I’ve always wanted to see how Luffy developed his Gomu Gomu powers, and this chapter dedicates one panel to show that it’s not as easy as one would think. I guess you don’t really just punch normally and hope that it extends to where you want it to go. Hopefully Oda shows some more progress with his powers before this flashback is over.
Speaking of which, this is a pretty damn long flashback, going even as far as to introducing a kingdom. It’s definitely more like a story arc now, so I guess it could be a flashback story arc. In the story so far, every time he meets a crew member, eventually they all reveal a flashback about themselves when they were in their youth. This has happened to each crew member except Luffy. I mean, you now know his hometown, and just exactly what surrounds it, given the map Oda gave. The Windmill Village, Gray Terminal, and Mt. Colbo are all clearly drawn relative to the Goa Kingdom. Even though I believed this flashback is mainly for Ace, you can see that it’s entirely possible that this is just Luffy’s flashback. In terms of storytelling, with the main character’s past being told last, this makes a lot of sense. It also brings up a couple questions like, will this mean no more new members for his crew?
The big reveal this chapter was that Sabo is a noble’s son. Being taken back and forced to quit pirating is sort of anticlimactic to what I wanted to see, but it could change drastically very easily. Speaking of nobles, where were the Tenryuubito?
As I said last week of wondering when the term “brothers” was coined, it seems to have been revealed this chapter with a sharing of alcohol to seal the deal. Still, I thought it would be a more emotional tear jerking scene that led to the connection (simply because it’d have more of a strong tie), but this works too. Who knows, it may grow stronger since the flashback isn’t over. And with this, it means they have a 3rd “brother”, Sabo.
On a more trivial note, Makino appeared to clean the boys up with the Mayor of Windmill Village. This begs the question, if they know where they are, why are they letting mountain bandits take care of them (were there really no better alternatives)? Maybe the bandits aren’t as evil as I figured.