So we all know how different Luffy’s fighting style is because of his ability, and how cool and artistic it can be sometimes. But I’ve gotta say that we probably don’t understand how much thought it took to design such fighting style and how well thought off is even accounting into his backstory.
Luffy’s Devil Fruit
The design choice of Luffy’s power is really daring as it doesn’t align with any pre-established characters on the media that well, a rubber man. One wouldn’t think it would be the most interesting ability especially for a protagonist… It does seem like something you’d only give to a non-fighting, comic relief or supportive character… But when you really think about it. It makes a lot of sense.
First the easiest thing you can think of is Tone. One Piece isn’t serious all the time, and your protagonist being able to canonically make any face or expression possible while being invulnerable to most attacks and having clear obvious and really accessible weaknesses is a blessing for the author to really easily choose the Tone of a scene.
We all have seen it. How Luffy isn’t threatened at all by things like bullets, most punches, etc… And he sometimes even charges at them in pretty hilarious situations, thing which especially happened at the start of the series. Then the situations can change really fast to one dangerous and dire with the introduction of water, sharp objects, Haki or Seastone.
But that’s a first appreciation. The thought of Luffy’s devil fruit just starts to show here. A rubber man doesn’t seem like a dangerous foe at first glance. What is he gonna do? Stretch towards you? Well yes. That’s exactly what Eichiro Oda thought.
Rubber will stretch. But it also then will try to go back to it’s original form on a really forceful manner. This simple principles have just so many applications because of simple physics, especially when you take into account that Luffy being almost completely invulnerable to physical damage produced by blunt force. This leads us to the next point.