One Piece is more than just a massively popular anime and manga franchise. So much of the culture of anime, and, nay, Japan has been shaped by it. One huge part of that is the music, with so many different and iconic tracks coming from it that everyone’s heard at least one song from it.
So we thought with One Piece honoring the retirement of Japan’s queen of pop, Namie Amuro, we’d go through and rank all of its different openings! These are ranked by more than just the song; we also took into account the story-telling of the animation along with the influence they’ve had on the culture and fandom.
5. We Go
As the first opening of the time-skip, We Go had to make an impact. It was meant to be a reset for the entire franchise, and the new opening had to capture that. In order to do so, Toei Animation brought back Kitadani Hiroshi, who did the first opening for the series, to introduce this new beginning. The result was one of the most explosive and fun tunes in the franchise set to a showcase of all the new techniques that the Strawhats have learned since their loss 2 years ago! It's perhaps the most iconic opening in One Piece next to We Are, so we thought we should mention it.
4. One Day
The strength of this understated opening comes from its simple yet suggestive editing. It tells two stories. The first is each of the Strawhats in isolation, focusing on their chosen profession and generally looking miserable or disinterested before a group shot of all of them enjoying each other’s company. It's a somber reminder that, in spite of the happy-go-lucky tone of One Piece, the Strawhats are all actually broken people and only found happiness with one another. Then, for the remaining minute and a half, we get shot after shot of all the main players of the Paramount War showing off their powers. This emphasizes how, no matter how much the Strawhats may love each other, their story simply does not matter in the grand scheme of what is going on in the world.
3. Kokoro no Chizu
You'd be hard pressed to find a more universally beloved fan favorite opening than Kokoro no Chizu. It's an energetic and peppy piece that's hard not to put at the top of your playlist for every car ride. However, what people really love about this one is the opening shot of all the current Strawhats falling out of the sky and everyone acting in character, from Luffy enjoying the thrill of the fall, Zoro sleeping and not even aware of his surroundings, to Usopp desperately defying the laws of physics to stay safe. It captures that sense of fun-loving, thrill-seeking adventure that drew people to One Piece in the first place.
2. Fight Together
There’s a real sense of closure to Fight Together. Maybe it’s because it’s the last opening before the time skip. Maybe it’s because of Namie Amuro’s effortless singing that lends a haunting air of finality to the piece. Or perhaps it’s one of the most touching montages of the series, where it takes a minute to remind the viewer of the most heartbreaking moment that each crew member shared with Luffy. But, maybe most of all, it’s that little nudge that the ghost of Ace gives Luffy to remind him of his goal and why he needs to move past his death. It was the absolute perfect opening to end the first half of One Piece, and for that, it will never be forgotten.
1. We Are
C’mon. You KNEW this had to be number one. Not only is it the most iconic theme song of the series, it might also be one of the most iconic anime openings of all time. Even if someone doesn’t know One Piece, they probably know the opening chords to this one. Heck, they probably know the basic premise of the show just based on those opening words! Would One Piece even be One Piece if it wasn’t introduced to the world through Kitadani Hiroshi’s soaring vocals? Even if One Piece has grown-up alongside its audience, people will never forget the tone set by We Are. It will probably outlive us all!
The craziest part about all of this? With over 20 different openings, we still had to make some pretty painful cuts, like Hikari-E and the very recent Hope. These are what we feel are the best that One Piece has to offer, however.
But we know someone out there disagrees. Is there something you really wanted to see on here? Well, please, don’t be shy! Let us know in the comments below!