Zou has finally be revealed and true to its name, it definitely has something to do with an Elephant, more so than I had initially expected. After chapter 795, I had suspected that the Island the Curly Hat Pirates land on was an Island that could possibly rest on the back of a massive animal carrying it, but I expected a giant whale or sea king, not really a thousand-year old Elephant casually cruising in the oceans like it was nothing. With the setting of the next arc being that of this ancient giant elephant, I am curious as to the origins of this elephant and its longevity. Hopefully as we learn about the residents of Zou – the Mink – we also learn about this enigmatic ancient elephant.
The seventh Shichibukai has also finally be revealed and what an interesting introduction he has gotten. I really do wonder where Oda is exactly going with this but based on how Oda introduced Weeble/Weevil it seems likely that Weeble won’t be as big an antagonist as some of the other Shichibukai Luffy faced. Once Weeble is defeated by Luffy, he will likely ally himself with Luffy to take down his one true enemy – Blackbeard. The very fact that Oda had revealed Weeble’s grudge against Blackbeard to be such a key driving force suggest that once his “mother’s” influence is gone (removed by Luffy and Co.), Weeble will consolidate his efforts towards fulfilling his perceived vengeance i.e. defeating Blackbeard. Weeble from what we have seen doesn’t appear to be such a bad person, just a bit slow and susceptible to his mother’s manipulation. I wonder if Weeble and Bakkin will make an appearance in the Zou arc later or whether Oda will use them for after Zou. Also, I don’t believe that Weeble is Whitebeard’s son.
Looking forward to seeing the Mink and learning more about them. Given that we are told the Mink has utter disdain towards humans and that the Zou Arc is still part of the Pirate Alliance Saga, I wonder if Luffy will work his usual charm end up changing the perceptions of the Mink towards the human race in general. Will the Mink end up allying with Luffy and the Straw Hat Pirates once this arc is over? Some of Kaidou’s men are on the Island for currently unrevealed purposes – searching for a samurai and some woman? – so they will likely be the antagonist of this arc and via their defeat they will help to highlight the peculiarity of Luffy to the Mink. Also given that the Island been isolated from humans for thousands of years, the chances of a Poneglyph residing in Zou is extremely high.
With the news of the Straw Hat Pirates accomplishments at Dressrosa spreading, the world itself has begun to move forward from their recent stagnation. The Straw Hats Pirates have forcefully changed the nature of the game by defeating Doflamingo who stood in the center of evil serving to direct its flow. Without his presence, the different parties functioning within the New World have had no choice but to move forward and with so many intentions and ideals colliding, a storm dragging in the whole world seems inevitable.
Burgess has somehow managed to sneak aboard the Revolutionary Army ship and make it to their mysterious general headquarters on Baltigo. With a mass of weapons gathered their and Dragon and Sabo present their, Burgess has signaled to his allies to get Blackbeard to gather everyone and attack his location (following his vivre card). With Dragon representing such a major player within the New World, there is no doubt that Blackbeard will attack but fortunately for Dragon, he has arranged for all the leaders of the Revolutionary Army scattered across the world to return to Baltigo. Dragon will have the full force of his army backing him when Blackbeard makes the decision to attack Baltigo. With Baltigo’s location compromised, it seems likely that the marines will also catch wind of this at some point. Whatever happens, I am glad we have finally seen the reason for Burgess being a part of the Dressrosa Arc.
Buggy…how does he do it, how does he string along so many pirates to follow the rhythm of his tune when they are easily more powerful than him. In some ways, Buggy is even more impressive at manipulating others perception than Doflamingo. Buggy has created an image of himself so grand and illustrious that Hajrudin and his crew once followed him, and now with the defeat of Doflamingo, Buggy’s mercenary business is booming. Without a supply of weapons, the warring countries across the world have turned to mercenaries. Unfortunately for Buggy, their star members, Hajrudin and his crew have resigned in favour of joining arms with Straw Hat Luffy – if only we could see Buggy’s reaction when he was told the reason for why Hajrudin resigned.
Kanjuro’s drawn dragon…poor thing, it looks so fragile and vulnerable, yet it has to get everyone to the top of the Ancient Elephant and to Zou. I understand why Robin considers it cute, but it wouldn’t have hurt for Kanjuro to have drawn some wings so that the manner in which they reach Zou doesn’t look so painful. Well I guess it was due to the fact that the Elephant is moving and the massive mist/fog that it wouldn’t have been appropriate to fly towards the top of the Elephant.
Kin’emon and Kanjuro are still holding back on revealing their true purpose in leaving the Wano Kingdom and traveling to Zou, but what is certain is that Momonosuke is central to their reason. What would cause them to leave the Wano Kingdom and why would they want to go to an Island like Zou? Are they hiding Momonosuke away? Fortunately we get some information on the fourth member of their group, the ninja Raizou. A revelation that places all the guys in awe and Robin in a confused state as she witnesses the glint in their eyes and soul. With Luffy having major interest in Raizou before he has met him/her, one can’t help but be interested in the character and wonder the future role Raizou will serve in the story. Will Raizou be a significantly important character in this arc?
Given that scaling the Ancient Elephant to reach Zou isn’t an easy feat, I wonder just how Sanji and Co. had reached the top without someone like Kanjuro there? Did Caesar use his gas balloon(s) to take them to the top or did they reach the top in a totally different manner? With so much mystery surrounding what happened to the Curly Hat Pirates and the Island Zou in general, I really am looking forward to the next chapter.