Oda made sketches of the exterior design of all the characters (after time script)
Robin would look like this.)
The 3D2Y special was better (and a lot different) than the pre-release descriptions made it sound, but I was unsurprisingly disappointed with their treatment of Hancock. I made a liveblogging reaction to the whole special here, but I wanted to make a post specifically talking about Hancock.
Let me start by saying that Hancock is one of my favorite characters in the whole series, for reasons such as the ones described here. And since Hancock is one of my all time favs, I’m sensitive to people misinterpreting her character, misinterpreting her powers, and thinking she’s weak. That last one gets me a lot. Whenever people think she’s the weakest original Shichibukai, or think that her powers are easily circumvented just by not being attracted to her, I’m gonna fight them. If you’re someone who thinks anything like this, take a look at this post before anything else. I firmly believe that Hancock is stronger than Luffy at the point in time that this special takes place. Alright, enough with the introduction, let’s get to why the special bothered me about her.
Hancock’s interactions with Luffy were pretty good! That’s not something I had a problem with. Hancock even promised Rayleigh that SHE would protect Luffy when Luffy asked to go with her to fight Burndy World, and I appreciated that a great deal, especially because the early descriptions said that Hancock needed Luffy to protect her.
However, the problems come when Hancock has to actually start fighting. Sebastian the fishman/giant had a pretty original reason to be immune to Hancock’s Mero Mero Beam, so that part I didn’t mind at all
The thing is that Hancock still should have been able to kick his ass effortlessly, but she was useless the whole battle. First Luffy had to save her when they were blasted off the ship by him, then Hancock couldn’t land a single hit on him, then Hancock was about to get punched by him and Luffy jumped in to block the attack and they both got blown back, and then Luffy finished off Sebastian himself without even using Haki. It only took 2 attacks for Luffy to beat Sebastian, yet Hancock didn’t do a single thing against him. Her Perfume Femur and Slave Arrow and Pistol Kiss attacks all hurt/petrify enemies regardless of whether or not they’re attracted to her (they work on Luffy and the Pacifista alike—they work on everything), yet so many people think that if someone’s not attracted to her then NONE of her powers work. And even without her powers, Hancock is incredibly physically strong and is a master of Armament Haki—far more than Luffy is. By every right, Hancock’s hits are stronger than Luffy’s 3rd Gear hits (seeing as she can demolish a Pacifista in one blow and Luffy couldn’t at this point in time), but in this fight they chose to have Hancock be useless and Luffy do everything. I’m not happy about that.
Hancock’s fight against Nightin was much worse though. This was what I really had a problem with. The fight starts out with Hancock getting half her outfit melted off for the sole purpose of fanservice
…and then she stays in that outfit the rest of the special. Given Hancock and her sisters’ past as slaves who were abused and tortured for years as children/teenagers, they are the last characters in the series I want to see getting used for fanservice like this.
The entire fight between Hancock and Nightin was just as bad. Nightin was clearly miles weaker than Hancock—not even being able to land a single hit on her—yet Hancock never kicked back. All she did was dodge, shoot Slave Arrows and Pistol Kisses at her that were easily deflected, making it so that Hancock resorted to fighting exclusively by flashing her innocent sex appeal routine
Hancock kept doing this, forcing Nightin to eat more of the bitter junk that kept her distracted from Hancock’s beauty, until she barfed it back up, reverted to an old woman, and was petrified by the Mero Mero Beam. And I really really did not like that. As I said earlier, there is a gross and incorrect belief that a huge number of fans have that if you’re not attracted to Hancock, her powers don’t work on you and she’s helpless. That’s bullshit, but that’s what this fight was all about—Hancock fighting solely through her beauty and nothing else. This fight was a long joke dedicated to fanservice.
Where’s the Hancock who could shatter Pacifista with a single hit? Where’s the Hancock who broke Smoker’s seastone jute in half with her shin? Where’s the Hancock who fought both sides in Marineford simultaneously, went on a Pacifista destroying rampage, and emerged from the war without a scratch? Where’s the Hancock who is one of the only Conqueror’s Haki masters in the series? Where’s the Hancock that can force the Marine’s Vice Admirals to their knees with no effort at all? Where’s the Hancock who Sengoku was relieved to hear would join them at Marineford because he knows how damn strong she is?
The only time at all we get to see THAT Hancock this special was when she killed Gairam in 1 hit
But that was it. In over 100 minutes of this animated special, that was the only scene where Hancock was actually depicted as being strong outside of her sex appeal.
I also don’t like how willing Hancock was to let Luffy fight World by himself. Let’s not forget that when Luffy was attacked by Smoker and then by Aokiji himself, Hancock jumped up to kick both their asses (she would have attacked Aokiji too if Marco hadn’t gotten there first). Oh, and then there’s when Hancock threw herself in front of the Pacifista’s lasers to protect Luffy too. Yet here Hancock left Luffy alone to fight 2 separate times, even though prior to their final fight Luffy had been completely and brutally crushed by him. If Hancock acted in character, she would have been fighting right there beside him doing everything to protect him and kill World herself for hurting him. But that wasn’t Hancock’s purpose in this special—she was there to make jokes and be fanservice, not fight herself.
Even though the special was better than how it was originally described, it still gave Hancock incredibly poor treatment as a fighter. It presented her as weaker than Luffy in their fight against Sebastian (and weaker than Sebastian too), and it fostered the incorrect belief that Hancock’s strength is her beauty in her fight against Nightin, even though Hancock is absolutely no less strong at all against enemies who aren’t attracted to her. It was enjoyable seeing her interact with Luffy and care so much about her sisters, but when it came to treating Hancock as a capable and powerful fighter, this special fell down on the job, preferring for her to be fanservice than for her to be strong.