It is almost certain that Donquixote Doflamingo intends to dial up the drama as the impending war at Dressrosa unfolds and what better way to spark excitement than a bloody fight to the death of more than 550 warriors. Gladiators, pirates, royalties, bounty hunters and assassins from all across the world have their eyes set on the grand prize and it is indeed a very valuable treasure. The Mera Mera no Mi which of course, belonged to Portgas D. Ace before his unfortunate demise is an extremely rare and highly powerful Logia Devil Fruit. Whoever comes into ownership of such a reward could command a huge influence in this dog-eat-dog world, which is why it’s hardly surprising to see a broad range of powerful combatants gathered at the Corrida Coliseum, some of whom are those of familiar faces – Bellamy the Hyena who got his ass handed to Luffy during their last encounter and Jesus Burgess of the Blackbeard Pirates whose true abilities remain an unknown.
As for the other major order of business, I don’t think anyone of us is surprised to learn that Luffy or should I call him Lucy now (It’s a trap and a very bad one), is a huge fan of cosplay. His poor taste in fashion (and everything else) has always been the subject of derision and it never fails to give me a chuckle or two. But no matter how hard Lucy tries, he will never look as pretty (or “bishie”) as the Pirate Prince “White Horse” Cavendish who commands a hefty bounty of 280 million Belly. Cavendish is a classic bishounen trope hyperbolized to its rational extreme. He is a spotlight hog who is narcissistic, petty, fabulous and so incredibly “beautiful” that the mere sight of him brought the female staff (and some of the male contestants) to their knees. The grudge he holds against the Eleven Supernovas is probably uncalled-for, but I’ll be the first to admit his eventual confrontation with Luffy (and maybe Trafalgar Law) will be an immensely entertaining spectacle to behold. Another character that is worthy of note is the gladiator, Rebecca (now that’s a fashion sense I like) who not only shows a strong resentment toward Doflamingo, but also shares the same fascination that Lucy has displayed for the “manly” bronze statue of Kyros. My money says Kyros is the blind man whom the Straw Hat crew met at the restaurant and while his role in this conflict continues to be a mystery for now, I am certain it will prove to be an important one.
Without a doubt, the mighty gladiators at the Corrida Coliseum will put on a good show for its audience (and manga readers). But make no mistake about it, at the crux of Doflamingo’s master plan, the Mera Mera no Mi is simply a tool that he could use to blackmail Luffy and change the current strategic advantage in his favor. Just how the former Shichibukai came into possession of Ace’s Devil Fruit will now stay unspecified but one thing is certain – Luffy would never allow such an important memento of his beloved brother to fall into the wrong hands.