One Piece: Why Did Kuma Send Away the Straw Hats at Saboady?

In Short
  • One Piece manga chapter 1102 unraveled the mysteries of why Kuma helped the Straw Hat Pirates by sending them away from Saboady and protecting the Thousand Sunny ship.
  • This is primarily due to Kuma's admiration for Nika, and since Luffy heavily resembled Nika's traits and powers, he believed Luffy would be the hero to save this world.
  • Hence, Kuma planned to help the Straw Hats by separating them and sending them to different islands, giving them challenges that would prepare them to face the New World.

While new mysteries are still stacking up in One Piece, we are in the final saga and Oda sensei has started unwraping some old mysteries and putting them to bed. And so, in the recent Egghead arc, Oda sensei has finally answered one of the most head-scratching questions — Why did Kuma help Luffy and the Straw Hats back on the Saboady Archipelago island? Also, why did Kuma protect the Thousand Sunny?

There have been many predictions and fan theories for this one, some of which were even close to the original answer. Continue reading to learn the whole truth behind Kuma’s secret action in One Piece.

Spoiler Warning: This article includes spoilers for One Piece manga chapter 1102.

Why Did Kuma Separate the Straw Hat Pirates?

Bartholomew Kuma sends the Straw Hats away
Source: One Piece by Toei Animation Studios (IMDb)

The last few chapters in the Egghead Island arc took fans on an emotional ride, giving us a look at Bartholomew Kuma’s backstory. In recent chapters, Oda sensei was able to put an end to some of the mysteries involving him, including his decision to send the Straw Hats away from Sabaody.

One Piece chapter 1099 dropped a huge hint about why the Straw Hat Pirates were separated and sent to different islands from Saboady. While searching for the cure for Sapphire Scale, the disease that affects Bonney, Kuma went on a journey to most of the islands and knew the dangers each one holds. That brilliantly explains how Kuma perfectly knew about those lands and how it would help each Straw Hat grow more in power and character.

Well, why exactly did Kuma help the Straw Hats, though? What was the motive behind his actions? Those actions and motives were clearly described in manga chapter 1102 of One Piece. This chapter showed us how much Luffy resembled Kuma’s idol, Nika. Even though he believed Nika was only a legend, this figure inspired him to the lengths of becoming the man he was in his life.

As a result, we all know how much Kuma admired Nika in his life, and on seeing Luffy’s rebellious actions with the rubbery powers of his devil fruit Hito Hito no Mi Model: Nika, he was heavily convinced that he would be the hero who would save and transform this world forever.

Why Did Kuma Protect the Thousand Sunny?

Kuma talking to Luffy in chapter 1102
Source: One Piece by Eiichiro Oda (@shonenjump/X)

Kuma plans to leave his legacy in the name of saving two kids, Bonney and Luffy, who he believes could change the One Piece world. While Bonney has been saved, Kuma starts to take notice of Luffy’s actions once he sets out to the seas.

At the time of the Saboady arc, one of the most disheartening yet best arcs in One Piece, the Straw Hat Pirates were not ready to experience the wrath of the New World. Therefore, Kuma devised a plan in a hurry to save the Straw Hats and send them each to a different island where they would level up over time.

This is evident from the conversation that took place in chapter 1102. Kuma showed the levels of the New World to the crew, and that they weren’t ready to face them yet which in turn turned out to be a traumatic memory for them.

However, Kuma also acknowledged that one day in the future Luffy would be the man who will save the world with his nakama. So that’s the reason he decided to help the Straw Hat Pirates, hoping for a better future.

The final pages of chapter 1102 also explain the reasoning for Kuma protecting the Thousand Sunny, the ship of the Straw Hats. Before having his memories erased, he asked Dr. Vegapunk to program him to guard the Thousand Sunny until one of the crew members returned.

Kuma expressed that since he wouldn’t be there to see how the crew grows, he would like to save the ship (their home) for them. Now, this finally explains why he did what he did and informed Franky later after the time skip when he returned from Karakuri island.

Witnessing the life of one of our beloved characters Kuma was beautiful and tragic at the same time. This is the absolute best backstory from Oda sensei and fans love it. More importantly, this memory and flashback also helped us get answers to mysteries such as the God’s Valley Incident and Kuma’s connection to the Straw Hats.

This backstory completely changed our perspectives towards Kuma and Bonney, who are one of the best characters in One Piece, at least for me. That said, what do you think about Kuma’s character in One Piece? Let us know in the comments below.

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