Water 7 (including Ennies Lobby) will always be one of our favorite manga story arcs. Because of the fight between Usopp and Luffy, because of the I want to live! of Robin and for the tearful goodbyes to the Merry. This was the arc where the Straw Hats took their first beating and turned it into power-ups. Luffy’s Gear Second and Third, Chopper’s Monster Point or Nami’s Clima Tact were born there. It also served to uncover Franky, Sogeking, and Ohara’s daughter’s past. And of course, that was the Cipher Pol arc and the Challenge to World Government. It was the arc of Rob Lucci, one of the great villains of One Piece.
Despite this, let’s face it, 16 years have passed since manga chapter 427. Posted on September 16, 2006 and titled “Not That It’s Hell”, it was the episode in which Luffy finally defeated Lucci. Since then, a lot and very well. Six hundred other chapters and villains like Blackbeard, Akainu, Doflamingo, Katakuri, Big Mom, Kaido. The mugiwara have faced far greater threats, and their captain has risen from a member of the Worst Generation to one of the Four Emperors of the Sea. His bounty has risen from 300 million to 3 billion. After such progress and developments, you can imagine the slowdown that gave many to see Lucci’s return at this point.
A few weeks ago, when the Cheetah arrived on Egg Island, the island of the future, many rolled their eyes and trembled. Was Oda going to try to sneak in the fact that Lucci had improved enough to take on the Straw Hats? You wouldn’t be able to, would you? After all, Luffy just defeated Kaido, the strongest pirate in the world, the yonko who had never lost a one-on-one fight. And Lucci…well, it’s Lucci.
Although he was trained and promoted within the Cipher Pol, he is still below the rank of Navy Admiral, and those who are, Admirals like Ryoukugyu, left Wano on foot and did not even couldn’t with Momo. In the eyes of the fans, the organization has been affected and it has been difficult to command respect around it. If his own bosses have fallen behind the mugis, with what arguments does Lucci think he will be able to stand up to them?
When One Piece Chapter 1069 spoilers leaked, early leakers hinted that Luffy would defeat Lucci with one blow within its pages. According to these, the two woke up to fruition and the battle became like something out of Tom and Jerry. One humiliation after another from Luffy who, tired of dodging, punched him with his Gear 5 to try and knock him out. People applauded this information enthusiastically. Justice had been done to the balance of power!
To the surprise of the whole community, the spoilers were wrong. It’s true that Luffy didn’t look in trouble during the fight and even seemed to be laughing, or that Lucci got a good hit, but… knocked him out? Quite the contrary. Both fired in the face of their king’s haki, as if evenly matched, and Lucci even ended the chapter by stabbing Sentomaru in a rubber man oblivion. We would say “kill” not “cut”, but it’s One Piece. In any case, for such a theoretically inferior rival, Lucci did quite well.
Did we underestimate Lucci? Haven’t we already talked about him as one of the best villains of the series? It may be so. We may have lost some perspective. How many people have we seen awaken their Devil Fruit? And more if we are talking about a zoan. Have we seen Kaido? And how strong do you have to be to be given such a difficult mission by the Navy to kill Vegapunk, that mixture of Pain and Voldemort? On the other hand, didn’t Luffy defeat the Beast King after dozens of rounds and after having the support of Zoro, Yamato and the Nine Red Scabbards? Maybe not so much, not so little.
Throughout Ennies Lobby, he kept telling us that Lucci was a prodigy, one of the best fighters under the World Government. If you didn’t stop training and improving, couldn’t you equip your rival? And looking at it from another point of view, having a character like that come back on stage is only good for the coherence of a world like One Piece. This indicates that the others are not just waiting to see what the Straw Hats do, but also training, having their own adventures, and developing their respective powers. That Lucci returns with such a level makes us believe in other returns, like that of Crocodile with Cross Guild. Give fan favorites a second life. Animate the debates in the networks and allow Oda not to pull unbeatable monsters out of his sleeve.
We will see how Luffy reacts to the attack on Sentomaru in One Piece Chapter 170. He’ll probably get mad and start fighting Rob Lucci for real. Maybe until, then yes, he defeats him in one fell swoop and claims his new status as Emperor. But Lucci may be more expensive than expected and, in case that happens, let’s not tear our hair out either. It may make sense and even suit the world of One Piece. Be that as it may, the ways of the Lord are undetectable. We confide in (G)Oda.