Today I will be talking about the forms in gear 4th, their inspirations being different fighting styles and what can we speculate about Snake man based on the clues I have found.
As usual I am leaving the link for my Youtube version for the lazy ones
Before we get straight to the topic that I mentioned in the intro I want to spend a little time on the possibility that Oda has foreshadowed the Snakeman form and the encounter with Katakuri way back in chapter 431!
In this chapter we see a color spread with different animals plus Luffy Chopper and Robbin. The small details that I was able to connect to Luffy’s fight with Katakuri made me believe that it is possible that Oda had an idea about such a fight back in October 2006???
When you see the time frame its really crazy to believe that but humor me and check out my points.
SO the first point is that both Luffy and the snake are wearing tie with the same pattern just different colors symbolizing that the snakes represents Luffy. Different colors of the tie might represents different colors of Haki.
Second point that Luffy is riding the snake or standing on top of it and riding an animal or a machine symbolizes control over something. Similar to riding a horse or driving a car.
Third point is that the lion’s mane which is the hair around the neck of the lion is similar to the Katakuri’s scarf and the lion’s teeth are really similar to Katakuri’s teeth.
Fourth point is that the lion’s expression looks really similar to the expression when Katakuri gets angry or frustrated. So basically the lion represents Katakuri and the Snake represents Luffy.
Fifth point is that in this color spread Luffy holds a spear and in his fight with Katakuri the major wounds were done to both of them with trident which is a kind of a spear.
Could this be a coincidence or Oda had an idea about this scene way back in 2006, tell me what you think in the comment section bellow.
So probably now you are thinking why am I wasting your time with this when I said I will talk about Luffy and his gear 4th !? Well there is a purpose and I will come to that in a minute, but first lets analyze his other 2 forms. Bounce man and Tank man.
Bounce Man is boxing
Since the bounce man was introduced it was always strange for me why is this form called bounce man. I know Luffy bounces of the ground due to his increased elasticity but none of his attacks are related to the bouncing.
But then I realized that I have seen this bouncing movement before. This jumping movement with your feet is actually a pretty common sight in Boxing and Kickboxing and its called The Bounce Step which boxers use to pick their rhythm.
With the bounce step you are almost all the time on your toes bouncing and the greatest example of that is Mohammad Ali, he was really quick on his feet and striking when the time is right.
Then I started thinking, in this form Luffy is mainly using his hands to attack and once his legs. So this is fighting pattern is similar to Boxing or Kickboxing and to top it off, the reinforced area of his body with Haki is his Arms, Upper back and legs. All key muscle areas for boxing power puncher. So in my opinion bounce man is inspirited by boxing fighting style.
Tank Man is sumo
The next form is Tank Man.
Specifically before going Tank Man Luffy ate a lot and icreased his weight and created the full version of Tank man. So I was thinking in which of the fighting styles you need a lot of weight and the answer was simple – In sumo wrestling. In sumo weight and volume are not the most important factors but they are one of the most important factors based on Newton’s second law of motion, which can be written as acceleration = force/mass. So the heavier you are, the more force an opponent has to apply to get you moving and push you away. Combine that with Luffy’s elasticity from the rubber covered in Haki and you get an unmovable tank that bounces off everything that tries to attack him.
Snake Man is Kung-Fu
So based on the Bounce Man and Tank man being inspired by Boxing and Sumo wrestling, I think the Snake Man form will be based on Kung-Fu and more specifically Snake style.
Kung-fu snake style is famous with the fluidity of the movement and dodging attacks while waiting for a good moment to strike. Also it is described that Snake style is good at striking opponents from unpredictable angles, speed is one of the key factors and it is a style which goes well with weapons.
And I mentioned earlier that I will get back to the color spread which leads me to Chopper and the way he is drawn. We see on the color spread that Chopper is in his stance from Kung-fu point which might be another foreshadowing element directing us towards Kung-fu. Plus Luffy is holding a spear and as I mentioned snake style goes well with weapons. Another coincidence or just pure genius from Oda?
To get back on the fight between Luffy and Katakuri until now in the fight Katakuri was showing that he can do everything better than Luffy but he started noticing that Luffy is catching up. I think this is clue that n the end Luffy will be able to dodge attacks better than Katakuri. How Katakuri is able to dodge attacks is that he sees the future and he is changing the shape of his mochi body looking like the attacks go through him. So Luffy will do the same but better, I imagine that it will look something like an upgraded version of the technique that he used against Enel, but being more in control.
His body will bend like a snake to avoid the attacks and that’s where the name is coming from. That’s how I imagine he will be able to dodge physical attacks but in order to dodge you need to read your opponents movement.
So in that relation I imagine that Luffy will be more like his original form and he will utilize his haki to enhance his senses. So the enhanced senses will work as a separate mind for him and controlling the body and dodging subconsciously as Rayleig was explaining in the flashback.
That is the reason we see these wave patterns around his eyes and after its completed, the eye shadows look different than the usual gear 4. That is because his vision is enhanced, similar to how his uper body is enhanced in bounce man and lower body in tank man.
Furthermore, in my opinion Snake man has a risk in order to use it, similar to Bounce man. For Bounce man his powers last for limited time and after the limit is reached Luffy is unable to use Haki.
For Snake man I believe that Luffy needs a long period of time to get used to the movements of his opponent, which brings the risk that in the mean time he might need to withstand a great amount of damage.
This is the reason why Luffy didnt use this technique until now. Because he needed to get accustomed to Katakuri’s fighting style, his way of movement and the read on his aura.
Slowly Luffy was getting the timing right and he was able to dodge a single punch from time to time. Then we saw in the new chapter that he was able to dodge not a single punch but also Katakuri’s version of gatling gun plus he was blocking some of the punches with armament haki.
But that was not all, Luffy was also able to punch Katakuri and that was probably the go sign for him to use Snake man.
Meaning that he is not only able to dodge now but also attack and deal dmg, because what is the benefit of this technique if you are able only to run.
There is more, In the flashback Luffy specifically stated that he can feel anger from Rayleigh and that if he meets a person that can see the future he will decide what to do when he knows what kind of person his opponent is.
Then during the fight we have seen that Katakuri was not going all the time with killing intend and probably Luffy felt that with his specialty in feeling the emotion of creatures around him. Feeling that Katakuri will not go for the killing blow Luffy devised the strategy to accumulate the damage and endure until the conditions for Snake man are fulfilled.
And the conditions are to get used to the movements of your opponent, being able to read their aura or in kunf-fu language – Chi and being able to land a counter punch when the chance is there which sound like the base of Snake Style Kung-Fu.
So to sum up and finish this theory I believe that Luffy will have his senses enhanced and he will be able to dodge attacks subconsciously by twisting his body like a snake. Also if I have to speculate how he will look in that form I think his fighting stance will be similar to Cricket Monblanc with his front arm looking like a head of a snake to get that Kung-fu vibe in Luffy.
Plus lets not forget that Oda is a big fan of DragonBall and kung-fu is the base for the series.
*Theory by Capt_NakedPanda