Currently Reading: One Piece (Ch1): Looking At Bravery

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Hey everyone! ICYMI, there’s a month-long blogging challenge called Bloganuary where this website puts out a prompt every day. Day one was about our goals for 2023, which I wrote about here, and for day two *drumroll* How are you brave?

I don’t really post things that are only personal (unless I’m doing maybe a nomination, but those are usually a mix of weeb and personal). So I was wondering how exactly to fit this question into my nerdy fujo blog. I had a few ideas but since I was on a time crunch (daily prompts!) and also wanted to introduce something else I want to keep track of this year (as a newly made goal, newly made like RN), I went with this idea!

300 books in 2023!

I was going to ignore it, really I was. I was just going to read whatever books I read and then maybe rejoice at the few I picked up by next December. But I fall to temptation very fast, especially when it comes to books and reading! So I decided I would try to read 300 books in 2023. According to my past Goodreads challenges, the last time I read anywhere close to 300 books (338 to be exact) was 9 years ago…when I was in college and probably around the time I started to blog?!

But I’m not planning to read just any books. I think that’s sort of been my problem lately. I want to read a lot of books, but I don’t know WHAT to read. Also, 300 is a crazy number I usually pull outta nowhere for reading challenges, but this time there’s a reason.

The reason being…

  • My Hero Academia: 36 volumes
  • Naruto: 72 volumes
  • One Piece: 104 volumes
  • Bleach: 74 volumes

That’s a total of 286 titles! Well, maybe a bit less. I did start reading Bleach last year but it’s still close to 300.

And today I started One Piece

I’ve only read the first chapter so I can’t say too much about the story yet, but it does touch on the prompt that was given for Bloganuary. Ha, I bet you thought I’d forgotten. Not yet.

In the first volume, we meet Luffy, who is just a little kid with a big mouth who really REALLY wants to be a pirate. I imagine it might have to do with the group of “nice” pirates that have made his little harbor village their base, but I can’t be sure. Maybe he’s been wanting to be a pirate since before then?

In fact, he is SO determined to be part of their crew (and they are SO determined to not let a kiddie on their ship) that when he sees them next, he stabs himself in the face…

Little kids are crazy. I’ve seen it in person. They just don’t really understand the concept of hurting themselves until they do it the first time. Do I think Luffy would stab himself again to prove a point? Yes.

Technically what Luffy does would be considered to be brave, right?! By these definitions at least. He was ready to face and endure pain, but I don’t think I’d consider what he did brave, and neither does Mr. Hot Captain. Also, I like that the last definition mentions that someone is “brave” when they don’t show fear (plus soldiers, warriors, and men), which is something Luffy parrots back.

No, my child. Who taught you this?!

We also see some conflict arise between Luffy and Captain Shanks. This happens after some troublesome bandit walks into the tavern they’re all having drinks at and disrespects Shanks by breaking the bottle of Grog he was holding out. The bandit also smashes a ton of alcohol in the bar area, leaving Shanks on the floor covered in a mix of drinks. The bandit walks out, calling them cowards, and after he leaves, the atmosphere lightens up. Shanks and his crew laugh, but Luffy is deeply upset, calling Shanks a disgrace and not a good “man”

In a later scene, we see Luffy talking with the barmaid and he says he was wrong for thinking they (Shanks and his crew) were brave and tough, “they’re really just a bunch of wimps.”

Shanks, who has only been making fun of baby Luffy until now, steals my heart by saying, “Needless killing doesn’t make you a man.”

DAYUM. Shanks in full gear is kind of hot. And because this is One Piece, we do eventually have some fights that break out.

Shanks ends up losing an arm and Luffy is left behind.

After a time skip, we see older Luffy leaving his little village to become a pirate! Since it’s only one chapter, we don’t really see if Luffy’s idea of what it means to be a man and brave has changed in any way. I think Shanks taught him something important, and that’s the importance of friendship. Like, no, it’s not good to needlessly fight an asshole, but if he insults or hurts a friend, it’s time to put him in his place!

Where was I going with this post…?

How Are You Brave?

Honestly, I don’t consider myself brave. I don’t think I’ve ever really done anything brave because I’m a person who lives in general comfort. Yeah, I’ve had some stumbles here and there, some that left me in places I didn’t enjoy, but would I consider myself brave?

I suppose my question is, what does it mean to be brave?

I believe that Luffy thinks that being brave means standing up to anyone who insults you (and, ideally, beating them up). But to Shanks, doing that isn’t brave. In fact, I don’t think we really learn what he believes makes someone brave. We only learn when he thinks it’s ok to finally jump into a fight, but is fighting “brave”?

Am I brave when I stand in front of a crowd of people when all I really fear is rejection? Or being made fun of? That somewhere in my brain, I know these possibilities are small and potentially nonexistent, but because they exist, I go into panic mode. I’m not really in any danger (adj) and I’m clearly afraid (verb) so I’m not ticking any bravery boxes. In fact, I’d rather not be in this situation and have often forced myself out of them (to the detriment of my grades)

Was I brave when I left my country when it was something I did with no hurry or hassle? A lot of people said that was brave of me, but I didn’t understand. Why was it brave?

Maybe I’m like Luffy and my concept of bravery is skewed, but I think that the word bravery has become so glorified that I don’t feel I can touch it unless I am in real life-threatening danger.

What about you? What does being brave mean to you? And do you think you’re brave?


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