When Chapter 1010 came out I, like many others, found the development of Luffy channeling Supreme King Haki insanely hype, but also a good bit confusing. I could not fully make sense of why Conqueror’s Haki was suddenly being used as synonymous to powerful Armament Haki, coating oneself for defense and powering up one’s punches or weapons.
Then when I read official translation however, something dawned on me that I had to go back and check. Having done this, I now think we (or at least I) may have misunderstood what Advanced Armament Haki is, and so I’d like to go over an interpretation of the text that I found to better fit with the sudden development of Luffy learning to infuse his attacks with Conqueror’s Haki.
This is based on the Viz translation. For one thing there is no mention of “coating” oneself in Conqueror’s Haki. Luffy only remarks on “infusing objects” with it. The Viz translation may for all I know be in the wrong. I don’t know Japanese. Another important aspect is Hyogoro talking specifically about Luffy’s form of Haki in the teaching flashbacks, not Haki in general. He says “the Haki you wield penetrates and destroys the enemy from the inside”.
This one line got me thinking, and so I went back to volumes 93-94 to go over the introduction of Advanced Armament.
Indeed, the order goes:
1) Luffy knocks out some fodder in the ring using Conqueror’s Haki. Hyogoro witnesses it and Queen calls it such.
2) Hyogoro notices Luffy using their fight for survival for training. He asks what he’s trying to do, and Luffy explains that he thinks using Haki without touching his foes is key to defeating Kaido. Hyogoro picks up on his words and shows that he knows how to do that. Nothing is said about destroying enemies or objects from within.
3) Big Mom shows up and Luffy is forced by circumstance to destroy the collars.
4) Hyogoro reacts in awe. He thinks to himself: “Straw Hat fellow, the power you just exhibited… is already beyond any application of Ryou I can teach you.” Soon after he explains to Luffy: “All that I can teach you of Ryou… or what you call Haki… is that which covers the outside. It can be used for defense, like invisible armor… or it can be converted to offensive us to great effect!! But… when you go one level beyond that… the Haki you wield can penetrate the enemy’s interior and destroy them from inside. […] Those steel collars were destroyed from the inside by your Haki. You can already do it!! You already know how to infuse yourself with outward haki…!! But you do it unconsciously.”
I believe what is being conveyed here is that Conqueror’s Haki is what can destroy from within. When thought of this way, the language fits for both the way it makes weaker foes pass out and the way it breaks down solid matter.
Advanced Haki usage would here be the ability to channel it outwards at all. For Armament purposes, this lets you block and attack without touching an enemy, whereas Conqueror’s Haki would let you bypass defenses and “destroy from within”.
This could have all been contradicted in the manga already, or might be contradicted in the future. However it’s something I noticed that makes the Chapter 1010 moment make much more sense to me. It makes the power-up less dramatic, and rather comes down to the logical realization of Luffy’s that he should be channeling his Conqueror’s Haki rather than his Armament Haki to get at Kaido, while still doing what he was already doing.
So up until now, Luffy would’ve only been hitting Kaido with powerful punches flowing out from his body, onto Kaido, who was probably protecting himself with powerful defensive Haki to match. Now that he figured out to use Conqueror’s Haki, he’s instead hitting him just as strong as before, and on top of that channeling Haki to bypass Armament defenses and hurt him from within.
What do you guys think? Does this make sense? For those of you who speak Japanese, does this interpretation lend itself to the original text?
Or worse, was this already commonly understood to be the case and I was just late to the punch?
*Theory by herrsebbe