As we all suspected, the bounties of the Straw Hat Pirates have gone up thanks to the events in Dressrosa, although the surprising aspect is that Sanji, Nami, Brook and Chopper’s bounties have gone up as well with the defeat of Doflamingo. I was prepared for the Swirly Hat Pirates bounties not increasing with their lack of focus in the arc, but I don’t mind one bit having the whole crews bounties increased with such a significant arc that led to one of the key figures in the New World being defeated. The consequential effects that will arise from the Doflamingo’s removal from his role as an agent of darkness definitely supports the whole crew getting a significant bounty increase that justifies the level of danger now directed towards them. With all the increases, the Straw Hat Pirates current bounties now total a massive 1,570,000,100!!
As expected, Luffy refused the proposition of an alliance where the seven representatives and their crews sit under the Straw Hat Pirates as subordinate crews. The specific relationship being proposed was definitely against Luffy’s ideals of freedom and adventure and was ultimately a role which placed too much responsibility on Luffy. Instead we get a relationship where Luffy has zero responsibility over managing the crews of those who pledged their allegiance to Luffy. It is a one-sided alliance, but one very representative of what Luffy stands for – freedom.
We all had a feeling this moment would come when the Colosseum fighters and the Tontatta Tribe allied with the Straw Hat Pirates + Law earlier in the arc to take down the Donquixote Pirates and save Dressrosa. But now it is official, well almost…the expansion of the Straw Hat Pirate Alliance. Depending on Luffy’s decision, he may have a sizable army under his flag to command. Although, given the name of this saga we are currently in – Pirate Alliance Saga – I don’t see the new alliance members not following Luffy and Co. even if Luffy decides against them becoming his subordinates. Given Luffy’s nature, he may just have a problem with the exact type of relationship being formed and instead want something more along the lines of an alliance formed by friendship instead of orders.
With the Marines hot on the Straw Hat Pirates and allies heels, the dwarves have lent their aid to their saviors and have begun to disrupt the organisation of the Marines through stealing their weaponry, sealing the movements of their ships and even immobilizing the Marine soldiers. Even Mansherry is unknowingly fatiguing the soldiers through her Kenpopo donations. Unfortunately for the dwarves efforts, there isn’t much they can do against Admiral Isshou, who single-handedly intends to crush all the pirates with one massive attack. Tired of running, Luffy has opted to challenge Isshou directly because that is what a true Pirate King would do.
Finally Kyros has accepted the beat of his heart in favour of the sensitivity of his insecurity. Kyros really did want to live together with Rebecca yet his past burdening him with regret and shame overwhelmed any desire he held towards drawing Rebecca away from her “innocence” towards himself. Kyros was afraid to taint Rebecca with his shame and ruin any chance at happiness she had. Yet within that selfless act of trying to protect his daughter, Kyros was blind to how selfish he really was in making a decision for Rebecca when she had every right to make the decision alongside Kyros. Rebecca recognised the lies Kyros has been telling himself to numb the sensation in his heart and to justify the decision he has made, and thanks to Luffy spurring her on, she was finally able to shatter the cage Kyros built around his heart. Kyros has been physically saving Rebecca throughout this arc, yet in this chapter, Rebecca was the one who emotionally saved Kyros, by accepting her father for who he is and not what he is.
With the cast of the die signalling Luffy and Law’s capture, the Marines finally begin their pursuit of the heroes of Dressrosa. With three days having passed since the battle against the Donquixote Pirates ended, Luffy has finally recovered and is now in state to follow Sanji and Co., but first, some unfinished business to deal before leaving Dressrosa. With the arc a chapter or two away from concluding, it will be incredibly interesting to see what Luffy ends up doing before leaving Dressrosa, especially with him now being regarded as Dressrosa’s hero by all the citizens.
I had suspected that there was a genuine reason for Sabo not being at Ace’s execution trying to save him, but for him to have become amnesic after the explosion of his ship when he left the Goa King, I can’t help but see the convenience in that twist. Sure it is to be expected that an explosion and shock can cause a person to suffer memory loss, but in this case, it does feel a little too convenient that Sabo only managed to regain his memory after Ace had died. It is not a terribly illogical development, as the possibility had crossed my mind, but I was expecting something much more…surprising.
It is starting to make complete sense now, the reason for Isshou’s restraint in dealing with Doflamingo directly despite the Dressrosa citizens being in danger and the belief Isshou placed within the Straw Hat Pirates to see his gamble fulfilled. In order to perpetuate a change, Isshou needed the world to see in its uncensored truth just how corrupt and dangerous the sanctioned Shichibukai system is and the inability of the Marines to actually do anything to prevent the Shichibukai from exploiting their power to subjugate nations and from continuing to exploit it. By bringing to light the destruction and chaos caused by Doflamingo, Isshou is opening the eyes of everyone to the disadvantages of the Shichibukai and has in essence begun the ultimate end of such a power.
What a surprising gesture by Isshou and the Marines towards King Riku and the whole of Dressrosa whom have suffered because of the World Governments lack of control over the Shichibukai. Doflamingo was able to exploit the Shichibukai system and blackmail the World Government to turn a blind eye to the dealings and shady activities he had going on. It was because of that power that the people of Dressrosa have suffered so greatly for the past ten years. Isshou realises this and through his actions of expressing his sincere regret and sorrow, he is attempting to mend the relationship between the rightful king of Dressrosa, King Riku Dold, and the World Government.
It has finally arrived, the moment in which Luffy finally exchanges his final blow with Doflamingo this arc! Now we can finally move forward from Dressrosa and onto the rest of the New World. Finally! The interrupted and temporized nature of the Luffy and Doflamingo battle seriously did hinder the excitement attached to the match-up and unfortunately, with the addition of the whole of Dressrosa being incorporated into the defeat of Doflamingo, we were not only distracted from the Luffy VS Doflamingo conclusion, but ended up having the whole climax of the battle postponed for several chapters, just so Dressrosa could have their “ahhh” moment and realise they should actually do something themselves to help themselves. I understand the intention Oda-sensei had by using Doflamingo’s “madness” to develop several characters (Luffy, Law, Bellamy, Viola, Dressrosa) and it wasn’t bad but there are times when the focus of the reader’s attention needs to be limited to less developments to allow for those few developments to be more impacting.