I’m seeing a big misconception about the last exchange between Katakuri and Luffy at the end of the latest chapter, with many people seeming to believe that Katakuri is accepting his own defeat, and even that he’s seen the outcome of their last bout already. Respectfully, I don’t think either of these is the case, and hopefully I can sway some minds and clear the issue up.
I’m going to list out the dialogue, box by box, from the exchange, and then explain it:
K: What’s the matter, Straw Hat!?
K: Is this…
L: Ah… That’s right…
K: The end!?
K: Alright… I’ll take you on.
L: I’m going to end this…!!!
L: …With this, if you…
K: …I’ve already answered you.
L: This is the end…
EXPLANATION: When Katakuri says “Is this…” then Luffy says “Ah… That’s right…” it is Luffy interrupting Katakuri’s sentence, and it is also Luffy having a new idea to carry out, i.e. a new intention. The intention part is especially important given Rayleigh’s explanation of haki; it’s something Katakuri and his future sight couldn’t have seen before. That’s why we get the “!!” speech bubble immediately after Katakuri finishes taunting Luffy. He’s surprised by Luffy’s new intentions.
Right after Katakuri’s “!!” surprised panel, we get a “……………!!” panel. That’s Katakuri seeing into the future, and seeing the extent of the exchange we see in the chapter, probably nothing beyond that.
So, seeing that Luffy is going to unveil his new form, he says “Alright… I’ll take you on.” as a response.
The rest after that is easier to understand. Luffy says he’s going to end it, then says “…With this, if you…” and this is the key moment. I’ve seen some people say Luffy is asking for permission to unveil his new gear 4th form, and I think that’s essentially correct. Luffy would have said something along the lines of “With this, if you let me use my new form, I’ll defeat you.” Katakuri has already seen this, so tells Luffy “I’ve already answered you,” referring back to “Alright… I’ll take you on.”
Katakuri saw Luffy’s G4 form at the wedding party, and prevented him from using that power up earlier in their fight. But now Katakuri has acknowledged Luffy as a worthy opponent, so he wants to fight him at full strength as a show of respect, and as a last measure of his worth, to see how strong he really is.
So then Luffy says “This is the end…” and Katakuri says “Yeah.” They both, without having seen the outcome yet, know this is the deciding moment. It’s both Luffy’s strongest attack yet, and the last he has left to offer, so everything is riding on the success of his new form.
So that’s how I see things, it’s what I think the text suggests. I don’t think Katakuri could have seen the outcome of this next match, since he’s only been able to see a few moves or a few seconds into the future. If Katakuri could see the events of an entire battle before actually fighting it, that probably would’ve been shown in the story so far, but we’ve only seen him be able to peer short distances into the future. I also don’t think it’s Katakuri accepting his own defeat either. He’s beaten Luffy’s other G4 form, he’s had the upper hand pretty much the entire fight, and Luffy is much more fatigued and injured than Katakuri is. I think it’s simply him acknowledging Luffy as a man worth his respect, and nothing much more than that.
*Theory by aiyhtan