I thought this week I'd try something new and actually break down an entire chapter's events, and my thoughts on the future about it. I've done similar things in the past, but usually only about a few aspects of a chapter, never the entire thing. It's not exactly a review or summary, but something in-between.
First off, we have Violet's reveal as a member of Doflamingo's organization. I actually saw this as a distinct possibility, but it was a nice touch in how Oda chose to reveal it. Last chapter, Sanji had randomly got the information, and after we hadn't seen him for awhile, so it seemed out of place. But with this chapter opening with a flashback, it helped make this part of the chapter more exciting because you know he would get the info, but no way of knowing how he would get it. Now, the interesting part is that even though she's part of the enemy organization, she still wants someone dead. My money is that she has the same urges that Baby 5 has to kill a superior, so my money is on either Trebol, Doflamingo, or both. To me, Trebol just seems like the kind of sleazeball (for all we know, he could be made of liquid sleaze) Sanji would fight.
Second, we have the developments in the Colosseum. From who we saw in the couple pages, it seems the fighters to watch are the Funk Brothers, Hajrudin the giant who doesn't actually look that big (slightly larger than Chinjao?), Sai, and probably the strongest opponent, Chinjao. To the fans and the announcer, "Lucy" is a nobody, so it'll be interesting to see how they react to him kicking the ass of one of the favorites.
And finally, we have the most important thing to come out of this chapter, and one of the biggest shockers of the whole series: Donquixote Doflamingo has some connection to the highest levels of the world government. It's implied by the dialogue that Doflamingo may be a World Noble, though Doflamingo claims it goes even deeper than that, so it could be something even more shocking. So let's go a little deeper into what something like this means for his character:
- If he truly is a World Noble, his career choice as a pirate is an interesting one. He would be the only World Noble to leave the life of a noble behind that we know of. If he has a familial connection to the 20 creators of the World Government, it's quite possible that is an explanation for his Haoshoku Haki abilities (assuming the ability is tied to families, which seems to be the case, as besides Whitebeard, Shanks, and Rayleigh, everyone else known to use it is related to a powerful family). It would also imply that if any of the other Nobles were properly trained, they too could use the ability. (The Gorosei, perhaps?) It also might explain a bit about why he can be so cruel to people, as all WNs are shown to lack empathy.
- Of all the past information we have on Doflamingo, the most interesting is one panel of Chapter 595, where he talks to an unknown representative of the WG about his job of killing Moriah. While completing that job, he mentioned that the orders to kill came from higher than Sengoku, so it would seem they came from either this person, Kong, or the Gorosei. But the most important part of their discussion is this panel:
This panel shows that he considers himself to be a pirate above all else, including any connection to the WG. How the government would deal with him if he did betray them would be a very, very intriguing situation.
There's also the questions of his abilities currently. He definitely has power over CP-0. He was able to call on them to arrange this whole deceit, and without any Marines, including the Fleet Admiral being aware of it (this shows how even in the grand scheme of things, even Akainu isn't the most powerful person ever). There are a few questions that come from this:
- How widely known is his background? Do the Admirals know about it, and are only kept in the dark about his actions, or do they truly not know? And what of the Commander In-Chief of the World Government, Kong? Is he aware of the connection, or is he the connection?
- Does he still retain all the benefits of being a World Noble if he is also a pirate? Is his background an alternate means of immunity for his crimes?
Now, there's one person who I'm most excited to see react to these events next chapter: Issho. Right now, he is the observer of a conflict between two Shichibukai. From what we've seen in the past, he seems to be a reasonable and moral man. Doflamingo seems like an unreasonable and immoral man, while Law is kind of an unknown, but seems nice. Both men should be allies of the Marines, but Law has allied with Luffy, and Doflamingo has his underworld trading ring with a Yonko. The response of Issho will be what dictates the events to come.
And lastly, I want to end with a reminder: Donquixote Doflamingo is not one of the most powerful characters ever. He does have many connections and abilities that make him strong, but there is still one thing he fears: Kaido. If Doflamingo was truly confident in his abilities and connections, he wouldn't fear Kaido. Because of this fear, he will never be a powerful character in the grand scheme of things. The most powerful characters in One Piece are those with the ambition to face any conflict without fear. Doflamingo does not have that.