanation for many fans, it’s unlikely the most probable identity of Zoro’s One Piece Chapter 1038 visitor. Although theories are indeed theories, there seem to be many preferred answers for who Zoro’s skeletal stranger is, other than crewmate Brook.
Basil Hawkins, Gyukimaru, and the embodiment of Enma are three other alternatives with decent supporting evidence or theorization. While these may seem random guesses for One Piece Chapter 1038’s mystery appearance, they all have some form of evidence behind their claims.