As One Piece fans await spoiler information on the upcoming issue, many have taken to discussing one of the Wano arc’s most significant developments: Gear Fifth, Luffy’s latest and most powerful form (also arguably the most powerful in the series), which he debuted against Kaido.
The transformation was seemingly brought about as a result of Luffy dying for a few moments, with his heart stopping and “Voice” being undetectable by Momonosuke. Since its initial introduction, One Piece fans have been left in the dark about the details of the form, such as how it can be called upon, its consequences and how long it can be used for.
However, many fans suspect that the price of activating Gear Fifth may far outweigh its benefits, forcing the form to be used with caution and incredibly sparingly.
Follow along as this article fully analyzes why One Piece’s Gear Fifth form should be used with caution despite its immense power.
One Piece’s Gear Fifth: Overpowering but merits sparse usage due to steep activation cost and potential consequences
One Piece’s Wano arc saw a myriad of new information, lore, and plot developments pop up throughout the duration of its 4-year serialization run. One of the most significant developments came in the final fight between Luffy and Kaido, where the former Awakened his Devil Fruit, learning its true name and abilities and unlocking Gear Fifth as a result.
The form proved incredibly overpowering, and was undoubtedly instrumental in the defeat of Kaido and the consequential liberation of Wano which followed. While the Straw Hats have departed Wano as of the latest officially released issue, the Gear Fifth form will no doubt pop up again in future arcs of the series’ final saga.
Despite the overwhelming power of the form, whatever little fans do know about it indicates that it must be used cautiously based on the effect it seems to have on Luffy.
For starters, the form was only initially activated after Luffy was confirmed dead by both Kaido and Momonosuke. While unverified, this seems to indicate that Gear Fifth is only achievable in life-threatening situations.
Furthermore, the form also seems to force his heart to beat at an extremely rapid rate, to the point where it almost gives out on him during the fight against Kaido. Such a dangerous side effect isn’t one that should be taken lightly, especially with Luffy’s previous forms also straining his heart.
This, of course, is all based on context clues from the fight against Kaido, since no official explanations or answers have yet been given on Gear Fifth.
As a result, it is entirely possible that the form becomes less harmful to Luffy’s body as he continues to use it. In that case, it would actually be detrimental to use the form sparingly rather than always jumping right into it during a fight.
This, however, is most likely not the case, given that the series' author and illustrator Eiichiro Oda has very clearly painted the form as being detrimental to its user.
Even rubber has a breaking point, beyond which it simply can’t take any more strain, meaning One Piece’s Rubber Man is far from safe when it comes to overusing his latest form.