Zoan (動物系（ゾオン）Dōbutsukei [Zōn] literally translated as Animal System) is one of the three types of Devil Fruit. This type of fruit allows the user to transform into another species and inter-species hybrid forms at will. Zoan types are especially effective in close combat.
A Zoan fruit allows the user to transform into one other species. This type of fruit provides three basic forms: the user's natural form, a fully transformed type, and a hybrid form, combining both original and fruit-bestowed species into an an unusual form (usually in a bizarre way where the size is greatly exaggerated). However, through training, it is possible for Zoan users to unlock different transformations (for instance Marco, who could transform individual parts of his body, and Chopper post timeskip, who could transform into at least six different forms even without the use of a Rumble Ball). The only known hybrid forms of human users shown so far that was not bipedal is the Hebi Hebi no Mi series (as snakes don't have legs). Another effect shown is that in many different known Zoan users, when in a half-human half-animal hybrid, sometimes the user tends to get bigger than they originally are, even to giant proportions. It has been seen that some Zoan users can transform partially into his animal form: Marco transformed only his arms into phoenix's wings. It is unknown what happens in most cases of eating a fruit bestowing the powers of the same species who ate it, but it was stated in in the SBS that a human who eats the Hito Hito no Mi would become "enlightened".
Inanimate Object ZoanEdit
Inanimate objects have been shown to be able to "eat", or otherwise consume Devil Fruits. The technique used to make objects "eat" a fruit was developed by Dr. Vegapunk, and has not yet been revealed. So far, Zoan is the only type of Devil Fruit that inanimate objects have been shown as being able to absorb. Only three cases of this have been seen so far: Mr. 4's bazooka Lassoo (Inu Inu no Mi, Model: Dachshund), Spandam's sword Funkfreed (Zou Zou no Mi) and Caesar Clown's pet slime Smiley (Sara Sara no Mi, Model: Axolotl).
Objects that have ingested a Zoan fruit gain the mobility and intelligence of the animal they turn into. This can be a drawback as the object can also feel pain as well as become susceptible to diseases. In the animal form, they can be intimidated, as seen when Franky threatened Funkfreed. This has only been used on weapons so far, to increase their destructive power. Inanimate object Zoans also seem to be very loyal to whomever owns them.
The Zoan fruits primarily improve physical abilities and allow the user to use his or her three forms to adapt to a situation during a fight to find the form that gives the biggest advantage.
Zoan powers are usually utilized for their hybrid form, as this form enhances the physical statistics of the user by combining positive attributes from both the user and the physical-level equivalent of the Zoan species. Zoan fruits are thus favored among already strong users who prefer to enhance their physical abilities for the use of martial arts, such as Kaku; this as well as creating new fighting styles. Another rather minor advantage is that depending on the scenario, a Zoan user can go undetected by simply changing the physical form they have to one unfamilair to those around them. It also offers the element of surprise when the foe has little experience with fighting that particular form.
In addition to an increase in physical strength and enhanced senses, some Zoan users may have an ability affiliated with the animal their fruit is based off, such examples are Pell's bird type Zoan which gives him flight, Miss Merry Christmas' mole type Zoan which gives her a tunnelling ability, Boa Marigold's king cobra type Zoan which gives her venomous abilities, and Pekoms'd tortoise type Zoan which gives him a protective shell.In their hybrid form, Zoan users experience enhanced senses, as this form uses a combination of both the user's and the fruit's abilities. Skilled Zoan users are also capable of using their powers to shape-shift out of harm's way; this is particularly useful, especially when the Zoan's body has been restrained, as Chopper demonstrated so many times (such as Chopper switching from heavy point to the smaller brain point to dodge a strike).
This fruit type is also useful for applying to objects such as guns or swords, giving an otherwise inanimate object life and increasing its value to the owner of the item. The method of application is however, as of yet, unknown.
Zoans could be considered amongst the seemingly least impressive type of Devil Fruits, as they primarily rely on brute force and some of them are physically very weak animals (such as a Dachshund).
However, rare Zoans such as those labeled "Mythical" can be considered as impressive and as powerful as Logias and may even display some attributes of the Paramecia and/or Logia classes to generate rare and incredible powers combined in one person. An example is Marco's rare ability as a phoenix to instantly regenerate from any wound, making him more than equivalent to Logia users in damage tolerance as well his ability to generate his own certain element: the blue phoenix flames.
As explained by Crocodile, the Awakened Zoan (覚醒した「動物系」Kakusei Shita Zōn-kei) are users who have by unknown means attained the ability to be stronger, faster and tougher than what the Zoan Devil Fruits' abilities bestow normally. This also includes faster recovery time, which functions involuntarily even when the user is unconscious. So far, all awakened Zoan fruit users have shown no signs of complex thoughts, seeming to act out on instinct and power. They are always in a form similar to their animal form and yet they are somehow able to stand erect and to hold weapons. The five Demon Guards are all classified as such users.
Physical powers granted are restricted to just the capabilities of the proportionate physical equivalent of the animal they are able to transform into. In hybrid form, these strengths of both species may be combined, but again seems to be just a mixture of both forms. While it is true that they enhance the strengths of the consumer, they rely primary on the consumers fighting skills and capabilities. Some users such as Pierre demonstrated little improvements in their capabilities overall, therefore depending on what species the user is and what the fruit has to offer, a Zoan fruits abilities may end up nothing more then a physical change of appearance to that particular consumer. However this does not mean the fruit itself was worthless as all Devil Fruits are subject to fate on who consumes them. As demonstrated by Kaku, when a Zoan Devil Fruit is first consumed the most difficult task may prove simply learning how to fit the change of physical appearance to the fighting styles already known to the user. Kaku himself also seem to have little control at first to what form he took, in one case landing in the wrong form during the fights at Enies Lobby.
Like the Paramecia, Zoans may leave their users as "freaks" in their hybrid form due to the way that the combination of both physical forms is mashed together. Both Chopper and Kaku in particular were considered freaks due to the strange way their hybrid forms had materialized with Chopper being considered a "monster" and Kaku ending up with a heavily cube-like body.
Furthermore, inanimate objects animated to life through the use of Zoan fruits become living creatures that need to be fed and groomed. Also, these once-inanimate objects gain their own free will and basic life's weaknesses, such as Funkfreed being threatened by Franky and Lassoo contracting a cold.
Among the Zoan Devil Fruits and users, some of them can be categorized together into common types with common traits depending on what type of animal they turn into.
As stated by Tony Tony Chopper, animals of the Carnivorous Zoan (肉食の動物系Nikushoku no Zōn-kei) are more predatory and bloodthirsty than others by nature and as such tend to be better adapted for combat. Users that turn into such animals are naturally more dangerous and powerful in physical combat, and may have useful features, such as claws, to aid in a fight. One of the most extreme examples of such a Zoan user is Rob Lucci, who went as far as to maul his opponent in full-leopard form.
As stated by Scratchmen Apoo, the Ancient Zoan (「動物系」古代種Zōn-kei Kodaishu?) is apparently a much rarer type of Zoan Devil Fruit which allows the users to transform into ancient and extinct animals, such as prehistoric reptiles like dinosaurs. The only Ancient Zoan that has been shown so far is from X Drake, allowing him to transform into a carnivorous dinosaur. It was also implied that the Ancient Zoan users are physically stronger than normal Zoans.
Mythical Zoan (「動物系」幻獣種Zōn-kei Genjūshu) fruits are an exceptionally rare and immensely powerful type of Zoan Devil Fruit and is said to be even rarer than Logia Devil Fruits. Unlike the other types of Zoan Devil Fruits, this type of fruit may be the only one considered impressive, owing to its rarity and the unique powers it bestows upon the user. They allow users to transform into mythological creatures (which may have special abilities that are comparable to Paramecia and Logia Devil Fruits), the sorts of which could be regarded as the subject of legends and the like. Only two have been shown so far, belonging to Whitebeard's 1st division commander, Marco "The Phoenix" and Sengoku with his Hito Hito no Mi, Model: Daibutsu, both of whom are considered extremely strong and immensely powerful individuals.
While most Zoan users can only use the three forms, the Straw Hat Pirate's doctor Tony Tony Chopper can utilize more forms for a given amount of time with the aid of the "Rumble Ball", which he developed. It's unknown if other Zoan users can also be affected by the Rumble Ball as Chopper is the only one who has eaten it. However, consecutively eating two or three Rumble Balls in under six hours can cause disastrous results, as the tampering with a Devil Fruit's powers is not something meant to be done. After the timeskip, Chopper does not need a Rumble Ball for his six transformations; only one for a special transformation.
Other scientific research has been done on the Zoan-class Devil Fruit, by Dr. Vegapunk, who has found a way to apply the fruit and the fruit's powers into an inanimate object. This gives the said object new life, and is usually administrated into weapons, creating mobile weapons with their own minds. Only Lassoo, Funkfreed and Smiley have been confirmed to have undergone this.
A majority of the Zoan Devil Fruits also come in different "models" that result in variations