The One Piece Manga has had some massive reveals in the last few months which has left the fans dumbfounded and awestruck yet again. Even after 25 years, Eiichiro Oda remains a master at subverting expectations.
One of these reveals was Luffy’s GEAR 5 transformation.
Ever since GEAR 4 was revealed in Dressrosa, fans started speculating about when the next gear will come about. Just about every fan expected the next gear in Wano, but no one expected the way it was executed and all the lore that’ll come with it.
Hats off to Oda for pulling the rug out from under us again.
Now that’s not to say that there weren’t sceptics of this idea. Some people thought any more power-ups would just end up being redundant and that Luffy should come up with ingenious strategies to defeat Kaido and all proceeding antagonists.
The idea ran the risk of One Piece turning to the classic shonen formula popularized by Dragon Ball Z, with the protagonist getting consecutive power-ups to defeat even bigger threats.
Thankfully, Oda did not disappoint and executed the power-up in such a way that it serves a narrative purpose crucial for the final saga of the story, while completely recontextualising the way we looked at Luffy from the start.
Did Luffy get Gear 5?
Yes, Luffy goes Gear 5 in the One Piece manga in his fight against Kaido.
As Luffy and Kaido were duking it out on the rooftop of Onigashima, they prepared their supposed final attacks. Just as Luffy’s “Overkong Gun” and Kaido’s “Thunder Bellow Bagua” were about to clash, the CP0 boss interrupted the fight on the World Government’s orders.
He restricted Luffy’s movements with “Tekkai” (Iron body) forcing Luffy to face the full brunt of Kaido’s attack.
This led to Kaido presuming Luffy was dead, which was further enforced by Momonosuke saying that Luffy’s “voice” had disappeared.
As these events unfolded, Zunesha made an appearance near Onigashima and signalled the arrival of “Joyboy” as we see Luffy transforming.
When does Luffy get Gear 5?
Luffy’s gear 5 transformation first happens at the end of One Piece chapter 1043.
Chapter 1044 then followed up with a series of jaw-dropping revelations about the nature of Luffy’s devil fruit and his current state, capping it off with the revelation of Luffy’s “awakened” GEAR 5 form.
The popular theory is that Luffy’s awakening required him to be on the brink of death, which then facilitated the resuscitation of his heartbeat and enabled him to unlock new abilities. We’ll discuss these in detail later in the article.
What is Luffy’s Gear 5?
Luffy’s GEAR 5 is the awakened version of the mythical zoan devil fruit Hito Hito no Mi: Model Nika, originally known as the Gomu Gomu no Mi. In this state, Luffy’s clothes and hair turn white, his eyes glow with white ring-like pupils accompanied by white clouds floating around his head and neck.
You can almost say Luffy has a God-like appearance stemming from the characteristics of his devil fruit. After all, his fruit is based on and named after the Sun God ‘Nika’.
Following the transformation, Luffy’s heartbeat has a musical rhythm to it, described as the “Drums of Liberation” by Zunesha. Luffy’s connections to ‘Nika’ have been foreshadowed from as long back as the Skypeia arc.
One of this transformation’s notable features is the user’s personality. Luffy has supposedly inherited this devil fruit from Joyboy, thus defining his joyful and outgoing nature.
The awakening only enhances the user’s carefree personality and bestows its user with unbound “freedom”.
POWERS AND ABILITIES
The awakening of the Hito Hito no Mi: Model Nika grants the user’s already rubber-like body increased physical strength and freedom of mobility. The users of this fruit can fight however they please and bring joy to those around them. For these reasons, it has been coined “the most ridiculous power in the world”.
Luffy in GEAR 5 can turn anything he touches into rubber and manipulate it as he sees fit. It also results in anyone and anything around him turning into cartoonish caricatures of themselves.
Tremendous amounts of Haki can be released in this form, as evident from people all the way down on the Live floor of the Skull dome getting knocked out by Luffy’s Conqueror’s Haki.
GEAR 5 can easily utilize the powers of any of Luffy’s previous gears without having to blow into limbs or physically pump his blood faster. He can inflate his limbs big enough to grab Kaido in his Dragon form and enlarge himself as big as a giant in a single instant.
Luffy also displayed incredible ingenuity when he used the ground below him to deflect Kaido’s deadly “Blast Breath” by turning it into rubber. He also inflated Kaido’s body along with his own to escape when the latter swallowed him whole.
His powers also enabled Luffy to grab a literal lightning bolt which he redirected to hit Kaido and create a punch as large as the island of Onigashima itself. It’s as the name suggests; there’s no power more ridiculous than this.
The things Luffy can do with GEAR 5 are downright outrageous and the potential it holds is nearly limitless. I’m sure we’ve only scratched the surface of his new powers as it is a given that Oda has much more in store for One Piece fans. The future of One Piece looks brighter than ever.
Let us know in the comments what you think of Luffy’s new power-up!