It seems Ace is the one that mostly gave Luffy’s ideas of living his life, with the whole “living without regrets” motto. So basically, most of Luffy’s behavior is a strong influence of Ace, who has Roger’s blood. This explains why everyone who meets Luffy think of Roger…
Don’t know what was up with Dragon being in Zoro’s hometown, it’s probably just a coincidence, and to show some Zoro fanservice (yeah.. weird idea of fanservice).
The montage throughout the rest of the chapter with the rapid movement through their lives was very awesome, as you knew the flashback was closing up. Funny how those two created their own “countries”, and Luffy even kept building his after Ace left.
Because of Sabo’s words that people turn into a noble when they’re 18, Ace and Luffy decide to leave when they are 17, as a sort of an honor to Sabo. Seeing Ace and Luffy finally grow up was really great, with that shot of Ace in his traditional attire being very nostalgic. They didn’t explain the hat though. Oda including the after effects of Luffy’s punch to that sea dragon which occurred way back in the first chapter was pretty cool. With this chapter, the past of Luffy is finally sealed and complete, which I feel ends the “old and past” to begin the “new” adventure in the New World.
On a final note, this was the first Luffy’s ever negatively thought of himself as incompetent enough to be the Pirate King.