Vigilant one should be in the presence of a will backed into a corner. Expectations can often become the debilitating web ensnaring ones judgment. Such was the case for Black Maria who seduced herself with her own ego, delusion and power. The projection she created dominated her perspective and shackled her foresight. Caution evaporated and left imprudence to pilot her actions. So entrenched was Black Maria by her arrogance, the thought of being overwhelmed by Robin became an impossibility. And within that absence of anticipation, a blind spot was spawned. Black Maria faced impossibility and could do little against the crumbling of her judgment. She was wrong and within her psychological descent, the terror known as “Devil Child” Robin overwhelmed Black Maria. Robin has won. And the Beast Pirates suffer another critical blow.
Robin was incredible in this chapter. While she may not concern herself with battles much, she was still aware of the need to prepare herself for unexpected situations. Her nature of being alert and maintaining her guard all the time served to benefit Robin during the time skip. Thanks to Sabo and Koala, Robin was able to enhance her abilities and incorporate the use of Fish-Man Karate within them. That hybrid technique she learned from Sabo and Koala turned the tide and bought Robin sufficient time to bloom herself into a Demonic form to overwhelm Black Maria.
The Demonic imagery used for Robin’s new form was spectacular and so was the line she dropped about not having an issue becoming a Devil if it meant protecting the people that depend on her. Robin unleashed her Devil and disabled Black Maria. We will most definitely get further story behind Robin’s Devil clone/extension during future battles but I am incredibly curious how Robin went about developing such a Demonic presence – was she borrowing a page from Zoro’s book? Robin understood her weakness and made efforts to remedy that. Those wings Robin included in her Devil Bloom extension conveys to me that once Robin becomes more familiar with using that form, she will be able to use those wings to fly. The inclusion of fangs and those horns were also interesting. The Devil does have horns, but I wonder if there is further relevance behind that. And the ‘vampire’ vibe imparted by the fangs, will that feature also hold meaning or is it merely a visual hook to invoke further terror in the opponents facing Robin?
I find it endearing that Robin, someone who had existed without companionship for almost two decades, is now able to express the meaning of the bonds she now has through the abilities she has chosen to learn. Robin is strong not only because of herself but because she has others to live life alongside. The battle against Black Maria, showcased Robin’s amalgamation of the knowledge she had attained from Sabo, Koala and likely Zoro and Brook concerning her demonic bloom and aura. Now that Jinbe has joined the Straw Hat Pirates, Robin can evolve her abilities further by consulting with another Fish-Man Karate Master and incorporating the knowledge she will learn from Jinbe into her Hana Hana no Mi application. Robin has conveyed how prepared she is for the New World and how far from helpless she is. Robin IS strong. The fight may have exhausted Robin but she has defeated a Tobi Roppo member. And Brook is still there to assist her. Brook’s current state likely indicates the possibility of him meeting Big Mom again or another opponent that requires his particular skill set to defeat/handle. The durable nature of Robin also means that she will recover shortly and continue her assistance to her crew and the Samurai Rebellion in the war against the Beast Pirates.
Concerning Momonosuke, I did not see this twist coming. I did not even connect Shinobu’s Devil Fruit to potential abilities, especially with a name like the Ripe Ripe Fruit. It reads so simple now but what a delicious twist that was. Momonosuke will be aged up by Shinobu in order to harness the abilities of the Artificial Seiryu Devil Fruit more effectively. All in order to save Wano. While Shinobu and Momonosuke are currently of the mind that the change is permanent, that is not entirely the case and their current actions will path forward a new destination for those linked to Momonosuke. Jewelry Bonney exists. She has the ability to de-age other people and if the story seeks to return Momonosuke back to his actual age after transforming, the story focus will shift toward characters seeking out Bonney. The curious case with Bonney is where she was seen last in the story – in Mary Geoise, And who else was present during the Levely/Reverie? The Revolutionary Army’s Chief of Staff, Sabo.
News has spread about an incident concerning Sabo and the Revolutionary Army has lost contact with him. Once Luffy reads the news about Sabo, he will attempt to help if Sabo is in any danger. If Bonney is with Sabo, the Straw Hat Pirates journey will coincide with her location. If helping de-age Momonosuke becomes a quest, I can see someone looking to help Momonosuke, tagging along with the Straw Hat Pirates to meet Bonney. Zoro should be aware of Bonney’s abilities after his run in with her. Jinbe and Robin (and Law) should also be aware of the Worst Generation members abilities. Once Kaido is dealt with and the Straw Hat Pirates see the sacrifice Momonosuke has made, they may think of Bonney as a solution to Momonosuke’s state. And who has Oda-sensei been building up as a character close with Momonosuke with the intention of sailing with the Straw Hat Pirates? Yamato, of course. If Yamato doesn’t join the Straw Hat Pirates at the end of the Wano Kuni Arc, he may end up joining in a future arc after he locates Sabo and Bonney. Yamato would have reason to both help Sabo and seek out Bonney (if she is the solution to the effect Momonosuke will be affected by after aging up).
Beyond the affects of the Ripe Ripe Devil Fruit, there is also the side effects of the Artificial Devil Fruit to consider. It was noted on Punk Hazard that the Artificial Devil Fruit Momonosuke consumed was a failed experiment but we have yet to see why Vegapunk considered it a failure. Was is really a failure? If it was, what will happen to Momonosuke if he continues to utilise the powers of the Devil Fruit? Will Momonosuke be dramatically affected with continued use and will he require the help of his allies to seek out Vegapunk after being afflicted by the side-effects? This too could see Yamato travel with the Straw Hat Pirates in order to help Momonosuke. Any potential future story Oda-sensei has planned for Momonosuke that requires the Straw Hat Pirates to seek help outside Wano Kuni has been set-up to include Yamato.
Caribou’s Numa Numa no Mi is such a blessed ability within this current situation the people of Wano find themselves in. Not only has Caribou helped Luffy by providing him with meat and food but he may even end up using his Swamp form to save Wano from any falling Onigashima Island debris. The knowledge Caribou possesses about Poseidon still remains but what has changed is Caribou’s reliance and familiarity with Luffy. If wouldn’t be surprising after the story Caribou has been through, to indirectly ally himself with the Straw Hat Pirates. Caribou could even store the Poneglyphs within his “Swamp Space”. Very much looking forward to the next chapter.