Unlike a number of the Straw Hats, Brook was part of another crew prior to meeting Luffy’s group. Brook originally set sail with the Rumbar Pirates, a fun crew themed around music who established a close bond with a whale named Laboon. Unfortunately, this close-knit unit met a tragic end on the Grand Line, with Brook only surviving due to his Devil Fruit. Decades later, Brook would join One Piece’s main crew as the Straw Hats’ resident musician (and skeleton).
While he has been part of the Straw Hats since 2008, Brook is still one of the more recent additions to the crew. That said, it did not take long for the musician to endear himself to the rest of the characters (and the fanbase). Nowadays, Brook is a Straw Hat through and through, but what if the melody changed somewhere along the way? Which other flags might Brook have loved to sail under?
10 Love: Roger Pirates
Most pirates in One Piece would welcome the opportunity to sail with Gol D. Roger, but Brook’s interest in the group goes beyond just their captain. For a brief period, a doctor named Crocus traveled the Grand Line with the Roger Pirates in search of the Rumbar Pirates. Crocus had met Brook’s original crew and agreed to watch over Laboon for a couple of years. Unfortunately, the Rumbar Pirates never made it back.
More than anything, Brook would have agreed to join the Roger Pirates simply to catch up with Crocus and let him know that the Rumbars did not abandon Laboon.
9 Hate: New Fish-Man Pirates
Inspired by the Arlong Pirates, Hody’s New Fish-Man Pirates are driven almost solely by their contempt for humans. Along with feeling superior, Hody’s hatred also stems from witnessing the mistreatment of Fish-Men at the hands of humanity. Brook might understand where Hody’s anger is coming from, but he would not see that as a justification to enslave or kill humans.
The New Fish-Man Pirates were a crew in name only, as they principally focused on controlling Fish-Man Island rather than sailing the sea.
8 Love: Kuja Pirates (In Theory)
Despite acting like a gentleman, Brook does have his eccentric side, which generally comes out around women. In such instances, he can be rather forward, although he tends to try to maintain the illusion of politeness.
If someone told Brook that a crew existed consisting of only female pirates who live on a “paradise” island, the skeleton would be laughing his way to Amazon Lily in no time. How could such a place not suit a musician?
7 Hate: Kuja Pirates (In Practice)
In reality, Brook would hate his time with the Kuja Pirates. Brook’s antics have been known to spark a volatile reaction out of Nami, but the Straw Hat’s life would be genuinely at risk if he were to pull the same stunts with Boa Hancock on Amazon Lily. At best, Brook would spend most of his time behind bars.
The Kuja Pirates are also warriors who train daily, making them a better match for someone like Zoro than a more laid-back character like Br0ok.
6 Love: Spade Pirates
A short-lived crew with a tight bond and a charismatic captain, the Spade Pirates were the Straw Hats before Luffy set sail. Led by Portgaz D. Ace, the Spade Pirates seemed to be quite an energetic bunch, even if their captain had a habit of biting off more than he can chew.
While One Piece has shown little of the crew’s adventures prior to them joining Whitebeard’s ranks, the Spade Pirates certainly lived up to the reputation of a super rookie crew. Brook would have fit right in.
5 Hate: Bayan Pirates
Brook worships music and sees it as a way to bring people together. While the Rumbar Pirates are the big music-themed crew in One Piece, Bayan and his squad were featured in a special episode of the anime. Unlike the Rumbars, the Bayan Pirates used music as a weapon, as they sought to hypnotize people to make them susceptible to manipulation.
The Bayan Pirates are lucky they fought the Straw Hats before Brook joined their ranks, as the musician would have made their defeat far more painful.
4 Love: Nox Pirates
Although he is not too fond of being used as a chew toy, Brook has proven to be a good match with members of the Mink Tribe. The musician and Pedro have an especially close relationship, with the two watching each other’s backs during the Whole Cake Island Arc.
The Nox Pirates, aka Pedro’s crew, had set sail with the goal of discovering all the poneglyphs, although their journey was difficult and unfulfilling. Still, Pedro and Brook would make for quite a fun pair as captain and first-mate.
3 Hate: Big Mom Pirates
Contrary to what his appearance might suggest, Brook is prone to bouts of fear. Out of all the Straw Hats’ enemies, none managed to send shivers down the musician’s spine quite like Big Mom. The Emperor is a powerful force who exudes destruction and intimidation, and she took a special interest in Brook due to his unique situation.
Prior to becoming a skeleton, Brook would have just been used as fuel by Big Mom. Following his revival, the musician would have served as nothing more than a trophy for the Emperor. At no point would joining the Big Mom Pirates be beneficial for Brook.
2 Love: Red Hair Pirates
One Piece has primarily kept the Red Hair Pirates a mystery, although it is safe to assume they are among the most powerful crews in this world. Originating from the East Blue, Shank’s crew are depicted as a fun-loving group of party animals who also happen to have the strength to stop wars.
As a child, Luffy wanted to join the Red Hair Pirates; as a captain, Luffy is at least somewhat inspired by Shanks. Brook gets along splendidly with Luffy, so he should be a perfect fit for the Red Hair Pirates.
1 Hate: Thriller Bark Pirates
After spending decades drifting alone on a ship with a broken rudder, Brook eventually stumbled upon Thriller Bark and Gecko Moria’s crew. While the musician did learn some valuable information about the group’s zombies, Brook also lost his shadow.
Despite looking arguably scarier than most of Moria’s undead henchmen, Brook was deeply frightened by the zombies and creatures that formed the Thriller Bark Pirates. He also experienced first-hand the misery spread by the crew, something he would never willingly aid.
NEXT: One Piece: 5 Ways Sanji Changed Since He Was Introduced (& 5 Ways He Stayed The Same)