"Protect You to the End! Rebecca and the Toy Soldier" is the 651st episode of the One Piece anime.
When Rebecca was little, her mother died when Rebecca said that she is hungry. The two had not eaten for two days because they were on the run from the people hunting down the former nobility. She left Rebecca in the Flower Field, saying that she will be back with food. Unfortunately, she was discovered by the hunters and was killed. The Thunder Soldier carried her mother back, saying that even though he couldn't protect her mother, he will protect Rebecca forever. The rest of Rebecca's childhood is shown, including the two of them living together, and Thunder Soldier teaching Rebecca how to fight.
As Rebecca walks into the arena, she is booed by the audience. Luffy is angered and says that she is a nice person. One of the prisoners replies that everyone despises her because of her grandfather, the former King who destroyed the country many years ago.
As Rebecca lies on the ground sobbing, a bewildered Luffy asks about her sudden breakdown. She then explains to him that her friend, the one-legged soldier Luffy met outside the Colosseum, will soon die. A perplexed Luffy finds such shocking news very strange, though finds that the fact that the toy is alive in the first place is even stranger. Rebecca tells him that Luffy, just as every other newcomer to Dressrosa, cannot fully understand. She proceeds to explain how toys in the country are treated the same as people, capable of befriending the friendless, becoming brothers to those without brothers, and becoming lovers to the loveless. She does note the fact that toys and humans are not allowed to live amongst one another, which she finds confusing. Ever since her mother Scarlett died 10 years ago, "Mr. Soldier" out of grief and kindness began to raise Rebecca as his own. Gatz then announces that the arena has been fixed, while the other gladiator prisoners tell Rebecca that the upcoming D block battle royale will soon begin. Rebecca then notices Luffy eating his spilled food off of the ground. He explains that although he spilled his food in the scuffle earlier, he eats it anyway as an apology to Rebecca for having to pay for his food, calling it delicious. Gatz then mentions how the D block battle is full of veterans, and as Rebecca proceeds to enter the arena she tells Luffy that she will meet him in the final match.
As she enters the arena, Rebecca recalls living with her mother as a young girl, specifically a day where she helped her mother sell some flowers and afterwards shared a meal together. She then recalls how the king's palace was ravaged and burned down as she and her mother fled from a younger Diamante and some other members of the Donquixote Pirates. Fortunately, they managed to escape their attackers, finding a place of refuge in some nearby woodlands.
After a while, Scarlett decides to gather food for the both of them, leaving Rebecca behind, though promising to return shortly. Days later, Rebecca hears movement in the bushes, discovering a battered and bruised Thunder Soldier with a bloodied Scarlett in his arms, shocking Rebecca. The Thunder Soldier explains how Scarlett was attacked, and although he tried to protect her, she was ultimately killed. The Thunder Soldier gives Rebecca some food, though she instead begins to cry. The bewildered Thunder Soldier initially does not know what to do, though immediately clamps his hand on her mouth to keep her quiet as Doflamingo's troops storm by, looking for Rebecca. Later on, the Thunder Soldier tells Rebecca that her mother was an important person, and as her daughter, she is also just as important, which is why Doflamingo is after her. He then tells her that since he could not protect her mother, he will protect her, even at the cost of his life. Rebecca is not concerned with herself though, fixated on the death of her mother. She begins to sob for her mother as the Thunder Soldier attempts to cheer her up, all while trying to run back to her old home. The Thunder Soldier, however, realizes that her home has been occupied by Doflamingo's troops by now. Back at the village, Donquixote Doflamingo is shown as the new king, having usurped the throne from the previous Riku family, who had governed for centuries before their usurpation. It is also revealed that in the most recent years, the previous regime of Dressrosa was hated by its subjects for increasingly high taxation. Doflamingo promised to destroy the old ways and bring wealth back to the country.
The Thunder Soldier then tries to take care of Rebecca who resists at first, but over time comes to accept him. He then finds a place for Rebecca to live and tells her that although he cannot live with her, he will always be there beside her. To prove his statement, he will always drop one flower petal every morning from the window into her bedroom. Over the years, the two are very happy together, until Rebecca is kidnapped, forcing the Thunder Soldier to attack her kidnappers and retrieve her. In the process, he becomes a wanted man. The two then find another place to live and Rebecca promises to one day live in the same house as him. Deciding that Rebecca should learn how to fight and protect herself from danger, the toy begins to teach her how to defend herself.
The flashback ends with Rebecca stepping into the ring, thinking about how the soldier always protected her. Gatz then announces her arrival as people jeer and scream at her. Rebecca then hopes for the future and well being of the Thunder Soldier, promising that she will not lose.
Luffy is angered and says that she is a nice person. One of the prisoners replies that everyone despises her because of her grandfather, the former King who destroyed the country many years ago.
Characters in Order of Appearance
- While not portrayed in the manga, Thunder Soldier following and defeating Rebecca's kidnappers is shown in the anime.
- The scene where Thunder Soldier started training Rebecca is extended.
- In the manga, when Rebecca was attacked by dogs, Thunder Soldier told her that they were wild dogs; this line was omitted from the anime.
- When Thunder Soldier rescued Rebecca from her kidnappers in the manga, he shot at them; in the anime, he struck them with the butt of his gun.