The latest episode of One Piece turned the tide of the battle between Luffy and Katakuri in a major way. To welcome in a brand new opening theme for the series, Luffy was able to finally bring out Gear Fourth.
While this may not seem like a big deal in passing, it's crucial in Luffy's big comeback in the battle as Katakuri's weaknesses are finally beginning to show.
Luffy had been trying to use his Gear Fourth in the battle previously, but he had been continuously stopped by Katakuri at every turn. Katakuri was confident in his power, but not overconfident enough to allow Luffy to transform so Luffy had been bested at every attempt he made to fight back.
But when Katakuri leaves Luffy for dead until a mountain of mochi, Luffy gets the window of opportunity he needs. After interrupting Katakuri's "Merienda" (and revealing a full look at his mouth), Katakuri is unbelievably frustrated and is beginning to make mistakes. He unleashes a new Haki power, in which his arms get even stronger, so Luffy goes into Gear Fourth to match it.
The Gear Fourth transformation has already shifted the battle as the speed and maneuverability of Luffy's Bounce Man form has allowed him to dodge Katakuri's mirror mochi walls and attacks. The end of the episode even sees Luffy using his Gear Fourth form to propel himself into Katakuri, launch a powerful Kong Gun punch, and even send Katakuri flying. Now fans can't wait to see what Gear Fourth brings next as the battle continues.
Eiichiro Oda's One Piece first began serialization in Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump in 1997. It has since been collected into over 80 volumes, and has been a critical and commercial success worldwide with many of the volumes breaking printing records in Japan. The manga has even set a Guinness World Record for the most copies published for the same comic book by a single author, and is the best selling manga series worldwide with over 430 million copies sold.
Oda revealed some news about One Piece's future in a recent interview as well. Stating that he was about 80 percent done with the manga at this point with the Wano arc, fans are worried that the series may be coming to an end sooner than they thought. But it wouldn't be wrong to infer that the ending will most likely still be years away given how much of the world there is to explore and just how well it's selling week to week.