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The Gomu Gomu no Mi is a Paramecia-type Devil Fruit that gives the user's body the properties of rubber, making the user a Rubber Human (ゴム人間 Gomu Ningen?). It was originally a treasure that Shanks and his crew took from an unspecified enemy, but was accidentally eaten by the series protagonist Monkey D. Luffy. In the second version of Romance Dawn, it originally belonged to Luffy's grandpa who took it from an unspecified enemy.
- "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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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". Attempting to go beyond this length can cause the user to bleed and be at risk of ripping.
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, 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.
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.
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.
Romance Dawn Arc
As Higuma and his gang arrive at a restaurant in Foosha Village, Luffy accidentally and unknowingly eats the Gomu Gomu no Mi. After Shanks' encounter with Higuma, when Luffy attempts to get back at Higuma for attacking Shanks, the latter grabs his arm, only to see it stretch, which surprising everyone in the restaurant, including Shanks' crew. Lucky Roux then shows Luffy the Gomu Gomu no Mi he ate.
Early One Piece
Luffy's stretching powers were a result of Oda's desire for the fighting style to be silly, so that no matter how tense a situation got, the reader could relax without becoming stressed out. Oda originally just called the fruit the 'Gomu Fruit', but his editor pointed out that there is a Rubber fruit, so Oda changed the name.
Oda rewrote several details about the Gomu Gomu no Mi in his early version of One Piece Romance Dawn, Version 1 and Romance Dawn, Version 2. In V.1, the Devil Fruit was the same except the Gomu Gomu no Mi was the fruit of the Gomu Gomu tree which grew once every 50 years and there were no named attacks in V.1. In V.2 the first named attack is given, but rather than saying "Gomu Gomu no..." at the start of all his moves, Luffy simply said "Right hand stopper!". Little detail was given on the Devil Fruit itself in V.2.
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 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".
- 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's first demonstration of his ability and his reason for eating the Devil Fruit differ between the manga and the anime. In the manga, Shanks grabbed Luffy's hand while Luffy was walking away causing his arm to stretch, with Luffy later claiming to have eaten the Fruit thinking it was dessert. In the anime, Shanks witnessed Luffy eating the Devil Fruit out of anger and tried to make him spit it out by grabbing the boy by the ankles and shaking him up and down, which caused Luffy's legs to stretch to the point where his face hit the floor. However, in the Episode of Luffy, the manga version of events is shown.
- 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.
- 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". 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.
- One of the fans asked Oda if Luffy's penis 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 asked from Oda twice, first in Shonen Jump, and then in SBS.
- 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