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What got Robin her epithet of Devil Child? (Image via Toei Animation)

One Piece: Why is Nico Robin called the Devil Child? Her epithet, explained

Every Straw Hat in One Piece has a title alongside their name on their Wanted Posters - Luffy is fittingly ‘Straw hat,’ Zoro is ‘Pirate Hunter,’ Sanji is ‘Black Leg,’ and so on and so forth. But Nico Robin has an epithet on her poster that may not immediately be clear to new watchers - ‘Devil Child.’ This notable title is tied to her backstory and long held status as a criminal, even when she was a child.

The truth is that Nico Robin has a past that she shunned and one that has followed her all her life since. She’s a ‘devil child’ who brought doom to all she met, was relentlessly pursued, and brought organizations down around her right from her youth. She grew up believing that she was a curse, an evil to those around her.

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Nico Robin has one of the saddest backstories in One Piece

Robin's childhood is a lonely and hard one. (Image via Toei Animation)
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Robin was born on the island of Ohara, a land renowned for its scholars and knowledge in One Piece. Her mother left her to pursue an archaeology career when she was young, and Robin was ostracized from other children due to her devil fruit ability. Her real friends were the scholars of Ohara, who realized her natural talent for studying history.

But the scholars of Ohara had done one thing - they had researched a hundred year gap in history, specifically the knowledge of the Poneglyphs. These giant cubes of stone left messages to people that couldn’t be erased by time, but very few could actually read them. Those in Ohara had done the research to translate them, though - despite the fact this was illegal under the World Government’s jurisdiction.

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As a result of this, the World Government’s special operative divisions were sent to dispose of the scholars. The scholars implored Robin to never reveal her knowledge, but when her mother was among the scholars, she revealed her knowledge anyway. Though this act condemned Robin to her fate, it allowed her to reconnect with her mother for the first time in many years - and the last time.


The Devil Child Epithet and what it means in One Piece

Robin must live to make the sacrifices of Ohara mean something. (Image via Toei Animation)
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After escaping Ohara thanks to both the efforts of the scholars and assistance from Aokiji, Robin became wanted by the government. To justify the destruction of Ohara, the World Government lied on a mass scale to paint the scholars of Ohara as ‘the demons of Ohara.’ Robin was the only girl to escape with that detested knowledge - and branded the Devil Child at age 8.

With a multi-million Berry bounty, Robin became one of the most wanted people in the world of One Piece. While she attempted to live an upstanding life, she was often hunted or betrayed by those who showed her ‘kindness.’ In the end, Robin turned to a life of crime, joining pirate organizations and crime empires. But her title followed her, leading these organizations to ruin in her wake.

The last organization she was in before joining the Straw Hats was Baroque Works, where she worked as the second in command and right hand to Crocodile. When his attempts to overthrow Alabasta’s monarchy are dashed by Luffy, Robin hedges her bets with the Straw Hats - and manages to charm them into accepting her as one of them.

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While this relationship is tested by the forces that stole her life in Ohara away, Luffy and friends chase her down in one of One Piece’s most famous and renowned arcs - the Enies Lobby arc. It's here that Robin finally breaks free of the government’s attempts to steal her life, and she begins to live for herself, dedicated to discovering the mystery of the Poneglyphs.


So Robin’s Devil Child epithet in One Piece came from her awareness about otherwise forbidden knowledge under the government, and the threat she inherently represents to the ‘peace’ of the world. Her dedication to both the history she was entrusted to decode and the Straw Hats is steel-bound, letting her keep that title over 20 years after the incident at Ohara.

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Edited by
Upasya Bhowal
 
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