The Angel and The Devil
It’s been over 10 years since the time skip and for that entire stretch we’ve been traveling with an emotionally confident and friendly Robin. For longtime readers, any frame where Robin is smiling is a cathartic reward for the years and years we spent not knowing or even fearing her. We’ve become comfortable with the fact that Robin is living her life carefree and it’s almost hard to remember what life was like for her before the events of Enies Lobby. She might look more like an angel to us these day, but around the world she’s still regarded as a ‘demon’.
Back then, even after joining the crew, her persona in the story was most commonly associated with macabre and demonic qualities. Robin’s four-panel comic from the fanbook One Piece Blue even parodied her dark nature.
But with Chapter 1021, Odacchi assures us for the first time in over a decade that he has not forgotten or neglected Robin’s roots as she shockingly used her abilities to transform into an *actual* demonic figure! Odacchi was even careful to depict her with the fan-favorite Uma Thurman bangs as a visual representation of the ‘old’ Robin.
The attack she uses also seems to be a famous wrestling technique which spread in popularity from overseas to Japan by legendary professional wrestler Antonio Inoki. The technique proper is called the ‘manji katame’ supposedly for how -in executing the technique- the performer’s body resembles a manji. Here, Odacchi took the initiative to alter the name to accommodate Robin’s multiple limbs by calling it a ‘giant whirlpool’ (thus jacuzzi) in order to express the rotating pattern of her many extremities. In the spread, with a little imagination, you can see how when viewed from the side her limbs create a rotating whirlpool-like pattern. Interestingly enough, the Japanese female pro wrestler Mio Shirai uses a variant of this technique which she has called…’The Spider’s Web’.
The million-dollar question is of course…why is she shaded? Is she using Haki? The kneejerk reaction is that this appears different from Odacchi’s typical Haki shading but it helps to remember that this probably isn’t a clone, simply an ingenious amalgamation of Robin’s natural body parts. The reason the shading seems ‘off’ could very well be due to the construct being composed of countless haki-imbued body parts. The implications for future altercations are promising indeed!
Bravo Odacchi. Robin’s battle with Black Maria was a masterpiece! Maria might have been a ‘yokai’ but she’s no match for a ‘demon’!
Weekly Shonen Jump #36+37 Ch.1021
One Piece Vol.82 Ch.818
ONE PIECE BLUE GRAND DATA FILE
‘About a lady named Russian…’
W-wait a second! What’s going on?! I thought Odacchi was going to draw this scene sometime during the end of the series! Really?! I’m shocked! But what’s even more shocking than that?! What the heck are Franky and Senor Pink drinking?! With no color it’s hard to tell but those look like…cosmopolitans?! R-really?! I suppose they could be classic daiquiris or even kamikazes but those really look like cosmos! I didn’t expect that at all for these two bruisers! Maybe it was Russian’s favorite drink? Both cosmopolitans and kamikazes include vodka so either choice would be appropriate for her!
Weekly Shonen Jump #36+37 Ch.1021
One Piece Vol.77 Ch.775
The King and the Sun God
Thank you, Marco! Finally! Confirmation that King’s flame isn’t some kind of gimmick, but indeed something that is unique to his race. A race that lived atop a ‘red wall’. Sounds a lot like Red Line but let’s hold off on assumptions for the time being. What’s most curious about this revelation is what it suggests about someone else the One Piece fandom has been fascinated with as of late, Nika.
Have another look at this silhouette, particularly the ‘hair’. That…that looks like a flame doesn’t it? Put almost any straight-on depiction of King into silhouette and he looks extremely similar. And Nika was thought to be a ‘sun god’ right? We don’t have a complete grasp on what ancient civilizations in the OP world were like, but if Shandian architecture is any gauge, then it’s not unlikely that someone capable of producing flame would have been considered a sun-like deity, no?
The implication here being, Nika might have been…the very same race as King! If that’s the case, why would their race have been wiped out? And were the slaves who believed in Nika of the same race? And what does that suggest about…Devil Fruits?
Weekly Shonen Jump #31 Ch.1018
Weekly Shonen Jump #38 Ch.1022