"Kaen Ryuo - Protect Luffy's Life" is the 729th episode of the One Piece anime.
Luffy is left lying helpless on the ground after Gear 4 wears off, and Doflamingo makes his way toward his fallen opponent. However, Gatz and the Corrida Colosseum gladiators who had originally gone after Doflamingo's bounties arrive to help Luffy, who needs ten minutes to regain his Haki. Gatz's group is ambushed by Jesus Burgess, who is after Luffy's Devil Fruit, but Sabo arrives and battles the pirate. Some of the gladiators go to stall Doflamingo, but the Warlord easily overwhelms them.
Doflamingo causes part of the cliff around him to fall away, and the citizens of Dressrosa run from the falling rubble. They run past Luffy, who struggles to stay off the ground, and some stop by him, but run away due to not wanting to get involved with Doflamingo. Luffy falls to the ground once again, but is suddenly grabbed by Gatz, who recognizes him as the gladiator Lucy from Corrida Colosseum and asks Luffy if he remembers him. As Doflamingo causes more shockwaves in the palace plateau, Gatz asks if Luffy could continue his battle with Doflamingo, and the pirate replies that he needs ten minutes, as he could not use Busoshoku Haki for ten minutes after using Gear 4. Doflamingo frees himself from the cliff face and gleefully looks at the fallen Luffy as he keeps repairing his internal organs, saying he had returned.
Gatz asks Luffy if he would free them from the Birdcage after ten minutes as Doflamingo descends to the streets. Luffy replies that if he could regain his Haki he would finish off Doflamingo in one blow, and Gatz calls a horde of gladiators toward him. These were the gladiators who went after the bounties Doflamingo put on Luffy and his allies instead of helping them, and Mummy, Meadows, and Rolling Logan apologize for being blinded by money. They promise to hold Doflamingo off while Luffy regained his Haki, and as Doflamingo reaches the ground, some of the gladiators confront him. While they do this, Gatz and the remaining gladiators prepare to run away from Doflamingo. As they run, however, Jesus Burgess bursts through a building and brandishes his dagger, eager to kill Luffy. Gatz and the gladiators are frightened by his arrival, when suddenly he is kicked away by Sabo.
A short time earlier, Sabo was running toward Luffy, having known that his Haki was fading. In the present, Sabo holds his pipe to Burgess' neck as the gladiators recognize him. Sabo tells Burgess that he is in the Revolutionary Army and Luffy is his brother, and Burgess realizes that someone else said the same thing, which Sabo reveals to be Ace. Burgess gleefully remembers how Blackbeard defeated Ace on Banaro Island two years ago and started the Summit War. Sabo says that Ace made his own choices, but from now on he would be protecting Luffy. Amused, Burgess says that he has no business with Sabo or the Revolutionaries, as he sights Luffy but Sabo questions that statement as he lights the end of his finger on fire. Burgess realizes in shock that he was the one that ate the Mera Mera no Mi, and Sabo tells Luffy to go ahead and deal with Doflamingo while he takes care of Burgess. Luffy too realizes that Sabo ate the Mera Mera no Mi, and Sabo replies that he would not have let anyone else have it as the brothers smile at each other.
Gatz and the gladiators run off while Sabo confronts Burgess. Burgess swings his elbow at Sabo, the force of the blow toppling the building in front of him, but Sabo avoids the blow by turning into flames. Sabo hits Burgess twice, then combines his Devil Fruit and Ryusoken to send Burgess spinning far away while being roasted with flames. The gladiators are shocked that he did this to one of the Four Emperors' subordinates, and Sabo realizes that Burgess' goal was to hunt down Devil Fruit eaters as he heads toward Burgess. Meanwhile, Luffy tells a confused Gatz that Sabo took his place during the Colosseum finals. Gatz says that that was against the rules, but he was glad that the fruit ended up in their hands. Suddenly, an explosion occurs near Doflamingo's location, and Gatz looks back in shock as he sees Doflamingo massacring the gladiators with his awakened Devil Fruit abilities. Some gladiators stare in astonishment at Doflamingo, wondering how he could fight them this easily despite his injuries. Doflamingo replies that he did not need effort to deal with them and angrily tells Luffy to come out.
Characters in Order of Appearance
- The anime extends the scene of Luffy on his knees completely exhausted.
- The anime adds the following scenes:
- Sabo running to Luffy's location while noticing his Haki was fading.
- Sabo hitting Burgess with two physical attacks before using Moeru Ryusoken: Kaen Ryuo.
- This episode was set to air on February, however the initial airing was interrupted due to a rocket launch in North Korea that crossed through Japanese airspace.