reindeer shots

I am very curious if this Year of Sanji is going to be a template for the next few years of One Piece. We’re pretty much guaranteed a second, longer, probably over-dramatic, possibly tragic Sanji-centric flashback; I wonder if the other Strawhats will get their backstories upgraded as well to keep up with the trauma-filled childhoods littering the New World like so many discarded candy wrappers. 

I am imagining Oda huddling with the Strawhats (sans Sanji), going over the new PR campaign:

Oda: All right, hit me. Who’s got a tragic past we can mine?

Usopp: More tragic than all our moms dying?

Oda: This isn’t amateur hour, Long-nose. I need you kids to amp it up, turn the dial on the sob meter up to a hundred and one. Buster Calls are very passé, very ten years ago. Give me something fresh.

Chopper: Uh, my reindeer mom got shot by a hunter, I guess. And I’m not sure which one of the other reindeer is my father?

Oda: Good, good. Everyone loves a Bambi story.

Chopper: [to Usopp] What’s a bambi?

Usopp: I think it’s a type of armchair.

Oda: [ignoring them both] Ok, what else?

Nami: Well, I guess I’m technically an orphan. And my parents and Nojiko’s parents all died. And the pirates who burned down our village were never caught and are probably still at large somewhere.

Oda: Good, perfect, that’s exactly what I’m talking about. Keep it coming, this is terrific.

Franky: Yeah, I got a great-aunty in Alabasta with a bum leg, does that count?

Oda: Did this aunt pass on a treasure of great personal significance?

Franky: Nope.

Oda: Did she raise you as her own when all other adult figures in your life had abandoned you?

Franky: Nope.

Oda: Did she sacrifice her life so that you could escape almost certain death and pursue your dreams?

Franky: No, Jesus, she just has arthritis. 

Oda: I’m sorry, Franky, but the readers are hoping for something a little more emotionally hard-hitting than your great-aunt with arthritis.

Franky: It gets pretty emotional when she tries to walk up a flight of stairs, I’ll tell you that.

Zoro: I left my father’s house at the age of six, never to return.

Oda: O-kay, this sounds promising. What happened, exactly?

Zoro: “Go to the end of this road and turn left,” they said. “It’s a five-minute walk,” they said. Yeah, well, it wasn’t that simple. What does ‘left’ even mean? My left or his left? What if he meant ‘stage left’? Anyway before I knew it I had wandered into a dojo on another island and also it was four years later.

Oda: …That’s…a very sad story, Zoro-kun.

Zoro: Yeah. It is. What do you think I’ve been trying to tell you. 

Oda: But probably not in the way you mean.

That is exactly how I imagine Zoro’s origin story and I am standing by it until it is proven otherwise.