Luffy's fight with Katakuri in the Mirro-World has seen many different phases over the course of the last several episodes of One Piece, but recent developments have brought the fight to its definitive final stage more than others.
Luffy and Katakuri's fight has leveled up once more as the both of them, for the first time in the fight, have reached a level playing field. Neither one is greater than the other at this point, and the winner will be decided by pure will.
More Epic than Whitebeard Vs. Shanks Haki clash...In Execution.
Hold your horses. ? pic.twitter.com/yPbCxhxTmF— Murad (@0XMURADX0) January 13, 2019
The new stage kicks off with a major Conqueror's Haki clash, which you can see above thanls to @0XMURADX0 on Twitter. Now that Katakuri has accepted Luffy as a fighter of equal skill, he has met Luffy's perserverence with respect. Even going so far as to turn his own Mole against himself, he badly wounded his body in order to match the fatal wound landed on Luffy following his sister Flampe's interference.
Now that the gloves are off, for all intents and purposes, the fight between the two of them has gone in a more straightforward direction. Before the episode ends, Luffy and Katakuri charge toward one another with Haki infused punches, and the both of them manage to land a clean hit. Neither refuses to back down or fall back from the attack, so fans now realize that the end game is in sight for this battle.
Yoichi Mitsui animated the only note-worthy scene from an animation stand-point in an otherwise stellar episode directed by Aya Komaki. One Piece #868 stablished the last stretch of the fight thanks to some pin-point direction, all ready for the BIG conclusion in two weeks. pic.twitter.com/HG0aJjBgyj— Ashita (@AshitanoGin) January 13, 2019
Considering that the next episode teases that Luffy will be fully awakening his Observation Haki after all this time, hopefully things will finally swing more toward Luffy's favor.
Eiichiro Oda's One Piece first began serialization in Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump in 1997. It has since been collected into over 80 volumes, and has been a critical and commercial success worldwide with many of the volumes breaking printing records in Japan. The manga has even set a Guinness World Record for the most copies published for the same comic book by a single author, and is the best-selling manga series worldwide with over 430 million copies sold. The series still ranked number one in manga sales in 2018, which surprised fans of major new entries.