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{OP 17th Anniversary Celebration Day 4: Tears}

I’ve wanted to talk about tears and crying in One Piece for a while now. From the get-go I absolutely loved how Oda draws tears. There’s none of that neat little trails running down each cheek bullshit. Tears in real life are messy and ugly and sometimes they almost feel like they could drown you, and that’s how they’re depicted in One Piece. Male or female, human or not, when the characters cry the tears are everywhere, snot’s running from their noses, their faces are all screwed up … it’s real.

Another thing I love is that there are different kinds of tears. Sorrow, happiness, hopelessness, gratitude, pride, amazement (or whatever you want to call Bartolomeo’s fanboying), love, loss, everything. I also love that we see so many different types of people crying. Eternally optimistic Luffy cries. Zoro and Sanji and Robin, who seem like nothing can really shake them, cry. Franky, a big, tough, cyborg, cries. Ace cries, Garp cries, even Whitebeard and Marco and the other commanders cry. And no one (usually) tells them to stop. ‘Cause it’s okay to cry.

Man, I cried while making this. Going through Robin’s past again, re-reading Ace’s death scene … I thought I was prepared, but I wasn’t. Those two parts, Chopper’s past, and Merry’s funeral are probably the things that made me cry the hardest while reading/watching One Piece. The very first time I cried was when I learned why Usopp was always shouting “Pirates are coming!” And one time that I just unexpectedly burst into tears was when Luffy and co. made it to Yuba and Toto said (something along the lines of), “Don’t you remember me? Well, I guess I have lost some weight…” to Vivi. I’m not sure why, but that just got to me. Then again, I’m a big softie. I even cried when the Straw Hats regrouped after the time-skip even though it wasn’t depicted in a particularly emotional way. I was just really happy for them.

I love when works of fiction can make me cry. To me that’s a mark of a good story, and a good story-teller.

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