The Kage Kage no Mi is a Paramecia-type Devil Fruit that gives the user the ability to manifest and control shadows, as a tangible and physical form, making the user a Ruler of Shadows (影の支配者 Kage no Shihaisha?, viz: Master of shadows). It was eaten by the former Shichibukai member, Gecko Moria. The effect of its powers was first noticed on Brook when meeting the Straw Hats.
- "Kage" (影?) means "Shadow" in Japanese.
- In the Viz Manga and FUNimation dub, it is called the Shadow-Shadow Fruit.
The Kage Kage no Mi is a spherical-shaped pure black fruit with a green stem, and like most Devil Fruits, it has swirl patterns all around it. It also has onion like leafs on the side of it.
Strengths and Weaknesses
The first and foremost strength of the fruit, as demonstrated by Moria, is that its user can manifest shadows into a physical and tangible form. The shadow follows the soul of its owner's movements, and cannot be changed from birth to death; this Devil Fruit allows the user to change that absolute rule. With this power, the user can grab hold of their victim's shadow and cut it off of the victim with a pair of scissors as if it were tape. They can then place the shadow into a lifeless corpse in order to create a zombie minion. The size of the shadow itself does not have to be in proportion with the corpse's own in order to revive it, as is seen when Moria reanimated Oars' colossal corpse using Luffy's shadow. The minion that is created retains the mannerisms and abilities of the victim. The minion, however, is only as strong as the body it is composed of. During the Battle of Marineford, Moria demonstrated that the Kage Kage no Mi is especially useful in war-like conditions, where there are plenty of soldiers to steal shadows from and plenty of bodies for easy zombification.
The minion by itself also does not inherit any Devil Fruit powers of the original owner of the shadow. Though the minion does not inherit any Devil Fruit powers, the Kage Kage no Mi user can manipulate the minion's shadow so that its body can simulate the body changing abilities, such as those of some Paramecia Devil Fruits.
As for the original owner of the shadow, they will enter a two day-long coma once their shadow is separated from them. The Devil Fruit user can use this side-effect to their advantage in battle, as the original owner is completely defenseless until they wake up from their coma or are woken up. The original owner of the shadow is forced to remain in darkness, as they will vaporize if hit by sunlight. Being unable to exist in light, the original owner is also unable to cast any sort of reflection and is also unable to be photographed. It is worth noting that while being exposed to daylight after having one's shadows extracted usually means instant death, victims who had their shadows extracted for some time can actually last a little more under the sun than those who have had their shadows taken very recently; during the final battle against Moria, the shadowless Straw Hat members instantly had their upper bodies obliterated while the Rolling Pirates actually lasted a little longer.
The Devil Fruit user also has full control over whether or not the shadows return to their original owners; simply defeating the user, or even killing them, will not return the shadows the user has stolen. The user must willfully say that a shadow should return to its master in order for it to be fully returned. However, this is contradicted by the fact that shadows can be returned to the owners by purifying or destroying the zombies being animated by them.
The user is also able to manifest their own shadow as a semi-liquid physical form. They are then able to control their shadow and make it fight for them in their stead. Their shadow, as a physical manifestation, is a being of strength similar to that of a Logia Devil Fruit user as their shadow, in that state, is impervious to damage. It is also able to change shape and size depending on the user's wishes. The user can also switch places with their shadow in order to get to different places. The moment when the user switches places with their shadow can also be used to dodge attacks, as the shadow is invulnerable to harm.
The most powerful aspect of the fruit is that the user can take the shadows they implanted into their zombie minions and place them into themselves for a power boost. This increase in power can be devastating if the user absorbs enough shadows, and can ultimately cause the user to swell dramatically in size.
While this fruit can have many strengths, it also has many weaknesses.
Since the user normally relies on shadows in order to be able to do anything with their powers, by depriving them of access to shadows, including their own, an opponent can disable the fruit's functionality entirely and render them completely powerless. This was demonstrated when Moria was attacked by Donquixote Doflamingo and was somehow separated from his shadow, thus leaving him defenseless.
Another weakness is that the user does not actually have to give the order for a shadow to be returned to the owner. If a zombie given a shadow from this fruit's power is fed salt, it will cause the shadow to return to its original owner, due to salt being an element of the sea (salt water), which takes away Devil Fruit powers. The amount of salt required to extract a shadow from the zombie is proportional to said zombie's size, as Oars was immune to a salt pellet shot by Usopp, but could have been purified by a large bag of salt shot into his mouth, had it not been for Moria's own shadow protecting him. In particular, a fish-man, especially one who is skilled in manipulating sea water, can become a serious threat to the user. A shadow will also return to its original owner if the corpse housing the shadow is completely destroyed, as when Ryuma was burned to nothing, Brook's shadow was restored. On top of this, Moria cannot simply kill his victims to prevent them from trying to get their shadows back later because their shadows will disappear if they die.
Also, the user can only fully control minions whose shadows come from owners who are relatively weaker than them. Minions with shadows that come from relatively strong owners are harder to control, as demonstrated when Inuppe, who contained Sanji's shadow, fought against the other zombies to protect Nami. Despite this, no matter how strong the shadow is, it will eventually forget its memories of its original owner and obey the user completely. However, there are times when a zombie can become disobedient and even muster at least some of its former humanity from when it was alive, such as when Victoria Cindry could not move and was unable to follow Hogback's orders after Tony Tony Chopper's statement about humanity. There were also cases when a specifically-given order would cause the created zombie to prioritize that order over their loyalty to Moria, as seen when Wild Zombies helped Perona defect from Thriller Bark after she instructed and told them of her plans to leave Moria. Also, the minions can still retain certain mannerisms of the shadow implanted into them even after becoming fully obedient, mostly the annoying ones, such as Lola's attempts to get married, Ryuma's perverseness, John's drinking, Inuppe and Jigoro's constant bickering, and Oars's gullibility. The minions can also be too obedient for their own good; when Hogback was tricked into ordering Inuppe and Jigoro to jump out of the building, they complied without hesitation, instantly taking them out of the battle.
Another notable weakness of the fruit is that the shadows that were freed by the user's powers can be used against them. After a zombie minion is purified, the shadow that is freed can be caught by anyone (since it is still temporarily in a tangible state until properly reunited with its original owner), who can place that shadow into themselves or into an ally. If the person is still conscious, they will gain the abilities of the shadow's original owner and become stronger. More than one shadow also can be placed into them, multiplying their strength by the number of shadows implanted. However, because the shadow that is implanted into a living person is not of the same soul, the shadow will only stay in their body for ten minutes. Afterwards, the shadow will return to its original owner. Also, the number of shadows that can be implanted into a person is somewhat limited by how strong the person's spirit is. If the person's spirit is weak, they will lose consciousness and the effects of the shadows will be wasted. For most regular people, two or three shadows is the limit, but strong willed people can hold more than that and even be transformed into a much stronger form, depending on how many shadows they take in. Monkey D. Luffy, in particular, was able to hold 100 shadows in his body, transforming into the hulk known as Nightmare Luffy. Additionally, the user appears to have no way of keeping track of the shadows that they extract from their victims; when Luffy, in Nightmare mode, came out to confront Moria, the Shichibukai actually thought that Luffy's new form was a result of shape-shifting powers, not realizing his part that led to Luffy becoming that strong until much later.
Also, if the user is using other shadows to empower themselves, then hitting them with enough force or pressure can cause the shadows to escape through the mouth and back to the original owners. This was demonstrated when Moria was crushed underneath his own mansion and when he was hit with Luffy's Gomu Gomu no Mi Gigant Jet Shell or Jinbei's Samegawa Seiken. The user can partially prevent this by covering their mouths with their hands, but this is only a temporary solution.
Because the power heavily relies on the power of others, this can cause the user to weaken over time because they rely too much their subordinates to fight, making the user lazy; Moria claimed that he would become the Pirate King simply through the use of his zombie army, and the high-ranking World Government member(s) later decided that he was too weak to continue being a Shichibukai and sent Doflamingo to eliminate him.
Also, while Doppelman automatically protects the user from attacks, it can be tricked and cannot react to an ambush or surprise attack.
Other than that, the user is affected by the standard Devil Fruit weaknesses.
The fruit's bestowed powers, as used by Moria, have been used mostly to create a large number of zombies in Thriller Bark. With it, he has been able to steal various shadows from various people who unfortunately stumble across his island. With the help of Hogback's surgical ability to create all sorts of creatures, and a large freezer filled with tons of corpses, Moria has been able to create a large army of the dead.
Moria can also use his powers in battle in a manner suiting his personal motto by manifesting his shadow into a dark, semi-liquid silhouette figure resembling himself. This being is impervious to conventional attacks and can split itself into smaller bat-like shapes. Generally, Moria mostly uses his shadow to both attack enemies and protect himself without personally doing anything.
Moria can also switch places with his own shadow in order to travel long distances or escape from enemy attacks. Since his zombie minions do not inherit Devil Fruit abilities from the shadows animating them, Moria can also aid his zombie minions in the execution of some of their techniques by implanting his shadow into theirs.
Moria's greatest ability, however, revolves around empowering himself with the shadows he uses to animate his zombie minions, absorbing both power and skill, by assimilating them into his own body. A person that had a shadow infused into them would also experience similar effects (an initial side-effect is an area around their eyes darkening in color), and the more shadows they absorb, the more power they amass; however, the number of shadows that they can take in at any given time all depends on their willpower. If a person absorbs more than one shadow at once, their bodies will change in appearance. This often causes them to grow in size to enormous proportions, as was in the case of Luffy in his Nightmare Form and Moria after using Shadow's Asgard.
- Doppelman (
影法師Dopperuman?, literally meaning "Silhouette"): The name of the dark silhouette that Moria makes using his own shadow. He does this by using his powers of the Devil Fruit in his own shadow, causing him to rise from any surface on which he is being shaped by his body and into a three-dimensional moving state. Moria usually has this fight as "clone of shadows". Being immortal, able to instantly regenerate, and take on different forms, Doppelman is the best shield against most attacks. This was first seen being used against Luffy. The name comes from "Doppelgänger", a tangible double of a living person that typically represents evil. The literal kanji reading would be kageboushi, the Japanese translation for silhouette.
- Kage Giri (影切り Kage Giri?, literally meaning "Shadow Cutter"): This technique is how Moria extract shadows. Moria pulls the victim's shadow from the ground like tape once a light source causes them to cast a shadow. Then, he cuts them with his scissors. Now with this new shadow, Moria can use it in a variety of ways such as implant into a zombie corpse to make a new zombie soldier or implant in himself into order to get stronger. The victim will slip into a coma shortly afterward. The victim will no longer be able to cast a shadow. Plus, without a shadow, the user cannot step out into the sunlight as they will be vaporized by the sun. The effects of this technique were first seen on Brook, but the actual method was first seen when Moria stole Luffy's shadow. This technique was first named in One Piece: Burning Blood.
- Kagemusha (影武者 Kagemusha?, literally meaning "Shadow Warrior"): Moria can swap places with Doppelman at any time, allowing Moria to practice a form of teleportation of sorts, making it very hard to hit him. This was properly shown and explained when Nico Robin attempted to snap his neck with four gigantic arms. This technique's name comes from the term used in Japanese to refer to an impersonator. In the FUNimation Dub, this is called Shadow Warrior.
- Brick Bat (
欠片蝙蝠Burikku Batto?, literally meaning "Fragment Bats"): Moria transforms Doppelman into a myriad of ball, which turn into a swarm of bats that can attack an opponent. Because the bats are so small, numerous, and immortal, this attack is very difficult to counter or avoid, and the constant annoyance can make opponents get fatigued quickly. After being used, the bats can merge to reform Doppelman. This was first seen being used against Luffy.The name may be a pun on the word "brickbat" which designates a brick used as a weapon. This attack retains its original name in the FUNimation dub. The literal kanji reading is Kakera Koumori.
- Kage Kakumei (影革命 Kage Kakumei?, literally meaning "Shadow Revolution"): Moria implants his shadow into that of his target; with his shadow inside theirs, he can manipulate the shape of the target's shadow, and when the shadow's shape is changed, the target's body will be changed too. This is first seen being used on Oars. Moria can do this because of the general rule about shadows; a shadow will always comply with the body casting it, and because of that, the shadow and the body are always the same shape. By changing the shape of the body's shadow with Moria's powers, the body is forced to match the shape of the shadow. In effect, it is the reverse of a shadow changing shape to match with the body casting it because it is the body that is now transforming to match the shape of the shadow it is casting. Following the same rule, Moria can implant its shadow in the shadow of an object and distort its form freely. In the Viz Manga and Funimation Dub, this is called Shadow Revolution.
- Oars Ball (オーズ・ボール Ōzu Bōru?): Using Kage Kakumei on Oars' shadow, Moria changes Oars into a gigantic ball to crush his opponents. This was first seen being used against the Straw Hats and Brook; however, the attack's power was not shown because Oars asked Moria to finish the Straw Hats himself.
- Shadow's Asgard (
影の集合地Shadōzu Asugarudo?, literally translated as "Territory of Gathered Shadows"): A supplementary, but powerful technique where Moria empowers himself with the shadows he has stolen by absorbing them. In doing so, his size and physical strength are increased in proportion to the amount of shadows he has absorbed. On Thriller Bark, he accomplished this by using his own shadow to impale and remove the shadows of his zombie minions, absorbing 1,000 shadows into himself. The large number of shadows increased his proportions to rival that of Oars, and gave him physical strength sufficient to split Thriller Bark in half with a single attack. In this form, Moria's neck bloated to extreme proportions, similar to how a gecko puffs up its throat when threatened. His horns also became longer, and his hair became spiky. His arms also became very huge. while his legs became longer compared to their original stubby appearance. Because of his body proportions in this form, Moria was forced to walk on all fours. When used against Jinbe, Moria took in a much smaller amount of shadows (around a dozen at most), which merely doubled his height without much change in his proportions or appearance. The drawback to this technique is that Moria gains size at the cost of speed; when used against Luffy, he was practically unable to land a hit while Luffy was in Gear Second. In addition to losing speed, Moria has trouble controlling large amounts of shadows inside his own body, and is prone to regurgitate them in small amounts if struck hard enough. This decreases his overall power, as the shadows return to their original owners when liberated. Zoro notes that this technique is more of a desperate last resort than a trump card. In the anime, he has a green aura while absorbing the shadows, and his voice is deepened and distorted. This technique's name comes from Asgard, the Norse mythological city of the gods. This attack retains its original name in the Viz Manga and FUNimation dub. The kanji's literal reading would be Kage no Shuugouchi.
- Black Box (
影箱Burakku Bokkusu?, literally meaning "Shadow Box") : While in his form upgraded by Shadow's Asgard, Moria turns his shadow, made even larger by his now-colossal form, into several Brick Bats, which he has transform and completely encase an opponent in a black box made out of solidified shadows. With his opponent encased in the box, Moria repeatedly smashes them with either his hands or feet. This was first seen being used against Luffy while in Gear Second. The literal kanji reading is Kagehako.
- Black Box (
- Tsuno-Tokage (角刀影 Tsuno-Tokage?, literally meaning "Horn Blade Shadow"): Gathering his shadow(s) together, Moria shoots out a large shadow spear at an opponent; the tip of this spear resembles a horned lizard. This was first seen being used against Little Oars Jr.. The name of the technique is a pun, being homophonous with "tsunotokage" (角蜥蜴?), the Japanese name for the aforementioned lizard. In the Viz Manga and FUNimation subs, this is called Spiky Shadow Lizard.
- Further information: Nightmare Luffy
The fruit's powers have also been used outside of Moria's own will by some of Moria's victims, who learned how to harness the fruit's ability to make shadows tangible for their own benefit against Moria himself. Over the years, while trying desperately to recover their own shadows, they learned that they could capture shadows that had been purified from Moria's zombie minions and put the captured shadows into themselves to gain the abilities of the shadow for a short period of time. Using this knowledge, they imbued Luffy with a hundred shadows and turn him into Nightmare Luffy.
Nightmare Luffy (ナイトメア•ルフィ Naitomea Rūfi?) was Luffy's form after he was greatly powered up by one hundred shadows implanted into him. With Luffy's strong spirit, he managed to contain one hundred shadows within him when most normal people could only contain two or three. In this form, Luffy was several times bigger than his normal self, and his skin turned completely blue. He was roughly the same size as Moria, and his body was similar to Chopper in Heavy Point. Luffy also talked differently, losing his usual carefree tone and instead speaking with a grim seriousness.
Abilities and Powers
- Further information: Gomu Gomu no Mi/Techniques
As Luffy possesses the Gomu Gomu no Mi, he is rubber and can stretch his fists to increase his range and attack momentum. Being further augmented by the 100 shadows, all of his normal techniques are further increased in power, enough to topple even Oars.
While in this form, Luffy could use the combined strength and skills of the shadows within him. With this strength, Luffy stopped a giant Gomu Gomu no Rifle attack delivered by Oars with one hand and unleashed massive attacks onto the zombie behemoth. He could also move at incredible speeds, having safely rescued Nami and Usopp from a rampaging Oars, which was only made clear when Luffy made his presence known. Because one of the shadows belonged to a swordsman, Luffy also gained the ability to fight with swords, something he never knew before.
- Gomu Gomu no Pistol (ゴムゴムの
銃Gomu Gomu no Pisutoru?, literally meaning "Rubber Rubber Pistol"): Luffy's signature attack, a straightforward punch augmented by his elasticity stretching powers. As Nightmare Luffy, its strength is further augmented. This was first used against Oars. In the game Unlimited Cruise, Nightmare Luffy adds momentum to this attack by spinning his arm around before "firing" the fist.
- Gomu Gomu no Storm (ゴムゴムの
暴風雨Gomu Gomu no Sutōmu?, literally meaning "Rubber Rubber Storm"): One of Luffy's more powerful attacks; after inflating himself and twisting his body, Luffy uses the momentum of untwisting and exhaling to release a massive barrage of fists upwards. As Nightmare Luffy, he uses an alternate version of this technique by instead shooting himself sideways and hitting his opponent with a barrage of fists, all of which are far more powerful than his normal form. This was first used against Oars.
Early Concepts and Other Media
Early jokes of Nightmare Luffy were revealed in One Piece Green: Secret Pieces. One of them was a "polite and serious" Luffy, while another somewhat resembled Freddy Krueger from the "Nightmare on Elm Street" franchise. None of them seem to be as bulky looking as the final version.
In the game Unlimited Cruise, Luffy, in this form, has also displayed other abilities to compliment those seen from both anime and manga. Such abilities include being able to breathe three fireballs horizontally after drinking some liquid from a calabash and shooting out multiple flaming arrows at a considerable range with a longbow. The game also made more elaboration on the skills he demonstrated in the manga and anime, such as using a nodachi by jumping up and slashing downwards at his opponents, and his high-speed movements are similar to Soru. His Gomu Gomu no Pistol involves spinning his fist in a circle before launching it to increase momentum, and his Gomu Gomu no Storm has him jumping upwards while inhaling and twisting before launching the barrage downwards.
In the game Gigant Battle, Nightmare Luffy appears as a support character. He will appear when the main player calls on him to attack, and then leaves. However, if the main fighter is Luffy, then he will instead transform into Nightmare Luffy to attack before returning to normal.
- Of all the Devil Fruits whose user receives a descriptive classification, the Kage Kage no Mi is the only fruit whose user is not classified as some sort of human (e.g. Mole Human, Magma Human), in this case a "Shadow Human", instead being referred to as a "Ruler of Shadows".
- The way a zombie is purified by making them eat salt to negate the Kage Kage no Mi's powers resembles a common belief in most occult practices. The belief is that one can purify an evil spirit, like a zombie, by surrounding them with salt or making them eat salt, which is believed to have holy properties.
- Although Moria's victims vaporize when they lose their shadow and are exposed to sunlight, Moria can detach his shadow in the sun, along with many other additional properties, being the owner of the fruit.
- The way Moria produces shadows from his victims, by cutting them off like pieces of clothing from their feet, resembles Peter Pan's own cloth-like shadow.
- In the anime, a shadow zombie will share the same seiyu and dub voice actor as the shadow's previous owner. For example, Oars sounds like Luffy. In the manga, it is stated that the shadow gets a new voice as well as a new body.
- The Kage Kage no Mi is one of three known devil fruits that can create a race, in this case Zombies. The others are the Hobi Hobi no Mi with Toys, and the Soru Soru no Mi with Homies.
- Shadow – Wikipedia article about shadows.
- Shadow play – Wikipedia article about shadow puppetry.
- Kagemusha – Wikipedia article about a Japanese movie which gives the basic idea of the term Moria's technique is based after.
- Asgard – Wikipedia article about the mythological city Moria's technique is named after.
- Peter Pan – Wikipedia article about the story with the concept of a detachable cloth-like shadow.
- Doppelgänger – Wikipedia article about the source of the name of Moria's Doppelman.
- Doppelgänger - Monstropedia article about the source of the name of Moria's Doppelman.