This chapter made me smile so much. Rather than dance around the middle tier opponents, Oda-sensei recognizes Luffy’s growth he conveyed in previous arcs and has immediately set-up the Luffy VS Jack battle. It would have been troublesome if Holdem gave Luffy a hard time, so its exciting to see Luffy’s strength reciprocated in his actions against the Beast Pirates. Luffy is strong and after having fought with Katakuri, he is ready to take on the Beast Pirates Calamities/Disasters. No need to consume time and pages focusing on Luffy against the sub-sub-leaders of the Beast Pirates. Regardless of whether Holdem remains relevant to the arc after this chapter, he got served the Caesar treatment by Luffy. At best if Holden returns, he will be matched up against another Straw Hat Pirate.
A lot of similarities between the Dressrosa Arc and the Wano Kuni Arc in regards to fear ruling the citizens, rebels/unwanted individuals being disposed of, the locals forced to grow food for the Pirates and a mysterious rebellion forming within the shadows of the Island. Although the way those ideas are presented are completely different. Luffy will be hated by the townsfolk for angering Jack but once the prospect of freedom is illuminated, the people will begin to believe and hope again. They will eventually rally behind the change they all wish to see become reality sparked by the Straw Hat Pirates and those Wano Kuni rebels fighting for freedom.
Speed, another Headliner is still active on the battlefield and given her Devil Fruit and name, speed is an attribute she excels at. Will she target Komainu or will she attempt to escape? It would be thrilling if Zoro is also given a moment to shine by taking on Speed. If the trend is incapacitating the Headliners within the start of the arc, we may also get Hawkins side-lined after his encounter with Law. Law doesn’t intend on letting Hawkins spill the beans about the Straw Hat Pirates arrival within Wano Kuni, so Law won’t be pulling any punches against Hawkins. It would be hilarious if Law succeeds only for Luffy to express his identity to the Beast Pirates as a declaration of War.
Hawkins’s story could be larger than what has been shown given his status as a Supernova of the Worst Generation and his reluctance to advise the other Beast Pirates, including Kaido, about the Straw Hat Pirates. Before Hawkins ran into Law and before Holdem ran off to face Luffy, there was ample time for Hawkins to call Holdem and advise him about the Straw Hat Pirates but Hawkins chose not to, intending to cut Luffy off before he met the other Headliners. What agenda does Hawkins have?
I love it when Luffy and Zoro are excited. Unlike before the time skip when they were less experienced and equipped for the New World, they are now skilled enough to challenge Yonko crew commanders. Luffy has proven his capabilities in the previous arc against Katakuri. And with Zoro, he hasn’t had a challenging fight since the time skip with the opponents he faced being quite formidable in a sense – they were all notable and capable (Hyouzou, Monet, Pica) but Zoro was just too skilled. Now with the Straw Hat Pirates challenging a Yonko crew, there is an opportunity for Zoro to be challenged and pushed to the limits he most likely visited during his two years of training. Zoro desperately needs battle coverage akin to the focus Luffy received when he was facing Katakuri. I really want to know how Zoro injured his right eye and whether opening it is a basis for a special technique he learned.
How ridiculously amazingly gloriously satisfying it was to see Luffy smash Holdem with Red Hawk. Not only did Luffy save Tama, defeat Holdem and make a statement, but he did it while invoking the spirit of Ace, a pirate respected by Tama and the residents of Amigasa. Law can try as hard as he wants to keep Luffy’s identity hidden but one way or another, the Beast Pirates will soon come to know that they are now the enemies of the Straw Hat Pirates. Very much looking forward to the next chapter.