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Nico Robin is such an interesting character, narratively-speaking

Tounsi_Tag

Member
Oct 29, 2017
190
Ever since I started watching One Piece years and years ago, I always thought that Nico Robin was a character that was bigger than itself. She is intrinsically tied to the world of One Piece and its narrative in a way that I feel is very overlooked.

* World-building and advancing the storyline: Robin was introduced before Chopper. She pretty much was part of the entire journey of One Piece even as an antagonist. Most importantly, the character allowed for the expansion of the world of OP. She is tied to the Poneglyphs ( more important now than ever) and was directly involved in the birth of the entire Enies Lobby saga. ( I'm strictly speaking from a narrative-tool perspective). Chopper and Franky's backstories were revealed while hers was conveniently delayed more than a 100 episode after the joined the team .

* Backstory: Not only one of the longest among the straw hats, but one that is directly connected to the bigger world of One Piece ( whereas the others sans Sanji were self-contained in a sense). It involved the scholars of Ohara, the government ( whether admirals of the CP division), a character from the D family and a massacre that had a weight on the world of One Piece and the way history was looked at .

* Abilities and danger level: Enies Lobby was literally destroyed because of Robin. She then joined the revolutionary army and is confirmed to be more or less the key to Raftel ( As far as we know, she is the only confirmed alive character to be able to read and UNDERSTAND the poneglyphs ). For that, I never understood why her bounty was low. Others point out that the regular people should not be aware of the real reason why she is dangerous to the government but it only reinforces my belief that is is extremely central.

This is all without talking about her devil fruit and fighting abilities. Nonetheless, I wanted to tackle how fascinating Nico Robin is to me from a narrative perspective. I don't know if I'm the only one who scrutinizes the events this way. She is currently sidelined but that doesn't invalidate her importance to the overall story.
 

fireflame

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,492
Yes she is sidelined but I can't help feeling it is not done as a mistake, but rather intended to build something up. Bounty might be low precisely to avoid raising attention, or perhaps because of someone's influence to keep bounty low who knows. Oda might be planning something as hinted in the Elephant Arc.
 

sappyday

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
967
I agree her bounty is too low. She should be the second most wanted in the ship behind Luffy.
 
OP
OP
Tounsi_Tag

Tounsi_Tag

Member
Oct 29, 2017
190
I agree her bounty is too low. She should be the second most wanted in the ship behind Luffy.
Yes she is sidelined but I can't help feeling it is not done as a mistake, but rather intended to build something up. Bounty might be low precisely to avoid raising attention, or perhaps because of someone's influence to keep bounty low who knows. Oda might be planning something as hinted in the Elephant Arc.
I never understood the ridiculously low bounty jump after Enies Lobby from 79.000.000 to 80.000.000 while all other characters got a much higher margin. She is literally the reason Enies Lobby happened. Not to add that her old bounty was from when she was young before she joined Crocodile or the Straw Hats.
 
Oct 25, 2017
12,475
Yeah, I think the bounty is terribly low. She is a massive threat to the World Government and her bounty should represent that. It would have been neat to see the Strawhats carrying the weight of her being on the ship. There should be World Government attacks, pirates gunning for her, etc...

Other than that, I adore Robin. Her backstory leading up to her calling out to the Strawhats gets me every single time.
 

fireflame

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,492
I never understood the ridiculously low bounty jump after Enies Lobby from 79.000.000 to 80.000.000 while all other characters got a much higher margin. She is literally the reason Enies Lobby happened. Not to add that her old bounty was from when she was young before she joined Crocodile or the Straw Hats.
I could imagine Aokiji having sympathy and still having contacts to keep attention away from her, otherwise yes that's curious.
 

SatoAilDarko

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,658
I just wait in vain for her to have another fight like in Skypeia. Where she actually use athleticism to dodge attacks, gets physically smashed and use unique attacks based with her devil fruit. Not instant crush or instant giant limb smash on randoms.
 

JonnyDBrit

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,126
I feel like a nice way to summarise things is that Robin, both as a character and in terms of when in the story she joins the crew, is pretty much the walking embodiment of the story's shift into the greater grand line - a walking marker of the escalation.

Prior to that the story takes place in, pardon the pun, what might be seen as 'shallow waters'; the adventures take place on relatively isolated islands with no real longer lasting consequence to the story (aside of the addition of Chopper, and the recent return of certain figures per the Reverie). The longest term character arc up until that point was Nami's, crossing over the various small arcs until Arlong happened, but by the same token, it's relatively quickly put together and so you just dwell with it as long - most people would likely think of the battle with the fishmen as when she really joined the crew, rather than vs Buggy and co. And well, Nami in herself was self-contained. But Robin was a walking suite of connections to One Piece's larger story, not only introducing the concept of poneglyphs and being able to translate them, but also the three weapons, the secret history of the Void Century and all the conspiracy therein, conflict with the World Government as an institution (rather than just 'eh, pirates I guess'), and of course, working for one of the Seven Warlords. She was also the most visible test of how the crew would be built over the story; someone that not only had her troubles, but had been downright an enemy once. Her dynamic with the crew was an evolving one, rather than set in stone from the moment she walked aboard the ship.

Robin simply is the most significant addition to the crew from a narrative perspective.
 

Fulminator

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,512
I never understood the ridiculously low bounty jump after Enies Lobby from 79.000.000 to 80.000.000 while all other characters got a much higher margin. She is literally the reason Enies Lobby happened. Not to add that her old bounty was from when she was young before she joined Crocodile or the Straw Hats.
She poses a threat to the WG for sure, but she’s someone who could be easily captured by the higher ranking vice admirals and admirals if need be

Luffy, Sanji, Zorro are all fighters who have increasingly grown stronger and are all possibly admiral tier now. They pose a demonstrably higher threat to the WG because they are much harder to capture or kill

Robin is a dangerous individual, but by herself she is not really equipped to get very far with her knowledge. This is partially why she allied herself with Crocodile, because under his protection she could continue with her research to some degree.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,754
OP, Thank you so much for putting into words what I could not.

Robin is my number one favorite character of the Straw Hat crew and I 100% agree. She is the most dangerous of all of them, yet (I don't know if this is just Oda doing this) but it just seems like she is forgotten. She's extremely smart, her personality is amazing...I ship her with Franky but that's besides the point! Lmao.

She's a huge threat to the world and it just feels like she's forgotten. Also her devil fruit power can kill massive people in seconds. I get it, it's a support skill but like, she can take out waves of people by breaking their necks....like...umm? Shouldn't she be definitely higher than Zoro and Sanji with both of those things?

Either way, I love her and I hope she comes back in a very important way. Maybe she is being sidelined because her story is being built up on the side, but Enes Lobby is my favorite arc because of her. Her back story and that whole jail break makes me burst out in tears every time. Definitely cracked the top 10 best most memorable anime scenes of all time in my list.
 
OP
OP
Tounsi_Tag

Tounsi_Tag

Member
Oct 29, 2017
190
I feel like a nice way to summarise things is that Robin, both as a character and in terms of when in the story she joins the crew, is pretty much the walking embodiment of the story's shift into the greater grand line - a walking marker of the escalation.

Prior to that the story takes place in, pardon the pun, what might be seen as 'shallow waters'; the adventures take place on relatively isolated islands with no real longer lasting consequence to the story (aside of the addition of Chopper, and the recent return of certain figures per the Reverie). The longest term character arc up until that point was Nami's, crossing over the various small arcs until Arlong happened, but by the same token, it's relatively quickly put together and so you just dwell with it as long - most people would likely think of the battle with the fishmen as when she really joined the crew, rather than vs Buggy and co. And well, Nami in herself was self-contained. But Robin was a walking suite of connections to One Piece's larger story, not only introducing the concept of poneglyphs and being able to translate them, but also the three weapons, the secret history of the Void Century and all the conspiracy therein, conflict with the World Government as an institution (rather than just 'eh, pirates I guess'), and of course, working for one of the Seven Warlords. She was also the most visible test of how the crew would be built over the story; someone that not only had her troubles, but had been downright an enemy once. Her dynamic with the crew was an evolving one, rather than set in stone from the moment she walked aboard the ship.

Robin simply is the most significant addition to the crew from a narrative perspective.
THANK YOU! You echoed what I was trying to say in a much better and articulate way. I'm saving this response for future reference.
I remember once reading an analysis of how Oda used Robin's introduction as his catalyst to the escalation of the events, primarily because his original vision was to finish the story in 5 years which did not end up happening and Robin was his tool to expand on that.

She poses a threat to the WG for sure, but she’s someone who could be easily captured by the higher ranking vice admirals and admirals if need be

Luffy, Sanji, Zorro are all fighters who have increasingly grown stronger and are all possibly admiral tier now. They pose a demonstrably higher threat to the WG because they are much harder to capture or kill

Robin is a dangerous individual, but by herself she is not really equipped to get very far with her knowledge. This is partially why she allied herself with Crocodile, because under his protection she could continue with her research to some degree.
I get that and I understand that bounties are not merely a declaration of danger or power necessarily. Pragmatically, it wouldn't make sense for the WG to raise her bounty when they could still capture her at the same established one nonetheless. Her bounty as a kid already raised a lot of suspicion ( and it was already based on a lie ) and her danger level was already set at the time even after she grew up ( so the 79.000.000 is the by-default status of her danger as a poneglyph reader from Ohara).

However, Nami & Sanji for example got their first bounties right after Enies Lobby for joining the strawhats and for their power level. I just find it hard to grasp that Robin's bounty was only elevated by 1.000.000 which is an incredibly small increase. Not only did she grow up ( it was 20 years after her first bounty) and became stronger and harder to capture but she also joined Crocodile who wanted her to help him revive the ancient weapons. Just joining the strawhats, who declared war on the government to save her, makes her much harder to capture so in essence, it's not about her bounty but it's that insignificant increase after Enies Lobby that doesn't make sense to me. For this reason, many speculate that the WG just doesn't want the common folks to be more suspicious about Robin's role in deciphering history.

One could advance also the example of God Usopp and how not so thorough the WG can be with its bounty estimations but that's another layer

OP, Thank you so much for putting into words what I could not.

Robin is my number one favorite character of the Straw Hat crew and I 100% agree. She is the most dangerous of all of them, yet (I don't know if this is just Oda doing this) but it just seems like she is forgotten. She's extremely smart, her personality is amazing...I ship her with Franky but that's besides the point! Lmao.

She's a huge threat to the world and it just feels like she's forgotten. Also her devil fruit power can kill massive people in seconds. I get it, it's a support skill but like, she can take out waves of people by breaking their necks....like...umm? Shouldn't she be definitely higher than Zoro and Sanji with both of those things?

Either way, I love her and I hope she comes back in a very important way. Maybe she is being sidelined because her story is being built up on the side, but Enes Lobby is my favorite arc because of her. Her back story and that whole jail break makes me burst out in tears every time. Definitely cracked the top 10 best most memorable anime scenes of all time in my list.
Just imagine Robin with Haki ! She would be unstoppable. There's also many ways in which her devil fruit could be strategically used in fighting and I wish Oda would explore that a bit further.
 
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ArgyleReptile

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,889
One of my 3 favorite Strawhats. Wish she got more to do. Still hate Kyros and Rebecca for taking the Diamante fight.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,754
Yeah, she was a perfect, vital of character in OP universe, imo. I kinda wish Oda would keep her skin tan as a default for this current series.

Because I sometimes was wondering as why she went became a "white" in the first place. I barely remember it because of timeskip.
 
Oct 26, 2017
19,647
Yeah, she was a perfect, vital of character in OP universe, imo. I kinda wish Oda would keep her skin tan as a default for this current series.

Because I sometimes was wondering as why she went became a "white" in the first place. I barely remember it because of timeskip.
That's a Toei decision for the anime adaptation. Her skin tone was never tan in the manga. In fact, it was the same pale skin tone as almost every human character in One Piece. But that's a discussion for another day.
 

Fulminator

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,512
I get that and I understand that bounties are not merely a declaration of danger or power necessarily. Pragmatically, it wouldn't make sense for the WG to raise her bounty when they could still capture her at the same established one nonetheless. Her bounty as a kid already raised a lot of suspicion ( and it was already based on a lie ) and her danger level was already set at the time even after she grew up ( so the 79.000.000 is the by-default status of her danger as a poneglyph reader from Ohara).

However, Nami & Sanji for example got their first bounties right after Enies Lobby for joining the strawhats and for their power level. I just find it hard to grasp that Robin's bounty was only elevated by 1.000.000 which is an incredibly small increase. Not only did she grow up ( it was 20 years after her first bounty) and became stronger and harder to capture but she also joined Crocodile who wanted her to help him revive the ancient weapons. Just joining the strawhats, who declared war on the government to save her, makes her much harder to capture so in essence, it's not about her bounty but it's that insignificant increase after Enies Lobby that doesn't make sense to me. For this reason, many speculate that the WG just doesn't want the common folks to be more suspicious about Robin's role in deciphering history.

One could advance also the example of God Usopp and how not so thorough the WG can be with its bounty estimations but that's another layer
Well the easiest explanation is that robin didn’t actually do anything during the enies lobby arc. She was already ‘captured’ by CP9. The rest of the straw hats were all instrumental in taking down CP9, which was the strongest government group of assassins (until we learn of cp0).

So it would make sense for all their bounties to go up. The bounties never go up just because, it’s always in response to the threat getting larger. Robin was more or less the same before and after enies lobby.

Not trying to knock robin at all either, she’s a great character, but it makes sense why her bounty hasn’t gone up as much as some of the others
 

jromz03

Member
Oct 28, 2017
50
I always wondered if her devil fruit is awakened already?
I mean post timeskip, she can do more with her power.
 

Sea lion

Member
Nov 8, 2017
588
Robin is awesome but suffers from Jojo's Fugo syndrome in that Oda made her too OP if you think what logically what she could do with her powers and thus doesn't use her as much. She's been ridiculously sidelined in the New World but Im guessing she'll have a major arc come the Poneglyphs, similar to Sanji on WCI and Zoro currently.

Oda's just spreading the love out. Usopp will get Elbaf, but it makes you wonder if the remainders will get such attention. Franky and Brook still feel weirdly like strangers compared to the other Strawhats.