Welcome to part 3 of my rankings of the One Piece volume covers from least favorite to favorite. In this post I will be looking at #80-#71 on my ranking. The first two parts covered my least liked covers and we ended the previous part with us crossing that line of the volumes being good but not great. From here on I pretty much like each volume cover for certain reasons, but like others more. My criteria is pretty simple, I look at overall design, impact, and memorability as well as some other smaller factors that may push one above the rest. Of course not everyone is going to agree, but take it as if it’s at least just a review of each cover in the model of my personal rankings. Anyways, with that, let’s move on to the list!
80. Volume 8
Yes! Some of the earlier volumes have made it further up the list than last place. I’m sure some of you have noticed that I didn’t rank them all at the bottom. There are some I really like and this is one of them. It does what it’s supposed to do in showing us a hint of the story within the volume as well as highlighting the villains and our hero. The difference though that separates it from some of the others is that it actually takes Luffy seriously as part of what is going on. We have our three villains of the Krieg pirates looking down literally in a way at Luffy who is in the bottom middle. His hand is bloody, but he still holds that Luffy smile. This is an impactful cover that for some looking towards the earlier volumes I feel would instantly be intrigued. It hits you right away with the blood on Luffy’s fist as well as Krieg being imposing with a pretty cool design and Gin also in the background as another cool looking character. It’s an early representation of how Oda will end up leaning more towards this approach and I love it.
79. Volume 12
Another sense of adventure cover. This one is more sentiment I suppose than anything else. It really highlights that sense of adventure as our crew embarks on their next journey to the Grand Line. There isn’t much else going on other than just highlighting all of the members and their excitement, but it’s enough to show exactly what he was trying to represent here. It works and works better than some other covers that try the same approach. It’s not great or perfect, but it works and looks good as we are also excited to follow them on their continuing journey.
78. Volume 41
The thing I remember most about this volume is the actual size of it. I don’t know offhand how many chapters were in it, but for some reason I remember it being pretty big, as well as being the Robin flashback volume. It is a significant volume that I believe also leads to Luffy declaring war on the World Government, but the actual cover doesn’t represent all that makes the volume so cool. We do see Sogeking aka Usopp behind Luffy who is actually the one that burns the flag, but that’s all we have to reference that important event. I understand that the focus was on the flashback, but again my problem with the flashback volume covers is that they usually still manage to bring Luffy onto the cover even when he’s not a major player. Stay committed to the flashbacks and show us those characters or if you’re going to split it like he did then at least give us a better moment from the volume. It’s a good cover, but misses the opportunity.
77. Volume 82
I’m not entirely sure why this one ended up being so low, but as I looked at it more I realized that it’s just ok. The colors are good and bright and work well, but it’s another sense of adventure cover as we see Luffy and some new characters embarking forward. I think the colors and characters are what make it higher than others, but outside of those few points, it doesn’t really do much for me and doesn’t seem very memorable. It’s just a good cover with cool characters and a hint at Vivi in the background that does raise a brow, but other than that nothing else.
76. Volume 16
This is pure sentiment for the fact that I remember buying this volume alons with a few before it and a few after it. I looked at the volume and immediately recognized Chopper from the anime that I had seen pieces of before I ever actually read it. It got me excited because I was ready to read the parts where they meet him and he joins. The cover itself is basic and doesn’t do too much, but the memories I have of owning that volume for the first time and being excited to read it is what makes it higher on this list. Luffy and Chopper in the same position is great to show the connection they have and the flag in the background is significant to the story when Luffy holds it up. I just like it.
75. Volume 10
As I have been saying, some of these covers have made it higher on the list for more personal reasons. This cover does the job right in showing our imposing villain Arlong and his henchmen. I wish the cover was just him and his henchmen but that’s one of the downsides. I really like Arlong as a villain and wish he would return for future stories, but as of now he hasn’t. I really like the Arlong arc as well and just like that this cover puts his face big and bold and imposing. It’s a great cover to offer this new threat of these fishman pirates. When looking at the volumes before it too, you notice the difference of characters as you move away from humans and towards a new species. It has the impact and level of intrigue, but lacks a bit in potential.
74. Volume 66
I really like Jinbei and I really like Smoker. This cover has both of those characters so it gets a few points right off the bat. I didn’t like the previous cover with Shirahoshi because there just wasn’t much going on with her there. The cool thing about this cover mostly has to do with what it all stands for in relation to the actual story in the volume. There are some characters like Smoker that make their reappearance here which is why we see a glimpse of him. It’s the connection though between Jinbei and Luffy that is the most highlighted here for me along with Shirahoshi’s new relationship with the Straw Hats. The cover give you a good sense of the events that happen in the volume, but overall it’s a feel good cover that makes you smile.
73. Volume 3
The coolest thing about this chapter is that my two favorite Straw Hat’s are Luffy and Zoro. I feel like sometimes their long friendship is overlooked and how close they really are. This cover is simple but gives us a look at these two together looking badass and Luffy wearing that captain’s jacket. I’m not sure if it actually has a name, but makes me hope that we get to see another cover of these two or even with the crew that parallels what we see here. It doesn’t do anything to tell you much about the story within and doesn’t have much going on, but I just love this cover.
72. Volume 74
The Dressrosa arc is one of my favorites and I like how many different characters get to show up during this arc. The volume is focused on Sugar for the most part which is why she is so prominent in this cover, but out of all of the different characters that they introduced in this arc, the three villains they decided to go with are actually some of my least favorite of the bunch. I understand why they’re represented here, but I just don’t care as much about them specifically. It is pretty cool though to see Franky and Usopp highlighted next to Luffy on this cover as they actually get a little more action in this arc, but it would’ve been cool to showcase them a bit more on the cover maybe doing something. It’s a fine cover that gives you an idea of what’s going on in the volume but I’m just not a fan of the three villains they showcased.
71. Volume 26
The one good thing about the Skypiea arc was the adventure they went on and learning how different the sky islands are to their own world. This sense of adventure cover easily shows our crew exploring this new world and having fun while doing it. We have all of our Straw Hats shown and they all seem to be excited to see what the sky islands have to offer. The cover shows what’s going on and represents that sense of adventure very well. Other than that it doesn’t do much more.
I feel bad ending this part with volume 26 since it was a more simple review of the cover, but that’s just how the rankings fell. I didn’t want to move things around just for the sake of ending this part with a bang so take my honesty as a representation of how I feel about these covers. I always find it difficult trying to care one good thing to another when sometimes it’s just the eye test. Sure I could like some things about a cover more than another, but the eye test of just looking at it could determine one going over the other.