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One Piece's Eiichiro Oda Drew Major Inspiration From Tom And Jerry For Luffy's Gear 5 Battle

Whether one is currently enjoying the "One Piece" anime or they are caught up with the manga of the same name, they know that one of the most important moments in the Wano Country arc is the battle between Kaido of the Beasts and Monkey D. Luffy, which takes place primarily on the rooftop of Onigashima.

Although Luffy is in the midst of battle in the anime, manga-readers know this fight takes a turn in the Straw Hats' favor once Luffy awakens his Gomu Gomu no Mi devil fruit. This makes it the legendary zoan devil fruit known as the Hito Hito no Mi: Model Nika. Because of this, Luffy can enter Gear 5, which transforms him into the image of the Sun God "Nika" and grants him a variety of new powers and abilities. Following this transformation, Luffy and Kaido engage in what is perhaps the most exhilarating fight in all of "One Piece." 

While using Gear 5, anybody who comes near Luffy is transformed into a cartoon parody of themselves. Along with this side effect, the devil fruit enhances Luffy's already joyful nature, spreading that immense cheer to the world around him as he fights (via Animehunch). According to series creator Eiichiro Oda, this odd ability takes inspiration from one of the most iconic cartoons of all time: MGM's "Tom and Jerry."

Luffy's Gear 5 fight embodies the cartoonish feel of Tom and Jerry

During a July 2022 interview — which was translated by WSS Talk Back  — Eiichiro Oda discussed the climactic final battle of the Wano Country arc. Here, Oda asserted that he took major inspiration from "Tom and Jerry" when creating the cartoonish facial expressions for Luffy's Gear 5 battle.

"When thinking about its concept, you can think of it as if it suddenly became 'Tom & Jerry,'" Oda said. "When I tried to draw it for the first time, it was pretty difficult. The world of 'Tom & Jerry' works because of both characters, so I struggled a lot looking at the difference in attitude between Luffy, who was making pranks in the middle of the battle, and his serious opponent. But in the end, I feel like I actually pulled it off."

Oda went on to explain how the influence of "Tom and Jerry" over this fight is very indicative of the overall tone of "One Piece," as he wants to keep the manga fun and silly and avoid the more serious tone that shonen manga has adopted in recent years, especially in regard to battles. "I drew this because I really want to have fun, and I think that it's okay if people don't like it," Oda said. "I just want to play around with my battles." In the end, it's easy to see the influence that "Tom and Jerry" had on Luffy's cartoonish Gear 5 fight, and there's no doubt that Oda achieved his goal of keeping the battle fun and silly despite the massive stakes at hand.