ONE PIECE Ch. 681: Luffy Versus Master
The match we've been waiting for is just beginning as Straw Hat Luffy takes on the the master of gas in an all out brawl, but the mysterious Monet steps in to block Luffy and aide Caesar's escape. As Sanji defends Tashigi from Vergo, it seems Law is finally making the move he's been waiting for since joining the Shichibukai.
For as wicked and deadly as Oda developed Caesar to make him appear as a viable threat in previous chapters. Within pretty much two panels it's obvious that this gaseous-genius doesn't stand a whiff of a chance against Luffy in a straight out fight. Funny enough, I actually find that rather entertaining. It's such a great way to mix things up in the traditional shonen style. I laugh every time I see that terrified expression of Caesar. The way CC can control the gasses on his environment gives me the strong sense that Nami will be the key to Luffy's ultimate victory. Manipulating the environment is her specialty, and all Luffy needs is one good opening.
For as many cool scenes Trafalgar Law has had, Monet is easily turning into the most intriguing character of the entire Punk Hazard Island Arc. With Law, I don't feel the level of ambiguity that this chapter's closing would like the readers to have, but I find my self constantly drawn to Monet in all her scenes. I'm really looking forward to seeing what becomes of her by the end. It appears that she's not working as a spy for Doflamingo willingly.
I want to avoid the embarrassment of last week as Tashigi was once again being tossed around like a sack of potatoes. How long is Tashigi going to continue having to be saved and finally get stronger? I really can't wait for the whole "run away from the poisonous gas" part of this story to end. Every time it seems to be over. It keeps lingering like bad gas -- pun intended.
The Sanji and Vergo fight at least has my attention. Does Vergo have a hardening Devil Fruit power, the Tekkai from theRokushiki, or does he have something similar to Luffy's Armament Hardening technique? Whatever the source, it appears Vergo has broken one of Sanji's precious legs. Maybe that's the window for Tashigi to help Sanji. There' aren't enough villains in this arc to go around. They may have to share.
I've been spending the past few chapters waiting for the build up to stop and for the action to begin, and this chapter really delivers. It has some great fights, fun twists, and a plot that has me waiting for more. Oda just better be careful, or Monet may just steal the spotlight away from Law in this arc. I gave this chapter a 4 out of 5. It wasn't perfect, but very entertaining.