Bartholomew Kuma’s backstory is one of the saddest tales in the One Piece saga, filled with constant pain and suffering. What makes it even tougher is that Kuma stands out as a truly good-hearted and selfless character in the series, always putting others before himself.
As if his past wasn’t heartbreaking enough, Kuma’s role in the main story of One Piece has been a bit complicated. On one hand, he indirectly helped the Straw Hat Pirates twice. On the flip side, he followed the orders of the World Government, leaving us wondering about his true loyalties after giving up his free will and humanity to become a cyborg.
So, the big question is, where is Kuma’s story heading, and how will it all end?
During the ongoing battle with Saint Jaygarcia Saturn, the story takes a trip back to Chapter 1095 to explore Kuma’s past. It all started with his tough childhood, where the Celestial Dragons enslaved and killed his parents because of his father’s connection to the Buccaneer race.
Kuma then ended up in God Valley, escaping slavery and rescuing many others from the World Nobles with the help of his newly acquired Devil Fruit, the Nikyu Nikyu no Mi. After getting away to the Sorbet Kingdom in the South Blue with his pal Ginny, Kuma became a key part of the community, using his Devil Fruit powers to help the sick and elderly.
He got into trouble for going against the unfair rules of the kingdom’s leader, King Bekori, and landed in prison. But when Monkey D. Dragon and Emporio Ivankov showed up, Kuma joined the Revolutionary Army, supporting a coup in the Sorbet Kingdom. It was also hinted that Kuma and Ginny became more than friends as they grew up.
Sadly, things took a dark turn for Kuma. While on separate missions with the Revolutionaries, Ginny was captured by a Celestial Dragon. Held captive for over two years, she was forced into marriage and had a son named Bonney during that time.
Ginny reached out to Kuma and her former allies after being abandoned due to a fatal illness. Kuma rushed back to the Sorbet Kingdom, but it was too late. Ginny passed away, leaving Bonney crying by her side.
Suppression of Kuma Will
Kuma took in Bonney as his daughter to honor Ginny’s memory. Sadly, Bonney started showing signs of the same illness that took her mom’s life. Desperate to save her, Kuma searched the world for doctors, but they all said she wouldn’t make it past her tenth birthday.
Kuma wasn’t ready to give up, though. He kept looking until he found Dr. Vegapunk, the top scientist. Luckily, he struck a deal with Vegapunk – cure Bonney, and Kuma would help with a project to create humanoid peacekeeping weapons, which later became the Pacifista project. But things turned dark when Saint Jaygarcia Saturn stepped in, making Kuma agree to become a cyborg.
Saturn also made him join the Seven Warriors of the Sea and agreed to lose his free will to ensure he wouldn’t rebel against the World Government.
Believing it was the only way to save Bonney, Kuma agreed to everything, even giving up hope of seeing her recover. This is when the main story of One Piece kicked off, and Kuma transformed into the stoic Sea Warrior we first met at the series’ beginning, thanks to his cybernetic changes.
Happy or Tragic Ending?
After letting the Straw Hat Pirates survive encounters on Thriller Bark and the Sabaody Archipelago, Kuma underwent a major personality wipe during the time jump. All that was left was a blob of his memories in Vegapunk’s lab on Egghead Island.
His last human act was guarding the Thousand Sunny for two years. But after the Sea Warrior system was scrapped, he became a slave to the Celestial Dragons on Mary Geoise.
During the Levely, the Revolutionary Army saved Kuma from capture. He later went rogue again, climbing the Red Line and causing chaos in Mary Geoise. He escaped just as Fleet Admiral Sakazuki arrived.
Since then, nobody knows where he is. But if luck is on his side, he might be heading to Egghead Island, where the battle against Saturn and Kizaru is happening.
If Kuma makes it there, he could be the Straw Hat Pirates’ ace to escape. Maybe he’ll take on Saturn directly, giving the Thousand Sunny a chance to sail away. Or he might help Luffy recover, unleashing Gear 5.
This seems likely, and Kuma’s sacrifice could be his last chance to save his daughter. His actions in Mary Geoise suggest his programming might be overridden. Or, he could have a bigger role in the fight against the World Government.
There are signs that Kuma might meet a tragic end, but Eiichiro Oda, the series creator, might give him a final closure with Bonney before he goes for good.