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Ryuma’s Backstory in Wano Explained: Monsters Anime by Oda

Just like last year, 2024 is going to be an amazing year for One Piece fans. The manga is in the middle of some very interesting plot points while the anime has entered the Egghead Arc at the start of the year, promising an exciting year ahead. On top of that, Eiichiro Oda’s one-shot Monsters is all set to debut its anime adaptation soon. In this article, we’ll discuss Monsters by Eiichiro Oda and everything you need to know about its anime adaptation.

Before Oda made a name for himself as the author and illustrator of the global phenomenon One Piece, he released a few one-shot manga, one of which was Monsters. Monsters was released in Shounen Jump Autumn Edition in 1994, three years before One Piece made its explosive debut. This one-shot, along with four others, was later published under the title of Wanted! in 1998.

But unlike the other four one-shots, the story of Monsters is a part of the canon story of One Piece. In Thriller Bark Arc, the story of Monsters officially became part of the canon, which was later confirmed in One Piece SBS Volume 47.

Thirty years after its release, Monsters will have its anime adaptation this year in January. The anime adaptation of the one-shot, titled “Monsters: 103 Mercies Dragon Damnation”, was announced back in 2023. With its release date coming closer, let’s take a look at the plot of Monsters and when and where the anime adaptation will be released.

However, before we begin, let us remind you that there is a spoiler alert in full effect.

Monsters Anime by Oda: Plot Explained

Monsters Anime by Oda: Plot Explained

The story of Monsters revolves around Shimotsuki Ryuma, the legendary samurai of Wano who is said to have slayed a dragon. In fact, in Monsters, that is exactly what we see: the tale of how Ryuma slayed the dragon. The story is set in an undetermined time in the past; judging by the fact that it follows Ryuma, the events of Monsters are centuries in the past from the current timeline of One Piece.

Ryuma’s Introduction

Monsters starts with a narration describing how a dragon’s horn was stolen 10 years before the story by an assailant who killed the guards guarding it. 10 years later, in an unnamed town, we meet Ryuma as a young man, hungry and penniless. After five days of starvation, he’s given food by Flare, a young waitress at a nearby restaurant. 

In the restaurant, Ryuma meets Cyrano, a master swordsman who seems to know Flare from before. While walking out of the restaurant, Cyrano’s sheath touches Ryuma’s, leading to the samurai challenging him to a duel. However, the duel is incomplete after Ryuma cuts through a copper statue and Cyrano refuses to fight him to death. Ryuma is then scolded by Flare for his behavior.

He later learns from the owner of the restaurant that there was a dragon attack on a small village seven years ago, leaving only one survivor: young Flare. Cyrano saved Flare and brought her to this town.

Ryuma Slays the Dragon

Ryuma Slays the Dragon

Elsewhere, a third-rate swordsman named D.R. comes to the town and after bumping with Ryuma, claims that Ryuma has stabbed him with a sword. In vengeance, he brings out the dragon horn and breaks it, calling the dragon to the town. The townspeople, including Flare, are all angered at Ryuma and berate him even though he swears that he hasn’t done anything.

In this pandemonium, Cyrano comes and tells the people to leave the town. He’ll fight the dragon himself. Grateful, the townspeople all leave but Flare stays in the town. After Ryuma asks her if the dragon is really that scary, she runs out to stop Cyrano from fighting the dragon. However, she and Ryuma then see Cyrano and D.R. stealing from the empty town.

The two overhear them saying that the dragon attack seven years ago was their doing and Cyrano killed Flare’s father, saving her only because he wanted to earn prestige. Flare is heartbroken, telling Ryuma to flee. But the samurai cuts down Cyrano instead.

D.R. summons the real dragon then and Ryuma slays the huge beast without a moment’s hesitation. The one-shot ends with him telling Flare that she owes him now and he’ll come back to get more mood. The townspeople are amazed at Ryuma’s feat. This is when the restaurant owner reveals that Ryuma is given the title of “king” by all the people he’s saved over time and he is said to possess the greatest “warrior soul.”

Who is Ryuma?

Who Is Ryuma

Ryuma is a legendary samurai from Wano who used to be one of the greatest swordsmen in the world. Hailing from the Shimotsuki family, he was known as the man who slayed a dragon. He was the owner of Shusui, one of the 21 Great Swords, which later became a national treasure of Wano.

During his lifetime, Ryuma’s fame as a master swordsman was widespread, leading to him earning titles like the “King” and the “Sword God.” He’s also a direct ancestor of Roronoa Zoro whose grandmother also belonged to the Shimotsuki family.

Fans of One Piece must remember Ryume from his first appearance in the Thriller Bark Arc where he fought Zoro and was defeated before giving the younger swordsman his Shusui.

Monsters Anime by Oda Release Date

Monsters Anime by Oda Release Date

In 2023, the anime adaptation of Monsters by Eiichiro Oda was announced to be released in January 2024. Recently the official release date of the anime was announced. Monsters will be released on January 22, 2024. In some time zones, the anime will be available from January 21. The anime will be 25 minutes long and available on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. The official poster, studio, and crew have been announced but the voice cast is still unknown.

The anime adaptation of Monsters will be animated by E&H studio, helmed by the director Sanghoo Park. The character design of the anime will be looked after by Takashi Kojima who has also worked on One Piece. The color design, art direction, and photography will be done by Ryoji Nagasawa, Fuinao Akai, and Ju-Mi Lee respectively. The music will be provided by Hiroaki Tsutsumi with Akiko Fujita as the sound director.

This is all we know about the Monsters anime adaptation by Eiichiro Oda as of now. If there’s any new information on the anime, you’ll find it here. So, stay tuned with Otakus’ Notes.

Image credit: Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha

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