What will be the ultimate outcome of this latest arc? This is the first step on the path of taking downKaido, but what of Luffy's more personal quest? Let's just say for now that Oda doesn't pull the rug out from under us, and Luffy wins this tournament to claim the Flame-Flame Fruit. What does he then do with it? Destroying it will just cause it to regrow and continue this cycle. It has to go to someone. Knowing Luffy, he's going to give it to the person he respects. That would mean strength, and a desire to protect others.
I'm starting to think Rebecca is looking to become the best candidate for that. We already know of two subplots revolving around her, and she's been given so much screen time. She even got a second title introduction for just taking off her helmet. I can almost see the moment where Luffy repays her for this meal by giving her something special to eat.
I really feel like a fool now. Here I was thinking Jesus Burgess just wanted the Flame-Flame Fruit for Blackbeard. I never even considered he'd be the one to eat the fruit. Blackbeard's plan to put Ace's power under his command is deliciously wicked. Talk about insult to injury. These kind of stakes are what justifies Luffy's involvement in the tournament.
Once more, I was feeling a cold chill that Bartolomeo was going to be revealed as Sabo. It was seeing how angry he got at listening to the local thugs mock Luffy and mentioning Ace's death. Thank goodness he's revealed to just be a Straw Hat uber-fan from way back. My relief more than made up for his sycophantic/psychotic ramblings.
This chapter pretty much exists to be a reaffirmation as to why Luffy being in this tournament is important to the character. It's helps to give a level of personal risk. More so since the rest of the crew are in all sorts of trouble while on the task that brought them to Dressrosato begin with. It should be interesting to see how Rebecca fights in the coming preliminaries. I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm rooting for her. Then I want Monet to return so they can battle. Snow swordswoman vs. Flame swordswoman! He, he.