One Piece: Why Kaku is much stronger than Jabra, explained

Kaku is a CP0 agent now (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)
Kaku is a CP0 agent now (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)

Many One Piece fans claim that the pre-time skip battles are the most entertaining in the entire series. Everything seemed wonderful and refreshing because Luffy, Zoro, and the other Strawhats were so inexperienced and had room for growth. At the same time, fans were also introduced to intriguing foes with varying degrees of strength and power.

Among the opponents the Strawhats faced and defeated along the way were Kaku, who was defeated by Zoro, and Jabra, who lost to Sanji. While every One Piece fan knows that Kaku is stronger than Jabra, there is disagreement over how much the two CP9 agents differ from one another in terms of strength. Continue reading to learn everything about the subject through a detailed analysis.

Disclaimer: This article reflects the writer's personal views.


In One Piece, Kaku is stronger than Jabra, much more than the difference in their Doriki suggests

Who is Kaku in One Piece?

Kaku displaying his powers, as seen in the Enies Lobby Arc (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)
Kaku displaying his powers, as seen in the Enies Lobby Arc (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)

Kaku was the second strongest member of the CP9. Despite being an assassin and one of the main antagonists of One Piece's Enies Lobby Arc, he is an honest man, who regrets his evil deeds. He fought valiantly against Zoro, the second strongest individual in the Strawhats, but was brutally defeated once the latter went all out on him. After the time skip, Kaku joined CP0.

Kaku had the second highest Doriki in the CP9, meaning that his base physical abilities were the second strongest in the organization. On top of that, he added the upgrade granted by the Ox-Ox Fruit, Model: Giraffe Fruit, allowing him to transform into a human-giraffe hybrid, enhancing the power of his attacks, and the strength and durability of his body.

Moreover, Kaku proved to be an accomplished swordsman, with a peculiar style called the Four Sword Style, which combines his dangerous Rankyaku techniques, enhanced thanks to his Zoan Devil Fruit powers, with his skillful swordsmanship. Thanks to an overwhelming combination of sheer speed and coordinated sword cuts, Kaku was able to challenge Zoro in a serious manner during their fight.


Who is Jabra in One Piece?

Jabra using his Devil Fruit power, as seen in the Enies Lobby Arc (Image via Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, One Piece)
Jabra using his Devil Fruit power, as seen in the Enies Lobby Arc (Image via Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, One Piece)

Jabra was the third strongest member of CP9. He is especially competitive and short-tempered towards his former colleagues, Lucci and Kaku, because he envies the fact that they were stronger than him. During One Piece's Enies Lobby Arc, Jabra fought against Sanji, the cook of Strawhat Pirates, but lost after the latter upgraded his kicks with his newfound Diable Jambe.

Jabra's competitiveness with his comrades distorts his reasoning. This could be part of his wolf-like nature, to establish himself as the alpha male or leader. As a wolf, Jabra finds it especially aggravating that Lucci, the leopard, would be stronger than him, given the natural rivalry between dogs (wolves) and cats (leopards). Despite all the gags, he is factually weaker than Lucci.

Jabra had the third-highest Doriki among the CP9 members. He was able to use a special technique, the Tekkai Kenpo, which allowed him to move and attack while maintaining his Tekkai defense. Thanks to the Dog-Dog, Model: Wolf Fruit, Jabra earned himself the ability to transform himself into a human-wolf hybrid, enhancing his physical capabilities.


Compared to Jabra, Kaku is a much more powerful fighter

Kaku's Devil Fruit and swordsmanship abilities, that make him much stronger than Jabra, weren't included in the Doriki (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)
Kaku's Devil Fruit and swordsmanship abilities, that make him much stronger than Jabra, weren't included in the Doriki (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)

While the gap in their Doriki is relatively small, 2200 to 2180, the actual difference in strength between Kaku and Jabra is much greater than that. In fact, Kaku is depicted and shown as a noticeably stronger individual than Jabra throughout the One Piece series.

When Jabra learned that his Doriki was slightly lower than Kaku's, he expressed his displeasure at being weaker than his colleague. However, he did not belittle the gap, trying to argue that it was small and thus trivial. Jabra admitted his inferiority to Kaku, without any mention of the amount of difference in their Doriki.

If the One Piece author had Jabra reacting like that, it doesn't seem reasonable for fans to argue for a different interpretation. What's even more important, the Doriki, a yardstick used by CP9 to directly determine someone's level of physical prowess, only measures the base capabilities of the body. It doesn't take into account Devil Fruit powers or the usage of external weapons.

This was heavily depicted in the One Piece manga. It was hinted when Spandam, the CP9 leader, answered the others' scorns for his extremely low level of Doriki by claiming that it wouldn't matter at all, as the usage of Funkfleed, his Devil Fruit enhanced sword, wasn't included in the Doriki measurement.

This clearly implies that Kaku's swordsmanship wasn't considered in his Doriki. That is, given that he is a swordsman (as he describes himself), a significant portion of his fighting abilities were not taken into account in that measurement.

To avoid any doubt, Kaku neither used his swords nor did he even have them with him during the Doriki assessment. It seems rather obvious that something that is not there definitely can't be measured. It's worth noting that swordsmanship is a crucial part of Kaku's fighting style: he called himself the CP9 swordsman, and when he was in trouble against Zoro, his countermeasure was to rely on his swords.

Furthermore, it was stated that Doriki only measures the base capabilities of the body, not including any enhancement earned through a Devil Fruit. This is significant for two reasons. First, despite having eaten his Devil Fruit very recently, Kaku showed great skill in using it, perfectly coordinating it with his other abilities, as Jabra himself reluctantly noticed.

Moreover, the enormous giraffe body is necessary for Kaku to perform his strongest move, the Sky Slicer Rankyaku. Thus, he could not use it before eating his Devil Fruit, which he obtained only sometime after the Doriki measurement. This means that Doriki measured Kaku's prowess without taking into account something as important as his strongest attack, which he couldn't even perform yet.

Jabra's Devil Fruit didn't gift him new capabilities, it just enhanced his pre-existing ones. Instead, Kaku's Devil Fruit not only improved all his basic skills but also gave him access to a whole new powerful move (which became the strongest in his repertoire), plus many other different peculiar techniques, such as the Extreme Nose Pistol Giraffe Blast, that exploited the giraffe body in combo with the Rokushiki.

With Kaku's swordsmanship style, his overall best technique, and all the peculiar upgrades from his Devil Fruit not being considered within his Doriki, it clearly appears that his true fighting abilities are much greater than what that measurement says. Compared to this, Jabra's skills don't progress beyond what his Doriki reveals.

As a result, while Jabra has his 2180 Doriki, the boost of his Zoan Devil Fruit, Kaku has his slightly better Doriki of 2200, a Zoan Devil Fruit that not only boosts but also massively improves and empowers his fighting style too, plus the usage of swords with his Four Sword Style and a completely new final attack.

Thus, it's factual that the gap between Kaku and Jabra's overall fighting skills is much greater than the one between their Doriki. Since the former was, in the opinion of the majority of fans, a much more impressive fighter than the latter, this shouldn't be shocking.


Throughout the One Piece series, Kaku's portrayal differed significantly from Jabra's

The scale of the fight between Kaku and Zoro was completely different than the one of the fight between Jabra and Sanji (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)
The scale of the fight between Kaku and Zoro was completely different than the one of the fight between Jabra and Sanji (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)

A testament to the difference in strength, every One Piece fan does remember Kaku's tower-slicing Rankyaku, which displayed a feat very similar to and comparable to Rob Lucci's ship-cutting Rankyaku. Instead, the vast majority of fans, including the most knowledgeable, don't remember any of Jabra's moves because they were far less impactful and destructive.

Additionally, the way they are portrayed is entirely different, suggesting that Kaku is a character on a different plane than Jabra. Jabra himself was shown to be afraid of Kaku's attack. While the former is merely a strong CP9 agent, the latter is put on a higher pedestal, being depicted as a sort of right-hand man for Lucci.

Among the entire CP9, only Lucci and Kaku were entrusted with a unique mission regarding Nico Robin. Lucci had to guard her, while Kaku was tasked with protecting the keys to her handcuffs. Only those two were entrusted with such vital tasks, implying that their strength was greater than the others. In fact, none of the other agents, including Jabra, were given any special assignments.

It's also worth remembering that Kaku was the designated opponent of a stronger fighter than the one who Jabra confronted. In fact, Kaku was a contender for Roronoa Zoro, the second most powerful individual in the Strawhat Pirates. Instead, Jabra challenged Sanji, the third strongest in the same crew.

The battle between Jabra and Sanji didn't receive the same amount of hype as Kaku and Zoro's duel, which saw the Tower of Law shake under the power unleashed by their clash. One Piece author Eiichiro Oda didn't emphasize it at all.

Last but not least, Jabra has yet to be shown again in the One Piece series. Meanwhile, Kaku has already reappeared after the time skip. He was promoted to CP0, the greatest Cipher Pol in the World Government's direct employment, and was shown to be right on Lucci's side during the Levely Arc.


Zoro vs Kaku compared with Sanji vs Jabra

Kaku is stronger than Jabra, however Zoro was able to defeat the former easier than Sanji beat the latter (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)
Kaku is stronger than Jabra, however Zoro was able to defeat the former easier than Sanji beat the latter (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)

The idea of their Doriki being proof of Jabra being almost as strong as Kaku is an old theory that some One Piece fans tried to promote, with the further aim of suggesting that Sanji, who defeated the former, was (during that time, anyway) comparable in strength to Zoro, who beat the latter. However, taking all the evidence into account, it's hardly feasible that Kaku and Jabra are close in strength.

Not only was the difference in their Doriki enough for Jabra himself to admit his inferiority to his colleague. That measurement also didn't include Kaku's swordsmanship or his newfound Devil Fruit, which gifted him with new techniques and a new powerful final move. Hence, Kaku's fighting abilities are much greater than what Doriki assessed.

In fact, no technique in Jabra's arsenal does even remotely compare to Kaku's Sky Slicer Rankyaku. The comparison between those two was a stepping-stone to promote the idea of Sanji being close in strength to Zoro during One Piece's Enies Lobby Arc, but it clearly appears to be a completely flawed argument.

Not only is Kaku a much stronger fighter than Jabra, but Zoro also beat the former more easily than Sanji defeated the latter. This was proven during all the phases of the two fights, especially during their climax.

Zoro beat Kaku in the majority of their head-on clashes. He wounded him, and threatened him with his power, forcing him to dodge his attacks (Dragon Twister), or to barely intercept them (Lion Song), meaning that the CP9 agent's Tekkai would not have been enough to stop his body being cut through. Kaku was also pushed into combining his swords with his Rokushiki and Zoan powers.

While Sanji definitely displayed a very good performance against Jabra, dodging most attacks and landing many hits on his opponent, he lost the strength clashes against the CP9 member. Jabra's Rokushiki and Zoan seemed to be sufficient to match Sanji, despite being lesser than the ones that were barely enough to let Kaku handle Zoro.

When the two fights reached their climax, with Zoro and Sanji unleashing their respective power ups, the disparity became even clearer in the eyes of most One Piece fans.

After using his Nine Sword Style: Ashura, Zoro completely annihilated Kaku. The latter attempted to counter his own final move, the tower-cutting Rankyaku, but it was obliterated as if it were nothing. A few moments later, Kaku got blitzed and fatally wounded without him being able to do anything in front of Zoro's overwhelming power.

Sanji, after using his Diable Jambe, defeated Jabra but was not able to dominate him like Zoro did with Kaku. Even after going all out, Sanji still struggled a bit to win, needing three hits to defeat his opponent. Jabra tanked the first attack and dodged the second. He was put down by the third, but before going down he managed to inflict the Strawhats' cook a wound, albeit a light one.

If the two Strawhats had exchanged their opponents, Zoro would have brutally defeated Jabra, most likely without even needing to go all out with Ashura. On the other hand, it is unknown whether Sanji would have been able to win against Kaku, let alone do so with ease.

Zoro's mid-end moves, like Dragon Twister and Lion Song, were enough to cut through Kaku's Tekkai and leave him barely able to react. As it's known, Kaku has a higher Doriki than Jabra, so he performs better basic movements and Rokushiki techniques. Hence, Jabra would be overpowered and badly wounded. He would probably be killed in one strike if Zoro used his Three Thousand Words slash on him.

Sanji, who lost some head-on clashes with the bare-handed Jabra, would find it very difficult to confront Kaku, who has a slightly higher basic skill, plus a much more dangerous fighting style that encompasses swordsmanship, Zoan powers, and Rokushiki altogether. If Sanji, despite using his Diable Janbe, was still wounded by Jabra, he would struggle against Kaku's much deadlier Four Sword Style.


Final thoughts

Kaku is basically Lucci's right-hand man (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)
Kaku is basically Lucci's right-hand man (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)

All things considered, it seems reasonable to assume that the difference in strength between Kaku and Jabra is much greater than their Doriki numbers would suggest. Kaku is a more dangerous fighter, with a greater number of strings to his bow and a far more powerful final attack. Moreover, he has received a consistently better portrayal throughout the One Piece series.

Thus, with Zoro having defeated Kaku, the stronger opponent, in a more clear-cut way and with greater dominance than Sanji was able to defeat Jabra, the weaker opponent, it appears that the former achieved a better accomplishment. This is not surprising, given that no Strawhat member receives the same portrayal as Zoro.

The author sometimes puts Sanji in a similar class to him, as the two wings who support the captain, acting as his biggest pillar within the crew. However, even while maintaining the aforementioned dynamic, Oda sets Zoro apart, putting him on a higher pedestal in strength, importance, and leadership, and portraying him as close to Luffy, which makes sense given that Zoro is the latter's right-hand man.

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