"Brook's Hard Struggle - The Difficult Path of Becoming a True Comrade?" is the 384th episode of the One Piece anime.
After reading a journal of the Straw Hat Pirates' adventures, Brook tries his hardest to help everyone so he can be up to their level, helping out wherever he can. First, he goes to help Sanji in the kitchen, but drops the plates. Sanji catches them but has his hands full. Brook offers to bring Nami a cup of tea, although Sanji wanted to do it himself. As he brings it to Nami, he accidentally spills the tea over the map she was drawing. Disheartened, he goes to see Franky and Usopp who are building a weapon which runs on cola. He offers to help by filling the weapon with cola, but fills it with soy sauce instead, causing the weapon to explode. Chopper, while drying some plants in the sun, finds his work ruined by the soy; Usopp and Franky's work is lost; and Luffy is the only one who seems happy, since the soy makes the meat he's eating taste better. Finally, he goes to Zoro, but only disturbs him in his meditation. In the end, he speaks with Robin. She tells him that he should just be himself, and that he is as much a crew member as the others.
During a particularly calm night, Brook is on watch, manning the steering wheel while reflecting on the peace. He remembers his old companion Laboon, and contemplates his new companions, the Straw Hat Pirates. He recalls discovering a journal recounting the adventures and battles the crew have gone through. He vows that as long as he's their friend, he will act appropriately. The next morning, Brook wakes everyone up by singing Black Handkerchief of Happiness, much to everyone's annoyance.
At breakfast, Brook's laughter grabs everyone's attention and Chopper notices that Brook has read their journal. Brook announces that since he has become their comrade, he does not feel like he has been of any help, but intends to work himself "to the bone" to become acceptable.
In the kitchen later on, Brook washes up, while Sanji is preparing tea to serve Nami. Brook slips and drops the dishes, but Sanji manages to catch them with his legs, arms and mouth. Trying to be helpful, Brook decides to deliver Nami's tea, much to Sanji's frustration.
Brook goes to Nami to deliver her tea. As he arrives, she explains that she is catching up on her map drawing in the calm weather. Brook offers to refill her cup of tea, but fails to notice when it overflows until Nami sees it. Brook tries to clean up the map, but only manages to wipe away the ink. He rushes away to escape Nami's wrath.
Luffy calls him over to see a new cola-powered cannon developed by Franky and Usopp. Franky asks Brook to fetch another barrel of cola. Brook gladly complies, but picks up a barrel at random. Usopp and Franky target a nearby rock formation and attempt to fire, but the cannon explodes, showering fluid everywhere. It turns out the barrel Brook fetched was full of soy, not cola. An enraged Franky chases Brook while Chopper, who was drying medicinal plants, finds that they are ruined.
Brook goes up to the crow's nest in order to train with Zoro. Zoro welcomes him, and begins his meditation. Brook tries to join, but continually annoys Zoro until he loses his temper.
Upset, Brook wonders if all he has done is to be an inconvenience to everyone. Robin notices he seems perturbed, and asks what is wrong. After hearing his troubles, she explains that she also felt out of place, but now the crew is her family. They risked their lives to save her at Enies Lobby, and she is prepared to do the same for them. As Brook reflects on her words, Luffy rushes up and tells them that it's time for food.
Later on, Brook sits out on deck, enjoying a cup of tea and then napping. Brook begins to think about how long it has been since he has had an afternoon nap so comfortably. In the Florian Triangle, falling asleep would lead to him dreaming about being with his old crew and Laboon, only to wake up to a lonely and painful reality. But now, he's surrounded by his friends. As the sun begins to set, Brook plays Binks' Sake on his violin.
Characters in Order of Appearance
- Brook used "Black Handkerchief of Happiness" to wake everyone up, just like he did for his old crew, the Rumbar Pirates.
- This is the last episode of the Spa Island Arc.
- This marks the last episode to air on Toonami after being removed from the schedule.