One Piece kicked of the Dressrosa arc in a pretty predictable manner previously, but it did it well to be sure. We got the usual split that comes in how the team goes in different directions while getting a feel for the island, which sets the potential for different stories to take place that will come back together later on. Giving us a place where there’s a mix of humans and dolls that exist is certainly interesting and Luffy and the gang that goes onto the island and into the city got a good taste of the weirdness, at least before they ended up in a tavern of some sort where they got a glimpse of something bigger about to happen with the arrival of the blind guy that Zoro had come across previously who gets caught up in a little gambling that he’s about to be taken advantage of in completely.
The first half catches us up on a lot of this simply because it is the start of the new arc and they always make sure that the key points are there. As the gambling goes on though and the blind man finds himself being screwed over, it’s not that he really gets intense about it at first but rather we see Luffy step in and make it clear that the guy is being taken advantage of. Nobody else says anything since the guys bare basically the local mafia types and their shock makes it clear that the majority of the town is probably living in fear of these guys, or at least the organization they belong to, and are surprised that someone stood up to them. And what kind of fallout can come from it since the thugs are basically that and ready to get into a fight. Luffy, comically, is just continuing to eat his food while in his goofy disguise.
When the blind swordsman makes his move though, he causes quite an interesting result with the way he simply pressures people down as he tries to save himself. The energy in all of that ends up dissipating quickly though as the story, for the Straw Hats at least, turns in a different direction as one of Zoro’s swords seemingly runs away from him. That has him giving chase, along with a couple of others, while Franky laments that he has to be the one to be in charge when this collection of Straw Hats are together. All this ends up doing in the end though is separating the group up more, which will begin more subplots as we explore more of Dressrosa. This works nicely overall, but the show also makes it clear it has some bigger goals in mind as we get to see more of Doflamingo’s place, especially with the Colosseum where there’s some fights that will definitely be interesting to see, especially considering the prize for the matches is a Flare-Flare fruit, which brings Ace back into the picture.