As much as I wanted the plan to succeed and go off without a stutter, it is as expected, the whole plan went to the dogs. Big Mom’s rage went beyond expectations, and as a result the KX Launcher missiles failed to penetrate her Haki and unfortunately for Caesar, his moment to be the hand of divinity reaching down to save ‘the less blessed’ plebs was prematurely cut short before it even began with the mirror he was in possession of shattering and sealing their escape path. With the Big Mom Pirates having reorganised themselves and Big Mom having directed all her rage towards the Straw Hat Pirates, will a straight-up versus’s scenario play out or are there other factors at work that will define the flow of the current chaos?
I was expecting the KX Launcher missiles to land and weaken Big Mom while the rest of plan goes up flames forcing the Straw Hat Pirates and allies to face off against the Big Mom Pirates and carve out an escape path for themselves through them. But with the missiles failing to land and weaken Big Mom, how will Luffy go about facing her? Big Mom at max rage seems too much of a beast for the current Luffy to prevail over but if Big Mom were weakened, it becomes significantly more believable and achievable for Luffy to defeat Big Mom. What exactly will Luffy do; will he face her at full strength or are there other options available to use to “weaken” Big Mom?
What is the Wholecake Island Arc trying to accomplish?
Beyond the rejoining of Sanji and the recruitment of Jinbe, there is the focus on Big Mom and her inevitable defeat. Recently her relationship with Mother Caramel has come to light and her vulnerability regarding Mother Caramel’s disappearance had become a core basis for the Big Mom Assassination plan Capone constructed. Mother Caramel has been revealed as a precious existence to Linlin’s who has just lost control over herself with the sight of Mother Caramel’s picture being damaged. Big Mom is currently in a sensitive state filled with rage and it seems it wouldn’t take much shock for her to be pushed into overexertion and overwhelm herself. Therein lies the answer to “weakening” Big Mom and Luffy finding a moment to carve an opportunity in which to defeat Big Mom in. To exploit that weakness, another major character in the arc will need to be involved. That character being Pudding.
What is Pudding’s purpose in the Arc?
Initially Pudding’s role was deceiving Sanji to set-up the Vinsmoke Family annihilation plot. Through her we came to know of Big Mom’s plans for taking control over the Germa. In addition, through the treatment of Pudding (and Lola) we get to learn the type of mother Big Mom is to her children. What matters to Big Mom more than anything is not her children, but her desire to fulfill Mother Caramel’s “dream” and becoming the next Pirate King. With the relations within the Charlotte family clarified, Oda-sensei has shifted the image of Pudding from being a full-blown villain to a victim of circumstance who only exercised what she knew. Pudding’s very reaction to Sanji’s warm words and genuine kindness changed everything. What we knew about her got completely turned on its head. The reactions of the rest of her family belittling her on solidified how much of a victim Pudding was within her family’s ignorance and cruelty. Oda-sensei is currently making effort into redeeming Pudding and making her relatable to the readers. With this in mind and Pudding’s current standing within the Big Mom Pirates relative to the warmth she felt from Sanji, I feel Pudding will side with the Straw Hat Pirates against her mother. It will be Pudding who is instrumental in exploiting the weakness of Big Mom.
I did note his oddity as a chef a few chapters back when he was emotional at his cake creation but I would have never guessed that he was a co-founder of the Big Mom Pirates and the one who actually set Linlin on her path towards becoming a Yonkou of the New World. What an interesting surprise. Streusen knows what happened, he knows what Charlotte Linlin did, he knows that she ate Mother Caramel. Yet he never shared the truth with Big Mom and instead utilised her strength and simplicity to achieve what the Big Mom Pirates are today. That truth is a bomb just waiting to go off for one who has the right tools to access its secrets. Big Mom ate the individual most precious to her yet has no idea about it but wants to know the truth of what happened to Mother Caramel and in her very crew is the individual who saw exactly what happened and in her family is a person with the ability to access a person’s memories and strip away all their secrets. Big Mom wants to know what happened, Streusen knows what happened, and Pudding can access Streusen’s memories to reveal exactly what happened to Mother Caramel. The path is right there, all that needs to happen is for the pieces to align and thanks to the Straw Hat Pirates being present at the tea party, a moment of liberation is about to arrive for all parties. Pudding will help the Straw Hat Pirates.
The Vinsmoke Matter
Big Mom is not getting off her betrayal easy, well Judge will not let her get off easy with her betrayal of his very dream and life purpose. Now that the Vinsmoke family are free courtesy of Sanji, they will convey their unpleasantness wholeheartedly to the Big Mom Pirates for having their trust trampled on. Ichiji, Niji, Yonji and Reiju will likely have an opportunity to shine as they assist the Straw Hat Pirates in their fight against the Big Mom Pirates. This battle is far from settled.
Very interested to see what Capone has up his sleeve has I doubt he is a man with just one plan. He must have a back-up plan and the appearance of Big Father conveys just that. At the very lease Big Father can buy them enough time to work out a plan to deal with the Big Mom Pirates. And even learn about utilising Pudding’s ability to assisting with weakening Big Mom. So very excited to see what happens next. Loving the potential the arc currently has in this point in time.