So, time for another theory. Luffy’s fight with Katakuri gave us some new insights in how New World powers and Haki work. This got me thinking. We have already seen plenty of characters that are strong enough to have advanced levels of Haki. Why didn’t we see this before?
So I decided to look back in the story to where we saw the most of the New World powers clash: The Marineford war. And it turns out we díd see it before!
I’ll explain what we learned from Katakuri and then show what was visible in the Marineford war per power. I’ll also give a list of each character that has or may have that power. Finally I’ll discuss Luffy’s powers and he may grow.
This theory tells you what other characters have what abilities and how improved haki might look. Hopefully, despite the much of new input, it’ll still be fun to read.
This may look like a huge post, but there are a large amount of pictures, I hope this doesn’t scare you off. So let’s start!
What have we learned from Katakuri?
Let’s first look at what Katakuri has explained and shown to us:
- Katakuri’s always calm-headed ánd a master of observation haki (is connected)
- Katakuri has more power and speed than Luffy (or so he thinks)
- Katakuri’s DF powers are awakened
- Katakuri has stronger armament Haki than Luffy currently has (or something stronger)
- Katakuri can see into the future with his observation haki
- If you’re not calm and collected (focussed) you can’t use observation haki
- If you’re not calm and collected (focussed) you CAN use armament haki
(After Luffy crashes his snack-time he uses armament but can’t use observation haki because he became ‘hot-headed’)
Haki is the power that has been established throughout almost all of the story. We have seen it a lot of times before we were eventually introduced to the name and the mechanics behind them. The ‘mantra’ that was used in skypiea is a good example of this. Let’s first look back how Rayleigh introduced Haki:
Keep in mind that he mentions the words presence, spirit and aura.
Now let´s look at what we saw of this power in Marineford:
Armament haki is like a ‘suit of armour’. And directly after explaining it Rayleight explains that there is a scale for this power:“naturally, stronger armour results in more powerful attacks.”
At the time of the Marineford war we didn’t knew much about Haki. We had already seen some things that were later revealed to be haki such as the Kuja’s arrows.
Let’s first look at the most clear examples we see in the Marineford war:
The Kuja were famous for their Haki. Naturally their princess, and Shichibukai, Boa Hancock uses it. By Smoker’s explanation we can interpret that the Kuja’s haki is better than that of any ordinary guy. Otherwise they wouldn’t have a reputation for Haki.
Naturally the world’s strongest swordsman, the one who taught Zoro ‘the black blade’ knows armament haki. This is clearly shown when he’s able to parry crocodile.
Crocodile is proving to be a useful example today because Jozu was seen to be able to hit him as well. As expected of the 3rd division commander of a Yonkou’s crew.
And of course Marco, the 1st division commander is capable of armament haki. He is the Whitebeard equivalent of Katakuri. He has repeatedly shown he’s able to hit Aokiji and Akainu.
Naturally all the admirals are able to use armament haki as well. Since the start of the series they were considered the very top in terms of abilities. Naturally their Haki should be top notch as well.
At one point Aokiji, Kizaru and Akainu were able to stop a giant quake-attack from Whitebeard that destroyed the entire town of marineford. Only the section that the three admirals where standing in front of, the platform with ace on top, was unharmed. As we did not see any ice, light or magma it appears that they must’ve used their armament haki.
It appears that these three, who are top-haki users, can use their armament haki in some sort of aura form. [ remember how Rayleigh mentioned ‘aura’ ? ]
There are multiple occasions when Devil Fruit users clash. Akainu’s fruit power is of a higher order than Ace’s. They both were able to use Haki. Therefore, although Akainu´s was probably higher, I think if they should clash with an equal amount of haki, Akainu’d win. The same goes for Jozu. Jozu was able to stop Hawkeye’s attack (that must’ve had Haki in it). His natural element is one of hardening therefore combined with his armament haki his ‘armour’ should be extremely strong. For example, I think that if Luffy and Jozu would punch with an equal amount of haki Jozu’d win because his element (diamond) is harder than Luffy’s (rubber).
Armament Haki gives you an ‘invisible armour’. This allows users to protect themselves or attack others. It appears the ‘armour’ can even be extended to a larger area than the body (admirals). Concentration is of no influence to the armour as we saw with Katakuri.
Speculation: Instead of the concentration or focus that is needed for observation haki there is something else that determines the strength of one’s armament haki.
Luffy and Katakuri clashed twice in a similar way. Once when Katakuri was waiting for the SH’s on board the Sunny and once when Luffy had disturbed his snacktime:
The first attack did not harm Luffy’s hands and the second did. I think there are three possible reasons for explaining this:
- Luffy’s element (friction>fire) was stronger than Katakuri’s element (mochu<heat)
therefore the impact should be less
>I don’t think so since armament haki is specifically used to guard against this. Furthermore Luffy would’ve picked this up and used it more if this were the case.
- Katakuri has Conquerer’s Haki, look at the cracks, he has imbued them in the attack.
>Unlikely as well. Luffy’s hands hurt and he doesn’t know why. He has recently fought Chinjao and it was clear that was Conquerer’s Haki. He should recognise that effect. Furthermore Chinjao’s attacks did not have this effect.
- Katakuri wasn’t fighting at full strength in the first panel.
>Could be. But why shouldn’t he?
- Katakuri is angry in the last panel and calm in the first panel.
I think the last reason is the important one. Katakuri réálly doesn’t want anybody talking about his mouth, he states that he was hot-headed at the time. He even killed the chefs to prevent them talking about his mouth. The thing that makes his armament haki stronger this time, I believe, is willpower.
So observation Haki is the power to ‘feel’ another’s ‘presence’. As mentioned before, it has been established that a good observation haki needs a good concentration.
Let’s first look at a clear example of Observation Haki:
Obviously the world’s strongest swordsman has to have Observation haki. The panels above are clearly like Usopp’s attempt to hit Sugar in dressrosa.
Then Now that we have established who of the characters in the war use armament haki we can analyse who else can do Katakuri’s trick: to predict where an armament-haki imbued attack will land and shape your body, through a DF-ability, so the attack will miss.
Katakuri says he’s able to do this because he can see into the future.
Let’s see some similar abilities:
This is the clearest example I could find. Aokiji replies with ‘No!! don’t be stupid!‘ in reply to the question if he’s dead as if he’s saying “like I would die from something like this”. This is almost exactly the same as Katakuri’s observation haki and it is specifically stated that the attack is imbued with haki.
Two examples for Akainu. As one who beat Aokiji, no surprise there. The panels above state that he ís indeed attacked with haki. He split the part of his neck to prevent damage.
Below he does the same with Jinbe:
So we see Whitebeards blade is black and from the previous panel with Aokiji we know he uses haki. If this is true, and I see no reason for him not to use haki, then Kizaru also knows this trick.
This is the odd one out. Rayleigh said that Armament Haki is able to ‘force’ devil fruit powers ‘into solidity’. Mihawk’s blade is coloured black and remember his word’s to Zoro:
So the two options we have are:
- Mihawk’s blade happens to be black, he didn’t use haki. He thought it unlikely that by cutting Luffy/Buggy he would get a chip, shame, on his blade. Furthermore he saw that Luffy couldn’t use armament haki so he didn’t thought it necessary.
- Mihawk is the greatest swordsman and always uses haki. Buggy sailed with Roger and is more special than he has shown so far. His learning curve will go straight to the top parallel to Luffy’s
(I’d like to believe this one!!)
Observation haki also functions as a form of scanning. Rayleigh could scout an entire island both for numbers as well as power levels. As expected of the Pirate King’s first mate.
Failed observation haki
Katakuri shows us that for a good observation haki a good focus, control or calmness is needed. Even this was already shown during the marineford war. Both panels are directly after Whitebeard grabs his heart and is hurting because of his disease. Akainu goes towards Whitebeard which distracts Marco and Jozu:
Aokiji specifically mentions that Jozu isn’t focussed.
Besides concentration it appears that Whitebeard’s disease is also interfering with his haki. Just as Ace was about to be executed Whitebeard wanted to use Conquerors Haki (just before Luffy) but coincidentally his disease gave him a coughing fit. As a man who is a yonko and was able to fight on par with Roger he is known to be able to use all three forms of haki. His speed an strength would have gotten below his prime but he should still be able to sense attacks coming with observation haki and defend against them with armament haki. But somehow that didn’t happen. The numbers described below make it seem like something was wrong with his haki:
So this mean’s we have already seen Katakuri’s trick at least 3 times, and probably 4. This means he isn’t that special at all. Maybe he can see a bit further than the admirals but they clearly are on similar levels.
Observation Haki allows you to sense others. You can sense how many there are, find certain people in a crowd and even sense how strong they are. If done really well you can even sense what your opponent will do next. Rayleigh call’s observation haki “the power to another’s presence to an elevated degree“. [ remember how he said ‘presence’ earlier? ]
If done extremely well the user will even be able to look into the future. An elevated degree of Observation haki requires a good concentration thought. Extreme observation haki would allow someone to:
- Sense over an extremely wide area
- Being able of sensing huge numbers of people/animals at once
- Being able to read unique presences from afar within a large crowd
- Being able to predict what an opponent is going to do in the future
Speculation: what would happen when two opponents fight who both have observation haki to predict, let’s say, 2 seconds into the future. In that case the most concentrated person would win. I, and I’ve read others as well, think this is how Luffy’ll beat Katakuri.
At the start I discussed the introduction Rayleigh gave to haki. He mentioned the words ‘aura’, ‘presence’ and ‘spirit’. We have seen that the first two represented Observation and Armament haki therefore ‘spirit’ should represent conquerors haki. The literal meaning of ‘Haoshoku Haki’ is ‘Haki of the Colour of Conquering King’ (one piece wikia). This means that Conquerors Haki is used to overpower other beings/things with your spirit. During Marineford we’ve only seen Luffy use it:
The shock of Luffy using Conquerors Haki, or Royal type haki as Fossa mentions, shows us a great many reactions. Akainu notices that Luffy isn’t using it consciously. This probably means that if Luffy were using it consciously, the impact might be greater. The most interesting comment is Kizaru’s. He says “he’s hiding a terrifying power“. If the power Kizaru is referring to is the exact thing Luffy is using at that moment than he would have said “he was hiding a terrifying power”. Kizaru is mentioning this in the present tense therefore implying that Luffy is still hiding this terrifying power.
This makes me believe that there is a next level to Conquerors Haki as well.
After Luffy used it at Marineford Ivankov talks to him:
Ivankov says “Of course“, like it made absolute sense and he should have seen it before, “He naturally draws people to him!!“. Implying that Conquerors Haki and drawing people towards you are related. Also apparently Dragon also has this ability. Given that Fossa called it a ‘Royal’ type of Haki it makes sense that is connected to a (royal) bloodline.
Earlier in the chapter Mihawk also commented something similar on Luffy new Impel Down crew:
The funny thing is that shortly after the conversation Luffy had with Ivankov, as if to remind us, Mihawk targets Luffy. Ironically enough, almost to prove a point, Luffy is protected by two former enemies of his: Mr 1 and Crocodile.
Upon Rayleighs introduction he explains this haki’s progress as follows: “it can only be strengthened by the individual’s personal growth.”
But what is meant by this growth? I believe Shanks answered this partially at the end of the Marineford arc at Whitebeard and Ace’s funerals:
Shanks mentions ‘growing up’. More or less maturing or the process of going transforming a boy, brat or kid into a man. (keep this in mind).
Speculation: inheriting a lot of wills and being able to deal with this also count as personal growth
Conquerors Haki is the power to overpower others by your spirit.
The stronger you are the more people you’re able to knock out.
This Haki is strengthened by someone’s resolve and experiences. To mature so to speak.
In addition to this, this special quality of a person’s spirit makes people want to become allies to the haki’s user. All known users have/had large followings (Whitebeard, Shanks, Chinjao). This ‘strong’-spirited quality makes these people strong willed in following their dreams. That is why Rayleigh says that people who use it often “make a name for themselves on a global scale“.
Now we get to the actual part. Seeing what Luffy can do.
Let’s first check what he was able to do during Marineford.
Then check how his 2 year training period went.
Finally we’ll speculate on what he’ll be able to do.
As Akainu mentions this is still completely unconscious.
Luffy wasn’t able to use Armament haki as he is shown to use water to hit crocodile.
He was able to use observation haki to predict Hawkeye’s move, however purely on instinct
Above is a panel before the timeskip on the right and one after the timeskip on the left. They explain that in 1,5 year Luffy learned the basics of the three forms of haki. This means Luffy had half a year to come up with own implementations of the three forms of haki.
Luffy’ll become very proficient in all forms of haki. What types of gears he will use and how his awakening will look like are topics I won’t touch here. There are plenty of theories here on those topics that did a better job than I would.
Based on what we saw so far I can speculate on what luffy’s approach will be in terms of Armament and Observation haki.
His observation Haki will be that good that he can also predict others pretty well. The ace up his sleeve is that he can keep concentrated while knowing perfectly how to annoy others.
His armament Haki will be combined with his rubber fruit element that he can stretch his body backwards, outwards or out of the way before the attack hits. This means he’ll be perfectly able to switch between super hard armament and super flexible rubber.
Conquerors haki is a different thing. I think the ‘personal’ growth is linked to the inheritance of wills. As Shanks’ words seem to imply that Luffy can use Ace’s death to become stronger. After Ace’s death Marco screamed this:
This means Marco thinks Luffy inherited Ace’s will. Whitebeard on the other hand seems to think otherwise:
It is funny to see that Luffy’s face is shown next to “those who inherited Roger’s will”. After that it is mentioned that one day someone will inherit ace’s will. This means, according to Whitebeard, Luffy’ll not inherit Ace’s will. Luffy could inherit it right now, except Whitebeard says ‘one day’. I think this means Sabo inherited Ace’s will together with his wish to protect Luffy and Ace’s fruit.
Whitebeard also mentions “as long as that bloodline survives” seeing as what he says in the next panel it is clear he refer’s to the D’s. Check what he said about Luffy earlier:
Here he specifically asks Luffy (in his mind) to show him what lies in the next age. Ánd he calls him a brat. Let’s check the previous image again. Whitebeard says “in the future a man will appear, bearing the weight of centuries…”.
Not once has Whitebeard called Luffy a man. He only called him a brat, a kid or a boy. He thinks Luffy is not ‘mature’ yet. Sort of similar what Shanks said. Luffy is a D, he’ll inherit the ‘Will of D’ being the same thing as the ‘weight of centuries’. Together with his other win’s, losses and inherited wills he’ll become the best Conquerors Haki user who’s not just able to influence those around him into allies but the whole world.
- Akainu, Kizaru and Aokiji can use the same move as Katakuri. Maybe Buggy can too.
So Katakuri’s Observation haki isn’t that special as we thought.
- If not focussed you can still use armament haki.
- Armament haki is probably strengthened by willpower (speculation)
- Conqueror’s haki gives the ability to have people follow you
- Going through ordeals and inheriting will’s and the world’s weight will make Luffy proficient in Conqueror’s haki
*Theory by RikuD