Sanji finally let off the weight dragging him down into despair. The agonizing weight of having his dreams crushed and his loved ones lives used against him. A sinking weight wholly reliant on his actions. Sanji wanted to protect everyone even if it meant doing it all alone and against an overwhelming opponent. He complied with the demands required of him and played the part of a pawn in someone else’s schemes oblivious to the reality of what was going on behind the scenes. Now that Sanji is aware of the futility of his efforts, of how the Wedding is actually a precursor to a festival of death and destruction, he turns to his captain for help. And of course, Luffy being who he is, accepts the challenge of further angering a Yonko.
Jinbe saved Pekoms from Capone’s execution who in turn shared with Jinbe the dark schemings of Capone and his Firetank Pirates. While the Wedding ceremony preparations are going on and the Big Mom Pirates are distracted by the Straw Hats Pirates and the Germa, Capone seemingly intends to end Big Mom and wrestle control over her resources. Capone has begun to move within the shadows and in addition to Pekoms, Capone and his crew have shot/injured Bobbin the Fixer. Could Capone seriously open the door to a Straw Hat and Big Mom Pirate alliance with his current actions or at least buy the Straw Hat Pirates the opportunity to stop the slaughter during the Wedding ceremony and a chance to escape? If so, could the Straw Hat Pirates also end up indirectly helping Big Mom by messing with the plans of Capone. It would be hilarious if at the end of the arc Capone is left alone with Big Mom to deal with the consequences of his ambition. If the Firework Pirates are sling-shotted into the antagonist role, I can see how the Big Mom Pirates would be spared as opponents for a future arc.
If the Firetank Pirates are to serve as an antagonist faction during the Whole Cake Island Arc, Sanji VS Vito would make a delicious match-up especially after Vito threatened Sanji so brazenly with the lives of his loved one at the end of Zou Arc/beginning of the Whole Cake Island Arc. Vito may not have directly done much of anything so far but it feels like he is about to piss Sanji off in the wrong sort of way at the wrong time in the wrong place. Sanji now knows what he wants and has resolved to stop his family’s execution, so any threats Vito has at the ready will fall on deaf ears. If Vito is to be Sanji’s opponent in this arc, Vito will get wrecked.
Based on Luffy’s state when Sanji reached him, he definitely wouldn’t have lasted much longer without food. He was shriveling up from hunger after just a day or less without food. How many calories does Luffy burn through being a rubberman? Thanks to Sanji’s food though, Luffy is revived and their promise is fulfilled and in its place a new promise is made between Captain and Chef. Sanji does not believe he has any right to return to the crew after what he did to his Captain when Luffy came to Wholecake Island to save him. Sanji is also worried about the Baratie and Zeff, afraid that they will be put in harm’s way as a result of his current actions. Additionally, Sanji wants to save his family yet doesn’t believe he can stop Big Mom alone. As such Luffy makes Sanji’s business his business and forces Sanji to admit to himself the truth of what he really wants. After coming to terms with his own lies, Sanji confides in Luffy and request his assistance as he desires to return to the Thousand Sunny. Luffy accepts and wins back the chef to his crew.
It is nice to see a genuine bonding moment between Luffy and Sanji after such a long time. Sanji finally starts to be honest with himself and admits the situation he finds himself in is too much to handle alone and that he requires Luffy’s help. With Sanji back and the Straw Hat Pirates outside the focus of the Big Mom Pirates information net, they have a real chance of stopping the Wedding ceremony and messing up Big Mom’s plans. Add to that the rebellion of Capone and Big Mom really runs the risk of losing everything. The Germa are the wild card as depending on whether they find out Big Mom’s true purpose or believe Sanji/Reiju they may serve as an obstacle in the way of the Straw Hat Pirates. Certainly though when they see the intentions of Big Mom, they will turn against her. Looking forward to the next chapter.