A piece shows the new awakening of the Zoan Devil Fruit, confirming that LuffyThis version of this rare and powerful ability is completely unique. Kaku’s awakened form shares an important future with the form embodied by his CP0 companion, Lucci, highlighting the difference in Luffy’s Gear Fifth appearance.
A handful of people in the One Piece world have unlocked the final level of Devil Fruit powers known as “awakening”, which greatly increases their abilities. For the Zoan type, the awakening will enhance the user’s physical abilities to near-unequaled levels, however at the risk of causing them to lose their mind about their beastly nature. Despite first impressions, Luffy’s Devil Fruit is also a Zoan-type Devil Fruit of the Mythology branch, the Hito Hito no Mi, Model: Nika (Human, model Nika). However, Luffy’s appearance and abilities in his awakened form (which he calls Gear Fifth), are vastly different from other awakened Zoan systems that have appeared recently in the series.
Luffy’s Gear Fifth doesn’t have a black flame like other One Piece awakens
In their current adventure on Egghead Island, the Straw Hats are clashing with members of CP0, an elite group of spies and assassins in the service of the World Government. This group consists of two former enemies, Rob Lucci and Kaku, both Zoan-type Devil Fruit users. Lucci instantly manifests his new awakened form, featuring distinctive flame-shaped black smoke coils around his neck and shoulders. In chapter #1072 of One Piece, Kaku battles Zoro and it is revealed that he also awakened his Devil Fruit, and that his form shares the same characteristic black flames as Lucci’s, proving that this is a common trait of the awakened Zoans, who have not lost their minds in the process (which explains why the Impel Down guards don’t show it).
Luffy’s Gear Fifth also has similar smoke curls around his shoulders, but they are white and don’t look like flames. Coupled with his unique awakening abilities, which are more like Paramecia than Zoan, this confirms that Luffy’s Awakened Devil Fruit form is completely unique in the series. This is probably because grouping Mythical Zoans with other Zoans is always odd and can be inaccurate. All users of the Mythical Zoan-type, such as Kaido, Yamato, Sengoku, and Marco, have demonstrated abilities that resemble the Paramecia-type and go beyond the mere beastkin transformations of the normal Zoan-types, as confirmed by Eiichiro Oda in the Road to Laugh Tale special. 3.
Luffy’s awakening makes him unique even among One Piece’s insane abilities
It’s also possible that the striking white color in Gear Fifth is another way for the One Piece author to highlight Luffy’s role as “dawn bearer” and savior of the world. Due to this, the different color of the smoke/flame awakening featured on Luffy’s body compared to that of Lucci and Kaku, thus helping to better distinguish Mythical Zoan users. Luffy’s dominance over Lucci in their battle showed that they were on very different levels. The real ability of LuffyHis Devil Fruit, revealed 25 years after its debut in the manga, has apparently been tamed and becomes the protagonist of the manga. A piece look and feel special even in a world filled with people with unique Devil Fruit powers.