While Devil Fruits tend to get a lot of attention in One Piece due to their rarity and the uniqueness of the powers they grant the user, the series has another power system that is actually more powerful than Devil Fruits — Haki. But what is Haki, and what makes it so powerful? If you’re just getting into the franchise through Netflix’s live-action adaptation, you actually got to see the technique used a few times, but it seems like they’re waiting until later seasons to explain it, so we’ll just explain the concept now!
The first time we see Haki in One Piece is when Shanks uses his Haki to save a child-aged Luffy from the Lord of the Coast.
Put simply, Haki is a power that allows a One Piece character to harness their own spiritual energy to utilize different types of abilities. Unlike Devil Fruits, anyone is capable of using Haki power, but there are plenty of people who never know their capabilities of learning it. In most cases, someone needs to train you to use Haki, although it can sometimes be awakened when someone is in danger or under great amounts of stress.
The first time we see Haki in One Piece is when Shanks uses his Haki to save a child Luffy from the Lord of the Coast. This scene is shown very early on and also makes an appearance in the live-action adaptation, though the power isn’t explained at this point in the anime and manga. Haki would later be expanded on in the Sabaody Archipelago and Amazon Lily Arcs.
One Piece has proven time and time again that Haki powers have the potential to be stronger than Devil Fruit powers, and Kaidou even says that Haki is an important factor in determining if someone is able to conquer the sea. Devil Fruit users are said to be hated by the sea, as evidenced by the fact eating the Fruit takes away the user’s ability to swim, so Devil Fruits alone are not enough to conquer the Grand Line.
This is further proven by the fact that Gol D. Roger was able to conquer the Grand Line without a Devil Fruit power, something that Devil Fruit users weren’t able to accomplish after his death.
Gol D. Roger was also able to defeat the so-called “Strongest Man in the World,” Edward Newgate, who held the power of the Gura Gura no Mi Devil Fruit. This Devil Fruit was known as the strongest Paramecia Devil Fruit in the world of One Piece, granting the user the power to cause shockwaves and earthquakes. However, Roger’s Haki allowed him to beat Newgate, despite his immense power.
Different Types Of Haki
Like Devil Fruits, Haki is separated into three distinct types, including Observation Haki (Kenbunshoku), Armament Haki (Busoshoku), and Conquerer’s Haki (Haoshoku). Observation Haki allows a character in One Piece to activate a sort of sixth sense that attunes them to the presence, emotions, and strength of other people. Advanced users of this type can even access limited precognition powers.
Typically, a One Piece character will have a propensity toward one specific type of Haki, which they will train to get better at.
Armament Haki allows a One Piece character to materialize their spiritual energy as a sort of armor that enhances their defensive capabilities and empowers their attacks. This Haki coats the body part or the weapon in shiny black armor that makes that area inherently more powerful. Finally, Conquerer’s Haki is the rarest of the Haki types, and only a few million people are capable of accessing it.
Conquerer’s Haki allows a user to unleash their willpower to overpower others. This power can be used to mentally overwhelm opponents, apply great pressure onto opponents or objects, and can even be used to greatly enhance one’s own powers. Typically, a One Piece character will have a propensity toward one specific type of Haki, which they will train to get better at.
Of course, a One Piece Haki user can also use multiple types of Haki. Very few characters can access all three types, but characters like Luffy, Shanks, Doflamingo, Kaidou, Gol D. Roger, and Zoro are capable of harnessing them. Hopefully, we’ll get to learn more about these powers again if the Netflix live-action adaptation gets some more seasons.