Luffy in One Piece promotional art
Movies - TV
The Classic Cartoon Inspiration Behind One Piece’s Biggest Power-Up
Anime power-ups teach young viewers that they can grow stronger through training — or, in the case of Luffy's Gear 5 in "One Piece," they can turn into cartoon chaos gods.
After over 1000 episodes, "One Piece" has seen Luffy do a "Gear" power-up with a proper transformation that was inspired by a classic Hanna-Barbera cartoon.
In an interview published in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine, Eiichiro Oda said, "For the concept [of Gear 5,] think of it as if I suddenly drew 'Tom and Jerry.'"
Oda goes on to lament how manga has shied away from doing "silly expressions that were so characteristic," like "making the character's legs go in circles when they're running."
Gear 5 opposes the traditional idea of a character becoming more serious as they get stronger. The way Luffy utterly mocks his adversary is straight out of "Tom and Jerry."
The power-up is the epitome of Oda's entire career with "One Piece," as his art style has always mixed traditional Japanese manga art with traditional American cartoons.