Some of you might have seen, debated for or against one particular feat in OP threads recently, namely Luffy's Punk Hazard explosion timing. It has already led to some pretty heated exchanges and back and forths, especially for me, both on CV as well as on Discord, so I thought I might as well make a thread explaining the feat, the common counter arguments that have so far been brought against it, and finally how to use the feat on the Forums or in a CaV.
A short disclaimer before we begin: Everything that follows is only my opinion so I am not asking anyone to take what I am about to say as gospel truth. Debate is always welcome.
So, let's get to it:
Let's see the feat itself first. Here are the relevant scans:
So basically what happens is Caesar wraps his Slime, which is a gelatinous substance (its compressed H2S gas) around Luffy, and then commands it to explode. We get a fairly large explosion and in the next panel we see Luffy is standing well behind Caesar, fairly unharmed, saying, "Whew that was close, what a huge explosion". Meaning he outpaced an explosion that was on his clothes fast enough to come out more or less unscathed.
Now the numbers for this feat is nothing complex. The thickest fabrics in the world are about 0.03 cm thick, let's take the flame speed of the explosion to be about Mach 1, and the time frame comes out to be about 1 micro second.
Meaning Luffy reacted and outpaced the explosion before it could cover 0.03 cm or fully burn through his clothes, or in other words, Luffy can perceive and react in a time frame of 1 micro second.
That's it really, that's the feat. now I will address some of the most common counter arguments I have faced:
Its an outlier
Of all the counter arguments, I personally feel this is the dumbest, no offense. You simply cannot call a character's first major feat after a time skip an "outlier" unless you are biased against the verse for some reason or there are clear cut anti feats from later on.
Besides there are other quad mach feats in the verse, and Rayleigh in particular, who trained Luffy over the time skip, did something very similar.
At first sight I admit it might look a little fantastical, but from what I can see, there's nothing physically impossible about the feat. I will just quote myself here:
Luffy reacted and outpaced the explosion before it could cover 0.03 cm or fully burn through his clothes,
That explains it really. Luffy's clothes have a finite thickness, the flame of the explosion has a finite speed, meaning Luffy had a finite time interval before he could escape without the flame fully burning through his clothes. It seems a little absurd but I assure you there's nothing physically impossible about it. Similar feats from fiction would include Fox Quicksilver clearing an entire building of its residents before the explosion moved meters or Flash evacuating an entire city before a nuclear explosion destroyed it.
If Luffy was mid air, how did he outpace the explosion?
I think there's two ways he could have done it, either using the CP9's Soru (which he learnt before the time skip), or which seems more likely to me, he extended his arms to catch a boulder or something, and pull himself away. It may also be a combination of the two.
But we don't REALLY see how he dodged it hence its unusable
Again kind of a dumb argument really, and this point was heavily debated in Discord too, it doesn't matter HOW he dodged it, as long as we KNOW for a fact that he did dodge it.
Why are his clothes completely unscathed after the explosion?
He was not really completely unscathed, we do see his clothes and face lightly singed in the very next page.
As I said, the flame just started to singe his clothes and skin but he outpaced it before it could fully burn through his clothes or skin,
How do we know he didn't escape before the explosives detonated?
- The explosive which is a gelatinous slime was wrapped around his body, sticking to him (Caesar explicitly used the word "wrap"), he could not have outpaced it before it detonated as he would simply be carrying the slime with him in that case.
- Just the panel before Caesar gives the command to explode, we see the slime completely wrapped around Luffy.
- Neither Caesar would have given the command to explode nor would Franky have warned Luffy "watch out those are explosive" if he had already escaped in those panels, before Caesar detonated it.
- If its anything, the anime depicts Luffy being completely enclosed by the slime and not out of it, before Caesar makes it explode.
Is the Slime actually sticky?
This is kinda nitpicking and I would have thought this would be obvious since its consistently described as a "slime" or being a "gelatinous liquid" which are sticky by nature, but since a user brought it up, I will say yes, Caesar's Slime has depicted sticky properties on panel sticking to a ship's sails for instance, or climbing and crossing mountains utilizing its gelatinous nature to stick to the surface.
That should cover the main counter arguments to the feat that I have had to debate against. If you want to read the more detailed back and forths I had with multiple debaters over the feat, I would suggest going to the Luffy vs Itachi thread and read from Post 109.
Now I would just give a few notes as to how to use this feat if you plan to do so on the Forums or a CaV:
First and foremost, this is mainly a Reaction, NOT a combat speed feat. We do know for a fact he could react in time to safely dodge the explosion, but what we don't know is how badly he outpaced it, so we can't explicitly say how fast he actually moved there, but if I had to make an educated guess, I'd say it should be at least high double digit machs.
What's irrefutable though, is Luffy reacting fast enough to move away before the explosion completely burned through his clothes, which means he can react in a micro second.
If you want to scale this feat to combat speed, you'd need to show your character moving FTE to or blitzing base Luffy.
Having said that, this is still a reaction feat, so although base PH Luffy can't fight at quad mach speeds, he can certainly react(like putting up a defensive guard, or activating a CoA defense) to quad mach attacks from close range.
Secondly, you should know the baseline it gives people who can blitz base Luffy. Moving 1 metre in 1 microsecond is somewhere in the Mach 2000's and I'd argue that level of combat speed for people who can consistently move FTE to or blitz base Luffy.
That should cover everything I guess. Nobody I have debated (and trust me there have been some really heated opposition to this, I have made plenty of enemies over this on Discord lol) has really been able to irrefutably debunk this feat and as such I personally believe this feat is as valid as it gets, but again that's my opinion only.
With that out of the way, I think this is the right time to announce that I will not be debating One Piece on the forums for a while after this. Maybe I will pick up a new series to rep (Bleach probably). But I have given you the feat and my interpretation as to why I think its as impressive as it is. Now use it as you see fit (or don't).
Keeping that in mind, though I would love to see some good back and forths here, I'd really prefer if you didn't tag me on this thread because I am not looking to debate this feat anymore than I already have (and trust me I have debated this feat against multiple people, for pages on end). If you have some questions, feel free to shoot me a PM however.
That's about it, let's see where this goes and how this changes things on the forums.
See you all when Wano ends...