The team working on One Piece knows how to make each and every fan emotional. After all, the gang has had a lot of practice, and everyone knows Luffy is the key to unlocking emotions within the fandom. After all, the leader of the Straw Hats is as good as they come, and he will go to great lengths to help others. And in the anime's most recent episode, fans were reminded of that fact in a big way.
The whole thing went down in episode 949 of One Piece this past weekend. Fans checked in on Luffy as he continued his fight to free the prisoners locked in the Udon Prison Camp. The guards found a way to turn the population against Luffy after promising to unleash Plague Rounds, but Luffy was not having it.
During the battle, Luffy did not get hit by a single bullet, but the same could not be said to others in the camp. Dozens of prisoners were infected with the Plague Rounds, and a good few died. In order to save their lives, the prisoners promised to take out Luffy, but the Straw Hat intervened. Instead, he willingly infected himself by touching the plague-ridden prisoners to show them what freedom looks like.
It was there Luffy said the prisoners have become nothing but slaves to the guards. They say they value their lives and will fight Luffy to keep them, but the captain says no prisoner at the camp has a life anymore. They forfeited freedom and dignity the moment they let Kaido's men run their lives. Luffy says he infected himself to show others that the guards' threats can always be turned around. And in the end, his bold decision led the rest of the prisoners to revolt.
Clearly, Luffy risked a lot to get his message across, and there is still more work to be done at the camp. After all, the captain is still contending with the plague that has killed plenty of men, but nothing keeps the pirate down for long... especially when Kaido is just days away from his reckoning.