I used to be a pretty big wrestling fan as a kid. I'm talking the classic era of Hulk Hogan, Jake the Snake Roberts, Macho Man Randy Savage, and Andre the Giant. On top of the matches in the ring, were were also led to believe there were these complex story lines going on back stage. There were betrayals, rivalries, alliances, signature moves, and a cheering crowd to bare witness to it all. That's when it all fell in place for me. The only difference in what I'm reading now is that wrestling had actors playing roles. InONE PIECE, they are these over-the-top characters.
This tournament is just like watching an epic Royal Rumble. I know I made that joke last week, but this chapter only reinforces the idea that was originally made in jest. Reading from this head space, I started to see Bellamy as Rowdy Roddy Piper. The only thing missing is the tartan kilt. It's no secret how people hate Bartolomeo, but that's the point. He's the obnoxious Heel character that the audience loves to hate, and he just seems to eat up their contempt for him. Cavendishsays as much.
I was a bit disappointed that Luffy couldn't even manage to hide his identity for even a single match. I'm not foolish enough to think he could go this whole tournament in secret. This trip up was coming. I just didn't think this was going to happen before he even stepped into the ring.
Oda has never been all that shy in weaving in modern and pop culture into the fantastical world he's created. I can't say for sure how much Oda is into professional wrestling, but you can see all the tropes in this Dressrosa tournament. Even if you don't like shonen tournaments. Take a step back and look at it from the perspective of watching a wrestling match. Like me, you're likely to find your enjoyment drastically increases.
A talented author can grab the attention of the audience in ways they never see coming. While reluctantly going into this tournament, I was interested in following Rebecca, but now I'm fascinated with where Bellamy is going. That's something I never cold have imagined. Two weeks in, and I'm still flabbergasted by that realization. I would like it if the tournament pace was a touch faster, but that's a minor quibble of something I'm enjoying.
Hate to break this to you all, but there wont be any ONE PIECE, NARUTO, or BLEACH reviews next week due to the Golden Week break.