Monkey D. Luffy is the protagonist of the One Piece manga and anime. He is an incredibly powerful character who wishes to become the new Pirate King by finding Gol D. Roger’s One Piece treasure. The source of his powers is the Gomu Gomu no Mi, i.e., the Gum-Gum Devil Fruit recently turned out to be a much more powerful, divine Devil Fruit known as Hito Hito no Mi. These new powers allowed Luffy to use his Gear Fifth powers, and in order to help you put things into perspective, here are episodes in which Luffy obtained each of his Gear forms.
The episodes in which Luffy activates his Gear techniques are: Episode 272 for Grear Second, Episode 288 for Gear Third, and Episode 726 for Gear Fourth. Luffy has also accessed his Gear Fifth powers in Episode 1071, which was titled “Luffy’s Peak – Attained! Gear 5”
The rest of this article is actually going to be a brief outlook on the evolution of Luffy’s powers. We are going to give you an episode-by-episode guide to Luffy’s Gears and tell you in which episode the gears debuted. We’re only going to tell you about the first time that Luffy accesses each Gear since each Gear has a lot of different techniques that Luffy has accessed over time.
In what episode does Luffy use Gear Second?
The first time that Luffy access his Gear Second (Gear 2) powers happens in episode 272 of the anime series, titled “Luffy is in Sight! Gather at the Courthouse Plaza”. This was the third episode of Season 9 of One Piece, and it premiered on July 23, 2006.
The technique involves Luffy accelerating the blood flow to all or a specific part of his body to provide him with more oxygen and nutrients. This makes it much faster and more powerful. The technique uses even more oxygen and energy, consuming much food and causing Luffy to pant heavily.
The increase in his metabolism causes him to be hungrier than usual or even have a paralysis-like effect after prolonged use, such as in the second fight with Rob Lucci where Luffy was only able to lay on the ground. Lucci, one of Luffy’s first enemies to witness it, compared the process to doping. Doping involves adding more red blood cells to the body part(s), which in turn allows for more oxygen and nutrient delivery to the body part(s).
In Luffy’s case, his organs and blood vessels are made of rubber, allowing them to expand and contract to large proportions without tearing. Essentially Luffy increases blood flow by forcing more blood through his blood vessels, thus increasing his fighting ability.
This mode’s enhancements to Luffy’s physiology allow him to use a new and stronger set of techniques that are generally his old techniques but are so fast that even an experienced assassin would have a hard time seeing them. Luffy developed this ability after meeting CP9 and seeing them use the soru.
In what episode does Luffy use Gear Third?
The first time that Luffy access his Gear Third (Gear 3) powers happens in episode 288 of the anime series, titled “Fukurou’s Miscalculation! My Cola is the Water of Life!”. This was the seventh episode of Season 9 of One Piece and it premiered on December 3, 2006.
Luffy covers his mouth with his thumb, bites down on his joint, creating a small opening, and blows hard into it, inflating his arm. Once this is done, he is able to transfer air throughout his body, requiring his torso to act as an interface for the various limbs. Luffy blows so much air into his body that, when he is packed into a single limb, his size becomes equivalent (or larger) to that of a giant, being similar to the size of Oars.
Using his already strong physiology, this apparently gives his arm more mass and a larger area to attack using much greater force. However, he sacrifices his mobility for said force, as his limbs are so large that Luffy has trouble moving them. Gear Third is generally used when brute physical force is needed, the bones being the main difference between this form and his old Gomu Gomu no Fusen move.
There, his balloon form was soft and squishy like a regular balloon, and while the bones inflated, they were very hard, similar to an inflated tire. Unlike the normal Gomu Gomu no Fusen, the bullets bounce off the Gear Third. The bones are also much harder, which means there is a lot of air compression when using Gear Third, making it not just a “show” move as Lucci initially thought, but it acts like a sledgehammer of staggering mass when used to attack.
Due to Luffy’s brute strength, he can easily move his gigantic arm. Between his attacks, Luffy draws the air back into his chest and then switches it to another part of his body. The drawback is the time it takes for Luffy to transfer and channel the amount of air trapped within his bones, which becomes a drawback.
In what episode does Luffy use Gear Fourth?
The first time that Luffy accesses his Gear Fourth (Gear 4) powers happens in episode 726 of the anime series, titled “Gear 4! The Phenomenal Boundman!”. This was the twenty-fifth episode of Season 17 of One Piece, and it premiered on January 17, 2016.
To perform this technique, Luffy bites off his left arm above the wrist and removes his flip-flops. He then begins injecting air into his arm as he imbues it with Busoshoku Haki.
The injected air causes his arm to fatten similarly to Gear Third, and as with this technique, Luffy distributes the air throughout his body, especially in the upper part. Luffy has developed several Gear Fourth forms that specialize in certain aspects of technique at the expense of others, forms that he can switch between at will, depending on the situation.
Gear Fourth, for all its strengths, has several significant weaknesses. First, he seems to have a certain time limit, after which Luffy will revert to his normal self. The second and most important is that after using this technique, Luffy is totally exhausted without being able to move. According to Luffy himself, he cannot use Busoshoku Haki for at least ten minutes.
Even afterward, Gear Fourth is very demanding on Luffy’s body and stamina; he could barely fight back as he regained Haki from him after using Gear Fourth, and briefly using it a second time soon after knocked him unconscious.
In what episode does Luffy use Gear Fifth?
Gear Fifth is Luffy’s most recent Gear, and he accessed it in Chapter 1044 of the manga. Gear 5 is the year-long culmination of Luffy’s evolution and is the current zenith of his powers and abilities. With it, Luffy becomes ridiculously strong and invincible, as he is unable to take any damage while in this form, as seen during his battle with Kaidou.
After a year and a half, Luffy finally activated Gear 5 in the anime as well, on August 6, 2023, in Episode 1071, which was titled “Luffy’s Peak – Attained! Gear 5”. Gear 5 had been foreshadowed in the previous episode and, officially, we’ve seen it briefly in the One Piece Film: Red, but Episode 1071 is when it actually appeared in the anime for the first time, which is why this will remain as one of the most important episodes in the whole series.
Now, Gear 5 has provided Luffy with some amazing power-ups, and he finally defeated Kaidou after several losses (in fact, he had lost just moments before activating Gear 5). At the same time, Luffy was able to activate the true nature of his Devil Fruit, which turned out to be the Hito Hito no Mi, Model: Nika, a legendary Devil Fruit, and not the Gomu Gomu no Mi, as everyone thought for years. With this, Luffy actually became basically invincible, and his powers and abilities were such that we could easily describe them as examples of cartoon physics (toon force) in the anime, which is quite rare in Japanese animation, as the concept has been standardized in Western animation, most notably American.
So, what happened? Well, Luffy seemed to be defeated, and then suddenly, he received a surge of new power, and he became so strong that Kaido could do nothing about it. Each and every of Kaidou’s attacks did little to no damage at all, as Luffy’s body was basically a piece of rubber. Luffy was able to alter his shape so that he could adapt to Kaidou’s weapons and attacks, rendering them completely useless.
He was able to change his size so much that Kaidou seemed like a dwarf, and he could also use Kaidou’s dragon form as a jump rope in one of the more ridiculous demonstrations of his power in this battle. Ultimately, using his new power, Luffy finally defeated Kaidou, leaving the dreaded Emperor’s fate unknown, as he was, along with Big Mom, thrown into the depths of Wano Country.
Of course, Gear 5 drained a lot of energy out of Luffy as well, and it will be some time before he can actually master it, but the little we saw at this moment actually indicated what we could actually expect from Gear 5 in the future and how it is going to be one of Luffy’s best weapons.