The One Piece anime has finished adapting Robin’s fight with Black Maria, and for a variety of reasons, the anime made it even better than the manga.
Warning: Contains spoilers for One Piece episode 1044.
The One Piece anime just finished covering Nico Robin’s best moment from the manga, and it managed to make it even better. During the Onigashima raid, Robin found herself pitted against Black Maria of the Tobi Roppo so Sanji can escape from her trap. The battle soon escalates to the point of Robin having to use a new technique called Gigante Fleur, a giant-sized version of her cloning technique that enhances both her strengths and her weaknesses.
Episode 1044 of the One Piece anime concluded Robin’s fight with Black Maria. When Gigante Fleur was proving to be ineffective, Robin unveiled both a Fishman Karate technique Koala taught her during the time skip and an upgraded version of Gigante Fleur called Demonio Fleur that allowed her to finally win the fight. This moment was already largely regarded as Robin’s best moment in the One Piece manga for being her first big fight in almost twenty years, and the way the anime works to emphasize its strengths makes it even better.
One Piece’s Anime Expanded Robin’s Best Manga Moment
The main reason why Robin’s victory against Black Maria was so much better in the One Piece anime stems from how much the anime expanded on the fight. Not only was episode 1044 an episode that featured truly stellar animation, but the use of Demonio Fleur was presented like something out of the uniquely animated Devilman Crybaby to emphasize how frightening her new technique is supposed to be. That, in addition to dragging out her final attack against Black Maria, all did a great job of showing off how powerful Robin was supposed to be.
More than that, however, is how the anime played into the emotional weight of everything. Recent episodes devoted time to reminding the audience of everything Robin went through in One Piece, which works because it ties into her character arc. The emphasis on how far her friends would go to help her adds more weight to her wanting to do the same, and the emphasis on her being treated as a demon makes it poetic that she would wholeheartedly embrace that. It all comes together to make Robin’s moment a big one not just for its spectacle, but for everything it does for her as a character.
The One Piece anime did a lot to make Robin’s fight with Black Maria in the Wano arc even better than it was in the manga. Still, beyond that, the fight, itself, works so well because it fixes the story’s biggest problem with Robin. Despite being one of the main characters, the only time One Piece’s Nico Robin fought a major antagonist was against Yama in the Skypiea arc, which was almost twenty years ago. Every fight she’s had since then has either been her providing support or her fighting a relatively minor antagonist, and that’s nothing but a disservice to someone meant to be so crucial to the story.
Robin has often gotten the short end of the stick in One Piece, but the Wano arc finally does something about that. For the first time in almost twenty years, Robin finally had a fight with a major antagonist that was largely on her own; that’s a big deal on its own, but the fact that the anime upped the spectacle and emotional weight from the manga does even more to highlight the importance of it. Robin finally having a chance to stand out is nothing but good for Eiichiro Oda’s One Piece, and with the series entering its final stages, it hopefully won’t be the last time it happens.
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