In Chapter 1059, of Eiichiro Oda’s One Piece manga, there were a series of surprising events and plot developments regarding Blackbeard and the arrival of a new Pacifista form, Seraphim. The whole world is in disarray, and it seems that the conflicts are intensifying. Boa Hancock, after nearly eliminating Blackbeard’s entire crew with his Devil Fruit power, has been defeated by the captain and is at his mercy. Before he could deliver the finishing blow to the Empress, Silvers Rayleigh arrived on the battlefield and ended the fighting. The crisis was averted.
Despite all the significant events and revelations that took place in this chapter, one particular panel, along with a brief commentary from Rayleigh, stood out. When discussing what happened on Amazon Lily and the new threat of the World Government, Rayleigh mentioned that due to the specifics of the situation, he was able to save Boa Hancock, but in reality, he didn’t. would have had no chance of defeating Blackbeard in a one-on-one fight. The Dark King Rayleigh was a force to be reckoned with as the former second in command of the Roger Pirates, with a skill in Haki that many consider to be on par with Shanks the Redhead. However, at 78, even he could not escape the effects of old age. As members of previous generations disappear, retire or die, didn’t Rayleigh just foreshadow his own end?
The theme of the new generation surpassing the old is a recurring trope in anime – Naruto shows it with the rise of the new shinobi, even though Madara Uchiha has returned to try and reclaim his glory, or My Hero Academia with Izuku Midoriya on the way to overcoming All Might, or the countless other mediums where the student loses to their mentor and must grow to become stronger. Like spring and the birth of new life, the old die and nurture the next generation. One Piece has shown this to be the case numerous times, to the point that the series itself is the cause of the passing of the torch to a previous generation in Gol D. Roger’s announcement of One Piece.
One of the major events that marked the departure of the older generation was the death of Edward Newgate, better known as Whitebeard. It has often been said of him that he was a relic of the past and that he was no longer in the prime of life. Despite everything, he fought to save his son, Portgas D. Ace, from the director’s block. Despite his age, illness and deterioration, he refused to back down and fought to his last breath to protect the next generation of pirates and the one he thought would become the next Pirate King. Other characters found themselves replaced or retired, such as Fleet Admiral Sengoku being replaced by Sakazuki or Crocus living in Reverse Mountain. These seemingly more passive conclusions come into their own when they match the characters’ personalities.
On the other hand, Kaidou and Big Mom were the pillars of a previous generation who held the titles of succession, acting as guardians of a new generation of power. They have been defeated in battle and overtaken, replaced by rising powers that will change the direction of the world. Rayleigh has more in common with Whitebeard than with the others. He has acted as a mentor to Monkey D. Luffy and has repeatedly placed himself in combat situations to help advance the next generation or protect those in need. With that personality in mind, it’s unlikely that if a war beyond all wars starts and he thinks he can make a difference, Raleigh will just sit on the sidelines and watch the same. than his former teammate Crocus.
Rayleigh’s comment in chapter 1059 likely foreshadows his defeat, if not death, when he puts himself in harm’s way to fight the growing threats from the sea – most likely Blackbeard – and finds himself unable to compete. One Piece is not a manga where characters die needlessly, and Rayleigh’s death won’t necessarily benefit the plot unless it directly affects Luffy or the state of the world. Even so, his reputation is a weight beyond his current abilities, and if defeated in battle, the responsible would skyrocket into infamy and be recognized as a danger to the world. With the previous generation dropping like flies, it’s not unimaginable that Rayleigh would take up arms, only to be struck down to make way for a character like Blackbeard, whose fame is even greater.