Captain of the Straw Hat Pirates, Monkey D. Luffy has pulled off some unbelievable stunts. Be it a high ranking naval Officer, or a Shichibukai, Luffy has gone toe to toe with the best of them and turned impossible odds in his favor. But how exactly did this meat loving Captain gain such powerful strength to overcome the best of the best? Is it his powers that he gained from eating the Gomu Gomu no Mi Fruit? Or perhaps it’s from all the protein he gets from his heavy meat diet? Well if you thought it was because of all of that then you were…..WRONG! Luffy’s strength isn’t from any of those or his many teachers. His strength came from his imagination; or as the meme says, Improvise. Adapt. Overcome.
Just stating that his imagination is the key to his strength won’t be enough to convince most so allow me to prove it quick and easily.
We first saw Gear Second in the Enies Lobby Arc. As we all know, Gear Second increases Luffy’s speed 10 fold at least. By taking full advantage of the Gomu Gomu no Mi Fruit’s powers, he accelerated his blood flow to pump oxygen throughout his body more quickly and easily. With a better blood flow, he can now get more use of his muscles thus increasing his speed and attack. It can be said, that this strategy is a result of Luffy seeing the CP9 shave skill to boost their abilities. Scientifically, this makes sense, but what other person would think to do something like that especially within the heat of battle? Not even Captain Buggy, who had his Devil Fruit Powers far longer than Luffy, showed such imagination in the beginning. However, this isn’t the only time that Luffy has been creative with his powers.
Although Gear Third and Fourth is separated within the series, I see them as one and the same. Gear Fourth to me is a more enhanced version of Gear Third, so as such I shall speak about them as one and the same. Gear Third was Luffy’s way to compensate for his lack of brute strength. Gear Second was more of a speed boost than an attack boost; therefore to gain the destructive force needed to take on stronger foes, Gear Third was created. By blowing air into his hand, Luffy drastically increases the mass to his fist to cause massive damage. After the time skip, he was able to better control this form and add Haki to it. This can be seen as the perquisite for Gear Fourth; and his attack like the Gomu Gomu no Elephant Gatling can prove that claim.
By building on that premise, Gear Fourth was born. Instead of an impartial expansion shrouded in Haki, Gear Fourth is a full expansion covered in Haki. It’s an all around increase in abilities while giving him the ultimate bad ass look. Though it carries a heavy risk, the destructive force it provides in exchange is more than worth it. However the question still stands; who else but Luffy would think of such crazy things? To expand your body to gain massive destruction, to both possess a body that can deflect a Cannon Ball yet retain its elasticity like rubber, to be able to move through the air at subsonic speed; who else but Luffy would think of such things? In comparison to other Devil Fruit users, no one but Luffy has shown such extremes with their powers. Not Smoker, not Boa Hancock not even the late Ace showed such imagination and creativity with their powers.
Even if one were to argue that Luffy only did what he did because he had those powers, the fact would still stand that he would still be the same creative person no matter what powers he had gotten. Even if he had no powers, Luffy would have still found a way to use his imagination to his advantage. That’s just how great a person our Meat Loving Straw Hat Captain is.