The two characters we are going to compare in this article are very similar. Both of them are the protagonists of their respective manga and anime franchises, both are great fighters, both never give up, and both of their powers keep increasing with every single fight. And while one of them has already reached a near-divine status, the other one seems to be getting there.
The latter is One Piece‘s Monkey D. Luffy, who has only just discovered his Gear Fifth abilities, and the former is Son Goku, the protagonist of Dragon Ball. In this article, we are going to tell you who would win and why.
Luffy’s Gear 5 abilities are still a big mystery at this phase and we do not know exactly how far he can take them; this is why Goku’s victory seems more probable at this point in time. We know how powerful Goku is and none of Luffy’s opponents so far can compare to, for example, Beerus. Whether his Gear Fifth techniques prove to be even stronger is for us to see in the upcoming pages of the manga.
Now that you have the short version of the answer, the rest of the article is going to be divided into three sections, with the first two introducing the characters, their powers, and their abilities. In the end, we’re going to give our final verdict and explanation on why Son Goku would ultimately be able to defeat Luffy even in his Gear Fifth form.
How powerful is Gear 5 Luffy?
Gear Fifth is the name of a Monkey D. Luffy fighting technique that first appeared during the Onigashima War. This is the awakened form of his Fruit. When he activates Gear Fifth, Luffy covers himself with Armament Haki but also with Royal Haki. The awakening of the Gomu Gomu no Mi, real name Hito Hito no Mi Model: Nika, gives the user’s rubbery body greater strength and freedom, limited only by the user’s imagination.
For this reason, it is said that the consumer becomes the “incarnation of freedom”, being able to bring joy to the people around him and that makes him “the most ridiculous power in the world”. The most notable physical characteristic of the awakened form is Luffy’s complete discoloration (turning entirely white), the conversion of his hair and eyebrows to a lighter shade and a flaming form, as well as granting effects similar to those of cartoons, not only for the consumer but also for their opponent, an example being the googly eye effects.
It allows him to use both Gear 3’s limb inflate and Gear 4’s muscle inflate, but without physically pumping air into his body, as well as giving him the ability to elasticize and stretch the terrain around him. When Luffy first used it against Kaidou, he was able to grow his arm to enormous size so that he could grab Kaidou’s transformed body and drag him out of the skull dome.
With his enlarged limbs, Luffy could handle Kaidou despite his enormous size, swinging him from side to side. Luffy’s rubbery nature can spread to the environment around him, as seen when Luffy lifted a section of the ceiling and used it to repel Kaidou’s Boro Breath back at him. Interestingly, the altered ground, while elastic, was not burned or melted by the boron breath, although the attack was searing enough to destroy a castle.
Said alteration of the elastic properties can even be applied to living beings, seeing how Luffy was able to stretch the inside of Kaidou’s body and even his eyes. In this state, Luffy’s heartbeat takes on a musical rhythm that has been described by Zunesha as the drums of release. By using the fruit’s awakening as the basis for the technique, Gear 5 consumes a devastating amount of energy and stamina, Kaidou stating that he could kill himself by using it too often.
The techniques that Luffy has demonstrated in his Gear Fifth form are:
- Gum-Gum Balloon: Larger version of the original Gum-Gum Balloon. First used while in Kaido’s womb, which also caused the Emperor’s body to grow and stretch.
- Gum-Gum Escape Rocket: From inside Kaido’s body, Luffy swings his arms through Kaido’s eyes and grabs onto his nose, before doing a Gum-Gum Rocket to break out of Kaido’s body.
- Gum-Gum Giant: Luffy projects himself into the clouds with his breath and then becomes much larger. His body thus rivals Kaido’s dragon form.
- Gum-Gum Jump Rope: In “Gigant” mode, Luffy uses Kaido’s dragon form body to do jump rope.
Son Goku and his powers
Son Goku is the main protagonist of the manga Dragon Ball, and their animated adaptations, Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z / Dragon Ball Kai, then Dragon Ball Super, as well as the alternative animated sequel to the first two series, Dragon Ball GT. An orphan exiled from the defunct planet Vegeta, he lands on Earth where he grows up with his adoptive grandfather. His adventure begins the day he meets Bulma, a young adventurer, who invites him to look for the Dragon Balls.
He is an expert in martial arts, having been taught the style of the Turtle School; he is known to be close to a prodigy, managing to learn techniques and levels of strength that other individuals would take time to learn. He even knew how to use skills such as reading minds without even knowing how to do it. Goku has been shown to use different parts of his body to help him in combat, such as shooting a Kamehameha with his feet, using his eyes to launch a ki laser beam in the Frieza Saga among other examples.
Son Goku is a born martial arts expert and fan, managing to read his opponents’ movements and get used to his attacks and speed. Usually, in combat, Goku reserves large amounts of strength and restrains himself to the point of apparently lowering his ki level to absurdly low points in order to conserve energy, however, he also demonstrated the ability to unleash his full power just in the nick of time, when he launched a physical attack.
As a Saiyan, Goku is able to use the Saiyan Power, which allows him to surpass his strength whenever he takes large amounts of damage or fatal wounds. Goku being an alien also has enhanced senses of smell, taste, and sight, which further enhances his combat senses. Goku’s body is much more durable than normal human beings, being essentially invulnerable to all Earth-made weapons.
However, while he is naturally durable thanks to his Saiyan physiology, he has limits, as other powerful beings like himself can hurt, and potentially kill, him if he doesn’t defend himself properly. Also compared to most humans, including those trained in the ki arts, Son Goku possesses a great deal of strength, speed, and stamina.
For example, when he was a young child, he could lift a car over his head and throw it with ease, and during his training with Kame-Sennin, Goku could push massive rock formations that would at least weigh over 100 tons. At the height of his strength, he displayed the ability to destroy mountains, islands, and even heavily damage entire planets with physical force alone.
For speed, he displayed supersonic speeds even faster than light when he reached the Saiyan Saga. By the time he became a Super Saiyan God, his speed had reached speeds massive than the speed of light, and his physical strength was enough for one of the shockwaves from his punches to be felt throughout the universe, damaging incalculably and destroying many planets and stars, up to this point, just four hits between Beerus and Goku are enough to completely destroy the universe.
Goku usually uses techniques based on ki, using them in a fight as support, defense, and attack such as the Kamehameha, these are performed through the control and mastery of ki, born from the creativity and skill of the character. Son Goku is one of the strongest characters in the series, rivaling Vegeta for the position of the most powerful Z Warrior and Universe 7 warrior.
Gear 5 Luffy vs. Son Goku: Who wins?
The main issue we’ve dealt with while writing this article is the fact that Luffy’s Gear Fifth abilities have only just been revealed in last week’s Chapter 1045 (to a more proper extent). Now, at this point, we have only seen a portion of these powers and while they might look amazing already, we still don’t know how powerful Luffy could become. On top of that, Luffy’s practically in a near-death state at this time, so he’ll certainly be more powerful at one point.
On the other hand, we have Goku, who’s proven himself and his powers at this point. On a relative scale, Goku is a universal-level threat and that seems to be far above Luffy’s abilities, even in his Gear Fifth form. Now, Luffy might surprise us in the upcoming chapters of the manga, but from this standpoint? Goku definitely wins.
Goku has survived fighting Beerus and Luffy would stand no chance against the God of Destruction. And that is just one example we have for you. We could list dozens more. And that is why, ultimately, we think that Goku would win. This, of course, might change with the upcoming manga chapters, but we do not know what Oda has in store for us, so we’ll update this article if needed.