Gear Four Luffy vs Katakuri
Luffy strikes Katakuri with several attacks, sending him flying. He questions the assumption that Katakuri was “invisible.” He states that because “since Busoshoku Haki makes Logia types take form and it simply passed through Katakuri,” he was able to deduce that Katakuri wasn’t a Logia user. Luffy realizes that “that Katakuri’s most notable trait is not his control over his Mochi Mochi no Mi abilities, but his Kenbunshoku Haki.” Katakuri is impressed that Luffy was able to determine this and that he was able to hit him.
Katakuri responds by trapping Luffy in Mochi with his “Peerless Donuts,” technique. He then strikes Luffy with a devastating blow from his “Strength Mochi” attack, knocking him through several walls. Meanwhile, at Cacao Island, Pound arrives to see his daughter Chiffon. Brulee informs Pudding when the Strawhat’s will be arriving at 1 am and Luffy will not be there because he won’t defeat Katakuri. Oven arrives and notices Pound making a ruckus outside. Pudding warns Sanji that Katakuri probably won’t lose because he’s never lost to anyone. Sanji says he will “will suffer his first loss.”
The thousand Sunny continues to head towards Cacao Island, Nami is curious that no ones following them. Jinbei agrees and wonders what happened to the Sun Pirates. Mont-d’Or is informed that Big Mom is currently destroying Nut Island and the territorial sea slugs have disappeared. It is revealed that Praline is responsible for the disappearance, she’s been singing to them preventing them from doing what their suppose to do. It seems that Luffy is still in at an disadvantage when it comes to Katakuri. With Gear Four being his current highest level it seems that he will have to figure out something new. Sanji unbridled confidence in Luffy is unsurprising but refreshing to see. Overall, this chapter doesn’t advance the story that much.
Brulee reveals the Strawhat’s plans
Brulee taunts Luffy from her mirror, telling him that of all Big Mom’s children, Katakuri is the most exception. She elaborates on his fighting ability, stating that Katakuri’s “reputation for never having laid down once in his life.” Annoyed, Luffy attempts to attack her but is blocked by Katakuri. He tosses Luffy into a wall of mirrors and tries to attack him with Mogura. He threatens to “tear Luffy apart piece by piece.” Brulee informs Perospero that the Strawhat’s survived the attack from Big Mom and that the Strawhat’s are meeting at Cacao Island, however, Big Mom is distracted and heads toward Nuts Island.
Luffy vs Katakuri
Luffy realizes that the fight with Katakuri is more tiring than normal, this is due to the fact that dodging Katakuri’s attacks are taxing. Katakuri notices that Luffy dodges his attacks more successfully than anyone else. He then activates his “awakened Devil Fruit powers,” turning the ground into mochi. Luffy begins to activate his fourth Gear, intriguing Katakuri.
The Fire Tank Pirates and Germa 66 survive
The Big Mom pirates have lost sight of the Strawhat’s and Fire Tank pirates. Mont-d’Or is informed that the Germa 66 “have been crushed,” however, it’s Niji pretending to be Charlotte Nusstorte. She asks about the Strawhat’s location and is informed that they’re “are still not captured and heading west.” Ichiji orders Germa 66 to “set sail.” I think Luffy will be overwhelmed by Katakuri regardless of the use of Fourth Gear. Despite their power, the Big Mom pirates are slowly losing ground and their apparent arrogance is only going to make them more likely to fail. Once again Big Mom’s irrational love of food has derailed her, providing the Strawhat’s with some relief. The Fire Tank pirates, Germa 66 and Strawhat’s together should put up a good fight against Big Mom.
Master helmsmen Jinbe
It wasn’t always clear to me what Jinbe’s official role would be on the Strawhat’s crew was, but he will be the helmsmen. The Strawhat’s never had an official helmsmen, with Nami, Usopp and Chopper all taking the role. A helmsmen is the person that steers the ship. Jinbe is unsurprisingly capable in this regard being a fishman with experience on the seas. Jinbe has been shown in the anime as being able to steer a ship out of the way of cannon fire. In this chapter, Jinbe manages to use these skills to save the Strawhat’s from death. He use the “green room,” which is described as “a short lived pocket made inside the crest of a wave.”
Luffy in the Mirror-World
Luffy’s is notified by Nami that they have survived and smashed all the mirrors. Communicating through a mirror shard, Nami informs him that they will be meeting Sanji at Cacao Island in about ten hours. Katakuri attacks Luffy, who swallows the shard of glass. He informs Nami that they need to hurry, Katakuri reveals a trident made of mochi. He mocks Luffy suggesting that he knows what his last words are going to be. Luffy responds with those words, saying “he will not die here.” The real question regarding this part of the arc is what is Luffy going to do that can defeat Katakuri. It is the tendency of many shonen manga that the main character will ALWAYS find the strength to win. However, One piece at least occasionally allows Luffy and others to be defeated. It seems implausible that Luffy will “win” this fight, but he will likely escape somehow.
The Substitute Wedding Cake
Sanji, Pudding, and Chiffon arrive at Chocolat Town on Cacao Island and begin the preparation for the wedding cake. The top 31 chef’s of Whole Cake Island are present and Pudding extracts a roll of memory from head chef Buche, erasing the memories, ” of the wedding incident and led them to believe that the two of them got married smoothly; the reason that the cake was destroyed was because of bad weather.”
Meanwhile, Sanji sketched the new wedding cake, to the surprise of the head chef’s. They are impressed by Sanji’s ability to craft the “perfect” cake. I think that considering the likely inability of Strawhat’s defeating the Big Mom pirates, the new cake will be the peace maker. Big Mom is so irrational regarding cake that this substitute cake will not only stop her, but will probably love Sanji and by extension the Strawhats, letting them go.
The Strawhat’s are in deep trouble
In the Mirro-World, Katakuri is surprised that Perospero is still alive. Perospero then mocks Pedro’s sacrifice calling it “pointless.” Luffy is floored after being damaged by Katakuri, Brulee awakens as he tells her to send more troops to the Sunny to burn it down. Their sisters Mascarpone and Joscarpone have mirrors that lead to the Sunny, Luffy attempts to destroy those mirrors, but fails.
Katakuri continues to dominate Luffy with mochi leg, Luffy manages to dodge. He grabs some shards of a broken mirror calling out to Nami on the Sunny. He tells them to break the two mirrors that remain on the Sunny. However, Carrot points out to Nami that Big Mom has created a massive homie out of a wave. Seeing the wave Nami tells Luffy the they “might be done after all.” The Strawhat’s are in an impossible position, they’re outmatched and outsmarted. I don’t think that Luffy is capable of beating Katakuri. However, I’m certain that either, Jimbe will fight Big Mom buying them time or Brooke will use the Coup de Burst escaping immediate danger.
Big Mom’s near invisible
The massive lighting attack created by Nami and Zeus fails, as Big Mom is seeming unaffected. In her wedding cake obsessed trance she continues to walk in a straight line while in the hole, created by the lighting, by eating through the earth. Big Mom resurfaces, forcing the Strawhat’s to flee.
Chiffon and Pudding finally reach the Strawhat’s, Pudding goes through erratic mood swings falling in love with Sanji and then threatening to kill them. Luffy becomes annoyed by her behavior, a wonders if she can be trusted. Chiffon takes the lead, informing Sanji that they need to make a cake to stop Big Mom from rampaging. She says “they will make it in Chocolatown on Cacao Island,” the other Strawhat’s are expected to dodge Big Mom while this cake is being made.
Chopper and Brook verses Big Mom Pirates
Chopper and Brook face off against many Chess soldiers easily defeating them, however, they keep coming through the mirror in Nami’s room. They decide that the mirror needs to be broken. The Big Mom pirates still believe that the lighting bolt destroyed the Strawhat crew. Brooke refuses to listen to them, as Luffy and the others arrive at the Sunny.
Another good chapter, as the Strawhat’s don’t initially escape danger but have a plan that will likely save them. On thing I’m noticing in this arc is the abundance of “disorders,” or uncontrollable behavior. Big Mom, Pudding and Zeus, are susceptible to uncontrollable urges. All these behaviors get in the way of their goals. I predict that Sanji will make a cake so good that either Big Mom will want to capture him permanently or she will let the Strawhat’s go free as thanks.
Big Mom, Big Power
Big Mom charges toward King Baum and the Strawhat’s, she uses her Elbaf Spear: Foreign Threat, blowing a massive hole into King Baum. Luffy remarks that her attack was similar to a giant swing. Big Mom being a yonko means she’s considered one of the four strongest characters in the series, so it’s not surprising that she has such strength. However, it is impressive to watch her power displayed. King Baum is understandingly frightened and begs for forgiveness. Nami manipulates him by reminding him that about his fiancee, he begins to run as Big Mom prepares to strike again.
Nami power up
Nami has a plan to help the strawhat’s, she uses Black Ball and Zeus begins to eat them. Big Mom falls off and misses the Strawhat’s with her attack. King Baum and the Strawhat’s make it to the seducing forest. With the sunny in sight the Strawhat’s hopes are up, Zeus quickly catches up to the Strawhat’s. He asks for more of “those little thunderclouds,” Nami asks that if he is willing to “be her servant in exchange.” Zeus seems to have no allegiance to Big Mom and simply asks Nami “what should I do?” She asks him to cover the whole sky.
King Baum’s death, Strawhat’s are trapped
Big Mom tell’s the seducing forest to “stop them,” overriding the authority of King Baum. Prometheus attacks King Baum by growing into a sun sized ball of fire. He obliterates King Baum, as the Strawhat’s flee. Meanwhile, in the mirror world, ten thousand soldiers are waiting to be deployed. The Battleships are also deployed, as are sea slugs underwater, within the sunny waits Katakuri. Bege continues to flee, but Pudding catches up to them. Chiffon refuse to help make the cake for Big Mom, but Pudding is asking for her help saving Sanji and the strawhat’s. Pudding is frustrating as a character, I have no belief that she has reformed herself. However, it would help the Strawhat’s if she did. The deck is stacked against them now and I don’t know what’s going to happen next.
The citizens of Sweet City recover from the damage caused by the explosion of the Tamatebako, with the Whole Cake Chateau in ruins, along with the wedding, wedding cake and Vinsmoke assassination plan. They are all uncertain what the cause of the explosion, meanwhile, Katakuri has sent squads to hunt after the Straw Hats, Fire Tank Pirates and the Germa. He asks Brulee to accompany him, as he plans to kill Luffy.
Smoothie interrupts them to announce that they need to flee, Big Mom is behind her, as her eating disorder caused her to begin a rampage. Big Mom has a dead Opera in her hand, shocking the Big Mom pirates. All of their lives are now in danger, as Big Mom attacks indiscriminately. Perospero foolishly lies to her telling her that there’s a second cake and the Strawhat’s stole it. Big Mom warns him that if he’s lying she will kill him. She summons Zeus and rides it towards the Strawhat’s.
Katakuri and the others are relieved but know that Perospero only bought the some time. Pudding arrives and reveals a plan to make a chocolate chiffon cake, she seems to back to her evil ways and hopes that Big Mom kills Sanji. The Strawhat’s are rushing to escape and ride a newly sewn together King Baum, they cut through the Seducing Woods. Big Mom quickly catches up to them and she demands the cake back, wielding Napoleon in sword form.
Opera’s death isn’t very important nor was it surprising he was already proven to be a traitor. However, the danger Big Mom represents to her own family seems to create a rather tense environment. Normally she’s irrational and selfish, in her current mentality she’s even worst. Perospero basically commits suicide by lying to Big Mom, but manages to save the Big Mom pirates at the expense of the Strawhat’s. I feel that one of the Strawhat’s will sacrifice themselves to buy them time, the best bet will be that it’s Pedro.
Whole Cake Chateau is saved
The Whole Cake Chateau begins to fall after the Tamatebako explodes, the citizens begin to panic as does. In the commotion the Strawhat pirates, Fire Tank pirates and the Vinsmoke family all flee. Big Mom also falls and Bege rejoices as he believes that the Big Mom pirates are finished. However, Streusen uses his ability to cut the top of the Chateau off, saving the citizens and Big Mom pirates.
Going their separate ways
Bege ejects the Strawhat’s from his body and tells them it’s time to prepare to go “their separate ways,” he returns the heart to Caesar. The strawhat’s prepare to escape and Bege warns them that it will take a “day’s journey to escape.” The strawhat’s prepare to take the Shark Submerge 3 back to the Thousand Sunny. The Big Mom pirates split into two groups, one to follow the Strawhat’s and the other to follow the Fire Tank pirates. However, Big Mom’s “eating disorder” kicks in, spelling doom for those nearby.
As I predicted the Tamatebako explosion was going to save the Strawhat’s and their allies, whether they escape still remains to be seen. However, Big Mom is about to go on a food rage which will surely make it easier. The real question is what happens when she does. When we were shown Big Mom as a child and she went into a food rage she appeared to eat all her friends. If this indeed did happen it is likely that she will attempt to eat her family. I wonder if she will or will her family be able to stop her? Maybe the end of Big Mom or the Big Mom pirates will be her doing?
The Germa Kingdom steps up
The Strawhat’s and the others would be dead without the Vinsmoke family stepping up and defending them. Judge attacks Big Mom directly with his spear, she simply breaks the spear with her teeth. She counters with Zeus, while promising to use his scientific powers for her benefit. One strange response to his defeat at the hands of Big Mom was his children, Niji and Yonji. The Vinsmokes are suppose to be emotionless, but they seemed to be willing to sacrifice themselves for their father.
Luffy versus Big Mom
One of the appealing aspects of the One Piece series is that there are numerous characters that are incredibly strong. Big Mom being a Yonko puts her on another level compared to everyone else. However, newer pirates like Luffy are rising up in the ranks, so it’s interesting to see how he stacks up. The answer apparently is not well. Luffy decides that he wants to punch her “just once,” he activates “Gear Fourth,” but it’s easily block by Big Mom.
Tamatebako is a deus ex machina
This may be a premature claim, as we haven’t seen the results of the explosion, but how else will everyone escape from this dire situation. I think its a good thing that Luffy and the strawhat’s aren’t strong enough to defeat Big Mom yet. However, I think it’s telling that Luffy stated that he will defeat Big Mom AFTER he beats Kaido. Considering that even Big Mom believes that he’s unbeatable, I think Oda is suggesting that within the story will see Luffy defeat him before doing the same to Big Mom. Whether, this occurs or not remains to be seen of course.
Judge and Germa 66 change of heart
Judge asks Sanji why he bothered saving them and he responds “that his father would be saddened to see him holding on to a childhood grudge and laughing at his blood relatives’ death.” Sanji tells Judge to forget that their father and son, Judge agrees. He promises that he will no longer come near Sanji or East Blue. The Germa 66 plan on fighting against the Big Mom pirates, and since they all can fly on their own will not need to remain within Bege to escape.
Bege surprises everyone with his concern for his crew, wife and son. Normally, it shouldn’t be surprising but Bege’s persona suggested that he would care. He comes up with a plan where he will return to his normal size and with Caesar reluctant help escape. Germa explains that they will help the alliance escape. Caesar, the Vinsmokes, and Bege begin the plan. The Big Mom pirates open fire and are deflected by the Vinsmokes. Big Mom attacks with Prometheus causing Reiju to be damaged, she then uses her fist and surprisingly both Luffy and Sanji counter her attack.
I can’t shake the feeling that someone in the Strawhat crew is going to die. My most reasonable guess is that it will be Sanji. However, I hope I’m wrong. It seems that it’s more likely that the Germa 66 will fight to the death against the odds and ultimately be killed. While this won’t redeem them, it will help save the Strawhat’s and the Fire Tank Pirates. It is also possible that some third party, like the Sun Pirates or the army from the Germa Kingdom. Regardless, the stakes are increasing and this arc is reaching it’s climax.