Busoshoku Haki is a form of Haki that allows the user to use their own spiritual energy to create, in essence, an invisible armor around themself, providing incredible offensive and defensive capabilities.
Later, on Sabaody Archipelago, Sentomaru used a Haki-imbued attack against Luffy, which made the Straw Hats think he was a Devil Fruit user due to their lack of knowledge about the ability. Afterwards, Rayleigh used Haki to stop Kizaru and even touched his Logia body.
It was shown that Haki is very common in the New World, unlike in Paradise where Haki users are fairly rare and almost nobody knows about it. It is later explained by Rayleigh once he begins training Luffy.
Busoshoku Haki Users
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This type of Haki grants its user augmentation of their body via their own spiritual energy, allowing them to access to a great increase of power and endurance. Because of this, this form of Haki is the most used in combat. This Haki is often referred to as an "invisible armor".
There is a degree of ambiguity around the nature of basic Busoshoku Haki usage. Hardening was not shown until after the timeskip, and so prior to that, the coating of users' body parts and weapons was completely invisible. Since the timeskip, however, nearly every usage of Busoshoku has explicitly involved visible Hardening, with most of the ambiguous cases being with characters who wear dark clothing or use darkened weapons which make it difficult to tell in the black-and-white manga. Even characters who used invisible Busoshoku before the timeskip have been shown using visible Hardening in the two years following.
As of now, it is still unknown whether there are any functional differences between Busoshoku usages before and after the timeskip beyond the difference in appearance. In general, despite looking different and occasionally having a new degree of activation, the basic techniques of Busoshoku Haki work very much the same way after the timeskip as they did before.
Hardening (硬化 Kōka?) is the most basic application of Busoshoku Haki. The user clads their desired body part with a coating which is mostly black, but can also have shadings of a different color (particularly in the manga); the color varies among users, with Monkey D. Luffy being shown to have a red tint and Charlotte Katakuri having a light blue one.
With Hardening, the affected body part becomes stronger in terms of both offense and defense. Hardening increases one's attack power by a considerable amount, allowing the user's blows to become tremendously destructive and dangerous. Defensively, Hardening serves as an armor which can safeguard the user from a great amount of attacks, particularly ones which are not clad in Haki themselves. For example, Luffy was able to intercept Rebecca's blunt sword with a Haki-covered forehead and shatter it. Users are capable of hardening as much of their body as they wish until they are fully coated; however, more extensive coating will lead to the Haki being depleted faster.
Particularly strong concentrations of Busoshoku in a body part will cause the edges of the coating to take the shape of flames. Luffy, Big Mom, and Katakuri have been shown with flame-shaped Hardening; the necessary process to attain this is currently unknown. Notably, while this shape has only been shown appearing for Luffy and Katakuri when they are performing their strongest attacks, Big Mom generated a flame-shaped coating while casually blocking an attack from Luffy.
Although Hardening is extremely tough, it is not impenetrable, as strong attacks using weaker Busoshoku Haki or even none at all have proven to be able to overwhelm Hardening defenses. Typically, though, if two people with different levels of Busoshoku Haki clash using Haki, the one with the greater degree of Busoshoku will break through the other's defenses and hurt them. Given that it is not invulnerable, Hardening can be strengthened through training and fighting against people with stronger degrees of Busoshoku.
Busoshoku Haki users can also harden any object they touch to imbue it with Busoshoku, thus allowing them to give weapons the same boosts as they do to their own body. Imbued weapons gain a new degree of offensive power, with one example being the Kuja warriors' imbued arrows being able to blast through solid stone. Defensively, imbuing Haki into a weapon prevents it from being damaged as easily and increases its lifespan. Dracule Mihawk, the greatest swordsman in the world, strongly believes in the importance of constantly imbuing one's sword with Busoshoku in order to prevent the blade from chipping.
If a projectile weapon is imbued with Haki, the projectile will remain hardened even after it is launched away from the user's body. This has been shown with arrows, bullets, and even body parts.
The Great Grade Meito Enma is capable of drawing out a wielder's Busoshoku on its own, without needing the wielder to intentionally imbue it. This poses a challenge to the user, who must "tame" the weapon and regulate the amount of Haki it draws to avoid their bodies becoming depleted and weakened.
Sufficiently skilled users of Busoshoku Haki are capable of letting the power flow out from a part of their body (usually their hand) and unleash a small invisible burst which will knock back anything in their body part's immediate vicinity with the force of a very powerful punch. Thus, the user becomes capable of striking and harming people and objects without making physical contact with them. Given Luffy's comments about it in Wano Country, emitting Busoshoku Haki appears to be more powerful than simply using Hardening, which is why he worked to develop this technique after his basic hardened attacks did nothing to Kaidou earlier. On Rusukaina, Silvers Rayleigh was shown being able to repel the leg of a stomping elephant and knock the creature to the ground.
A step above the technique of emitting Busoshoku is using it to destroy objects from the inside, which can be done by touching, grabbing, or even emitting Haki toward the object. Against opponents, this technique wreaks tremendous internal damage and currently is the most destructive known Busoshoku technique. This technique is also useful against objects which cannot easily be broken, as in three separate instances Rayleigh and Luffy were shown using this to rip off exploding collars and cuffs fast enough to throw them aside before they detonated. Luffy was later shown destroying a tree from the inside using emission, in which he caused part of the tree to burst into little pieces just by holding his fist out at it.
So far only Rayleigh and Luffy have explicitly demonstrated internal destruction capabilities.
Interactions with Devil Fruit Users
Busoshoku Haki is capable of bypassing bodily defenses granted by Devil Fruits, such as Logia intangibility or Paramecia bodily modification, allowing the Haki user to land a blow on the Devil Fruit users "substantial body" beneath the Devil Fruit defenses. However, unlike Seastone, Busoshoku Haki does not actually nullify the Devil Fruit power. Instead it "forces the Devil Fruit user's body into solidarity".
Notably, using Busoshoku Haki attacks on an element controlled by a Logia type Devil Fruit user will allow the attack to harm the "substantial body" of the Devil Fruit user, since the element is essentially an extension of their body. However, this will not harm the "substantial body" when used on elements controlled or produced by Paramecia type Devil Fruit users, since the element is not actually part of their body (as demonstrated by Trebol).
Devil Fruit users are capable of using Haki themselves. In fact, Devil Fruit users can use the two abilities together to make one or the other more effective. Busoshoku cannot be used on attacks that are not from one's body except for weapons, but can be used on anything generated by one's Devil Fruit powers (like Kizaru's laser beams or Marco's phoenix flames). Charlotte Katakuri has shown that one does not even need to be in direct contact with said substance to imbue their Busoshoku Haki into it.
Haki's capability to counter Devil Fruit Users extends past Logia types and lets them defend against certain Paramecia effects. However, this is dependant on the strength of the Haki, as Law bypassed Vergo's Haki and bifurcated him easily by using his Devil Fruit technique, although it is unknown if Law used his own Haki to overcome Vergo's Haki.
When two opponents using Busoshoku Haki clash, the one with the stronger Busoshoku Haki is more likely to be victorious. This can make it difficult to overcome an opponent's Haki in a brute force battle. However, superior Busoshoku Haki is not an absolute defense, and can be overcome as long as the other opponent has superior physical strength. Luffy was able to damage Katakuri with Gear Fourth, despite the latter noting that his own Busoshoku Haki was superior.
Significant physical force can also overcome this defense even if it comes from someone that does not know how to use Busoshoku Haki; for example, Luffy, during the Amazon Lily Arc, struck Boa Marigold hard enough with Gear Second techniques that it sent her reeling.
Busoshoku Haki is subjected to depletion if used for long periods of time as it is said to be proportional to the amount of spiritual life force an individual possesses as well as their remaining stamina. After the threshold is reached, the user will be unable to use it for a certain amount of time. It appears that the more Haki is used, the faster it will deplete. The users are unable to use Haki until they regain their stamina to use it again.
Like the other two types of Haki, Busoshoku can occasionally be awakened without training in tense situations, such as when Portgas D. Ace manifested the ability in the heat of his battle with Draw. Unlike Kenbunshoku, in which first-awakened users can be constantly plagued by increased senses, usage of Busoshoku in the heat of the moment is very temporary and the user must learn to awaken it consciously to continue using it. Also similarly to the other Haki types, the best way to train in and develop Busoshoku Haki is in combat; it appears that non-Haki users may suffice at first, but the best way to strengthen Busoshoku is by battling others with stronger Haki.
When Luffy trained to emit Busoshoku from his body, he was instructed to focus on letting the Haki "flow" out of him. Rapid progression of technique during dangerous moments can also occur here, as even before Luffy had managed to consciously begin emitting Haki, his instinct caused him to briefly awaken the ability to destroy objects internally when he and Hyogoro were on the cusp of being killed by death collars. Afterwards, Luffy was shown strengthening and refining his Haki by attacking objects, including a large block of steel, until he could damage them with ease.
- The Kōka in Busōshoku: Kōka can also translate as "vulcanization", which is the process of rubber (or similar substances) being converted into a denser material.
- Busoshoku Haki is the most used type of Haki in the series so far.
- Busoshoku Haki is similar to Tekkai. The difference between them is that Tekkai depends on the user's physical strength, but Busoshoku Haki depends on the user's willpower and life force. Also, while Tekkai is more inclined to defense, with the user usually being immobile while tightening their bodies, Busoshoku Haki does not have such a drawback. On the other hand, overusing Busoshoku Haki consecutively may drain the user for a period of time, a weakness not known to Tekkai.
- In the anime, Busoshoku Haki has more visual effects when used at its fullest than just the black skin. These effects are a red aura (in Luffy's case) a green flame-like aura (in Sai's case), and a steam-like aura (black and purple for Zoro, Fujitora, Sanji, The Marines, purple for Kin'emon; and pink for Kanjuro). Also, when used the cover the whole body, users' Haki gets a purple luster instead of regular gray.
- In the anime, when Luffy realizes the existence of advanced Busoshoku Haki, this is first shown as an aura of blossom-shaped light particles (matching it with its name in Wano). Later, it is shown as a flowing aura with a different color depending on the character (orange for Luffy, pink for Hyogoro, red and yellow for Kawamatsu, red for Oden).
- Jinbe is the first fish-man shown to use Busoshoku Haki.
- Pekoms is the first member of the Mink Tribe shown to use Busoshoku Haki.
- Ryuo shares same pronunciation with the Dragon King (龍王 Ryūō?).
- In the anime, some animals have used Busoshoku Haki, such as Alpacacino and the Kung-Fu Dugong leading the Sea Animal Pirates, though these instances are non-canon.