One Piece: Is Kaido immortal, or just impervious to standard means of death?

Kaido as seen in the One Piece anime (Image Credits: Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, Viz Media, One Piece)
Kaido as seen in the One Piece anime (Image Credits: Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, Viz Media, One Piece)

One of the most perplexing aspects of One Piece's Wano arc thus far has revolved around its major antagonist, Kaido. For One Piece fans, the 'Strongest Creature' has long been the subject of speculation, particularly regarding his survival and exact limits in terms of physical punishment.

One Piece has already shown fans how powerful he is, given the punishment he has endured throughout the Onigashima Raid and his continued survival. Some fans have even questioned whether the Yonko is genuinely immortal, or if he is simply stronger than the world he lives in.

There is evidence for both throughout the series, but one option appears to be the more likely solution for the time being. Follow along as this article explores whether One Piece’s Kaido is immortal, or just impenetrable to the standard means of death.

Is One Piece's Kaido immortal? Fans discuss his strength

Godly feats

Kaido from One Piece is without a doubt the series' current strongest character. His numerous epithets support this, with notable examples including 'The Strongest Creature' and 'Kaido, the King of the Beasts.'

He's easily the most powerful foe that protagonist Monkey D. Luffy has faced thus far, as evidenced by their fight. Kaido appeared to be able to return every ounce of punishment he received and then some more during the conflict. His amazing longevity, as well as his power and overall fighting ability, are unprecedented in the series.

This obviously serves as the first piece of evidence for those who believe Kaido is immortal. To be able to withstand such punishment and still be standing is a remarkable feat.

Another major piece of evidence which supports Kaido’s immortality is his motif being that of a Chinese dragon. His Devil Fruit is the Mythical Zoan Fish-Fish Fruit, Model: Azure Dragon, referencing the Chinese legend of the koi fish who swam up a waterfall and was transformed into a dragon.

Chinese folklore will often depict dragons with flaming pearls around them, often under their chins or around their claws. Kaido’s flame clouds provide a similar design motif, specifically around his claws. In Chinese folklore, these flaming pearls can symbolize a number of powers or skills, one of which is immortality.

There are a few crucial pieces of factual and story-based evidence for the notion that he is immortal. Kaido is claimed to have survived over a thousand tortures, with other Yonko and Marines attempting to execute him in various methods 40 times.

Remarkably, however, he was able to survive all of it through various means. Ropes and chains for hangings snapped and guillotine blades broke on his neck. Much of his character is formed by his desire to die honorably, as Whitebeard, Roger, and Oden did. This emphasizes how even he can't overcome his own strength, and how the death he craves eludes him on a consistent basis.

Mortal flaws

However, there is evidence throughout the story against Kaido’s being immortal. The first of two important pieces of evidence stems from his fight with Oden and the scar he suffered as a result of it. If he had been immortal, the scar would have healed or never appeared in any way, shape, or form. The fact that he can be injured casts doubt on his immortality.

Furthermore, Zoro's cutting through the scales of his dragon form would imply a lack of actual immortality. This appears to be particularly significant given the previously established thematic link between Kaido's inspiration being a Chinese dragon and said creature's fabled immortality. If he was immortal in any form, it would undoubtedly be as a mythical immortal creature.

Finally, while the One Piece anime has yet to demonstrate this, the One Piece manga has shown numerous instances where Kaido is clearly harmed. At one point in recent issues, the Yonko had collapsed to his knees as a result of Luffy's attack, even confessing that he was being pushed to his breaking point at other times.

The fact that Luffy can compete with him despite the fact that the former is not immortal practically demonstrates Kaido's mortality. In all works of fiction, eternal beings are continually depicted as invincible creatures, impervious to mortal assaults. The fact that Kaido is visibly being beaten down by Luffy here is irrefutable evidence of his humanity and mortality.

In summation

While One Piece’s Kaido is certainly the strongest antagonist the series has put forth yet, he’s undoubtedly far from immortal given what the series has shown viewers thus far. The One Piece series also only has one known technique of immortality, further complicating how the Yonko could've achieved such almighty power.

A much more likely explanation is that the current world of One Piece doesn’t have the tools needed to kill someone as strong as Kaido. This is supported by the anecdotal evidence discussed throughout One Piece surrounding his invincibility to known means of execution and torture.

While it’s entirely possible that Kaido is immortal, this can’t be assumed given what One Piece has shown for both sides of the argument thus far. His superior strength apropos the world around him in the contemporary series is a much more plausible and likely explanation.

Be sure to keep up with all One Piece anime, manga, film, and live-action news as the year of the series’ 25th anniversary progresses.

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Edited by Babylona Bora
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