Appearance and Design
The craft is small—able to fit about three average-sized humans at most—and mostly black, with its figurehead shaped after an open-mouthed crow. It contains a small helm to steer with, and a single wicker seat for the driver. In its center is an ersatz mast, which holds a parasol instead of sails.
For propulsion, it uses two Breath Dial "engines" positioned on either side of its rudder; these are activated by a foot-pedal beneath the helm. Should manual propulsion be necessary, it is also equipped with a set of oars.
The Karasumaru was Conis' main form of transportation before she mastered waver-riding. She lent it to Luffy, Sanji, and Usopp after Enel's forces abducted the Going Merry—and the other Straw Hat Pirates—to Upper Yard.
Despite its small size, sluggish speed, and lack of armaments, the Karasumaru survived Upper Yard's many deathtraps. It then entered the Illusion Forest, domain of the priest Satori; as part of his Ordeal of Balls, Satori knocked all three Straw Hats overboard and set the craft on automatic propulsion, threatening to permanently strand them in the forest. After a long, tiring battle, the trio defeated him and regained control of the craft.
After the Straw Hats reunited on Upper Yard, the Karasumaru was tethered to the Merry, presumably to be returned to Conis. Though Conis was never actually shown retrieving it, it was no longer tethered by the time the Merry was ready to leave Skypiea.
Translation and Dub Issues
As "maru" is also commonly found in pet-names, several fan translations interpret Karasumaru as "Little Crow". In contrast, the Viz manga romanizes the name literally, while the Funimation anime refers to it as simply "the Crow".
- The single "feather" sticking up from the crow's-head is likely a play on "ahoge" (アホ毛?), a slang term for exaggerated cowlicks that (particularly in anime and manga) signify stupid or eccentric characters. The "aho" (アホ?) component, a common Kansai term for "idiot", is also a common Japanese onomatopoeia for a crow's call.
- Gondola – Wikipedia article about gondolas in general, the type of vehicle the Karasumaru is based on.