Personally, one of the most enjoyable chapters this arc; it highlighted Cavendish, Bartolomeo and Robin in such a sensational light and expressed just how important this battle in Dressrosa is for each of them. The way Gladius was defeated was nothing short of epic, and the half and half of Cavendish/Hakuba was unusually fascinating, yet the true moment of the chapter for me was Robin unleashing some of the potential she has as a fighter. With Robin arriving in the “monsters battleground” I look forward to seeing her in action, especially since it seems likely that she will be highlighted in a battle.
Regarding Dellinger, I was curious to see if he was really down for the count from the attack he received from Hakuba in the previous chapter and satisfyingly, that one hit from Hakuba really did take Dellinger out. I guess overconfidence was one of the bad traits Dellinger picked up from the Donquixote Family when he was growing up with them. What a shame for him.
Bartolomeo’s reaction to Hakuba attacking his barrier was priceless, the two of them may not get along with each other but they make such quality entertainment with their interactions and extreme selves. They are both alike yet so different and I look forward to seeing the two of them again in the story of One Piece beyond this arc.
Robin being able to immoblize Hakuba was fantastic, I’m glad we are being reminded once again that regardless of a person’s speed (and to an extent, power), they have no effect on escaping Robin’s Hana Hana no Mi. Despite the lack of highlighting we have received on Robin in fights through One Piece, she is still without a doubt a monster in her own right and while we have not recently seen much coverage of her in a serious fight, she has always been a capable fighter able to defend herself. Her being able to stop Hakuba and immobilize him supports that fact.
Cavendish’s battle with his inner personality, Hakuba, was quite intriguing and amusing, especially when the two personalities ended up in a state of covergence – “half and half” described it perfectly. Hakuba’s bloodlust was palpable as he wanted to express his rage onto all those around him, yet at the same time I understood why Cavendish was so reluctant to relinquish control over his body to Hakuba as the current battle he was in was one which he did want to handle himself without Hakuba’s involvement. The desperation the two personalities showed expressed just how conflicted and complex Cavendish’s mind is, I can’t help but be interested in Cavendish’s past and wonder if there will come a point when the two personalities reach a state of balance. Such a state does seem to have been hinted at in this chapter when Cavendish protected Robin from Gladius’s explosion when half of his body was under the control of Hakuba which in effect allowed him to utilise the speed Hakuba has. It makes one wonder what Cavendish will be capable of if Hakuba and him cooperate.
Bartolomeo was a downright badass this chapter. In order to protect Robin, he went on the offensive and even willingly put his own life on the line in order to prevent Gladius from causing any harm to Robin. Despite Bartolomeo’s failed attempt to completely stop Gladius from exploding the mountain, he still managed to will himself back up, even with Gladius’s poison in his system, to land the finishing blow on him. His finishing move was one of the highlights of the chapter for me – Bari Bari no Pistol, a homage of one of Luffy’s signature moves. Bartolomeo resolving to get stronger in order to be a man Luffy can rely on made the conclusion of the battle so much sweeter and memorable. I look forward to seeing more of Bartolomeo in the future of One Piece.
It is interesting to note that with Rebecca currently at the Flower Fields, Diamante isn’t taking Kyros directly on, and is instead focusing his attacks towards Rebecca. It looks like Diamante really is seeking to follow through with his desire of seeing Kyros’s reaction when he loses his daughter as well. Rebecca may be a capable fighter, but it doesn’t look like she is capable of defending herself from the attacks Diamante is sending her way or at least is not [yet] serious/confident enough to stand against Diamante. Diamante may just be too strong an opponent for her to defend against (unless of course she really uses the fact that Diamante killed her mother to fuel her emotion and resolve). Fortunately for Kyros and unfortunately for Diamante, Robin has arrived just in time to help parry Diamante’s strike from hitting Rebecca.
With Robin now at the Flower Fields, it seems unlikely for Diamante to follow through with his desire of killing Rebecca before he takes on Kyros. Robin may help in taking down Diamante, or she may not. Personally, I believe the latter is the case, she doesn’t seem to have any intention in interfering with Kyros’s fight against Diamante beyond protecting Rebecca. The build up surrounding the encounter between Kyros and Diamante has just been too fleshed out to not have Kyros be the one to take down Diamante. Robin may just end up taking Rebecca away from the battlefield and allow Kyros to fully concentrate on taking down Diamante without having to worry about Diamante attacking his daughter. Despite only having one leg, I feel Kyros can take down Diamante, especially with the weight of the past ten years behind Kyros’s attacks.
I still believe that Robin’s opponent this arc will be Trebol. He is the only Donquixote Pirate without an opponent, and seeing as Robin is near the Palace, it wouldn’t be too surprising if she left Diamante to Kyros and went on ahead with Rebecca to the top of the Palace. If Rebecca isn’t going to be part of the Diamante fight, at the very least she can be witness to the downfall of Doflamingo. With talk about the fates of the “D” and “Tenryuubito” being initiated by Doflamingo, I feel Robin needs to be present when such a conversation resumes as Luffy, a “D”, begins to take on Doflamingo, a “Tenryuubito”. Trebol himself may have some insight into such fates having been with Doflamingo for so long and if his opponent is Robin, she may learn something she wouldn’t otherwise from just reading the Poneglyphs. Looking forward to the next chapter!
As for the cover story, I am somewhat saddened that explanation for the displaced Sea Cats town was Wadatsumi throwing it onto land, I was hoping it was something a bit more elaborate. Well regardless, I still look forward to seeing where the cover story featuring Jinbe is heading.