Of course that was going to happen. Of course Katakuri flipped his own character image once away from the rest of the Big Mom Pirates. Of course he was secretly an eccentric character mad about sugar and sweets. Of course the Big Mom Pirates know nothing about this and remain oblivious to the true personalities of their family. Of course Oda-sensei surprised us again with how much fun he is having with Katakuri. But seriously, I did not expect that to happen. Until I saw Katakuri playing with his food while on his back in that ridiculous pose with his mouth wide open, I would not have believed it and yet with it having happened, it feels so natural.
In conjunction with what Brulee said in the previous chapter, the development in this chapter makes it all the more glorious. The Big Mom Pirates/Charlotte family aren’t as terrifying as they initially portray themselves, well except for Linlin. The family is more fractured than the family members themselves care to admit. Lola left the family to find her own love abandoning her arranged marriage to Loki, the Prince of the Elbaf Giants. Opera lied to Mont d’Or about Luffy and Nami in fear of the consequences. Praline had no issue following Aladdin when the Fishman Pirates decided to leave Big Mom. Chiffon supported her husband Capone in betraying the Big Mom Pirates and has expressly stated that she does not care about the Big Mom Pirates. Pudding is completely deceiving the family now that she has something to fight for (Sanji). And Katakuri has totally misrepresented himself towards his family. Secrets and fear seem to be what are both binding the family and causing it to tear apart.
It was smart of Katakuri to prevent Luffy from transforming into his Gear Fourth but as a result of his daily habit and sweet tooth, he failed to finish Luffy off and instead had the intimate secrets of his habits and peculiarities during his snack time revealed. That was not smart. Whatever the case, Katakuri is pissed and Luffy has managed to unleash his Gear Fourth. The real battle starts now!
Gear Fourth Represents Luffy’s current strongest form and the result of his 2 years of training powering up for the New World opponents he would inevitably face. There may be many imperfections with the Gear Fourh at the moment and room to grow but I don’t believe it is the time for Gear Fourth to be underrepresented as a weapon Luffy has available for strong New World opponents. The reason why Oda-sensei kept Luffy’s Gear Fourth back for so long is because he intends to highlight it against Katakuri. ln his Gear Fourth, Luffy will be able to challenge Katakuri or even overwhelm him like he did with Doflamingo. Let’s also not forget that Luffy consumed a bunch of Mochi, processed it through his body by running (how ridiculously hilarious) and is now significantly rejuvenated. Katakuri on the other hand had his snack time interrupted and stress levels rise substantially. The flow of the battle is on the brink of changing towards Luffy favour.
I just wonder how exactly Katakuri will be defeated and his true form (defeated on his back) exposed to the rest of the Big Mom Pirates. Luffy would need to punch Katakuri through a mirror close to the rendezvous point while Big Mom is being pacified and knocked out with the consumption of Sanji’s cake. In one fell swoop, the Big Mom Pirates will be cast into disbelief. So much for not underestimating Luffy, Katakuri. He has underestimated Luffy more than many of Luffy’s past enemies.
Excited to see how Gear Fourth fares against a pissed and stressed out Katakuri. I also wonder if any of the Straw Hat Pirates (Jinbe) will end up facing Smoothie. Besides helping serve the guests ‘juice’, she has been largely irrelevant in this arc. Looking forward to the next chapter.