We are finally getting into the business end of the arc where Luffy finally gets serious about facing and taking down Doflamingo. With Luffy having to take out Bellamy with his own hands, he has come to terms with what kind of person Doflamingo really is and I believe Luffy is now ready to fully unleash his fury onto Doflamingo. The sadistic, cruel and menacing figure that is Doflamingo, Luffy now has his sights set solely on him.
Luffy is incredibly curious as to why Bellamy is adamant in following Doflamingo, even if it means his death. For Bellamy, in addition to being in a confused and vulnerable state, he wanted more than anything to hold onto the aspect of his life which he saw as having value and worth, the part of himself that believes in someone and would fight to the death for their acknowledgement. In this instance, the subject of Bellamy’s respect was Doflamingo, a man whom he thought embodied the meaning of a pirate. Bellamy may have been wrong in judging the type of person Doflamingo was, but the part of himself that believed in Doflamingo, the part of himself that he felt represented who he was and what his life represented, Bellamy was desperate to keep that part of himself alive even if it meant his death.
Bellamy was ready to die fighting Luffy, so the only option Luffy had available to him was to take out Bellamy before he exhausted himself completely and subsequently killed himself. The parallel with the Jaya Arc of Luffy taking down Bellamy with one punch was a nice addition, but a part of me can’t help but feel conflicted about it. On one hand it is great that Bellamy has changed for the better and is maturing but on the other, the satisfaction associated with the Jaya scene where an arrogant Bellamy is overpowered by Luffy does seem to have lessened as Bellamy is no more the villainous man he was two years ago. Even after everything Bellamy has endured, I don’t see him dying this arc.
Nice to see a short flashback of Zoro and Mihawk, especially one involving a lesson concerning Haki and how imbuing his swords with it will reduce the damage his swords receive when using it. The ‘no sake until master of haki’ stance Mihawk took while sipping a glass of wine in front of Zoro was gold, what a great way to motivate someone. Imagine motivating Luffy with a piece of meat!
Nice to see Isshou finally in the spot light, I was starting to wonder if he will end up doing anything beyond gathering the citizen’s of Dressrosa and it looks like he did serve a relatively important purpose – preventing the rubble from Pica’s giant golem from crashing onto the citizen’s after it was blown their way by Elizabello’s ‘King Punch’. I would have loved a reaction from Isshou concerning Zoro’s swordsman he just displayed, but it seems like Isshou wasn’t so taken away by it.
The SMILE production factory being blown up in this chapter was a surprise, I had expected it to have been demolished during the Luffy and Doflamingo fight, but it isn’t so bad seeing every plan of Doflamingo’s fail before Luffy and he even begin to fight. It was nice that the dwarves were the ones who destroyed the SMILE production factory, they got their revenge and most likely were able to relieve a lot of their regret and anger after having been deceived and enslaved for so long.
Trebol is still under the impression that the Donquixote Pirates still have Mansherry in their possession and are very much able to negate all the problems currently affecting them away. That hope is what is currently keeping both Trebol and Doflamingo smiling. It is going to be immensely amusing seeing Trebol’s and Doflamingo’s reaction when they realise they do not have Mansherry imprisoned anymore. All that hope they had will come crashing down and subsequently make it likely that Trebol will attempt to retake Mansherry and use her Chiyu Chiyu no Mi powers once again to help the Donquixote Pirates cause.
Seeing as Mansherry is with Robin, Kyros and Rebecca, I can see a potential battle involving Trebol and them. Kyros would be too injured to fight and seeing how Oda had Kyros refuse having Mansherry use her abilities on him, it seems like Oda intends for Kyros to remain out of action for the rest of the arc. If Trebol really does head down to the Flower Fields to retrieve Mansherry, I can honestly see Robin and Rebecca face off against him to protect Kyros and the dwarves. Kyros did state that Rebecca doesn’t have to pick up a sword ever again, but that does not mean Rebecca can’t pick up the Kairoseki handcuffs Law left behind and attach them onto Trebol making him vulnerable for Robin to land her attacks on. Rebecca has calmed down considerably since her encounter with Diamante and I believe if another tense situation presents itself in front of her, she will be able to avoid freezing up like before. Robin distracting Trebol long enough for Rebecca to get near him would be quite the sight and give Robin a chance to highlight what she is capable of as a fighter. Once Rebecca attaches the kairoseki handcuffs onto Trebol, Robin will be able to finish Trebol off in a manner consistent with how the rest of the Donquixote Pirate fights ended – with a spectacular finishing move.
Highlighting both Robin and Rebecca in a fight, especially one involving Rebecca protecting her father through assisting Robin defeat Trebol would go a long way to balance the relationship Kyros and Rebecca have and even help to balance the arc as a whole (all Straw Hat Pirates currently on Dressrosa getting featured in a fight). Using Trebol (and his defeat) to highlight Robin and Rebecca would certainly be the most beneficial use of his character, more so than him being taken out quickly by Luffy, Law or Sabo, which I feel would just be a waste and grossly underwhelming.
Koala hiding in the Palace Rampart Tower below where Doflamingo and Luffy are about to engage each other was a curious development, especially when she informed Sabo to get there as quickly as possible as Luffy will be in danger if nothing is done. The danger Koala is concerned about is most likely a person and that person does seem to be Burgess who is currently making his way to the top of the Palace. Burgess may intend to take out Doflamingo and Luffy in order to remove Birdcage and remove a few enemies from Blackbeard’s “path”. Sabo facing off against Burgess again would certainly be a great development and will be a great way to highlight both Sabo and Burgess again. Previously in the Colosseum Burgess was under the impression that he was facing Straw Hat Luffy and as such may not have used attacks that would have been more effective against Sabo. If Burgess and Sabo have a rematch, it will be interesting to see how that plays out especially the manner in how Burgess handles Sabo now that he knows who exactly he is up against. The danger could be someone else besides Burgess, but if Sabo is heading there, it makes the most sense if Burgess is the one about to cause problems for Luffy.
It is interesting to note that Viola doesn’t make any mention of Law being dead even though she is observing the battlefield near Doflamingo, so at this point it is safe to assume that even though Doflamingo did hint at Law being dead, Law is currently still alive and may just be in a state of near-death. Oda is just playing with the reader’s by having Doflamingo troll both Law and Luffy. Doflamingo may intentionally want Luffy to go berserk and has used Bellamy and Law to bring Luffy into such a state where he is more vulnerable to attacks and taunts. Law is just too an important character for him to be killed off and I just don’t see Doflamingo not being able to kill a half-dead Law if he intends to, so the only other logical conclusion is Doflamingo is using Law’s near-dead state to entice Luffy into a more attack-vulnerable state.
Will have to ultimately wait and see in the next chapter for what actually happened to Law and how bad a state he really is in currently. Very much looking forward to the next chapter.