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Personality and Relationships

Personality

Brook is an eccentric character with a distinct personality of his own, like the other Straw Hat Pirates. While he looks like and claims to be a gentleman, he possesses very bad manners such as asking to see ladies' panties (although in a mermaid's case he asks if they can lend him some money - however, he asked this question to the Mermaid Princess anyway) and waiting impatiently for food (a trait shared by Luffy). Despite this behavior he still is somewhat polite, usually referring to people using the respectful "-san" ("Sir"). He appreciates the simplest of things: from a gesture of kindness, the company of others, and walking in the sunlight after receiving his shadow back.

His reactions to different occurrences can be somewhat extreme, often comically so. For example, when the Straw Hats were alarmed at him for being a living skeleton, he forgets the object of fear is actually himself and also begins to panic. Although he tends to display more extreme emotions at times, Brook has been known to over-relax when he is told to stay calm.[1] He is also very patient, having stayed on his former crew's ship for years, waiting for the day when he would eventually be reunited with his shadow. However, due to his rudeness, he can also be impatient about things like waiting for dinner to be served. Brook's most notable trait amongst others, however, is that he cracks "skull jokes" about himself being a skeleton complimented with his distinct laughter of "Yohohoho" even if there is no one around to hear him. When Chopper broke one of his jokes by saying what he intended to say beforehand, Brook became temporarily depressed.

Brook is a great lover of music. Whether it be through happy or sad times, music is what generally keeps Brook going. As a result, his love for music often reflects itself in various other aspects of his character, such as in his fighting style wherein the names of his attacks are derived from various songs and dances. He gave himself a musical theme so noticeable that while he was alive in his first life, he was called "Humming Brook" by the authorities.[2]

In contrast to the other cowardly crew members own fears - Usopp's being out of insecurity, Nami's as a survival instinct, and Chopper's from cautiousness - Brook's fear is more down to Earth; he fears the things that are not normal. An example would be that Brook is easily scared by the ghosts and zombies (despite technically being undead himself). In order to fight the various Thriller Bark creatures without fear when he encountered them, Brook convinced himself that if he sings while fighting, he would not be afraid of them (though he starts running in fear when he stops singing). This singing while fighting, however, had a side effect of making him seem like a more sinister creature to the zombies - a rather ironic fact due to him being the contrary and the fact the song he sings during battle being one of life and joy than one of ominous threat and evil as perceived by them. Because of this, despite his equal fear he was given the name of "Humming Swordsman" by the zombies and was ironically feared by them in turn. He apparently does not like moving fast, evident when he was in the more intense rides at Sabaody Park. Linked to this is moving at high speeds via the Flying Fish Riders flying fish or theme park rides and fighting a Pacifista cyborg there was little chance to win against. Comically, most of these fears are things he himself has the potential to unintentionally cause such as being an almost living skeleton that can run so fast that most people would have little chance to win against.

Before encountering the Straw Hats, Brook was very lonely while floating adrift on his ship and longed for the company of other people. He initially accepted Luffy's offer to join the crew and invited himself over for dinner upon arriving on board the Thousand Sunny just so he could interact with the crew and fill the void that he experienced all those years. Also, while possibly one of the oldest pirates "alive", Brook still retains an air of childishness about him that enables him to behave in a manner similar to Luffy and Chopper, noted by the ease with which he participates in their childlike antics.

His distinct personality and laughter allowed Nami, Usopp, and Chopper question a "guardian" of Hogback's lab, Ryuma, who had Brook's signature laughter and personality.[3] This was because Ryuma possessed Brook's shadow until the samurai was defeated by Zoro, upon which Brook's shadow was returned to its rightful place.

Awkwardly, Brook has a tendency to lack common sense in slightly frantic times. For example, when Luffy falls into the water, Brook (and Chopper for that matter) jumps into the water, despite being a Devil Fruit user himself. He also has a tendency to accidentally go on rides that go obviously fast and sit out on slower rides.

Also in One Piece Film: Strong World, he appears to take offense if someone avoids him because he does not have any "substance", later commenting he is like that because he is "dieting". This was later seen again during the Punk Hazard Arc when the Straw Hats, Kin'emon, and Brownbeard were attacked by a dragon who ignored him. Brook grew furious, claiming that bones have plenty of nutrition.

Brook believes in and has quoted the philosophy "Good things come to those who wait", given the years he spent on the ghost ship, and Laboon's eternal patience.

And what would you know?! It's not like you've died before!!! Die and be left as a grudge!!? That's absurd!! Nothing is left behind!!! After death living things are just bones!!! People who waste lives... are what I hate the most!! That reeks of shame!! Not that I smell it without a nose~!!
— Brook, on the New Fishman Pirates "culling" of their own men


However, one issue he has stood by is the act of wasting lives. As he had experienced death, he knows more than most about the consequences of dying. He shares a very strong emphasis on keeping promises and friendship, as he would do everything in his power to reunite and fulfill his promise to Laboon his long lost friend, something Franky had complimented him upon. Though he is prone to being childish, he proves a loyal and fearless friend. Standing between Usopp and a Pacifista stating that he shall protect him even though he knew his chances of survival were slim. Even Zoro has quietly acknowledged that Brook is a true man to his heart, facing down odds that are near impossible unflinchingly to save a friend. Also similar to Sanji, while both of them are womanizers with lecherous thoughts, Brook is also very protective over women (as is Sanji), as he chastised the New Fishman Pirates for aiming their firearms at Shirahoshi.

Though he knows other songs, Brook's favorite song to sing is Binks' Sake which he was singing upon his first appearance.[4] Even when he asks for requests from the others, he seemed to instantly switch over to singing this song.[5] Other songs Brook sings include Black Handkerchief of Happiness and his own originals, Bone To Be Wild and New World.[6]

Brook is also clever enough to trick Jora into turning his weapon back to normal by pretending to side with her.[7]

Relationships

Crews

Rumbar Pirates

As a member and eventually the second captain of the Rumbar Pirates, Brook and his crew were very close friends, and was akin to family. They all enjoyed music and each other's company, and Brook was amongst the sad when Captain Yorki and half of the crew contracted an incurable illness that forced them to be separated to prevent it from spreading to the other half. The remainder of the crew trusted Brook to the point of appointing him as the succeeding captain. When the remainder were wiped out by a force that used poisoned weapons against them, Brook alone shouldered the crew's promise to reunite with Laboon, and became lonely and depressed when everyone else died.

Straw Hat Pirates

The Straw Hats were immediately wary of Brook prior to his initial entry into the crew (save for Luffy, who invited him on board the Thousand Sunny), but this changes after the events of Thriller Bark. Before he officially joined the crew, only Luffy made friends with him, due to finding him hilarious; the two even goofed around in the same manner during their dinner on the Sunny. Despite his obnoxious personality, Brook deeply cares for his crew, going so far to protect Usopp and Sanji from Kuma. His eccentric personality often gets on the crew's nerves, showing no appropriate respect for Nami and even Robin when he asks to see their panties, and makes skull jokes in serious situations which often lead to him being beaten up, even shattering Robin's normally limitless patience.

Nevertheless, Brook's sense of humor and music can enlighten an organization as big as the Thriller Bark Victim's Association. Franky is moved to tears upon hearing Brook's backstory, and the rest of the Straw Hats gain respect for him, even Usopp and Chopper who were initially afraid of him, after hearing about his devotion to keeping his promise to Laboon. Because they are both swordsman, Brook has formed a respectful bond with Zoro as well. When he saw the latter face off against Ryuma he then proclaimed Zoro "cool". Brook also tends to get along with Sanji, seeing as both of them having perverted interests. He, along with the Risky Brothers, were one of the few who paid witness to Zoro and Sanji's attempt at self-sacrifice, though he respected their decision enough not to tell anyone else in the crew.

Friends

Laboon

In addition to losing our crew, my face, my body, I've lost it all. Even if we met again you wouldn't recognize me at all in this skeleton form. I don't have anything left but they all said... this head of mine made you laugh...!!! I'll protect this look to the end because I'm coming to see you. I just hope you're waiting at our promised cape...!!!
— Brook about the need to protect his afro
Little Laboon

Laboon from Brook's memory.

Over fifty years earlier, Laboon met the Rumbar Pirates after becoming lost and separated from his pod and began following them in his loneliness. After a while they notice how sad he looked and they cheered him up by singing and as a result he continued to follow them. The crew grew attached to him because he was "cute". Eventually, while feeding him bait, Brook named him "Laboon". He was accepted as a crew member and even aided them when an attack left a few crew members having fallen overboard and no one else could help them.

Brook cares a lot about his afro. Because it is the only part of him that did not rot away after he died, it means a lot to him. It is the only thing he believes that Laboon would still recognize him by after fifty years. Since it will not ever grow back again should it be cut, Brook is extremely protective of it. Because of the promise Brook and the rest of his crew made to Laboon, Brook feels obligated to meet up with Laboon in order to fulfil that promise. He feels that Laboon would not forgive them for dying irresponsibly in the Grand Line.

Fans

During the two year timeskip, Brook became a world-famous celebrity and had flourished so much in his career as a music star. By the time he was seen again in Sabaody, he was ready to conduct his final concert for his hardcore fans before returning into piracy once again. His fans were shown to be quite devoted to him, tolerating the fact that he was a walking, moving skeleton, and were greatly saddened when the Marines publicly declared Brook's past identity as a pirate and possible membership in the crew of the Straw Hat Pirates. They were even willing to brush off the attempts of the Marines to apprehend Brook when he announced that he will perform one final song for them to hear.

Enemies

While alive, Brook encountered many enemies during his journey through West Blue and the Grand Line, including the group that killed him and his crewmates.

Marines

He also received a bounty from the Marines in this time, and due to his managers betraying him, Brook's existence as a pirate and affiliation to the Straw Hats has been revealed to the Marines. His bounty remains active, and it's likely that a new wanted poster will appear soon taking in his present state.

Thriller Bark

Because of the mess he made five years ago in Thriller Bark, three of the Mysterious Four know how troublesome he is. Dr. Hogback, in particular, greatly fears him, mainly because Brook once had him at sword point five years ago and knew the weakness of the zombies. Only Perona does not know of his doings because she was asleep at the time and ignored Kumashi's attempts to wake her.

Ryuma

Brook's main enemy from his time on Thriller Bark was Ryuma, the zombie that was animated with his shadow. After Brook was set adrift at sea, he returned to the island in search for his shadow. After causing some problems on the island, Brook came across Ryuma who possessed his shadow, and while they shared the same techniques, Ryuma had the stronger body and was able to best Brook at his own fighting style. Knowing that he could not kill Brook (because if the original owner of the shadow is killed, their shadow is destroyed and the zombie becomes a lifeless corpse again), Ryuma let Brook go with a broken skull.

Later, while sitting down and drinking tea in Hogback's lab, Ryuma is confronted by Brook. The skeleton then challenged Ryuma to a duel. After several bone shattering strikes, Ryuma easily defeats Brook with his own style. Ryuma then grabs Brook's afro and decides to cut it off as a final blow towards the skeleton. However just before Ryuma could cut off the afro, the entire island suddenly shakes and makes Ryuma lose his grip on the afro. Franky then arrives in the lab to tend to Brook. Ryuma, upon regaining his balance, attacks both Franky and Brook. However before it hits its mark, Zoro blocks Ryuma’s attack and challenges to fight Ryuma himself in Brook's stead.

Managers

Longarm Tribe Infobox

Brook's managers, prior to becoming professional.

Brook's managers were bandits on Namakura Island, led by Sancrin. Two years ago they used to steal and kidnap from the people of Namakura Island until they were virtually penniless. After kidnapping a young girl, Brook wrote a song that encouraged the locals to fight back and capture their tormentors. The people of Harahettania planned on displaying them as freaks, but were convinced by Brook to let them go. However, as a result, they kidnapped Brook and instead put him on display as a freak show at their home island of Kenzan Island. They were worried at first when he did not move and asked him to do so. They were then surprised when he suddenly started performing for everyone.

Two years later they have apparently become quite close with Brook, as they are now dressed up in suits and have become his managers. After Brook informed them about his plans for retirement, they betrayed him by calling the Marines (in spite of this, Brook was still grateful for their care over the last two years). They were last seen at the concert hall, furious about Brook's escape.

References

  1. One Piece Manga and Anime - Vol. 51 Chapter 500 and Episode 394, Brook over relaxes.
  2. One Piece Manga and Anime - Vol. 50 Chapter 489 and Episode 381, Brook reveals that he was the leader of the battle convoy of a certain kingdom before joining the Rumbar Pirates, and then his bounty as a pirate.
  3. One Piece Manga - Vol. 46 Chapter 449 and Episode 342, Nami, Chopper, and Usopp note Ryuma's laughter is similar to Brook's.
  4. One Piece Manga and Anime - Vol. 46 Chapter 442 and Episode 337, Brook is heard singing "Binks' Sake".
  5. One Piece Manga and Anime - Vol. 50 Chapter 486 and Episode 378, Brook takes a request for a song, but switched over to "Binks' Sake".
  6. One Piece Manga and Anime - Vol. 50 Chapter 487 and Episode 379, Brook sings lyrics to the song "Black Handkerchief".
  7. One Piece MangaChapter 722 (p. 15-16), name:trick

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