There are over 20 different openings for One Piece. The majority of anime don’t even make it to a quarter of that many. What’s even crazier is that One Piece has remained pretty consistent with the quality of their openings too, each one telling its own interpretation of the series like a good music video.
These are not the openings we’re covering here today. Sadly, with over 20 different openings, there are still bound to be a few stinkers in there. We thought we would take a look and see which openings didn’t quite cut it.
5. We Can
Honestly, we almost didn’t put We Can on here. There’s some fun animation, like the Strawhats having a water gun fight and a totally hype fight with Jack and Kaidou. There’s even some nice build-up within the song. It’s the chorus that really kills it, where it suddenly loses all its energy and just chugs along. To make matters worse, this one was called “We Can” so that Toei could claim it was part of the same series as “We Are” and “We Go”, despite not featuring Kitadani Hiroshi. Considering that We Can was implemented right when the story was about to hit a bit of a slow point (in terms of fights and absolutely not the story), this seems like it was more a marketing tactic to dredge up interest more than anything.
Believe is not necessarily a bad song. In fact, that opening riff in the background of the monologue is pretty invigorating. It’s just that, once the Eurobeat kicks in, you’re immediately taken out of the mood and start thinking Toei accidentally licensed a Dance Dance Revolution track to follow one of the most iconic anime openings of all time. It doesn’t help that there was a clear budget cut for this opening as well, with most of the animation being still shots and reused scenes from the main series. This one has its fans, and we totally get why. It’s just that One Piece is such a timeless story, but Believe is such a song of its time that it dates the franchise and makes it look like an anime that was chasing trends rather than creating them.
3. Crazy Rainbow Star
Er, wait, what? Are we sure this isn’t a fanmade opening set to a random J-Rock song? No, there’s original animation in there, so this has got to be the real deal.
Some entries on worst lists are put on because they are just that bad, but there’s absolutely an argument to be made that it’s actually worse to be mediocre. Bad things are easy to remember because they stand out. Completely average things? Those just blend into the background to be forgotten. And for a series as bombastic as One Piece? This is completely unforgivable, and thus why Wild Prism Sun or whatever it’s called is on here.
2. We Are (Remix)
We Are is a classic anime song that is completely irreplaceable. Everyone wants to do a cover of it, so when one is officially acknowledged by Toei Animation, that’s gotta mean it’s something great, right? Well… not exactly. The issue with this cover is that, despite being a rock cover, it somehow fails to capture the intensity and passion of the original We Are. It’s so overproduced, trying to throw hook after hook at you, that it misses the spirit of the original track. People will remember We Are for years to come, yet we’d be surprised if anyone even remembered that this remix was an actual opening for the show once Share the World took over.
1. Kaze wo Sagashite
Ace has been delivered to his execution. Luffy writhes in agony at the bottom of Impel Down, dying from poisoning. The entire balance of the world is at stake due to war with the World Government and Whitebeard over Ace. Tensions are a mite bit high.
And then this obnoxiously chipper tune pops on screen set to the Strawhats playing with cute animals. One Piece has always been a huge anomaly in the world of anime, becoming a massive mainstream smash hit despite being wildly rebellious and anti-authoritarian. Yet Kaze wo Sagashite is the ultimate example of One Piece as a corporate product, with the marketing team trying to drive focus away from the tragedy of the story behind Robin conducting a choir of frogs while Franky and Usopp equip an alpaca in body armor. The one nice part is that these scenes were lifted directly from the color pages of the manga, but there’s a time and place for that, and this was definitely not it.
These are the openings that, more than anything, time has not been kind to. Maybe they were alright in the moment, they just don’t sound right today. But ultimately, these openings represent all the worst parts about One Piece.
Of course, lists like these are bound to make someone mad. Please, by all means, if you’re an ardent defender of Kaze wo Sagashite, or have a real soft spot for the filler arc during which Crazy Rainbow Star ran, let us know in the comments below!