Re: One Piece 698
Agree with apacolypz that Doflamingo must be using Armament Haki if he was able to beat Smoker. Just noticed that Dofla is sitting victorious on top of Smoker and is interrupted by Kuzan in reference to Smoker sitting on top of Luffy and being interrupted by Dragon back in Loguetown. Always enjoy the connections.
Also noticed that Dofla dodged Smoker's initial punch with his back turned to him which must mean he also has Observation Haki. Add that to the now confirmed Conqueror's Haki, and that makes Dofla the perfect match up for Luffy since both are able to use all three versions of Haki. I can picture Dofla beating Luffy in their first battle similar to Crocodile beating Luffy since most like Spiegel stated believe this arc is similar to Baroque Works. Still interested in more information on Dofla's DF string ability. Could be a nasty match against Luffy since he has always been weak to blades/slicing weapons due to his DF rubber abilities.
On one final note, I do love Oda's attention to detail throughout the manga. Did we need to know what happened to the Mini Merry? No, but he covers his bases anyways. Same with Nami, Usopp's, and Chopper's usual vote as the three weakest crew members, and Zorro's comment that taking on the Four Yonkou's was good news. If I haven't said before, love this manga! The tension keeps building, but Oda always pays attention to character development and continuity throughout unlike my old favorite manga...