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The Gomu Gomu no Mi is a Paramecia-type Devil Fruit that gives the user's body the properties of rubber, making the user a Rubber Human (ゴム人間 Gomu Ningen?). It was originally a treasure that Shanks and his crew took from an unspecified enemy, but was accidentally eaten by the series protagonist Monkey D. Luffy. In the second version of Romance Dawn, it originally belonged to Luffy's grandpa who took it from an unspecified enemy.
- "Gomu" means "rubber" in Japanese.
- In the Viz Manga, 4Kids and FUNimation dubs, it is called the Gum-Gum Fruit, "gum" being a soft, cohesive substance designed for chewing, with elastic properties.
The Gomu Gomu no Mi is a violet, spherical shaped fruit with a stem sprouting out of the top, with swirls that go in a curly "S" like-pattern. Its overall appearance greatly resembles a Yubari King.
While its final design has the characteristic Devil Fruit swirls all over it, the fruit was initially drawn without them in the first version of Romance Dawn.
Strengths and Weaknesses
The fruit's major strength, as demonstrated by Luffy, is that the person's body can stretch like rubber even when the ability user himself is nullified (for instance, when Nojiko pulls Luffy's head out of the water at Arlong Park). It also makes them almost entirely immune to blunt attacks, including hand-to-hand combat, bullets or even cannonballs, an ability which can be further reinforced with the application of Busoshoku Haki. Thanks to Luffy's own creativity both in and out of combat, this fruit has consistently proven itself to be among the most formidable, versatile, and unpredictable within the Paramecia class. The user's rubber-like body also allows the user to survive falls from heights and collisions that would kill a normal person.
The user's ability to stretch and twist like rubber to extreme lengths not only makes him immune to injuries that originate from such, but it also allows him to even rebound, that can give him a great advantage in or out of battle. Stretching also allows the user to drastically increase the range of what would otherwise be considered a powerful close-range attack, turning it into a devastating mid-range or long-range attack. A stretched limb can also be used to store potential energy like a stretched spring, increasing the velocity by stretching his arm back resulting in increased power. Combined with Haki, his power is increased even more. Owing to rubber-like natural insulating properties, the user is also immune to electrical attacks and is also able to hit an electric Logia user without Haki. Additionally the user is immune to the electricity produced by Electro.
Luffy's body is similar to a rubber band, requiring him to use excessive motion to "throw" an attack. After the time-skip though, the extra movement is unnecessary, and Luffy is able to stretch easily.
By training his abilities, Luffy has found unexpected ways to increase his fighting ability, such as the ability to stretch his blood vessels wider to increase the speed of his blood flow in order to become faster and stronger, at a cost of depleting his body's energy at a faster rate. Furthermore, with the application of Haki, he is even capable of igniting a limb for an even more devastating attack. Luffy can even inflate his bones to increase the volume of his body and significantly increase his attacks, at the cost of his body becoming smaller for a short period of time (although after the timeskip Luffy has seemingly been able to overcome this weakness as after he used "Gomu Gomu no Elephant Gun" on the Kraken and he did not revert to his smaller size afterwards).
The fruit enables all parts of the consumer's body to behave like rubber, including organs. As such, Luffy has a bigger appetite than the average human, eating more than anyone else in his crew and always digesting it before anyone else is hungry again.
Despite all the great advantages Luffy gets by using his fruit, he can however still be hurt by cutting or stabbing attacks, as well as non-physical attacks such as fire or ice. One major risk of Luffy's powers is that he is vulnerable to attacks in the moments when his limbs are stretched to their limit, as Buggy and Kuro both demonstrated early on in the series. Luffy, however, has adapted his fighting style to minimize this risk as shown when Buggy attempted to exploit this weakness of Luffy.
Luffy has also shown a limited ability of moving in mid-air, by grabbing onto something with an extended limb and propelling away from what could have been a fatal attack. This gives Luffy the option of several jumping and mid-air attacks that would have been disadvantageous to most other people as it would have left them vulnerable.
In his youth, Luffy had a problem controlling his own abilities. Though he had an idea of how they would work, Luffy had trouble with aiming and the timing of his attacks, and he was continuously sent spinning by the recoil. However, he managed to counter these weaknesses with his continuous training in the jungle by the time he left to be a pirate.
In the anime, Luffy has used his stretching abilities to inhale great amounts of air to thus exhale a big gust of wind; this application of his powers was used to blow away Marigold's poisonous vapor from her venom spit and Magellan's poison breath.
Given Luffy's elastic properties he is shown to be able to withstand great pressure, as shown near Fishman Island when fighting Hody. Though he was still weakened by the sea water around him, he was seemingly unaffected by the intense underwater pressure.
Luffy, of course, also suffers the same weaknesses to water, like Fishman Karate and Seastone, as other Devil Fruit users. However, he sometimes appears to forget about his weakness to water, as he always wants to try some type of water sport in the sea and will often dive into the ocean when he sees someone drowning (only to end up drowning himself). And while contact with water and Seastone does drain Luffy of his energy and nullify his rubber-like ability to absorb blunt attacks (as with Smoker's jutte), his actual body still maintains its rubber-like make, allowing a third party to stretch his body for him.
The Gomu Gomu no Mi user is also susceptible to Busoshoku Haki. Similar to water's effects, the usage of Haki only nullifies Luffy's ability to absorb blunt attacks. It does not however, revert Luffy's body to unstretchable flesh. Through the use of Busoshoku Haki, Luffy's grandfather was able to hurt him using only his fist (though Garp attributed this to "love").
When Luffy's crewmates (usually Nami) get angry at him, their punches are able to bypass Luffy's immunity to blunt attacks, although this is purely for comedic effect.
Another weakness noted by Doflamingo is that when Busoshoku Haki is applied to a part of Luffy's body, it is not rubbery anymore. This is proven with Luffy's Gomu Gomu no Thor Elephant Gun, where despite rubber being a natural insulator of electricity, the Busoshoku Haki-enhanced attack itself negates the rubber and discharges electricity. This weakness is negated in Gear Fourth however.
The powers of the fruit have been used by Luffy in a variety of ways. These range from simply moving from one place to another in a rather reckless manner, to attacking an enemy with a barrage of fast and strong punches. He has also developed several peculiar methods of combat as time passed, adapting new forms by manipulating his elastic body, most prominent his "Gear Second" and "Gear Third" forms, allowing him to momentarily increase his strength in combat. After the timeskip, he has learned to use Haki in conjunction with the fruit's powers, as well as having more control over his forms. Later, during the time skip, Luffy developed a form known as Gear Fourth.
Of course Luffy, being who he is, does not only use his ability for battle. When with his crew, or even when partying with others, Luffy tends to use his elastic properties for the humor and joy of others, such as making funny faces, or using his elastic body to play around. Often throughout the series he would stretch his arm and steal food from others, much to their annoyance. He also uses his powers for transportation purposes, a primary example being his "Gomu Gomu no Rocket," which has him grab something with his arms and fire himself like a slingshot, which helps him travel great distances quickly. Luffy also has no problem letting other people play with his stretching body, which people tend to take advantage of.
As Higuma and his gang arrive at a restaurant in Foosha Village, Luffy accidentally and unknowingly eats the Gomu Gomu no Mi. After Shanks' encounter with Higuma, when Luffy attempts to get back at Higuma for attacking Shanks, the latter grabs his arm, only to see it stretch, which surprising everyone in the restaurant, including Shanks' crew. Lucky Roo then shows Luffy the Gomu Gomu no Mi he ate.
Early One Piece
Luffy's stretching powers were a result of Oda's desire for the fighting style to be silly, so that no matter how tense a situation got, the reader could relax without becoming stressed out. Oda originally just called the fruit the 'Gomu Fruit', but his editor pointed out that there is a Rubber fruit, so Oda changed the name.
Oda rewrote several details about the Gomu Gomu no Mi in his early version of One Piece Romance Dawn, Version 1 and Romance Dawn, Version 2. In V.1, the Devil Fruit was the same except the Gomu Gomu no Mi was the fruit of the Gomu Gomu tree which grew once every 50 years and there were no named attacks in V.1. In V.2 the first named attack is given, but rather than saying "Gomu Gomu no..." at the start of all his moves, Luffy simply said "Right hand stopper!". Little detail was given on the Devil Fruit itself in V.2.
Translation and Dub Issues
Viz, 4Kids and FUNimation all translate this fruit's name as the "Gum-Gum Fruit". This translation comes from the etymology of the Japanese word "Gomu". "Gomu" is a loan word from English, it comes from "Gum" which is used in English to refer to rubber to identify it as "Natural Rubber" instead of "Synthetic Rubber". This is not only true of Japanese, but most worldly language derive their word for "Rubber" from "Gum".
Viz most likely selected "Gum-Gum" as a translation over "Rubber Rubber" due to "Gum" being phonically similar to "Gomu". The only English version of the series to ever translate it out as the "Rubber Rubber Fruit" is the Odex version. This is because it has no connections to the North American versions at all. Despite translating Gomu as "Gum", all English versions refer to Luffy as a "Rubberman".
- This is the first Devil Fruit, as well as the first Paramecia-type devil fruit to be seen in the series. It is also the first Devil Fruit to be seen before its consumption (the others being the Bara Bara no Mi, the Awa Awa no Mi, Ushi Ushi no Mi, Model: Giraffe, Yami Yami no Mi, Mera Mera no Mi, Ope Ope no Mi, Ito Ito no Mi and the non-canon Batto Batto no Mi).
- In the 3rd movie, it is shown that Luffy will not sink in water in his Gomu Gomu no Fusen technique. It is also seen in the anime.
- Luffy's first demonstration of his ability and his reason for eating the Devil Fruit differ between the manga and the anime. In the manga, Shanks grabbed Luffy's hand while Luffy was walking away causing his arm to stretch, with Luffy later claiming to have eaten the Fruit thinking it was dessert. In the anime, Shanks witnessed Luffy eating the Devil Fruit out of anger and tried to make him spit it out by grabbing the boy by the ankles and shaking him up and down, which caused Luffy's legs to stretch to the point where his face hit the floor. However, in the Episode of Luffy, the manga version of events is shown.
- Luffy has far more named Devil Fruit attacks than any other Devil Fruit user.
- After the timeskip, Luffy can activate his Gear Second without doing his "blood-pumping" pose. He can now pump his blood while standing, and even select a particular part of his body to bestow the effect upon; this ability to centralize the effects of Gear Second to any part of his body is not unlike that of those exhibited by skilled Zoan users, who are able to transform only a designated body part into animal form.
- After the timeskip, Luffy no longer reverts to Chibi form after using Gear Third, as shown after he used a Gomu Gomu no Elephant Gatling on Noah and did not decrease in size afterwards. This was later confirmed in the SBS.
- One of Oda's SBS questions asked if Luffy's penis could stretch, to which Oda replied that it could.
- Rubber - Wikipedia article about rubber
- Yubari King - Wikipedia article about the actual fruit the Devil Fruit is apparently shaped after
- Blood Doping - Wikipedia article on the process Gear Second utilizes