One Piece has undergone a lot of changes over the years. Eiichiro Oda has always know where the story would end, but he took some time getting its origins altogether. After all, a good first impression is key for any manga, and Luffy was just a part of that beginning. The entire Straw Hat crew needed to work together, and fans can get a look at the team's earliest designs thanks to a new piece of concept art.
Over on Twitter, fans got riled up with a piece of Oda's earliest artwork surfaced online. The user SoulstormOP posted the sketch for all to see, and it is definitely worth analyzing. After all, it shows all of the Straw Hats as they were once planned, and it counts ten total members.
You can see the art down below, so take a minute to let it sink in. You can find pre-timeskip Luffy in the center of the group with Nami and Zoro on his side. The pair looks the same as always as their designs weren't altered much. However, the story cannot be said for the rest of the group.
Early concept of the Straw Hats pic.twitter.com/XqpRafvGya— ⚡️ Soulstorm ⚡️ (@SoulstormOP) September 12, 2020
Starting from the far left, One Piece fans will see a small babyish character with a hammer in hand. They are floating next to a cloaked 'Frankenstein' monster with some gnarly headgear. These two are said to be shipwrights, so it appears they were combined to become Franky. You can see that more clearly with the cloaked character as their facial features are fairly similar to those of Franky.
In the back, a towering figure with a square head can be seen. This appears to reference Jinbe while the man beside him stands as a prototype of Usopp. Of course, the skinny skeleton next to the sniper is Brook who seems to be rocking a cowboy hat and earrings. That is certainly a look to go with and to be honest, the Brook fans know today would probably rock that outfit if given the chance.
As for the final two crew members, the far-right pirate is none other than Chopper. The tall lanky reminder looks like a Zoro clone given their sheathed sword, so he is a far cry from the tiny Chopper we know today. Finally, Sanji is standing next to the reindeer, and he looks pretty normal save for his prominent facial hair. The design seems to give Sanji a fuller beard, and that does clash with the design Oda ultimately used in the manga.0comments
This concept art shows how much the Straw Hats have changed, and they've been undergoing changes since before the manga went live. One Piece has been a work-in-progress for years now, and its current arc is just as electrifying as its first. So if you're grateful for that, thank Oda for all the work he's put into the manga... and that includes character designs too!
What do you make of this concept art? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB.