We're Not In Dressrosa Anymore
I'll never see Dorothy Gale quite the same after these insidious renditions of Wizard of Oz characters on the cover page. My big question? Who's controlling what here? The flamingo seems to be controlling the Tin Man but is Doflamingo, using the power of the String String fruit, to control everyone else?
Moon Over Dressrosa
If we compare the moon from Chapter 794 to the one seen from the previous evening when the Straw Hats were en route to Dressrosa, we can see that the moon is waning.
This might not have any significance but I wonder if we'll see something special on the night of a new moon. Heck, if enough time passes before the end of the series, I'd be *super* excited to see what might happen on the night of the *next full moon* since Oda-sensei often depicts big or emotional events on the nights with full moons.
Ohhhh, so that's why Luffy was visibly angry before going all Niagara Falls on Sabo during their reunion.
Weekly Shonen Jump #34 Ch.794
One Piece Vol.70 Ch.698
One Piece Vol.70 Ch.699
One Piece Vol.73 Ch.731
So the coneheaded kid we've seen popping up recently wasn't just *one* kid, but three!
I remembered spotting them in two locations from previous chapters but I didn't recall a third so I started working my way back through the chapters. I kept going further and further back into the story and was afraid I wouldn't find him until I saw this:
AHA!!!! That backpack had been bothering me for weeks! What looked like a shark fin is actually one of the cone head kids!
More Than Meets the Island?
This chapter finds us catching up with the Swirly Hat Crew on a new island and there's something fishy about this place. For one, looking where Sunny is anchored, it seems to be surrounded by some kind of mist, obscuring a clear view of the location. Curious.
Shortly thereafter Nami comments on how difficult the ground is to run on and her footsteps are accompanied by *squishy* sounds, what's up with that?
And finally there are eruptions of what appears to be water which the villain and his subordinates seem to accept nonchalantly suggesting that this isn't an uncommon event.
Is it possible that this 'island' is less geological than it is…biological?
From Coneheads to Sheepshead
The outrageous design and mysterious abilities already had me sold but when we got his name I was madly in love…'MASTER SHEEPSHEAD'!? Oda-sensei FTW with his latest marvelously absurd villain. Let's take a look at this guy.
First, it seems possible that this is (finally) the same individual whose silhouette appeared in Chapter 692.
While he clearly has horns before launching his attack, strangely enough, he doesn't have horns when seen attacking Brook here. If he's a 'horn-person' Devil Fruit user, does he have to transfer the location of horns in his body? Maybe he can create different horns of different wild beasts beyond just sheep!
And do you think it was intentional that Sanji's Diable Jambe *Mutton* Shoot was responsible for taking down a guy called Master *Sheeps*head? ^o^
Also I think it needs to be said that his 'Sheep's Horn' attack here looks exactly like a twisty pile of poo. Ew.
At long last here he is, the strongest 'creature' in the world, Kaidou. As many predicted, the upper left corner of Chapter 693's color spread title page was in fact a close-up of Kaidou which is also strikingly similar to this panel that ends the chapter.
As with most new villains, the big questions are:
Is he a Devil Fruit user?
If so, what kind of Devil Fruit?
In Chapter 793, we saw that Kaidou left his territory unannounced since his underling was unsure where he was. Taking out some kind of vehicle would have alerted some of his staff so it's possible that *he arrived at Balloon Terminal without a vehicle*. Furthermore, since his arrival was accompanied by a crash it's also possible that he fell *down* onto the sky island from above. So, is it possible that Kaidou can fly?
Previously we've seen examples of Devil Fruits that allow users to fly such as the Tweet Tweet series. There are also Devil Fruits that allow users to accomplish something similar to flight under certain conditions such as the Float Float Fruit, Doflamingo's String String Fruit and Momonosuke's artificial dragon fruit which allowed him to climb *certain clouds*.
While his trip up is still a mystery, there's an interesting detail about his descent that's easy to miss but makes him even more of a beast. His Looney Tunes-style impact in the ground doesn't have any arms which makes one wonder how he fell.
If you look closely enough on the panel where he jumped from Balloon Terminal, you can catch how the sun shines off his body which reveals exactly how he fell:
with his arms crossed in front of him. Normally people would flail around in panic during such a fall but this guy didn't even budge. FEARLESS!!!
Kaidou's extremely large physique and set of horns suggest that he probably has some giant's blood in him and he might even be another descendant of Oars. Naturally this also makes him a relative of Little Oars Jr. Kaidou's scale-like tattoos are also seriously intimidating.
Are they another possible hint as to what kind of powers he might have?
If we think about what creatures Oda-sensei considers powerful creatures, we might be able to determine what his ability is. Personally I think I've narrowed it down to two possibilities. One of them is a lion. Looking in the One Piece fanbook Green one can even find a nixed end-game character called 'Last Lion'.
One other relation is Kaidou's epithet 'King of the Beasts' which is very similar to the lion's nickname, 'King of the Jungle' (yes, let's ignore that lions don't live in jungles).
As for the other creature I think it might be…well, I've gone on long enough this time. Let's talk about it again some other time!
Weekly Shonen Jump #31 Ch.791
Weekly Shonen Jump #36 Ch.795
One Piece Vol.19 Ch.169
One Piece Vol.57 Ch.555
One Piece Vol.69 Ch.685
One Piece Vol.70 Ch.693
One Piece Green
Color Walk 3
Okay wait, so Luffy is in the midst of a fantastic war with the fate of his friends' lives at stake, and he (justifiably) ignores what he thinks is a crying girl in need of help, but when he's offered a grape, it's time to put the war on hold!? GEEZ, LUFFY!!!
There was some phenomenal service for manga-first fans in this episode when Usopp MISSED the shot in his imagination. "WHAAAAAT!?", I screamed while making a Sugar shock-face of my own. Toei, please don't give me a heart attack from nine-thirty in the morning.
Oh, and Luffy getting turned into the toy which *strongly* resembles his 'Giant Luffy Bomber' from Chopperman was a great Easter egg for longtime fans!
TV Anime #697
One Piece Vol.42 Ch.405
Justice is Just a Flaming Luffy Away
We'll soon be heading into Law's flashback which means spending a good deal of time away from the main story so this episode's anime-original status update on the main players in Mingo's game was well placed.
The highlight was Franky and Senor Pink's segment which played out like a scene from a Rocky film and reminded me of this color spread from Chapter 454.
Luffy and Law (prematurely) unleashed their secret attack by combining Luffy's Red Hawk with the old switcheroo from Law's Room and Chambres.
The incessantly smiling and seemingly untouchable Doflamingo having a fiery explosion shot through his abdomen made this a fist-pumpingly refreshing scene while the awesome key animation elevated it to one of the most memorable scenes in the arc thus far.
TV Anime #698
One Piece Vol.42 Ch.405
One Piece Vol.47 Ch.454