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Wew this is one hell of a chapter to end the year on.

So we start off with the Bropper duo peeping on a bunch of hapless citizens in the shower as they look for a mirror connected to the castle; as long as they're in physical contact with Brûlée herself, they can freely enter and exit the mirrors. Plus poor Diesel's being forced to cart them around, hooray for slave labor.

Cut to Sanji, who is indeed bringing the food to Pudding and not Luffy as some people theorized, as he genuinely believes in her as his one ray of hope. Hoooooo boy.

Then we cut to Luffy, who is literally about to tear his own arms off trying to get out of his cell - reminds me of Zoro trying to cut his own legs off so he could escape Mr. 3's Giant Candle Service Set. He even tries to get Nami in on the action, though she obviously refuses, and says that a losing a hand or two is better than dying here. Shanks parallels too, I see.

THEN we cut to Pedro and Tamago just dueling it out as we finally see what happened when Pedro came to Totto Land the first time. Apparently, he had a crewmate named Zepo (obv. gonna be related to Bepo) who was caught alongside him and "chose" the 100 years option on Big Mom's roulette. Zepo died after having 30 years taken from him, so Pedro was gonna lose the remaining 70, but Pekoms's pleading convinced Big Mom to round it down to 60, and then Pedro took out his own eye to prove that he needed to return to Zou alive, and Big Mom actually respected this enough to further decrease the amount to 50 years. In the present, Tamago's pretty much walloping Pedro with his egg-themed attacks (anime's gonna have a field day with this), but Pedro's certainty that the Straw Hats will bring the dawn or whatever lets him cut Tamago in half, complete with an egg spilling out. Classic.

Finally, we cut back to Sanji arriving at Purin's room, where he's forced to try and enter through the balcony because of a particularly stubborn door. There, he finds Purin with Reiju, where she's laughing...and revealing that she is the 3-eyed girl AND that she really was evil all along. She's a great actor who was tasked by Big Mom to fool Sanji and his crewmates so the wedding could go through, and she actually cares nothing about them - she's literally gonna shoot Sanji during the wedding tomorrow, Tammy-style. Oh, and she told Luffy and Nami as much in their cell. Absolutely savage. Knowing this, the last shot we get of Sanji is one of the most depressing panels in the entire series as he realizes he's being played on all sides.

Wow, that was a solid, if depressing, end to this year's slate of chapters, and I daresay Oda has proven himself still able to con us all. There was so much speculation from the second chapter of Pudding's appearance that she was lying and faking her persona, but that died down as the weeks went on and there was no solid proof. I personally had my suspicions rekindled with chapter 845 and her "I won't let this marriage be hell!" line, especially with Sanji's look at her, but I was a firm believed in her when she looked like she was off to commit suicide or something. Now, though...holy hell, the only non-Straw Hat player (which includes future nakama Jinbe) I've got any shred of sympathy left for is Reiju. I don't care if Luffy can't fight and defeat Big Mom by the end of this arc, I want Sanji to just cut loose and kick every last son of a bitch on this island right in the face. There is going to be so much catharsis when he finally has no reason to hold back, especially with him realizing that he can only rely on his crew for help now.

Also, HanataSanchou, you are officially validated with this chapter's release. Take pride, my friend.

Thoughts on this chapter?

The poll was created at 10:53 on December 22, 2016, and so far 86 people voted.