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The Gomu Gomu no Mi[1] is a Paramecia-type[4] Devil Fruit that gives the user's body the properties of rubber, making the user a Rubber Human (ゴム人間 Gomu Ningen?).[1] It was originally a treasure that Shanks and his crew took from an unspecified enemy,[1] but was accidentally eaten by the series protagonist Monkey D. Luffy.[5] In the second version of Romance Dawn, it originally belonged to Luffy's grandpa who took it from an unspecified enemy.[6]

Etymology

  • "Gomu" means "rubber" in Japanese.
  • In the Viz Manga, 4Kids and Funimation dubs, it is called the Gum-Gum Fruit, "gum" being a soft, cohesive substance designed for chewing, with elastic properties.

Appearance

The Gomu Gomu no Mi in Shanks' treasure chest.

The Gomu Gomu no Mi is a violet, spherical shaped fruit with a stem sprouting out of the top, with swirls that go in a curly "S" like-pattern. Its overall appearance greatly resembles a Yubari King.[1]

While its final design has the characteristic Devil Fruit swirls all over it, the fruit was initially drawn without them in the first version of Romance Dawn.[7]

Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths

Luffy showcasing his elasticity.

The fruit's major strength, as demonstrated by Luffy, is that the user's body can stretch, bend, bounce, inflate, and twist like rubber, even when the user himself is nullified (for instance, when Nojiko pulls Luffy's head out of the water at Arlong Park, stretching his neck). It also makes them almost entirely immune to blunt attacks, including hand-to-hand combat, blunt weapons, bullets, and even cannonballs, an ability which can be further reinforced with the application of Busoshoku Haki. The user's rubber body also allows the user to survive falls from great heights and heavy collisions that would kill a normal person.[8][9]

Luffy's rubber body not only allows him to hit Enel, whose body is made of electricity, but also prevents Luffy from suffering electric shocks.

Furthermore, thanks to rubber's natural insulating properties, the user is also immune to electrical attacks, such as those from the Goro Goro no Mi, Electro or Zeus. His immunity to electricity also allows him to hit Enel, the user of the Goro Goro no Mi (an electricity Logia) without needing Haki.[10]

Thanks to Luffy's own creativity, both in and out of combat, this fruit has consistently proven itself to be among the most formidable, versatile, and unpredictable within the Paramecia class. The user's ability to stretch and twist like rubber to extreme lengths not only makes him immune to injuries that originate from such, but it also allows him to rebound, which can give him a great advantage in and out of battle. Stretching also allows the user to drastically increase the range of what would otherwise be considered a powerful close-range attack, turning it into a devastating mid-range or long-range attack. A stretched limb can also be used to store potential energy like a stretched spring, increasing the velocity by stretching his arm back resulting in increased power. Combined with Haki, his power is increased even more.

Luffy has also shown a limited ability of moving in mid-air, by grabbing onto something with an extended limb and pulling himself away from what could have been a fatal attack. This gives Luffy the option of several jumping and mid-air attacks that would have been disadvantageous to most other people.

Luffy with an enlarged fist, a result of his Gear Third.

By training his abilities, Luffy has found unexpected ways to increase his fighting ability, such as the ability to stretch his blood vessels wider to increase the speed of his blood flow in order to become faster and stronger, at the cost of depleting his body's energy at a faster rate. Furthermore, with the application of Haki, he is capable of igniting a limb for an even more devastating attack. Luffy can also inflate his bones to increase the volume of his body and significantly increase the power in his attacks, at the cost of his body becoming smaller for a short period of time (although, after the timeskip, Luffy has seemingly been able to overcome this weakness). He is even shown to be able to inflate his fist to a limited degree without pumping air, with techniques like Tsuppari and King Cobra.

The fruit enables all parts of the consumer's body to behave like rubber, including organs. As such, Luffy has a bigger appetite than the average human, eating more than anyone else in his crew and always digesting it before anyone else is hungry again. His elastic properties also grant him some resistance towards underwater pressure, allowing him to fight while surrounded by an underwater environment.

In the anime, Luffy has used his stretching abilities to inhale great amounts of air to thus exhale a big gust of wind; this application of his powers was used to blow away Marigold's poisonous vapor from her venom spit and Magellan's poison breath.

Weaknesses

Despite all the great advantages Luffy gets by using his fruit, there are a number of weaknesses. One major risk of Luffy's powers is that his stretched limbs take a moment to unstretch back into place, leaving him vulnerable to attacks in the moments when his limbs are stretched, as Buggy and Kuro both demonstrated early on in the series. Luffy, however, has adapted his fighting style to minimize this risk.[11]

Luffy's elasticity reaching its limits, and starts to tear.

Additionally, rubber has a maximum limit to how far it can stretch; in the first SBS, Oda stated that Luffy's maximum stretching distance is "72 Gomu Gomus".[12] Attempting to go beyond this length can cause the user to bleed and be at risk of ripping.[13]

While having a body made of rubber makes Luffy immune to blunt force and electricity, he can still be hurt by cutting or stabbing attacks, as well as certain other elements attacks, such as fire or ice.

Initially, Luffy's body was similar to a rubber band, requiring him to use excessive motion to "throw" an attack. After the time-skip though, the extra movement became unnecessary, and Luffy is able to stretch easily.

Luffy, of course, also suffers the same weaknesses to water,[1] like Fish-Man Karate and Seastone, as other Devil Fruit users. However, he sometimes appears to forget about his weakness to water. And while contact with water and Seastone does drain Luffy of his energy and nullify his rubber-like ability to absorb blunt attacks (as with Smoker's jutte), his actual body still maintains its rubber-like make, allowing a third party to stretch his body for him.

In his youth, Luffy had a problem controlling his own abilities. Though he had an idea of how they would work, Luffy had trouble with aiming and the timing of his attacks, and he was continuously sent spinning by the recoil. However, he managed to counter these weaknesses with his continuous training in the jungle by the time he left to be a pirate.

The Gomu Gomu no Mi user is also susceptible to Busoshoku Haki. Similar to water's effects, the usage of Haki only nullifies Luffy's ability to absorb blunt attacks. It does not however, revert Luffy's body to unstretchable flesh. Through the use of Busoshoku Haki, Luffy's grandfather was able to hurt him using only his fist (though Garp attributed this to "love"). When Luffy's crewmates (usually Nami) get angry at him, their punches are able to bypass Luffy's immunity to blunt attacks, although this is purely for comedic effect.

Another weakness noted by Doflamingo is that when Busoshoku Haki is applied to a part of Luffy's body, it stops being rubbery. This is proven with Luffy's Gomu Gomu no Thor Elephant Gun, where, despite rubber being a natural insulator of electricity, the Busoshoku Haki-enhanced attack itself discharges it. This weakness is negated by Gear Fourth however.

Usage

Luffy uses his Gomu Gomu no Mi abilities to power a fan-propelled boat.

The powers of the fruit have been used by Luffy in a variety of ways. These range from simply moving from one place to another in a rather reckless manner, to attacking an enemy with a barrage of fast and strong punches. He has also developed several peculiar methods of combat as time passed, adapting new forms by manipulating his elastic body, most prominent his "Gear Second" and "Gear Third" forms, allowing him to momentarily increase his strength in combat. After the timeskip, he has learned to use Haki in conjunction with the fruit's powers, as well as having more control over his forms. Later, during the time skip, Luffy developed a form known as Gear Fourth.[14][15]

The Kuja Pirates playing with Luffy's rubber body.

Of course Luffy, being who he is, does not only use his ability for battle. When with his crew, or even when partying with others, Luffy tends to use his elastic properties for the humor and joy of others, such as making funny faces, or using his elastic body to play around. Often throughout the series he would stretch his arm and steal food from others, much to their annoyance. He also uses his powers for transportation purposes, a primary example being his "Gomu Gomu no Rocket," which has him grab something with his arms and fire himself like a slingshot, which helps him travel great distances quickly. Luffy also has no problem letting other people play with his stretching body, which people tend to take advantage of.

History

Past

About thirteen years ago, the fruit was plundered from another ship by Lucky Roux of the Red Hair Pirates.[16] The entire crew was (possibly influenced by Shanks' beliefs on swimming being a vital skill for pirates) apparently uninterested in eating it, instead storing it in a chest for several years.

Romance Dawn Arc

During a visit to the friendly port of Foosha Village, the Red Hair Pirates took the fruit into a local bar, where it was found and unwittingly eaten by the seven-year-old Monkey D. Luffy. Shanks and his crewmen initially failed to notice this, being distracted by the sudden intrusion of the Higuma bandits.[2]

After Shanks laughed off the bandits' attempts to start a fight, an indignant Luffy tried to storm out, only for Shanks to grab his arm—and inadvertently reveal his new stretching powers. Shown a sketch of the fruit by Lucky Roux, Luffy admitted to eating it, causing Shanks to berate him.[17] While initially dismayed that his new condition would never be able to swim, Luffy quickly adjusted to it, even taking pride in being called "rubber boy" by the other villagers.

Some time later, Luffy engaged in his first "battle" with the fruit's abilities when Higuma and his gang returned to Foosha Village. Though quickly overpowered, his rubber body withstood their blows long enough for the Red Hair Pirates to arrive and defeat the gang. Subsequently, a panicked Higuma flung him into the sea—the first of many near-drowning experiences for Luffy, who was saved only by Shanks' timely intervention.[18]

Realizing what real pirates were capable of, Luffy spent the next ten years training his abilities in earnest (both by himself and with his "brothers" Ace and Sabo). Finally, at age seventeen, he determined that he had mastered his abilities—and immediately proved it by defeating the local sea monster with one outstretched punch.[19]

Dressrosa Arc

After Luffy gets exhausted from using Gear Fourth, Jesus Burgess expresses interest in killing him in order to obtain the Gomu Gomu no Mi.[20] His attempt is stopped by Sabo, however.[21]

Early One Piece

According to Eiichiro Oda, Luffy was conceptualized with stretching powers specifically to allow for a "silly" fighting style that could make battles amusing as well as dramatic.[22] As such, the Gomu Gomu no Mi is one of the few elements apart from Luffy himself to be included in both of the series' Romance Dawn prototypes:

  • The first Romance Dawn, much like One Piece proper, depicts the fruit as the property of the Red Hair Pirates, which Luffy nonchalantly eats. It also describes the fruit's origins as a "legend tree" (幻の木 Maboroshi no ki?) that appears only once every fifty years.[23]
  • The second Romance Dawn depicts the fruit as the property of Luffy's grandfather (here an unnamed, retired pirate, but drawn largely identical to Monkey D. Garp), once again nonchalantly eaten by Luffy. This version notably depicts Luffy's first named attack: Right-Hand Stopper.[24]

(According to a separate interview, the fruit's original name was simply the "Gomu no Mi" (ゴムの実?), but Oda changed it after an editor recalled this to be the name of a real-life fruit.[25])

Anime and Manga Differences

In the manga, Luffy ate the fruit — unnoticed — while Higuma and his gang began accosting the Red Hair Pirates, and his first demonstration of ability was when Shanks grabbed Luffy's arm when the boy was angrily walking out, only for the arm to stretch across the bar before the boy noticed. The anime's adaptation of these events depicts Luffy eating it out of anger directly stemming from Shanks' blithe attitude toward the bandits. In addition, the anime has Shanks notice Luffy eating the fruit almost immediately, and even heave Luffy upside-down in an effort to dislodge it, with Luffy's leg's stretching to the point where his face met the floor.[26]

(Most if not all subsequent adaptations of Chapter 1, such as the Episode of Luffy special and Episode 878, are closer to the manga's version of events.)

Translation and Dub Issues

Name

Viz, 4Kids, and Funimation all translate this fruit's name as the "Gum-Gum Fruit". This translation comes from the etymology of the Japanese word "Gomu". "Gomu" is a loan word from Dutch, it comes from "Gom" which is used in Dutch to refer to rubber to identify it as "natural rubber" instead of "synthetic rubber". This is not only true of Japanese, but most worldly language derive their word for "Rubber" from "Gum".

Viz most likely selected "Gum-Gum" as a translation over "Rubber Rubber" due to "Gum" being phonically similar to "Gomu". The only English version of the series to ever translate it out as the "Rubber Rubber Fruit" is the Odex version. This is because it has no connections to the North American versions at all. Despite translating Gomu as "Gum", all English versions refer to Luffy as a "rubber man".

In the Filipino dub of One Piece, the word used is "Goma-Goma", "goma" being the word for "rubber".

In the anime, the description of Luffy's cell in Charlotte Mont-d'Or's book prison, the fruit's name is romanized as "Gomgom no mi".

Origin

Curiously, the Viz manga describes the fruit as "of the Gum-Gum Tree" in at least two chapters (as well as an early promotional blurb), apparently in conflation with the origin given by the aforementioned Romance Dawn prototypes.[27][28] To date, whether this origin actually applies to One Piece proper has been neither proven nor disproven in-story.

Trivia

Oda's depiction of Zoro using the Gomu Gomu no Mi.

  • One Piece Magazine Vol.6 features an illustration of Roronoa Zoro having hypothetically been granted the Gomu Gomu no Mi's powers. Eiichiro Oda drew it following a fan request.
  • This is the first Devil Fruit, as well as the first Paramecia-type devil fruit to be seen in the series. It is also the first Devil Fruit to be seen before its consumption.
  • Luffy has far more named Devil Fruit attacks than any other Devil Fruit user.
  • Both Gecko Moria and Charlotte Brûlée were able to imitate the usage of the Gomu Gomu no Mi using their Devil Fruits, the Kage Kage no Mi and Mira Mira no Mi respectively.
    • While Brûlée mirrored the techniques herself, Moria used Kage Kakumei to manipulate Oars' shadow to perform the attacks.
    • Other characters have imitated the naming pattern of the fruit's techniques.
      • Oars has used an attack called "Gomu Gomu no Shirimochi" during his fight against the Straw Hats.
      • In the anime, Bentham tried to fool Magellan by using Gomu Gomu no Okama Pistol, Okama Gatling, and Okama Giant Scythe, though he only copy the naming pattern and not the attacks themselves.[29]
  • Gasparde and Charlotte Katakuri both mimicked the Gomu Gomu no Mi's rubbery physiology via their Devil Fruits that allows them to turn their bodies into a substance that possesses elastic properties:
    • Gasparde's Ame Ame no Mi turns his body into candy syrup, that he can stretch forward, and create a slingshot effect with his arms similar to Luffy's "Gomu Gomu no Rocket".[30]
    • Katakuri's Mochi Mochi no Mi turns his body into sticky mochi, which he can stretch forward very much like Luffy's.[31] He can also expand his limbs to mimic the "Gomu Gomu no Elephant Gun".[32] As an added twist, he can generate more limbs out of mochi to mimic the "Gomu Gomu no Hawk Gatling" with more limbs than Luffy, and coupled with his superior speed and strength, all these replicated techniques proved to be more effective than Luffy's.[33]

SBS-Based Trivia

  • One of the fans asked Oda if Luffy's penis could stretch, and Oda answered that it could.[34]
  • One of the fans asked Oda why he gave Luffy rubber powers, and Oda answered that it was because it was the funniest power, explaining that no matter how serious the story in the manga was, the reader would be able to relax and observe with interest what is happening.[35]
    • This question was asked from Oda twice, first in Shonen Jump, and then in SBS.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 1 Chapter 1 (p. 19) and Episode 4, Shanks' crew notices the fruit is gone from the chest.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 1 Chapter 1 (p. 13-15) and Episode 4, Unnoticed, Luffy takes the Gomu Gomu no Mi from the Red Hair Pirates' chest and eats it. In the manga (and some later anime adaptations), the fruit is fully depicted in a sketch by Lucky Roux.
  3. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 1 Chapter 1 (p. 48-50) and Episode 1, Luffy is first seen using the fruit.
  4. 4.0 4.1 SBS One Piece Manga — Vol. 30 (p. 104), the Gomu Gomu no Mi is confirmed to be a Paramecia.
  5. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 1 Chapter 1 (p. 12 & 14) and Episode 4, Luffy eats the fruit without anyone noticing and knowing.
  6. Romance Dawn, Version 2, the Devil Fruit differences in the second version of Romance Dawn. It is also noted that this is a legendary Devil fruit.
  7. Romance Dawn, Version 1, the Gomu Gomu no Mi is shown without any swirls in the first version of Romance Dawn.
  8. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 57 Chapter 557 (p. 16-17) and Episode 465, Luffy remarks that he will survive the massive drop because he's the only one made of rubber.
  9. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 3 Chapter 26 (p. 12-14) and Episode 10, Luffy falls off a cliff after falling asleep from hypnosis, and is unharmed.
  10. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 30 Chapter 279 (p. 14-16) and Episode 182, Enel's lightning attacks have no effect on Luffy's rubber body, and Luffy's attack bypasses Enel's Logia intangibility.
  11. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 3 Chapter 18 and Episode 7, Luffy uses his Scythe technique against Buggy.
  12. SBS One Piece Manga — Vol. 4 (p. 90), fan question: how far can Luffy stretch his arm?
  13. One Piece Manga — Vol. 85 Chapter 850, Luffy pushes the limits of his power trying to escape Big Mom's prisoners book.
  14. One Piece Manga — Vol. 78 Chapter 783 (p. 19), Luffy begins activating Gear Fourth.
  15. One Piece Manga — Vol. 78 Chapter 784 (p. 9), Luffy states he developed Gear Fourth on Rusukaina.
  16. Vivre Card - One Piece Visual Dictionary (p. 18) , Lucky Roux's history reveals that he took the Gomu Gomu no Mi from an enemy crew.
  17. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 1 Chapter 1 (p. 19-21) and Episode 4, The Red Hair Pirates are surprised to see Luffy's arm stretch.
  18. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 1 Chapter 1 (p. 25-44) and Episode 4, Trying to attack Higuma and his bandits, Luffy is swiftly beaten, and afterwards almost drowned and attacked by the Lord of the Coast.
  19. One Piece Manga — Vol. 1 Chapter 1 (p. 49-51), Luffy defeats the Lord of the Coast with his first-ever named attack, the Gomu Gomu no Pistol.
  20. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 79 Chapter 786 (p. 8) and Episode 728, Burgess plans to kill Luffy for the Gomu Gomu no Mi.
  21. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 79 Chapter 786 (p. 16-17) and Episode 729, Burgess tries to kill Luffy, but is stopped by Sabo.
  22. SBS One Piece Manga — Vol. 65 (p. 46), Oda explains to a reader why Luffy was given a fruit as "weak" as the Gomu Gomu no Mi.
  23. One Piece Manga, One ShotRomance Dawn, Version 1, the first version of the Gomu Gomu no Mi.
  24. One Piece Manga, One ShotRomance Dawn, Version 2, the second version of the Gomu Gomu no Mi.
  25. Interview with website Manga Heaven, December 2007. Retrieved here, translated here. Note that "Gomu no Mi" is not known to be the name of any fruit in colloquial Japanese; on the other hand, real-life rubber trees do produce distinctive (if generally inedible) fruit.
  26. One Piece Anime — Episode 4.
  27. One Piece Manga — Vol. 1 Chapter 2 (p. 23).
  28. One Piece Manga — Vol. 3 Chapter 22 (p. 11).
  29. One Piece Anime — Episode 435.
  30. One Piece Movie 4, Gasparde using his syrup body to mimic Luffy's rubber powers.
  31. One Piece Manga — Vol. 87 Chapter 877 (p. 10-11), Katakuri stretching his arm like Luffy's, and Carrot notes their similarities.
  32. One Piece Manga — Vol. 87 Chapter 879 (p. 15-17), Katakuri imitates Gomu Gomu no Elephant Gun.
  33. One Piece Manga — Vol. 87 Chapter 879 (p. 11-13), Katakuri imitates Gomu Gomu no Hawk Gatling.
  34. SBS One Piece Manga — Vol. 8 (p. 44), Oda confirms that Luffy's penis can stretch.
  35. SBS One Piece Manga — Vol. 65 (p. 46), Oda explains why he gave Luffy rubber powers.

External Links

  • Rubber – Wikipedia article about rubber
  • Yubari King – Wikipedia article about the actual fruit the Devil Fruit is apparently shaped after
  • Rubber Man - TV tropes wiki article on the rubber super power trope
  • Firearm – Wikipedia article about firearms in general for which a majority of Luffy's Devil Fruit techniques are named after
  • Blood Doping – Wikipedia article on the process Gear Second utilizes
  • Ruffys Attacken - German One Piece Encyclopedia article listing Luffy's attacks

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