One Piece: Oda reveals the surprising inspiration behind Luffy’s Gear 5

Tulisha srivastava
An image of Luffy's Gear 5 in One Piece

Luffy’s Gear 5 is his most iconic moment that completely changed the course of the story in One Piece. Although its final form references Greek mythology, the real inspiration behind it is a pair of everyone’s favorite cartoon characters.

The real name of Luffy’s devil fruit is Hito Hito no Mi, Model: Nika. It was removed from the annals of history and disguised as a Paramecia-type Gomu Gomu no Mi. Luffy awakened his powers during his fight with Kaido and transformed into a legendary deity called Nika, the Sun God. 

Upon his transformation, Luffy easily overpowered Yonko Kaido and liberated Wano from his tyranny. Luffy’s Gear 5 in One Piece perfectly captures his personality and actions as a “liberator.” One of the reasons fans adore this form is because this transformation suits ability like nothing else.

However, its true inspiration was revealed in 2022 when Eiichiro Oda spoke briefly about Gear 5 and why he chose to go through the transformation. Here’s why the true inspiration behind Luffy’s Gear 5 in One Piece is so unexpected.

The mythological reference in this transformation

An image of Luffy using Gear 5 in One Piece Final Saga

Oda has a reputation for drawing references from mythologies, fiction, famous places, culture, real-life people, and so much more. To build a world as expansive as One Piece, Oda uses every aspect of the world as inspiration. It’s common knowledge that Luffy’s Gear 5 in One Piece resembles the Greek Goddess Nike, who is a personification of victory. 

Nika is another name for Nike. Furthermore, the word “Nika” is similar to a Romanized Japanese word that roughly translates to “toothy grin.” It resonates with Nika’s carefree nature and the constant smile he has on his face while fighting. However, that’s different from what Oda had in mind when he first created the concept of Gear 5. 

The true inspiration behind Luffy’s Gear 5 in One Piece is Tom and Jerry

A panel from One Piece manga featuring Luffy's gear 5

The series’ protagonist’s extremely powerful form is modelled after Tom and Jerry. However, using that as a reference to pull off the battle between Luffy and Kaido proved to be difficult. According to Oda, Tom and Jerry are actually the models for Gear 5; however, using them as a model for Luffy’s fight against Kaido made it easier for Oda to pull it off properly. This is because, while Luffy was joking around on the battlefield, Kaido was all serious. 

Nonetheless, Oda managed to pull this off successfully, and needless to say, fans will remember it for the rest of their lives as one of the most iconic battles of all time. Since Gear 5 was drawn as a joke, Oda believed that fans might hate him for it. 

Oda’s initial concept of the story is to be something with hearty tones and not be too serious. However, after the recurring intense battles, Oda decided to add a fun element to the Wano arc, and that’s how Luffy’s Gear 5 in One Piece came to be. While Kaido is fighting with all his might, Luffy is simply “playing” with him. Therefore, the Tom and Jerry reference in the fight is actually relatively easy to see.

One Piece can currently be streamed on Crunchyroll. In the meantime, you can check out more anime coverage below:

One Piece chapter 1088 spoilers | Jujutsu Kaisen Nobara’s status | Jujutsu Kaisen Toji forgets Megumi | Jujutsu Kaisen Gojo’s Hollow Purple | Jujutsu Kaisen chapter 230 | One Piece Episode 1070 spoilers | Jujutsu Kaisen manga ending | Jujutsu Kaisen Shibuya arc schedule | Jujutsu Kaisen major deaths

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