Eiichiro Oda, the mangaka of One Piece, had prepared well in advance for the battle between Luffy and Kaido during the Wano war.
Many events have happened during the Wano arc, starting with the discoveries of Luffy’s powers and mainly his origins which turned out to be none other than the Gomu Gomu no Mi.
Because the adventure series is close to the end of the War, it was predictable that the protagonist would show that he was up to the task. However, part of the surprise that awaited his fans for a long time – believing that the Devil Fruit had given rise to his power evolutions – was the limits to which Luffy could go. And, although no one was surprised that the Straw Hat had incredible strength for being the Captain and having a high bounty from the World Government, he did see that there were other powers waiting to be revealed.
What is Luffy D. Monkey’s Gear Fifth?
Gear Fifth is a technique created by the awakening of the Gomu Gomu no Mi. and the first time we could see it was after Luffy’s defeat against Kaido on the roof of Onigashima. This event was especially remembered because in a history of combat between Kaido and the Straw Hat, the latter was finally able to confront his rival on equal terms.
To get into context, the awakening of the Gomu Gomu fruit -by its real name, Hito Hito fruit: Nika model- gave the rubber body greater reach and, of course, strength, whose limit is the user’s imagination. For this reason it is stated that the user is a kind of “incarnation of freedom”. And, to distinguish him physically, the awakened form shows Luffy’s hair and clothing fading to a lighter, brighter hue, as well as a trail of lights that give him a very cartoon-like shape to throw off the opponent.
While Luffy is in this state, he displays considerable euphoria, giving the captain more room for creativity. He has even been known to beat his heart in tune with a musical rhythm from Zunesha through the release drums. So the amount of laughter the Straw Hat gets during his awakening will be closely tied to the level of strength he displays during combat.
Thanks to Luffy’s rubbery body abilities and relative strength, the durability of his forms is too malleable for Kaido to be able to tell what will happen and this gives the captain an advantage. For this reason, gear 5 has been a before and after for our favorite protagonist.
An example of this was in his fight against Kaido, who turned the ground into a rubber-like substance and tore lightning from the sky, confusing his enemy in this very cartoonish and somewhat surreal landscape.
The Gear Fifth sketches
This transformation for the Straw Hat was so important – even for his fans – that Eiichiro Oda has decided to reveal the first sketches in the most powerful way we have seen in Luffy..
With the denouement near, A publication named as One Piece’s “Road To Laugh Tale” has shown the mangaka’s notes on the creation of the Wano arc; in addition, the Nine Red Sabers and Yamato, the new Straw Hat Pirate, also appear. What has surprised fans is that the designs that appear there are totally different from those that appeared in the manga. In fact, Luffy’s Gear Fifth form also has its respective differences in regards to the secrets surrounding the Monkey Devil Fruit.
Thanks to a Twitter user named New World Arthur, the publication of Eiichiro Oda’s sketches had greater diffusion; and in the images we can realize that the mangaka prepared the new form well in advance once the battle between Kaido and Luffy happened during the Wano war.
Although this transformation has been shown to readers in all its features in the manga, it hasn’t appeared in the anime adaptation yet, so there are likely to be a few more changes here. We still don’t know when the Gear Fifth will be shown in the TV series, however, it surely won’t be too long for this to happen.