“Haki” in One Piece is similar in principle to Chi in any other anime. It is a mysterious power that generates from one’s spirit. An interesting fact about the term Haki is that it is not only a Japanese term but was the name of a famous Scandinavian Sea-King in Norse Mythology.
With the power one can sense other’s spiritual energy and predict their moves especially during a fight as seen many times in the anime. It also provides a protective coating to the user. It has a special characteristic that can only a group of “chosen ones” can use, this special spiritual power allows the user to dominate and overpower the others.
Haki of Different Kinds
There are three categories, each with the prefix “–shoku”.
The people capable of using this Haki have a sixth sense of the world around them. They can sense the presence, strength, emotions, and actions of those around them. It also grants them precognitive abilities. But only those in the advanced level can see a short period of time into the future.
Users of this level can use their own spiritual energy to protect themselves. They can use it as armor which prevents them from getting hurt while also makes their attack more impactful and potent.
A person can apply the Haki on their weapons like in their sword used by Zoro and Oden. Or, they can apply it to a specific part of their body or their entire body. Busoshoku users of higher grades can use power to destroy the body of their opponent from the inside out.
Overpowering other people and knocking them unconscious are the characteristics of Haoshoku. Only a handful of people can use this advanced level of shoku. The strength and power of Haki differ in level in each person.
So, two people who have the same shoku may be in different levels of skills. It is possible for people to master two types of Haki. Haki users can improve their abilities to master a higher level but it requires a lot of hard work.
“Haki” is a power that lies dormant in all the world’s creatures… “Presence”, “fighting spirit” and “intimidation”… It is not different from the things that humans can naturally sense such as these… ‘The act of not doubting’. That is strength!
Rayleigh was the first person in the anime who clearly explained what it is. Until then we saw Shanks use it first to scare the Lord of the Coast to save Luffy, but we didn’t know back then, that it was Haki.
As per Rayleigh’s explanation, it is difficult to master especially in a period of two years. Even then, in the two-year time skip, Zoro, Sanji, Luffy, Smoker, Koby, Tashigi, and Bellamy managed to learn Haki. When a Haki user pushes themselves beyond their limits particularly in a fight against a formidable opponent, they can become stronger.
However, the spiritual power is not limitless. Excessive use can deplete the energy, leaving the user unable to use it for a period of time. The user has to wait until the energy regenerates again to be able to use the power.
Among the Straw Hat Pirates, Luffy and Zoro can use all types of Haki, while Sanji can use Kenbunshoku and Busoshoku. All types of Haki users are rare and Shanks, Rayleigh, Boa Hancock, Kaido, Big Mom, Edward Newgate are among some who have mastered all three categories.
Once mastered properly, the user can be maintain and use the power even when they are unconscious. Whitebeard used Kenbunshoku to defend himself from Ace as he was asleep. While, Chinjao maintained his Busoshoku on his head, after fainting. Some animals in One Piece can also use the spiritual power.
The Captain of the Sea Animal Pirates, Kung-Fu Dugong in the Arabasta Arc used Haki. Also, Alpacacino was also able to use Busoshoku to damage Luffy.
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