- Ryū (竜?) is Japanese for "dragon" and contained in the Japanese word for "pterosaur", yokuryū (翼竜?).
Strengths and Weaknesses
A user of this fruit's power can turn into a pteranodon: a large, flight-capable, predatory reptile from prehistory. Once transformed, they become able to fly at tremendous speed, covering large distances rapidly, and enjoy a significant boost to their overall physical abilities, as typical for a carnivorous Ancient Zoan user. Additionally, the full Beast Form as displayed by King is notably large, several times bigger than an average-sized human (though it is worth noting that King is already much larger than normal people in his normal form).
Like other Ryu Ryu no Mi models, the pteranodon Zoan grants the user a tough, dragon-esque hide that significantly increases their durability to a level above regular Zoans. As for offense, the great (flying) speed, strength, and size conferred by the transformation allows the user to violently push back and cause notable damage to whatever they fly into headfirst, be it a person or massive structure (e.g., a large ship). The user's pteranodon beak is long, sturdy, and an effective pointed weapon, allowing King to affix himself to smaller targets and then divebomb into structures in order to tear them apart.
Moreover, the user is given the supposedly natural ability of using their pteranodon head like a slingshot of sorts: pulling their beak back into their face by pulling on their head crest, then releasing their grip to shoot out their head like a bullet, piercing whatever they aim at with incredible force. According to King, this conforms with how pteranodons used to hunt their prey in ancient times. Aside from their head and beak, the user's wings can make potent weapons as well given their sturdiness, able to generate cutting winds or clash against swords as if they were blades themselves.
No weaknesses are known of this ability beside those that are standard for Devil Fruits.
King uses his ability primarily for physical—especially aerial—combat, with his ability to fly being highly advantageous for travel purposes, especially over the sea. King has proven able to soar at tremendous speeds, in the anime overtaking Sanji in a high-speed aerial chase while the latter was donning his Raid Suit.
In his full pteranodon form, King can fly into objects with immense speed and force, potentially damaging them greatly in the process. When flying into the Queen Mama Chanter, such midair collision (with a flaming kick in the anime) knocked the enormous ship back with enough force to throw off Big Mom herself. Later, King presented a danger to a Raid Suit-wearing Sanji by diving into him with his strong, pointed beak, challenging said suit's defenses to the point that King claimed he would split his foe in half upon impact (something he ultimately failed at due to the suit proving too durable). In addition to this, King's head too can function as a weapon: pulling back at his head crest allows King to shoot out his head like an extremely fast, oversized bullet, which King has noted is how the pteranodons of the ancient past used to hunt their prey.
When he is in his Human-Beast Form, King can use his pteranodon wing-arms like swords, allowing him to release powerful air blades by swinging them. These slash attacks can deal massive damage to whatever they hit, and he can launch them in rapid succession. In general, King's wings are shown to be strong enough to clash with and even overpower Meito being wielded by a master swordsman, and through built-up momentum via flight, the All-Star can use said appendages to push foes away with great force. Moreover, for defense, King can use his durable wings as a shield; doing so, he was able to withstand staying amid a powerful whirlwind of slashes without receiving any scratches.
Otherwise, as a lunarian, King can combine his transformation with his ability to produce fire; he has been seen attacking with what seemed to be multiple flame projectiles shot from his wings, almost resembling a living fighter aircraft.
- Tankyudon (
丹弓皇Tankyūdon?, meaning "Vermilion Bow Emperor"): A melee attack where King, at a low altitude, flies toward his opponent in his Human-Beast Form and then, with the gained momentum, hits said opponent with a sweeping strike of his pteranodon wing. When used against Roronoa Zoro, the attack overpowered the latter's Ul-Tora Gari technique before blowing the swordsman back with tremendous force, making him bust right through the Skull Dome's outer wall. The name of the attack may be a pun on "tanuki udon" (たぬきうどん tanuki udon?). In the Viz translation, the technique is called Imperial Archer.
- Tempuraudon (
貂自尊皇Tenpuraudon?, meaning "Proud Marten Emperor"): A powerful melee attack used by King in his full pteranodon form. He pulls back on his head crest with one arm, stretching his face flat and causing his beak to retract into his face. He then lets go of the crest so that his head flings forward at extreme speed like a slingshot (similar to Luffy's Gomu Gomu No Kane), over a distance several times the length of King's body in order to strike his opponent with massive force, using his beak to pierce them. When King first performed this attack against Zoro, the swordsman was hardly able to dodge the attack and unable to block, comparing it to a "beam". The second time King used Tempuraudon against Zoro, the move destroyed significant parts of Onigashima's shoreline rocks. In both instances when King was seen performing this technique, he had first turned off the flame on his back, hence increasing his attacking speed. The name of the attack is a pun on "tempura udon". In the Viz translation, the technique is called Imperial Deep Pride Stake, as a pun on "deep-fried steak" (tempura being itself a deep-fried dish).
- Barizodon (
刃裏双皇Barizōdon?, meaning "Blade Back Twin Emperor"): An attack where King, while in flight, employs both his pteranodon wings like blades, using their forward-most edge to launch a series of destructive, elliptic air projectiles. The attack was first seen in use against Zoro but was mostly blocked by the latter's sword. The technique's name is a pun on barizōgon (罵詈雑言?), an idiom meaning "vilification/vicious insults". In the Viz translation, the technique is called Imperial Slings And Arrows.
- King possessing this fruit's ability and his "Conflagration" epithet evokes a resemblance to the kaiju Fire Rodan, a pteranodon residing in a volcano that is among the major reoccurring kaiju in the Godzilla franchise.
- This is the second Ancient Zoan fruit revealed that is not based on a dinosaur, after the Zou Zou no Mi, Model: Mammoth, although unlike the latter, it still falls under the Ryu Ryu no Mi series.
- Despite not being dinosaurs, pterosaurs are still close cousins to them. The two families are part of the Avemetatarsalia clade from which only three families are known to have descended.
- King's techniques have names that end with -don (
皇? lit. "Emperor"), likely to play on "pteranodon". Additionally, furigana-wise, his techniques end with udon (ウドン?), likely a nod to the Japanese dish.
- Pteranodon – Wikipedia article about pteranodons.