One Piece Chapter 1045 Recap & Spoilers: Next Level

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for One Piece Chapter 1045, "Next Level," by Eiichiro Oda, Stephen Paul and Vanessa Satone, available in English from Viz Media.

Chapter 1044 began with Luffy shocked that he survived Kaido's attack. Momonosuke revealed to Yamato that Zunesha has declared Joyboy has returned and that he and Luffy are one and the same. In Marijoa, the Five Elders revealed that the Gomu Gomu no Mi is in fact the Hito Hito no Mi: Mythical Type, Nika. By consuming this fruit, it allows Luffy to use his rubber body in any way he chooses. In the Treasure Repository, Orochi begged Hiyori for his life, but he ended up being set on fire by the spirit Kanjuro unleashed. Back on the Skull Dome, Luffy used his new power to give Kaido a proper beating, revealing that he can now use Gear Five.

In Chapter 1045, Kaido tells Luffy that he was sure that Luffy had died, to which Luffy agrees. Kaido also points out that being able to turn his surroundings into rubber means that Luffy has indeed experienced a Devil Fruit Awakening. However, Kaido is still under the impression that Luffy's fruit is a Paramethia type until he talks himself through it. He says that a transformation like the one Luffy has undergone is more associated with a Zoan fruit and lunges at Luffy, who is just reclining in the air without a care.

Luffy uses Gum Gum Balloon inside Kaido

Kaido, in his dragon form, snaps his mouth shut around Luffy, who tries to keep the dragon's mouth open but is promptly swallowed. In retaliation, he bounces around inside of Kaido before expanding in a move he calls "Gum-Gum Balloon." The expansion causes Kaido to appear as though he's gained weight to Yamato and Momonosuke, who have just poked their heads over the edge of the Skull Dome. Yamato wonders if Kaido could always so this, not realizing it's actually Luffy causing the bloating.

Kaido is enraged at the reaction of his body, saying it's not made of rubber like Luffy's. Inside Kaido, Luffy is able to see light filtering through Kaido's eyes. To pull himself out, he shoves his arms into Kaido's eyes and grabs his snout, using it to propel his body forward and out of Kaido's body. He calls this move his Gum-Gum Escape Rocket.

Luffy uses Gum Gum Giant

With a giant grin on his face, he begins rapidly expelling the air out of his body and goes flying like a deflated balloon into the clouds above. He then reappears in a giant form he calls "Gum-Gum Giant," coming down on top of Kaido, surprising him, Yamato, and Momonosuke. The two spectators are shocked at Luffy's appearance, especially his giant size, and wonder if it's actually him.

Kaido bites down on Luffy, who grabs his head and tail and starts using him as a jump rope as the two plummet towards the ground, calling it "Gum-Gum Jump Rope." Kaido takes this chance to launch a Blast Breath directly at Luffy, who takes the full damage. He's knocked away from the Skull Dome and begins to fall, his body charred and burned. He quickly recovers and by rapidly rotating his legs like wheels, runs on air back to Onigashima, leaving a trail of flames behind him. As he flies towards Kaido, the Emperor of the Sea attacks him with Conquerer of Three Worlds, Ragnaraku.

Luffy's head goes crashing through the roof of the Skull Dome and to the Live Floor below. Everyone is so shocked at the sight of Luffy that their eyes literally pop out of their skulls. Luffy pulls his head out of the hole with a snap, falling backwards onto his back. Kaido says it's like something out of a comic, but that despite Luffy's energetic performance, he's still almost at his limit. Luffy counters this, but his energy quickly depletes, resulting in his face looking ages and worn. He's so drained he can't even hold his head up.

Luffy's head comes through roof and everyones eyes pop out

Luffy admits "Ah'm all tuckered out," prompting Kaido to ask Luffy who he is, confused about the total 180 the Straw Hat has taken. Luffy admits to Kaido that he was dying before now, that the fight is taking a toll on him. Kaido offers some form of comfort to him, saying that stories will be told about the battle. Luffy doesn't care about that, saying that the only thing that remains after death are bones.

Now that he's back to his normal form, Yamato says that Luffy's white hair and clothes made him unrecognizable. Momonosuke is more worried about Luffy's "voice" beginning to quickly fade once again. Luffy manages to rise to his feet once again, declaring that they're not finished. He thinks about all of the people who have helped him along the way and sacrificed themselves for the cause, his strength returning in the process. Kaido warns him that he'll die, but Luffy says he isn't afraid of that.

Kaido goes in to attack with his kanabo, but Luffy's once again attains his Awakened form just as Kaido reaches him. Yamato shouts out for Luffy to watch out, but Kaido's attack lands on the back of Luffy's skull. Rather than collapsing as he did before, Luffy's head instead conforms to the shape of the kanabo, keeping its shape as he runs away. Kaido swings again, this time from the top, but again Luffy's head merely squishes and absorbs the attack, though it does still cause him pain.

Luffy asks Kaido if he's having fun

The force of the attack sends Luffy bouncing against the ground and into the air like a ball, with him taking advantage of this by using the momentum to land on a nearby rock formation and launch himself towards Kaido. As Luffy comes towards him, arm swinging, Kaido wonders what this white transformation, his use of the Color of Armament and Supreme King Haki, and ability to manipulate anything around him are. Despite his thoughts, he stands firm that nobody can beat him.

However, Luffy's attack lands, Kaido's face crumpling from the force and shocking Yamato and Momo. As Kaido collapses to the ground, Luffy asks him, "Isn't this fun, Kaido?!!"

The next chapter of One Piece will be available on Sunday, April 10th. 

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