One Piece: How Nico Robin’s Design After the Time Skip Ruins Her Character

The time skip changed a great number of things in the world of One Piece. Foremost of these were the designs for the Straw Hat Pirates. Each member of the crew got a brand new design meant to show their growth, maturity and increase in power. For the most part, these designs succeed in conveying the progression of their characters, but one design falls short. Nico Robin's new design fails to carry over her most interesting elements from pre-time skip into the New World.

Robin arguably changed the most out of all the Straw Hats after the time skip. The most noticeable change for the anime was that Robin's darker skin became much paler. Although Robin always had pale skin in the manga, fans that only interacted with the anime had grown accustomed to her darker skin. This created a lot of confusion and controversy when she suddenly became much paler after the time skip.

Robin now looks like a completely different person instead of the same character that has matured, like the other Straw Hats. Keeping her darker skin tone would have avoided much of the controversy and confusion in the fandom and would have made her time skip transition go much more smoothly.

Nico Robin Has Secrets

Robin Presents Herself As Miss All Sunday In One Piece

Skin tone isn't the only change to Robin's design that changed her perception. Before the time skip, she often wore her hair in bangs and was fond of wearing cowboy hats. These elements of her appearance obscured her face and made it harder to read her expressions at times. Design choices like these implied that she was keeping certain information to herself and holding secrets from the crew, which she was. There was always an air of mystery and intrigue around Robin that has disappeared after the time skip.

Post-time skip, Robin's bangs and cowboy hats are gone. Her face is completely open except for a pair of sunglasses that she almost never wears over her eyes. This gives the impression that Robin is an open book to everyone and has no secrets to hide. Although she is no longer withholding information about her past to the crew, she is still wary of other people. Robin's new design makes her look much more open and trusting than she actually is.

Nico Robin Is A Layered Character

Robin often added coats and jackets on top of her outfits. This added layers to her design and implied there was more to her character. Robin is one of the most complicated and nuanced characters among the Straw Hat Pirates. She started the series as a major antagonist but became one of the crew's most trusted allies. She used to be solely focused on her self-preservation and often betrayed groups for her own gain, but she was willing to sacrifice herself to save the Straw Hats after spending time with them. The layers to her design indicated that there is more to Robin's character than meets the eye.

Robin's new character design lacks these layers. Instead, she's been given a long skirt and a half-zipped jacket. This simpler design also implies a simpler character. There is no longer a hint of hidden depth to Robin's character design. There are fewer barriers between her and the rest of the world, which means others can safely make assumptions about who she is without worrying about missing something. Robin has many sides to her character, but her design fails to communicate that.

Nico Robin Has Darkness Inside Her

Nico Robin's I Want To Live Statement From One Piece

In the beginning, Robin wore a lot of dark colors in her outfits. She would often be seen decked out in black, deep purples and other dark colors. Her clothes were also usually made out of leather. These elements gave her design a dark edge that fits her character. Robin has a very tragic and painful backstory. She uses her powers to snap necks and spines. She even has a morbid sense of humor that she shows off when she jokes about her friends dying gruesome deaths. Everything about Robin's design indicated that the "Devil Child" held a sinister side and possessed a dangerous cunning.

None of those elements remain in her post-time skip design. Robin now dresses in bright hues of blues and pinks. She wears floral patterns and flowing skirts. The dark edge is gone and has been replaced with a hyperfeminine aesthetic. It's hard to imagine that the new Robin would purposefully try to scare her friends with horror stories or take out enemies in cold blood. She looks more like a carefree beach model than a dangerous criminal with a tortured past.

The New Design Just Doesn't Feel Like Nico Robin

Nico Robin pre timeskip post timeskip

Robin's post-time skip design is aesthetically pleasing and does its job of portraying her as a beautiful woman, but it's rather bland when compared to the old design. Her new design is so focused on making her look sexy and showing off her body that it forgets to convey any of her personality. Before the time skip, Robin's design managed to show the same amount of cleavage and midriff as the new one, but it still hinted at the person she truly is: an intelligent, dark, complicated and morbid woman. On its own, the post-time skip design is fine -- but it just isn't Nico Robin.

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