At the end of the previous One Piece chapter, Luffy's fight with Katakuri is reaching the final few moves. The Straw Hats rendezvous time is inching closer, and Luffy has taken several big blows, so he had no choice but to activate his new ability.
In chapter 895, Luffy revealed this new form, Gear Fourth Snakeman. It's a leaner, faster, and trickier form than any of the other Gears.
Luffy gear 4th Snake man pic.twitter.com/E2E2lgt6Wz— EternalAbyss (@Kenshin_44) February 16, 2018
Like Poundman, Snakeman has haki infused arms and legs (that are more muscular than the rest of his body). But unlike Poundman, Snakeman is closer to Luffy's original size, and only beefs up his body slightly and gives him fire like hair. While his attacks in this form seemed straightforward at first, Katakuri soon learns how tricky Snakeman is.
Snakeman gets its name for Luffy's ability to bend his arms in any angle in mid-air while he punches. He calls this "Python," and his arm bends in multiple angles around Katakuri, in an almost pinball fashion.
This Snakeman transformation seems to come with a side-effect, however. In the fight, Luffy exclaims that he's never felt better and that his head is clear since he's let everything out. While he fights, he screams about how Katakuri's punches hurt and how hungry he is, hinting at the fact that this form makes him say every thing he is thinking as a way to strip down everything, much as what Snakeman's look seems to do.
But for now, this Gear seems to put Luffy on an even field with Katakuri as the chapter ends with the two of them connecting powerful blows and fans won't know the victor of the fight until the next chapter.
Eiichiro Oda's One Piece first began serialization in Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump in 1997. It has been collected into 87 volumes, with a few chapters yet to be included. It 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 430 million copies sold worldwide.
Eiichiro Oda also revealed some upcoming news for One Piece's future at Jump Festa 2018. Not only will the manga see Wano sooner rather than later, the next villain of the series is "one of the legends which lurks in the One Piece world. The greatest enemy ever for Straw Hats will hinder their way...Can you believe Marineford Summit War will look 'cute' compared to that?"
One Piece is currently in the middle of the "Whole Cake Island" arc and is now streaming on Crunchyroll and FunimationNOW.