First things first, I don’t believe Pedro is dead. Regardless of how it looks, regardless of how logic dictates otherwise, this is One Piece and Oda-sensei has a particular manner in handling his characters and how they meet their end. Secondly, Perospero likewise will not die as a result of that explosion. Most likely Perospero will create a protective armor of Candy to take the majority of the damage from the explosion which would have the indirect consequence of reducing the damage caused to Pedro. While fire melts candy, it will still eat up a portion of the explosions energy reducing the ultimate damage. Alternatively, a third-party may have intervened to save Pedro. Could Capone have returned to assist the Straw Hat Pirates? His wife is fighting to save them, despite his personality and what he said, I’m sure he would put his life on the line to respect his wife’s resolve and do whatever he can to assist her – Bege is just that type of character. Whatever is going to happen, Pedro is not dying just yet.
I’m somewhat shocked Brook and Chopper were dispatched so easily off-panel, I had expected the two to have lasted before the rest of the crew arrive, but Perospero managed to incapacitate them rather easily with his Devil Fruit ability. I suppose give Perospero’s scientific mind and the type of Devil Fruit he wields, it makes sense why Chopper and Brook could have found him a tricky opponent to deal with without knowing any of his weaknesses. Perospero having a 700 million beli bounty only adds to the type of dangerous opponent that he is. He may not be a fighter by nature but his intellect allows him to utilise his Devil Fruit in varied and dangerous ways as shown by how he managed to immobilised the Thounsand Sunny at the end of the chapter before Pedro intervened.
Katakuri, what an interesting antagonist. With his Observational Haki, I wanted him to be Sanji’s opponent, but with his Devil Fruit capable of allowing him to attack similar to Luffy, I now wonder if Luffy will be the one to defeat him. Probably not but it is intriguing to see the type of applications Katakuri has drawn out from his Devil Fruit ability. Whoever ultimately faces him in the eventual battle with the Big Mom Pirates, they will have to think outside the box to create opportunities to exploit.
Pedro is an amazing character. I was initially apprehensive about him as I didn’t want my excitement over his initial appearance to disillusion the consequent perspective I had for him but really, right from his introduction when he snuck up on Luffy, he has stood out. And now throughout this arc, where he has been a valuable piece in assisting the Straw Hat Pirates achieve their objectives, Pedro has shown time and time again how much he believes in the Straw Hat Pirates. Pedro didn’t have to join the Straw Hat Pirates on their journey into Big Mom’s territory, he had reasons not to return back to Totland but he chose to return, he chose to hang his fear up in preference for honoring the efforts the Straw Hat Pirates had gone through to save the Mink people. And once again, Pedro has put his life on the line to ensure the Straw Hat Pirates keep pushing forward. All along Pedro was prepared for this, this moment where he could blast open a path for the Straw Hat Pirates, the group he believes the Mink and the Kozuki Clan have been waiting for for centuries, the ones who would lead the world unto a new dawn. But Pedro, this isn’t your end, Death is not ready to embrace you just yet. Very much looking forward to the next chapter.