A Klabautermann is said to be a water spirit (or fairy) that dwells on ships and is basically an incarnation of a ship that has been well cared for. It is a merry and diligent creature that is said to warn sailors when a ship's in danger and help in bigger ways sometimes. They are normally considered to be only a legend among seafarers.
A Klabautermann resembles a small humanoid sailor wearing a sailor's raincoat and a pair of shoes, and carries with it a small wooden hammer. The human form of a Klabautermann only reveals itself to someone that truly cares for their ship.
The Klabautermann of the Going Merry was first seen during the Skypiea Arc, when Usopp saw it fixing the heavily damaged ship, and it told him that it would strive to sail the crew farther for a little while longer.
It was spoken of briefly by Franky when he had kidnapped Usopp after he had temporarily left the Straw Hats crew. He identifies the Klabautermann and describes it as a manifestation of a ship's soul brought about when it has been loved and cared for enough by its owners. Usopp then realized that it really was Merry who had spoken to him in Skypiea. Franky then reveals that if the ship were to sink with Usopp still onboard, its Klabautermann would not be able to go to Heaven, much to Usopp's further grief.
When Iceburg recounts how he encountered the Going Merry during Aqua Laguna, the Klabautermann is shown speaking to him, pleading to go out to sea one last time, and this convinces him to make the ship seaworthy before Aqua Laguna carried it away. The Klabautermann of the Going Merry spoke to the Straw Hats to call them to her at Enies Lobby and again at the Going Merry's viking funeral.
New World SagaEdit
Concludes non-canon section.
- Despite not making much of an appearance, the Klabautermann was ranked as the 49th most popular character in the series (with 46 votes), 2 votes more than the Going Merry itself.
- In real world myths, Klabautermann is said to be a male seafaring spirit that aids ships of crews that truly deserve it, rather than being an incarnation of the ship. Klabautermann means "ship's kobold" in German, a kobold being the spirit itself.
- There is also one bad omen associated with it. The spirit only makes itself visible to the crew of a doomed ship. This is shown to be true in One Piece, as Usopp saw the spirit fixing Going Merry back in Skypiea, and in the end, due to various events occurring, Going Merry was broken beyond repair and had to receive her Viking funeral.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 37 Chapter 351 and Episode 247, Franky explaining to Usopp about the Klabautermann
- ↑ One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 27 Chapter 254 and Episode 167, Usopp seeing the Klabautermann
- ↑ One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 44 Chapter 430 and Episode 312, The Going Merry's funeral
- Klabautermann - Wikipedia article about the water sprite in real-life legends.