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.
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.
I would like to say that Doflamingo is a shallow man who is using his bitterness for being rejected by the Tenryuubito to subject others to suffering and pain, but that would be too simple for such a character as Doflamingo. He is a much more complex man, one corrupted by the world he grew up in and confused by the world he was cast into after his father decided to have the family leave Mariejois to live as “normal” humans. The contrasting lifestyle Doflamingo had to grow accustomed to was a reality a world apart from the society which he grew up in and being unable to confound the ‘right and wrong’ of the human society with the ‘right and wrong’ of the Tenryuubito society, Doflamingo grew frustrated and resentful and as a result found an answer in killing his father.
It has finally come to light, Sabo’s regret at his inability to save Ace. Just like Luffy who broke down after Ace died in his arms, the agony and pain Sabo must have felt that he wasn’t even able to reach Marineford to help Ace at all, such torment must have been eating him up inside these past two years. Knowing that he could have done something, it is no wonder Sabo has expressly resolved to come to Luffy’s aid no matter where he is in the world whenever Luffy request his help. The feelings of regret Sabo and helplessness, he never again wants to feel that way.
No words can describe how incredibly amazing and beautiful this chapter was but I will try. The sheer chaos, excitement and unexpectedness unleashed this chapter was way beyond anything we have experienced thus far in One Piece. Zoro’s bout with Admiral Isshou, Kinemon’s encounter with Doflamingo while trying to retrieve Law but failing, Luffy’s inability to get out of the Colosseum to help, Nami’s realisation of what Doflamingo is after and what Law is giving his life to protect, the cover of the Strawhats blown, the appearance of Big Mom looking to crush the Thousand Sunny and secure Caesar, and everyone’s collective goal of heading to the palace to crush Doflamingo. This chapter was packed with so much intensity and awesomeness, that if tears of euphoria didn’t escape your eyes, your mind would at least be blown.