Two of the more powerful swordsmen of ONE PIECE team up together in a fight between the powerful Logia user, Monet.Tashigi finally shows her growth, blood is shed, and Zoro proves that you don't need to cut with a sword to win.
It seems my predictions that the heroes would be sharing villains came true. It was a combination of Zoro and Tashigi to overcome Monet, and it also looks as if it will be Smoker and Law to fightVergo. I was so excited for this chapter, because the combination of these two sword fighters has always created great moments. She brings out such an adorable side to the normally stoic and unmovable swordsman. It's nice getting these rare cracks in his emotional walls.
This chapter also brings up the issue of female characters in shonenaction series. More often, they only have women fighting women. I can understand the concern of having your heroes violently beating up on women. That's not something you really want to promote to a primarily young male audience, but is it enough of a balance that it takes Zoro to come to Tashigi's rescue? I did think it was a nice balance that Zoro won not by hurting Monet but by inflicting sheer terror of his power. Finally, Tashigi is the one who gives the finishing blow to save Zoro.
Something I've always been thankful of Oda is that he's always seemed to avoid any big romance between the main cast, something most shonen series have. It really helps to avoid the annoying TWILIGHT-esque debates among fans of who's better for one another. Inarguably, Usopp has the strongest romance with Kaya, and these moments between Zoro and Tashigi feels like a bickering couple. I wonder if Tashigi is going to come out of this arc realizing that Zoro isn't the heartless villain she's always thought him to be?
I would say that I'm a bit disappointed that this entire fight lasted only a single chapter. Seeing more of Tashigi fighting would have been nice. I honestly want to see her live up to her vow to get stronger. I'm just happy that Monet is still alive. There are still more questions about her to be answered.
Just as with last chapter, this was a great mixture of comedy and action. I was curious how they were going to handle this chapter with Zoro. He's a very honorable man, but something about holding back against a woman somehow felt contrary to his origin and respect for Kuina. I think this had not as much to do with that fact that Monet is a woman, but of a fight against a woman who wasn't a worthy opponent. Remember, he originally walked away from Hyouzou without finishing him off. Am I off in that assessment?