I went looking for this topic on Google because i found myself suddenly and randomly curious about the matter before going to bed yesterday; i was surprised that with every straw hat related topic that compared and contrasted the straw hats with each other, the purpose was to determine who was the strongest, or who would kill who in a battle.
So i thought i would tackle this topic myself. So, first i should first explain what i mean. When i say ‘best’ i am not referring to the strongest straw hat. In a way i am speaking about current stature, which includes how strong they are but in relation to the difficulty it took to get there. Each of the straw hats has a different story to tell about their past and backgrounds and each of them has a purpose he or she serves on the ship, but only because of what they went through in their past and the journeys they took to gain the skills that would make them a worthy crew mate on the thousand sunny.
Maybe there is a different, possibly better way to describe ‘best’ but i cannot think of it right now. Maybe the character as a whole matters, but i keep coming back to what they had to go through to get to where they are and how much they overcame. I will give a BLEACH example. Both Ichigo and Chado can take on an arrancar right now and win. But while Ichigo would win in a heart beat, it is Chado’s win that would be the more impressive victory, because we all know that if Ichigo had met an arrancar during the Soul society arc, he probably would have beaten it.
So the straw hats are Ussop, Nami, Zoro, Chopper, Sanji, Robin,Franky, Brook and Luffy. I will ignore Luffy mostly because it will create complications in comparing him to zoro. This is my ranking:
1. Ussop - I was going to go with Nami but i gave it a little bit more thought and realized that Ussop deserved the title most as best straw hat. We know that when we first saw ussop, he was basically useless. Besides lying and less than impressive shooting abilities, Ussop originally didn’t look like he served much of
a purpose to Luffy besides being funny. But we saw him blossom on the adventures he undertook with Luffy and, starting with basically no usable skill, molded himself into a pirate worthy of the name straw hat. Ussop’s most significant feature is the fact that, especially in early one piece, he would walk into danger, usually after convincing himself to run away but somehow choosing the more honorable route, with no conceivable way of achieving victory, no devil fruit, no special strength or speed or really anything beyond his intelligence. Whether he won isn’t even really the point (he lost quite a lot), beca
use every single drop of blood he shed would give Luffy a little more time to wrap things up on his end without interference. I still remember the Alabasta arc, that moment in the anime when Ussop took a baseball bat to the forehead while moving at incredible speed, and this skull cracked. I was shocked, held my breath for several seconds and waited for him to die. But he stood up again. He had no business rising up. Luffy would have eventually returned to save him, and even the villain he was up against didn’t really affect Luffy’s chances of completing his mission. But he stood up none the less.
You could almost say that Ussop is a mystery, sometimes you don’t really know why he does what he does. I still think he is stupid, but the fact that he would fight Luffy to save the ship, well it irritated me because it was just a ship, but it showed heart in Ussop. At the present he stands proud as a very capable straw hat, and the funniest man in one piece besides buggy. So yes, best straw hat.
2. Zoro - i say zoro here at number 2 because of his strength. I have mentioned this before, that the reason Zoro stands out is the fact that he is so powerful without a devil fruit. He stands up their with the very best of them, be it pirate or marine, with nothing more than his three swords. The fact that Zoro Vs. luffy debates are still raging up to this point is a testament to his skill. His will to stand up in a world full of super human beings and face danger each and every day with little more than his swords and skills is admirable, and while he hasn’t had the hardest rise to the top, he deserves the number two spot as second best straw hat.
3. Number three is a bit tough. I was tempted to go with Nami, considering all she went through with Arlong and the lengths to which she was forced to go to keep her village safe in operating as Arlong’s agent. Sure it was traumatic but i do not know if it really changed her, not in a way that is tangible at the present. More importantly, it was through Luffy’s will and effort that she finally escaped her old life, not her own strength and effort, so i am not sure if i can call it a triumph for her, more like luck that Luffy happened to pass by.
Nico Robin on the other hand thrived in the face of danger. She faced great hardships as a child, traversing great difficulties in confronting the ugly side of humanity. For all intent and purpose she should have crumbled and disappeared into non existence; yet she fought the fate that had been thrown at her, through sheer will she survived in the harsh world, doing whatever she could to keep herself safe until that day that she met Luffy and made the choice to join his crew. It almost feels like she invited her self. As far as great straw hats are concerned she stands far above Nami. She is the kind of character they wouldn’t get anywhere without, especially not in the dangerous and uncharted territories of the new world.
Franky is, well, Franky. There is not much to say about him. Same thing with Brook. So if i was to look at this critically, i would say that the third best straw hat would be Robin. If i was to allow bias to affect me, i would give the position to Chopper because, well, it is chopper. Who doesn’t like the little rain deer thing?
Like i said, i do not want to consider Luffy because that would immediately pit him against Zoro, which never gets anywhere. What i will say though is that if i was to put him in the ranking, what i would say for sure is that i would still stick with Ussop as the best straw hat.