Being so blinded by the desire to want to see Jinbe and Sanji highlighted in battle, I found myself forgetting that there is another aspect of their character that can be highlighted to showcase their growth and value within the New World and that aspect is that of the roles they embody within the Straw Hat Pirates. Jinbe expressed his value wholeheartedly this chapter as he maneuvered the Thousand Sunny out from certain doom with his Helmsman skills. As readers, we got a taste of how the Straw Hat Pirates have gained a strength with the addition of Jinbe.
When the situation calls for it, Pudding can be quite resourceful. To think the benefit Big Mom could have received from Pudding if only she respected Pudding and treated her the same as her other children. Instead Big Mom directly limited what Pudding could achieve through the application of her power by denying Pudding the freedom to be herself i.e. to utilise her analytical mind in conjunction with her Devil Fruit. Thankfully, it is because of the treatment Pudding received from her family that we now have Pudding assisting the Straw Hat Pirates against Big Mom. We also get the adorable reactions by Pudding in response to the actions and statements from Sanji.
I expected Katakuri to be powerful given his bounty and position within the Big Mom Pirates but I didn’t expect his attacks to mirror Luffy’s within this battle. Is Oda-sensei really trying to nail down in Luffy’s mind the point that his current attack style is not sufficient to tackle the threats he will face within the New World. Katakuri painfully showed that in a battle, power is just as relevant as technique and style. In terms of Luffy going forward, this battle is illustrating that he will both need to evolve his fighting style and find ways of applying more power behind his existing techniques. The final(?) trump card Luffy has left to play is Gear Fourth. Will Katakuri be able to counter that form as well? Somehow I find that just like Cracker, Katakuri will struggle but unlike Cracker I don’t believe he will be defeated yet.
Just as the Night paves a way forward for the Dawn, Pedro has found himself on a path paving the way for the arrival of the inevitable changes to come. Despite the unknown it represents, he willingly placed his life on the line to ensure the ones he believed were the Avatars of that change continue on their journey towards ushering in the new Dawn. He had many reasons to despair and many chances to surrender to circumstance, but he continued to fight for the convictions he had and because of that unwavering resolve, an impossible escape has now transformed into an escape with a chance for the Straw Hat Pirates.
Confronted by a Yonkou, a reasonable man would cower and flee yet the Straw Hat Pirates are filled with unreasonable people and those sharing similar qualities radiate towards them. Jinbe shares in the same conviction as the Straw Hat Pirates and with the might and rage of Big Mom directed towards him, he shows zero hesitation, fear and regret. Jinbe’s resolve has completely nullified Big Mom’s soul sucking ability relative to himself. This must be a rare for Big Mom, to have someone unafraid of her. Jinbe has finally cut his ties with the Big Mom Pirates and has expressed his intentions to join the Straw Hat Pirates.