I would like to compare Lucci and Doflamingo fights with Luffy to determine which of the two was the best. Of course this is based on my own personal opinion, but feel free to debate in the comments.
Luffy's Motivation to Win
In the fight against Lucci Luffy entire motivation was to save Robin from her darkness, from her persecution by the world government, from dying and finally to get her back to his crew. Another very important reason was that if Luffy lost the fight Lucci would have definitely slaughtered all the Straw Hats. He had to win for his crew to survive.
Luffy motivations in Dressrosa arc change two times. First his motivation to take down Doflamingo was to follow Trafalgar Law plan of destroying the SMILE factory so Kaido goes against Doflamingo. I’m completely sure that Luffy never understood that plan at all, most likely he thought it would be a fun adventure. At least his crew understood things. However after the Straw Hats came to know the real history of Dressrosa Franky makes an epic speech that involve not following Law plan anymore and becoming part of the Tontatta forces to take down Doflamingo. Now Luffy motivation to win is to fight alongside the Tontattas and save their country. Actually he says so himself on episode 682:
And NO this is not his true reason to defeat Doflamingo:
The fight against Lucci was just perfect. In my opinion It had nothing wrong so what I’m going to do is compare it with the four problems I found from Dressrosa fight and explain why the fight from Enies Lobby dominates in those points.
(1) Luffy takes some time to reach Lucci, however what I particularly like about this waiting is that by each passing episode Robin gets closer and closer to the Gates of Justice and that really got me tense. I was literally praying for Luffy to get there fast because I didn’t want to lose Robin.
(2) Instead of taking a nap (like in Dressrosa) for being absolutely exhausted Luffy kept going even after falling to the ground, badly beaten, looking like he was about to die while his opponent was still standing.
So how did he got up? Not with a lame 10 minute power nap followed by an infuriating 10 second countdown (like in Dressrosa), what we got was one heck of a speech from Usopp in which he challenges an opponent that he knows would slaughter him instantly.
Luffy continues to fight with pure willpower. To me this redefined what an absolute beast Luffy is and how far he would go to save his friends.
(3) Lucci was definitely strong and I’m very satisfied that he was shown exhausted because to me that build tension in the fight. Both Luffy and Lucci were on the brink of collapse so it all came down to who was going to fall first. To me it felt like a 50/50 chance for each of them.
(4) Luffy Jet Gatling attack to me is the best finishing move from all the fights so far. This attacks is unleashed with so much might, heart, determination, love, gosh it had everything. To top it all up Luffy makes his attacks after receiving a nasty “Ultimate Radius Six King Gun” attack from Lucci that should had put him down for good. But he got up to unleash his final Jet Gatling attack with what little stamina he had left . There wasn’t any unnecessary scenes here, it was cut perfectly.
The fight against Doflamingo was one of epic proportions, however to me it had four huge problems:
(1) It took Luffy forever to reach Doflamingo. My god the pacing in the anime was terrible. In fact there was a ridiculous and unnecessary amount of running to get from one point to another. So watching weekly (like I did for the first time) felt like absolutely nothing happened on each episode.
(2) Luffy takes a nap in the middle of the fight…………what in the fuck of fucks was that for?!!!! I found that incredibly anti climatic and to make matter way worse all Dressrosa population began a 10 second countdown for Luffy’s return. WHAT!!!! It felt like a desperate attempt to extend the arc more than it should had been.
(3) I understand Doflamingo was insanely powerful, but no matter how many powerful hits he took from Luffy he barely shows any exhaustion at all. It was like nothing was happening to him that I even wondered if he was like a dead demon or something that felt no pain or exhaustion.
In the picture above Doflamingo was sent flying across town by Luffy’s Leo Bazooka attack and ending up smashing in a big rock. No less than a minute later he walked like nothing happened to fight gladiators. No damage, no nothing! To me that was a big turn down because I found it was over exaggerated, and although it fits his character, it was too much.
(4) Luffy’s final attack (King Kong Gun) was amazing and a well deserved punch to Doflamingo however the anime fucked it up bad! They made the attack look weaker compared to the manga and to make it even worse they included over one and a half minutes of unnecessary built up and several characters shouting “Luffy”. I hated that so much that for my peace of mind I edited how it should had been and created a GIF. You’re welcome!
What happens after the fight ended
Luffy beats Lucci, but is not over yet! The Straw Hats are surrounded by 7 Navy battleships with at least a thousand Marines and their escape ship was destroyed.
Luffy, although still conscious, is crippled by exhaustion unable to move at all. They are in a very tight spot, to what I thought was their definite doom, but then comes Oda to fuck you sideways by misleading you with a sound/noise that resembles a whale. I thought for sure it was Laboon, but hell no, it was the Going Merry. The Going Merry came to save them! Jump into the sea! Holy…fucking…hell…that was spectacular!
Luffy beats Doflamingo! Dressrosa is saved! Now is time to reflect on what had happened and start over again. The events that transpire are almost exactly like Alabasta arc, recover the kingdom, eat a lot of food and followed by taking a ship to their next adventure. However I found very interesting Admiral Fujitora intervention in the coming affairs. I absolutely love that guy!
WINNER: Enies Lobby
There will never be anything that can top the Going Merry rescuing it’s friends after Luffy beating his opponent.
Both fights were very good, but to me the Enies Lobby is the best of them all. It has all the pieces to make it the best and it has a special place in my nostalgic One Piece heart. Is just that good!