When it comes to insanely powerful main characters in the senen genre, Monkey D. Luffy from One Piece and Son Goku from Dragon Ball are above all. Both characters are mystical warriors of the highest level and the main characters of their series. With the recent introduction of Luffy’s Fifth Gear, which increases his strength level, the question arises whether he will be able to withstand the divine might of Saiyan in a one-on-one battle with Goku.
Luffy mastered his new Fifth Gear abilities after he awakened the true abilities of his Devil Fetus in the Kaido conflict. The Fifth Gear allows Luffy to combine the function of pumping the limbs of the Third Gear and pumping the muscles of the Fourth Gear, but without inflating his body. This combination leads to the fact that all parts of his body become extremely elastic and flexible. When Luffy first used it against Kaido, he was able to grow parts of his body to the size of a kaiju to throw Kaido like a rag doll. This elastic ability also extends to many other lesser abilities. Luffy can affect the physical environment around him by transferring his rubbery nature to static objects, as seen when Luffy was able to manipulate the arena against one of Kaido’s attacks. However, this ability has limitations. Luffy’s access to the Fifth Gear depends on the Devil Fruit, which is why he loses steam much faster than usual.
On the other hand, the name Son Goku is synonymous with the word “prodigy”. He is a certified martial artist from an alien planet, which gives him many privileges that Luffy does not have access to. His alien traits improve his fighting abilities and increase his stamina. Also, how Saiyan Goku can unlock enhanced versions of himself with pure willpower and use ki effectively in battle. Goku’s efficiency and ability to force ki attacks like Kamehameha also put him in a separate league as one of the strongest existing Dragon Ball characters. In fact, Goku is already a formidable opponent without his Saiyan abilities, and this combination would make him the winner against the Fifth Gear Luffy.
At the moment, there are four basic techniques of the Fifth Gear that Luffy showed. The two main techniques are Gum-Gum Giant and Gum-Gum Jump Rope. Both of these techniques involve extreme elastic transformations without time limits on behalf of Luffy or his opponent, with the first involving exponential increase in Luffy’s size, and the second stretching into a jump rope. Goku could easily resist the rope jumping technique due to his alien fortitude, and he was depicted as moving mountains that were much heavier than the elastic form of kaiju Luffy. The main reason why the Fifth Gear cannot defeat Saiyan is because Luffy’s abilities are still growing and have more potential to be revealed. Goku is already a master of many abilities and acts at a much higher level than Luffy in his strongest manifestations.
Although Luffy the Fifth Gear’s abilities are truly impressive, they are not equal to Son Goku’s skill. The fifth mechanism is an interesting combat technique that has so far been used very effectively in combat, but not against super—beings like Goku. Luffy is still developing his powers and testing the limits of his abilities, while Goku is becoming more and more powerful. Unfortunately, even with the Fifth Gear, Luffy will lose in this round, but it would be unwise to discount the One Piece hero and any future Gear abilities that could make him a more equal opponent for Goku from Dragon Ball.