The One Piece anime did a lot to make Robin’s fight with Black Maria in the Wano arc even better than it was in the manga. Still, beyond that, the fight, itself, works so well because it fixes the story’s biggest problem with Robin. Despite being one of the main characters, the only time One Piece’s Nico Robin fought a major antagonist was against Yama in the Skypiea arc, which was almost twenty years ago. Every fight she’s had since then has either been her providing support or her fighting a relatively minor antagonist, and that’s nothing but a disservice to someone meant to be so crucial to the story.
Robin has often gotten the short end of the stick in One Piece, but the Wano arc finally does something about that. For the first time in almost twenty years, Robin finally had a fight with a major antagonist that was largely on her own; that’s a big deal on its own, but the fact that the anime upped the spectacle and emotional weight from the manga does even more to highlight the importance of it. Robin finally having a chance to stand out is nothing but good for Eiichiro Oda’s One Piece, and with the series entering its final stages, it hopefully won’t be the last time it happens.