The Dressrosa arc has kicked off pretty much as expected and we got some decent pieces so far as the Straw Hats head off to explore the island a bit while getting ready to deal the trade that they have with Caesar. We spent a bit more time with the blind man the last time around than I cared for, but that was to be expected and did have some fun aspects as others got involved in the fight and we saw a bit more of how the island deals with those in that are in power since there’s a whole lot of fear to go around. Getting a bit more time with Doflamingo as well didn’t hurt since he’s a key character here and seeing the way the island operates with him in command only adds to the picture that’s being painted. Bringing in the gladiator aspect definitely added an amusing element, though the Ace bit just made the whole thing incredibly personal with this Devil Fruit there.
We get a decent if brief introduction to a lot of the fighters for the matches coming up, which will obviously get a lot more time as the show goes forward, but the central idea that comes into it is how Luffy, while off with Franky, makes it clear that he’s not going to let Ace’s Devil Fruit be something that just anyone can have. It’s a small bit of Ace that he can get back and since they have to go to the colosseum anyway, they’ll figure out a way to deal with it once they see more. Luffy definitely clicks well with this and again shows signs of improvement over how he would have been years ago since he doesn’t just go off in a blind race to get there but rather talks it out with Franky first before they work together to get there. And you know the others will get there too eventually.
The time with Zoro and Sanji is amusing in itself as well as we get Sanji getting sidetracked by a beautiful outdoor stage dancer who is quite similar to him in some ways to the overly dramatic feelings of love, though she’s given up on it. But it’s all likely a ploy on her part as she tries to paint a sad picture that will draw him in more to her, which doesn’t take much when it comes to Sanji. Violet gets him to escort her to the next town, complete with tears streaming from her eyes, as she begs him to kill someone. As they gets set up, Zoro is still struggling to find his missing sword since it means so much to him and that simply means he has no time for Sanji’s foolishness. Add in a little time with Kin’emon as well and we get to cover most of the Straw Hats that have left the ship and the little quirks of the island itself. Of course, towards the closing, we have to get Luffy getting caught up in some police action against one of the living dolls on the island which will just make things worse all around and draw them into more issues as it goes on.