The best part about indulging in a franchise is the new world you can immerse yourself in. The more dimensional it is – the more it has to offer you. One Piece is the 26th longest-running manga and was the top-selling manga for 12 years until 2019.
The fans of One Piece are well-versed with the world of One Piece, including the map and its ecosystem. This is enough to make a theme park of One Piece which coincidentally, already exists as One Piece Tower Tokyo.
But Oda being Oda, offers more to his OP fans than other mangakas. Eiichiro Oda has also granted One Piece fans the pleasure of indulging in the story through Cover Stories.
One Piece has these different stories on its covers and I got curious why? So I compiled an answer for my fell otakus as to what are One Piece cover stories?
1. Quick Answer
These Cover Stories are short story arcs Eiichiro Oda makes on the title page that appears before the actual chapter in the Weekly Shonen Jump.
These stories are considered ‘canon’ and it is said that there is a secret mystery yet to be revealed in these stories. You can read all of them together through a separate volume, One Piece Doors!
2. What are Cover Stories?
Cover Stories are officially known as ‘Short-Term Focused Cover Page Serials‘. They run for 20-40 or more consecutive installments unless interrupted by a colorized title page.
One Piece, being one of the longest-running manga entities, is considered a serial in the Weekly Shonen Jump. Therefore, every chapter to be published gets an extra page for its title known as the title page.
Usually, mangakas use it by expanding the length of the chapter or creating a one-off illustration that manga readers will be familiar with. But Eiichiro Oda has taken a step further and put his creative juices to work.
If a person has a manga running from 1997 to date – then he/she would exercise it to his advantage.
Instead of one-off illustrations or other alternatives, Eiichiro Oda saw this extra page as a chance to create mini-story arcs on minor characters and defeated villains.
It’s like a “What are they doing now?” feature in a cover page serial form. This is a smart move, and not only does it expand the world of One Piece. It also gives Eiichiro Oda a chance to break away from the intensities of the main story arc.
Each page or ‘episode’ includes a panel with the caption and title for the arc which is given by Oda himself. This caption is the description of what happens in the image.
They are different from spin-offs and crossovers over the fact that they are not a separate by-product of this franchise with ambitious goals. They come along with the chapter and are merely trivial to the main story.
After every mini-arc runs its course, there is a break in momentum by showcasing some standard title pages with the Straw Hat members.
Soon after that, another mini-arc begins. To date, there have been 17 Cover Page Serials. For a manga with over 900 chapters, it is reasonably welcome.
4. Are They Canon?
Canon usually denotes whether the material published is official. We can infer that it is greenlit by Oda since they’re cover pages for the chapter and are published in the Weekly Shonen Jump.
Most importantly, Oda himself gives the title for the arc. So, yes, these mini-arcs are canon. They occur in parallel to the main story.
Interestingly enough, some of the events do coincide with the going-ons of Luffy and the Straw Hat Pirates in the main story.
They even have a subtle bearing on the events of the anime, such as Jango’s recruitment in the Marines that comes from Jango’s Dance Paradise. Conclusively, these mini-arcs are happening in the One Piece world parallel to the main events.
They do not have any heavy bearings or do not affect the main storyline drastically but do provide background and expand certain events.
From the ninth arc, they even began to do a ‘Where Are They Now’ segment that would pick up characters from previous arcs and show their day to day life.
Despite these being canon, only 5 of the 17 Cover Stories have been incorporated into the anime.
5. One Piece Doors!
One-Piece Doors! Is a collection of the illustrated covers and Cover Stories first published in 2008. It is said that a “secret mystery” is hidden in these cover stories that are yet to be revealed. Currently, One Piece Doors has 3 volumes.
The Cover Stories that have been published to date are as follows:
6. Sea of Survival: Super Rookies Saga
I. Buggy’s Crew Adventure Chronicles (Chapter 35 to 75 and episode 46-47)
This is the first Cover Story that was animated as part of the four mini-series into the anime.
The story takes place in Orange Town Arc and the Loguetown Arc and follows Buggy after he’s been defeated by Luffy and Nami.
It then shows his journey and the adventures he goes through to reunite with his body parts and crew.
Furthermore, an unlikely alliance is formed here as Buggy meets a female pirate, Alvida (the first pirate Luffy came across), who shares a similar enemy. Both, plotting their revenge against Luffy, sail off together.
II. Diary of Koby-Meppo (Chapter 83-119 and episode 68-69)
This Cover Story is set between the events of Romance Dawn Arc and Jango’s Dance Paradise. This is the second cover story and one of the shortest arcs to be adapted in the anime.
Here, Koby and Helmeppo become involved, unwillingly, in Morgan’s escape attempt and show bravery that earns them the attention of Vice-Admiral Garp. Due to this, the latter decides to train them.
III. Jango’s Dance Paradise (Chapter 126-172 and 1 special partly)
This is the third Cover Story and is set between the events of Baratie Arc and those of the Alabasta Arc. The main characters are Jango and Fullbody, with Helmeppo, Garp, and Coby acting as side characters.
It follows Jango, who has been abandoned by the Black Cat Pirates. Through a series of adventures, he runs into Fullbody, who is impressed by him.
After getting pardoned for his crimes, Jango joins the Marines and finally finds a new life.
IV. Hatchan’s Sea-Floor Stroll (Chapter 182-228)
This is the fourth Cover Story that sets between the events of Arlong Park Arc and Sabaody Archipelago Arc.
It follows Hatchan, who, after escaping from the marine ship, returns to beneath the sea. During this time, he helps a panda shark, which sets off an unexpected friendship.
Through a series of trades and adventures, he finally fulfills his dream of owning a takoyaki stand with the help of his new friend, Camie the mermaid.
The three of them, Hatchan, Camie, and Pappag made an appearance in the Sabaody Archipelago Arc’s beginning, where they fought with the Straw Hat Pirates against the Macro Pirates and the Flying Fish Riders.
V. Wapol’s Omnivorous Hurrah (Chapter 236-262 and 1 episode partly)
This is the fifth cover story of One Piece and is set between the events of Drum Island Arc and the time skip.
It follows Wapol, who, after being propelled onto an unknown island by Luffy, experiences life as a homeless man.
With time, he uses his Devil Fruit powers to create unique toys and works his way back up the social ladder by selling them to children. In the end, he opens his own shop and marries Kinderella.
His skills enhance so much that during the time skip, Wapol and Miss Universe found their own kingdom.
In addition, their special metal called Wapometal is used by Franky to advance his technology and Hogback to create a zombie based on it.
VI. Ace’s Great Blackbeard Search (Chapter 272-309)
Ace’s Great Blackbeard Search is the sixth Cover Story and takes place between the events of Jaya Arc and Post-Enies Lobby Arc.
It follows Ace as he journeys to find Blackbeard. In the midst of his travels, he befriends the milk maiden Moda after she saves his life, and in return, he infiltrates the naval base to deliver a message to Vice Admiral Comil and acquire information on Blackbeard.
While doing this, he also manages to help reunite Moda with her parents.
VII. Gedatsu’s Accidental Blue-Sea Life (Chapter 314-348)
Gedatsu’s Accidental Blue-Sea Life is the seventh Cover Story that takes place between the events of Skypiea Arc and the time skip.
It follows Gedatsu, who, after losing to Chopper and falling from Skypiea, ends up helping Goro build the latter’s dream resort.
VIII. Miss Goldenweek’s “Operation: Meet Baroque Works” (Chapter 359-413)
The eighth Cover Story takes place between the events of the Alabasta Arc and the Impel Down Arc.
The story follows Miss Goldenweek, Mr. 5, and Miss Valentine as they find out about Baroque Works getting exposed and try to save their friends from imprisonment.
Unfortunately, they happen to come across a Marine unit consisting of Hina, Jango, and Fullbody, who arrest Miss Valentine.
With help from a previous member, they manage to save nearly every other Baroque Works Officer Agent, with the ones remaining being relocated to Impel Down.
IX. Enel’s Great Space Operations (Chapter 428-474)
This Cover Story takes place after the events of the Skypiea Arc and follows Enel. After finally reaching the moon, he encounters a group of automata and Space Pirates.
Through a series of events, due to Enel’s Goro Goro no Mi powers, he winds up activating all of the automata and ends up discovering his true roots.
This is one of the most important cover stories, and it is highly likely that it hints to something significant that may happen in the future, especially concerning Enel.
There are no small number of fans who have theorized about his connection to the moon, and the possible role he might play.
The theory is based on the fact that Enel is named after Enlil, the Sumerian God of Storms. His holy number is 50, same as Enel’s number of soldiers.
As Enlil is known as the separator of heaven and earth, it is assumed that Enel is trying to do the same.
X. CP9’s Independent Report (Chapter 491-528)
CP9’s Independent Report is the tenth Cover Story that takes place after the events of the Enies Lobby Arc.
After the CP9’s defeat at the Straw hats’ hands, the assassins try to get Rob Lucci treated in a hospital by making money.
Meanwhile, the World Government tries to capture their runaway employees. After Lucci’s recovery, they save the townspeople from pirates and sail off into the distance with goodwill planted into the people’s hearts.
XI. Straw Hat’s Separation Serial (Chapter 543-560 & episode 418-421; 453-456)
The Straw Hat’s Separation Serial is a set of Cover Stories. They follow each Straw Hat crew member apart from Luffy after being separated at the Sabaody Archipelago by Bartholomew Kuma.
a. Sanji’s “Kambakka Hell – Hang in There!” (Chapter 543-544 and episode 419; 454)
This Cover Story follows Sanji, who was sent by Kuma to the Kamabakka Kingdom as he tries to escape the ‘hell’ he’s arrived at.
After spending time in the kingdom, he turns into an Okama in order to fight the Queen and leave the island.
b. Robin’s “How Terrible You People Are” (Chapter 545-546 and episode 420; 455)
This story follows Robin, who was sent by Kuma to Tequila Wolf. While she was trying to escape the place, she was saved by the revolutionaries who arrived to liberate them.
c. Franky’s “This Week is no Good” (Chapter 548-549 and episode 418; 453)
Here, we see Franky being sent to Karakuri Island, where he suffers being chased by cyborg animals, but fortunately, ends up stumbling across the house where Vegapunk was born.
In the anime, there are a lot of fillers in this part where Franky acts like a gentleman after using tea as fuel.
d. Usopp’s “I’ll-Die-If-I’m-On-My-Own Disease” (Chapter 550-551 and episode 420; 455)
After being sent by Bartholomew Kuma to the Boin Archipelago, Usopp befriends Heracles and finds a forest full of food, which results in him getting extremely fat.
e. Chopper’s “I’m not Food You Assholes” (Chapter 552-554 and episode 419; 454)
This Cover Story follows Chopper, who has been sent to the Torino Kingdom. There, he is caught by natives who want to make him into stew; however, just before they succeed, gigantic birds attack them.
In the anime, the story has a bit more filler information. It shows Chopper helping a wounded chick with the intention of using it to fly back to Sabaody. Unfortunately, it takes a long time for the chick to mature.
f. Nami’s “Weather Report” (Chapter 555-556 and episode 418; 453)
This Cover Story takes place in Weatheria, a small sky island, where Kuma sends Nami.
In this specific place, the scientific study of weather is conducted, which Nami is impressed by. Later, with the help of Usopp, she uses the technology to develop a weapon.
g. Brook’s “Lodgings and Panties Repayment” (Chapter 557-558 and episode 421; 456)
Sent by Kuma to Namakura Island, Brook follows a girl, wanting to see her panties.
At that moment, she is kidnapped by members of the Longarms; however, none of the villagers are willing to save her.
h. Zoro’s “What the Hell are They? What a Pain in the ass” (Chapter 559-560 and episode 421; 456)
This story follows Zoro, who has been sent to Kuraigana Island by Kuma, i.e., the same location where Perona has been sent to.
Surprisingly, this former enemy helps Zoro, and they both develop mutual trust. While exploring the ruins, they come across mysterious figures carrying a sword.
7. The Final Sea: The New World Saga
XI. From the Decks of the World (Chapter 613-668)
This nineteenth Cover Story is set after the crew’s return to Sabaody Arc, which has been made public. We see the reactions of people who have come across the Straw hats before, such as Dadan, Kaya, Nefertiti, Ivankov, etc.
The growth and whereabouts of their allies, family, and enemies during this period are also shown.
Furthermore, Whitebeard and Ace’s grave are shown after the time skip with a bottle of sake and 3 cups, making it the longest cover story in the manga.
XII. Caribou’s Kehihihihi in the New World (Chapter 674-731)
This Cover Story is set after the Fish-Man Island Arc and before the Wano Country Arc. It follows Caribou, who is chased out off Fish-Man Island after causing havoc.
Due to this, he reaches an island where he reunites with his crew before confronting Kaido’s henchmen.
XIII. Solo Journey of Jinbei, Knight of the Sea (Chapter 751-785)
This is the twenty-first Cover Story that is set between the Fish-Man Island Arc and Whole Cake Island Arc.
It follows Jinbei, who comes across a lost sea kitten and then brings it to an ocean dog police officer. In a sequence of events following that, he finds the culprit of the destroyed village, Wadatsumi, who soon becomes his companion.
During this cover story, Jinbei discovers a Poneglpyh, which he later brings to Big Mom in the manga.
XIV. From the Decks of the World: The 500,000,000 Man Arc (Chapter 805-838)
This is the twenty-second Cover Story that shows the Straw Hat’s allies’ reactions and enemies as News Coo delivers newspapers containing their new bounties.
We see Vivi, Franky’s acquaintances at Water 7, Monkey D. Dragon, Sabo, Shanks, and many others who are pleasantly surprised at the news.
Furthermore, Chopper and Luffy’s homeland sets up their wanted posters and show visible pride at the Straw Hat’s achievements.
XV. The Stories of the Self-Proclaimed Straw Hat Fleet (Chapter 864-919)
This is the twenty-third Cover Story that is set after the Dressrosa arc and before the Levely Arc where the Tontatta Pirates accompanied the Riku Family to the Levely.
It follows each fleet of the Straw Hat Grand Fleet as they go on their own adventures.
For example, we see Cavendish and the Beautiful Pirates pursued by fans as he reminisces about his life as the prince of the Bourgeois Kingdom.
Furthermore, we also see Hajrudin and his group leave Buggy and sail away from his headquarters.
XVI. “Gang” Bege’s Oh My Family (Chapter 948-Chapter 994)
This is the twenty-fourth and latest Cover Story, spanning 37 chapters, that is set after the Whole Cake Island as the Fire Tank pirates leave on a quest to find Lola.
During their travels, they come across the Germ Pirates attacking Dressrosa and end up defeating them. Soon, another character reappears, i.e., Pound, who ends up having a tearful reunion with his daughters and attends Lola and Gotti’s wedding.
This cover story recently ended, and it tied up loose ends by finishing Bege, Lola, Chiffon, and Pound’s character arcs and having them sail away without any lingering mysteries or hints at a potential future involvement.
8. About One Piece
One Piece follows Monkey D. Luffy’s ambition to follow the steps of his idol “Red Head” Shanks in building his own pirate crew. His goal is set toward searching for the greatest treasure called One Piece in hopes of becoming the King of Pirates.
His foodie instincts lead him to consume a Devil Fruit that changes his body to have rubber-like properties. Luffy journeys and befriends people, thus, creating his own crew called the Straw Hats and therefore, sets his fate in motion.