Busoshoku Haki allows the user to use their spirit life force to create, in essence, an invisible armor around themselves. Similar to Tekkai, this Haki allows the user to defend against attacks that would otherwise cause them harm. Significant physical force can still overcome this defense; for example, Luffy struck Boa Marigold hard enough with Gear Second techniques that it sent her reeling.
It was used by Garp for the first time against Luffy to bypass his Devil Fruit power and hurt him in Water 7. Later, Sentomaru used a Haki-imbued attack against Luffy, which made the Straw Hats think he was a Devil Fruit user due to their lack of knowledge about the ability. Afterwards, Rayleigh used Haki to stop Kizaru and even touched his Logia body. The first time the Kujas named this ability "Haki", they were shown wielding Haki-imbued arrows. During the Marineford War, Haki was also used many times by marines and pirates alike. It was shown that Haki is very common in the New World, unlike in Paradise where Haki users are fairly rare and almost nobody knows about it. It is later explained by Rayleigh once he begins training Luffy.
Naturally this "invisible armor" can also be used as a weapon to strike others with. It can be used to augment the user's own physical attacks, projected ahead of the user as pure brute force, or imbued into weapons to increase their effectiveness. Any attack and/or weapon enhanced by Busoshoku Haki hits immensely harder than it would normally without it. The Kuja's Haki-imbued arrows, for example, are capable of penetrating solid stone. Swordsmen tend to use Busoshoku Haki to imbue their blades to prevent them from chipping.
This type of Haki also has the ability to bypass the powers of a Devil Fruit user whose body has been altered by their fruit in any way, touching the "substantial body" beneath whatever protection the fruit provides, such as the case of body-altering Devil Fruits such as Logia or Paramecia users. However, unlike Seastone, it does not actually nullify a user's Devil Fruit powers, so it still allows them to defend themselves, and continue fighting normally. By the same effect, this Haki can also be used as a higher level of offensive power, more so than just bypassing a foe's Devil Fruit powers.
A heavy concentration (or coating) of this Haki can be used to harden parts of one's body, turning the area black, thus making the user denser and more formidable, and giving their attacks greater power. As demonstrated with Vergo and later Pica, it is possible for one to coat their entire body in Busoshoku Haki. Although Luffy, the first in the mainstream storyline to demonstrate this effect, named the technique as Busoshoku: Koka (武装色 硬化 Busō-shoku: Kōka?, literally meaning "Color of Armaments: Hardening"), Donquixote Doflamingo and Roronoa Zoro are the only people to use this name for the technique. Also, an interesting phenomenon occurs when two people using hardened Busoshoku Haki at approximately the same strength clashes: black lightning seems to spreads out from the point of impact.
When two opponents using Busoshoku Haki clash, the one with the stronger Busoshoku Haki is more likely to be victorious. This can make it difficult to overcome an opponent's Haki in a brute force battle.
Busoshoku Haki is subjected for depletion if used for long periods of time as Busoshoku Haki is proportional to the amount of spirit life force an individual possesses. After the threshold is reached, the user will be unable to use it for a certain amount of time. It appears that the more Haki is used, the faster it will deplete.
Interactions with Devil Fruit UsersEdit
Devil Fruit Users are capable of using Haki themselves. This allows them to nullify lesser Haki-imbued attacks, yet it is still possible to pierce through their defense if the attack is stronger. For example, Akainu was able to take Haki-imbued attacks while maintaining his intangibility by extending his Haki through his body in order to nullify his opponents' bypass.
Busoshoku Haki works independently of the user's Devil Fruit if they have one, as shown when Luffy uses it to enhance his Gear Third attack underwater. This type of Haki may not be equipped on attacks that are not from one's body except for weapons, or anything generated from one's own body (like Kizaru's laser beams. Marco's flames or any other energy/non-solid attacks based on Devil Fruits). So, those who attack with parts of their body can combine their Haki and Devil Fruit powers.
Using Busoshoku Haki attacks on the element controlled by Logia type Devil Fruit Users will allow the attack to harm the "substantial body" of the opponent, since the element is essentially an extension of their body. However, this type of Haki will not harm the "substantial body" when used on elements controlled or produced by Paramecia type Devil Fruit users, since it is not actually part of their body (as demonstrated by Trebol). If the Paramecia type Devil Fruit affects the user's body itself (Luffy, for example is literally made of rubber) the user will also be harmed by a Busoshoku Haki imbued attack.
Haki's capability to counter Devil Fruit Users extends past Logia types, and lets them defend against certain Paramecia effects. However, this is dependant on the strength of the Haki, as Law bypassed Vergo's Haki and bifurcated him easily by using his Devil Fruit technique, although it is unknown if Law used his own Haki to nullify Vergo's Haki but it is similar to how Akainu was able to nullify it.
While Haki can bypass the devil fruit's defence, it doesn't negate the devil fruit, like Sea-Prism Stone does. Instead it "forces the devil fruit user's body into solidarity".
- Busoshoku: Koka (武装色 硬化 Busō-shoku: Kōka?, Color of Armaments: Hardening): This technique somehow uses Busoshoku Haki to harden the body (or parts of it) and objects which the user is holding. It was first seen used by Monkey D. Luffy, in combination with Gear Third, in order to use his "Gomu Gomu no Elephant Gun" against the Kraken. When a body, body part, or object is hardened, it becomes black and has the same or stronger effect than the invisible application of Color of Armaments. It is implied that Hardening is stronger than the invisible application as the characters who are able to use Hardening are not seen utilizing the invisible application. When both hardened fists clash, it releases a massive shockwave and black-lightning like effects. So far Luffy, Vergo, Smoker, Zephyr, Chinjao, Garp, Sabo, Jesus Burgess, Donquixote Doflamingo, Trafalgar Law, Bellamy, Sai, Roronoa Zoro, Pica, Kin'emon, Kanjuro, Issho, Sanji and Charlotte Cracker have been seen using it. Zephyr had earned the nickname "Black Arm" because of his mastery of it. It can also be imbued into weapons, as Vergo utilized it on a bamboo stick, Smoker on his Nanashaku Jitte, the latter indicating Busoshoku Haki can be used in conjuncture with Seastone, and Zoro on his swords. Also called Buso Koka (武装 硬化 Busō Kōka?, Armament Hardening) by Luffy when he uses an advanced form of "Gomu Gomu no Gatling". It was also simply called Buso (武装 Busō?, Armament) by Doflamingo when he blocked Luffy's attack and Zoro when trying to stop the birdcage. In the Viz Manga, it is called Color of Arms Hardening and FUNimation subs, it is called Armament: Hardening.
- Atama Buso (頭武装 Atama Busō?, Head Armament): Used by Luffy, he imbues his forehead with Busoshoku: Koka to harden it. This is first used in preparation for a Gomu Gomu no Kane against the Iron Shell Squadron. In the FUNimation subs, it is called Head: Hardening.
- Gear Second Buso (ギア2 (セカンド) 武装 Gia Sekando Busō?, Gear Second Armament): Used by Luffy, he imbues his fist with Busoshoku: Koka while under the effect of Gear Second to harden it, which also seems to have the added effect of igniting it. It was first used in preparation for Gomu Gomu no Red Hawk against Hody Jones. In the FUNimation subs it is called Second Gear: Armament.
Known Busoshoku Haki UsersEdit
- †: the character is deceased.
- *: the character's status is unknown. Hovering the symbol may give further details.
- ≠: the character is non-canon.
- ‡: the character is no longer part of this group. Hovering the symbol may give further details.
Translation and Dub IssuesEdit
The Kōka in Busōshoku: Kōka can also translate as "vulcanization", which is the process of rubber (or similar substances) being converted into a denser material.
- Busoshoku Haki is similar to Tekkai. The difference between them is that Tekkai depends on the user's physical strength, but Busoshoku Haki depends on the user's willpower and life force. Also, while Tekkai is more inclined to defense, with the user usually being immobile while tightening their bodies, Bushoshoku Haki does not have such a drawback.
- Busoshoku Haki users can still utilize their Devil Fruit powers, despite Haki being able to negate Devil Fruit defenses. This is because Haki only allows the user to bypass defenses provided by other peoples' Devil Fruit powers. In fact, Devil Fruit users can use the two abilities together to make one or the other more effective.
- Busoshoku Haki is the most used type of Haki in the series so far, as it is the most related attack and defense power in combat.
- Although the black skin effect of its usage is pretty common after the timeskip, it was not seen at all before, not even during Summit War Saga, where many pirates and marines of the highest level participated. The reason for this is currently unknown.
- In Luffy's Gear Fourth form, his Busoshoku Haki takes the shape of tribal flames on his body; this is the first example of Busoshoku Haki forming a recognizable pattern.
- In the anime, Busoshoku Haki has more visual effects when used at its fullest than just the black skin. These effects are a green flame-like aura (in Sai's case), and a steam-like aura (black and purple for Zoro, Kin'emon and Fujitora; and pink for Kanjuro).
- The anime also adds an extra color tone to the black skin effect in some characters (pinkish red for Luffy in Gear Fourth and purple for Pica).
- Vulcanization - Wikipedia article on the process Busoshoku Koka is derived from.