Aside from the events transpiring within the Live Floor with the Ice Oni plague and against Ulti and Page One, the rest of chapter focused primarily on the allies the Straw Hat Pirates have accumulated over their journey. Each of the allies highlighted within the past few chapters have been positioned at integral areas to assist the Straw Hat Pirates within this war. The allies that have yet to make reappearances such as Law and Kid will appear in moments when the Straw Hat Pirates look to be overwhelmed i.e. when Luffy faces off against Kaido. At present though, Marco is looking to prevent Big Mom from stopping the Straw Hat Pirates. Carrot and Wanda have engaged Perospero with the intent to defeat him. Drake is targeting Apoo who holds the “antibody” for the Ice Oni plague. And Tama has arrived to save Nami and Usopp from the attacks of Ulti and Page One. Each of the allies didn’t have to fight alongside the Straw Hat Pirates but they have all chosen to. Such is the attraction of the Straw Hat Pirates and in particular, their captain, Monkey D. Luffy.
Marco’s uncertainty concerning his role within this war was extremely fascinating. Could that state of searching be a signal for his eventual death within this arc? The moment in which Marco feels the embrace of death may be the moment he realises the part he needs to play in laying the foundation for the Straw Hat Pirates victory. Marco possesses knowledge the Straw Hat Pirates don’t and when caught at the crossroads of what to do, that knowledge of a potential danger may be what motivates Marco to sacrifice himself to ensure the future generation has a chance. I believe when Marco meets Yamato, he will get a clearer idea of what needs to be done when the moment calls for it. And with Marco hinting at the uniqueness of the Tori Tori no Mi, Model: Phoenix Devil Fruit’s flames, I also wonder if the current focus on the Phoenix fruit is setting up the future importance for it when it is inherited by a new character (Yamato?). Marco doesn’t seem like a character who will be a recurring character within the future of the story when the Straw Hat Pirates challenge the World Government and Blackbeard Pirates, especially with Marco having already lost to the latter. But if the the Phoenix Devil Fruit does continue to be highlighted, it may mean that its story would continue on even if Marco’s role within One Piece ends. Very excited for the inevitable meeting between Yamato and Marco.
Carrot and Wanda saving Marco by attacking Perospero in their Sulong forms were great. I am not sure if both of them together are strong enough to defeat someone like Perospero but I am very interested to see how they fare. If Perospero is aware of the Sulong functionality, he would use his candy-making abilities to build a barrier to block Carrot and Wanda’s view of the Moon. Or he would flee away from the open-area to a building with cover so that Carrot and Wanda wouldn’t have sight of the Moon if they did continue to pursue him. The Sulong form has a major weakness that can be exploited and I wonder if Perospero can put his arrogance aside and exploit the Sulong forms weakness.
Turning to the hunt for Apoo, I am surprised he is holding off the enemies as well as he is. With Zoro and Drake attacking him, I would have expected that to be game-set-match but no, he desperation at avoiding the wrath of Queen is forcing him to hold-off his pursuers. In addition, Zoro is holding back to preserve energy for when he reaches Kaido. The longer Apoo remains uncaptured, the more people fall victim to the Ice Oni plague save Brook who as expected is immune given the lack of a body for the virus to infect. On the other hand though, Chopper has been infected. The curious part of this development is whether the reaction in Chopper will be the same as for humans? Chopper isn’t genetically structured the same as humans and with his ability to use his Devil Fruit to transform into different forms, I wonder if the Ice Oni virus will morph Chopper into a different form or allow him to access a new form when he does remove the negative elements of the virus. With Chopper infected, I hope Robin realises the urgency of the situation and actually begins to target Apoo because she would have no trouble binding Apoo regardless of where Apoo is or how fast he is as long as she can she him. Once Apoo is bound, Zoro or Drake can retrieve the antibody.
I expect the antibody to be a lie. I wouldn’t surprised if Queen conjured up such a scenario to amuse his own sadistic nature and to take focus away from himself. The fact that Queen is shrewd enough to realise taking out the strongest pieces on the enemy’s side would be advantageous to the Beast Pirates suggest he never planned to gift the infected the cure to the Ice Oni plague. Rather he is forcing his enemies to consume their energy and weaken themselves without damaging the main Beast Pirate forces. When Chopper does get the antibody, he would eventually realise the cure is a fake. This I presume would be when Marco arrives to utilise his Phoenix flames to cure Chopper. The Ice Oni plague could end up being burned away from the Phoenix flames.
As for Queen’s relationship with Judge, I wonder if Queen was one of the Scientist who was part of Judge and Vegapunk’s group before they were targeted by the Marines. If Queen was part of the Rogue Scientist group, it would explain why he is so adept as a scientist.
Usopp and Nami expectantly couldn’t defeat Ulti and Page One but I was surprised the two Straw Hat Pirates proficient at retreat were caught. Nami getting her moment to reveal the courage behind the cowardice was fantastic. Like Usopp in moments when focused on a belief he is passionate towards, Nami too couldn’t lie about her belief in Luffy being the next Pirate King. Even if it meant death, Nami would sacrifice herself before denying what she whole-heartedly believes – that Luffy WILL be the Pirate King. Even if members of the Straw Hat Pirates joke around and embrace their fears, when it comes to Luffy’s dream, they are ALL serious about fighting to see it fulfilled.
Enter O-Tama. Right as Ulti is about to seemingly execute Nami with another head smash, Tama arrives to save her. I don’t know what Tama and Komachiyo can do against them but if it involves, Tama using her chibi dango to pacify Ulti and Page One, then Usopp, Nami, Tama and Komachiyo may just have a chance at winning this battle. Looking forward to the next chapter.