When is Luffy’s Gear 5 power expected to debut in the One Piece anime adaptation and why did Eiichiro Oda use Tom & Jerry as inspiration?
Following the outstanding episode 1062 a few weeks ago, the global One Piece community is celebrating what should be a landmark 10-episode run for the iconic TV series.
Arguably the next biggest moment in the anime adaptation will be the debut of Luffy’s Gear 5 power, which almost broke the internet when it debuted in the original manga earlier this year.
So, when is Gear 5 expected to debut in the One Piece anime series and why did Eiichiro Oda take Tom & Jerry as inspiration for Luffy’s most powerful form?
When will Luffy’s Gear 5 debut in One Piece anime?
Luffy’s Gear 5 awakening debuted in chapter 1044 of the original manga, which was released around the world on March 28, 2023.
The One Piece anime has been adapting around one manga chapter, often with a few added pages from either the previous or subsequent chapter, per episode.
Assuming that Toei Animation will continue adapting roughly one full chapter per episode and the anime will maintain its current weekly release cycle, fans should expect to see Gear 5 by episode 1071, releasing on July 23 on Crunchyroll:
However, fans should note that whilst Gear 5 does debut in chapter 1044, many manga readers consider chapter 1045 to be the power’s first full appearance as the battle between Luffy and Kaidou continues.
What is Luffy’s Gear 5 power?
Gear 5, also known as the fifth gear, is the awakened form of Gomu Gomu no Mi that enables characters to take on enhanced abilities and even manipulate their surrounding environment – similar to Paramecia’s awakening.
Described as “the most ridiculous power in the world”, Gear 5 allows Luffy to expand his natural rubber-property abilities including increased strength, freedom, and durability.
Gear 5 also causes various changes to Luffy’s appearance; his hair and clothes turn a white color, with clouds appearing from around his torso and head. The power also alters his heartbeat to take on a musical rhythm known as the ‘Drums of Liberation.’
In an interview with Weekly Shonen Jump from earlier this year, Oda admitted that he drew Gear 5 in this manner because “I drew this playing around a lot thinking that it it’s okay if people are against it. I just want to be playful with battles.”
“I drew this playing around a lot thinking that it’s okay if people are against it. I just want to be playful with battles. Since the moment I was an assistant the expressions that are the symbol of mangas have been continually lost. For example, putting a light bulb mark when a character thinks about something, or making the character’s legs go in circles as a car when they are running.”
Oda then shared how the ‘pop-out’ characteristics of the character design were meant to be in contrast to the more ‘serious’ designs from traditional battle manga:
“I loved those symbols type of expressions but it’s ceasing to be drawn. No one is drawing it even though our predecessors created and left several formulas. Battle mangas have to keep getting more and more serious in order to meet the fans expectations and I’ve always hated that. That’s why I definitely don’t want to become a serious manga in the end, I just want and decided to be playful, and I’m finally able to do that. That’s why when I drew this, I had super fun.”
Hilariously, Oda also revealed that he took inspiration from the classic Tom & Jerry cartoon for balancing action sequences with the tone of One Piece.
“When I tried to draw it it was actually difficult. The world of “Tom and Jerry” works because the 2 of them. I suffered because of the difference in attitude when I looked at Luffy being the only one making pranks in battle and his opponent not. But I feel this time I was able to draw it. The older you get the more tiring drawing battles is, right?”
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