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One Piece 1021 Review: Demon Child

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I don’t often do One Piece chapters anymore, but… I nearly made it a three-chapter book review when I released chapters 1019-1020 the same day as 1021. Then I realized that the chapters 1019-1020 could stand alone as a single review. Let’s have a One Piecereview.

Even the cover page was cool this time, with a what-if’ scenario of what each of us wanted to see in the Dresrossa story — Franky and Senator Pink actually having a drink while sobbing about Senor Pink’s extremely depressing backstory. Do you remember that? This is one of the greatestrandom one-off battles against a mook One Piece ever. This is what I felt was lacking in the Sasaki-vs. Franky fight. While not all sub-goons need a tragic backstory, somethinglike that would make us care about the villain or give us an emotional push to the fight… Robin had her whole ‘you’re no longer needed by your crew’ verbal abuses from Black Maria; Jinbe had her whole casual fishman racism from Who’s Who, and Nami had her massive ‘Luffy will be the pirate king’ chant in the face Ulti… Although not very important, the fights were still had some substance. Even Brook and Usopp had some cool moments and were basically playing second fiddle with the women of their crew. Franky wins the Sasaki fight. This is something I would expect to see on a filler movie. He doesn’t get a new technique named, unlike almost everyone else.

Ahem. Let’s get on to the next chapter. Robin’s new Gigante Flare form is quite cool. It’s a giant naked version of Robin, standing behind her like a giant JoJo’s Bizarre AdventureStand. She just sprouts a fuckton of tentacles from the ground. Unfortunately, the wielder can also get hurt just like a JoJoStand. Wanyudo has been eliminated from the fight, but it is interesting to see Black Maria just casually using the huge… spear. What do you call a stick that has a buzzsaw attached to it? Black Maria uses the weapon to stop Robin’s “Sea Serpent Snapdragon” attack.

Black Maria keeps getting more power out of her sex! The Rosamygaleis a extinct genus, so I don’t really know much about it. It appears to have illusion powers and the ability to release venom from her feet. Black Maria uses her Marianette webs to keep the Gigante Robin in line, before putting on her knuckledusters and continuing to beat the fuckout Robin.

Robin dismisses Giant Fleur. But then Black Maria gives us a bunch of attack names that are puns for’maria. It’s kind of like Doflamingo’s attacks, which are all puns on ‘ito (string), and… I don’t envy their job of trying puns that fit. Black Maria’s spider can breath fire! Spiders cannot do that, I doubt! Two chapters ago, I saw a Triceratops using its frill to fly as a helicopter. So why am I questioning whether these shonen manga attack are biologically viable?

Brook is so sweet and watches Black Maria trash-talk Robin, and then just thinks that “ah, you really fucked it up, lady”. Black Maria is a complete heel. She trash-talks Robin like a demon child’ or a dead weight’. This is essentially trying to convince Robin that the Straw Hats are only interested in Robin’s brain and that she is utterly worthless. This is a bit contradictory, as Robin’s brain is why Kaidou’s crew wants her captured in the first instance. However, we (both Brook and Robin) know what happened at Enies Lobby. We all know how far the Straw Hats will go to save one of their own. Robin is wanted by the Straw Hats because she is Robin and not because she was the last survivor from Ohara. Although it’s not stated as clearly, I love that. Even though we have reached the one-thousand page mark, I still consider Water Seven and Enies Lobby to be the top of my One Piecereading experience. It is so exciting to see Enies Lobby get challenged by a villain.

Then we have a flashback surprise! Robin apparently trained with Sabo and Koala while she was in the Revolutionaries. It’s always funny to see these Revolutionaries idolize Robin as a big sibling figure. Robin is taught palm strikes by Koala (which she also used in the first post timeskip arc), and Sabo makes a sarcastic comment offering to teach Robin Dragon Claw Fist. Flashbacks also show that Robin is taught Fishman Karate by Koala. It’s quite cool. Robin strikes a giant palm strike against the ceiling using Fishman Karate shockwaves called Giganteum. This causes the ceiling collapse.

This is not what defeats Black Maria. This form doesn’t seem to have anything to do the Koala or Sabo training. I mean, this isn’t the form that defeats Black Maria. Unless this ‘Demonio” form is full-body Armament Haki (or, well… full-giant body). It would be surprising for Robin to have some Armament Haki. It’s possible that this particular form was just shaded for effect or is it Haki. The anime will also have to clarify this for us.

It doesn’t negate the fact that Robin grows another gigantic version of herself… and mutates into a demon! It’s Devilman Lady. These lines are amazing! Robin, who hated her title as ‘Demon Child’ so much and was loathed by the whole world, finally accepts it. “I can be demon if necessary, for those who count on me.” She embraces her evil side and grows this demon-like form.

It’s been almost a year since Robin was fucked Hammondin Fishman Island. And neither Hammond or Yama are really real opponents. It’s so uplifting to see Robin defeat a member the Tobiroppo in this way.

Next, Brook takes down Black Maria’s entourage using a new move (even Brook gets a new move, and he isn’t taking down anyone important!). With Phrase d’Armes: Orchestra. It’s quite cool that he makes a big treble clef. The whole scene shows Robin tired, but also a sombre shot of Mary looking at them. This panel has been used sparingly by the Wano arc, which I think will make it very important. Are there any other Kaidou crew members or CP-0 who might jump in to try and get Robin? I hope we don’t have a “crewmate gets kidnapped” arc again after Whole Cake. But maybe there’ll be another problem during the Onigashima Raid.

Although the final pages sort of ended the fandom, I have to admit that I am still more excited about Demonio. Luffy is eating a lot of food Caribou happens to have accumulated in his swamp. Yes, it is. I don’t know what Caribou is doing or why he has so many food items. It’s not the meat pies that everyone thought he was eating, it’s a literal feast that he stole from someone. Caribou is a strange character… he plays the same role as Caesar Clown, a villainous former antagonist. However, Caribou is not as crucial to the plot or as helpful as Caesar in the two arcs he guest-starred.

Momonosuke then demands that Shinobu help her grow into an adult to fly Luffy up to Onigashima. Shinobu admits she can do it, which means she’s done it before. But it’ll be irreversible and Momo will have the mind of an adult even though he is in an adult body. This is actually quite terrifying when you consider it. While Momonosuke may be more mature than 99.9%, Momo is still a child. However, Wano’s storyline seems to focus on Momo trying to reconcile his idea that he’s an heir to a great man… but he’s also notthat guy. Momonosuke, Yamato will realize they can carry Oden’s will without Oden. Just as Luffy will be the ‘you are the destiny Joyboy’ prophecy, I feel there will be a consistent theme. The thing is… It’s not clear if this will result in Momonosuke becoming an adult, or if it’ll be considered a positive thing. Although I am not on the edge or worried about this, I do admit that I am very curious.

It was a great chapter. Next? What next? All the Tobiroppo who are fighting Straw Hat members must be done, I believe. X-Drake is the last remaining fighter, but he’s fighting Apoo on the side of good guys. We will now focus on Sanji against Queen, the only Straw Hat crew fight that is ‘outstanding. Maybe we’ll go straight to the Scabbards. Jack-vs-Inuarashi, Perospero-vs-Nekomamushi, Raizou-vs-Fukurokuju? Is it possible to go from “all the Straw Hats winning” to “oh shit all the Scabbards losing?” Drake-vs.-Apoo, Law/Kid vs.-Big-Mom and Killer vs.-Hawkins are just a few of the other options. I’m not sure what Kyoshiro or Izo are doing. There are so many moving parts, I wonder which one will we be focusing on next.

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