A familiar foe finally makes an appearance.
Sanji survives the fight with Virgo and the poison gas, so he sets out with the Marines to save the children, mainly in the name of protecting Tashigi. Virgo makes a report to their superior, the one and only Donquixote Doflamingo, to inform him of Law’s betrayal. While fending off the attacks of a rather vicious maid, Doflamingo states that whatever Law’s planning to do with SAD, it’ll be troublesome, so he plans to send some subordinates as reinforcement. Meanwhile, the unlikely team of Brook and Kinemon take down the dragon that’s been following them, and it’s revealed that Kinemon’s son Momotaro was actually turned into small dragon for venturing into a forbidden room.
This chapter introduces a slew of cool support characters standing alongside Doflamingo, who will undoubtedly become the focus of a future arc, if not this one. Considering that the Punk Hazard is still under way, this introduction could be a bit premature, but I think it’ll be good to have at least a first impression of these characters before they come into play. Baby 5, the killer maid, looks especially interesting to me. It took a few reads of the chapter to notice, but she actually integrates the weapons with her body in order to attack Doflamingo. I’m excited to see her and Buffalo make their battle debut.
This chapter also included what was probably the most unexpected team up of Kinemon and Brook, which I thought was excellent. Brook hasn’t been paid much attention in this arc, so it’s nice to see him get so much page time, even if it was just for comedic effect. Having the other three overlooked characters of Nami, Usopp, and Robin contribute their own attacks was also a nice addition on Oda’s part. It’s little details like this that reaffirm how, even in this enormous cast of characters, the author never ever forgets any of his creations. Having the sudden cliffhanger of Chopper’s transformation was also a good touch, seeing as how his actions have been the least addressed.
A great chapter overall; though a bit lacking in substance and more focused on creating questions than answering them. But story pieces have to be set up before they’re revealed so there wasn’t much I could find wrong, other than Virgo and Sanji’s near miraculous, and somewhat unexplained, escape from the poison gas.
GO Rating: 4/5