With the fight reaching its conclusion, it is only a matter of pages now until Doflamingo falls at the fist of Luffy. Doflamingo at the moment just can’t seem to match Gear Fourth Luffy both in terms of speed and power and appears to be instead trying to buy time for the risks of Gear Fourth to kick in and affect Luffy. Throughout their 20 minutes fight, Doflamingo hasn’t once managed to inflict noticeable damage onto Luffy and has instead been the one who is receiving the beating. If Doflamingo does still have the energy to get up after receiving Luffy’s Lion Bazooka, I doubt he would have much strength left to seriously stand against Luffy even if Gear Fourth wears off. It seems very likely that Oda has set-up Doflamingo’s fall for the next chapter – most likely a weakened/weakening Doflamingo vs base Luffy.
I have to say though, I love seeing Doflamingo smashed in the face and beaten around Dressrosa. It has been a long time coming and he is finally getting a taste of the pain he has been inflicting onto other people throughout the majority of his life. Sure Doflamingo had a tragic past, but he chose to embrace evil and continue pursuing the voice of madness down into the darkness. I pity Doflamingo, but he does deserve what is coming to him – defeat.
I do find it odd though that despite not being a match for Gear Fourth Luffy, Doflamingo is continuing to talk down to Luffy, I suppose it is just a habit built on years and years of being believed to be “superior” to everyone else. Even with the revelation that Doflamingo has unlocked the “awakening” power of his Devil Fruit, Luffy was still able to avoid being overwhelmed by Doflamingo and from what we were shown, managed to avoid all the attacks Doflamingo sent his way.
With the battle fast-forwarding 20 minutes into the scene of Luffy launching his final attacks, it seems quite apparent that Oda is ready to wrap this fight up and end Doflamingo’s reign of terror and madness. If Doflamingo couldn’t stop Luffy with his “awakened” abilities, I doubt Oda will allow Doflamingo to last much longer after the Lion Bazooka. Doflamingo will most likely get back up after that attack, but I doubt he has much left to use against Luffy. The fight may just end with them attacking each other in their base forms with Luffy eventually overwhelming Doflamingo with both his endurance and willpower. Oda has made it very clear that once Luffy entered Gear Fourth Doflamingo stood no chance, so I doubt we will see a comeback from Doflamingo. It is only a matter of time until Doflamingo finally falls for good.
Glad to see Burgess again and I guess he really was the one Koala was talking about being a threat to Luffy when she contacted Sabo. Will be great to a Sabo vs Burgess battle again, but I wonder if that will really happen, especially if Burgess is content with avoiding entangling himself in the Straw Hat and Donquixote Pirate affair. Burgess was after something in the Palace and whatever it was, it seems to be stored in that bag on his back. Was Burgess after SMILEs, some other Devil Fruits Doflamingo had stored in the Palace or does he have something else in that bag? Koala doesn’t seem to be aware of Burgess’s objective, so whatever Burgess did, he did it before Koala came across him inside the Rampart Tower.
Zoro, Kine’mon and Kajuro trying to stop the Bird Cage threads is interesting, I wonder if they plan to remove the Bird Cage completely or just stop/slow down the threads from contracting. Either way, both cases will benefit Luffy and give him enough time to take down Doflamingo and finally liberate Dressrosa from his control. The SMILE production factory made of Kairoseki does appear to have some role in stopping the Bird Cage. I am curious to learn what Franky thought up when he heard Zoro intended to stop the Bird Cage threads.
King Riku’s speech was quite moving, guess even after ten years of regret, torment and suffering, he still has the heart and charm of a great king. What a guy Riku Dold III. He managed to calm the panicking and despairing citizens and shine a ray of light into this dark hour they find themselves in. Despite their spirits hanging on by a thread, he was able to unite the hearts of everyone and be the King they all had been lacking for ten very long years. To have an opportunity to help his people now when he was made to have them suffer ten years ago, I have to say that Oda has created an inspiring moment to work in Riku’s redemption. Both for Riku and his people, this moment was very relevant and liberating one, it is helping to revive the country Dressrosa was before Doflamingo arrived. I really am glad King Riku has gotten the opportunity to absolve himself of his demons and regret (what he was made to do ten years ago). The fact that the people responded in kind, that was just great to see i.e. the revival of Dressrosa.
I don’t see Doflamingo lasting much longer, and I believe the conclusion of the Dressrosa Arc is about to begin. Once Doflamingo is defeated, I wonder if the Bird Cage will be removed as well or whether the Bird Cage has to directly be destroyed. I am also curious to see how Oda plans to handle how Luffy, Zoro, Usopp, Franky, Robin, Law, Kine’mon and Kajuro will rejoin Sanji, Nami, Chopper, Brook, Momo and Caesar on the Thousand Sunny. Also, what will Isshou do once Doflamingo is defeated and the Bird Cage is removed? The world being rocked by the events on Dressrosa is certain though, so to are bounty increases for the relevant characters (Zoro better get a decent increase).
As for Jinbe’s cover story, we have finally arrived at the final chapter and he has returned to his journey again, but with Wadatsumi and few gifts. With Jinbe bringing the Poneglyph along, it seems likely that he will rejoin with Straw Hat Pirates at some point, hopefully sooner rather than later. Wonder if Oda intends to have Jinbe reunite with Luffy and Co. on Wano Kuni. Well there is also the possibility that Oda will use Jinbe and Wadatsumi to pick up Luffy and Co. from Dressrosa seeing as the Thousand Sunny isn’t there. Would be cool to learn what information the Poneglyph contains.