One Piece episode 1044, titled Clutch! A Devil Incarnate, Robin!, was released on December 11, 2022, continuing the Straw Hat Pirates' war against Kaido that is taking place in Wano. This episode focuses primarily on Nico Robin, who is facing the most powerful enemy of her life, and it is not going well.
The Straw Hats' archaeologist has been engaged in a fight with Black Maria, and it has already been established that her methods of slapping the enemy will not work in this situation. Her Devil Fruit ability is pretty impressive, but it has huge drawbacks that Black Maria took advantage of in the previous episode.
Disclaimer: This article contains spoilers from the One Piece anime.
Robin reveals a dark side while Luffy recovers his health in One Piece episode 1044
Black Maria pushes Robin to her limits
One Piece episode 1044 is fantastic in the way the fight sequences switch colors and change its pace. The animation team has done a great job in making the fight feel visceral.
Since the beginning of One Piece episode 1044, Black Maria has had the upper hand over Robin. She first traps her in her webs, then pummels her face with a brass knuckle. However, when Robin tries to counter, she once again becomes entangled in the webs and is attacked with fire.
While the archaelogist appears defeated and Black Maria continues to mock her for her uselessness, Brook giggles and says that if he were her, he would flee. He then creates an ice wall that isolates Robin and Black Maria, with the latter interpreting this as Brook abandoning his crewmate.
Meanwhile, Robin is flooded with memories of Olivia, Saul, the Straw Hats, and the Revolutionary Army. She also recalls how the nickname "demon child" has haunted her throughout her life, all of which eventually becomes a motivational factor for her to fight.
Robin reveals Demonio Fleur
For a while in One Piece episode 1044, it appears that Black Maria's attacks are taking a toll on Robin. However, the latter is able to extinguish the fire with the Fish-Man Karate that she learned from Koala and Hack on Baltigo. She then transforms into a demonic form with wings and horns, though her face is cloaked in darkness. She tells Maria that there are people who rely on her, and she is willing to become a demon for them.
This is in contrast to the scholarly Robin, who considers punches to be violent and prefers to slap instead. Thus, it is revealed that the Straw Hats' archaeologist was holding herself back on purpose, but she no longer wishes to do so. She draws inspiration from her "demon child" moniker and employs it to her advantage. The fight ends with a Grand Jacuzzi Clutch from Robin that breaks Black Maria's body.
Meanwhile, Brook eliminates all of Black Maria's footsoldiers, and later, Robin passes out in his arms after the fight.
Luffy and Momonosuke prepare to face Kaido
One Piece episode 1044 then shows Caribou using his Swamp-Swamp Devil Fruit ability to bring Luffy a month's ration, who consumes the meat in order to regain his strength.
A short distance away, Momonosuke implores Shinobu to use Ripe-Ripe jutsu to transform his body into an adult's so he can become a bigger and stronger dragon. The latter refuses because going to Onigashima is dangerous because if she uses her powers on him, he will not be able to return to his original state. However, as Momonosuke states, if he does not act, the Flower Capital and the Land of Wano will be ruined.
What happened in the previous episode?
Brook took center stage in the previous episode. He was initially unaffected by the Illusion Mist, which caused him to hallucinate his former crewmates, though he admitted that seeing them die again was cruel. Black Maria had used the trick on Robin before to try to weaken her with memories of Ohara.
Following this, Black Maria and Robin began fighting. The Tobiroppo relished hurling insults at the latter and made her feel worthless. Although Robin used Giant Fleur, it backfired on her as she became an easy target to strike.
On the other hand, the Heart Pirates were at a loss regarding how to bring more food to Luffy, who had depleted their pantry. Caribou appeared at that point with a large amount of food because he wanted Luffy to survive and help him escape the island. The episode concluded with Luffy requesting that Momonosuke fly him up to Onigashima.