We know of the several forms of Haki, the Kenbunshoku Haki, Busoshoku Haki and the Haoshoku Haki. I've been wondering, are those Haki visible to other characters in the One Piece universe, or only visible for the reader?

And I am mainly interested in the Busoshoku Haki, as this seems to harden the body and makes the skin look metal like. Can people in the One Piece universe also see this metal like change? Or is this just for the viewer to differentiate between normal fighting and Haki fighting?

  • I don't think it's clear from the manga just yet.Vergo taking off his clothes in his fight with Law might suggest that it to be visible.But then again, he could also be showing his amazing abs giving the impression of major Haki. In the fight between Zoro and Monet, the girls couldn't distinguish a slash being with or without haki, so that would then indicate it to be invisible. Although when Tashigi cut Monet, the sword was still not colored black and yet Monet was cut so Haki must have been used. I always assumed it to be shown every time it was used, so maybe it just doesn't show on swords? Commented Aug 6, 2014 at 11:38
  • My gut would go with it not being visible, since it would be weird to see people turn black all of a sudden. Commented Aug 6, 2014 at 11:39

6 Answers 6


From the moment Rayleigh explained to Luffy (and to us) what Haki really is, I believe that every single time Busoshoku Haki is used, Oda draws visual cues for the reader to know it has been used, but it doesn't actually change color in the OP universe. Mainly to prevent too much speculation from our point of view.

The Busoshoku Haki wiki page in a way confirms this by explaining Busoshoku Haki as an invisible armor.

Busoshoku Haki allows the user to create a force similar to an invisible armor around themselves.

Therefore I believe that when Busoshoku Haki is used, the object does not really change colors in the OP world. Not much real proof could be found to the visual changes of Busoshoku Haki except for maybe the fight between Zoro and Monet. When Zoro slashed Monet, both Monet and Tashigi thought the slash was coated in Haki, which it wasn't in the end. So to me that means that the characters can't distinguish Busoshoku Haki usage with visual cues as we can. They can only distinguish it from the after-effect.

enter image description here!

Edit: Actually after thinking about it some more, the fact that Oda didn't draw Busoshoku as black before the time-skip would proof that it doesn't actually turn black in the One Piece universe. If it would, wouldn't he have drawn it from the beginning? One could argue that the Koju tribe's Haki wasn't as powerful enough to be turned black, but I doubt someone would disagree on this with Dark King Rayleigh. The moment he blocked Kizaru he must have needed some powerful Haki to block that kick and yet it still didn't turn black. Other examples can be seen during the Marineford arc with Marco, Whitebeard, Shanks, etc.

enter image description here!

Contra to what I have said earlier and I'm not sure whether this would be considered canon, but I'll mention it anyway. In Volume 1000, Zephyr is nicknamed "Black Arm" for his superior B. Haki usage. Nicknames are usually something you obtain within the OP world as an OP character, so if you would consider Volume 1000, which is a free volume distributed to One Piece Film Z's attendees, canon, then the answer would be that the black color is indeed visible to people in the OP universe.

enter image description here!

PS: I don't speak Japanese and I think this is the picture the wiki referred to, but could someone confirm what is written there?

  • Note that his blade used here is already dark. One could argue this confused their ability to visually tell if the blade was darkened by Haki.
    – kaine
    Commented Aug 6, 2014 at 12:57
  • @kaine I updated the picture and from the anime it's clearer that the sword was purple instead of pitch black so, you might have been able to note the difference. But I agree that this isn't the best evidence to backup my statement. I just can't find anything better than this :( Commented Aug 6, 2014 at 13:21
  • Just playing devil's advocate (well)... There are 9 options. Either: always visible, visible depending on power, visible based on type of armor haki, visible at user's discresion, visible if the viewer can comprehend it (ie spirit pressure), observable requiring observation haki, observable by its effects, invisible, or some combination (actually correct). I think 1,2,and 8 are impossible alone. 6 and 7 are true. There is no evidence in favor of 3 and 4. And I think 5 is indistinguishable from 6. Ergo: some people can sense haki based on familiarity and, post timeskip, we skill up so can.
    – kaine
    Commented Aug 6, 2014 at 14:24
  • @kaine Why would 1 be impossible? Oda knows when they are using Haki, so he can just take his black pen and color likewise? Also how many different armor haki's are there? Are you referring to the defensive armor vs the deflective one? Commented Aug 6, 2014 at 15:30
  • For my own ease of mind here is the list with numbers. I always needed to recount from the beginning :p. 1. always visible, 2. visible depending on power, 3. visible based on type of armor haki, 4. visible at user's discresion, 5. visible if the viewer can comprehend it (ie spirit pressure), 6. observable requiring observation haki, 7. observable by its effects, 8. invisible, or some combination (actually correct). Commented Aug 6, 2014 at 15:32

Both Kenbunshoku and Haoshoku are not visible at all, since, well it was not made as something that is visually needed to the reader, since they're basically perception and sheer will power respectively.

Busoshoku, however, can be seen both by the user and others alike, though not all the time, since it acts like an "invisible armor" or coating, in a sense. At that point, it is not seen, which could be demonstrated by someone like Zoro, for example. But, when in is concentrated heavily on certain areas of the users body (i/e: Luffy or Vergo) or to a weapon of theirs (i/e: Vergo or Smoker), it hardens said part (or extension of the users body) and turns it black, making it "denser".

(As for Vergo's extension for to his bamboo: Chapter 672, page 4 Smoker: Chapter 690, page 8.

For a use of Buso, without demonstrating it physically: Chapter 512, page 12, among many others. Zoro vs Monet for instance.)

Hope this helps.

  • 1
    I think your answer is mere speculation over a not really consistent phenomenon, bleeding from multiple wounds. For example if it is always seen on weapons then why is the bamboo black and the arrows of the Kuja tribe not?
    – ytg
    Commented May 26, 2014 at 15:27
  • I'm not speculating at all. You can't compare the level of expertise from someone from the Kuja tribe who have been (with a few exceptions, like the Gorgon sisters) to someone who has a notable mastery or at least highly proficient skill on using Buso, like Luffy/Vergo/Doflamingo/Smoker. Clearly, not everyone can use it to the same extent as others. I never once said that it is always seen on every single weapon imbued with haki.
    – Beto
    Commented May 27, 2014 at 1:05
  • @ytg The arrows of the Kuja tribe were not black, because the concept of Haki wasn't explained yet at that point. It was only after Rayleigh-sama explained Haki to Luffy (and to the readers) during their training that Oda started coloring it black. So in that sense we haven't seen Zoro nor Sanji use Buso Haki just yet. We know they are capable of doing so, but they hadn't had a reason to use it yet. Commented Aug 6, 2014 at 11:03
  • 1
    @Beto Zoro didn't use Haki in his fight with Monet. He can't cut girls remember. Commented Aug 6, 2014 at 11:30
  • @PeterRaeves: yes. and that was my point exactly. that it's only visible to the reader when Oda decides to show it.
    – ytg
    Commented Aug 6, 2014 at 12:35

As stated in One Piece Wiki, Haki are invisible. As stated in Anime and Manga Differences, Haki are made visible so that viewers can understand that Haki is being used.

  • In the manga, those hit with Haoshoku Haki foam at the mouth after or while losing consciousness, whereas in the anime, they simply faint.
  • In the anime, the use of Haoshoku and Busoshoku Haki creates a rippling or shockwave-like effect, similar to the Gura Gura no Mi, while in the manga, it is completely invisible. Also, in recent episodes, the use of Haoshoku Haki causes the affected area, excluding the user, to gain a dark blue tint. However, this could just be for dramatic effect. In the One Piece Film: Z, the Haoshoku Haki's use creates a circular purple wave.
  • In the last anime episode before the time-skip, the use of Busoshoku Haki as "invisible armor" was shown as a swift percussion forming a light-blue beam, similar to lightning, while in the manga, it is shown simply as an amplified impact, nothing else visible is shown.

I like to think Armament Haki is only visible when you’re using Observation Haki, but it’s invisible if you aren’t using Observation Haki.

But, another plausible scenario is that the New World (including Fishman Island) has a certain thing about its environment that causes Armament Haki to become darker the stronger it is, which is why we couldn’t see Armament Haki become dark when being used during pre-timeskip and return to Sabody arc because Haki only gains the ability to darken once you enter Fishman Island. "The stronger, the darker" idea also explains why we only see darkened Haki when it’s a strong amount, even when it’s in the New World where Haki is theoretically visible.

(tl;dr - theoretically, Fishman Island and New World has an environment that makes haki appear darker the stronger it is, but it stays invisible if it isn’t that strong or if it is used outside of the New World)

Personally, I like my first theory better.


Busoshoku is visible but not all the time ! The Koka (hardening) is visible, being a very dancer version of the normal Busoshoku (pre time skip). Not talking about vergo, Luffy or any others, the proof lies in the "Kokuto" Shusui and Kokuto yoru were tuned BLACK by their respective users (Ryuma and Mihawk) with very advanced version of Busoshoku and stayed permanently Black.


Any type of Haki is not visible. There is just a time when a user of Busoshoku changes the color of their body/weapon just to show that they are using something. It is just an indicator that it is not an ordinary punch or kick.

It's just my idea because Haki is the will of someone or his/her eagerness to hit a devil fruit user. It's like you really want to hit a smoke man (like Smoker), and because you focus and set in your mind that you really want to hit him, it became possible, and it will be more possible because of training.

  • Any source, or you just think so?
    – Dimitri mx
    Commented Jun 3, 2014 at 20:27
  • Its just my idea. because Haki is the will of someone or his/her eagerness to hit a devilfruit user. its like you really want to hit a smoke man(like smoker) and because you focus and set in your mind that you really want to hit him it became possible. and it will be more possible because of training.
    – user5104
    Commented Jun 4, 2014 at 3:57

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