I haven’t actually counted how many parts there are going to be, but this is easily one of the biggest projects I’ve done as far as the sheer amount of writing and time put into it. I think the easiest part is finding something to say about each one until I get to the point where it’s just that one passes the eyeball test more than another one. The hardest part was definitely trying to rank all of them before I started doing all of this typing. I found myself sitting there constantly moving covers around until I finally found that sweet spot where I felt comfortable with my placement of all of them. Believe it or not though, the easiest one for me was the one I have ranked 1st, which I didn’t know was my favorite until I realized that I never moved it from that position. Stay tuned to find out which volume it is! Here we go with #70-#61.
70. Volume 37
This one is pretty cool. We get to see Franky looking all cool with his floating head at the top with Iceberg with Water 7 in the background. I feel like Water is slept on for its creativity sometimes or it was so long ago that we just forget how creative it was. Anyways, we also get to see the train thing and we get our crew running. Everything going on for the most part in this volume is represented well, and it all looks pretty cool. I also like the background color of this volume. That specific shade of blue for some reason. It just looks good.
69. Volume 55
I debated putting this one lower because I don’t like the weird look that the arms are doing from Buggy and Mr. 3 and the jailer monsters aren’t that cool, but the eyes of Ace tearing through is just awesome. He’s the reason why Luffy is there and why Mr. 3 and Buggy are brought back and helping and Ace’s eyes are tearing through as if on a burning piece of his vivre card. Stylistically it’s excellent and I love it but some of the other stuff going on I can pass on. It passes the eye test because those eyes are just staring right into me at how dire the situation is for Luffy and co and Ace.
68. Volume 50
This cover was supposed to do something a little different because it was that “50” mark and I guess it does do something a little different. It had some flames to the Straw Hat logo. Yeah it wasn’t much of a change and I’m actually not a fan of it all that much. The cool thing about it though is that this is the end of Thriller Bark with some of the best moments like the Zoro stuff and Brook joining. I remember those events fondly and know exactly which volume to go to. Nami is just kind of there at the top so whatever to that, but Luffy, Zoro and Brook all look pretty sweet down at the bottom. The background color works really well too, so I like the memorability of this volume more than the actual design, but it is pretty sweet.
67. Volume 29
This volume is just lucky that I have a soft spot for giant monsters. I love Godzilla and all of those other monsterverse creatures like King Kong. I also love my monster movies and by that I mean like Jaws, Crawl, Anaconda. So yes, I have a soft spot for things like that. This cover has a giant snake on it that I can’t remember the name of and it takes place in my least favorite arc so maybe it shouldn’t be getting points on the board, but the cover is pretty cool. I just give it a pass with the eye test and for hitting my soft spot of giant monsters. If it weren’t for that I would probably rank this cover much lower.
66. Volume 39
The Robin design is kind of bad for some reason. I’m not sure what’s going on but it looks like a lazily drawn Robin, well just her face I guess. I also don’t like any of the villains represented in this cover, however I love the line up and layering of Luffy, Zoro, and Franky. Especially Zoro who looks awesome in this cover. For once it seems that Oda figured out how to showcase some of our main characters looking badass, but sharing the same amount of space on the cover. They distract away from the bad villains in the background and the bad version of Robin we get, so I give it a pass for that. Despite the bad villains, it still manages to represent the story within so it also gets points there. It’s not an entirely memorable cover, but it does a lot right.
65. Volume 34
This cover is simple but awesome. Instead of having Luffy at the center we have Iceberg as he plays a major part in the Water 7 arc. We also have frames behind him of four main characters of this arc. At the time you don’t know of the betrayal by Lucci and Kaku, but when you look at the cover long enough, you can kind of see subtle hints of something shady. It’s not enough for you to realize if you haven’t read the volume, but once you have you can see where Oda carefully drew them in a way that could make you infer their change.
64. Volume 31
This is one of those flashback volumes which are hit or miss, but the character designs are pretty cool and have a cool contrast off of each other. I also like how we see Luffy looking over a storybook in a way that makes you think of yourself reading this volume. It’s just all cool yet simple at the same time. It tells you what the volume is about without giving away too much and doesn’t do too much to distract from the focus of the volume. I like the background color as well and remember the volume findly for being the end of the Skypiea arc which is also another positive. This just passes the eye test for me.
63. Volume 81
There is a lot going on with this cover. A lot of it is not necessary which is a downside, but this cover really shows the importance of everything in this volume. Sanji is the focal point of this volume which is telling with him being the center of the cover. Luffy is brought down and reads the note that we can’t see on the cover but is revealed to us in the volume. It is an important moment that focuses on Sanji and is also the lead up to the Whole Cake Island arc. The addition of all of the Minks makes the cover as a whole look busy and a little too much, but everything on this cover is important, but also doesn’t give away exactly what’s going on.
62. Volume 72
I really like Luffy’s coliseum costume in this arc along with his cool shirt with the sunflowers. I like seeing him in any of the Dressrosa covers, but the cool thing is that he’s not even the main focus of the cover. We also have Usopp and some others surrounding him that show that he’s not the only important character in this volume. I think the coolest part though is the inclusion of Usopp. There are a lot of times where he doesn’t quite live up to what we hope out of a member of the Straw Hats, but he’s still quite skilled. This also brings back memories of how he became known as “God Usopp” the only great thing about that title would be if we actually got to see that on a cover. This cover passes the eye test and for me is memorable of some key moments in the early parts of Dressrosa.
61. Volume 30
This cover is incredibly simple and may be one of the shortest comments I have on a volume cover. Enel believes himself to be god with his electric powers and Luffy is the perfect natural enemy of god with his rubber like powers. This is all represented in this single and simple cover which also highlights the best part of the Skypiea arc. Everything just works for this cover.
It was kind of sad to end this part on the very simple volume 30 cover, but it can’t be helped. There are a lot of covers that I like in this group, but now we are really starting to get into some of the really good ones. I think it was around this point where deciding on the ranking really started to become difficult, but the further down the list, the more I’ll have to say about some of these covers.