One Piece is an absolute behemoth of a franchise. With over 1000 chapters and (as of writing this) 965 anime episodes as well as fourteen movies it is one of the most successful comic franchises of all time. One of my guilty pleasures is watching people react to a compilation of the One Piece openings. Not only are they all absolute bangers, it’s great to watch other people enjoy them as well, and in the case of a first time watcher see their reactions to the amount of visual chaos that is One Piece. I thought it would be fun to think about which of the openings I actually thought were my favorite, so I decided to make a quick top 5. My top will arguably change over time, but after watching the entire list yesterday, and having it open on my second screen again right now, this is the order I came up with. Beware of spoilers of anything before the Wano arc.
Number 1: Opening 3 – Hikari e
Undeniably one of the most uplifting songs in the entire list of One Piece openings. It’s early on and unfortunately fairly aged, but this song just gets me happy. I almost can’t help to join in and go “Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.” At the appropriate time. Unfortunately One Piece wasn’t doing longer openings yet at this point, so it’ll have to sit at around 90 seconds, but it’s short and powerful. There is also an English version which is equally good.
Number 2: Opening 18 – Hard Knock Days
I’ll admit that the Dressrosa arc went on for longer than it should have. I think a lot of people certainly agree. The conclusion was fantastic, and it produced some of my absolute favorite moments of the show, but it did take a long time to get there. With a vast amount of characters shown in this opening, including the menacing admirals and Blackbeard, who I can’t wait to see more of in the approaching final arcs, makes for great visuals. The crew flying in front of a mediocre CGI background sky doesn’t even bother me with how cool they are. And the transition of the Mera Mera no Mi from Ace to Sabo is done splendidly.
I struggled choosing between this one and Opening 21: Super powers. I think they’re visually the most impressive out of all the openings bar Wano, and the juxtaposition of Luffy’s intense pain when confronted with Sanji’s past, compared to his normal upbeat mood, as well as the absolutely terrifying silhouettes of the Big Mom crew just makes this opening hit differently. There’s also many different versions of it, which is a staple at this point. Super Powers has the conclusion with Katakuri, which is why I almost put it in here instead, so consider this an honorable mention. I just think the melancholic tones of Hope fit this arc better, and Super Powers, although catchy, has to be one of the more boring songs in the series.
Number 4: Opening 7 – We Are (Straw Hat Pirates Version)
I would be remiss not to include the original opening, but improved. Because the only thing that could improve a banger like We Are is if it was sung by the crew itself. Dated in it’s animation, the song itself certainly holds up, and I think I prefer it to the remix that was used later on in the series. Not much to say about this one, except that is absolutely slaps.
Number 5: Opening 12 – Kaze O Sagashite
I’ve heard numerous people say they don’t like this song much, and I understand why, but I respectfully disagree. The art is great, and the visuals, for the first half of the song, show how much fun the straw hat crew is.They’re wacky, over the top and a bunch of absolute morons, and we love them for it. They love adventure and are having a great time. Some of the quick animations in between give the same amazing feeling that the colored cover pages of the manga often give. The song hits a sadder note when we see Ace, and we’re reminded that the straw hats aren’t in a great spot right now. This quickly changes with the most awkward salute given by the Impel Down guards. The song hits straight back into more optimistic tones as Luffy and his new friends head to Marineford to go save Ace. I couldn’t say it better than the singer herself, who ends the song with “matteru” or according to the subs. “Look up ahead, my treasure, as you are waiting there for me!” I don’t know how correct this is, or how badly I butchered the Japanese, but it is very fitting for this arc.
That was far from a definitive list, and I’m sure there’s openings that deserve more credit than I give them. I also quite like Crazy Rainbow Star, as well as Share The World! As a matter of fact, I don’t think there’s a single bad opening, but these 5 stood out to me. The only thing I can say is that some of the more recent songs have felt kind of boring to me, and I haven’t been impressed by the Wano openings, bar the animation.
But what would your list be? Do you agree with mine, or are there other Opening Themes that you preferred. I want to look at the endings in the future as well, since One Piece had some great ending themes. Leave a comment down below if you want to see that, and like the post if you want more lists like this. Thanks for reading!