Warning: SPOILERS for One Piece #1062Not too long after the debut of Luffy’s most powerful transformation, Gear Fifth, One Piece shows that its protagonist has already surpassed the power-up that he struggled so much to obtain.
One of the most epic fights in One Piece‘s long history was the decisive battle between Luffy and Kaido for the fate of Wano Country. The two powerful pirates clashed for almost fifty chapters (eighteen months in real life), and in the end, Luffy was able to win only after awakening the true power of his Devil Fruit, a Mythical Zoan that gives the Straw Hat captain the powers of the mysterious god Nika. Luffy had to literally die (his heart stopped beating for a few instants) to unlock this evolution, and his “Nika form” consumed a lot of energy during the battle against Kaido, meaning it could only be used for a short time. However, this is no longer the case.
Immediately after the end of the Onigashima Raid and the battle for Wano, the most careful readers should have noticed small hints that the powers of Nika are now an integral part of Luffy, and he no longer needs to go through a traumatic awakening or a transformation like when he fought Kaido. Chapter #1062 of One Piece fully confirms this. After getting angry because a delicious mountain of food he saw is actually an illusion, Luffy briefly takes on the look of his Nika form, with the distinctive puff of smoke around his shoulders, while his hair starts to turn white. It’s meant to be a random comedic moment, but it proves that Luffy’s evolution went far beyond what fans believed.
Luffy Is Now Always In Gear Fifth
This is the third time that Luffy shows his Nika powers without the need to transform. Many mysteries still surround the process called “awakening” of Devil Fruits, but it’s safe enough to suppose that, once a user unlocks this, he is always able to utilize his new powers. Because Luffy’s previous power-ups (Gears Second to Fourth) always required some sort of transformation, readers supposed that he also has to transform to use what he called Gear Fifth, but this doesn’t seem to be the case. From the hints shown, Luffy is always in his Gear Fifth state, even if his appearance does not necessarily change.
However, the weakness of the huge energy expenditure caused by awakened Devil Fruits probably remains, as it would be consistent with what other users have shown. This is why, in his “normal” state, Luffy can use the crazy Nika powers to modify his body as much as he wants, but not to influence other objects or people. This is only possible in fully awakened state, which probably comes with the already iconic Gear Fifth look. Once again, One Piece subtly foreshadowed a major surprise for its fans, hinting that Luffy has already improved and evolved his Gear Fifth powers.
Links: One Piece Confirms Luffy Has Already Moved Past Gear Fifth – Tekmonk Bio, One Piece Confirms Luffy Has Already Moved Past Gear Fifth – Kungfutv, One Piece Confirms Luffy Has Already Moved Past Gear Fifth – Hot News