One Piece chapter 1088 spoilers: Did Garp really die in the battle on Pirate Island?

As of chapter 1088, Monkey D. Garp
As of chapter 1088, Monkey D. Garp's fate is "unknown" (Image via Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, One Piece)

As expected, One Piece chapter 1088 will mark the end of the fierce battle between Monkey D. Garp and several officers of the Blackbeard Pirates, including former Marine Admiral Kuzan "Aokiji," now allegedly a member of the infamous crew. Garp was besting Kuzan, but the tables turned when Shiryu inflicted a serious wound on him.

The injury left Garp notably weakened, which caused him to lose the strength needed to overpower Kuzan. With the situation becoming increasingly complex, Garp, who in his prime was a man strong enough to corner even the Pirate King, was left with no other choice than to put his life on the line to save Koby and the other young Marines who had accompanied him.

Pending the official release of One Piece 1088, which is scheduled on June 24, 2023, some leaks have already anticipated the chapter's most important details. Unfortunately, thus far, it seems that Garp will end up being defeated. However, the legendary "Hero" may survive the predicament, as his death was not mentioned explicitly.

Disclaimer: This article contains major spoilers from the One Piece manga up to chapter 1088.

One Piece 1088 spoilers imply that Garp's fate is not as bad as it seemed

According to the leaks, Garp was frozen alive, but not killed

So far, the leaks are very brief, merely providing a short recap of One Piece chapter 1088's s main contents. More accurate information is expected in the next few hours, including the usual full spoiler summary and the raw scans. Based on what is known, Kuzan will employ his Devil Fruit abilities to pierce Garp, either using Ice Saber or Ice Block Partisan.

He will then perform another technique to completely freeze him. Also, in this case, the leaker doesn't specify which move was used. However, he describes it as being very similar to what Kuzan did back in Ohara with Jaguar D. Saul, which means that the former Admiral likely used the so-called Ice Time Capsule.

By the looks of it, there's a narrator box which describes the scene, explaining that the legendary "Marine Hero" Monkey D. Garp disappeared at Pirate Island, with his fate being unknown. This implies that Garp is not dead, as otherwise it would have been stated explicitly. Given the situation, there would have been no point in hiding such an outcome, had it been the case.

Did Kuzan truly become a villain?

Aokiji as seen in chapter 1087 of One Piece (Image via Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, One Piece)
Aokiji as seen in chapter 1087 of One Piece (Image via Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, One Piece)

As of the first spoilers for One Piece 1088, it's not possible to say with certainty how the events played out. Still, the leaker compared Garp's fate with what happened to Saul many years before, which is compelling, as it's another case where former Admiral Aokiji acted as a true villain, allegedly killing a close friend without mercy.

Despite being struck with a powerful technique of the Ice-Ice Fruit, however, Saul didn't die. It's not quite clear yet if Kuzan let Saul live, or if the latter survived simply by chance, but the outcome is indicative. Kuzan is not a cold-blooded killer like Akainu, even more so against people who he has emotional attachment to, like his friend Saul or his teacher Garp.

Likely, Kuzan has never been a real villain. While he initially believed in Burning Justice and then, after the events of Ohara, started following Lazy Justice, his actions have always been guided by positive values. Probably, the same is also true now, despite him having allegedly left the Navy and joined the Blackbeard Pirates.

As many One Piece fans speculated, Kuzan is not truly loyal to Teach, but is just pretending to operate as a member of his crew, with the aim to understand their plans. Now, what remains to be seen is whether the former Admiral is doing that on the Navy's behalf, or for his own individual concerns.

Regardless, it's strongly implied that, despite his change of heart, Kuzan never denied his ideals. When asked by Smoker about his true intentions, Kuzan unequivocally answered that he is the same person as ever, adding that he has not changed at all. The former Admiral then cryptically added that he could still accomplish things while not being part of the World Government as before.

Most likely, he was referring to his infiltration in the Blackbeard Pirates. In this perspective, it must be noted that, while apparently merciless, Kuzan has never truly harmed anyone who is innocent or strong enough to withstand his techniques. He froze Hibari, but it's not like he used a lethal move on the young Marine.

Aokiji told Smoker that he is the same as always (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)
Aokiji told Smoker that he is the same as always (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)

There's a significant chance that Kuzan attacked Garp just as a part of his plan to make the Blackbeard Pirates trust him more. Seeing him fighting and allegedly killing his former Navy teacher, Teach, and the others would have removed any remaining doubt about his loyalty to the crew.

It's true that, after the stab wound caused by Shiryu allowed Kuzan to eventually overpower Garp, he struck the latter with a technique that pierced him. However, Kuzan used another move to freeze Garp alive shortly after, and it's well known that, while it doesn't speed up healing, ice prevents a wound from getting worse.

Thus, it could be said that Kuzan actually saved Garp's life. So far, nothing is completely confirmed, but it seems that Eiichiro Oda left pretty evident clues concerning Kuzan's real allegiance and intentions. If one goes beyond appearances, Garp's tragic moment in chapter 1088 might be another way to give readers a concealed insight about what is truly going on.

Why it makes sense for Garp to survive his "death" in One Piece 1088?

Even for Blackbeard, Garp is much more useful alive than dead (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)
Even for Blackbeard, Garp is much more useful alive than dead (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)

Regardless of what Kuzan's true intentions might be, there's an additional reason why Garp could survive his dramatic situation despite the bad turn it took. Teach's initial intent was to use a major Marine officer as ransom to blackmail the World Government into granting Hachinosu the status of a legitimate country.

When Rayleigh forced him to renounce capturing Boa Hancock, Teach kidnapped Koby precisely to use the latter as a bargaining chip with the World Government. However, little did he know that they wouldn't have listened to his proposal, as Koby is an officer of SWORD, and the Navy doesn't take action to protect members of this secret unit.

With the hostage being none other than Monkey D. Garp, things would be very different. The World Government and the Navy would accept Teach's demands, as they can't allow the "Hero" to be executed, if only for the sake of public standing. Likewise, for this reason, not even Blackbeard would want Garp to die, as such an outcome would prevent him from using the old Marine as ransom.

The "Hero" is much more useful alive, as Teach will employ him as a bargaining chip, like he used Ace in the past. Besides, it could be said that Garp accomplished his intent too. His heroic effort, during which he was able to single-handedly fend off Kuzan, Shiryu, and other prominent individuals, allowed Koby to escape.

A very selfless man, Garp would only be pleased to be captured in his place.

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