We now enter our third to last part as we carefully approach the finale to this incredibly long ranking. I feel like I bit off a bit more than I expected, but I’m holding strong and am now in the final stages of what will be one of my favorite projects I’ve done on here. I just want to point out something that always stands out to me about Oda. At his best, he gives us some incredible character designs that of course are typically showcased on the covers. At his worst he gives us some absolutely goofy looking characters that you could argue are not good designs. I’ve thought about this a lot and started to realize that his goofy characters aren’t exactly bad designs, rather they are more unique and inspired. I think about Orochi and how we expected him to be so much more intimidating, but that’s the advantage Oda has at being able to come up with such different designs. I think he does better than most at being able to come up with so many different and unique designs for so many characters and I think we take that for granted. Anyways, let’s get on with #30-#21!
30. Volume 35
I had to put this one right next to the previous volume on this list, volume 84. These covers both give us an important Straw Hat event. 84 gave us Luffy vs Sanji and 35 gave us Luffy vs Usopp. I think the battle between the characters is better represented in this one than the latter. We actually get to see them in action and I believe this fight is a lot more memorable. Usopp up to this point has had moments, but none as important as this one. I think it’s a pivotal moment for him and the crew and works better than the Sanji incident, but both are great. I think the cover works better in this case though because we actually see them in action against each other with Franky looming in the background as being an important reason as to why this all happened, sort of. Anyways, I love this cover for Luffy and Usopp and it just looks awesome and represents so much of what this volume holds.
29. Volume 75
This cover ranks up here for having some of the coolest and some of my favorite characters of this arc on the cover. Kyros, I think that’s his name, is just there and I don’t remember too much about him, but everyone else is a major plus for me. Luffy and Law make their appearance which gives it an edge, but I also love Sabo and Fujitora. Koala and Pekka are not too bad, but the real highlight is seeing Sabo and Fujitora on the cover with Luffy and Law. Sabo is a character that I have really enjoyed despite him making me wish Ace was still alive. Fujitora is just badass and fun to read. Overall this volume just gives me a look and reminder of some of my favorite characters, so it gets bonus points.
28. Volume 44
Ah yes, the end to the Enies Lobby battle between the Straw Hats and the World Government. The fight is over Robin of course who is front and center on this cover. Her overall design to me is a little much and is sexualized of course which is nothing surprising, but it always stood out to me as being a little much. That is not what I notice first though, the main point of this cover is the fight between Luffy and Lucci which is one of the all time best fights in the whole series. The cover looks fantastic with both of them on it and I just love how it looks as well as remembering how awesome that fight is between them. A true highlight moment for Oda and Luffy.
27. Volume 42
This is the opposite side of the coin for the previous cover that featured all of the Straw Hats on the cover. I like this cover more because it shows how much more series CP9 is and how uniform they are as a group. CP9 has been one of my favorite enemy teams to see and the cover really highlights all of the important members that we see our crew fight. The designs are all unique and the black background makes it even cooler. I just really like everything about this cover, except for Spandam. Screw Spandam, he sucks.
26. Volume 18
This volume gets credit for having the first Ace appearance on a cover. I remember this volume fondly from back when I was in high school reading One Piece for the first time. I think Ace is an awesome character and his reveal to be Luffy’s brother was an important point as well as the hints at the bigger One Piece world. I don’t care so much about the other characters on the cover as much I do care about how cool Ace’s design is. This cover has more sentimental value to me, so it gets an edge.
25. Volume 93
Speaking of Orochi from earlier, we get a look at him on this cover and yes he is ridiculous, but I love the unexpected design. We also get some of the new characters surrounding Luffy and Zoro. The only one that’s very notable is Queen who makes his first cover appearance and is very interesting design wise, but I really like it. Zoro looks right at home in his Wano outfit and of course is bloody like he always is. Seeing Zoro and Luffy on a cover together also gets me excited, but to top it off we also get Soba mask Sanji on the side. Everything in this cover highlights some of my favorite things about Wano and I just really like it.
24. Volume 1
This is the original volume that started it all. It has the sense of adventure on the introduction to our first three main characters. It’s a memorable cover that I will always remember and like for what it began the series with. There’s not much else to say about this cover.
23. Volume 61
This cover falls right next to volume 1 for showing us the updated version of the same cover after the timeskip. I will always remember the day that I got this volume and how excited I was. It’s awesome that we got to see Luffy, Nami, and Zoro in the same spots, but updated with the new designs. I also love that we get to see all of the other new members to show us how far we’ve come since that first volume. It’s just great.
22. Volume 94
We get to see some of the newer members of the scabbards with Luffy as well in his Wano outfit, but that’s not at all why I like this volume so much. It’s one thing to get Big Mom or Kaido on the cover, but when you have them both on the cover together to show that they are either about to fight or up to something shady then it just tops the beautiful cake of how cool a cover can look. Of course we know now that they team up, but seeing them face off on a cover is just awesome and I absolutely love it. Also the green background is very nice as well.
21. Volume 87
The only thing that can top having Kaido and Big Mom on the cover is when we get a cover that gives us a rampaging Big Mom along with her children and Katakuri in the forefront. This cover is just awesome and is the villain cover of the Whole Cake Island arc. I love everything about this cover whether it be the light blue background or all of the character designs. One thing I will let you know right now is that Katakuri is one of my favorite characters, so having him on the cover is very telling of how much I like him as well as all of the Big Mom family members no matter how weird they are.
And so we have closed out this third to last part on a high note with what I would say are some expected covers and some not so expected I’m sure. There are a lot of covers here that I love, but now we finally get into the covers that I believe are absolute top tier covers for One Piece. Like always, be sure to comment below or send us an email at TowerCityMedia@gmail.com and be sure to follow us @TowerCityMedia