The Straw Hat Pirates are the main protagonists of the One Piece universe. Each come from a much different background and provide a unique asset that no other member of the group can fulfill.
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However, some responsibilities are much more essential than others, with crew mates showing various capacities to complete their duties. Certain characters are so essential that Luffy would have failed dozens of times over without them, whereas others are so inconsequential that they barely make a difference at all. It is essential to analyze the Straw Hats’ usefulness as the story enters its final saga.
10/10 Brook Has Barely Done Anything Since Debuting
Brook finally reviving himself in One Piece.
As the Straw Hats’ musician, it’s little surprise that Brook is technically the least valuable member of the crew. He rarely contributes anything that would lead to the group’s success and even needed to be saved by Zoro at Thriller Bark.
The only instances where Brook performed substantially was when retrieving a poneglyph rubbing at Whole Cake Island. He also prevented Orochi’s personal guard from hunting down Nico Robin, though most combat-based Straw Hats could have performed even better.
9/10 Usopp’s Cowardice Remains A Problem
Usopp in shock and fear when he goes over the waterfall in Skypiea – One Piece
Until the conclusion of the Enies Lobby arc, Usopp didn’t have a defined role. He served as the “Jack Of All Trades,” performing odd jobs at less capacity than the crew mates that would replace him. Eventually, Usopp became the crew’s official sniper.
However, there have only been two instances where his actions had major implications, specifically against Sugar in Dressrosa and Perona in Thriller Bark. Regardless of his precision, Usopp has seldom been the deciding factor between the group’s success and failure. He might be able to defeat lesser villains, though his combat skills are not particularly useful.
8/10 Jimbei’s Late Recruitment Limits His Feats
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As a former warlord of the sea and formidable Sun Pirate, there is much to appreciate about Jimbei. He saved Luffy from prison at Whole Cake Island, prevented Akainu from murdering him at Marineford, and even helped with the escape from Impel Down.
However, Jimbei was an extremely late addition to the crew, only officially joining before the Onigashima raid at Wano. As a result, he was absent for their most essential fights and did not have a chance to grow alongside them. Jimbei might have had few contributions, though he made the most of his screen time.
7/10 Sanji Is The Weakest Of The Monster Trio
Sanji burnt at Skypiea in One Piece.
Sanji is the weakest of the three “primary” Straw Hat fighters. Although this still puts him at a significant edge over the rest of the crew, his responsibilities as a chef are not exactly essential. Granted, his food is superb and boosts moral, although it has not been depicted giving them bodily enhancements despite what his time in Kamabakka Kingdom would suggest.
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Worse yet, Sanji refuses to fight women. This means that in many of the crew’s most death-defying encounters, he’d let many of his opponents kill him rather than fight back.
6/10 Nami Is Savvy, Cunning, & An Excellent Navigator
Nami from One Piece.
As one of the crew’s most longstanding members, Nami contributes in many ways. Her navigational skills are superior to virtually everyone on the high seas, and she’s also able to control a powerful Homie named Zeus.
Another underrated aspect of Nami’s character is that she is usually wise and restrained. Given the many reckless pirates within the Straw Hats, she is an excellent and outspoken voice of reason. In many instances, Nami is the only person to discipline Luffy when he makes a careless choice.
5/10 Franky Is Responsible For The Ship’s Maintenance
Franky protecting Robin from an attack in One Piece.
Franky is the sole shipwright for the Straw Hat Pirates, meaning that he’s responsible for repairing whatever damage it sustains. This gives him an indispensable role, as the New World has many treacherous enemies that could threaten the Thousand Sunny.
Additionally, Franky is a superb fighter. He defeated multiple CP9 agents, overwhelmed Sasaki’s armored division, and even created a tank sturdy enough to survive Big Mom’s wrath. In this regard, he is capable of protecting teammates and fighting enemies simultaneously.
4/10 Chopper Has Saved Luffy’s Life Several Times
Chopper during the Wano Arc in One Piece.
Chopper may be one of the crew’s worst fighters, but his medical expertise is unrivaled. After the heroes’ fought against Aokiji, he saved Luffy and Robin from freezing to death. He proved similarly useful at the conclusion of the Fish-Man Island arc when conducting a blood transfusion between his captain and Jimbei.
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In addition to his fieldwork, Chopper is also a medical genius. During the samurai’s attack on Onigashima, he created a cure for the ice oni plague in a matter of minutes. Considering Queen’s status as a high ranking scientist, this suggests how incredible Chopper actually is.
3/10 Zoro Is An Excellent Warrior & Protector
Roronoa Zoro on Punk Hazard Island in One Piece
Although Zoro technically doesn’t have a role in the crew beyond fighting, he performs his duties superbly. He was responsible for defeating the second most powerful enemies in almost every arc, from the tenacious Mr. One to the indomitable Pica.
In Onigashima, Zoro proved what he was really capable of. When Kaido and Big Mom combined their strength for a deadly attack, he held the line and guaranteed Luffy’s safety. Zoro may be gruff and standoffish, though few have demonstrated similar strength.
2/10 Robin Is Essential To Finding Laugh Tale
Nico Robin during the events of One Piece’s Enies Lobby arc
Classy and refined, Nico Robin adds sophistication to the Straw Hats. More importantly, her knowledge of poneglyphs makes her among the few people alive capable of finding Laugh Tale. As a result, she is highly desirable to crews across the world and was even made a target by the marines.
Robin is also a decent fighter. She defeated Yama at Skypiea and Black Maria at Onigashima, both formidable opponents with great physical strength. Further, she developed connections in the Revolutionary Army during the two-year time skip.
1/10 There Are No Straw Hats Without Luffy
Monkey D. Luffy In One Piece Falling
Although Luffy is technically the “captain” of the Straw Hat Pirates, his primary role is fighting. In almost every arc, he pushes himself beyond his limits to defeat a sinister villain that no one else is able to. Whether Arlong or Kaido, this remains one of the series’ few constants.
Additionally, Luffy is naturally charismatic and great at obtaining allies. He has won the allegiance of several World Government nations, which will prove invaluable in the battles ahead. Further, he keeps the crew together, usually preventing serious infighting and lifting their spirits in their darkest hours.