Cover Page: Franky builds a hamster house. Heh, you know what'd be funny? If it was the hamsters of Hamtaro
and Franky was constructing their Ham-Ham clubhouse. Then they could go on adventures getting sunflower seeds and... avoiding cats and... whatever else they did on Hamtaro. What? That was like over a decade ago at this point. Be lucky I remember that much about the most out of place "trying to prove Toonami
has to accept every non adult swim
anime/toyetic" series on CN. But yeah I'm getting off track mostly because I don't have much else to say about this cover page.
Review: The weakest part of this one is the scene of the Tondotta being worked and lied to by the Donquoixte family. I get why it's there: to set up what exactly the dwarves are doing, to show the actual production or at least some of the proccess of SMILE and to make you remember these dwarves are easily lied to. I guess the boss man's line about that was kind of funny but honestly this chapter would of been a whole lot better if those pages were taken out or maybe just condensed into one. I get that Oda does these seemingly random or pointless bits with supposedly extra characters to set up things later. For example in 700 setting up the bits with the other countries to lead more into Donflamingo's influence over them shown far later but I don't know, I find it more distracting then anything else. Maybe it's due to my interests being with the actual characters I care about doing things but they stick out like a sore thumb. Especially since the rest of this chapter is quite solid, doing it's job well which is building up the two villains are going to face. And unlike other times this was done, this is still giving our heroes some screen time as well (probably due to it only being the two) and having a good balance to work with. So I guess I'll separate talking about them because of how it's building up on the two fights.
Trebol: So not only does Sugar have super make people freeze in place powers, but he also has what I'm guessing are sticky bombs with amazing super accuaracy. I thought this would make him Usopp's opponent but no obviously they're going in a different direction with that which I appreciate. Since seems like Usopp takes on one of the top members in a fight with the special ability but this time looks like Robin will, which exites me. Since again she hasn't really had much of an actual fight in the time skip and nice to see it's being done with this guy. I also like her using her brain in this chapter realizing just going in wasn't going to work and tricking Trebol into leaving to take care of a situation on one of the ships and pretending like it was a mutiny when it was really just a fake bee attack (insert "bees my god" "not the bees not the bees" "ahhhhhhhhhhhhh beeeeeees" line here) and finally getting to use her shadow clone jutsu esque switcheraoo powers. But since Trebol is wrecking up the port and obviously needs to be kept away from going back to the locked room (also nice to see Trebol actually locking the room when he does have to go and leave Sugar alone. Shows some intellegence from the villians even if not too much) that means that Robin will be fighting him. I hope since i want to see it. Though it does make me wonder how she would fight him considering he has a super stick power and though Robin can fight from far away her power still involves putting at least part of yourself on the opponent. Oh well should be interesting if we see it and I want to see it and hope it is her fight and that isn't a cop out or anything.
Sugar: You know I have to say though I always did like the idea of the little girl Sugar being in Donflamingo's crew as well as her power and her constant appettite, this chapter actually made her one of my favorite of "the family." Doflamingo is still cool and Senor Pink still has the funniest personality but the idea of her realizing that the dwarves must be being coached by someone to not fall for her lies and then proving herself as a worthy foe without Trebol really worked for me. I'm all for a character doing a "don't underestimate me just because I look a certain way" and proving it And yeah this shows just how dangerous she is since not only is she able to give an instant touch to the toys but she's also really fast with it as well. However unlike with Robin vs Trebol (which again I'm hoping to see) it's kind of obvious how this fight is going to go down. Because all of Usopp's cowardness (even seeing in this chapter which at least had a funny line of him being surprised someone noticing him not doing something) is going to have to be put down as with a bunch of the dwarves transformed and the rest having to fight their now bear companions, Usopp's going to have to snipe her out to win. And prove himself as the great
hero. Which should lead to some good development though again I thought we were still over showing Usopp as a massive coward on this level but eh maybe that was more smaller threats and now that the fate of the country is going to be in his hands his attitude will change. One can hope anyway.
So yeah for the fight set ups and showing the baddies as threats our straw hats are going to have to take down, fine chapter. Would be better if three of those dwarf being slaves pages were taken out but that's really the only weakness of this parituclar one IMHO. The rest was good and makes me want to see more of this and yeah still want to see more of the other plots but having so many good ones going at once is impressive so kudos for OP for doing that.