If there’s one thing I’ve come to expect from One Piece, it would be the many unforeseen turns of event that Oda-sensei keeps throwing at us. That’s quite unusual for the supposedly cookie-cutter shounen genre and I’ll be the first to acknowledge I didn’t expect to see such a huge presence of the marine forces at Dressrosa. Not only do we have the introduction of Marine Admiral Fujitora (Isshou) in this chapter, it seems like the World Government’s highest-ranked intelligence unit, CP-AIGIS0 is present in the kingdom as well. The revealed identity of the blind man is an interesting twist and I was almost certain he would turn out to be Kyros, the legendary gladiator of Corrida Coliseum. Fleet Admiral Akainu (Murderer!) first mentioned the name, Fujitora back in Chapter 700 and he seemed confident enough to entrust Isshou with the important task of reining in Luffy and Traflagar Law. Just how powerful Fujitora is remains an unknown, but I have no doubt the eventual confrontation between the Supernovas and the high-level marines will prove to be immensely amusing.
We were literally all over the map this week in terms of the chapter’s narrative. The abandoned iron bridge that connects Dressrosa to Green Bit in particular, sticks out to me as something worth highlighting. It begs the question of why Trafalgar chose Green Bit as the location to hand over Caesar when the uninhabited island is clearly inaccessible to the common people. I’m sure the Shichibukai still has a trick or two up his sleeve but it looks like his crusade to destroy the SMILE factory might not be as easy as he has hoped. The ill-fated encounter with the CP-0 sparked my interest as well and without a doubt, the bad blood between Cipher Pol and the Straw Hat’s Devil Child has not been completely forgotten. I’ll say this up front – Nico Robin is my favorite character in One Piece. She’s wonderful in so many aspects – smart, sultry and ridiculously hot, just to name a few. But what makes her stands out the most is the profundity that she displayed in her character development during the CP9 Saga. The moment when she shouted “I want to live” remains the most epic scene in One Piece and no matter how many times I’ve re-watched it, the sheer emotional buildup of that instant never fails to make my tears well up.
It looks like the story will be shifting back to the coliseum next week and we got a glimpse of just how terrifyingly powerful the super rookie Bartholomeo is. Beating a Marine Vice Admiral into a pulp without breaking a sweat? That’s how you put on a show. I’m hard-pressed to see anyone else aside from Luffy or Rebecca, whom many suspect could be a new addition to the Straw Hat crew, acquiring the Mera Mera no Mi’s power. But no question, the Straw Hat captain is going to have his hands full in the next few chapters as we figure out the true extent of his opponent’s abilities.