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Luffy's Gear 5 form is everything we love about One Piece in one transformation

The Warrior of Liberation has returned.

Luffy's Gear 5 form in One Piece episode 1071
Image credit: Toei Animation

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Transformations are nothing new in Shonen anime. From Super Saiyan to Sage Mode to Bankai, fans expect to see their heroes adopt a new form as they achieve a new level of power, but few transformations have been as dramatic as Luffy’s Gear 5 form in One Piece. Now that fans of the One Piece English dub have seen Gear 5 in all its glory – and on Luffy’s birthday, no less – we’re celebrating everything that makes this one of the most iconic transformations in anime history.

When Gear 5 made its first appearance in the One Piece anime back in 2023, it didn’t just give Luffy a massive power boost like most anime transformations do. Instead, it effectively changed how Luffy’s powers work and even where they come from. Where previous forms had allowed him to stretch or harden parts of his body, Gear 5 allowed him to rewrite reality around him, using his boundless imagination to keep his opponent off balance with unpredictable attacks.

From summoning a giant baseball bat out of nowhere or having his eyes pop out of his head like a wolf in a Tex Avery cartoon, Luffy’s Gear 5 form is different from anything else we’ve seen on the show. Like Nika, the Warrior of Liberation that his Devil Fruit is derived from, Luffy is the embodiment of freedom and the enemy of oppressive power in One Piece and his Gear 5 transformation, with its goofy sound effects and cartoon physics, is the perfect representation of that. It changes our understanding of Luffy’s powers without completely rewriting the previous 1000+ episodes of the show.

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It is action, comedy, and drama all mixed together. It is a perfect distillation of what makes One Piece one of the most enduring and loved anime of all time. It doesn’t just let him punch harder or move faster – it allows him to be more of himself, to show us who he always was on the inside. The fact is that we love Luffy’s Gear 5 form because we love One Piece.

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