WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Episode 896 of One Piece, "Special Edition! - Clash! Luffy vs. the King of Carbonation."
One Piece has taken a detour from the Land of Wano to promote its newest film, One Piece: Stampede. In the previous episode, the Straw Hats were attacked by Cidre, a dangerous bounty hunter in charge of a legion of soldiers who use carbonated water and cola as weapons. Yes. Their weapons are steam-punk engines and guns that use pressurized cola as weaponry. It's just as ludicrous as it sounds.
To add to the ridiculousness, Luffy runs into his old frenemy Boa Hancock, and they team up to confront the pirate-hunting Cidre.
The Fight Starts
The Straw Hats, separate from Luffy and Hancock, subdue the majority of soldiers under Cidre's rule without killing them. They simply surrender unconditionally, and assure the Straw Hats they're not loyal to Cidre. He simply stole their island from them and forced them to work for him.
Meanwhile, Cidre fights Luffy and Hancock fights Cidre's loyal minion, Guarana. The combatants seem perfectly matched with each weaving and countering the other's attacks. Swords made of carbonated water, mountain-shattering carbonated strikes -- everything. But, likewise, the carbonated warriors are able to weave around their strikes.
But when Hancock is joined by her sisters, the fight seems to turn. That is, until Ginger arrives, seemingly countering the reinforcements. However, Cidre's gang simply retreats to their factory as Cidre aims to fully gear up in his full armor. Hancock handles the henchmen while Luffy breaks into the factory.
Cidre's Dark Past
We start to see Cidre's grudge against pirates manifested during his fight with Luffy. He views pirates as a source of chaos who spread destruction wherever they go. He sees it as necessary to purge the world of all pirates -- and make a profit along the way.
That seemingly justifies Cidre's violent actions, including capturing an entire city to exploit its carbonated water supply. Although it's unclear what motivates the bounty hunters more, purging the world of violent criminals, hoarding cola as a resource, or the money. Later, however, Cidre admits he sees pirates solely as a means to obtain money.
Luffy, however, sees Cidre as without conviction. Still, whatever pushes Cidre forward, it doesn't extend beyond his core henchmen. Cidre is holding their families hostage, as Luffy learns when the soldiers and workers beg him to liberate them.
Cidre's Final Form
Before Luffy can do so, Cidre returns with his full equipment, fueled by buckets of carbonated water. Although it's enough to send Luffy flying, the pirate seems most unimpressed. Luffy has to enter Gear Two to match Cidre's carbonated force, but even that seems not to be enough, as Cidre beats down Luffy -- until he enters Gear Three. One strike of the Gum-Gum Elephant Gun seems to break Cidre.
Luffy then finds an invitation to Pirate Fest on Cidre's broken body.
The island people are liberated, and the Straw Hats leave with barrels of cola for their ship. Luffy promises they'll reunite with Hancock and the others at Pirate Fest. The rest of the Straw Hats seem excited to go to the fun but terrifying event. Sanji is motivated by the beautiful women, and Zoro by sake. But the rest? They learn there is a competition to find Gold Roger's treasure. They set sale for Delta Island to find the festival.
Cidre's enigmatic employer, however, seems to find Cidre's defeat hilarious, which only excites him for the inevitable combat at the Pirate Fest. He hopes for all the pirates to gather there, all in one epic competition.
To find out what happens, watch One Piece: Stampede. Next episode, we return to Wano.