One Piece Chapter 1034 officially released Sunday, December 5 and with it, fans saw Sanji receive a much-needed powerup. While fans initially thought One Piece Chapter 1034 debuted Sanji’s Conqueror’s Haki, it seems Sanji’s lightning bolts come from elsewhere.
As discussed in a previous article, One Piece Chapter 1034 debuts Sanji’s Ifrit Jambe, which apparently is hot enough to ionize the air around it. To summate the aforementioned article's discussion of the Ifrit Jambe, Sanji’s leg is essentially burning dozens of times hotter than the sun’s surface.
While it isn’t Conqueror’s Haki, One Piece Chapter 1034 gives the Straw Hat chef a powerful new weapon indeed. Yet even still, one can find further meaning in Sanji’s powerup as seen in its One Piece Chapter 1034 debut.
Sanji's new powerup as seen in One Piece Chapter 1034 has significant symbolic meaning via the use of an ifrit motif
What is an Ifrit?
An ifrit is a class of powerful, diabolic and malevolent supernatural beings in Islamic mythology. It is only mentioned once in the Qur’an in the phrase “the ifrit of the jinn,” where mythologists and historians agree the word seemingly depicts a rebellious jinni.
Often westernized as genie, jinni are mischievous beings who delight in punishing humans yet can also succumb to those humans who know sufficient magic to control them.
Jinn (plural of jinni) are often depicted as giant winged beings of flame or air who can assume human or animal form and are thought to live in all inanimate objects. Ifrits are depicted as beings of smoke, likely striking a balance between the forms of air and fire.
In various pop culture adaptations, ifrits are often depicted more as being made of fire than smoke or air. Much like their mythological base, ifrits can be good or evil in pop culture adaptations but are typically depicted as wicked beings.
Relation to Sanji’s powerup
As stated in a previous article, One Piece Chapter 1034 showed Sanji’s powerup being so hot that it ionized the air around it and formed lightning bolts. While already an impressive feat and fantastic writing in and of itself, the symbolism behind Sanji’s new powerup takes its significance to new heights.
Ifrit Jambe would, for all intents and purposes, roughly translate to “demon leg” in English. While ifrit would still be ifrit in English, the symbolism of the word's use is what’s significant. Oda is essentially saying that as of One Piece Chapter 1034, Sanji’s leg is equivalent in heat to that of a fire demon.
While Sanji’s Raid Suit powers were certainly impressive, it didn’t feel like Sanji was fighting when in the Raid Suit. Sanji never combined his Diable Jambe or any other techniques with the Raid Suit, making it feel like an unnatural progression for Sanji. In contrast, the Ifrit Jambe feels more organic and appropriate in both nature and introduction than the Raid Suit did.
Sanji’s new Ifrit Jambe as seen in One Piece Chapter 1034 makes a heavy-handed reference to Islamic mythology via the use of an ifrit motif. By naming Sanji’s newest technique after what is often portrayed in pop culture as a fire demon, Oda’s intent is obvious.
Sanji’s legs now burn as hot as a fire demon, essentially turning Black Leg into something of an ifrit himself. One Piece Chapter 1034 does a great job of introducing this powerup in an organic way, while the powerup itself also feels more natural than the Raid Suit.
Between the recent string of chapters and the Film Red announcement, it’s a great time to be a fan of and support the series. Fans can continue to do so by supporting One Piece Chapter 1034’s official release (which is already out) through various Shonen Jump platforms.