Generally, again, no real surprises here. The flashback is playing out as expected, and while I don’t particularly know exactly what happens every time, there’s nothing that really comes as a shock. Jinbe and Arlong split holding their usual stances, with Jinbe taking up Tiger’s spirit and accepting the shichibukai offer for a greater good (a la FMA, and creating Hodi as an enemy), whereas Arlong simply goes on about his rage. Jinbe’s a pretty modest guy, saying that it was he who “let” Arlong go into East blue, but obviously left out a minor detail such as what was basically requiring him to kill his orphan brother. It’s okay Jinbe, I think most people can forgive you for that.
I’m a little curious as to why Hachi followed Arlong instead of Jinbe, but my bets are on simple naivete. He was young, easily persuaded by rage, and Arlong seemed right at the time, even though he was already friends with humans like Rayleigh. Perhaps this is finally a small weakness that shows that perhaps Hachi wasn’t prepared to be such an important character back in Arlong’s arc. But c’mon, Oda’s still a god for making it work as it is.
Otohime never really generated much empathy from me, due to her blind cause, but this chapter finally broke that confident demeanor. In her drunken stupor, the “children are our future” speech came pouring out, and she finally cut the crap. Like any good speech, I was inspired with every word, despite having heard renditions of the like in several other outlets. This is probably going to be the speech that made her one to remember *cough MLK Jr. *cough*, because the next step in this flashback should be her assassination. ;_;