I'm going to infer what truly happened on Thriller Bark arc, based on several pictures extracted from the manga. One image by itself can deceive readers. It is also my belief that Oda intended to deceive readers in order to surprise readers at a later date. I'll slowly build up to the incident with Zoro and Kuma.
The most important components of my analysis are:
- Kuma is a Revolutionary, confirmed: [image]
- Kuma was a Shichibukai and given an order to eliminate Luffy [image]
- Zoro's strength
Loyal revolutionaries will not kill the son of their boss. The current argument rages on as to whether Kuma is loyal to the revolutionaries or whether he has betrayed them. Everything he has done suggests he is loyal, that he is in fact a double agent working ultimately for the revolutionaries:
- He did not kill Luffy despite being given explicit orders to do so
- He sent all the Straw hats to islands in which they could be trained
- He programmed his mind to protect the Thousand Sunny
They are secret agents working for two organizations. Their aim is intelligence gathering or counter intelligence which includes disinformation which means to provide false/harmless information. They will seem incredibly loyal, however, at critical points, they will reveal their true allegiance.
Shichibukai persona for double agent Kuma
Kuma's refusal to kill Luffy implies he is not loyal to the World Government; he refused to comply to explicit orders despite confirming to the elders that he will kill Luffy. In addition, Kuma fed the World Government false information, in which he stated that he had killed the Straw hats.
Whenever Kuma betrays the World Government, he would need to make it look like a failure by him or make any other excuses. The excuse he made at Thriller Bark is 'honouring a deal' but if he truly did honour that deal he would've finished off Zoro at Shabondy Archipelago. This clearly indicates an inconsistency in Kuma's beliefs which means he was lying about honouring deals; at the time, it was convenient because Kuma did not want to kill Luffy.
Ivankov confirms to us that Kuma hated the World Government and every one of his actions strengthens the credibility of Ivankovs statement.
Zoro's strength and endurance
Kuma says that, Zoro is very close to death. In the manga Luffy has been the one who fights the strongest and he's the main character who's regarded as stronger than Zoro, so how can Zoro i.e. the second strongest take all of Luffy's pain and fatigue despite running low on health himself? It is simply not possible, no matter what the image shows you; it contradicts everything else we have seen in the entire manga.
People will use the images depicting Kuma creating a bubble of pain and fatigue as evidence that Zoro was able to withstand it; people will show images of Kuma stating that that bubble is an accumulation of all Luffy's pain and fatigue. But they are all wrong.
Remember what I stated about Kuma's loyalty and his job as a double secret agent. If you attempt to match Kuma's statements with the images and events that occurred after Thriller Bark, they simply do not match:
- He says he honours deals - lie
- He says he killed a Straw hat - lie
Why did Kuma exhibit such aggression if he's loyal?
Kuma is a double secret agent, his job was to infiltrate the World Government as a spy; ever since then he has been working as a seemingly loyal [image] World Government shichibukai, but at critical points in time he has betrayed them hence revealing his true allegiance to the revolutionaries.
Kuma concealed his intent at Thriller Bark. He refused to kill Luffy [image] and took the first opportunity to wound Zoro. He knew the Straw hats were extremely loyal from the events of Enis Lobby. He was forced to wound Zoro extremely badly, he would need to do this otherwise his cover is blown. In addition, he saw how loyal the members of the Strawhats were to Luffy.
Zoro was forced to withstand a safe amount of some of Luffy's pain and fatigue. Kuma healed Luffy, meaning that wasn't truly all of Luffy's pain and fatigue. Furthermore, Kuma lied about killing Zoro. Kuma is a very good actor and that's exactly why he is a double secret agent for the revolutionaries.