That's an ...interesting... replacement for Kalifa.

So the Straw Hats are now in the New World. Not much happens this chapter again, but I really liked it for a number of reasons. Luffy once again takes the Straw Hats on a detour. This time he picks up a distress signal from Punk Hazard and is determined to go there. Good old Luffy. It’s really nice to see he hasn’t changed after those super serious chapters involving Ace. Usopp as well. He’s back to his old antics of “I can’t set foot on New Island” Disease. The first few chapters of the post time skip suggested he grew a backbone and although I usually hate these sort of characters, I can’t bring myself to hate any of them (Usopp, Nami, Brook, and Chopper are all the “scaredy” pants brigade). Oda just makes them all so lovable~

Luffy, Usopp, Robin, and Zoro. Last two are two of my favourite characters. Very excited about the new adventures to come.

Another thing I was really happy about this chapter was that my two favourites, Zoro and Robin, are both part of the exploration team with Luffy and Usopp. The Fishman Island arc had very little Robin, so I’m very excited for the upcoming chapters. I’m not going to hold my breath, but I would be very impressed if Oda gave her a proper fight again. It’s been ages since Robin had some spotlight. But even if he doesn’t, I’m just glad she is getting more panel space. I was really sad at how little Robin there was in Fishman Island arc, especially since it’s been a long time since we last saw her as right before fishman island arc there was a long arc involving just Luffy. So it’s nice to see Oda hasn’t forgotten about her. :3

Also, looks like I wasn’t too far off about Smoker and Tashigi. They made another appearance this chapter. They were waiting at one of the Islands for Luffy and picked up the distress call as well so now they are heading to Punk Hazard as well. Looks like the rematch is coming. I’m curious what Zoro’s reaction to Tashigi will be this time. ;)

That about sums up my thoughts. I will add that I’m curious about this “incident” on Punk Hazard that certain characters keep alluding too. I wonder if it has anything to do with the Dragon that appears in the final pages of this chapter….well chapter 656 can’t come soon enough~