So yesterday Nova leaked some spoilers in chat that said the Vinsmokes were a Gorosei family as well as the Dracules. First off, damn you Nova. That being said, the intensity of those fake spoilers definitely made this chapter feel a little flat.
Basically, all this chapter was was a character profile for Nekomamushi and a Zoro monologue. Which isn't necessarily bad, but given the more urgent pace of this arc now, I was hoping to go a bit faster.
To start off the chapter, Brook sings a song about meeting the nekomamushi, which the anime is sure to milk for at least three or four minutes. Nekomamushi shows he's a cool cat by recognizing that the Straw Hats don't want anyone to know about this and he'll keep it hush-hush.
We finally return to the present, where the Straw Hats are discussing what to do with Sanji. Funny how Luffy is open to the idea of Purin joining the crew, but after reading it a bit more it seems that he's wanting to go as soon as he can, meaning Zou might end sooner than we think. What follows is a Zoro monologue which admittedly doesn't feel right, but the purpose of his monologues has always been to remind the Straw Hats of the reality of their situation. He reminds them that they're in a war with Kaido, and they couldn't afford to anger another Yonko, with Robin stating that Big Mom was leagues above them. Both are welcome insights, as many had begun to wonder if the war against Kaido would take a backseat.
Also, it seems as long as that deer mink is around, Chopper will fill in as the crew's pervert.
We finally reach Nekomamushi's lair, which is quite the grandiose establishment and not just a burrow in the Whale Tree. Well, if we found out anything this chapter, it's that Pedro's a leopard mink. Why is Pedro so important? We'll hopefully find out soon, I guess. The crew walks in on Nekomamushi in the bath, where he basically acts like hillbilly Zoro. It's not too different from his already set personality, but it did feel a bit...strange. Also he likes lasagna heh heh. He's definitely more interesting than that old and dull curmudgeon Inuarashi.
It seems that Oda realized he wrote nearly an entire chapter of the Straw Hats sitting around, so he slipped in a little face about the Vinsmokes at the end. Well, they're neither Gorosei nor Celestial Dragons, but rather an influential family in the Underworld; assassins, to be more specific. This screams "CP-0!" to me, but we'll find out in due time I guess.
Overall a bit of a boring chapter that dragged on a bit too long, though it had some interesting moments. 6.8/10 for me. What did you think about the chapter, and what path do you think the Straw Hats will be taking?