| Ahoy! This here is the 4th Featured Article.
"Kurama" has been featured, meaning it was chosen as an article of interest.
Kurama, more commonly known by his alias Byakko, is the current Fleet Admiral of the Marines; making him ideally known throughout the world as the strongest the World Government has to offer in terms of pure fighting force. He is a man that inspires genuine terror in the hearts of pirates cut from all cloths, across the entire world, equally respected and also feared even by his own people. A strength nigh unmatched, he happens to be one of the rare few to have consumed a mythical Zoan-type devil fruit, the Yoko Yoko no Mi. Though Kurama comes across as an embodiment of the marines' code of justice, the principle he promotes is that of "Balanced Peace", imposing this will through that of the marines themselves. The Fleet Admiral is often known to privately consult those among his inner circle; the most prominent being his attendant, Haruka.
Rather average height of those who have carried the title of Admiral in days past, Kurama is known best for the long flowing silver hair that adorns his shoulders and hangs down toward the small of his back. His face seems almost innocent and caring, like that of a father figure who warmly attends to the needs of his subordinates, but his eyes display a fierce but quiet intensity that coupled with the man's smooth and deep tone of voice makes him feared even among his own subordinates. Kurama finds himself accustomed to wearing rather simplistic clothing, a basic martial arts uniform which appears to be of Chinese origin with the classic Admiral's jacket worn over his shoulders.
Rather fitting for a man who wields the power of a mythical fox, Kurama is an incredibly difficult to understand individual that comes across as off-putting; among pirates and marines alike.
On his surface, Kurama is portrayed as a caring leader among the marines. His soldiers affectionately refer to him as "Byakko-san" rather than with any more appropriate honorific. He is known to never show any signs of emergency, displaying a calm and composed demeanor even while others around him would panic. In battle, he further demonstrates this personality by both openly praising and mocking opponents, even ones that require a great effort to deal with and may seem as though they could have the upper hand against him. Ultimately, Kurama owes this relaxed demeanor to the idea that the world moves as it is supposed to, and that if his time to die has arrived, then so be it, but until then, he will continue to face each day with a leveled head and a grin. Of course, that being said, Kurama is known to display a shocked expression when certainly outrageous situations have arisen, though these are quite rare.
While he doesn't truly care for each of his subordinates, even sacrificing them for his own purposes, those he considers to be within his "inner circle" are like family to him. Among them, the most prominent are Sparrow D. Ryan and Turner Dyan; both of which are Vice-Admiral level and stand together with him on many of his assignments when he is in need of assistance. However, since this is rarely the case, both of them are often on assignments by Kurama himself, being trusted with a slew of marine soldiers. Furthermore, an example of his trust in both of them is that, with his authority as an Admiral, he has given both of them the right to execute a Buster Call if it is ever needed.
In battle, Kurama is never one to differentiate between men or women, attacking both of them ruthlessly, but will not strike down children. He states that the reason for this is that children have the potential to grow and continue becoming stronger, which means killing them prematurely means to destroy any chances of seeing them grow up and become strong enough to be a challenge one day. Kurama relishes a challenge regardless of the circumstances. He will often ignore the orders given to him by the fleet admiral or the commander-in-chief if it means getting the chance to face a powerful opponent; going as far as to issue a challenge to a Yonkō or a Shichibukai if he should feel a possible opportunity for a thrilling fight, despite the fact that those two aforementioned groups are those that exist to balance the power between pirates and the marines.
A rather rare perspective for a marine to have, Kurama does not appear to outright despise the existence of pirates nor does he believe in ending the age of piracy like so many marines and those allied with the World Government desire. In fact, he believes so strongly in the ideals of order that he believes pirates and marines are both in need of each other. Pirates must pursue freedom while marines must pursue order. Without one, the other's existence becomes unnecessary. Kurama does appear to have an interest in finding the One Piece. However, he does not appear genuinely interested in what the treasure might be but rather in what it represents. It was the existence of One Piece that sparked an upsurge of piracy a total of three times throughout history, which led to the strength of pirates to continue increasing as the marines themselves stepped up to plate and strengthened the soldiers in their ranks. The existence of both parties is needed for one another to thrive and to evolve, with the One Piece serving as that catalyst. If he should ever find it, he wishes to once again seize it and hide it away in order to once more spark forth a golden age of piracy.
If Kurama despises anything, it would be the existence of the Revolutionaries. As aforementioned, Kurama firmly believes in the balance between pirates and marines. It is their ongoing struggle that keeps the world in proper balance, but the Revolutionaries are an anomaly that seek to throw that order into chaos; something that Kurama cannot allow. Rather than seeking freedom like the pirates do, they instead seek to undo the work of the marines, and as such, Kurama has made it his goal to eradicate their existence.
- Main article: Fleet Admiral Inner Circle
Abilities and PowersEdit
As the Fleet Admiral of the Marines, the one that stands at the top of the World Government's Super Powers, Kurama boasts incredible skill and power reigned in through training and experiences that span his entire life. His mere presence strikes fear in the hearts of not only his enemies but his very subordinates for they have witnessed the sheer strength that this man possesses and the destruction he causes wherever he has designated to be his battlefield. Kurama is regarded as a monster in human skin, a reaper in mortal form, that can turn the tides of an entire war with his mere presence. Both his absolute strength and his unquestionable intellect make him the bane of all pirates' existence, with it being said that only the Yonko themselves possess the ability to go toe to toe with the monstrous Fleet Admiral.
Like all Admirals, Kurama possesses the authority to order a Buster Call to any location of his choosing.
Kurama is a remarkable martial arts master of superior skill that puts him at a level where only the best can stand.
Physically, the Admiral is quite sturdy. Having went through the training of a marine soldier in his lifetime, he has built up an incredible degree of strength that allows him to overpower most normal adversaries with minimal movement on his part. With a simple strike of the hand, Kurama can demolish structures composed of even concrete with little effort on his part and lift massive boulders with a single hand to throw at his enemies. While not actually being as strong as him, Kurama's physical strength has been compared to the late Monkey D. Garp on multiple occasions by those that have witnessed him in battle due to the abnormal feats he is seen performing. What is perhaps one of Kurama's most impressive feats of sheer physical strength is that he managed to impose a significant crack to a considerable sized piece of Kairoseki before managing to actually smash through it with a following blow. Of course, this required some degree of effort on Kurama's part to accomplish. The Fleet Admiral has demonstrated throwing cannonballs from his battleships with his bare hands, carrying such speed and force behind the throw that they create an even more violent explosion than the normal cannons which fire them. Kurama's leg strength gives him the capability to move with tremendous speed that allows him to cover a vast distance on foot. During his own training regimens, he would challenge himself to race around the entirety of Sabaody Archipelago a total of one hundred times in under three hours. It took him ten years of training, repeatedly trying to complete the challenge he set upon himself, and each time that he failed to do so, he would have to undergo a punishment of some kind of alternate exercise which pushed him to his limits. Kurama, as a younger man, was known to visit many mountain ranges in the Grand Line in order to further his physical training; climbing them straight to the top with no breaks, and often times, carried heavy rocks on his back to make it harder upon himself. Once reaching the top of those mountains, he would lower the boulders and conditions his fingers, palms, elbows, and even knees through repeated strikes against the boulders, until managing to break them apart. He eventually reached the point where his strength allowed him to shatter these rocks with a single strike. Kurama is noted as having an enhanced sense of smell and a sharpened hunter instinct, almost like that of a fox, which is ironic given the nature of his devil fruit.
Kurama's fighting style is a constant shift in tides between the nature of hard-type and soft-type martial arts. Like the waves of the ocean that crash as hard as stone and flow as soft as air, Kurama moves through the battlefield upsetting the flow of the fight in order to better suit his intentions. Simply put, it isn't possible to pinpoint exactly what Kurama's fighting style is, as it encompasses the very fundamentals of what makes up martial arts themselves; allowing the Admiral to change his method of fighting on a whim should the situation demand it.
Having went through the obligatory training of the marines, Kurama is trained in all six techniques of the Rokushiki martial art discipline. However, it is not that he has only managed to become proficient in this art form, but rather that he has grasped the very concept of what the Rokushiki actually is: embracing the ideals of the six powers of conquest. It is not his mastery over each individual power that makes Kurama's Rokushiki so feared throughout the world, but rather, the degree to which he is able to apply the concept and teachings of all six powers to one another in order to create a single unified fighting force rather than six individual techniques creates an offensive power that obliterates any foe that stands before him and an absolute defense with nary an opening to exploit.
Tekkai (鉄塊, "Iron Mass"): Otherwise known as "Iron Body", it is the pinnacle of physical defense for a martial artist to achieve. Embracing the very notion of being like that of steel itself, a master of the Tekkai is like a piece of iron: immovable and unbendable in their existence that none may pass through. It is the utmost precipice of hard-style in the martial arts, attainable only when one has resigned themselves to the perfection of bodily conditioning. To most practitioners, the Tekkai is nothing but the act of tightening one's muscles at the point of impact so as to resist damage. They have fine-tuned this basic control of their body that by tightening their muscles and focusing on their stance, their bodies become so durable that they can resist attacks that would normally cause them immense injury and pain. But for Kurama, who has mastered this skill, his very existence is Tekkai. Facing many training trials in his quest for greatness, he practiced every day to properly hone the Tekkai skill as something natural; not as a technique but as a way of being. It is for this reason that Kurama is one of very few Rokushiki Masters that can maintain the Tekkai even while in motion, but this merely scratches the surface of what it truly means to grasp at the very nature of Tekkai. For one to be capable of doing so, it suggests a complete mastery of their muscle control; a refinement of martial art fundamentals. Should the fist of an opponent make contact, slowly pushing forth to project force into the body, Kurama's skill with Tekkai allows him to actually tighten his muscles at the instant following the fist's initial contact; bouncing off his opponent's assault. But then, in order to not expend any unnecessary stamina, he can once more allow his muscles to relax and once more tighten when he strikes. In other words, there is no absolute way to determine when Kurama will perform the Tekkai simply because his mastery over the Iron Body technique is such that it is an aspect of himself without requiring conscious effort on his part. In order to overcome the Tekkai, Kurama's opponent must force their way through, for allowing themselves to try and predict the rhythm to which Kurama's Tekkai behaves is nothing but folly. Kurama's Tekkai is great enough to resist tremendous force, resisting the force of even gunfire and cannonball explosions, and then shrugging them off like dust on his jacket. Only the greatest of powers can ever hope to pierce the absolute defense that is Admiral Kurama's Tekkai.
Shigan (指銃, "Finger Gun"): Otherwise known as "Finger Pistol", the Shigan of Admiral Kurama is a ruthless single-fingered thrust delivered with such speed that it outstrips even arrows, its accuracy allows it to split bullets right down the middle, and its strength annihilates cannonballs. It is the culmination of Kurama's training on the mountaintops by conditioning his hand repeatedly. There is a tale many fledgling marine soldiers would often hear their instructors discuss during their training for the Shigan, but this is a tradition of the past which has long since lost meaning in the modern generation. A warrior held a great reputation throughout the world for being able to strike an opponent with such force and precision that it appeared as though a pistol shot clean through the victim. He was feared and respected as a great martial arts master with few equals, but in truth, this skill was a rouse perpetrated onto the populace by the crafty individual who sought glory and fame for martial talent. It was a mere illusion; the trickster had himself a pistol hidden on his body which would be fired by his other hand at an angle in which it would look as though it was his finger jab which caused the injury a moment after the strike. To those who witnessed this from afar, the trick looked as though it was reality; a warrior with the skill to shoot down his foes with a mere thrust of his finger. But among the crowd, a single martial artist who witnessed the event was not one to buy into this farce. If this feat was truly a reality, the rhythm of the performer's body did not match the resulting effect on the victim's body — the movement performed by the performer did not match the strike force — and thus this entire situation was an unusual circumstance that did not add up together. This was something only an experienced martial artist could ever discover, and while the young warrior was disgusted by this ludicrous carnival act, the idea left him much to ponder. Could a finger carry the same speed and force as a pistol? Rather... Was it possible for man to best machine even in piercing strength? He went off to train in order to discover the answer. And after three months of solitude, he had believed to have done it. In a triumphant return to civilization, he heard tale of the performer who continued to profit off of the gullibility of his spectators, and so, the martial artist eventually came to find him and challenged him to a match. Whoever would manage to strike the other one first would prove themselves as the true master of the finger pistol technique. And so the two began their match. It lasted only a mere moment; a blink of the eyes and it was over. The martial artist's finger penetrated, for all to see, clean through the chest of the performer; blood squirted from the wound as the man fell to the ground, defeated, with the pistol hidden in his clothes falling out for all to see. Those who witnessed the feat would not have noticed, but the reality to the martial artist's victory lay in the fact that in the time it took for the performer to pull the trigger — which, in truth, was the act of moving a single finger to perform an action — the martial artist's finger had already begun to move and penetrated the performer's chest all under that single iota of time. Prior to the fall of his opponent, the martial artist so subtlety yet confidently remarked, with a clear intention of portraying the irony of the situation... "A bullet isn't needed to pierce the human body." And his opponent, in folly of his rouse, fell to his death for his heart had been pierced by the Shigan. In truth, the Shigan is a power which penetrates all opposition, moving at a speed that surpasses machine itself as it outstrips even a pistol. For Kurama, the Shigan is a weapon of instantaneous silent slaughter; little can hope to stand against it. The Admiral has used it as his strike of choice, cracking even blades that attempt to block its force. The motion of the Shigan is subtle, with very few being able to tell when it is coming, but it can also be fired with the force of a cannon, causing the air around it to swirl around viciously as all opposition before it is smashed apart to smithereens. Because of its penetrative force which is focused on such a small space as the fingertip, even Busoshoku Haki has a difficult time of resisting the Shigan's attack, especially when utilized by Kurama himself.
Soru (剃, "Shave"): Truly, its name as "Shave" is a fitting one, for its very existence was born out of a necessity to transcend the limitations of what a human being was capable of doing. It is said that the birth of the Soru inspired the martial art masters of old to first formulate the basics of what would later go down as becoming Rokushiki, which is why many regard the Soru as being the most fundamental technique of the aforementioned style. As the story goes, there was once a man who was in need of traveling to a village a ways away from his own home village for medicine for his sick children. Unfortunately, the path ahead was a treacherous one, for the mountain that stood between the villages was one of such ill repute and danger that the villagers were resigned to accepting the deaths of their sick loved ones who could not be cured. But this father refused to give up on hope, for his children were all he had in this world, and so he set off to transverse the mountain. Upon reaching the base and making his way up, it didn't seem so bad; almost as if the entire legend of the mountain was exaggerated. But he spoke far too soon. The mountain steps were far too steep at a certain point to even continue moving further. However, that was not the end of his troubles. Vicious animals ran about, plants with harmful spikes that appeared to be almost alive and ready to devour any traveler, and unsteady paths along the mountain where the rocks below merely gave way under the weight and crumbled were among the greatest of these difficulties. For a full day, the man could not even rest for a single second as he had to evade danger after danger looming over him in all places. Exhausted and mentally drained, the man fell to the ground and resigned himself to death. But he could not. Whether an illusion of the mind, born from hunger and fatigue, or a deity above attempting to push him forward, he saw a visage of his children frolicking about; happy and healthy. And in the moment the father formed a light smile under the weight of his exhaustion, the kids fell to the ground, their faces blue and blood slowly staining the ground; their father who was unable to bring them the medicine they needed. A roar of defiance burst from the tired old man as he forced himself back to his feet, his eyes coated with an empty whiteness as he lost himself to the singular purpose of surviving and retrieving the medicine he so desperately needed. It is said that driven by this heightened emotional state, in which his conscious mind had already shut down, the father was able to channel explosive force with his kick-offs so as to run faster; his state of mind made it possible to ignore the pain and blood splattering about as he forced his legs to move faster and harder than they were meant to. In essence, he was able to shave off time from his own speed, for he knew time was a factor he did not have an abundance of, and that no matter what happened to him, he needed the medicine for his children. In the end, his speed and leg force allowed him to climb up mountain ridges and kick off from them before they crumbled, allowed him to outstrip the dangerous animals and plants alike, and in the process, he managed two successful trips back and forth; bringing the medicine to his children. But sadly, as he was not one that had remarkable physical strength, the injuries had taken their toll eventually and the father was left a crippled man. It is why immense conditioning is required before any may attempt to master the six powers. Soru is an act of explosive power. Whereas the Tekkai is about compression and the Shigan is about the reliance on pure speed, the Soru utilizes the body's strength at its utmost ability in order to move its limbs repeatedly with tremendous force. The result is a localized explosion-like effect which causes the user to essentially launch themselves off in the direction of their choosing, making it appear as though they have disappeared. In doing so, Kurama is able to perform overwhelming displays of speed that boggle the minds of even the most seasoned warriors; pirates and marines alike. Despite having mastery over all six powers, Kurama claims that he is the greatest master of the Soru technique. Coupled with his mastery over Shigan, Kurama can ideally refine the explosive power of his movements so that unnecessary releases of force do not ripple from his departure point; making it all the more difficult for even a master of Haki to pick up on his movements and even anticipate his steps. His speed has been shown to be great enough to cover vast stretches of land in under moments, but also to move so incredibly fast that in the wake of his departure, the vacuum left behind is shown to have an afterimage of his very being which can be mistaken for his real self. What makes Kurama's Soru so dangerous is that its concept is utilized beyond simple speed enhancement. The very idea of taking advantage of explosive power to move faster is one that has numerous applications. Applying the same concept to his arms instead of his legs allows Kurama to strike at speeds almost unfathomable. Together with the Taihōken, Kurama can fire off punches and strikes with such strength, precision, and speed that the resultant force produced is monstrously frightening; leveling battleships with ease and eradicating opponents to naught but broken masses of flesh and bone. Because this method also makes his movements refined, via his training with the Shigan, he is able to alter his strength output on a whim and control himself so that he may change his movements depending on the circumstances without expending unnecessary force. He is also able to channel his striking force with such refinement that Kurama can send off shockwaves with his punches of considerable power that can level buildings and even large ships alike. The same can also be said for Kurama's kicks as well, which can also serve as mediums for the other powers.
Rankyaku (嵐脚, "Storm Leg")
Geppō (月歩, "Moon Step")
Kami-e (紙絵, "Paper Drawing")
Rokuōgan (六王銃, "Six Kings Gun")
Being a master of the martial arts, Kurama has demonstrated the ability to control every aspect of his body through a fundamental discipline known as "self-control" that all martial artists should have fully mastered when reaching a certain point. While he hasn't shown the extent of his skill with the Life Return, he has demonstrated several techniques which make use of his body's features to the utmost degree.
Kyoku Rokushiki (極六式, "Extreme Six Styles"; Viz "Utmost of the Six Powers"): Through his mastery of the Life Return discipline, Kurama was able to take his skill with the Rokushiki to what he considers to be their utmost level, hence the name of this fighting style that belongs solely to him and those he has personally trained. The six powers are a martial art style that emphasizes control of the body at a level allowing for superhuman feats. But even with such skill, there are limits to what a mortal body can accomplish. Even through classic martial arts, there are aspects of the body and its behavior that cannot be trained; for instance, one may be able to strengthen their muscles, but they cannot train their internal organs. Similarly, no matter how controlled a fighter's movements, there must always be some sense of lost energy; an expenditure from collisions or actions that cannot be consciously tamed, no matter how much training one has, which often manifest as vibrational forces or otherwise, some of which are responsible for the sounds made by a warrior's motions. How could one find a way to surpass this limitation to further perfect their martial arts? In other words, was there a way for one to take the Rokushiki to a level beyond that which could only be achieved through mere combat training? Kurama theorized that if one were to take Life Return, a discipline demanding severe training of the mind, and apply it toward the Rokushiki — a marriage between the utmost skills belonging to body and mind respectively — one could essentially break through their limits and attain a level of martial arts that reaches heights of sheer extremity; a fighting style that allows for feats that seem nigh impossible through any means of conventional sense.
According to Kurama, while he had developed an enhanced version for each of the six techniques, over time, he came to realize he would only need a few of them and eventually abandoned the ones that did not benefit him in any significant manner during combat. His refocusing over Haki prompted him to only maintain use of a specific number of these techniques.
- Shinsoku Soru (神速剃, "Godspeed Shave")
- Ryusui Tekkai (流水鉄塊, "Flowing Water Iron Body")
- Zentai Shigan (全体指銃, "Entire Body Finger Gun"): When one comes to master the depths of Rokushiki, it no longer exists as six techniques but truly lives up to its name as six powers — with six techniques evolving into six martial arts in their own right. For Kurama, who has become accustomed to the finger pistol and familiarized himself with the very underlying concept of the strike, the Shigan is no longer a technique but rather that every strike he performs is in actuality the Shigan. Kurama's punches, his palm thrusts, his kicks, even his elbows; his entire body is the very personification of the finger pistol. This is what is known as the Zentai Shigan, the "entire body becoming a finger pistol". In this sense, the Shigan technique in Kurama's hands has become its own martial art. The fundamental concept of the Shigan is to strike with speed and to ignore strength. Velocity and kinetic force brings out its own strength, it does not require the performer to contribute; he must give himself to the ideal of the strike's shot. A person who strikes by using strength blindly causes vibrations when they strike, causing anywhere between a large to minimal excessive release of force from the point of impact; these are what are known as the unnecessary motions. However, this is easier said than done, as even the most greatest of martial art masters can not completely diminish the excessive moves in their techniques, especially in the heat of battle. In order to overcome this, Kurama designed his own clever training method. He would wear a bell on his waist and attempt to dash forward without making even a single sound in the bell. For this to work, one would have to understand how a bell functions. When a bell swings in one direction, it makes no noise, but when swung back and forth, a sound is brought forth. In relating this to martial arts, the bell sounds are the excessive moves of a martial artist, and therefore, to perfect the precision of one's strikes, Kurama would have to move without causing the bell to make even a peep. It was difficult, but several months of devoted training eventually led to him being able to even climb a mountain at full speed without allowing the bell to make even a single ring. This allowed him to master the Zentai Shigan, as each of his movements were the epitome of precision, and as such, this allowed him to perform Shigan with any part of his body. Rather than a bullet, a punch would yield a force akin to a cannonball moving at bullet speeds.
- Main article: Yoko Yoko no Mi
Kurama possesses the power of the Yoko Yoko no Mi, meaning "demon fox" (妖狐), which is a special Mythical Zoan Devil Fruit; stated to be even more rare than that of the Logia themselves. However, it seems to be set apart from normal Zoan types in the fact that it does not seem to alter Kurama's physical form nor provide him any sort of transformation, hence it is known as a special case. What does happen is that Kurama's aura and spiritual presence have permanently become like that of a nine-tailed fox. When one views him with the Kenbunshoku Haki, they do not see a normal humanoid form but the aura shape of a fox with nine large tails. It is because of this that Kurama has earned the name "Nine-Tails" (九尾, Kyūbi) from all those that have faced him. In essence, it transforms his spirit into that of a kitsune, almost akin to that of a Paramecia. The Yoko Yoko no Mi grants its user the power to "bewitch" (迷う, mayou) those that perceive of Kurama's being, regardless of which sense is used.
In classic Japanese mythology, the Kitsune are best known for their trickery and deceit; the epitome of which is exemplified by the devil fruit's power to bewitch the victims that come across Kurama's form. Looking upon him, or hearing his words, or simply perceiving him in any way, is enough for the Yoko Yoko no Mi to begin enacting its influence over them. Without a conscious effort, the degree to which people are bewitched is minimal. Stronger wills can resist against it without even trying, but even in those cases, many victims note that it is difficult to completely hate the Fleet Admiral; almost as if there's this overbearing charm to him that makes it impossible to completely despise him, no matter his personality. Of course, this hasn't stopped an innumerable amount of people from forming grudges against the man, even among his closest peers. It is through this power that Quill Pencilio attributes Kurama's luck with women, as there's "nothing altogether that charming about him otherwise", much to Kurama's chagrin.
Kurama himself has regarded the Yoko Yoko no Mi's power as something that "leads the soul astray", bewitching it so that it plays to a different tune befitting Kurama. Under normal circumstances, the devil fruit is meant to be used to bewitch souls and weaken the bond between the mind, body, and soul, allowing its user to rip away the victim's soul and take it into themselves. However, there is a notable flaw to this ability, as Kurama himself remarked. The Yoko Yoko no Mi can absorb souls through bewitching the victim, but simply taking in the soul of another would not strengthen his own soul. It's just common theft, it would never truly belong to them; it'd just be a tool that could be used but ultimately it could be taken back, for it doesn't really belong to them. This would be the case for any regular person with the Yoko Yoko no Mi. But the Fleet Admiral is no ordinary person. He would discover a method to employ his Haoshoku Haki to reign in and dominate the souls taken in by the devil fruit's power of bewitchment. In doing so, he could crush any individuality within the taken soul, and ultimately assimilate it into his own, in order to strengthen, not only his own soul, but to increase his life force. No longer would Kurama's body play host to the souls of the fallen, but rather, the fallen would have given their lives to create a stronger Kurama. It is for this reason that Kurama refuses to take the soul of any person that he has not first defeated in battle himself. It is the result of this action that has also been the reason behind Kurama's nigh-bottomless ocean of Haki. Simply taking in souls that do not belong to the user is not enough to use the will behind those souls to strengthen one's own. But by reigning in those souls and turning them into his own, thus creating an even stronger solitary soul, Kurama's Haki itself also expands. In doing so, Kurama has access to reserves of life energy proportional to thousands of lives, in varying amounts depending upon where he obtained the soul originally.
In most others, a devil fruit's power is sufficient as a means of battle. Haki may be used to supplement its effectiveness, or even to reinforce its powers, but it always plays second fiddle to the devil fruit itself. Kurama, however, only managed to achieve such great heights because he managed to truly combine his tremendous skill with Haki together with the dangerous potential of the Yoko Yoko no Mi. In doing so, Kurama is able to perform feats that would normally be considered impossible, if not the work of some sort of godlike entity. Using the Yoko Yoko no Mi to tremendously enhance his own Haki limits, and in turn, using his vast skills and knowledge of Haki along with that enormous reservoir to create techniques beyond comprehension, make the Fleet Admiral infinitely dangerous. Some examples of this include the use of Kenbunshoku Haki in concert with the devil fruit's power to bewitch its victims, allowing Kurama to tamper with their own senses and perception, effectively inducing hypnosis and creating illusionary effects as a result. His control over the fruit's power is so great, he can even perform highly refined and focused applications of its power, even employing a half-way method of bewitchment that enables him to both take a person's soul without literally taking it. It is this power that establishes Kurama as the lynchpin of the marines, connecting them all in a way that would be improbable by the work of any other leader.
Kurama has implied, though there has been no confirmation, that he has "awakened" the Yoko Yoko no Mi. Supposedly, because of this, he is also shown the ability to transform into a standard fox with silver fur, roughly half the size of a standard male's height while on all fours, while also being able to retain use of his Haki and other capabilities as well. He is also capable of conversing normally while in this state as well. Though this form provides little to no benefit in an actual confrontation, he normally assumes this transformation while traveling or attempting to stay hidden in dangerous territories without giving away his identity.
- "Haki is a power that arises from all living things, a flow of energy that binds and connects us all together. It flows through us, and all around us, uniting people as one. Through these flows that intertwine us together, we can understand one another and even interact on a spiritual level. It is the crystallization of humanity itself in the form of power."
- —Kurama explaining Haki to a student.
As the Fleet Admiral, Kurama is known for being a master of the Haki shades. Possessing an immense command over both the observation and armament colors of Haki, he is also one of the rare authoritative individuals that was blessed with the conquering shade as well. His skill comes not only from his refining of the three shades separately, but in the various methods he has managed to combine them together, producing countless strategies and techniques that render many an enemy incapable of putting up a decent fight; save only for the mightiest of warriors. This has led to the creation of not only new abilities, such as a means of disabling devil fruit powers, but also enables Kurama's comprehensive understanding of the three shades of Haki to make it possible for him to invoke the concept of one Haki shade and then channel it through another; in essence, using the principle of, say, what Haoshoku Haki does by manifesting one's spirit to the forefront, in order to do the same with both Busoshoku and Kenbunshoku Haki shades. Kurama demonstrates mastery of each of the three shades by using them individually but also by combining them in the most devastating methods.
Kurama's Haki is something to be feared by all kinds; a literal embodiment of force and terror, as he is perhaps one of the only warriors throughout the entire world whose Haki is of such potency, it takes on a physical form when manifested in particular ways. It is not only his masterful control and usage of Haki that makes him so powerful, but also the sheer tremendous levels of pure Haki that he retains within himself. It is something curious as to why the Fleet Admiral wields such unnaturally high reserves of life energy; possessing a volume sufficient enough that many who have witnessed the several insane instances of survival on Kurama's behalf have concluded that he must be immortal. The hidden and mortifying secret to Kurama's massive power lies in the countless acts of life energy theft he has committed to all those he has defeated; robbing them of their Haki to a point where they were no longer able to channel its might. Kurama discovered a way to steal the life energy, or in other words, the Haki power, within his victims by first taking in souls of the fallen through his Yoko Yoko no Mi and then crushing the individuality within them through Haoshoku Haki, assimilating that soul's own life energy — or, in other words, its Haki — into his own so as to strengthen his own soul rather than to play host to a collection of multiple souls; adding that Haki to his nigh infinite supply. Several years of these horrifying acts have left Kurama with a height of power considered to be impossible for any mere human to possess, and to the Fleet Admiral's admission, he would have indeed been incapable of retaining this level of life energy if it was not for the changes brought onto his spirit by the consuming of the Yoko Yoko no Mi, which had transformed Kurama's spirit into one of a kitsune, a mythical being well-known for consuming the souls of its victims.
Though the actual number of how many times Kurama has stolen another's Haki is unknown, his attendant Haruka has claimed that he has absorbed well over a thousand Haki sources. The mere invoking of his Haki causes Kurama's body to shimmer with an intense aura of light, signifying the sheer realms of Haki that he wields within himself, which is why he always holds himself back during most fights to a point where many do not experience even an iota of the true staggering might produced by the Fleet Admiral's Haki. The indication of how much power Kurama lets loose can be determined by a user of Kenbunshoku Haki. Normally, Kurama's presence cannot be seen as a humanoid, but that of a nine-tailed fox. Using just a small amount of his might shows his spiritual presence as an average-sized fox, but the more he puts out, the larger the size of that kitsune presence; with the release of his true might producing a presence that towers over entire islands. Unleashing the full extent of his Haki reserves is enough to tamper with the atmospheric pressure of an entire region, resulting in all manner of weather phenomena.
To know the world and understand the flow of the universe... That is what is known as Kenbunshoku Haki. Kurama is able to feel out the presence of all things with his willpower. Haki itself is the manifestation and manipulation of one's willpower to serve a variety of tasks. On the physical level, one's senses manifest through their body's capabilities; the ears hear, the eyes see, the nose smells, and so on. But when manifested through the power of Haki, one's senses can reach beyond what they can physically manage.
One of the more unique uses of Kenbunshoku Haki that Kurama often employs is to utilize it to "throw" his Haki in order to fool the Kenbunshoku Haki of an opposing enemy. In this sense, he utilizes his Haki as a feint in order to disable or at least severely hinder one's ability to predict his movements. Combined with Haoshoku Haki, which allows him to slow down time in certain instances, it becomes nearly impossible to overcome Kurama one-on-one unless he is somehow struck while his guard is down.
When the Yoko Yoko no Mi's bewitching power is combined with Kenbunshoku Haki, Kurama is able to vastly concentrate and amplify the bewitchment aspect without actually ripping away the soul, inducing what is often referred to as "absolute hypnosis" (完全催眠, Kanzen Saimin). When focused through the Haki of perception, Kurama is essentially inducing visions of what he wants his victims to perceive rather than what they would normally perceive, effectively inducing an illusionary effect onto them. Kurama has shown the use of illusions to often mislead his opponents and to throw them off to his actual presence. He is able to create a vast amount of illusionary clones completely indistinguishable from the real thing. He can make a victim perceive him as something else, or make himself invisible to those who have been affected by the ability; there are no limits to what Kurama can choose for those vulnerable to the ability to perceive. What makes this hypnosis so dangerous is that, because it is induced through a feat of Haki just as much as a devil fruit, simply utilizing Haki is not enough to offset the power. More over, Kurama can influence not only their physical senses, but even the scope of what the victim's own Kenbunshoku Haki might pick up and perceive as well. That being said, an elite warrior with a sharpened Haki sense can eventually manage to break through his illusions and even resist complete possession of the senses, if not shatter it outright, with a strong enough willpower as well as sufficient amount of exposure to Kurama's tactics. However, this is also dependent on the victim's willpower in comparison to Kurama's own, which becomes the deciding factor.
With the same method, Kurama is also capable of inducing a form of "mind control" onto his victims. In doing so, Kurama has amassed a rather significant amount of contacts around the world by manipulating certain individuals under his hypnosis and controlling them to do as he pleases. At first, his hypnosis caused those he placed under the technique to display a rather dazed expression while performing whatever he ordered them to do, but after training his skill and practicing it enough times, he can place a person under hypnosis and have them do as he wishes without the slightest change in their demeanor; almost as if each and every choice they make as a result of Kurama's influence is their own.
Perhaps the most subtle and graceful of his Yoko Yoko no Mi and Kenbunshoku Haki combinations, Kurama can bewitch another with such skillful elegance that is capable of doing something which can only be called a half-way application of the Yoko Yoko no Mi's bewitchment. It is almost like taking away the victim's soul without actually taking it away, almost as if to own them in a superficial way; a phenomenon that Kurama's inner circle subordinate, Quill Pencilio, has jokingly referred to as Kurama having "affairs" or "open relationships" with his victims. He refers to this ability as "shared sight" (共有情景, Kyōyū Jōkei), though it is by no means limited solely to the victim's sight. The presence of this ability is so subtle and minuscule that it is normally impossible for someone to detect when Kurama has laced in his power into the victim's mind. Shared sight enables Kurama to perceive anything those affected by the ability, making it possible for the Fleet Admiral to view things from locations he himself is not present. Given how subtle an effect it is, coupled with the monstrous volumes of Haki that he possesses, Kurama can cast shared sight with negligible effort, suggesting that he has thousands upon thousands of shared sight victims. Kurama often makes the comment, "I am everywhere", referring to the countless individuals within the Marines that have already had shared sight cast upon them. This vast network was created over the course of nearly ten years, though the existence of this connection is known only to Kurama and his inner circle. Such a web of interconnected perception allows Kurama to further the unified strength of the Marines as a single entity.
Shared sight is not limited to only giving Kurama access to what his victim perceives, but the opposite is also possible, for Kurama often grants members of his inner circle opportunities to see what he is seeing, not only for the sake of ambushing an opponent that believes Kurama is alone, but also to reinforce combination strategies when working together in combat.
Taken further than the future-telling capabilities of Kenbunshoku Haki, Kurama's mastery over the perception powers of the observational Haki have allowed him to automatically respond and dodge any threat before it manages to reach his body. According to Kurama, the Kenbunshoku Haki operates through two stages working in succession to each other: the first is to analyze and understand the aura around them, while the second is to make decisions based upon the information acquired through the first stage. By further practicing the second stage, one is able to make prediction-like judgments in accordance with the understanding of their opponent's nature. Accuracy in these predictions is dependent upon how efficient their first stage Kenbunshoku is; in other words, if they are able to glean a sufficient amount of useful information from their enemy, the predictions made on their behavior and actions will be that much more accurate. When this power is further developed, it becomes possible to even make predictions several moments into the future of others' actions rather than just their next move, allowing for some semblance of precognition.
Ultimately, however, because Kenbunshoku Haki is a power born of the mind, it is dependent on some level to the body's physical senses. This is where the limit of the observational Haki is revealed. Because it requires the user's mind to process the information before a response can be decided upon, precious time is already lost, as it takes time for a human being's brain to take in information and then analyze it for a proper action to be performed. Namely, shifting between the first and second stage is limited by one's own reaction time and processing speed; an inherent limit that cannot be changed through training, no matter how much one tries. But it is here that Kurama sought to surpass his limit as a mere human and achieve precognition bordering on absolute instinct.
Kurama was able to, through years of rigorous training, master the ability to turn Kenbunshoku Haki from a mental power into a physical power. Such a thing would normally be considered impossible, for to make such a thing happen, one would need the mind and body to be in perfect undisturbed harmony at all times; otherwise, the method would fall apart immediately. If such a skill was developed normally, it would probably take a person centuries of meditation to accomplish, but through the Yoko Yoko no Mi, Kurama discovered a far simpler method. His bewitchment power works through any medium, even on himself, and so by turning that power onto himself, he can induce a sort of "self-trance" in which his mind and body to cooperate on the same wavelength at all times. By doing so, Kurama's mind and body could remain in a state of forceful yet perfect unity even if his concentration were to slightly waver. With the mind and body working as one, Kenbunshoku Haki, that originates in the mind, could also now be channeled through the body as well; worn as a sort of mental armor over the body. As such, whenever an attack gets close to Kurama, his body is able to instantaneously make decisions at the same instant his Kenbunshoku Haki analyzes the attack; in effect, he manages to combine the first stage and second stage to work at the same time rather than in succession.
Although the name suggests it is limited solely to counter-attacking, the Auto Counter is an ability allowing for Kurama to initiate attacks as well. Originally, when it was first created, Kurama was only able to dodge attacks, due to the fact that it was solely reliant on a mental armor forged from Kenbunshoku. In order to perfect the Auto Counter, he had to develop a way to allow for instantaneous attacking as well as responding. Kurama managed to figure out a way to maintain both the mental armor of Kenbunshoku Haki while also internalizing Busoshoku Haki through a technique similar to Sparrow Raizen's Busoshoku: Keikaku, allowing his body to instinctively move based on the instantaneous decisions being made through the Kenbunshoku armor. Such an intricate combination of advanced Haki techniques being used in tandem would only be possible by a master of Kurama's own level, and through numerous life-or-death battles, he had perfected the completed Auto Counter to such a point that he could invoke it effortlessly. Because his attacks are instantaneous reactions based on the situation, they happen right at the moment the intention to attack is formed. In other words, the very instant Kurama has formed the intention to make an attack, the attack has already been carried out, making it impossible to predict or anticipate these movements based on reading his intentions through Kenbunshoku Haki. Those that observe attacks being performed through Auto Counter often have difficulty understanding what transpired, noting that they can see the moves with their own eyes yet the movements themselves feel unreal; as if they shouldn't be possible. While the future-telling ability of a mastered Kenbunshoku can still predict these attacks to some degree, the rate at which accurate predictions are made during a fight are severely reduced, due to the fact that these movements are all done without future intention or planning in mind. Once any intention has formed, the attack happens all by itself; no different than how Kurama dodges and responds instantaneously to an opponent's own attacks.
Recognition of WillEdit
All actions have a will behind them. Nothing is done without some sort of intention behind them, even if that intention is only realized after the fact. On the most fundamental level, this notion is applied toward an opponent's attacks, in that attacks have a will behind them. One can use Haki, or more specifically, the Kenbunshoku Haki, to pick up on these intentions and anticipate the action that follows them. But this is something that is no different than the actions that humans naturally do. When a person performs a task well, they work hard to build a structure or a weapon, till the land so as to prepare for the growing of crops — these are all actions that are born out of the effort a person puts into them. When a warrior manages to develop their technique after years of painstaking training, or a blacksmith puts their heart and soul into forging a blade that has no equal, a sort of mark is etched onto the product of those efforts; a signature of willpower that saturates the instrument of that effort. It's almost as if a piece of them is scarred onto the recipient of those actions.
It is said that Haki is no different than the usual things that humans can sense, such as presence and intimidation, and the same can be said for effort as well. When Kenbunshoku Haki is heightened to a certain point, the reading of wills behind attacks can reach levels where one develops precognition; seeing into the future to anticipate intentions themselves. For many, this is the height of the observational Haki shade, but it is possible to take this ability even further. Those intentions, those efforts that were expended, are no different in concept to the idea of applied willpower, and thus, those conceptual marks scarred onto the recipients of that willpower can be read by a truly powerful Kenbunshoku Haki. It's almost as though one can see the fragmented presence that was parted into the instrument by way of that effort and will, the same way one can see the presences of others, and through other means of Haki, such as Busoshoku and Haoshoku, it becomes possible for someone with this ability to interact with those marks of will.
Perhaps one of the more subtle ways Kurama employs this power is to pick up on the marks of will left behind by particularly powerful entities. It becomes possible for him through this application of Kenbunshoku Haki to perceiving remaining wills from those that have come into contact with certain objects or have visited certain locations. Individuals of a particularly strong spirit often have imposing presences that stand out, and their presence can be felt long after they have left, so long as one uses a sufficiently powerful observation Haki to perceive them. With this, Kurama can feel out events that have transpired in certain areas; intense battles, arguments, even wars themselves, and even the deaths that may have come to pass there. On some level, he can even perceive the emotions felt by those who were there, as feelings such as rage and hatred can often linger in the air like a potent stench.
Being able to perceive the efforts that were put into the development of something, and then interacting with one, opens up infinitely dangerous possibilities. Kurama most often combines this ability with the conquering pressure of Haoshoku Haki. By perceiving of these conceptual marks of will, Kurama can channel his Haoshoku in order to obliterate those partial presences, erasing them from the existence of the instrument. Doing such a thing leads to the altering of that instrument's own past. If the effort that was put into the creation and development of that medium is now gone, it means that the results of those efforts will also vanish. A sword that was built up by a bladesmith, for instance, only became so sturdy and combat ready because of the effort that was put into making it. If those efforts, the willpower behind its forging, were to be destroyed, then the weapon's own quality would diminish so significantly, as though the person who made it had done so carelessly; without a speck of knowledge, experience, or even passion and desire being poured into its creation. Such a sword would only end up falling apart at the seams. Therefore, Kurama can cause weapons to fall apart with mere gazes; shields, armor, structures, ships, houses, walls — anything that was created with any modicum of effort behind its construction can be torn down with a mere gaze. The Fleet Admiral has demonstrated this power in navel warfare, forcing a pirate ship from a considerable distance away to fall apart, board by board, until the entire ship collapsed and the crew fell to their watery deaths; simply by destroying the efforts that were put into the ship's construction.
It is possible to use this power on living beings as well. The development of the body and martial arts, the technique of a warrior, these are all things that were also born from the will to improve one's own abilities. These efforts to improve oneself are etched onto the body as a mark of will, and like that of weapons or structures, these can also be read by Kurama's Kenbunshoku and subsequently influenced by his Haoshoku. However, it requires close proximity, perhaps even physical contact, to induce a significant enough change onto the victim. In destroying the efforts put into the development of the body, Kurama can cause his victims to lose aspects of themselves such as muscle mass, hand-eye coordination, balance, and so on; essentially breaking down the conceptual structure they had forged into themselves through training. Similarly, techniques, forms, stances, and ultimately, martial art and fighting styles themselves, can be battered away; all of its development broken away piece by piece. In essence, Kurama calls this the "destruction of one's strengths", erasing all that they have developed for themselves. The Fleet Admiral views this as a judgment reserved only for those that have earned his ire, for in Kurama's personal philosophy, to shatter one's strengths and to leave them as only a fragile vessel of weaknesses is a fate worse than death.
This ability can be directed towards Kurama's own body as well. In the same way one can read the intentions behind attacks in order to anticipate and dodge them, it is also possible for one to pick up on the will and efforts that have gone into wounding and causing injury onto the Fleet Admiral's body through those same attacks. By crushing those marks of will that went into the efforts to injure Kurama, he can essentially reduce those attacks to being negligent or half-hearted attempts, meaning that the damage that he would have received from such weak attacks would be mitigated severely; even to the point of rejecting the wound entirely. Such a phenomenon gives off the impression of regeneration, as though Kurama can heal himself and restore his body to a point prior to the wound. Where the wound originally was appears to slowly vanish as steam rises off from it. Healing himself from one or two injuries is simple enough, to the point where he can even do so in the middle of a fight, but receiving repeated damage makes the effect that much more ineffective, due to the fact that a significant degree of concentration is required for Kurama to perform this feat. This extends, not only to his own body, but also allowing Kurama to remove the efforts that went into injuring others as well, effectively letting him heal his own subordinates from life-threatening wounds; to some extent, that is, for there appears to be a notable limit to the scope behind this action.
Of course, Kurama has also discovered ways to apply this technique, not only to induce destructive effects, but also to create beneficial effects as well. In the same way he perceives these marks of will and uses Haoshoku to destroy them, the opposite is also true: he can channel his Haki to strengthen and amplify the efforts that went into that instrument. To some extent, he can enhance the quality of certain constructs, such as weapons or armors, and even increase the strengths of an individual's body or their fighting style. This is explained as though greater effort and resolve than what originally went into the development has now been applied, logically resulting in an enhancement of overall quality. Though this means it is possible to strengthen his subordinates with ease, Kurama opts against using this technique for such things without there being dire circumstances, for it goes against his principles that warriors must acquire strength through their own merits.
Truly befitting the man who stands at the top of the Marines, Fleet Admiral Kurama has demonstrated a vast mastery of Busoshoku Haki. Perhaps his greatest feat with Armament Haki, however, is that he has learned to apply it to all of his martial art skills. As Haki itself is the materialization of one's will, when one comes to master its power, the uniqueness of one's spirit becomes all the more prominent in their Haki usage. His level of Haki reached such an extent that he is regarded as one of the foremost masters of the craft and has inspired an entire generation of Haki practitioners.
Merging together his Armament Haki with Shigan, Kurama can employ a variety of methods to enhance the effectiveness of his finger pistol technique. The most common method is to coat his finger in an intense black aura which coats his finger black, enforcing the strength of his fingers like steel itself. However, he is able to perform far greater feats. By extending the reach of his Haki by essentially "throwing" his spirit, like that of a kiai, his finger pistol extends outwards like a black spear at frightening speeds that can slay victims from a vast distance. Kurama mastered this method to the point that he does not need to thrust his fingers to perform the technique, simply holding his finger at the desired target and allowing the narrow thin yet steel-like black spear to strike without warning. He is able to create the spear instantaneously and have it disappear just as fast as it appeared, forming another one in succession to create a barrage of black spear strikes in order to overwhelm the opponent. Kurama can create projectiles using Armament Haki via the finger pistol as well, with the same strength as the spear variant but with tremendous speed outstripping the speed of sound itself; causing the bullet to erupt with a brief sonic boom upon firing. It is said that once the target has heard the firing of the black bullet, it is already too late, for the bullet has struck its target.
Kurama is able to merge together the Armament Haki with his Rankyaku technique to create physical black blade projectiles from his kicks that move at the speed of sound. While they are regarded as physical constructs, they appear and vanish within the same instant they strike, making it seem as though they may not have existed in the first place. But the damage they wrought in their wake cannot be ignored. Not only does this allow Kurama to vastly extend the range of his Rankyaku's influence, but its strength is so great that it can slice through most standard defenses, even among those forged from Haki itself. According to Kurama, only an Armament Haki that has matured and been refined to channel the uniqueness of one's will can hope to stand up to his Haki-enhanced Rankyaku. The frightening speed, strength, and appearance of his kicks have been often compared to the slashes of the late Dracule Mihawk who wielded the black sword, Yoru. While not verified, there is a rumor among the marines that Kurama has used his Rankyaku to quite literally split the seas themselves so as to travel from island to island on foot. But, of course, these are but rumors lightly dipped in truth.
By combining together Haki with the Soru technique allows Kurama to create a far more fluid variation of the stepping method. He identified that Soru's most glaring weakness lies in the fact that it behaves like an accelerated step. Because of this, Soru only allows its user to move in straight directions, requiring an additional step to change directions and therefore it becomes far too easy for the opponent to track the Soru's movement. In essence, Soru restricts its user to two-dimensional movement. Using the invisible force of Busoshoku Haki, Kurama can create compact footholds beneath his feet that allow him to glide whenever engaging in high-speed movement with Soru, essentially making it seem as though he were riding rails that change direction on a whim and are unable to be detected easily for they can allow Kurama to move in any direction that is possible within a three-dimensional space. Taking it a step further with Geppo allows Kurama to actually perform feats of flight, becoming his most preferred method of travel. He is known for watching over battlefields from high in the skies above, standing in judgment of both his soldiers and his enemies.
Many definitions for what Haki is and how it behaves have come forth throughout the ages, and all of them have shared one common trait; that Haki is a power of humanity, born from the spirits of living beings. It is a power fueled by life energy, something that all living beings possess and unconsciously put out. Emotion, thought, behavior, and movement are among the facets which control the exertion of life energy. These individual life energies put out an aura field for every living being, no different than that of the magnetic fields exerted by the planet, and it is through these fields that techniques such as Kenbunshoku and Busoshoku enable both sensing and interacting through Haki. By learning to harness Haki, and mastering the power, one can even alter their own aura field to their whims.
Kurama's mastery over Haki is refined to the point that he has complete control over his own aura field. Because of this absolute sense of control, along with the abnormally high volumes of life energy he possesses, Kurama's aura field can envelop an entire island of considerable size without conscious effort. It is like an ocean of Haki that washes over the entirety of the range his aura reaches, as though Kurama has established the entire land as his personal territory. Though any specific point of the field is weak and barely felt, much like most people's aura fields, Kurama's control over the aura field makes it so he can effortlessly alter and manipulate the density and flow of his Haki wherever his aura field reaches.
Perhaps the most common method Kurama employs is to create a wall of Haki that defends against all but the most powerful attacks. Whether through a glare or even by raising his hand, he can exert his field outwards and solidifies it into an invisible wall that stops anything from getting any closer. Because of Haki's nature, even intangible phenomenon, such as vibrations, can be stopped dead in their tracks. Kurama typically enters battle with a sphere-shaped wall surrounding him, making ambush attacks all the more difficult to land on him, should he be unable to anticipate the technique. Even the Fleet Admiral is not so arrogant as to enter a battlefield without setting up the proper defenses.
Control over the aura field gives Kurama the ability to interact with whatever is within its reach, in a manner similar in principle to telekinesis. He has demonstrated common applications of this ability by lifting objects within the range of his aura field and even pulling apart the earth beneath him to open up chasms while displacing the elevation of the ground. Kurama has even been known to choke victims with his Haki, simply holding his hand out and making a grip-like hand gesture, as his victims feel an invisible force clenching their throats until they asphyxiate from lack of oxygen. If his mood is pushed far enough, Kurama has shown himself to even crush their throats long before they lose their breath. He can even use his own aura field to levitate, surrounding himself in a thin aura that allows him some manner of flight.
With ease, it is possible for him to smother opponents that enter his aura field with his Busoshoku Haki from afar. Though they can resist by using their own Haki to push his influence back, the mere act alone puts a heavy strain on their concentration, their bodies, and especially Devil Fruit powers; particularly those that change the nature and composition of the body, such as Logias. Kurama can ideally force them to take form simply by looking at them, even snuffing out attacks before they even manage to reach his body. But more importantly, it makes it possible for Kurama to exert pressure at any time, from any direction, which enables him to disrupt timing, balance, coordination and even techniques themselves, even to the point of breaking them apart entirely. It is almost as though his control of the Haki field, which is synonymous with that of an ocean swallowing up everything within its range, allows him to impose ebb and flow effects anywhere within the field's scope. It is likened to creating currents of Haki that flow in any direction he sees fit.
By transmitting his Busoshoku Haki outwards, not in defense but in an onslaught of pure offense, Kurama can produce a series of invisible strikes born from Haki. While they are individually manageable, they are regularly fired off in vicious and relentless rounds simultaneously, smashing apart whatever lays within Kurama's line of sight. The range of these strikes can be as close up as an opponent he is trading blows with, to as far as an opponent from a great distance away. Though verbally unconfirmed, it is suggested that the limit of Kurama's Haki striking range is as far as his vision will permit, meaning anything he can visually perceive is subject to the Haki strikes. This is theorized based upon the fact that Kurama's eyes light up with an intense glow right as the strikes are delivered and lasts for as long as their onslaught continues.
Kurama can reel back the majority of his Haki field to the point where it only encompasses the nearby vicinity, and in doing so, the Haki becomes so dense that it takes on visible form, appearing as a black shroud flowing throughout the entire battlefield. Those that have gone against the Fleet Admiral and have survived the assault of his Haki shroud have remarked how it feels as though they were "doing battle with an ocean during a storm", stating that it was like going up against the forces of nature themselves. Kurama normally controls the shroud through sight, but also uses his hands to direct its movements, providing him with a tremendously powerful means of simultaneous offense and defense. What makes his Haki shroud so devastating is not its destructive power nor its all-encompassing protection, but rather the speed at which Kurama can reel in and expand his Haki, making it possible for him to manifest the black shroud and make it vanish almost instantly. Due to the fact that the shroud itself is not a solid form, and like water, it can move and act freely without a specified shape, along with its great speed, even Kenbunshoku would find it highly problematic to predict every possible movement that the shroud might make, or how exactly it may behave. Predicting it becomes almost impossible. According to Kurama, it's like trying to grasp water with your bare hands; you'd be lucky to trap even a couple drops in your palm, as the water pours out from your hand. Combined with the Auto Counter technique of Kurama's Kenbunshoku Haki, his Haki field can move almost at instantaneous speeds, making it difficult, nigh impossible, to penetrate the shroud by means other than overpowering it directly, which in and of itself is considered highly improbable.
Between two points of where Kurama's Haki energy resides, regardless of how small in amount, it is possible for him to connect these sources with a narrow path drawn by Kurama's own Haki. While, in theory, he only needs to draw out a track to follow down from his own body to perform such a feat, it is only when connecting two distant sources of his Haki that he can move nigh instantaneously. First, he traces the path out with Kenbunshoku and then forges the path itself with Busoshoku, allowing him to travel down that path at blinding speeds allowing him to instantly reach the desired location. The speed at which he moves down that pathway is akin to teleportation, making others view him as if he were vanishing and then reappearing elsewhere.
When Kurama combines this ability with Shared Sight, he becomes capable of reaching anywhere one of his possessors are located. Given the fact that most of the marines are, in essence, victims of the Shared Sight, Kurama has instantaneous access to almost anywhere in the world controlled by the marines. Such a power enables him to travel between marine bases in no time at all, allowing him to remain in close contact with marines all over the world, but also allows him to provide back up in locales that require his intervention. Similarly, anywhere that Kurama marks with his Haki is also a possible point at which he can instantly travel to, allowing him to always have contingency plans if he needs to flee from a given situation. He has also demonstrated the ability to pull others with him down these Haki paths, though he is limited solely to whoever he can physically hold onto himself; otherwise they'd be unable to follow him down the pathways.
Though such a power seems like the epitome of omnipresence, Kurama requires an amount of Haki to draw the path proportional to the distance between the two points of interest. Given his tremendous volumes of Haki, Kurama can utilize the ability several times in a day while covering vast distances between entire territories with little consequence. By his own admission, instantly traveling a distance halfway across the entire world would likely deplete half of his Haki stores, if not more, making it an unlikely option if he would need to engage in battle with a powerful opponent as soon as he would arrive to his location.
Kurama's Haki reservoir is so vast that when emitted in enough volume, the Busoshoku Haki itself is no longer invisible but takes on a physical form all on its own. By shaping this shroud and grabbing hold of it, Kurama becomes capable of forging blades of Haki. In most cases, Kurama will create a single black blade, one that is said to possess the same strength as a Meitō of the highest class due to the sheer strength of Haki used to reinforce the air sword. According to Kurama, the framework of the weapon is a moot point, for what determines its power is the "willpower" behind the one who wields the weapon; in his words, a god that holds a tree branch will be able to defeat a human that holds a sword. Utilizing a similar theory, the Fleet Admiral contributed to the marines with the invention of the Busoshoku: Kaito technique.
Against a variety of opponents, or a particularly strong one, Kurama displays the true strength behind this ability by simultaneously forging hundreds of Haki blades in any space around him that he is able to perceive of. So long as it is a space that his senses can perceive, he is able to seize hold of the air in that space and create a sword of Haki. With a single wave of his hand, he can summon forth a storm of blades that could fell an entire army within moments; even pirate crews of strength worth acknowledging by the world government's standards have been wiped out in their entirety by such might. The speed at which Kurama can create these blades is frightening, for even one with a masterful command of Kenbunshoku Haki would have a difficult time predicting both the forging and movements of these blades. Through a combination of his Shogunshoku Haki, Kurama is even able to create blades out of an enemy's own Devil Fruit powers once he manages to seize control over some aspect of it, in the same way he does with his own Haki.
Isla Espada (島剣 (イーラ・エースパーダ), Īrā Esupāda; Japanese for "Island Sword"): An amplified version of the Haki blades created through this ability. Kurama demonstrated this for the first time against Daddy L. Legs, creating a massive sword out of thin air that threatened to cleave the entirety of El Dorado island in half. Its existence alone was enough, in mid-descent, to produce enormous whirlwinds that encircled its path and clouds to be snuffed out around it. Although it was stopped by the Yonko's webs, the sheer presence of the Haki used to forge it was enough to induce tremendous shockwave effects throughout the island, causing giant tsunami waves to threaten the entire land itself.
Born from a similar concept as the Auto Counter, Kurama utilizes the forceful union of mind and body through the Yoko Yoko no Mi in order to combine together the powers of Kenbunshoku and Busoshoku. In the Auto Counter, he was able to use Kenbunshoku as a physical power, the same way one uses Busoshoku, in that Kurama wears the mental form of Haki over his body like an armor. With the same idea, Kurama is able to perform Busoshoku Haki in the same way one can perform Kenbunshoku, turning the physical power into a mental power. In doing so, Kurama can send attacks of Haki into the future, allowing them to spring on his opponents almost as if he had planted traps.
With Kenbunshoku, one is able to make predictions to an extent that it is akin to seeing into the future. By using Busoshoku in the same way one can use Kenbunshoku, Kurama can transmit his Haki through the near future, allowing him to send attacks to his opponents that manifest where Kurama chooses. One example of this is when Kurama went up against an opponent that was concealing a powerful weapon, and when Kurama saw a future where that weapon was wielded, he was able to send an attack into the future to strike the moment that his opponent brandished it. Once the opponent did, the dagger shattered before his eyes, with Kurama explaining that he "broke it through the future".
Because these attacks manifest when the instant in the future that Kurama sees is finally reached, there is no gesture on Kurama's part suggesting an attack, making it nigh impossible for most opponents to prevent them from inflicting the intended damage upon them. Another master of precognition Kenbunshoku may be able to prevent the strike by also seeing into the future, but even then, it would demand that they see the exact same future that Kurama has seen and subsequently sent a Busoshoku attack into, allowing them to counter it before the attack lands.
When one thinks of an object, or phenomenon, or even an action, its characteristics and it itself are intertwined. Nobody would ever think that the aspects of something and the something itself could be separate and isolated from one another. It is because it is common sense to know that the characteristics of something are intrinsic to the something in question. But in actuality, it is indeed possible for these to be separate from one another. The phenomenon is referred to as a "quantum cheshire cat", to which Kurama explains is based on an old fairy tale told to children, which featured a feline creature that could vanish while leaving behind its grin. For a grin to disappear from a cat is pedestrian, but for a cat to disappear from its own grin is an idea bordering on illogical. The concept is not unheard of in this world's reality; the Ope Ope no Mi can be said to operate based on this principle, though only on a macroscopic scale. Even if the heart is removed from one's body through that devil fruit's power, the body still lives on as if the heart is still in place, yet it is clear that it no longer resides in the body's chest. It can be surmised that whatever energy is produced by a devil fruit, or more specifically the Ope Ope no Mi in this case, manages to maintain some kind of connection similar in concept to quantum entanglement. Though the heart no longer exists within the body, the effect it has within the body has not left, as it would have if the heart was forcefully ripped out from a living person's body. Kurama discovered a way to make use of this phenomenon on a conceptual level through Haki.
After developing his Recognition of Will technique through Kenbunshoku Haki, Kurama had already come to the conclusion that all things produced by somebody or something possess a will behind them; a mark left behind by its source of conception, which can be targeted and crushed by his Haki. When he realized that Haki could be used to isolate and attack one's will, a concept already known by many through the existence of Haoshoku Haki, he then pondered whether Haki could also be used to separate will itself from the target in question. This train of thought brought him to realize that will itself is just an intrinsic characteristic behind these targets of his technique; all attacks have a will, for example, and the will behind an attack is itself a characteristic of the attack itself, which often determines the factors of efficiency, effectiveness, and so on, behind said attack. Therefore, if Kurama were to generalize this notion, perhaps it might be possible to use Haki in the same way to separate any kind of intrinsic aspect from a particular target, not just the mark of will.
With this ability, Kurama developed a way to separate specific aspects from entities within the field of his aura; namely, whatever was within the scope of his Haki's reach. In essence, by comparing it to the abilities produced by the Ope Ope no Mi, Kurama's field of aura would work almost similarly to that of the devil fruit's room ability. He could separate those characteristics and expunge them from outside his own field; the coldness from ice could be removed, or the heat of fire, or even the solidity of the earth beneath him. Kurama could cast them out once he separated them from the range covered by his aura field. If coldness, for instance, was what allowed for ice or snow to exist as it is, by removing the coldness factor from them through this Haki chesire cat method, the snow would continue to exist as it was, but it would no longer be cold. It'd be nothing more than a mass of solid water. The effect of coldness allowing water to maintain that form of ice or snow would exist, but the coldness itself would no longer exist together with the substance itself, meaning that the snow would no longer be cold nor induce frigid temperatures. Similarly, the heat produced by sunlight, or the force of gravity intrinsic to the mass of the planet, could also be separated by this ability.
Due to the fact that this ability is predicated on whatever is within the reach of Kurama's Haki, it suggests the entity in question must be in some sense coated or imbued by his Haki. Based on this, Kurama can perform the same phenomenon on weapons he imbues Haki into, the weapons Kurama creates through Haki, as they have gained weapon characteristics due to the fact that they possess the form of weapons, and even his own body as well. With this ability, Kurama can remove the will behind his own attacks so there is no longer a will for his opponents to read with their Kenbunshoku Haki, but because his will and the attack are still connected through this chesire cat phenomenon, his attacks still maintain the tremendous level of strength and skill behind them. He can even do the same to his entire body, casting aside the characteristics of his presence that enable others to pick up on him from afar or even in battle. Combined with his Recognition of Will's application enabling Kurama to heal himself, he can remove the aspect of physical pain from his own body, making it possible for him to conduct severe suicidal attacks on his enemies and then regenerate himself from the aftermath, all without having to suffer.
Kurama has even taken the ability a step further than solely separating the aspects. He can imbue those aspects into something else, using the same Haki separating them from their origin as the lynchpin, enabling him to instill different characteristics into entities that did not possess them naturally. Separating the sharpness of his own blade and then imbuing it into the air around him or the ground beneath him essentially turns the air and earth into blades themselves, shredding anything coming into contact with them. In turn, Kurama can take those aspects from nature and imbue them into his own weapons as a result, even crafting Haki blades out of the Haki used to isolate those aspects themselves. Through this method, Kurama has developed a number of different techniques using his Haki blades as the medium.
- Cadere Spada (下降剣 (カデレー・スパーダ), Kadēre Supāda; Japanese for "Descent Sword"): Separating the pressure that keeps people on the surface of the planet from gravity, Kurama takes all of that force and imbues it into a standard-sized blade forged from Haki. In essence, he condenses all of that pressure into that simple broadsword he creates. But looks can be deceiving. It is the equivalent of an entire island becoming a mere pebble. The sheer presence of its weight is enough to distort the air around it, giving off a wavy hue that surrounds its length. Of course, given that it is Kurama's willpower made to manifest, regardless of its properties, so long as he is filled with no doubts, the weight behind the Cadere Spada has no bearing on him. However, the same cannot be said to the world around it. With a mere swing of the hyper-dense Cadere Spada, tremendous walls of pressurized force follow the arc drawn by its motion, shattering everything in its path. A mere slash from this sword can completely interfere with the local atmospheric pressure. Merely waving it around would be enough to induce tornados in the area, if not hurricanes and other related phenomena. Just like Isla Espada, the Cadere Spada itself is an island destroyer, creating devastating storms of force with every slash of its mighty blade.
- Fragore Spada (騒ぎ剣 (フラゴーレ・スパーダ), Furagore Supāda; Japanese for "Clamor Sword"): Removing the intrinsic factors that prevent physical objects from reaching the speed of light, Kurama can greatly enhance the speed of his Haki blades. It is almost as though the blades themselves have become like lightning. They achieve such sudden eruptive speeds that they momentarily lose their physical form and appear as streaks of light, just like bolts of lightning, and pierce whatever lay before them with an extreme rush of force. Following their movement with sight becomes impossible, and even through Kenbunshoku, tracking them and being able to avoid them becomes a difficult challenge. Kurama often employs the Fragore Spada in barrages, shredding through all opposition until nothing else remains.
- Bollente Spada (鱗屑剣 (ボールエンテー・スパーダ), Bōruente Supāda; Japanese for "Scalding Sword"): With the same heat and light that permits the existence of life itself — namely, the sun — Kurama can infuse the same force into his Haki blades to turn what was once an energy that gives life an opportunity for existence, into a force of sophisticated destruction and erasure. Bollente Spada is a blade of absolute heat, incinerating anything that touches it or stands in the path of its swings. It does not burn; the sword is not made of fire, after all, but embodies the force of heat itself. The heat it puts out allows for Kurama to incinerate anything that it crosses paths with, essentially erasing it in its entirety. But he has nothing to fear; it is a star given the shape of a sword, born from his own spirit, and thus, he need not worry being burned by his own blazing soul. His inner fire is a calm and composed light, capable of giving life and ending it on a whim, like the sun itself which dictates the destinies of all living beings on the planet it governs.
- Rovina Spada (破滅剣 (ロビナ・スパーダ), Robina Supāda; Japanese for "Ruination Sword"): An endgame technique, unifying both Cadere Spada and Fragore Spada into a weapon capable of enacting mass destruction. A blade of hyper-pressurization moving at a speed rivaling that of light, the Rovina Spada produces an effect upon crashing into its target akin to a bomb. It deafens out all sound and all that can be seen in a silent illumination that washes over an entire landscape before anybody can process what has just transpired. Absolute devastation spans out in every direction and decimates everything in its wake. The destruction wrought by this technique is so frighteningly magnificent, so all-encompassing, that Kurama cannot avoid being caught in its devastation unless Rovina Spada is fired off at a sufficient distance away from him. Because it involves combining two different Aspect Separation techniques together, which are themselves highly intricate, it cannot be released in succession. It is a sword to be used only as a last resort.
- Main article: Busoshoku: Bugutai
Directing the Flow of HakiEdit
Having awakened the power of the conqueror during his tenure as a lower-tier Marine Captain, Kurama paved his way toward the title of Admiral by revealing himself to be one of the few in all of the World Government's history to awaken Haoshoku Haki. Through his training and years of study, Kurama came to learn how to harness the power of Haoshoku Haki and become a force to be reckoned with throughout the entire world. While many factors may have contributed to his ascension to power, one that stood out to be the most prominent was the revelation that he alone mastered the Haoshoku Haki to a level equaling, if not surpassing, the Yonkō of old.
Kurama deduced that Haoshoku Haki, at its most basic level, is the act of manifesting the conqueror's willpower; the will of a king. In this sense, the most common method of applying this form of Haki in battle would be to impose it onto those around the user in order to dominate the enemy's will and essentially knock them out without requiring an actual confrontation. Perhaps it can be attested to a mere multiplier of presence, in which Kurama enhances the effectiveness of intimidation on those around him, but that does not account for the fact that a sufficiently powerful Haki is capable of influencing the surroundings; in particular, Kurama has shown that his Haoshoku Haki can quite literally impose a pressure onto the area that allows him to smash apart inanimate objects that stand in his way. But even more so, intimidation can be refined in various ways, such as even controlling a victim's actions and even their emotional states of mind by overpowering their hearts with the Haoshoku Haki. Kurama has mastered the skill to a degree that, as the Fleet Admiral, he has garnered many criminal contacts to utilize as informants for the sake of the Marines. This also shows that the effects of his Haki seem to linger for a significant degree of time, up to even years so long as nothing manages to interfere with its effects. The sheer force and control of Kurama's Haoshoku Haki is such that it imposes a tremendous effect on its surroundings when released. It has been compared to the "willpower [Haki] of nature itself" in that it can quite literally bring forth a thunderstorm and a heavy rain when released in sufficient degree. So powerful is the Haoshoku Haki that an opponent who was unlucky enough to face its wrath that it threatened to swallow the island that they were fighting on.
Kurama's most favored use of Haoshoku Haki, and perhaps his most frequently utilized method, is the "Shatter Force" (破壊力 (シャッターフォース), Shattāfōsu; Japanese for "Force of Destruction") technique. The concept of the Haoshoku Haki is that it manifests one's fighting spirit to the surface as a force that can interact with living beings as well as inorganic structures. By channeling his Haoshoku Haki through his physical strikes, and his swordsmanship, Kurama is able to transmit his fighting spirit in powerful bursts of wave-like force, almost resembling that of the Gura Gura no Mi, allowing the force behind his attacks to pass through and continuously expand, causing further destruction to whatever lay before him. Even if his attack is parried by an opponent, the Shatter Force will proceed onward, being capable of inducing severe internal damage and possibly even breaking bones in the process, hence its namesake. The Shatter Force is so powerful that Kurama can swiftly break even weapons imbued with Busoshoku Haki with ease, if only due to the Fleet Admiral's monstrous volumes of Haki as well as his tremendous strength of will.
Against Devil Fruit users, the Shatter Force appears to possess an additional advantage afforded to Kurama when faced with such opponents. The transmission of the force appears to permeate and oscillate within the medium that Kurama projects it into, meaning that it becomes possible for that burst of Haki to disrupt a Devil Fruit user's own abilities during combat. Zoan types might find that maintaining their animal forms become more difficult, with part of their bodies already losing the transformation, resulting in a forced hybrid form. Paramecia users would experience the changes brought upon their bodies by the fruit's powers to be disrupted, possibly even negated, for a short yet noticeable period of time; leaving them unable to perform their abilities until the lingering force dissipates. However, Logia types are the most vulnerable to the Shatter Force. In the same way as Paramecia types, a Logia user would also find their bodies unable to shift into their respective elemental power until the effects wear off, but similarly, any substance created and unleashed by the Logia user cut by Kurama's Shatter Force disrupts and even destroys the connection between it and the Logia user, making them unable to further manipulate it during the fight. With a single swing, Kurama is able to sever their ties to the elements around them, though nothing stops them from attempting to regain the lost connection.
Light and DarknessEdit
The true mettle of a King is to bestow faith upon his people and terror upon his enemies. A King must embody both the light and the darkness of humanity in order to guide them. Through Haoshoku, Kurama can bring out the light of his comrades, and invoke the darkness in his opponents. In the former, he can boost their morale and fighting spirit, while in the latter, he can weaken the strength of an enemy's soul.
Through the light and darkness of the human spirit, Kurama can manifest those tendencies and impose them onto his victims through Haoshoku Haki. While he can use such a method to invigorate the spirits of his own allies, Kurama can also use the same technique to rouse the darkness of another's heart. As a power manifested from willpower, utilizing it to push against and crush the will of another, it is the perfection of this intention to its utmost sophistication. It is a technique of Kurama's Haoshoku Haki that seeps into the heart of its victims, influencing the negativity that resides within their souls. Doing so allows Kurama to freely manipulate those emotions by enhancing it, simply by feeding that darkness with negative emotions of his own fabrication. Normal individuals would easily succumb. Their minds are immediately lost as their hearts attempt to resist and oppose the deep negative emotions and thoughts, only to fall apart and become empty shells of their former selves. Such victims become mindless zombie-like entities, simply following Kurama's orders as though they were mind controlled, or rather seem to turn on other living beings around them, friends and enemies alike, killing any and all around them until their own bodies fail them. However, stronger individuals with a strong sense of self can manage to resist the influence. However, the danger lies in the effects rendered onto the "flaws" of their personality. Even if they are a soul that fights for justice and love, ambition and pride can easily become the vulnerability that allows Kurama's influence to seep inside their hearts. Emotions such as anger and hatred quickly arise during a confrontation with the silver-haired man, which makes encountering him for too long a dangerous mistake, as no matter how strong they might be, given enough time, they will succumb to their heart's dark emotions. This is how he has managed to break the wills of many individuals, often being shown to destroy the hearts of pirates that sought freedom with their allies, becoming nothing but a shell possessing only the worst traits of humanity without so much as a glint of hope in their eyes. In active battle, the technique appears to also interfere with a victim's Haki, significantly weakening its efficiency and strength, even if the individual itself is able to prevent their hearts from falling to darkness.
- "You can breathe, you can blink... you can cry. But there is no need to despair. There will be no suffering. You will join hands with this island... in order to peacefully die together."
- —Kurama before eradicating an island along with the pirates there.
Haoshoku Haki is a power born to one that carries the heart of a king; the will of a conqueror that seeks to stand at the top, over all others. It is the manifestation of the user's spirit and acts in accordance with their will, often to impose one's own spirit over another's spirit so as to conquer them, but it is not limited solely to living beings. Even structures around the conqueror give way to the weight of their spirit, as if the world itself is attempting to bow before their very existence. It has been shown that greater levels of power enable one to even alter the weather around them, altering wind pressure and currents in the sky, to produce all sorts of phenomena. But even such a thing is a paltry act compared to what Kurama can do with his otherworldly volumes of Haki coupled with his absolute mastery over the shades.
In this world, there have been those that could use their abilities to influence even objects as far as outside of the planet's atmosphere, yet even with supreme mastery over those skills, they were just a single person; carrying the life force of a single person. For Kurama, who has absorbed and sublimated the life energies of fallen adversaries into his own, thousands upon thousands of times, the scope of where his power can influence is truly godlike. It is here that Kurama displays the true might of his Haoshoku Haki, by influencing the energy of the planet itself; imposing his conqueror's will over the geography, climate, weather, and all components that make up this world, in order to interfere with and subsequently invoke planetary phenomenon on a godly level.
With a thought, he can dominate the electromagnetic forces of the planet, rousing the forces within the world and forcing them to erupt outwards as pillars of sheer light. He can impose his spirit onto the magma hidden deep within the planet and pull upon it through to the surface, turning an entire valley into a volcanic region within mere seconds. It resembles the power to rewrite the entire world with a mere gesture. Similarly, the weather itself is also susceptible to this influence, creating all sorts of chaotic phenomena, making it seem as though the apocalypse has descended upon humanity. Although his reach is tremendous, allowing him to even tap into the planetary core, the changes he can bring about to the world around him appear to be limited by how far his perception will take him; in other words, only that which is within the scope of his Kenbunshoku Haki is capable of being altered.
Devil Fruit ManipulationEdit
According to Kurama, the power of Haki allows one to fight with a Devil Fruit user on equal standing, regardless of the fruit's properties. This is not because Haki "negates" a Devil Fruit's power but rather allows one to "interact" with a Devil Fruit user's body and power. Because of this, against opponents such as Logia users, which would have free-flowing elemental bodies and thus be incapable of physically being harmed, the power of Haki allows a warrior to interact with their body even while transformed in order to deal damage. Kurama remarked upon this phenomenon, theorizing that if the Devil Fruit truly is the "power of evil", then Haki is the "power of humanity", resisting that darkness and fighting against it, as is the spirit of all humankind.
Busoshoku Haki is what allows Haki users to fight with Devil Fruit users, releasing their Haki in a physical form to interact with the bodies of a Devil Fruit user, bypassing their defenses to deal damage directly to their bodies. In contrast, the rarer form of Haoshoku Haki is a power of control. Is is generally used to dominate the wills of others, but when refined, can be applied in various other ways too. When these two are taken together, combined with the observational prowess of a trained Kenbunshoku Haki, it enables Kurama to interact with the effects produced by a Devil Fruit's power, in the same way a Haki user does so to attack their bodies and physically touch them, and channel Haoshoku Haki at the same time to manipulate and control those effects. It is, therefore, an ability allowing Kurama to induce control over the abilities and effects of an opponent's devil fruit ability to some extent.
When doing so, Kurama can perform a variety of feats depending upon the nature of the Devil Fruit user. Against Logia types, it allows Kurama to redirect and even tame the elemental effects produced by their fruit's ability. Paramecia types can experience the outright neutralization of their abilities; for example, causing a rubbery body to become normal again, even while in mid-stretch. Kurama can even alter certain properties of the Paramecia user's body or the effects they produce, within reason. The same can be said for Zoan types as well.
Perhaps most frightening, however, is that Kurama has displayed the ability to completely erase all signs of a Devil Fruit power from a victim. Though to the common eye, this would look as though the Fleet Admiral had quite literally removed the power from their body, in truth, it is an effect more closely related to a blockage created by Kurama's own Haki; almost like a curse implanted into their souls. The effect can be removed and the Devil Fruit ability restored without Kurama's own doing, but would require a tremendously powerful Kenbunshoku Haki to properly locate the point of blockage in the body and then destroy it with precision.
Although such a power seems godly in its own right, it does have its limitations. As one might expect, a warrior can use their own Haki to fend off the effects of controlling their Devil Fruit. However, given Kurama's own frightening level of Haki, in both terms of intensity and control, even someone of nearly equal skill may find themselves vulnerable, if only for mere moments at a time during the fight. When the difference between the user and Kurama is greater, in favor of the latter, the Fleet Admiral can almost completely control their ability. Furthermore, Kurama's control only seems omnipotent when a sufficient distance away from its user. In other words, the further away the Logia user is from their ability's effects, the easier and more absolute Kurama's own control becomes. Logia users, that emit their powers, find themselves at the biggest disadvantage here. The only way to ensure that Kurama not control their ability for a long duration is to engage him in close range combat, but even then, Shogunshoku Haki can still be applied in bursts; perhaps lasting for mere seconds at a time before the victim manages to break Kurama's hold, but far more than enough to disrupt the flow of battle and throw off an opponent's advantage.
Alternating the FutureEdit
Kurama's greatest skill is his ability to masterfully combine the aspects of Kenbunshoku, Busoshoku, and Haoshoku together in order to produce divine-like phenomena. He has been able to take the concept of envisioning the future through Kenbunshoku to the highest possible level, enabling him to actually modify the future itself. Kenbunshoku allows one to see the near future, making it possible to anticipate the movements of an opponent, but those futures that one sees are ones they have created within their own minds, based on information obtained through an analysis of an opponent's characteristics and mannerisms. But it is limited solely to what the user believes will happen, meaning that there is always a margin of error present between what is believed to happen and what actually happens. It is also something that is limited to the mind alone; it is not something that can be influenced or changed, only perceived. However, if it was possible to bring that mental vision of the future to the physical realm, and then enact one's control over it, one could actually bring that future into existence.
Busoshoku is the ability to encase oneself in life energy, while Haoshoku is the act of manifesting one's own spirit to conquer what lay before the user. Kurama, who is able to force a perfect union between his mind and body, and even his soul, with the self-bewitching application of the Yoko Yoko no Mi's power, it becomes possible for these three aspects of one's life force to also become united together. What was once the mind, the body, and the soul, have now achieved oneness on the same realm, meaning that whatever exists within the mind as a thought can now be brought into the real world as a phenomenon. Kurama, therefore, envisions a future of his own choice through Kenbunshoku, isolates it with Busoshoku, and then dominates it with Haoshoku, essentially forcing that specific future to come about in lieu of any other possible future.
Such a power is nothing short of godlike, for it allows Kurama to design whatever future he deems fit with the Kenbunshoku, make it real with Busoshoku, and then forces it to happen through Haoshoku. However, though such an ability enables Kurama to control the near future, there are still limitations present. Due to the extensive process required to cause such a phenomenon to happen, there is a limit to how far into the future Kurama can alter; a couple seconds at most. In addition, there is a notable cooldown time in between each use of the technique, making it impossible for him to alternate the future in succession. In a normal individual, even if they were somehow capable of replicating this ability, a normal amount of Haki would make such an act only possible once or twice before exhausting all of their life energy, but given Kurama's monstrous reserves obtained through absorption, there is no telling how many times he can perform this feat before also succumbing to exhaustion.
- Main article: Shin Sozoku
Many legends surround the Fleet Admiral, from humble beginnings to his training as a marine to his ascension to the top as commander of the World Government's mighty naval military, but none compare to the true story of what led Kurama down that path; a story that, to this day, few have ever heard or will ever know.
Kurama and Sparrow Raizen both entered into the marines around the same, starting off as mere cabin boys. From the beginning, they both believed in the duty of the marines, to seek justice for all people, so that everybody could live in peace. Knowing Kurama in the present day would make it hard to believe that the younger Kurama was a kind and quiet boy. He would flash an innocent smile, widen his dewey eyes, and proclaim that he would be a hero to the downtrodden; that he will fight for justice with every breath in his body. Morality was a core tenet that he always practiced, believing in a rather simplistic view of good and evil, that it was the good that fought for others and that it was the evil ones that harmed others to get what they wanted. Of course, even as a young man, Kurama was not naive; he could always see a deeper meaning behind a person's actions, and eventually would stumble upon the wisdom that there were intentions that went beyond mere notions of good and evil.
Working together, the two of them supported each other in rising through the ranks. At the time, it was unusual for marines to work in close-knit teams like this; officers were simply assigned to superiors and different posts depending on availability and skill, but rarely were actual bonds of camaraderie formed that would last throughout a marine's career. It was because of their record of success that they were permitted to remain paired together at the same posts, even eventually catching the eye of a prominent Vice Admiral at the time, who took on the two as his apprentices.
Over the years, they had both been trained in the art of Haki, with Kurama and Raizen finding personal preference in the Busoshoku and Kenbunshoku shades respectively. Before long, Raizen reached the rank of Rear Admiral while Kurama was later recommended for the rank of Vice Admiral after his victory over the infamous Pirate Captain Yagami. For those that studied the history books, Yagami was a Pirate Captain that came after the era of the Straw Hat Pirates; taking storm in the New World as an up and coming rookie with an impressive bounty of over three hundred and eighty thousand, as he had caused multiple problems for the marines all across the Grand Line. While many are aware of how this tale transpired, there are certain details that have remained omitted to even those that were in action during that time.
As a SenseiEdit
Becoming a Vice Admiral was a tremendous accomplishment to Kurama. He was acknowledged by his peers as a talented warrior and a true embodiment of what the marines stood for, respected among the superiors; he even had fans among the lower ranks. Some of them even requested for him to take them on as his own apprentices. Kurama never originally viewed himself becoming a teacher, but before long, found himself in the charge of several students. Surprisingly, it seemed as though he had a knack for it. He'd instruct his students in the combat arts, teaching them Rokushiki, how to harness Haki, even personal theories and philosophies that he had developed over the course of his own experiences and battles. Despite being relatively young, his wisdom was highly regarded; even the Admirals acknowledged his knowledge over Haki's finer aspects surpassing even their own.
Kurama himself eventually came to form bonds with his students, treating every one of them as if they were a member of his family. It was for this reason that, whenever students of his ended up losing their lives in battle, each loss ripped into the Vice Admiral. They hardened him every time. But Kurama was in no way foolish, he always knew this was a possibility. After all, they were in a military organization, constantly fighting on the front lines against pirates and other assorted criminals. Death was always there. But even the knowledge of this wasn't enough to mitigate the scars that were etched into his heart every time he learned a student of his was killed in action.
Even so, he refused to let such a thing harden his heart completely. He resolved himself to take those losses as they came without letting anger and hatred consume his soul. He never wanted to end up all alone again; it was a pain far greater than the pain that came with losing people. So he persisted, determined to become a greater teacher so that he could prepare his students for the horrors that awaited them, doing all he could to prevent whatever loss of life he could. It was for this reason that Kurama never sought out promotion to the rank of Admiral, despite the fact that his skills definitely qualified him for the position. If he became an Admiral, his responsibilities would make instruction all the more difficult, and to him, Kurama felt he could do more good as a teacher more so than a military ruler.
The Day Everything ChangedEdit
Among his students, there was one that he grew particularly close to; a young Lieutenant named Masanori. He followed Kurama everywhere and always followed his example to the letter. In many ways, it could be said that Masanori viewed Kurama as a father, and over time, perhaps even Kurama came to see him as a son. In addition to being talented and a hard worker, Masanori carried a great desire to fight for justice, burning with that will no different than how Kurama was back in the day.
Masanori was assigned to a team of ten marines to reclaim an "item of great importance", with the higher-ups stating that it was a mission that came down from Mary Geoise. Pirates of considerable bounties were also reported on the island where the acclaimed item was located, so it was a matter demanding immediate attention. While it seemed as though the mission was proceeding well enough, with Kurama being assigned as the team's supervising Vice Admiral and keeping tabs on the scouting team via Den Den Mushi, tragedy had struck like lightning. Communications had suddenly shut down, and there was no way to reach the team from the ship. After several minutes, Kurama made the decision to storm the island himself, worrying about Masanori's safety.
What he came across was the epitome of horror. Pools of blood had covered the grounds of these temple ruins, hidden deep within the island's interior, as bodies were scattered about in numerous quantities. Kurama could deduce, based on the clothing, that some were villagers living on the island, others were likely pirates, and soon enough, he came across bodies of men dressed in marine uniforms. As he trudged his way through the blood, portions of his white and pearl-colored kimono being stained in a dark red, almost appearing black, he entered into the inner sanctum of the ruins. The first thing he saw was a shining fruit that sat at the center of the room on a stone platform, and immediately after, the body of Masanori laying there on the floor near the platform. Standing over his body were two of the pirates he had likely been fighting beforehand, which of whom Kurama, in a burst of rage, instantly dispatched with ease; cutting them down with such ferocity that their blood splattered in the air and stained his kimono even further.
Kurama crouched down and picked up Masanori's body into his arms, fighting to hold back his tears, as his student managed to mutter a couple words before finally the life in him faded. "I managed to find it, Kurama-sensei." Even in this situation, all his dear student could think was that he succeeded in his mission as a proud marine. Reinforcements followed Kurama shortly after, retrieving the fruit as was dictated in the report. Kurama did not speak a word the entire way back, cradling Masanori in his arms as the blood from his corpse continued to stain his clothes and body. His face seemed stoic and without feeling, but it was clear that he had the expression of a broken man at this moment. Still, the only thing he could do right now was to honor his student's last wishes, and carry out the mission to the very end.
They had arrived at the rendezvous point, an island a couple miles off from where the mission took place. When they entered the hall in the marine outpost there, Kurama still wearing his blood-stained clothes, much to the fright of many onlookers who watched him walk by, they finally laid eyes upon the one who ordered the mission. It was a World Noble. As it turns out, this mission was to find a "shiny gem" that the World Noble was told was the most beautiful of any jewel and demanded that it be found for him to add to his collection. In the end, when the noble looked at the object, and realized it was just some kind of fruit, tossed it onto the ground with a scoff, calling the marines idiots for confusing a jewel for a fruit and going on a tirade about how useless they were.
Kurama's eyes widened in a silent shock. That was the reason the marines mobilized? That was why his student had to die? How many other students of his had to die, also following orders of such... disgusting self-interests. Even if the fruit did turn out to be some beautiful gemstone, how was that a reason to command marine soldiers to act? It was like having a near-death experience for Kurama; moments of his past and experiences flashed before his eyes. All the work he put into becoming a powerful marine, every mission he carried out, every island he fought to defend against pirates — was this what it was all for in the end? In the end, every thing was just to satisfy these selfish and repulsive creatures known as nobility. This was the cheap justice Kurama fought for? Everything that composed him, in that moment, felt as though they caught on fire; as though everything that was Vice Admiral Kurama, Kurama-sensei, Kurama the hero of justice... it all burned away in the blaze within him.
It's hard to say what happened in that instance. Just as the man named Kurama appeared to have shattered apart right then and there, the world around him froze to a standstill, and in the moment after... a bright light enveloped the man's body. It erupted outwards in a wave of pressure that flattened the surroundings. Many of the marines and attendants there fell to the ground, even the World Noble found himself smashing into the floorboards in an instant. When they all saw that Kurama was the cause of this divine phenomenon, the World Noble began to shout, both in a frightened tone to his attendants and the marines present to arrest him, and in anger at Kurama himself. Shooting him an intense glare, it was like the weight of all that grief, anger, hatred, and sadness all culminated onto the World Noble that he stared at, and suddenly... the body of the noble was squashed like a grape; blood splattering everywhere. But it wasn't over yet. One by one, the marines and attendants there also suffered the same fate. It was hard to tell if Kurama had lost control or simply wanted to take out these roaring emotions out on every living person there. But before long, the only one standing there was Kurama, and the fruit that was tossed aside, as the pressure born from that aura of light eventually faded away; the fruit later being taken and subsequently eaten by Kurama once he discovered that it was in fact a Devil Fruit.
Though he did not realize it at the time, what he had awakened was none other than the Haoshoku Haki; a power that only truly appears when those gifted with its potential come to an epiphany about their existence and have acquired their conviction. It was unheard of for a marine to awaken this Haki, but that only served to show just how deep his hatred ran that day for these World Nobles, the ones that marines risked life and limb for every single day, just to carry out their wishes. Every aspect that was once Kurama before this felt as though they had disappeared. He was no longer interested in simply training people anymore. At one time, he thought this was a satisfying life, but now his entire perspective had been thrown into disarray. What was the point of all this? Would he just continue to teach marines and send them off to their pointless deaths, without ever having made any progress in this pursuit of peace that he strived to achieve? No. He would not let things remain like this. Change was needed, or else, peace and equality was just a fantasy; a fairy tale to tell children so they wouldn't see their loved ones hurting and dying, while these pathetic nobles ordered marines to appease absurd desires like fetching shiny jewels instead of focusing on saving those who were suffering. Kurama declared to himself, at that moment, that he would bring about that change.
That was the end of Kurama-sensei, the man that started on a pursuit for justice... and the start of the path that would lead to the birth of Fleet Admiral Kurama.
- Main article: Sparna Tragedy
New Tides SagaEdit
- Main article: New Tides Saga
Dealings with a TraitorEdit
- Main article: The Grand Battle; Defending the Country of Harmony!
Yonko Wars SagaEdit
- Main article: Yonko Wars Saga
Justice's Next StepEdit
- Main article: Justice's Next Step
Battle of El DoradoEdit
- Main article: Battle of El Dorado
- Main article: Reverie Arc
March to WarEdit
- Main article: March to War
- Kurama vs. Pirate Captain Yagami (multiple draws, one loss, one win)
- Kurama vs Yonko Daddy L. Legs (draw)
- (Speaking to the Revolutionary Army) "If you have risen in a bid to shatter the World Government, then you mustn't lose heart over this. All of your forces, all of your strategies, all of your powers, and all of your spirits... Muster up every last ounce of strength you all have, and as the Fleet Admiral... I will crush every last one of them before giving you a merciful death."
- (Prior to Fleet Admiral Sakoku's death) "I always knew you were weak. You got marines killed, and then you ran away like a coward, trying to cover it up with bullshit talks of peace. Those people, they are always going to know that there is a weakness they can exploit, that there will always be a chance to push back and take over... so now, I have to kill all of them...!!"
- "We will not compromise ourselves. We run this shit, we do not go running to others to handle our shit. We are the marines, the strength of the world government. First and foremost, that can never change. It can't change."
- (To Salazar) "..."I'm here to defeat you, Kurama-shishou"... Your best chance? That was two minutes ago, when my back was turned. Your best chance was to draw those swords and drive them down the back of my skull before I so much as turned to face you. But don't let that stop you, Salazar-san. See how you do. Let's fight until neither of us can keep our arms up anymore."
- (To Admiral Fuyuki) "Since the beginning of history, those 'bloodmatches' as you call them, were badges of honor and nobility. But more importantly, they were proof of strength; a reassurance to the people that their military was powerful and absolute, one they could put their faith in, that no threat dare tread the waters they safeguarded. Let's not pussyfoot around here, Admiral Fuyuki. The marines are a system of war; of soldiers. We have no need for weakness among our ranks, political or otherwise, and the most sensible method of judging for proper promotion as well as new candidates to admit is for such a test of strength. They will be put to trial in front of the entire world. Weakness will be expunged. Strength will be honored. Pirates who don't perform, well... They'll still be pirates, won't they? On world government ground. Either they perform well enough that we want them, or well... they'll be executed. They'll either live as marines or die as pirates. That's the name of the game we're going to be playing."
- "As long as I'm here, who lives and who dies...? That shit is in nobody's hands but mine."
- "I have no problem turning certain territories against them. The murder of a princess, the kidnapping of a noble, the execution of a royal family... If the Yonko want to try acting tough, they can have fun dealing with the shitstorm we'll drop on them. If the Yonko try something, anything, they're gonna feel pretty stupid when they find out that they're fucking with the wrong people."
- "I get it. Having that sort of power over so many souls, having them follow your every word, do your bidding without missin' a beat! I can get how fun that'd be. Hell, you must've thought you were 'King Shit'. Probably even got addicted to it. But that's over now. There's no need to fret though. You can still play the role of 'King Shit', just as long as you do so while working for me. No alliance. No partnership. Just... results. Obeying orders, and results. That's all I want to see from you. Because, and I really don't want to have to repeat myself here... You are mine. Those ghosts out there? They are mine. And because they are mine, I don't need any formal procedure in making use of them. I just say what I want, and it'll be done. I'm sure you're capable of that much, right, 'King Shit'?"
- "What makes us the marines — what makes us different from them — is that we are about gathering and organizing strength. A force that should be recognized by everyone as a dangerously organized body of authority. Our power comes from our structure; from our synthesis as a single unified force of individuals all working for the sake of a single ambition. A single path. The path that leads us to peace and prosperity."
- "This is the start of it all. To vanquish the Pawns, to crush the Bishop, the Knight, the Rook, to cripple the Queen... and to checkmate a King."
- "Honestly... forcing your Fleet Admiral to enter the battlefield. What a pitiful bunch of marine soldiers."
- (To Daddy L. Legs) "In my way? Without having to protect those kids? It's the opposite! I couldn't call myself the Fleet Admiral... if I let even one enemy get past me! There is no need for them to run, because no marine will fall here today!"
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 One Piece roleplay; Battle of El Dorado, "Spider in a Fox's Web"
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 One Piece roleplay; Justice's Next Step, "The Tiger Marks His Prey"
- ↑ One Piece roleplay; The Grand Battle; Defending the Country of Harmony!, "Tamed Mind, Savage Bodies"
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 One Piece roleplay; Justice's Next Step, "Cackling Ghosts"
- ↑ One Piece roleplay; Justice's Next Step, "Our Next Step"
- ↑ Marine Report, Capture of Black Widow Pirate
- ↑ One Piece roleplay; Battle of El Dorado, "Never Attack a Fox's Ward"
Behind the ScenesEdit
- Despite bearing a different name, this character has a fellow fanmade counterpart in the anime and manga series, Bleach, named Seireitou Kawahiru.
- According to the author, Kurama's theme song is "Take What's Mine" by Future Royalty.
- Kurama's name, epithet, and the nature of his Devil Fruit was all inspired by two sources: Kurama from the anime and manga series, Yu Yu Hakusho, and Kurama from the anime and manga series, Naruto. Ironically enough, the Kurama from the former series was the inspiration for the latter mentioned Kurama.