I expected this result but for Luffy to be instantly KO’d in Gear Fourth with one hit by Kaido, I didn’t anticipate such a decisive and overwhelming end to their first bout. It was glorious seeing Luffy unleash on Kaido and force Kaido back to his human form but the way Kaido finished the fight conflicts with everything that occurred just before. Why did Kaido not unleash earlier?
What an exhilarating epic climax to this eventful battle that has established what the readers have been hoping for since the Straw Hat Pirates entered the New World, the setting of the standard for New World battles. There have been some great battles since the Straw Hat Pirates regathered to continue their journey but none of the battles has stood out in terms of setting the level the Straw Hat Pirates need to be at to combat the serious enemies within the New World, until now. Luffy has had to push himself to his limits and beyond to combat Katakuri and even still, he has just caught up with Katakuri. The deciding factor now will depend on who anticipates their opponents action more accurately.
FINALLY! Katakuri finally got to have a taste of what Gear Fourth is like. An unmatched boldness mixed in with the sweetness of panic and seasoned with the spice of pain. A dish so fulfilling Katakuri couldn’t help but be taken aback by its explosive flavours. What a deliciously satisfying moment to signal the shift in momentum. That counterattack by Luffy has been a long time coming. Even with Katakuri regaining his composure, his weakness has been exposed. Luffy knows Katakuri isn’t invincible and with that Katakuri is now going to find out how badly he has underestimated Luffy. Defeat is going to be the next dish Katakuri taste. The liberating, mellow and ever bitter taste of defeat.
What a fantastic chapter, both refreshing and hilarious. I know Luffy was the focus of the chapter as he defeated Cracker but the focus Nami got to both agonise and expose Cracker’s weakness was brilliant. Cracker definitely did underestimate the Straw Hats but there was no way he could have expected the situation to turn out as it had, to be defeated in such a way, how ridiculously awesome.
Of course Cracker was the user of the Biscuit Fruit…I can’t believe I didn’t notice this sooner, Oda left hints on Cracker’s very design and his name. I was so caught up on his “thousand arms” motif, I failed see that which was already in front of our eyes. I can understand why Luffy was caught off guard once he broke through Crackers
body armor. Cracker can use biscuits to create armor, weapons and even extra limbs on his armor.
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.
What a surprise, so Doflamingo’s defeat has been extended to take place beyond this chapter. I was certain Oda was building up the previous chapter to set-up Doflamingo’s defeat in this chapter, but apparently Oda seeks to highlight the double-edged nature of Gear Fourth before he concludes the battle with Doflamingo. The benefit of focusing on the side-effects of using Gear Fourth is it helps to highlight the charm Luffy has and his ability to attract characters over to his side, which in this case happened to be Gatz and the Gladiator fighters who have been targeting him for the bounty Doflamingo placed on his head.
With the fight reaching its conclusion, it is only a matter of pages now until Doflamingo falls at the fist of Luffy. Doflamingo at the moment just can’t seem to match Gear Fourth Luffy both in terms of speed and power and appears to be instead trying to buy time for the risks of Gear Fourth to kick in and affect Luffy. Throughout their 20 minutes fight, Doflamingo hasn’t once managed to inflict noticeable damage onto Luffy and has instead been the one who is receiving the beating. If Doflamingo does still have the energy to get up after receiving Luffy’s Lion Bazooka, I doubt he would have much strength left to seriously stand against Luffy even if Gear Fourth wears off. It seems very likely that Oda has set-up Doflamingo’s fall for the next chapter – most likely a weakened/weakening Doflamingo vs base Luffy.
It is finally here, a new gear developed by Luffy using his Gomu Gomu no Mi powers to increase his battle potential, a gear centered around bouncing. In order to combat the giant beasts on Rusukaina, Luffy on top of developing his Haki exploited the “bounciness” of his rubber body and utilised his experience in Nightmare Luffy form to design a new Gear. While in Gear Fourth has increased both his offensive and defensive capabilities and is currently overwhelming Doflamingo with speed, power and unpredictability. If the fight continues in such a way, Doflamingo has no chance against Luffy, but of course Doflamingo will have something up his sleeve to balance out the battle. Will be very interesting to see how Doflamingo deals with Luffy and Gear Fourth and how Luffy will eventually overpower Doflamingo.
We all suspected Luffy would at some point reveal a major power-up he developed during the past two years that allows him to surpass his limits and many anticipated that this power-up would take the form of a new gear – Gear Fourth, and alas with this chapter, we finally have confirmation that Luffy has indeed developed a Gear Fourth to push himself beyond his limits. In order to defeat Doflamingo within the hour and prevent anyone in Dressrosa from getting killed, Luffy has taken it upon himself to be the raging storm that blows away the darkness known as Doflamingo.