Seeing Luffy stretchy backhand that baddie was such a casual, yet awesome use of his powers.
With the entire (sans Jinbe) Straw Hat Crew there and various allies coming, Oda did the smart thing and started us off with only Luffy. I love Luffy’s treatment of animals, you don’t mess with him and he won’t mess with you. We meet the mini-Vivi Clone, Otama and learn she’s waiting for Ace. Ruh-oh! Isn’t that just like a pirate to go out for cigarettes and never come back! Well, whatever Ace had going on with Otama you can bet Luffy’s picking up where he left off.
We also waste no time meeting Kaido’s forces, one mentioning he wants Luffy dead but implying killing has consequences. Some type of arrangement between Kaido and the Shogun? But, if it’s about not harming Wano citizens, Luffy shouldn’t be eligible. They can guess by looking at him and the ship he’s not from Wano so what’s the deal?
Well, let’s check off “new island friend in trouble” and “a personal reason to hate the Big Bad” off the list. Not checking off the “Vivi clone” trope quite yet. My guess, Otama is somehow related to the true older Vivi clone. Oda loves his teen girls in distress, he’s not giving that up. We see Hawkings earlier than I thought, nice. Doesn’t take a Vegapunk to know he’s not 100% loyal to Kaido, but he ain’t stupid either. Hawkings ain’t joining Team Luffy until he knows they have a chance to win then he’ll help from the shadows, using his position in the Beast Pirates to spy on Kaido and friends. Law, The Straw Hat Alliance, Capone Bege, and now Hawkings. I’m sensing a pattern, Oda.
This arc will be insane by the climax, so right now enjoy the calm and laugh it up. Or, maybe I’m overhyping this and it’ll be revealed Kaido has a gerbil devil fruit. Gomu Gomu no Up The Butt incoming?