Nico Robin, also known as the “Child of the Devil,” is one of the main protagonists of the popular manga and anime series “One Piece.” Her dark and tumultuous past sets her apart from the other members of the Straw Hat Pirates.
Delving into Robin’s history provides essential context for her character development and motivation throughout the series.
Ohara and the Pursuit of Knowledge
Robin was born on the island of Ohara, a place renowned for its scholars and the enormous tree-library called the Tree of Knowledge.
From a tender age, Robin displayed an extraordinary aptitude for reading and deciphering the ancient Poneglyphs – stone tablets that held the forgotten history of the world.
Under the tutelage of Professor Clover and other scholars, she became the youngest archaeologist at just eight years old.
However, the World Government viewed Ohara’s research on Poneglyphs as a threat, as they contained information about the Void Century – a historical period they wanted to keep concealed.
This would eventually lead to a tragic event that would shape Robin’s life.
Tragedy of Ohara
The World Government branded the scholars of Ohara as criminals, falsely accusing them of attempting to unearth weapons of mass destruction.
In reality, they sought the Rio Poneglyph, a stone revealing the true history of the world. With a Buster Call, a massive naval bombardment, they obliterated Ohara.
Robin, escaping aboard a ship, was betrayed by an acquaintance, leading to her mistrust of adults.
The World Government placed an 80 million Berry bounty on her head, labeling her as the sole survivor of Ohara and a threat to world peace.
Jaguar D. Saul and a Beacon of Hope
In the midst of the tumultuous events on Ohara, young Robin encountered a pivotal figure who would leave an indelible mark on her psyche: the giant named Jaguar D. Saul. Initially washed ashore as a deserter from the Marines, Saul’s meeting with Robin was fortuitous.
Saul wasn’t just any defector; he was aware of the corruption within the World Government and was deeply troubled by their methods and secrecy. As Robin and Saul’s bond grew, he became her protector and confidant, providing comfort during her darkest hours. Their interactions were light-hearted and filled with laughter, which was rare for Robin during these times.
However, as the World Government’s assault on Ohara intensified, Saul’s protective nature came to the fore. In an act of sheer defiance and strength, he took on the approaching battleships, creating a diversion to aid Robin’s escape.
Before his tragic end at the hands of Vice Admiral Kizaru, Saul imparted words of wisdom and hope to Robin. He assured her that, in the vast sea, she would eventually find true friends who would understand and stand by her. He also passed on his infectious laughter, teaching Robin to laugh from her heart even when times are tough, symbolized by his unique “Dereshishishi” laugh.
Jaguar D. Saul’s influence on Robin was profound. His faith in the existence of genuine friendships became a beacon of hope for Robin, culminating in her eventual bond with the Straw Hat Pirates.
Life as a Fugitive
For the next twenty years, Robin lived a life on the run. Due to her bounty, she was constantly hunted by both the World Government and bounty hunters.
Everywhere she went, she was either used for her ability to read Poneglyphs or betrayed by those she thought she could trust.
This life of perpetual distrust and betrayal shaped Robin into a reserved, cautious woman who had difficulty trusting others, leading her to claim that she had no desire to live.
Joining the Straw Hat Pirates
Robin’s fate took a turn when she encountered Monkey D. Luffy and his crew. After initially being an antagonist during the Alabasta arc, Robin found herself intrigued by Luffy’s unwavering kindness and the genuine camaraderie of the Straw Hat Pirates.
After Luffy defeats the Warlord Crocodile, whom Robin was working under, she subtly seeks refuge with the Straw Hats, expressing a desire to live.
The Water 7 and Enies Lobby arcs further explored her past, revealing the depth of her trauma. Despite her initial attempts to distance herself to protect them, the Straw Hats declared war on the World Government to rescue her.
This profound act of loyalty and bravery reshaped Robin’s perception of trust and friendship.
Nico Robin’s past is a poignant tale of loss, betrayal, and resilience. Despite the tragedies she faced, her encounters with the Straw Hat Pirates give her a newfound sense of belonging and purpose.
Her journey illustrates the transformative power of genuine friendship and the lengths one would go to protect those they hold dear.
Also Read: Sanji’s past in One Piece explained