Tons of love for Brulee and Katakuri moment and Sanji/Zeff parallel panel right now but I wanted to touch on Pudding’s development as well, pertaining to the “last request” in particular.
She obviously didn’t take away Sanji’s memory about her, since Sanji recognized Pudding and was confused about what the last request was. She was heart broken after running away from Sanji. So, it’s pretty obvious that she probably only took Sanji’s memory of Pudding kissing him.
We’ve seen Pudding using her devil fruit powers for a while now. But this is the first time we see Pudding that doesn’t use the power as a tool of Big Mom. She’s selfishly fulfilling her wish to be with Sanji for the last time, and selflessly sacrificing herself by taking away that memory from Sanji. If Sanji knew how much Pudding cares for him, Sanji would have at least be heartbroken as well to leave Pudding (maybe would even offer to take her away or something).
She suffers alone, even hiding her feelings from the only person who ever accepted the real her all her life. Among the chaos, she cries in an alley, all by herself with no one any wiser what happened. Maybe she’ll keep the memory as a keepsake. Maybe she knows she’ll never meet Sanji again and wanted to treasure that moment forever. With that kiss she said goodbye. This is the first time Pudding went against Big Mom’s order. She helped her fiance escape. She owes everything to Sanji, she loves Sanji, yet she’s determined she’ll probably never see him again.
I’d argue that Pudding is the true tragic heroine of this story. This was definitely a Sanji arc, no argument there. But look at it from Pudding’s point of view. She was used all her life as a tool of Big Mom. Coming from an abusive family and bullied for her third eye, she put a wall around her true self and hid her real face from the world. Then, a stranger who she was suppose to kill at her own wedding turns out to be someone who accepts her, the real her who herself rejected long ago.
To protect the person she ever opened her heart to, she doesn’t let him know her true feelings. She keeps him safe by letting him go. It’s the first time we ever see Pudding’s sacrifice.
This must be the first time Sanji left a woman in tears. Isn’t there a Sanji quote somewhere that says something like “I never betray a woman’s tear” or something? He has no idea but Pudding cries because of Sanji. There’s no one to comfort her. I truly hope for a happy ending for Pudding.