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So what is our status quo?
Hack got defeated by Bartolomeo. Le gasp! I totally wouldn't have guessed by all the attention that guy got. (I cracked up at how the commentator lost his sh*t.)
Rici Ricky lost to Blue Gilly. And seriously? I think that's great. For one thing, the fact that he is obviously older than we thought makes it even more obvious that Ricky is Kyros. And for another, it makes him more human. The man got old, he's not the gladiator he used to be. Maybe he joined the tournament to prove to himself that he still got it into him. (Or maybe he just wanted to shove his blade up Doflamingo's arse.)
In the middle of the arena there is a lot of backstabbing and double-crossing going on around Team Elizabello, which would be an awesome twist if it wasn't for the utter lameness of all characters involved. Seriously, I like neither of them. At all.
Bellamy VS Bartolomeo was WAY to short and underwhelming. I wanted to see more of that fight. Curse you, Oda!!!
But what I did like was Luffy's reaction to the fight. Overall, Luffy and Bellamy have a pretty interesting relationship. Earlier, Bellamy apologized to Luffy in a way, by acknowledging that he had been wrong and promising that he wouldn't laugh at him anymore. And now we see that Luffy not only accepted that "apology" but even went as far as forgiving Bellamy to the extend that he cheers him on. Considering all the shit that happened 2 years ago, that's pretty cool of both of them. I'm not sure Bellamy will join forces with Luffy at any point but I do hope for a fair rematch.
Aaand here comes the part I didn't like at all: Elizabello SMASH!
Okay, first of all I have to say it: That panel when Elizabello hit Blue Gilly (and everyone else) looked like something out of HunterXHunter. I don't like such huge, sketchy panels. For a moment I didn't know what's going on.
Second, that is one lame-ass plot device super power! Essentially, it's only purpose was to eliminate everyone on the field except for the character of attention, which is Bartolomeo. Meh!Don't get me wrong, I'm totally digging Bartolomeo and his DF. It's kinda cool actually. I keep wondering whether it's simply a very strong barrier or actually a reflective one that only has as much power as it previously withstood. That would be neat. And more interesting than just "Wobbuffet powers of suck".
All in all, Bartolomeo's victory doesn't come as a surprise. But Oda did handle him rather nicely by playing him down until the end. In fact, despite knowing that he might become a big threat I still can't take this character seriously. And that's the whole point. In terms of character establishing I give Oda an A++ for Bartolomeo.
If only he hadn't spewed out one of those infamous "that guy" sentences I really, really hate. I mean, it's obvious he doesn't want the Mera Mera no Mi for himself but... it's like Oda is shoving the foreshadowing right into our faces and says "Suck it hard!". And while I'm aware that most pirates in the new world are allied with one of the Yonko or Shichibukai, I would have preferred a guy like Bartolomeo to work alone. But that is just me.
And last but not leas-... scratch that! Nobody cares about Franky talking to that random-ass toy guy! Not sure why, but I don't trust him. And after Bartolomeo's victory this seems like a really anticlimactic ending. Plus, I feel like I heard the sentence "I'll tell you all about this island" several times before.
8/10 for this week's chapter.