With the alliance between the Straw Hat Pirates, the Mink race and the Kouzuki Clan established, we are finally onto the arc featuring Sanji and his arranged marriage with one of Big Mom’s daughters (the 35th). With Sanji so out of focus for the past few years and barely getting any decent battle coverage, it is refreshing and deserving that we get an entire arc centered around him, his past and his family. In addition to Sanji, we are also getting the Big Mom Pirates and her
Wonderland Totto Land revealed.
With Germa 66, an organisation run by Sanji’s father, representing one of the most elite fighting forces in the world, now on its way to becoming an adversary of the Straw Hat Pirates, we may finally get some battle coverage that pushes the Straw Hat Pirates (those featured) to the limits and potentially beyond or at the very least forces then to reveal some of their new abilities. I doubt we will get the defeat of the Big Mom Pirates before Sanji’s wedding is interrupted by Luffy and the arranged marriage ended.
I don’t know if it just me but Sanji’s siblings designs are very reminiscent of Leiji Matsumoto’s design style. I know Oda-sensei has expressly mentioned in earlier interviews that Leiji Matsumoto’s works inspired him, so I can see Oda-sensei using that inspiration in elements of One Piece. The Germa 66 character designs, outfits and advanced technology really do remind me of Leiji Matsumoto’s works – Captain Harlock and Galaxy Express 999. Also the 66 at the end of Germa 66 does make me think of the 999 in Galaxy Express 999. Very interested to see how far this inspiration extends in terms of the Germa 66’s technology. Will we finally get a Space arc in One Piece? The elements are there, all Oda-sensei needs to do is give the Straw Hat Pirates a purpose to head into space/the moons/other celestial bodies.
Before the Straw Hat Pirates take on Big Mom, it appears that the Germa 66 will serve as the antagonist. The introduction of Sanji’s siblings does make this seem likely. Helping Jinbe break away from the Big Mom Pirates will also be one of the consequential effects that result from this arc. Jinbe is destined to join the Straw Hats Pirates (chapter 830 pretty much seals it), the only question now is what Jinbe will have to lose to satisfy Big Mom that him leaving her crew is acceptable. Potentially, Luffy and Co will save Jinbe before Big Mom chops off one of Jinbe’s limbs (Jinbe losing a limb in this circumstance would just feel cheap). Enjoyed the focus chapter 830 gave to Jinbe’s pursuit of his desire to join the Straw Hat Pirates and the support his whole crew gave him. We have waited long enough for Jinbe to join, so it is going to be exciting to see Jinbe finally aboard the Thousand Sunny as a Straw Hat Pirate. Also just an additional note, but in chapter 839 Nami does expressly mention how terribly Luffy and others are at steering the ship (delicately) – seems Jinbe will likely fill that official helmsman position of the Straw Hat Pirates.
Now back to the Germa 66, while I believe they will serve as adversaries for the Straw Hat Pirates this arc, I don’t believe they will stay as adversaries by the end of it. There are certain points revealed so far that make me doubt their ‘evilness’. For starters, the fact that they are represented as the avatars on evil in the Weekly Economics Journal suggest to me that an agenda (World Government?) is being pushed forward that ensures the Germa 66 are perceived as evil when they may not entirely be. How ironic it would be if people the world thought of as pure evil were in fact just as flawed as each and every one of them. The whole media portraying the character incorrectly reminds me of Montblanc Noland, who is also from North Blue. We all remember how that turned out and how wrong the world was about Noland and his adventures (dwarves exist!). I am as of yet not buying the Germa 66 are completely evil element yet.
The other reason is Reiju not seeming all that evil by saving Luffy and not engaging with the Straw Hat Pirates when it was obvious they were going to get Sanji back. I just can’t see a character who saved Luffy from a life threatening situation going on to become a major antagonist. As Reiju is associated with the Germa 66 as being a core member, I really do doubt the Vinsmoke family will remain as antagonist with the Straw Hat Pirates. Ultimately though, we will have to wait and see.
One aspect about the current arc story that I am trying to figure out is – why do the Vinsmoke family want to enter into an alliance with the Big Mom Pirates. I get that Big Mom wants the alliance to gain access to the technology and military might the Germa 66 possess, but what exactly do the Vinsmoke Family need from Big Mom? Power? Doubt it, based on what we have learned about them, they possess a lot of power through Germa66. Infamy? Doesn’t seem like it, the Germa 66 are synonymous with evil based on the Weekly Economic Strip Comic. They are known as a myth throughout the world. Resources? Information? Seems likely as Big Mom possess a vast network of information gathering. If so, what specific information are the Vinsmoke Family after? Something related to the Poneglyph’s?
Entertaining a theory, but what if the World Government saw the Vinsmoke family as a dangerous opposition (to their continued existence and sovereign) and chose to whittle away their power (the Vinsmoke family are royalty) through perceived threat ultimately resulting in the Vinsmoke family losing the land/kingdom. Thanks in part to branding the Germa 66 as evil, people began to fear the Vinsmoke family and their technology. As for why the Vinsmoke family are still allowed to the Reverie, that may in part be to the World Government also fearing the capabilities of the Germa 66 if given incentive to direct all their fury towards them. This fear may also be why the World Government accepted the Vinsmoke family’s request to adjust Sanji’s bounty from ‘dead or alive’ to ‘only alive’. The advanced technology the Vinsmoke family has access to may have some connection to the technology the ancient civilization had way back in the void century.
However it happens, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Vinsmoke Family end up becoming one of the allies aka friends of Luffy and his crew. They seem important and not in the sense of antagonist given the context they were introduced in – Big Mom and Kaido are the current main antagonist.
I am not entirely sure if Big Mom will be defeated in Totto Land or whether Oda-sensei will wait for a later arc to cover the Yonko’s defeat. It may be until the Straw Hat Pirates fully regather again that we will have first major battle against the Yonko and their crews. I suppose a good indicator that ensures Big Mom’s defeat is still a while away is the fact that we have hardly gotten an in depth look at the Big Pirates crew. We have gotten a few appearances of some of the members and Big Mom’s children, but as of yet, the main part of the crew has yet to be revealed.
Hell, we still need to get the reintroduction of Pudding when she reveals she has a third eye. I wonder if Pudding is the navigator of the Big Mom Pirates – she shared with Nami a pretty accurate map of how to avoid the alarms and get to Wholecake Island. Additionally, it will be interesting to see why Pudding hides her third eye away, possible split personality maybe depending on whether the third eye is open or not? One thing I can’t get past is Pudding’s saintly personality. Unlike Reiju who helped Luffy because she had no immediate beef with him and because she found the poison in his system delicious, why exactly is Pudding helping the Straw Hat Pirates? I admit Pudding’s introduction was great, and her getting Luffy and Co. out of a jam was super cool, but her personality just stinks of suspiciousness. I know I said in a previous post months ago that Pudding may be the connection in the Big Mom Pirates crew that helps the Straw Hat Pirates, but it can’t be this easy, right? Surely Big Mom is expecting them to arrive at Wholecake Island and has made contingencies.
Whatever happens, I am ecstatic to find out what happens next. Big Mom has an intriguing ability and the whole nature of Totto Land screams Wonderland. What dark terrors await inside this rabbit hole and will Luffy and Co also end up getting a copy of the Road Poneglyph that Big Mom possesses? And with Sanji, how will he deal with Luffy and Co coming to rescue him? The Germa 66 is an immediate threat, so I am curious to find out how Sanji will deal with what his Family have planned.