It was first introduced under the name Mantra when Satori used it to fight Sanji, Luffy, and Usopp as they went through the Ordeal of Balls. Aisa is the only known Shandia who has this ability. It served as a plot point when she helped Luffy locate Enel.
It varied in strength between users, with Enel's seemingly being the strongest. With his Devil Fruit, the Goro Goro no Mi, Enel could pick up electromagnetic waves in the air, allowing him to overhear conversations and everything around him; this extended the range of his Mantra to cover roughly all of Skypiea. By comparison, most of the other priests could only keep track of people nearby.
The first time it was seen being used and referred to as Haki was during Luffy's battle on Amazon Lily with the Boa Sisters. Later, Rayleigh explained Haki to Luffy and confirmed that Mantra and Haki are one and the same, and that "Mantra" is simply the Skypiean name for the ability.
Kenbunshoku Haki UsersEdit
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The usage of this type of Haki grants its user the ability to access a kind of extrasensory perception, granting the user several helpful abilities. These abilities are great assets in most ocassions, especially in combat.
Kenbunshoku Haki, unlike the other types of Haki, has hardly any visible indication when being used in the manga (like the blackening effect of hardening for Busoshoku or the ripple effect for Haoshoku), aside from their enhanced dodge rate. In the anime special Heart of Gold, anime movie One Piece Film: Z and since Whole Cake Island Arc, those who are able to use Kenbunshoku Haki were shown with bright red pupils when sensing incoming attacks, hidden opponents or seeing slightly into the future.
According to Charlotte Katakuri, Kenbunshoku Haki works best if the user is in a calm state.
The most common usage of this Haki allows the user to sense the presence of others. Rayleigh states that to fully master this ability would allow the user to see others, even if they are concealed from view or too far to see naturally.
This type of Haki allows the user to see another person through the aura, be it behind buildings, strategically hidden, or camouflaged, as was shown when Luffy, Sanji, and Zoro detected Psycho P. Given this, Kenbunshoku Haki, depending on the level, can discover who is hidden but still present.
When viewed this way, the user cannot actually see the person or animal with any physical characteristics, but rather recognizes the target(s) by their "aura", which is a mental image of a colored silhouette of them on a dark background, as demonstrated when Usopp sniped Sugar, or how the blind Issho sees the world.
In the unique circumstance of being swallowed by a larger creature and still being alive, the Mantra user will only be able to sense the larger energy signature. This was shown when Enel failed to discern the presence of Luffy inside the giant snake Nola, only detecting him after he escaped, indicating that her 'voice' most likely enveloped their own when he used the ability. Similarly, Aisa could not detect how the battle was progressing with her Mantra while inside Nola and only found out what happened after she and Luffy escaped.
This application of Haki allows the user to measure the strength of the people whose presence they sense. This was first seen when Rayleigh used this Haki to sense that there were 500 creatures on Rusukaina who were stronger than Luffy at that time. Another example is when Koby first met Kyros, he could immediately sense that Kyros was very strong.
This usage of Haki is useful in finding "powerful auras", something Sanji displayed in Zou when he sensed Nekomamushi approaching Bege. Through Strength Sensing, the user can easily locate powerful allies and avoid powerful enemies.
This variation of Kenbunshoku allows the user to sense and empathize with the emotions and nature of others. For example, Otohime used this Haki to sense the sufferings and emotions in the heart of a Fish-Man thief as well as hear the screams coming from Fisher Tiger's heart. Another example is that Aisa was able to sense Wyper's aggressive nature with this Haki. In addition, Issho was able to sense no trace of resentment from the citizens of Dressrosa as they were putting on a facade to help the Straw Hats escape.
However, this ability is not flawless. People with high control over their emotions can somewhat counter this technique. An example of this is Pudding, who was a able to fool a very proficient user of Kenbunshoku Haki like Sanji.
When someone awakens this ability uncousciosly, they hear somehow in their head the thoughts of others in near-death situations, as shown with Coby and Aisa. This can be nearly traumatic in a context of several people dying as they will constantly hear voices in their head without control.
By using this ability, the user can sense the intention of someone, allowing the user predict the actions of others.
This application of Haki is highly helpful in combat, as the user can predict the attacks of their opponent and counter them. The more killing intent the enemy has, the easier their attacks are to predict, although, more skilled users can predict moves whether there is murderous intent or not.
As this ability needs the intent of others to work, unconscious actions cannot be predicted with this technique. Luffy realized this and was able to counter Enel's Haki by delivering attacks at random directions, making him unable to predict them. Another way to counter this ability is by being so fast, the user cannot react in time, even if the Haki user can predict their opponents actions; an example is Luffy, who could hit users of this technique, like Enel by striking at random, or Boa Sandersonia with enough speed.
If trained enough, users of advanced Kenbunshoku Haki (such as Katakuri and Luffy) can see a short period into the future. Instead of just sensing what would happen by intuition, the user of this advanced level of Kenbunshoku Haki can literally see a precise mental image of what will happen in the immediate future. Contrary to basic Haki, there is no need of sensing emotions or intention to use this technique.
The user needs to properly focus in order to use this ability, contrary to basic Kenbunshoku Haki. If the user is not concentrating enough, this power may be unable to see the future. Only another user of Kenbunshoku Haki with a proficient level or a distraction can counter this ability.
Luffy used this ability for the first time unconsciously during his encounter against Mihawk at Marineford, allowing him to foresee and avoid the amputation of both of his arms by the sword of the Shichibukai (Mihawk even pointed that Luffy was being too calm for the time being). Charlotte Katakuri, the strongest Sweet Commander of the Big Mom Pirates, is well known for mastering this technique and a great part of his reputation is thanks to this. The only two people able to evade this technique were Sanji with his speed and his own mastery of Kenbunshoku Haki and Luffy who got to attack Katakuri while he was not focused after his true nature was discovered.
In addition, this Haki has been proven to be an effective countermeasure against Busoshoku Haki for Devil Fruit users whose powers grant shapeshifting abilities, such as Logia's or Special Paramecia's. With Kenbunshoku Haki, they can foresee their opponents' attacks and quickly change the shape of their bodies to avoid contact. Katakuri is a great user of this tactic, as he forms holes in his Mochi body so the attacks pass through empty air without actually touching him, giving the impression that not even Busoshoku Haki works on him, while it actually does not make any contact at all.
Future Vision also has its limitations. Charlotte Katakuri was able to see Sanji dodging another person's gunshot and tried to intervene immediately by attacking Sanji himself. However, he was unable to see the outcome of his own intervention of this event in time, resulting in Sanji surprising him when he dodged his attack as well.
In addition, the user can only interpret the future through their own senses. Katakuri foresaw his sister Pudding crying on the altar, but because he was too far away from her in his vision to hear what had happened, he had no way to know what was about to cause this.
This type of Haki is also known to falter if the user loses their concentration. Satori lost control of his Mantra when Luffy unexpectedly brought the string of exploding balls right to him, enabling Luffy to grab him from behind when the smoke cleared, Gedatsu lost to Chopper because he lost his concentration and his Mantra faltered, and Otohime was killed by a gunshot in the confusion when her petition pages were being burned, as she was caught off guard due to her happiness over everyone signing her petitions, she lost her concentration.
It is revealed that like Busoshoku Haki, Kenbunshoku Haki can be depleted if used too much.
Translation and Dub IssuesEdit
- The concept of Kenbunshoku Haki, known to Skypieans as Mantra, is loosely based on the style of thinking in Hinduism, which goes by the same name.
- Mantra was initially planned to be called "Tazuna".
- In World Seeker, Luffy can use Kenbunshoku Haki to see enemies from behind walls, to slow down time, and to improve his sneaking prowess with stealth attacks.