One Piece Chapter 1071: Every clue that the real Bartholomew Kuma is Dr. Vegapunk's mysterious ally

Bartholomew Kuma as seen in the One Piece anime series (Image via Toei Animation)
Bartholomew Kuma as seen in the One Piece anime series (Image via Toei Animation)

One Piece Chapter 1071 spoiler information and raw scans were released throughout the last week of 2022, despite Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump publication being on break that week. Nevertheless, the spoiler process continued as normal, bringing what many fans expect to be accurate information on the issue.

Furthermore, the issue was incredibly exciting and dense, setting up tons of future plot points for the series, which fans genuinely cannot wait to get into. However, one of the biggest possible plot points from One Piece Chapter 1071 may have flown under the radar of many due to an ambiguous setup and lack of clarifying information.

Follow along as this article fully breaks down why One Piece Chapter 1071 may have hinted at the real Bartholomew Kuma being Dr. Vegapunk’s mysterious ally.


One Piece Chapter 1071 set up an incredibly exciting return for the real Bartholomew Kuma

In One Piece Chapter 1071, fans see Dr. Vegapunk call upon a mysterious ally living on Egghead Island for help as the situation becomes nearly hopeless for the island’s escapees. This ally, whose Den Den Mushi features were hidden from sight, tells Dr. Vegapunk that they’ll certainly help, saying they’ve always been prepared for this order.

While the Vegapunk Satellites seem to be aware of who this mysterious ally is, no further elaboration is made for the Straw Hats’ or readers’ benefits. As a result, fans are left guessing as to who this ally could possibly be. Thankfully, this guessing isn’t totally baseless, with several hints thus far pointing to the real Bartholomew Kuma being the ally.

The first hint that suggests this, initially appearing well before One Piece Chapter 1071, is Dr. Vegapunk’s apparent ambiguity towards Bonney’s anger over her father’s fate. Despite being responsible for turning Kuma into a cyborg, he appears to show no regret or sorrow whatsoever for his decision, to the point of not even offering compassion for Bonney.

This is further supported by Bonney and Dr. Vegapunk’s interactions later on in this latest issue, which sees her ask him if he can turn her dad back to normal. Dr. Vegapunk says he’s sorry but he “just can’t,” adding that there is a reason for that. Initially, many fans thought that this was due to the purported real Kuma, the one who landed at the Red Line, having one more mission to fulfill.

However, upon further inspection, many fans now feel that the true meaning behind Dr. Vegapunk’s explanation in One Piece Chapter 1071 is because of the real Kuma being alive and well. They argue that Dr. Vegapunk never turned Kuma into a full-on, emotionless, obedient cyborg in the first place, instead making a Pacifista to pass off as the real Kuma.

This would further liken the Egghead Island arc to the Sabaody Archipelago arc, especially with Admiral Kizaru confirmed to be on the way. Whereas Sabaody saw Kizaru come for the Straw Hats and Kuma sending the Straw Hats away to save them, Egghead would see Kizaru and CP0 come for the Straw Hats with Kuma sending CP0 away to save the Straw Hats.

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This would also explain why the Egghead Island arc has placed such an emphasis on the rescue and return of the “real” Bartholomew Kuma, as well as his current moves. Fans being unable to come up with an explanation for why the real Kuma would want to return to Mariejois after just escaping may just be the biggest hint of all that this isn’t the real Kuma.

One Piece Chapter 1071’s hiding the features of the Den Den Mushi further supports this, or at least supports the idea that this mysterious ally is a previously introduced character. If it was a brand new character, series author and illustrator Eiichiro Oda would likely have no reason to do this since the character design would already be finalized, as opposed to Ryokugyu being introduced as a silhouette.

In any case, this is all speculative, and built upon aspects of the latest chapter and those prior which have yet to be fully explained. While it’s entirely possible that Dr. Vegapunk’s mysterious ally isn’t the real Bartholomew Kuma, there are almost too many clues that suggest otherwise.


Follow along for more One Piece anime, manga, film, and live-action news as 2023 progresses.