For all of those who make the assumption that ONE PIECE is formulaic and predictable. I present to youONE PIECE Ch. 709, which proves the unthinkable can happen. I honestly surprised when I found myself supporting Bellamy, but Luffy has joined in the cheers. Don't jump to the conclusion that Luffy is just so innocent a protagonist that he can forgive anything. Even when he fought alongside Crocodile, he never trusted him.
I was with a lot of you who thought that Elizabello's legend of punching a fortress down with a single punch was some gimmick, but I like that it was everything they claimed. Legends are often based in some level of reality, and even fewer times they're exactly what people have said.
The only real disappointing thing about this chapter is the outcome of Block B. I really would have liked Bellamy to pull this one out, but this Dressrosa Royal Rumble needs its heels. So far, Bartolomeo seems like a one-trick-pony. I'm sure his barriers are impressively strong, but I doubt they're going to be as effective now that people are aware of them. More so against someone like Luffy, who has both reach and armament haki. He'll probably be Luffy's opponent in the second round.
Oda has once again shown an impressive talent in redeeming a former villain. While I'm disappointed that Bellamy has lost in the preliminaries, I very much doubt that Oda would revive this character only for him to disappear once more into darkness. He'll be sure to return soon enough, but will he be sided with or against Doflamingo? With Block B concluded, it's Luffy's turn next, and Don Chin Jao is after his life.
Just a heads up, but it was reported today that Oda has been hospitalized, due to a complication of tonsillitis. He's expected to make a full recovery, but he needs some rest. This means there will be an unscheduled two week break for ONE PIECE. Oda's series is due to return on the June 10th issue of WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP. We all send him our best.