Brook may not be the strongest of the Straw Hat crew, but throughout the latest arc of the manga, he has proved that he’s at least one of the most reliable members when he can be.
(SPOILER WARNING: Turn back if you don’t want to be spoiled on the One Piece anime’s next big arc)
In the Dressrosa arc, Brook had only one fight, and it wasn’t very good. He fought against and defeated the artistically powered Giolla (Jora), one of the weaker members of the Donquixote Pirates, but not until after an unnecessarily long battle, which he only won by tricking her. Being one of the weaker members (as well as the most annoying) of the Donquixote pirates meant anyone outside of the Monster Trio (Luffy, Zoro, & Sanji, respectively) would have trouble fighting against her at the time, and let’s be honest, Nami, Chopper, & Momonosuke didn’t help much. One could argue Giolla’s power would be tough to deal with for any Straw Hat pirate, however, it’s more than likely any member of the Monster Trio would be able to make short work of her before she’d be able to use her powers to their full extent.
During their early adventures on Zou, Brook held a counter against Sheepshead, a member of the Beast pirates, but it seemed as he could not defeat him by himself. Sanji then instructed Brook to hold up his counter just a bit longer giving enough time for Sanji to deliver the finishing blow. Brook helped out as much as he could in this fight, but was seemingly not strong enough to defeat Sheepshead on his own.
Somewhere in between escaping Dressrosa and leaving Zou to help save Sanji, Brook seems to have gained a much stronger resolve. It’s possible that his fight with Giolla, as well as his fight with Sheepshead, caused Brook to feel he wasn’t pulling his weight, and needed to make a better effort to help his captain and crewmates now that they were starting to face more powerful adversaries. The latest arc shows that Brook has decided to increase his effort to maximum, seeming to have grown tired of having to rely on his other crewmates and not contributing enough himself.
At times during the Whole Cake Island adventure, Brook even manages to outshine eventual new crew member, Jinbei, and even Sanji, the central character of this arc. Jinbei showed up at the beginning of the arc, telling Big Mom he was severing his ties to her, but was oddly missing for a large amount of the arc afterwards, until saving Luffy & Nami. We also did not get much of an explanation of what happened during his absence. It’s great that Jinbei is helping, but he doesn’t seem to be putting in the effort that Brook has been, but at the moment his only task is to help the Straw hat crew, so he may not need to put in as much effort yet. Sanji on the other hand, has felt too conflicted about his entire situation for most of this arc so he hasn’t really been able to do much until recently. While Jinbei was missing in action and Sanji was emotionally conflicted, Brook took on Big Mom, a yonkou (emperor) and one of the four most powerful pirates in One Piece, head on and despite being severely overpowered he refused to give up.
Brook risked his life, even though he’s already dead, to get the poneglyphs his crew needed. Even Big Mom herself was impressed by Brook’s efforts, which is no ordinary feat. It’s also important to remember that Brook may be essentially immortal, but that doesn’t mean he’s invincible. Brook has plenty of weaknesses and can still be heavily injured or killed in certain circumstances, or if an enemy is powerful enough.
Luckily, once it seemed as if Brook had not stolen anything (technically), Big Mom saw Brook as more of a collectible than an enemy, going as far as to treat him like a stuffed animal while she was taking a nap. Although Brook was somewhat humiliated by his defeat, eventually he didn’t seem to mind as it was better than getting killed, and he had enough faith in his crewmates to not have to worry.
With the rest of the crew’s help, Brook escaped Big Mom by the skin of his teeth, even though he doesn’t have skin. At that point, the rest of the crew was just glad he was safe after taking on someone they know they aren’t strong enough to take on directly. Brook then shows he went above and beyond, being able to make the poneglyph rubbings and hide them in his empty skull before being caught by Big Mom.
After getting the short end of the stick during the Dressrosa arc, it’s nice to see that Brook is more fearless than previously believed when dealing with certain situations. Hopefully, we’ll get to see other members of the Straw Hat crew getting their own awesome moments as the adventure continues.
Which member of the Straw Hat crew would you like to see get an awesome moment next? Are there any specific characters you’re waiting to see return? Let me know in the comments!