Brook (ブルック, Burukku
) is the crew's 88-year-old musician and eighth to join. He is a living skeleton, resurrected by means of a Devil Fruit. He has a strange personality, being a combination of a gentlemanly persona and a perverted, crude sort. He speaks in a dignified, educated manner at most times, while having amazingly bad manners. His goal is to circle the Grand Line and return to Reverse Mountain, fulfilling a 50 year old promise. Brook is voiced by Chō in the Japanese version of the anime. He has yet to appear in any English dub.
Though Brook did not appear in the story until 2007, Oda planned to include a skeleton musician in One Piece ever since drawing the Laboon arc in 2000. Brook is a combination of a gentlemanly persona and a perverted sort. He speaks in a dignified, educated manner at most times, but has amazingly bad manners. He burps and farts at dinner, casually asks to see womens' panties, and picks in other peoples' food, to name only a few. He takes being a skeleton lightly, using any chance he can to joke about it. Brook carries a shikomizue, a Japanese cane sword, and is skilled in its use. He can also combine his shikomizue and violin to create sound-based attacks. He was once a fighter in the surprise-attack squadron of an unknown kingdom. In addition to his sword skill, Brook's lightweight skeleton body gives him great speed and the ability to jump extraordinarily high. His body is so light that he is even capable of running on water, however, Brook is still powerless if submerged in water, like all Devil Fruit users.[citation needed
] Brook is also an excellent musician, displaying the ability to play any instrument at a highly skilled level. He's even capable of playing songs that drive anyone who hears them to sleep, which proves to be useful in combat. Brook claims he can heal from most fractures to his body by drinking milk. His head can also be opened up and used as a storage device. Brook uses an unnamed fencing sword style and is actually quite a skilled fencer and can use quick stabs because of his skeleton anatomy.
Brook is first introduced as a skeleton inhabiting the region of the Grand Line known as the Florian Triangle. He is a former member of the Rumba Pirates, a crew of musicians who sailed the Grand Line from West Blue over fifty years prior to the current time frame of the story. They were followed by the whale Laboon, who took a particular liking to Brook's peculiar afro and his enchanting music. Promising to return after sailing the Grand Line, the crew left Laboon at the lighthouse at Reverse Mountain, stating that the Grand Line is too dangerous for such a small whale. After entering the Florian Triangle, Brook's entire crew was slaughtered by an unknown pirate crew. Because he ate the Yomi Yomi no Mi, a Devil Fruit that allows the user to come back to life after dying, Brook's spirit returned to the Grand Line, however, he got lost due to the intense fog in the Florian Triangle. After wandering for some time, he finally found his body, which had decayed to nothing but bleached bones leaving only his afro (which remained due to strong roots). Brook was returned to life as a walking, talking skeleton. During the time he spent alone on his former crew's ship, he had almost no contact with other human beings, possibly leading to his eccentric behavior such as his perverted nature or over the top sense of humor (he has a constant urge to make bone jokes). Eight years before meeting the Straw Hat crew, he was captured by Gecko Moria, who stole his shadow and placed it in the body of the legendary samurai Ryuma. Because he could no longer be exposed to sunlight, a side effect of having no shadow in One Piece
, Brook remains in the Florian Triangle, under the protective cover of the thick fog, until he meets the Straw Hat Pirates. His goal is to circle the Grand Line and return to Reverse Mountain, reuniting with the whale, Laboon, and fulfilling the promise the Rumba Pirates made. He carries a recording of the crew, whose last survivors played their cheery song "Bink's Sake" with their dying breaths. He fears Laboon will not recognize him (being all bones now) without his afro, so he does all he can to protect it. It seems Zoro and Brook share respect for one another, likely because they are both swordsman, and in the battle with the flying fish riders in chapter 494, they do a team attack showing their abilities as two skilled swordsmen.