Laboon is an extremely large whale (of comparable or greater size than the monsters in Calm Belt), native to West Blue, whom the Straw Hat Pirates encounter immediately after entering the Grand Line. He is classified as a Type A creature, "Big Friendly", and at the top of both the size and friendliness scale.
Laboon is a large black whale (blue in the anime), with many scars across his head where he has bashed himself against Reverse Mountain. His eye alone is several times larger than the Going Merry. After meeting the Straw Hats, Laboon gains a badly drawn copy of their Jolly Roger across his scars. He has short fins, and a tail that splits in two.
52 years ago, he had rounder teeth and was the size of a small boat. Brook stated that he was cute that time.
Laboon is heavily emotional and surprisingly understanding for a whale. He can understand the human language and the motives behind people's actions. He has both the patience and loyalty of a good friend. He formed strong bonds with the Rumbar Pirates, Crocus (his caretaker), and the Straw Hat Pirates as well. He is a bit stubborn, as he would not believe the fact that his friends had died, despite Crocus's constant explanation. He also would hit the Red Line constantly, completely ignoring Crocus's protests. He also seems to have a bit of a playful nature, as evidenced by Crocus, who points out that Laboon's stomach line is lined with sky and clouds wallpaper, as well as doors, exits, and badly made hallways.
In his early years he was a happy little Island Whale who formed a strong bond with the Rumbar Pirates. However his happiness was shattered and he fell into a deep depression after he was told they had fled the Grand Line, leaving him behind. His strong will and determination was led by a blind ambition to see his friends again, clinging on to what little hope he had for their safety. Because of this, he tried to break through the Red Line, so that he could get to West Blue and rejoin his friends. Later, when Luffy fought him and painted the insignia on his head, so as to prove the rematch they would have again when they returned, he honored this visual promise on his head and stopped bashing his head on the Red Line so that it would not disappear. His connection with the Rumbar Pirates remained strong even after that, as when Brook joined the Straw Hat Pirates, Laboon was noted to be unusually happy.
Abilities and PowersEdit
Due to his immense size, Laboon is resistant to most physical damage, as shown by his unrelenting headbutting of the Red Line. However, he did react in pain when Luffy planted the mast of the Going Merry into a wound on his head.
Fifty Years AgoEdit
Over fifty years earlier, Laboon met the Rumbar Pirates after becoming lost and separated from his pod and began following them in his loneliness. After a while they notice how sad he looked and they cheered him up by singing and as a result he continued to follow them. The crew grew attached to him because he was "cute". Eventually, while feeding him bait, Brook named him "Laboon". He was accepted as a crew member and even aided them when an attack left a few crew members having fallen overboard and no one else could help them.
Despite being a crew member, when the Rumbar Pirates decided to go to the Grand Line, they were forced to leave Laboon behind because he was just a baby. However Laboon refused to leave them and Yorki, their captain, ordered the others to ignore Laboon. When the pirates finally entered the Grand Line, to their horror they found that Laboon had followed them. After repairing their ship the crew finally bid farewell to Laboon, promising him they would return in two or three years time, after having traveled all the way around the Grand Line.
Fifty Years of WaitingEdit
Laboon patiently waited for them at Grand Line's entrance under the care of Crocus, who mans the Lighthouse that introduces travelers into the Grand Line. After many years passed by without the return of the Rumbar Pirates, Crocus decided to travel with the Roger Pirates to discover what happened to Laboon's crew. Upon his return, Crocus revealed to him that his friends had effectively abandoned him by fleeing the Grand Line through the Calm Belt. The old doctor had cared for Laboon ever since his friends left him and tried to make Laboon understand the situation. Although Laboon knew the truth about his friends, he refused to admit to himself that they were gone.
That night Laboon turned his head towards the mountain and slammed himself into it for the first time. Over the years that would pass, Laboon gained many scars on his head from slamming into Reverse Mountain. He believed that by doing this he could destroy the mountain and return to the West Blue where his friends would be waiting for him.
Reverse Mountain ArcEdit
After entering the Grand Line, Laboon was the first thing the Straw Hat Pirates saw. Launching the cannon in the hopes that it would slow them down, Luffy, instead, hit Laboon. After saving him from Mr. 9 and Miss Wednesday who were trying to use Laboon for food, Crocus explained to Luffy why Laboon would slam his head into the Red Line.
Luffy, in an effort to give Laboon a renewed sense of hope, picked a fight with the whale by jamming the Going Merry's mast into the whale's head. After the battle (which Luffy called a draw), Luffy promised Laboon that he would return to see him, under the guise of wanting a rematch, moving Laboon to tears of joy. As a sign of the promise of the future rematch, Luffy paints the Straw Hat Jolly Roger on Laboon's head, commenting that the insignia will wash away if Laboon hits Reverse Mountain further. This prevents him from hitting his head any further. The Straw Hats then depart, in good spirits for Grand Line.
Thriller Bark ArcEdit
During the Straw Hats' visit in Thriller Bark, they met Brook, and learned that the Rumbar Pirates had been wiped out during their journey, effectively leaving Brook the sole survivor due to the ability of the Yomi Yomi no Mi. Because of the promise Brook and the rest of his crew made to Laboon, Brook feels obligated to meet up with Laboon again in order to fulfill that promise, though he feels that Laboon would not have waited for them that long, making him depressed; in which to say, the Rumbar Pirates have not truly failed to keep their promise with Laboon. The Straw Hats tell him otherwise, saying that Laboon had been waiting all these years, which makes him perk up and join the Straw Hats when he finds out they also have a promise to fulfill with him. Laboon is then seen with Crocus, with the insignia still on Laboon's head, undamaged. Crocus comments on how Laboon seems to be in good spirits, which Laboon replies to with a triumphant roar, as if knowing that the Straw Hat Pirates and Brook will return.
From the Decks of the WorldEdit
After two years Laboon is seen in the Twin Cape with Crocus who is drinking with an unknown person. The badly drawn jolly roger is still in perfect condition on his face, shown that he has not hit his head against the wall since.
From the Decks of the World: The 500,000,000 Man ArcEdit
Translation and Dub IssuesEdit
Originally, in the Japanese manga and anime, the appearance of Laboon is also the introduction of Mr. 9 and Miss Wednesday, two Frontier Agents of Baroque Works who are responsible for bringing the Straw Hat Pirates to Whiskey Peak (Misty Peak in the 4Kids adaption). However, the fight between Luffy and Laboon where Laboon is stabbed with Going Merry's mast was deemed to be too controversial and violent by 4Kids for American audiences, so Laboon was passed off as an iceberg that was effectively destroyed by Luffy. (In the July 2006 English issue of Shonen Jump, there is a page featuring upcoming One Piece cards; in this, he is called "Raboon", but his name remains "Laboon", in the manga itself).
This missing "arc" was also significant in it was originally how Nami came to have a Log Pose, though this was also written around in the English anime. In the original, Nami found a Log Pose left by Mr. 9 and Miss Wednesday, which Luffy destroyed. Crocus then gave them his Log Pose.
In the 4Kids version, the Log Pose (here called the "Grand Compass") was inside Usopp's pocket which was found when it fell out. Usopp had a "flashback" of his father explaining what the Log Pose was (the scene of Yasopp saying "I can shoot the antenna off of an ant" was used to mouth the words) where he apparently told his wife that Usopp would find this useful when he became a pirate. Nami and Sanji both then recalled information about the Log Pose and the Grand Line from their past mentors (just like with Yasopp, previous scenes were reused).
This situation also created a plot hole in the events concerning Brook in this version.
- Sperm Whale - Wikipedia article about the type of whale Laboon resembles.
- Whaling - Wikipedia article about the controversy which 4kids censored Laboon for.