The arc after Wano? Who will be the next One Piece Antagonist? Akainu or Black Beard?

Who will be the next One Piece Antagonist

Who will be the next One Piece Antagonist

Who will be the next One Piece Antagonist? It is said that One Piece is over 60% complete, the source was the official One Piece twitter page. Some may find this exciting, while others worry about what they would do next after the pinnacle of anime has fallen.

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In any case, the series is currently at one of, if not the most significant arcs thus far, Wano Kuni, which is said to have a war that will be greater than Marine ford arc. Well so far, that is shaping up to be true, cause now we have two yonkous as antagonists. We already know the destruction that one yonkou is capable of, but when 2 fight together, that spells "invincible" to many. But unfortunately for them, they're going up against Strawhat Luffy, whom they both defeated at least once in the series. Luffy is not that dumb to fight an opponent with the same tactic knowing that it didn't work the first time. So that's something to look out for!

But the big question is, after Wano, What comes next? Who comes next?

Well, it's a no-brainer that many are saying its Akainu, while others are saying its Black beard. So with those differences in view, I'd like to take the opportunity to share my thoughts on who the next villain will be. Before we can arrive at a conclusion, we must first look at where the anime is currently at, and which of the antagonists have been getting more highlights and/or foreshadow.

Why is that important? Because One Piece is such a vast anime and it has a lot going on in each arc, the writer tends to use the current arc to build the next arc. Could you imagine all the details pertaining to a specific arc all being packed within that arc itself? Of course, that would be bad writing, because then it would seem as if the writer(s) is just making things up as he (then) goes along. That can be good in some ways, but mostly bad, cause then to the viewers, the anime would be just a 'boat with no sails, drifting anywhere, the wind takes it with no predetermined destination', and then comes the ultimate downfall, viewers starting to lose interest.

Related: [One Piece: Will the Marines actually come to Wano?]

When you think about it, starting from the Punk Hazard arc, there were two arcs mainly being foreshadowed (speaking of the main villain, country. etc), those were Doflamingo in Dressrosa and Kaido in Wano. We got a few details about Doflamingo (and Dressrosa) throughout the Punk hazard arc and a bit less of Kaido (Wano). But as time progresses and we are at Dressrosa, we got more about Kaido (& Wano) and an introduction to Zou, and so on.

The Whole cake island was being introduced from Fishman Island so you get the point.

Following that trend, we're now at Wano Kuni, and we've seen both Blackbeard & Akainu (Marine ford) being foreshadowed in many ways. But the question is, who/what/where got the most highlights?
If you said Akainu, then you are right. Blackbeard only had 2 scenes after the Whole cake Island, while Akainu/Marine ford had plenty. Some of the most significant ones are, but not limited to:

  • X-Drake being a marine spy
  • Reverie meeting which calls for the abolition of the Shichibukai system
  • Sengoku talks about Rocs pirates and hints that an alliance between Kaido and Big Mom could be the biggest danger in Marine ford history since the start of the pirate era (after Gol Roger's execution).
  • Sengoku again, suggesting to Akainu that he should send marines to Wano.
Referring to the last point above, If Akainu is to do such a thing, we all know that one thing leads to a next. I know many would refuse this logic by saying the marines have been having discussions like this from the beginning, but let me ask though, how many times did they get a full-on chapter shedding some light on the history of the marine's biggest triumph (Garp defeating Rocs) and talking about making a move? The answer is one, and that is how to deal with Whitebeard; and shortly after, here comes the paramount war.

The next reason in deciding the next arc is, determining who's stronger. If you say Akainu is currently stronger than Blackbeard, then you are still stuck in the past. [READ "Blackbeard vs Akainu" here] So the last point in deciding who the last villain will be is probably the most important of them all.

What significance those the arc have in the storyline?

Please note: Blackbeard is to Laughtale, while Akainu is to Marineford (don't think this will be the name, but this is what I'm working with for now, if not then 'Mariejoise'.

Blackbeard is the name of the most infamous pirate captain in real life, and in the animated world, he is the only one with 2 devil fruit abilities, so it would make sense to actually put him as the final. However, I can't help but think that in the upcoming war against the Marines when the Revolutionary army (Dragon) will finally make its (his) move. In fact, there are theories that the final red stone could be in the possession of the world Government or the celestial dragons. [Read here to see the possible locations of the last stone]
That would give the straw hats a valid reason to go to Mariejoise and probably get caught up in the war between the Marines and the Revolutionary army.  Sounds possible right? 

Going by those logics, then it's clear that Luffy would have to go through Akainu (Mariejoise) in order to reach Blackbeard (Laughtale). Thus I strongly believe that Akainu will be the next antagonist. Please note: The theories of the Revolutionary army, red poneglyph, and Mariejoise were not taken into serious consideration in determining the conclusion, they were just "possible reasons" to validate my theories of why/when the Strawhats would encounter the marines in a war.
But in any case, if you agree or disagree with my theory, then please share your thoughts below as they help in the process of crafting articles like these.

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