This would have been so much more heroic if everything leading up to it hadn't been so misogynist.Bartolomeo shows his worth as he pushes his limits to give Luffy and Law a step up, Sabo is in a heated battle with Fujitorathat is sure to get heavy, and how will Rebecca deal with being targeted by the same gun that took her mother's life?
You're going to start this chapter feeling all the usual ONE PIECE vibes, and Bartolomeo has really become such a pleasant surprise out of the Dressrosa Arc. He may be an obnoxious fanboy, but at least he's genuinely helpful. Even a little heroic this week. Then Robin steps in to give a great speech and be the one who will face off with Gladius. It's been a long time since she's had a battle to call her own. Perhaps this is the arc where Oda will give us a better display of her growth.
Unfortunately, things take a remarkably negative turn in the final third.
My fears have come to roost in this week's ONE PIECE. I really didn't want to see Rebecca reduced to a damsel in need of rescue. Yet, that's exactly where we find ourselves. I had such high hopes for her getting some level of revenge for the death of her mother. I'm not saying I wanted her to kill, but is it asking too much that she shows some level of competence in a fight?
Earlier in the arc, I could easily forgive Rebecca for folding upon realizing that Diamante was her mother's killer. That's a heavy shock to drop on someone in the middle of a battle, and some people would need to process that. It had the potential for an incredible round two where she musters her courage and brings him to justice. I would have even accepted Kyros coming in to prevent her from being stabbed in the back after a victory, alaTashigi vs. Monet.
Shirahoshi or even Vivi wilting from battle is much more understandable. I came into this holding Rebecca to a much higher standard. She's a bloody gladiator who's never lost. She must have faced hundreds of enemies who wanted her head. Sure, Oda tells us that she's won her fights without actually maiming anyone. I thought at some point he was going to show us how that happens.
If it hadn't been for Nico Robin's bad-ass moment and Bartolomeo's heroic fanboy-ism, I could has easily been much more harsh to this chapter. Such a disappointment from a character that had such promise. My hopes were so high for Rebecca, but they all came crashing down to Earth with this week's issue. I could have given this a 2 out of 5 if it hadn't been for Robin's heroism balancing out Rebecca's face plant.
There is plenty of genuine enjoyment to get out of this week's ONE PIECE. Some great action, art, and laughs. It's practically everything one comes to expect from Oda. It's the final bit that just pulls the rug right out from under you.
Follow along with the latest ONE PIECE chapters yourself, tune in for the SJ Podcast, and check out the free starter pack sampler at ShonenJump.com here. You can download the free app for both iOS and Android devices.