Original Airdate: 11/30/2008
Toonami Airdate: 2/11/2017
Are you ready to get sad for a whale now? Are you ready to see Brook in his human form? Cause One Piece has it as it goes a long way back to highlighting Brook’s and Laboon’s past as friends.
The show flashes back to a morning where Brook is waking up his former pirate comrades. They’re still all out, so he decides to play “Black Handkerchief of Happiness”. He sings it, and the others hate that they’re getting woke up like this. Captain Yorkie is already up, and when Brook meets him, he wants him to play Bink’s Booze (Note: This is what they have in the dubbed version. I seen Bink’s Brew listed too and it’s what I used in the last recap. If y’all we’re confused, that was my fault.) Brook plays it, as the song goes out all along, even under the sea. There, the crew hear some weird sounds nearby, and wonder what it is. They see that the baby whale they met before has come to greet them. He’s still happy, and very cute to the crew.
Since he is following them, one of the Rumbar Pirate members names him Laboon. Later, they are fighting another pirate crew (judging from the outfits, the Pandaman Pirates?) Two injured crewmates go overboard, and need some help. Laboon is there to help them and he gets praised for it. They basically become great friends with him from there on, as he follows the crew as well. It doesn’t matter if it’s cold, or if it’s night and he wants to sing. The crew backs him up when a Sea King attacks Laboon, and are happy for his safety. He even follows them to a landlocked island. There, he gets more along with Brook, as does he. Brook thinks it’s because he loves his music. Another crewmate points out that it’s his head that attracts him cause it is the same shape as Laboon. We go back to the present for a second and still see skeleton Brook cry tears of joy from learning his pal is doing well.
As much as they get along, the Rumbar Pirates know they can’t take Baby Laboon with them to where they’re heading: The Grand Line. However, Laboon won’t listen to reason, so Brook tries to talk some sense into Laboon. He does his best to explain how dangerous the Grand Line is, but Laboon is too playful and cheerful to understand. Singing may make the point worse, so the crew decides on another plan. Laboon calls for them as their ship sails off. But no one answers. He calls again, but still nothing. The crew is trying to hide from him, all for his sake. It makes Laboon sad, as the ship takes off. Poor Laboon
It’s not just him who’s sad. Brook is also sad, saying goodbye to him like this. He says sorry to his whale pal.
The crew get caught in a fierce storm near the Red Line. They do their best to have everything held apart, as they approach the entrance to the Grand Line. There isn’t any sign of Laboon anywhere. They know it sucks, but again, it’s for his own good. They go up Reverse Mountain, and down it, and make it to the lighthouse at the bottom. The crew are finally in the Grand Line. They meet Crocus, the lighthouse keeper, who congratulates them for making it/not dying. He also asks if the whale that followed is theirs. The crew look, and are stunned to find Laboon actually followed them. Brook is so happy that he is here, and so is Laboon. Of course, Brook falls in the water celebrating this, but Laboon saves him from drowning. He sees the scars on Laboon, as he knows Laboon was reckless. But he’s happy just to see him. They play Bink’s Booze and party for their accomplishment/Laboon’s return.
As they fix the ship, Brook tells Laboon he still can’t go to where they are going. If they could take him, they would, but they know the Grand Line is fill of unknown threats. Cause of that, they would do anything to protect their friend, even if it means sacrificing themselves. So they have to leave him behind. Captain Yorkie tells Laboon that if he stays, he will see them when they make it back from the Grand Line. Since the Grand Line circles around to back here, they can make it back in 2 to 3 years. Brook agrees, and Laboon decides to stay with Crocus. The crew all say their goodbyes and promises that they will return to their friend. Laboon will wait for his friends to return as they sail off on the Grand Line. 3 years then pass, as we see the Rumbar Pirates ship. However, it’s in ruins, and no one is aboard, except one person. It’s Brook, and he is a skeleton now.
The overall episode highlights the friendship made by the crew, Brook, and Laboon, and does it so well. They all loved him, and he loved them. And as shown, they would do anything to protect him from what lies ahead. It also detailed how Laboon was very reckless to begin with, following them up and down Reverse Mountain. It set his character up well for the earlier episodes of fighting with Luffy. It was fun seeing Brook’s old mates in action, because we all know what happens next. The end of the episode previews this as well. It’s not going to be fun at all, as we get to hear the saddest version of Bink’s Booze for it, and how Brook became the skeleton he is now. But for now, happy times abound with baby Laboon this episode. 4 Happy Whales/5.