Since I’m going through kind of like a One Piece phase right now, I thought it would be appropriate to make another blog on the series. And today, I’m not going to be talking about an individual character but the main power system of the show: Haki.
one piece: haki explained
Now, for a long time, the main power system of One Piece was Devil Fruits, and I put “power system” in quotations because Devil Fruits were very disorderly, and oftentimes some characters seemed invincible because of powers like intangibility and all that stuff. But this was fixed around the Marine Ford Saga when Haki was first introduced. Now, Haki can be summed up as your basic Shonen power system. It exists in all creatures of the world, and it’s extremely hard to manifest.
But unlike other power systems like Chakra or Ki, Haki is less of an energy that runs through everything and more of like a manifestation of someone’s will.
So for instance, Luffy’s Haki is stronger than someone like Sanji’s because Luffy’s will and determination are much higher. However, this doesn’t mean that Luffy can completely destroy Sanji as you still have to take into account their physical capabilities and individual powers. Also, unlike other power systems, Haki is best developed when you push your limits and fight someone stronger than you, and you can’t really train it to its max capabilities.
But going beyond that basic description, you can categorize Haki into three different areas: Buso Shoku, aka Armament Haki, Kenbunshoku or Observation Haki, and Haoshoku or Conqueror’s Haki. Armament Haki is a very simple power, and it’s probably the easiest to explain out of the three.
This ability not only allows you to shield yourself and defend from attacks but also boost your attacks as well. And not just that, but you can also do some wild things like put it on swords and hit intangible Devil Fruit users. It’s also important to mention that when characters use Armament Haki, a black coating that appears similar to metal will appear wherever they use it. There’s also an advanced application of Armament Haki called Ryo or Rio.
I can’t really pronounce it that well, so I’m just gonna call it Rio. Now, Rio isn’t the term for this ability, but it’s way easier than saying “Advanced Armament Haki” every single time. This ability allows the user to expand the range of their Armament Haki, which not only acts as a defense but also as an offensive attack. When Rio is used, it looks like someone damaged something without even touching it, which is cool and all, but what the ability actually allows you to do is damage something from the inside out. A good example of this is when Luffy destroys these collars that are supposed to explode as soon as you take them off.
Now, Observation Haki is probably the most simple to use but most complex to explain out of the three. But to go into more detail, Observation Haki can basically be summed up as a sixth sense in the One Piece world. You can sense emotions, strength, presence, and intentions of others around you, which may allow you to predict what happens next.
Now, this may sound simple, but you have to take into consideration the factors of this ability, such as range and precision. For instance, Zorro can send someone that’s a few meters away, and he can probably predict their attack.
But someone like Enel can extend this distance over an entire island, or someone like Fujitora, who is blind, by the way, can sense all the conversations within a crowd of people who are all running towards the same thing. Just like Armament Haki, there’s an advanced version of Observation Haki as well. The One Piece community has labeled this ability as Future Sight because that’s literally what it is.
See, with regular Observation Haki, you can predict what might happen next, but you can’t see an exact depiction of what’s actually going to happen, and that’s where Future Sight comes in. It kinda acts like One Piece’s Sharingan. I say kind of because you really have to be in a calm state of mind while using it. I mean, the characters do use it mid-battle sometimes, but generally, Observation Haki works better when the user is calm and collected.
Conqueror’s Haki, without a doubt, is the most rare ability out of the three. Out of the millions of people in the One Piece world, the Conqueror’s Haki only manifests itself in a few. There’s absolutely no way to gain it through training, but this is a good thing, as Conqueror’s Haki can allow one person to knock out hundreds by just looking at them. Going into more detail, this ability allows the user to extend their will over others as if it was an attack.
Depending on how strong the target’s will is, this attack can either mildly intimidate them or make them fall completely unconscious. If their will is too weak, the attack is usually in the form of a spherical wave. However, the more advanced the user, the more precise it can be. A very extreme example of this is when Shanks launched his Conqueror’s Haki over a whole mountain to target one person, and even though Shanks was that far away, the target, who was an admiral by the way, was shivering his timbers so bad that he left the entire country that they were both in.
With enough usage of Conqueror’s Haki, the attack can also start destroying terrain as if it was some type of physical force. A good example of this is when one person’s Conqueror’s Haki attack collides with another. When this happens, both users get into a Dragon Ball Z type beam struggle where one is trying to overpower the other.
And yes, this broken ability has an advanced version that’s way more OP. This is when the user imbues their attacks with the color of the Supreme King, which is basically just another term for Conqueror’s Haki. I’m gonna refer to this technique as Infusion because saying Advanced Conquerors or Advanced is not that fun. But going back to what I said earlier, when a person uses Infusion, it basically allows them to use their Conqueror’s Haki as an actual physical attack. And similar to Ryo, it creates an effect of hitting your target without even touching it.
And just as a little unscripted side note, some people in the community think that Ryo and infusion are the same thing because it’s laid out very confusingly in the anime and the manga. So, I’m going to go with the interpretation that they’re different just for simplicity’s sake. So, yes, both techniques are very similar but infusion is way stronger. To put this into perspective, Luffy went from trying to beat Kaido in a five on one to becoming Kaido’s rival in a matter of seconds.
This power is only used by a handful of people in the world though, so yeah, it’s safe to say that this ability is only for the tippy top tiers of the One Piece World. Also, as a side note, a really cool feature of Conker’s haki is the red lightning that appears around it when it’s used. And this is just my opinion, but the anime has made this ability look epic. So, that pretty much wraps up the main section of the video, but I kind of want to talk about a few more miscellaneous facts.
The first fact is a mission, which is basically just a subcategory of Armament haki. Basically, it allows the user to use Armament haki but not to the point where it shows the black coating. And it’s also kind of like Ryo since you can use it as a projectile. It’s kind of weird pre-time skip haki was very weird in general. The next fact that we have is observation killing, which allows a user of Conker’s haki to stop a user of observation haki from seeing into the future.
The thing is, Shanks was briefly mentioned to have this power in One Piece Film red, but that film hasn’t released in the states yet, so we only have tidbits of information on this ability. And the last piece of information I want to give out is, did you know that the first usage of haki was in chapter 1 when Shanks used Conker’s haki to protect Luffy after he lost his arm? Of course, for no reason.
Have a nice day!
That’s me, Andreea Blaga, author of the blog anime-everything.com. I work as a content creator in the US. I am also passionate about Japanese Anime.