Why Brook Wears His Heart on His Sleeve | One Piece Character Analysis

Why Brook Wears His Heart on His Sleeve | One Piece Character Analysis

What does the perfect skeleton in a great
pirate story look like? That´s only one of the many questions you have to ask yourself
when you are trying to create a world like One Piece. Does it have an eyepatch? Maybe
some rotten skin left on its face? Of course not. A REAL skeleton pirate needs just ONE
thing: And that is an afro. There we go. Brook is without a doubt one of the most creative
and bizarre character´s that Eiichiro Oda has created over all these years. And as we
all know, that definitely says something. Even in a world, where talking reindeers,
giant mermaids and other crazy figures are a part of everyday life; a reanimated, music-loving
and joke-cracking skeleton with an afro is something that catches the eye…even if it
doesn´t have any. But beyond his unique appearance, Brook as a character actually has a lot more
to him than meets the eye, to stay with the reference. Not only does he play one of my
favorite songs in anime ever, but he also represents a theme that all of the straw hats
share. But none as blatantly as Brook: Loyalty. So, let´s take a closer look at the undead
musician of the straw-hat crew and what role he plays in the story of One Piece. Oh yeah
and before we get going, if you enjoy this kind of content what better way for you to
get more of it than by leaving a thumbs up and hitting that subscribe button? But now
let´s get into it. There is actually a good reason that Brook
is not only one of the quirkiest, but also the oldest straw hat on Luffy´s ship. With
a proud 90 years on his back, he had already experienced a lot in his life before any of
the other straw hats were even born. We actually do not know too much about Brook´s early
years, except that he used to serve as a soldier in an unnamed kingdom located somewhere in
the West Blue. We do not know exactly WHAT HAPPENED during that time. However, a couple
of years later Brook finally decided to set out to sea. He joined the music loving Rumbar
Pirates under the lead of captain Yorki and together they set out towards the grand line.
On their way there they encountered the small island whale Laboon that had been separated
from his herd. Brook and the others, who quickly developed a close relationship with him, decided
to take the young whale with them on their journey. Upon traversing reverse mountain
however, they decided to leave Laboon with Crocus at the lighthouse, promising him that
they would come back for him one day and take him with them on their journey. However, this
wasn´t meant to happen, as parts of the crew one day caught an incurable disease, during
one of their adventures. To protect the rest of the crew, those who were infected, including
Brook´s captain Yorki, decided to leave the ship and try to make their way through the
calm belt. An utterly hopeless endeavor, to say the least. After losing half of his friends,
Brook was appointed as the new captain. And he led his men successfully for some time,
before they were attacked by enemies upon entering the Florian triangle. While they
somehow just managed to get away from the fight, to their horror they had to find out
that their enemy´s weapons had been poisoned. Brook, knowing that he would be revived by
the power of his devil fruit, suggested in tears to play one final song together, that
he would record and bring to Laboon, in order to keep their promise. Slowly one by one,
he had to watch his friends die, before finally he also succumbed to the poison. After his
soul actually returned back to earth, for a long time, he wasn´t able to find his body
in the thick mists of the Florian triangle. And when he finally managed to find his way
back to the ship, his body had already turned into a skeleton. Unable to stir the ship on
his own, he was damned to spent nearly 50 years in bitter loneliness. Finally, he stranded
on thriller bark. However instead of finding new friends, he had his shadow stolen by Gekko
Moria, who used it to reanimate the legendary samurai Ryuma. Brook tried to take his shadow
back from the swordsman but was utterly defeated. He then fled back to his ship and spent the
next 5 years training for their rematch. This is, when Brook finally meets Luffy and the
other straw hats. Despite being overwhelmed with joy by finally meeting other people,
he at first declines Luffy´s invitation to join the crew, not wanting to be a nuisance.
However, after the events on thriller bark, fighting side by side with the straw hats,
he finally accepts and officially becomes the 9th member of the crew.
Now, as we can tell from this quite extensive backstory, Brook has not only suffered through
many hardships and tragedies in his life but has also already had a great deal of character
development even before the start of the story itself. Keep that in mind, because this is
something that will become important again later on. Before we can look at his character
arc though, we first have to understand what kind of person Brook actually is.
In the context of the story we know Brook as a very polite and at times extremely eccentric
personality. In the manga, this is combined with a strong sense of humor and a bit of
perverted mentality. The anime, however, takes this a step further. And in many cases one
step too far. Random jokes are often inserted at unfitting moments and his perverted nature
is often also taken way overboard. As a result, anime-brook sometimes feels a bit like a forced
running gag. Which is sad, because in the manga Brook´s personality appears rather
charming. Here the focus lies more on his compassionate and kind side. In addition to
that Brook is also a very skilled fighter. Being a more than capable swordsman and owning
a very unique and powerful devil fruit, Brook is always there to fight side by side with
his friends, which rounds him of as a great character in an action-based story.
Brook´s psychological need in the story is rather straightforward. Up until joining Luffy
and the crew, he heavily suffers under the loneliness he had to endure for almost half
a century. In other words, when we first get to meet him, Brook has to learn how to overcome
his loneliness. This also translates directly to his moral need. His long time alone, being
disconnected form the world has resulted in Brook often overexpressing his emotions. While
it is not something that emotionally hurts those around him, it still often leads to
a lot of annoyance and confusion towards him. We can see this for example the first time
Brook encounters the straw hats. While they are understandably terrified about a speaking
skeleton, Brook forgets, they are talking about himself and starts freaking out too.
At the same time, it should be noted however, that his emotional side is also one of Brook´s
greatest qualities. This best reflects in his dream, which is to finally reunite with
his old friend Laboon at reverse mountain. Underlying this beautiful, but also simple
dream is the famous theme of getting a second shot at life and making the best out of it.
In a world that is centered around the idea of dreams, Brook has gotten the ultimate opportunity
to get a second chance at living his live the way he wants.
As a result, Brook holds a clear set of values and ideals, that are closely connected to
his long and extraordinary life. Having spent many years quite literally in darkness and
solitude, relationships between people are one of the most important things for the skeleton.
He treasures being and sharing experiences with other people above all else. No wonder
then, that in close relation to this, kindness and friendship are also an important part
of that list. Of course, we can BEST see all of this in his relationship with Laboon. But
Brook also lives by these principles in the adventures he shares with his crew. He doesn´t
hesitate one second to protect Franky and Robin on Thriller Bark, even though he barely
knows them at this point. And a little later he stands in front of Kuma on Sabaody, protecting
Sanji and Usopp. As the musician of the straw-hat crew, Brook of course also strongly values
the power of music which is a big part of his character in many ways. He even uses it
as part of his fighting style, as we can for example see in his standoff with Big Mom.
Most importantly however, Brook has a strong sense of loyalty. While everyone in the crew
without a doubt shares that quality, I think Brook personifies it best. Not only is he
extremely loyal towards Luffy, following all his orders without question, but he generally
became loyal towards everyone in the crew at an incredible speed. Despite joining the
crew only very late on in the story, he faithfully stands in front of his newfound family right
from the start. So now that we got to understand Brook as
a character a little better, let´s find out how his character has developed over the course
of the story. Being the last straw hat to join the crew,
with the exception of Jinbei, who is an exception in more than just one way, Brook´s character
arc so far has been significantly different from the other straw hats. The most important
arc for him is without a doubt Thriller Bark, where we get introduced to his character as
well as to his past. In a way, Brook´s flashbacks in themselves ALREADY serve as a significant
amount of character development: Becoming a pirate, setting out to sea, meeting Laboon,
losing his crew, returning back to life, being alone and lost in the darkness for years and
year and then finally getting his shadow stolen from him? I think we can all agree that all
this DOES something to a person. It´s a very emotional and impressive backstory. But the
problem here is, that it´s exactly that: A backstory. We were not there to witness
any of these events as they were happening and even though they have largely shaped Brook
into the amazing character he is today, we didn´t have the chance to witness and suffer
through all of this WITH him, as we could with for example Usopp. The most important
character development for Brook that we are able to be a part of, is him overcoming his
loneliness and regaining control over his life by joining Luffy. Yes, with the end of
thriller bark, Brook has found a new purpose in his second chance at life; but all this
development happened over a very short span of time after we had JUST gotten introduced
to his character. The timing of Brook joining left us very little time for emotionally integrating
him properly into the ranks of the crew. As a result, it truly speaks for his personality
that he could use the little time he was given before the time skip the way he did. He protects
his new friends on Sabaody and following Ace’s death, he already shows a surprising amount
of compassion and concern for Luffy’s feelings. He also immediately finds the resolve to work
hard for his new captain and get even stronger. However, both these arcs make it difficult
for Brook to show case his skills and find his niche in the crew. Which is probably the
reason why some people have had difficulties truly warming up to his character. The same
problem occurred after the time skip, where similar to the other grand-line straw hats,
he had a significant lack of screen time. In Brook´s case, this lack proved to be a
lot more impactful though than it did for Chopper, Robin and Franky, who all had important
roles to play up until this point. And then, out of the blue Whole Cake Island
happened. And as if Oda wanted to make up for his previous lack of focus, it somehow
developed into the most significant arc for our skeleton since Thriller bark. Somewhere
in between escaping Dressrosa and leaving Zou to help save Sanji, Brook seems to have
gained a much stronger resolve. It’s very possible that his fight with Giolla, as well
as his fight with Sheepshead, made Brook feel like he wasn’t pulling his weight. Maybe
he felt like he needed to make a better effort to help his captain and crewmates, now that
they were starting to face more and more powerful enemies. What appears certain to me though,
is that this was a true turning point for his character, which felt really really good
seeing after such a long time. It just would have been really cathartic to see that change
of heart in the story in some way or form. Because it is moments like these which make
One Piece so amazing. So hopefully we will get to see more of that in the future.
Coming back to the arc itself however, Brook was finally able to play a significant part
in the crew´s actions for pretty much the first time ever. He takes on many of Big Mom´s
men, giving us some amazing battle scenes where he makes full use of his truly badass
powers. Later he manages to retrieve a copy of Big Mom´s Road Poneglyph that is an essential
element in finding the One Piece. And then he actually singlehandedly dares to face the
emperor herself. And despite being hopelessly overpowered, he stood his ground without a
second thought. He then gave a flaming speech, once again showing his great loyalty and respect
towards his captain, in which he even dares to call Big Mom a “young lady”. While
this alone would already have been an incredible feat for him, Brook then goes on to be the
one to break mother caramel´s photo at the tea party. Together with Chopper he stands
his ground against Katakuri´s and Perospero´s men, defending the Sunny. And later he helps
carrot taking out Daifuku´s fleet. Finally, he is the one to take out Zeus from underneath
Big Mom´s feet, not only saving the ship but also granting Nami a powerful new weapon.
So, finally long after joining Luffy Brook seems to have found his place in the crew
and has proven himself to be a true straw hat. We can only hope that he will get more
chances to grow and develop in the future. He definitely is a character that deserves
at least some level of emotional and internal focus, especially compared to the likes of
Sanji or Usopp. After all Brook is not only a unique and outstanding character because
of his looks, but also because of his fantastic and complex personality. Better than anyone
in the crew, he embodies the loyalty and hope that Luffy inspires in his friends. Brook
is truly, in every sense of the word, a faithful Soul. Someone who has his heart in the right
place…even though he doesn´t have a heart to begin with.
Hey everybody. Thank you so much for watching. Brook is without a doubt one of my favorite
character in the series. Even though he doesn´t get too much time to shine, I like the direction
Oda has taken with his character lately. So, let´s hope Wano will be a great arc for him
as well. But now I´d love to hear YOUR thoughts on
Brook. Do you LIKE him as a member of the straw hats? And what important moments, that
YOU like, have I forgotten? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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100 Replies to “Why Brook Wears His Heart on His Sleeve | One Piece Character Analysis”

  1. Someone's gotta direct me to that piece of art of Brook facing Big Mom. As bizarre as the situation may be (massive 68 year old woman-child who rules over a hellish take on Disney, staring down a musician skeleton with an afro,) it's still somehow metal as hell when designed that way. Adding in Big Mom's laughter was a great touch too. So now all I can think of is where do I get that art, and how can I hang it on a wall somewhere?

  2. I have never liked the way Brooks has been shown in the series. He is often made out, like with his shadow zombie(who almost beats Zoro, but loses by a hair), and with the Big Mom fight(where he takes down multiple of her best men, and then manages to put up a really good fight with her), to be an absolutely god tier fighter who can take on some of the most dangerous fighters in the series.

    Yet we never actually see it. He is always doing super amazing things off camera. I would understand if it was to hide some special skill he has that we can't know about yet, but he has never even hinted at something like that being the case.

    It feels a lot of the time, like Oda wanted to add in a new amazing character, but then came to think that people would rather watch Luffy, Zoro or Sanji duke it out with people instead of the new guy. As someone who adores Brooks, it feels like he is being given a massive disservice

  3. I think it is odd that you made this video. I watched your video with B.D.A first and instantly felt that brook would be the straw hat that would die, if any do, and not usopp

  4. The whole messeage of broke representing loyalty rminds me of one of my favorite flavor texts from a black magic the gathering card, i dont know the card, but i remember the following by heart

    "Death is no excuse for disobedience"

    Its not as sweat and carring, but its atleast in the same vain, that mabey one day this montra will push me to live in a monent of bleak outlook. There are other flavor texts that stick with me from magic the gathering, some similar to the former.
    Brook is just… amazing, dosnt seem like he would fit, but has a home and he isnt going anywere. even if he were to die all over again, i know he'll be by there side forever more

  5. Wow! This was an amazing wonderful video! It was touching without being sappy and it totally made look at Brook in a different light. I hope you decide to do more character videos like this.

  6. I love Brook! His position in the crew was always desired by Luffy and he is well suited with the crew! Plus he has the best laugh ever and plays one of the best songs! YOHOHOHO!!!

  7. how do you kill brook. this is just a question because you die when your organs fail but brook doesn't have his organs anymore and breaking his bones for me won't work because his skull is already cracked. could you kill him if you pulverize him?

  8. I love Brook! His position in the crew was always desired by Luffy and he is well suited with the crew! Plus he has the best laugh ever and plays one of the best songs! YOHOHOHO!!!

  9. Brook has one of the saddest backstory in all OP. Even when you just mention it in this video, I started to feel sad for him.

  10. The end of One Piece – decades after the Straw Hats die, it's a popular theory the story will end on him telling the story of the Straw Hats.

  11. yes yes yes so much yes i love brook i feel like brook is the embodiment of the straw hats he has a suffering back story a good heart joyfull out look willing to fight for what he belive in and though he dosnt get a lot of screen time he makes the most of it and thats why hes so loved he fits in perfictly in with the crew and built on it fast by the end of the ark he was introduced he was a member of the crew before he ever said yes

  12. as a fellow musician, i almost instantly liked brook. he didnt suffer from the mascot transformation that chopper did, and is slightly more active in combat than robin, who prefers making only big plays. My only real problem with brook is him putting off his reunion with laboon indefinitely to go on the adventure with the straw hats, especially knowing the condition laboon put himself in when luffy met him.

  13. So, Brook is the guy that someone asks, "Why is he even here?" But the moment things go down, and the unseen support comes in, you realize why.

  14. I always thought Brook went just "a little" crazy all there years on his ship. I think its funny even when he overdoes it sometimes^^
    His Skull is cracked, but that is perfectly fine.His Querks are wonderfull. Exept of the pervertness. Sanji overdoes it all the time after the timeskip and I dont really like that. at least he conect to sanji and he is more joking arounf over that than acting like one.

  15. Brooke is the best on the crew and my number 1 when he was first released in the manga i said bye to my first love sanji as i found brooke

  16. What if at the end of one piece luffy turns himself in and dies the way roger dies but there is a kid in the crowd watching and is inspired to become a pirate. Then we get two piece.

    But I wouldn’t want that cause it might ruin one piece the way boruto ruined naruto

  17. I do think that he deserves some credit for his actions on Punk Hazard. Once again, not the biggest role, but he did have some important moments.

  18. 1:07 alright so I disagree with that statement, I think Zoro is also very loyal, and has shown to be very loyal such as putting his pride in a box when asking for mehawks help to be a better swordsman, to be stronger for Luffy. You could say Zoro was doing that so he could get to his dream, and that’s true, but if it wasn’t for Luffy, Zoro wouldn’t put his pride in a box and get help from the man who he is trying to defeat. Zoro would do his training alone, maybe find another master, but not mehawk.

  19. if you want the spiritual truth, brook represents death aka saturn. in our world of greed, jupiter and the greed of one piece rules. we see green bull as an interesting subversion of an earthy and lusty trope, adding to saturns own earthyness. but brook is bones. pure earth or death. his joy is life, not anything egoic. it's presence and charisma, which luffy knowingly possesses endless amounts, perhaps his mom yea cheer cheer no mi

  20. The background music was perfect, it combined with your words gave me goosebumbs. Brook is an amazing character ( and no, not just becouse he is a musican like me XD ) since i'm rewatching some arcs, i noticed it more and more. If you try to ignore the sometimes just anoying jokes added by the anime, you really notice his kindness etc. ^^ I just hope that oda will touch more upon the fact that Brook allready sailed the seas 50 years ago, i'm sure he'd be able to tell some interesting storys and usefull facts about that time

  21. Brooke is awesome, and glad he is in the crew. He has proven himself time and time again and is the only Straw Hat that will be able to carry on the legend of their adventures for centuries.

  22. I found Brook annoying for the longest time. It took me reading parts of the manga and rewatching the old parts of the anime to actually appreciate him as a character. Outside of the repetitiveness of the jokes (which makes it refreshing to hear that that is mainly the anime's fault), he is a truly enjoyable character.

  23. I'm just 3:30 secs into the video but I want to make a quick correction. Brook had no idea what his Devil Fruit was if I'm remembering correctly. All he knew was that he couldn't swim anymore. This is why it took him so long to find his body because he didn't know what was going on. If I am wrong please correct me.

    Edit: I'm not sure if him not knowing what was going on when he came back was the reason why it took him so long to find it body but I can't help but feel that's part of the reason. That and the thick fog and weird layout of the area definitely didn't help him in that case.

  24. about brook ages, im just realize, before brook was born, kureha already menopause, even while dorry and brogy start the duel 100 yeras ago, she already 40…who is she? walking history?

  25. well if you really want to understand brooks power: he is a stealth fighter type, one on one he would probably lose (and this is why his front line techniques are a hypothesis attacks type), give him the slightest cover and he would pull out wonders. that's it! oh wait .. no that was it!

  26. Honestly, Brook is one of my favorites (I must confess though that most of the crew is ‘my favorite’). Before WCI, I liked Brook, as he was a fun part of the crew. After/during WCI, he transcended into easily one of my favorites. WCI was definitely that arc he needed.

  27. i think it makes total sense that brook becomes so loyal so quickly because he's already lost his entire crew once before. he isn't going to let it happen again

  28. What if the narrator is brooke telling laboon their story after they all accomplish their dream . His dream will be the last happen .

  29. It is important to note that Brook is over 90 years old. As an older chap, and one that spent so much time alone. It doesn't make sense for his character to change and develop so soon after being introduced. How many 90 year olds do you know that change a major part of themselves? Being immortal is something he would not have come to grips with before either. Until the Straw Hats came along he was never with other people as a skeleton before. I think Oda did it right.

  30. what if brook dies in wano and hiyori jions the straw hats as the new musician :'( brook & jimbe die hiyori and kawmamutsu jion 🙁

  31. with the straw hats covered, whats the next logical step? the Allies or almost crew members maybe. Characters like Nifitari Vivi, Fire Fist Portgas D Ace, or maybe the 7 Warlords in Chronological Order?

  32. Brook is one of my favorite characters Oda has ever created. His loyalty to the straw hats is heart warming, the way he utilizes his humor cracks me up and after everything he’s experienced he doesn’t let it stop him from being the best friend a friend can be. A lot of people could learn a thing or two from Brook like caring for others and having a huge heart…..even though he doesn’t have one. YOHOHOHO! ❤️

  33. I haven't cried at many parts of One Piece. Or really any show. But I cried like a small child when I watched that scene of Brook and his crew dying while singing and playing music.

  34. I love Brook! He's one of my favorite characters.
    I actually wish Oda would focus more on the non Monster Trio characters more, hell, I wish he'd give Sanji more screen time, especially redeeming fighting moments.
    Oda seems to REALLY spam Luffy and Zoro, and it's annoying.

    I really love Sanji, Brook, and Nico Robin the most. They have great personalities, and power.

  35. I just noticed that you have stopped showing you face on screen. You normally sit and look at the camera. Whys that? Did you get a new hair cut or something?

  36. I loved Brook the first time I saw him in opening 9.

    Also, do we have enough info on Jinbei to request a character analysis on him?

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