Luffy remembers that what he did was the same technique that Silvers Rayleigh uses on Sabaody to save Camie. However, Luffy can’t figure out how he managed to do it. Hyogoro states that “what Luffy just did was superior to what he had been trying to teach him.” Luffy tries to use Haki to try to block Big Mom’s attack, but she overpowers him and Hyogoro. After Luffy pulls him out the wall, he tells Luffy that “there is another step in concentrating and projecting Haki, which is the ability to destroy nearby objects from the inside.” Luffy managed to accomplish this but failed to learn how to reproduce it. Big Mom rampages separating Hyo and Luffy.
Queen awakens and plans to defeat Big Mom. He assumes (correctly) that Big Mom will eventually circle back to them. When she does, Queen (in his brachiosaurus) dives into her head first. The effect of the blow causes Big Mom to regain her memories. However, she suddenly falls asleep. Queen takes the opportunity to wrap Big Mom in Seastone chains and inject her with anesthesia. Queen and his men quickly leave with Big Mom heading toward Onigashima. With communications still cut off, Luffy decides he will take down Babanuki and take over Udon. This chapter was quick. However, Luffy continue to learn more about Haki.
It wasn’t surprising that Luffy didn’t have much effect on Big Mom. So far it seems clear that the gap in power between the Yonko (Kiado and Big Mom) and Luffy is still rather large. It’s impossible to know how long this arc is going to be, but I don’t think it will end without Luffy fighting at least one of the Yonko. So far I’m surprise that Luffy has taken so long to master the new Haki. He will learn it eventually, it’s a question of when.
Hiyori reveals that she’s the sister of Momonosuke, understandably shocking Zoro. She says that she “remembers the death of her parents and disappearance of her brother 20 years ago.” However, she didn’t didn’t believe her brother when he promised that he would return. When Zoro asks her why she didn’t come to the future as well, she tells him that “it was to ensure the Kozuki Family’s bloodline would survive if the plan did not go right.” Zoro mentions to her that so far they have meet six of the nine “Red Scabbards.” She tells him that the other 3 are, Kawamatsu, Denjiro, and Ashura Doji.
Kozuki allies imprisoned
Orochi’s forces have manage to capture many of the allies of the Kozuki family. They are mocked by Fukurokuju for their stupidity for tattooing the crescent moon on their bodies. I have too agree that the tattoos are incredibly dumb thing to do. However, by putting all of them in a single prison and broadcasting it to the town they actually make it easier for the rest of the Strawhat’s and Heart pirates find and rescue them.
Luffy tries to learn a new form of Haki
At the Udon prisoner’s mine, Luffy and Hyo face off against gifters Madilloman and Alpacaman. Luffy tells Hyo how to move and Hyo is able to avoid the attacks from Alpacaman. Luffy easily dodges attacks from Madilloman, while trying to use the form of Haki that allows the user to emit haki like a force of air. Hyo identifies the technique as “Goken.” He then uses it on Alpacaman, knocking him out. He offers to teach Luffy, who’s eager to learn. I still believe that Big Mom will fight Queen, but if Luffy keeps getting stronger she may not need to. While, Luffy can be an airhead, he’s an expert at battle. Like most shonen anime he will quickly learn what Hyo teaches him.
Raizo is surprised that Kawamatsu is still alive. A former follower of Kozuki Oden, he was imprisoned in Udon. Kin’emon considers him , along with Denjiro and Ashura Doji as one of the most powerful followers of Oden. He clearly has high endurance, as he has been forced to eat poisonous fish for 13 years without dying or getting ill. So far one of the central themes of this arc is time travel. I think its both in the literal since (Toki had time travel abilities) and more figurative, when finding characters from the past. Raizo plans to free Kawamatsu, but is interrupted by guards. He disappears in a smoke bomb.
Luffy and Hyogoro, Sumo tag team
Queen happily talks about executing, Hyo and Luffy. He reveals his event, “Queen’s Contraception Concert: Sumo Inferno” that excites the guards. Luffy and Hyo are fitted with collars that will decapitate them if they fall outside the ring. Queen then informs them that “the pair of them will be fighting a series of sumo matches.” However, if he joined with Kaido’s crew he could go free. Kiado has made used this sort of coercion to great effect. It was never going to work on Luffy, but it has worked on others. In theory he could pretend that to join Kiado and simply escape. Regardless, Luffy is excited to fight in the ring and now that he doesn’t have the seastone cuffs on it will be easy. When the fighting starts, Luffy uses Haki to knock them out.
The raid at the bathhouse
Drake and Hawkins have raided the bathhouse in the Flower Capital. Drake is on a mission to kill Soba Mask. Hawkins demands that all the bathers show their ankles so he could see if they have a crescent moon tattoo. The fan service in this series has increased during this arc. Time will tell if this is limited to the arc or Oda is signalling that he is going to go for fan service more later. Regardless, Nami takes out several patrons, Sanji and Drake when faint from nosebleeds when she drops her towel. Nami, Robin, Sanji and Shinobu escape. Finally, Zoro confronts a large swordsmen who took his sword. Zoro says he intends to take the weapons from him. The two begin to battle.
For a long series like One Piece it is possible or necessary to have every episode feature the best animation. Costing more money and taking more time it’s important to plan to use top notch animation for important battles. Gear 4 Snake-man Luffy verses Katakuri is one such battle. I’ve a ready reviewed the manga version of this fight, but it clear that the animated version is superior. Check it out:
Ultra Instinct Goku faces off against Jiren once again in the final episodes of Dragon Ball Super. In the conclusion of the Tournament of Power, Goku masters Ultra Instinct and is finally able to dominate Jiren. This forces Jiren to increase his own power. Goku is almost defeat twice, but manages to survive. Jiren attacks Goku’s friends and family sitting on the bleachers. Goku becomes enraged, finally defeating Jiren. However, Goku collapses from the strain of using Ultra Instinct.
Victorious by default, Jiren refuses to knock Goku off at first. He is reminded by the God Belmond of what’s at stake. He resigns himself to defeating Goku, but tells him that ” he will always live on in his memories even as he ceases to exist.” Frieza saves Goku, with the previous thought dead Android 17 revealing he survived. Jiren becomes exhausted as he fights Frieza and 17. Then Goku recovers and joins the fray. Goku, Frieza and 17 team up to fight Jiren together. Goku and Frieza overpower Jiren, knocking him off.
Luffy vs Katakuri (One Piece)
Monkey D. Luffy and Charlotte Katakuri face off during the Whole Cake Island Arc in the Mirror World. This fight was a long one and largely saw Katakuri dominate Luffy. This is why the result of the match, Luffy’s win feels strange and unnecessary. One of One Piece’s most distinguish qualities is that the “main character” in this case Luffy doesn’t have to always win. Even in a later “fight” against Kiado, Luffy is easily defeated. So why did he win this fight?
Some fans wrongly suggested that this was typical plot armor, it wasn’t. However, I agree Luffy should have taken the lost on this. Regardless, we see Luffy reach another level as he introduces us to another form, Gear Fourth: Snakeman. The fight might be too repetitive and the victory was the wrong one. Regardless, it’s worth your time.
Meliodas vs Ten Commandments (7 Deadly Sins)
Meliodas is the “Sin of Wrath” of the Seven Deadly Sins, faces off against the Ten Commandments. I’ve hear about the manga Seven Deadly Sins and seen it promoted on Netflix, but I haven’t really decided to pick it up. This fight changed that. The title character Meliodas fights all ten of the commandments. Derieri, Drole, Estarossa, Fraudrin, Gloxinia, Grayroad, Melascula, Monspeet, Zeldris.
Meliodas first fights Drole and Gloxinia. They put up a good fight, but Meliodas takes the upper hand. However, the other Commandments arrive and dynamics of the fight change. Meliodas is ganged up on and is ultimately he is killed by Estarossa.
Naruto and Sasuke vs Momoshiki (Boruto)
This is a bit of a remake from the Boruto movie. Naruto and Sasuke join forces to fight Momoshiki. After disrupting the Chunin Exams to kill Naruto when they try remove to the Nine-tails chakra. The fight is one of the best of the Boruto/Naruto series. The animation is spectacular, as Naruto and Sasuke combine their abilities to maximum effect. The two prove to be too much for the Otsutsuki clan member.
This being the Boruto series, it’s up to him to defeat Momoshiki. Using his own rasengan aided by his father chakra, Sasuke and his mysterious eye, Boruto ends Momoshiki, but it’s just the being of the new spin off series. It’s easily one of the best battles of the 2018 season.
All Might vs All for One (My Hero Academia)
The finally fight of this list is the epic battle between old enemies, All Might and All for One. My Hero Academia featured many battles that could have ended up on this list but this one had no equal. When the League of Villains kidnap, Katsuki Bakugo, All Might is tasked with finding the taken student. During his rescue attempt he encounters his former nemesis. Backing the future of villainy, All for One aims to help them escape capture. He easily defeats the other top ten heroes, forcing All Might to engage.
All Might is still weaken from their previous battle that left him with permanent damage. Still their fight is able to create massive shock-waves, destroying the surrounding area. All Might even reverts to his skinny form, revealing to the world that he’s not as he once was. Encouraged to fight for the future heroes, All Might gathers what remains of his dwindling strength and hits All for One with a devastatingly powerful move, United States of Smash.
This chapter went by quickly, but boy did it reveal something profound. First I was wrong about the effect of Luffy’s hit. While he managed to knock Kiado to the ground, Luffy was largely ineffective against Kiado. After he hits the ground, Lady Speed falls out of Kiado’s cape. Luffy goes to her and is told that Kiado fought Lady Speed. It is implied that he also hurt Tama.
In the One Piece series, Luffy’s most important personality traits are his simple-mindlessness and recklessness. The combination of these to aspects tend to result in Luffy getting into trouble, usually resulting in him getting a lot of attention and a higher bounty. However, Luffy is more complex than that. His sense of righteousness leads him to defend the weak, even when it will be easier for him not to.
I say all this because the moment that he finds out that Tama was hurt by Kiado, he becomes enraged. Kiado can come across as a funny character, that can lead the audience to like him, forgetting that he’s evil. I think Oda was reminding us of this fact, noting that even children aren’t safe from him. Luffy being Luffy he goes into a rage and attacks Kiado.
He calls Kiado’s attention, then attacks with Gomu Gomu no Elephant Gatling. He manages to knock Kiado out of his dragon form. He then quickly shifts into Gear Fourth: Boundman, using Gomu Gomu no Kong Organ. The barrage doesn’t do much as Kiado simply get’s up and uses Eight Trigrams Thunder-Clap, KOing Luffy while mocking his claim of becoming “Pirate King.”
I think Oda is trying to impart to the audience that the feeling that Luffy is so powerful that he’s the “fifth Yonko,” is completely false. While, we know that Luffy didn’t really fight Big Mom, let alone defeat her, some people (like myself) felt that the gap between him and the Yonko was close. While, I think Luffy did earn his bounty, it is somewhat inflated. Luffy has been defeated easily before and he will recover. The result of this encounter was unexpected.
If Luffy can’t touch Kiado (right now) then who can? Oh, What happened to the other Strawhat’s? So far the Strawhat’s have been on a bit of a winning streak, especially Luffy having successively defeated Doflamingo and Big Mom (though not head to head). He needed to run into a conflict that he couldn’t defeat simply by being head strong and barreling without fear. Kiado will provide a major challenge, that Luffy can’t easily overcome.
Luffy takes off to confront Kaido. Having seen that Okobore Town is under direct threat Luffy heads there. Law reveals that he, Luffy and Zoro have been exposed. However, he claims that “this shouldn’t effect the plan.” He plans to join Luffy against Kaido. Meanwhile, at Bakura Town the civilians flee as Kiado begins his assault.
Kiado is revealed to be drunk, resulting in Jack fearing his rampage. Hawkins informs Kiado that “Luffy and Law are at the ruins of Oden Castle.” Even though this is true, Hawkins tells Jack that he lied to ” Kaido in order to stop his rampage and also to try eliminating a suspicious light there that has led to rumors about the Kozuki Family’s return.”
Kiado immediately attacks Oden Castle, as the Strawhat and allies flee. He uses a massive attack that destroy’s Oden Castle. It’s not clear that the Strawhat’s got away in time. Regardless, the people of Kuri watch as Luffy jumps above Kiado and uses Gomu Gomu no Elephant Gun on the unsuspecting Kiado. Too much didn’t happen in this chapter, but the initial attack from Luffy on Kiado was shocking.
Most of us probably thought that it would take longer for Luffy to encounter him. Considering, Kiado’s drunken state and the fact that he didn’t seem to notice Luffy, I think he will be knocked unconsciousness, but remain won’t be harmed. This will save the village by ending Kiado’s rampage. Finally, I think there’s zero chance that the Strawhat’s and their allies are harmed. I think the Kunoichi would have help them disappear before the attack.
This chapter seemed to go by quickly. We see more of the corruption, starvation and cruelty inflicted upon the citizens of Bakura Town. Another, Hundred Beast Pirate member is introduced, Speed. Oda must be running out of names because that is a generic one. Anyway, she’s a “horse” SMILE devil fruit user. While bringing the good food in town she stumbles upon the fight between Luffy and Holdem.
Holdem threats to have his lion stomach, Kamijiro “bite Tama in half.” He assumes that they are apart of Shutenmaru’s bandit crew the Atamayama Thieves. He’s a master thief that has been stealing from Orochi’s farm. Kiku warns Luffy that if he angers Holdem, it could invite the wrath of Jack. One of the “Disasters” of the Beast Pirates. He has a Billion Beli bounty and ate the Zou Zou no Mi, allowing him to transform into a mammoth.
It was believe that Jack was killed at sea, but he clearly survived. Of course Kiku’s warning means that Luffy is going to anger Jack. I’m hoping that he does encounter Jack that fight would be epic. Lady Speed arrives with the food, Luffy gets angry at the injustice regarding food distribution. He asks Zoro to “handle” the food situation.
Meanwhile, Basil Hawkins is intercepted by Law in disguise. Hawkins one of the few people in Wano that knows his identity and Law plans to “finish him off.” Elsewhere, Luffy and Zoro, rescue Tama and steal the food good respectively. After Tama tells Luffy that Holdem used pliers to try to make her “dangos,” he gets pissed and uses his Red Hawk on Holdem.
Luffy’s epic crushing hits never gets old. Of course Luffy had to punish Holdem for his terrible behavior. A lot of big players are involved in this arc already. Jack, Kiado, Law and Hawkins. I’m excited at the prospect of seeing the other two “Disasters” of the Beast Pirates. If Jack has that high of a beli bounty the others should be just as strong.
Kiku seems to be surprised that Urashima was enraged that she cut off his topknot. This doesn’t make any since to me, considering what I assume is a cultural fact regarding Sumo wrestlers and the value of their topknot’s. Regardless, he attacks her as she apologizes, however, Luffy counters with Gomu Gomu no Thrust. It’s an open palm thrust that clashes with Urashima’s. They both lose their balance and are about to fall out of the ring. They recover, Urashima demands Luffy move so he can “tear Kiku limb from limb.”
Obviously, Luffy would never let that happen. He challenges Urashima to a Sumo match, claiming that he’s “super good,” at Sumo. The newly minted “Sumo Aspiring Pirate: Luffy no Umi,” Luffy get attacked by Urashima’s Bodhisattva Palm. Luffy dodges eat attack without difficulty. Urashima uses Ear Crusher and Eye gouger. Luffy questions where these attacks are against the rules. Luffy uses his Gomu Gomu no Giant Thrust on Urashima.
This sends Urashima flying, as a massive gust of wind blows over the crowd. Zoro gets outed for being the killer of the magistrate and the crowd assumes that they are “rebels.” They go on to save Tama. Kiku apparently is a bit of a ditz. I don’t like that characterization. She’s a clearly competent Samurai, but I didn’t really by that she was so helpless to make decisions for herself. Anyway, Lord Holdem finally shows himself. Tama is being held with in his lion’s mouth. I don’t feel that Tama’s in any real danger, I’m predicting that she use her abilities to make the lion like her. All this as Law and Hawkins arrive.
We are introduced several other SMILE users. One of them is Holdem. He’s a SMILE user whose devil fruit ability allows him to create a lion’s head and forelegs on his waist. What makes him interesting is that the lion is sentient and thinks on it’s own. This leads to them getting into conflicts with each other, they physically assault each other but they inflict damage to themselves because they share a body. Regardless, he asks Tama how she was able to tame the animals. She’s unwilling to tell him and lies. However, Holdem tells her that she “pulled something from her cheek,” he tells his subordinates to “bring pliers,” so he can pull her cheek bu force.
As they are riding into the town, Luffy catches a sumo wrestler that is sent flying. Urashima is dominating other sumo wrestlers in the ring. He apparently has broken, “10 arms, 15 legs, 52 ribs, 4 skulls and 7 spines.” He’s undefeated, he sees Kiku and assumes that she came to be his wife. This triggers the women in the audience who assume that she is a gold-digger. He sends his boys to go get her, Zoro lets them take her. I doesn’t matter as Kiku takes it upon herself to cut Urashima’s topknot off.
This chapter went by real fast. Not much really occurred other than the introduction of more villains. They will almost certainly be quickly defeated by Luffy and Zoro, so they don’t feel like threats. Also I’m not afraid for Tama’s safety. I’m interested is how strong Kiku is compared to say Zoro. I’m not an expert on Japanese culture, but I know that cutting of a samurai’s topknot is considered a major insult if not worse. Will Kiku be able to defeat Urashima? Finally, I literally though the lion was Pekoms. LOL.