Another heavy hitter for the Don Quixote Family falls to a rather unexpected challenger.
If you sweep aside the whole Rebecca scene at the beginning, you're going to get some laughs out of just about every moment within this chapter. I really have to hand it to Oda for turning me around on Baby 5 so suddenly. She really annoyed me for the longest time, and now I find her sort of adorable.
Even Cavendish and Bartolomeo make for a unique pairing. You have the Straw Hat uber-fan, and a guy who harbors an irrational hatred of Luffy. It sort of reminds me of something I once heard a comic writer -- who's name escapes me at the moment -- talking about. He was answering an interview question by explaining how you could make a cast that could do the job perfectly, but that makes for a poor reading experience. It's all very much an ODD COUPLE scenario.
I wanted a fun read, and this issue certainly gave me that.
Where is all this going, and why is Oda putting such an emphasis upon these secondary characters? If you look at the score card, the only member of the Don Quixote Family to be defeated by one of the Straw Hats is one. Usopp's long distance defeat of Sugar. All the others have fallen to the actions of various tournament extras. It's certainly unique for a manga of this caliber, but how about mixing it up with more Straw Hats?
Coming back to Rebecca. This portion of the story has turned into a massive disappointment. Good for her to finally speak up that she wants to fight, but all she's doing is just sitting there as an easy target. Not even so much as a move to defend herself. I can sympathize with Kyros' to want to keep his child away from harm, but you can't stuff the cat back into the bag.
Rebecca is an accomplished fighter who's been a gladiator for years, at this point. They're also up againstDiamante, and she has just a strong a claim against him as her father. Scarlet may have been his wife, but it was also her mother. She should either run or go on the defense. A lot better option than being either a spectator or a handicap.
Despite its flaws, there is still a lot of entertainment value to be had out of this chapter. It has some great writing, but this strong focus on third or fourth tier characters is wearing thin for me. For an arc that has gone on for longer than the Baroque Works Saga, I'd hope that the protagonists would be highlighted more. Don't take that as a criticism against the overall arc. I'm enjoying the Dressrosa story. Just shift the plot back toward the title cards, please.
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