It has finally arrived, the moment in which Luffy finally exchanges his final blow with Doflamingo this arc! Now we can finally move forward from Dressrosa and onto the rest of the New World. Finally! The interrupted and temporized nature of the Luffy and Doflamingo battle seriously did hinder the excitement attached to the match-up and unfortunately, with the addition of the whole of Dressrosa being incorporated into the defeat of Doflamingo, we were not only distracted from the Luffy VS Doflamingo conclusion, but ended up having the whole climax of the battle postponed for several chapters, just so Dressrosa could have their “ahhh” moment and realise they should actually do something themselves to help themselves. I understand the intention Oda-sensei had by using Doflamingo’s “madness” to develop several characters (Luffy, Law, Bellamy, Viola, Dressrosa) and it wasn’t bad but there are times when the focus of the reader’s attention needs to be limited to less developments to allow for those few developments to be more impacting.
Overall, the Dressrosa Arc was quite thrilling to read; it kept me excited and I actually really did enjoy it for the most part, but it was just the manner in how the conclusion began that I find myself with a somewhat jaded opinion on the overall Doflamingo battle. Up until the point when the final hit on Doflamingo was postponed for a more dramatic moment (after Luffy landed his Lion Bazooka), I found myself quite engrossed in the battle, but when the slowing down of the Bird Cage became a prominent necessity in the battle, I couldn’t help but feel all that built up excitement dissipate into fragments of its former existence. The end of Doflamingo became too excessively dramatised. The focus during the battle ended up becoming too spread out to keep one’s excitement maintained throughout the battle.
At the very least, I feel the Luffy VS Doflamingo battle should have continued while Oda-sensei shifted focus towards the whole of Dressrosa attempting to slow down the Bird Cage in order to buy Luffy those few precious seconds to wear out Doflamingo and get in that final hit, kind of like how Luffy fought Crocodile while the rest of the Straw Hats + Vivi searched for the bomb in Alabasta (Alubarna).
I suppose it was necessary to showcase the extreme downside of Gear Fourth in order to lay down the foundation for future growth Luffy will undergo as he prepares to take on the Yonko and as such, highlighting Luffy when he has exhausted his Haki is a key moment in this arc and from that perspective had to be included.
The Luffy VS Doflamingo battle may not have been my favourite One Piece battle, but I enjoyed the highlighting of Gear Fourth, especially the final attack Luffy used to bring down the Heavenly Demon, Doflamingo. Gear Fourth combined with Gear Third was great to see and I certainly do hope to see more of King Kong Gun in the future, that attack was just sheer badass.
The flashback of Rayleigh identifying the weakness of Gear Fourth also may hint towards a very interesting development, one which involves Luffy developing a further Gear or at the very least evolving Gear Fourth further. The flashback itself was a set-up for King Kong Gun, but Luffy definitely will either need to improve on Gear Fourth or to develop a new Gear for situations that will arise in the future which are similar to the one he found himself in this arc with Doflamingo. Gear Fourth clearly does put too much strain on Luffy’s body and leaves him too vulnerable after his Haki is exhausted. If Luffy didn’t have the whole of Dressrosa helping him, he would never have defeated Doflamingo.
Hmmmm, the more I think about the future impacts this current arc could have on the future story, the more I am beginning to understand Oda-sensei’s logic behind the way he has structured the Luffy VS Doflamingo battle. The very fact that Oda-sensei went out of his way to make sure the whole of Dressrosa knows about the identity of their savior – Monkey D. Luffy – suggest to me that he plans to make use of that knowledge and build on the fame the Straw Hat Pirates will eventually have within the New World. Rather than the Straw Hat Pirates becoming one of the Yonko, I can see them becoming a fifth power and challenging all of the Yonko – a move no other pirate beside Monkey D. Luffy would consider =D. The Straw Hat Alliance will only grow from here.
Doflamingo’s glasses are finally shattered and the Will of “D” has crushed the evil intentions of the “Tenryuubito”. A storm has been created and the waves that will succeed the defeat of one of the Shichibukai who was born a Tenryuubito and is currently a prominent figure in the underworld will reach every corner of the world and smash against. The name “Straw Hat” and the initial “D” will echo across the New World.
The consequence of Doflamingo’s defeat will definitely result in major effects throughout the world, in particular the New World. With the World Government having to adjust the news within the papers again to include Doflamingo’s defeat and potentially the abolition of his Shichibukai title, I can’t see the opinions of the people towards the Shichibukai and World Government not being affected. I very much look forward to the coming chapters and the exact effect Doflamingo’s defeat will have on the rest of the world.