One Piece Chapter 731 Recap and Spoilers: Guess Who’s Back from the Dead?
Chapter 731 picks up where the last one left off – with crap hitting the fan in such amounts that we can no longer even see the ceiling. In no particular order: Doflamingo has beaten Trafalgar Law to near-death, Kinemon and Zoro are being held at bay by Admiral Issho and his troop, Big Mama’s ship arriving and being confronted by the Thousand Sunny, and Luffy (disguised as Lucy) unable to leave the arena because the bars and walls are made of seastone.
Chapter 731 starts off a little bit slow, with a little bit more scene devoted to the Elves, Ussop, and Franky. Then we shift back to the arena, with Bartolomeo the Cannibal protecting Bellamy from being assassinated by Diamante, under orders from Doflamingo (for failing to kill Lucy/Luffy?). After Diamante has left (in order to follow new orders), Luffy arrives, looking for an exit after having decided that his friends are more important than winning the tournament and securing the Mera Mera No Mi.
Initially, Bartolomeo – still starstruck over Luffy – promised to win the Mera Mera No Mi and give it to Luffy, but a mysterious new figure arrived and stated that Luffy no longer needs to worry about Ace’s former devil fruit. The mysterious new figure took on Lucy’s place while Luffy, along with Bartolomeo and Bellamy sneak out wearing fish costumes (which tricked the guards and the navy into thinking that they were toys.)
As to the identity of the mysterious figure, the chapter didn’t reveal it but there are several hints:
1. ) Luffy thought the person was already dead.
2. ) Seeing the person brought Luffy to tears
3. ) The person knows Koala (who also returned in the chapter)
4. ) The person is strong enough that Luffy was confident that he/she can win the tournament.
Based on hints 1 and 2, people are betting that the mysterious person was Sabo, because outside of Ace, Sabo was the only other dead person whose return will make Luffy emotional enough to the point of crying. As for being strong, remember that Sabo and Luffy were both mere kids when they got separated, so it’s not entirely impossible for Sabo to have grown strong as well throughout the years.
Other suspects being put forward by fans include Dragon, who is certainly strong and has a direct connection to Luffy, but it’s highly unlikely considering that Luffy has no emotional connections to his father (having been raised by Garp). Next is Fire Fist Ace himself, but unless the Dragon Balls are available in the One Piece universe, it’s highly unlikely.
For now, the most likely answer is Sabo, but we wouldn’t put it past Oda to throw everyone a curveball, so we guess we’ll have to wait a couple more chapters for the big reveal.