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Robin’s New Transformation Changes the Black Maria Fight

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Chapter #1021 of One Piece resumes Robin’s fight against Black Maria with a new transformation — and a devilishly satisfying conclusion.

The following contains spoilers for One Piece Chapter #1021, “Demonio,” by Eiichiro Oda, Stephen Paul and Vanessa Satone, available in English via Manga Plus and Viz Media.

It’s felt as though Nico Robin, one of the most subtle and intriguing members of the Straw Hats, has been taking a back seat for quite some time in One Piece. Yet, since the Wano arc began, she’s been afforded a larger role and Onigashima has provided readers with a much-needed one-on-one fight against the vile Black Maria. With the conclusion of this bone-breaking fight in Chapter #1021, Robin reveals a new, more demonic side.

With her massive clone manifested, Robin attempts to constrict Black Maria — however, the arachnid woman is clever enough to tell that attacking Robin’s Hana-Hana arms will damage the real Robin. She then traps Robin’s clone with her webs and, with the massive target now restrained, begins her bloody beat down.

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One Piece’s Nico Robin Finally Embraced Her Devil Form

One Piece Chapter 1021 Nico Robin Palm Strike

To keep from falling unconscious, Robin dispels her clone and tries again to catch Black Maria, only for the oiran to create a barrier of burning webs for protection. Black Maria thinks she has this fight completely under control, although Brook believes it would be in the tarantula woman’s best interest to run — even when she starts beating down on Robin with bloody fist after bloody fist.

One Piece Chapter #1021 then provides a flashback from Robin’s time with the Revolutionary Army when the crew was separated. Koala and Sabo are insistent that she should learn some Fishman Karate from them, and the curious Robin decides to take up the offer. It seems the lesson is now coming in handy, as with just a single massive palm strike, Robin shatters the ceiling above them, causing the rubble to snuff out Black Maria’s flames.

Robin then lifts herself up in a form we’ve never seen, with shiny black skin and demonic wings. In a line that echoes the same sentiment as Chopper during the Fishman Island Arc, Robin calls out, “I can be a demon if I have to. I’ll do it for the people who truly need me… for the people who are counting on me!” Despite calling her nothing but a demon child this entire fight, seeing Robin take that very form causes Black Maria to flee in fear. However, with a drove of her devilish hands, Robin grabs the villain and ends the fight with one bone-shattering clutch of demonic proportions.

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Did Straw Hat Nico Robin Awaken Her Devil Fruit Powers

Robin uses her demon form to attack Black Maria

It goes without saying nobody really thought to take Nico Robin’s epithet as “Demon Child” quite so literally. Robin has been in need of a serious power-up for quite some time, so it’s appropriate that it would take on the appearance of what the world has labeled her all her life. Likewise, Brook not stepping in to help Robin throughout this entire scene is what elevates One Piece‘s theme of “trust.”

Sanji called out to Robin to save him in the first place because he trusted she could win a fight he couldn’t, and Black Maria scorns Robin for trusting her crew in the first place. The fact that Brook’s notorious “panty jokes” have been absent throughout this entire fight is also a breath of fresh air, allowing Robin’s Demonio Fleur to be as powerful and threatening as suggested. The details surrounding this new form are unclear — it may be a result of Robin awakening her Hana-Hana Devil Fruit Powers, or her powers fusing with Haki similar to Luffy’s Gear Four, but we can’t say for certain. Regardless, it’s a terrifying transformation, one we hope to see more of in the future for One Piece.

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