Akainu vs Dragon is Imminent
Some may have already picked up on this, but it seems that this arc has set up the Original Admirals Trio vs the Monkey D. Trio.
Firstly, we had Aokiji (and part of the Blackbeard Pirates) against Garp and the new age marines. Then we have Kizaru attempting to assassinate Dr. Vegapunk, with Luffy standing in his way as they try and escort him to safety.
Now that we’ve just seen Akainu in action protecting Mary Geoise from Kuma, I believe that Oda is setting up the final confrontation: Akainu vs Dragon. Whether this is a full on fight, a clash, or just some sort of moment (i.e., Revolutionaries trying to escape from the marines with Kuma), I’m not sure.
Since Dragon is scrambling to figure out where Kuma went, and the navy deems him a threat, I wouldn’t be surprised if this is how they end up converging. Akainu has access to marines all across the 4 seas and Grand Line that can search for his wherabouts.
Based on the theme of the last two fights, I speculate that there is some sort of emotional connection between Akainu and Dragon. First we had Aokiji fight Garp, his mentor in the Marines. Kuzan even said “you have a habit of raising enemies” which directly references both Dragon and Luffy. In this current battle on Egghead, we have Kizaru coming at odds with two of his old friends; Sentomaru (a “student” of his) and Vegapunk, another old friend that harnessed the power of his fruit for his Government weapon development.
Bad blood between Akainu and Dragon
The Marineford arc alludes to bad blood between Akainu and Dragon, as we see this burning animosity towards Luffy as “the son of Dragon.” It’s almost as if he cares more about the fact that he’s the spawn of the worlds worst criminal than the fact that he’s a supernova pirate.
An interesting detail is that Akainu and Dragon are both 55 years old. Perhaps this is a coincidence, but it makes me raise an eyebrow. Garp obviously would have wanted Dragon to become a Marine, so perhaps they once trained together. According to Chapter 1097 Dragon used to be a member of the Marines, but became disillusioned with how they saw justice. So this could be Akainu’s “friends to enemies” confrontation for the arc.
I mean, I’ve always wondered what caused Dragon to have his perception of the World Government. It’s almost as if he’s following his own code of justice as the leader of the Revolutionary Army.
It may have been as simple as them being two friends that grew up together but some sort of event caused them to go their separate ways (like Shanks and Buggy). Imagine the chain of causality if Dragon kept seeing the darkness within the Marines/World Government and Sakazuki kept seeing the darkness within piracy. As Doflamingo said, justice is determined by the victor. There are good marines, bad marines, good pirates, bad pirates. That greyness leading them to their own senses of justice would be very impactful in a flashback.
Let me know what you guys think!
*Theory by Wh1p