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The Gomu Gomu no Mi, originally known as the Hito Hito no Mi, Model: Nika, is a Mythical Zoan-type Devil Fruit that allows the user to transform into the legendary "Sun God" Nika and gain his attributes, namely a body with the properties of rubber. The World Government renamed it in an effort to erase the fruit's original name from history, and as a result it was reclassified as a Paramecia-type fruit that ostensibly turns the user into a Rubber Human (ゴム人間 Gomu Ningen?).
The fruit was originally a treasure sought by the World Government for over 800 years, until it was stolen by Shanks and his crew in recent history. It was then accidentally eaten twelve years ago by the series' protagonist, Monkey D. Luffy.
- Gomu (ゴム?) means "rubber" in Japanese, being borrowed from the Dutch word gom ("gum").
- Hito (人?) is Japanese for "person/human (being)".
- 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, and its original name is called the Human-Human Fruit, Model: Nika.
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.
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.
Strengths and Weaknesses
The fruit's major strength, as demonstrated by Luffy, is that the user's body permanently adopts the properties of rubber: their body can stretch, bend, bounce, inflate, and twist like said substance, even when the user himself is nullified.
Unlike most other Devil Fruits, the effects of the Gomu Gomu no Mi are always active, making the user's body permanently rubbery. The user becomes almost completely immune to blunt damage, including hand-to-hand combat, blunt weapons, bullets, and even cannonballs, all of which will just bounce off from his skin. Situations like falls from great heights and heavy collisions that would kill a normal person end up not being lethal or even painful, and certain traps and hazards are rendered ineffective considering the user's enhanced flexibility.
The fruit enables all parts of the consumer's body to behave like rubber, including organs, meaning that certain actions that otherwise would be impossible to do with a normal human body, such as pumping one's own blood or bones with air, can be achieved through this ability for extra speed or power. 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, and Zeus. This immunity to electricity allows the user of the Gomu Gomu no Mi to hit the user of the Goro Goro no Mi (an electricity Logia) without needing Haki. Those same properties may also grant some resistance towards underwater pressure, letting the user fight while surrounded by a deep underwater environment despite the usual Devil Fruit weakness.
The user's ability to stretch and twist like rubber to extreme lengths not only makes them immune to injuries that originate from such, but it also grants them the skill to rebound from hard surfaces or reach people that are far away from their position. For offense, stretching 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 be used to store potential energy like a stretched spring, increasing the velocity by stretching their arm back, resulting in increased power.
Luffy has 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 the user the option of several jumping and airborne attacks that would have been disadvantageous to most other people.
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.
Once the fruit is awakened, the user undergoes a drastic transformation. Their hair becomes fiery and white, their eyes become more manic-like, and they gain a strange wisp around their body. They also gain the ability to freely alter their physique however they desire, being able to inflate their muscles without the need to blow air into them. In addition, they can alter the environment around them in a similar way, such as using the ground to deflect oncoming attacks. This also extends to living beings, as Luffy can manipulate flesh as if it were rubbery. Similar to previous developments of him using the fruit, Luffy dubs his awakening "Gear 5". Kaidou likens the awakening of the Gomu Gomu no Mi to being like a Paramecia's awakening while simultaneously displaying a Zoan's ability to transform.
According to the Five Elders, the fruit had not been awakened for centuries prior to Luffy's having done so. They consider that preventing the fruit from awakening might be worth incurring the wrath of Kaidou, one of the Four Emperors, suggesting that they greatly fear the fruit's power.
Despite all the great advantages the user gets by using his fruit, there are a number of weaknesses. One major risk of the user's powers is that their stretched limbs take a moment to unstretch back into place, leaving them vulnerable to attacks in the moments when their limbs are stretched, as Buggy and Kuro both took advantage of early on in the series. Luffy, however, has adapted his fighting style to minimize this risk.
Initially, the user's body was similar to a rubber band, requiring him to use excessive motion to "throw" an attack. After the timeskip though, the extra movement became unnecessary, and Luffy is able to stretch easily. Additionally, rubber has a maximum limit to how far it can stretch; in the first SBS, Oda stated that the user's maximum stretching distance is "72 Gomu Gomus". Attempting to go beyond this length can cause the user to bleed and be at risk of ripping.
While the user is normally highly resistant to blunt attacks, things like like Fish-Man Karate and Seastone, are able to bypass this durability. It's worth noting that while contact with water and Seastone drains the user of their energy and nullify his rubber-like ability to absorb blunt attacks (as with Smoker's jutte), their actual body still maintains its rubber-like make, allowing a third party to stretch his body for them.
Just like other Devil Fruit users, the user is also susceptible to Busoshoku Haki. However, the usage of Haki only nullifies the user's ability to absorb blunt attacks; it does not revert the user'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 shortcoming 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. However, this weakness is negated by Gear 4, which harmonizes Luffy's rubbery body with his Haki, making him similar to an "iron balloon".
Coming into contact with a user of the Yami Yami no Mi, which has the power to completely nullify all other Devil Fruit powers, flat out disables a Gomu Gomu no Mi's rubbery defense. This was shown when Blackbeard simply grabbed Luffy with his hand and then tossed him into the ground, causing him to bleed.
The biggest weakness that Gomu Gomu no Mi users possess by far is their susceptibility to cutting attacks and bladed weapons. By his own admission against Enel (much to Nami's annoyance) and as evidenced against Cracker, Katakuri and Kaidou, it has been consistently portrayed that Luffy has a vulnerability to cutting attacks. It should be noted however that this does not mean that Gomu Gomu no Mi users are more weak to these things than the average person (and in fact, Luffy is fairly durable even against bladed attacks). However, the Gomu Gomu no Mi's effectiveness against blunt attacks simply does not apply to cutting attacks (even when coated by Haki), allowing them to deal critical damage to Luffy.
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 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 2" and "Gear 3" 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 4".
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 has no problem letting other people play with his stretching body, which people tend to take advantage of.
According to the Five Elders, the World Government has attempted to obtain the Hito Hito no Mi, Model: Nika for 800 years and never succeeded. The Elders theorize that this may be due to the will of the fruit itself. At some point, the government changed the name of the fruit to "Gomu Gomu no Mi" and reclassified it as a Paramecia in order to conceal its true nature.
At some point, the government finally managed to obtain the fruit through unknown means. It was placed on a government ship being guarded by Who's-Who, an agent of CP9, but was then stolen by Lucky Roux of the Red Hair Pirates ten years before the main storyline. Who's-Who's failure to protect the fruit directly led to his dismissal from CP9 and eventual imprisonment.
East Blue Saga
Romance Dawn Arc
During their time in the friendly port of Foosha Village, the Red Hair Pirates kept the fruit in a small chest which Roux carried around with him. Then one day, while they were celebrating at Partys Bar, a young boy who admired the crew named Monkey D. Luffy unwittingly ate the fruit as dessert for his meal, thus gaining a rubbery physique but also losing the ability to swim forever.
Although Shanks and his crew were aghast to discover that Luffy had eaten the fruit, it remains unclear if they were aware of its true name or power.
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. As such, the Gomu Gomu no Mi is one of the few elements apart from Luffy himself to appear 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.
- 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. Like in the final version of the One Piece manga, the fruit was first taken from an enemy.
Anime and Manga Differences
In the manga, Luffy ate the fruit—unnoticed—while Higuma and his gang began accosting the Red Hair Pirates, and its ability was first demonstrated when Luffy tried to leave Partys Bar with Shanks holding onto his arm, causing his entire arm to stretch. The anime's adaptation of these events depicts Luffy eating the fruit out of anger directly stemming from Shanks' blithe attitude toward the bandits; in addition, Shanks notices almost immediately, and even heaves Luffy upside-down in an effort to dislodge it, resulting in Luffy's legs stretching as the first demonstration of the power.
Translation and Dub Issues
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 languages 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".
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. To date, whether this origin actually applies to One Piece proper has been neither proven nor disproven in-story.
Spelling of Gears
In Japanese, the Gears are spelled with Arabic numerals with furigana over them. The furigana indicates that the number is to be pronounced as an ordinal number (second, third, fourth, fifth) rather than a cardinal number (two, three, four, five). Thus, Gear 2 is pronounced as "Gear Second" and so on. Oda has romanized the names of both Gear 4 and Gear 5 in English, which show that the number is intended to be written as a numeral rather than as the written pronunciation.
Viz and the Funimation subs have elected to refer to the Gears using written out cardinal numbers (e.g. "Gear Two") even though it is not pronounced this way in Japanese. The Funimation dub keeps the ordinal pronunciations, but switches the word order to put the number first (e.g. "Second Gear"). While this is obviously a deviation from the Japanese, it does make more grammatical sense in English and also aligns with the terms for gears in an automobile.
- 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—specifically, the first Paramecia-type—depicted in the series.
- Upon its reveal to be a Mythical Zoan Devil Fruit, this also makes it the first Zoan fruit to have been depicted in the series.
- Luffy has far more named Devil Fruit attacks than any other Devil Fruit user.
- In Romance Dawn, Version 2, the Gomu Gomu no Mi was estimated by Luffy's grandfather to be worth 5.000.000.000.
- 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.
- 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".
- Katakuri's Mochi Mochi no Mi turns his body into sticky mochi, which he can stretch forward very much like Luffy's. He can also expand his limbs to mimic the "Gomu Gomu no Elephant Gun".
- This is so far the only Devil Fruit to go by two different names and have two different classifications.
- In One Piece mythology, Nika is regarded as a god who would free slaves and captives from bondage. Luffy has fulfilled this role on a large scale three times: first when he freed slaves from the Human Auctioning House on Sabaody Archipelago, then when he unwittingly instigated a mass breakout from the great prison Impel Down, then finally when he engineered a revolt at the Prisoner Mine in Wano Country. Additionally, he has performed numerous other smaller-scale rescues as well as liberated entire nations from despotic rulers and usurpers—namely Shells Town, Orange Town, the Conomi Islands, Drum Island, Arabasta Kingdom, Skypiea, Fish-Man Island, and Dressrosa—and is currently fighting for the liberation of Wano.
- Most of the Gomu Gomu no Mi techniques & traits, especially the Gear 3, 4 and 5, are most likely based on classic American animation, such as rubber hose animation, cartoon logic and effects, as well the user of the supernatural mask from The Mask.
- One of the fans asked Oda if Luffy's genitalia could stretch, and Oda answered that it could.
- 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.
- This question was answered by Oda twice, first in Shonen Jump, and then in SBS.
- Rubber Mimicry – Superpower Wiki article about the fruits' main power
- 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 superpower 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 2 utilizes
- Ruffys Attacken - German One Piece Encyclopedia article listing Luffy's attacks