One Piece is one of the biggest emotional roller coaster rides I’ve ever been on and hasn’t stopped. So why do I have such a tough time expressing the FEELS during its more tragic, somber and heartfelt moments through the bittersweet reaction of tears?
It pains me to admit how incapable I am of shedding tears during the Straw Hat’s emotional peaks, when I am fully on-board with embracing the sadness with my nakama together. But for some reason the tears don’t come, or at best I get glass-eyed, and rather than the tears rolling down my face, what I get instead is a sensation that I can only describe as ‘my brain crying’.
You have no idea how much I wish I could cry. I feel like such a heartless bastard reading One Piece, because my heart is feeling it and my brain is trying to communicate “This is sad. This is REALLY sad. And tragic. And beautiful. And poignant. And melancholic. Everything.” But lacking the physical expression to go with the emotions I’m feeling, and so all I’m left with is this bitter feeling of unease and an inability to express my sorrow. It’s so damn painful. I feel like a monster incapable of displaying some of the core aspect of being human.
It makes me feel so disparate that I’m at odds with myself. There needs to be a way for me to open the floodgates when I experience another of these moments, because it’s such an uncomfortable disconnect for me to have while reading one of my all-time favourite things, especially when I am bearing witness to the Straw Hats evoking those very same tears I wish to experience with them to reach peak emotional climax and feel what they feel. A level of immersion that I so desperately crave, and often miss out on.
Here’s a list of moments that almost made me cry in One Piece (spoilers ahead):
Nami’s backstory with Belle-mére
Nami stabs herself then asks Luffy for help and he gives her his “treasure”
Chopper’s past / Hiluluk’s dying words
Luffy punches Crocodile through the roof, rain falls
Straw Hats “X on arms” goodbye to Vivi
Skypiea flashback, where Calgara and Norland are separated because of a mistake.
Calgara and Norland’s farewell!
When Montblanc heard his bell ring.
Usopp vs Luffy fight
Nico Robin’s backstory (Tragedy of Ohara) & When Saul died.
Nico Robin crying “I WHADDYA LIVE!” to the Straw Hats
“Burning goodbye” to the Going Merry / Going Merry saying “But, I was happy.”
Brook & Crew’s send-off song to Laboon and seeing the crew drop until Brook’s the last left playing
And Brook revealing / remembering Laboon
All of these moments are great and powerful emotional hitters, but didn’t pierce me hard enough for my eyes to let out all the sadness and pain I was feeling as a result. However, there were two moments that did evoke tears in me to the extent where I could feel them rolling down my face.
Oars coming to save Ace, get so close and fail.
And Ace’s brotherly sacrifice for Luffy.
Since then it’s become a gradually easier time tearing up at things my eyes would’ve otherwise instinctively suppressed. Which is relieving. And I hope it means I’ll be able to join my nakama in their continuing voyage on a more raw, emotional level.