In chapter 720, one of the gladiators mentions something about how Donquixote Doflamingo operates. He said there is extreme light and darkness in how he rules. Light and dark. Didn't we hear something about that earlier? Oh yeah, Issho mentioned that in chapter 713, that Law was either right or wrong, black or white. Interesting. It was obvious from chapter 720 that extreme contrast between good and evil will be an overarching theme in this arc, but what does that mean exactly? Let's look at what we already know.
Dressrosa, at first glance it looks like a great place to live, doesn't it? Sure, there are those toys walking around, but no one seems to be bothered by it so why let it bother us? No problem if that's the norm here. But let's just be frank and admit that the first question on everyone's mind was "how are those toys animated and sentient?" That was the one and only odd thing that stood out about Dressrosa when we first see it. However, we were willing to accept them because of how integrated they were into the culture. Things seem pretty light right now. If this were an Othello game, I'd flip this piece to white.
Zooming in a little, politics. The king of this great land of fervor is none other than Donqixote Doflamingo. The mysterious Shichibukai who only became even more mysterious the more learned about him. Not only is he king of Dressrosa, but he's also the kingpin of the entire black market with world noble connections to boot. We know how he is as a kingpin, but how is he as a king? What do his subjects think of him? They LOVE him! They love him to the point that they were moved to tears when they read about his supposed resignation in the papers and elated when CP-0 told them about the correction. He may be the most notorious black market dealer with piratical immunity on the outside, but in Dressrosa he is a beloved monarch. Let's set this piece on its side for now.
But enough about the crown jewel, let's examine the crown, aka the Donquixote family. When we first see them they look like a colorful bunch of characters. There's the homicidal maid, the old people playing cards, and little girl with the eye patch enjoying a snack. Going further, we know what it means to go against this syndicate. If you don't become a toy and have your existence erased, you become a gladiator who can only be free after winning 1000 matches. However, from the most basic perspective, going against a beloved king is not a good idea. Let's flip the family and their grip on the island to black.
I could keep going and soon we'd have a whole checkerboard full of contrasts and contrasts within contrasts, but I shall digress and get to my point. So I ask you, what does this all mean?
From the Marine standpoint, there is just right and wrong. If you're a pirate, you're wrong. If you fight pirates, you're right. Issho seems to follow at least something similar, but with a more focused application. However, from a practical standpoint, there is myriad possibilities for what things are considered to be. We consider the Straw Hats to be good based on their actions, despite those actions making them all wanted criminals. We consider Kaido to be bad when we don't even know the guy. We judge people by our own standards, based on their actions and intents. By doing this, we create what is known as a gray area.
The gray area is the very thing Oda is trying to eliminate in this arc. In other arcs there was room for doubt as to whether or not things were actually wrong. Robin was going to be killed in Enies Lobby simply for wanting to learn. However, what she wanted to learn about could potentially be a threat to the world, even though she wasn't interested in that part. You see what I mean? Something like that had a lot of wiggle room as to who was right. That will not be the case in this arc. In this arc, circumstances will either be incredibly good or incredibly bad, incredibly right or incredibly wrong. There will never be a period where one side overpowers the other. But, if you're like me, you find yourself still questioning the methods. We are not, in fact, questioning the methods, both good and bad, employed in this arc, but rather we are questioning the contrast between them. People take comfort in knowing there is a gray area to fall into, but that is not going to be the case here. That may be the reason some people are having difficulty enjoying or relating to this arc. Now, before you call me out on the contradiction I just made to something I said previously, let's take a look at that Othello tile on its side, Donquixote Doflamingo. In all honesty, he's not a gray area, he just flips way more than the others do in terms of good and evil. He might flip back and forth so fast that he looks like a gray blur, but there is still only good or evil in his actions. One thing to look at with him is ulterior motives. He's a black market dealer, including weapons. But some of those weapons are going to oppressed people fighting a war. Legal items, obtained through illegal means, for a noble purpose. Like I said, contrasts within contrasts. Your opinion of the Donquixote Pirates, both as individuals and as a whole, will more than likely change several times before this arc is over. As long as there is an acceptance of the absolution of black and white, this arc should start to be put into perspective and make a lot more sense for a lot of people.