After over 20 years on the air, the One Piece anime has amassed a large collection of iconic openings. The anime based on the pirate adventure manga of the same name by Eiichiro Oda is full of both comedic and dramatic moments, and the openings reflect this well. And as the show has evolved its openings have evolved alongside it.
When the show began, its OPs were much simpler, mainly showcasing the characters and their fighting techniques. As the show continued and the Straw Hat crew grew, the openings shifted subtly and would often feature mini adventures of their own which served to show off the different characters’ personalities. Most recently as more powerful One Piece villains like Kaido and Big Mom have been introduced, the style has shifted again, highlighting battles and major moments to come. But no matter what their style, some of these OPs hold up better than others.
10 Opening 15: We Go!
“We Go!” is the anime’s 15th opening, taking place right after the timeskip. It is a joyous opening with a high-energy song showing off the Straw Hats’ new designs. It also features an awesome sequence showing the Straw Hat being passed down to Luffy reminding viewers that he is continuing the legacy of both Shanks and Gol D. Roger. If the opening is just considered in a vacuum maybe its simplicity would have prevented it from making this list, but the fact that it shows One Piece’s Straw Hats reunited after so long apart gives this opening a lot of added emotional weight.
9 Opening 18: Hard Knock Days
“Hard Knock Days” is the OP for the second half of Dressrosa, and it spends a fair amount of time directly referencing events and characters from that arc. But it also spends time showing the Straw Hats in much more casual situations like shopping or listening to Usopp and Brook singing on the Thousand Sunny. These glimpses into the lives of the Straw Hats provide some great minor details like Usopp preventing Zoro from getting lost that show the amount of care that went into this OP. Combining this with an iconic shot of the Straw Hats standing in the smoking wreckage of a naval base easily makes this OP one of One Piece’s most fun.
8 Opening 22: Over the Top
“Over the Top” is the first opening to show off Wano’s distinctive animation style and as such, it is a visual treat. It also shows off the new designs of all the Straw Hats in this arc as Luffy rides by on Komachiyo. The opening also gives hints at the other major characters in Wano, putting a particular emphasis on Kaido who serves as the arc’s ultimate villain. Luffy and Kaido also have an awesome fight in the OP that foreshadows their fight in the arc itself. But perhaps the best part of the OP is the beginning where Luffy strains against the chains imprisoning him, showing the fight for freedom that he has enacted throughout the anime.
7 Opening 11: Share the World
“Share the World” is the opening that covers parts of the Sabaody, Amazon Lily, and Impel Down arcs, but despite how dark those arcs can be, the OP itself is actually pretty uplifting. Of course, it does still heavily feature the major threats and characters in the arcs it covers, like Kuma and the Supernovas, but it doesn’t let that mire it down. Like many of the other openings on this list, it shows the crew having fun unrelated misadventures, including a hilarious gag where Luffy falls into the ocean only for Brook and Chopper to try rescuing him. Moments like this prove that the friendship between the Straw Hats can bring light to even the darkest of arcs.
6 Opening 8: Crazy Rainbow
“Crazy Rainbow” is One Piece’s 8th OP, taking place in the highly regarded Water 7 arc. However, what makes this opening so great is that it barely touches on the events of that arc, instead focusing on showing the Straw Hats hanging out together, doing things like playing on a beach and shopping. While in other anime this may be seen as a negative, here it is a reminder of how much fun the Straw Hats can be. After all, the beating heart of the series isn’t the action-packed fights or epic moments. Instead, it is the found family that One Piece’s Straw Hats form, and OP 8 is the best reminder of this.
5 Opening 24: PAINT
“PAINT” is One Piece’s latest OP and is easily its most soulful. It serves well to highlight the emotional stakes of the arc, showing the devastation Kaido will wreak on the people of Wano and the damage he has already done even to his own family. It also serves to show the various powerful influences involved, with Luffy representing pirates like Rocks, Roger, and Shanks fighting against both the Yonko and the World Government. Just like OP 22, its animation style is beautiful, which also makes it a visual feast. Moments like Luffy reaching for his hat underwater or swords falling from the sky are breathtaking and easily earn this OP a spot on this list.
4 Opening 13: One Day
“One day” is the only OP on this list that doesn’t feature the Straw Hats interacting with each other, since they were apart in the Marineford arc it covers. The opening instead spends its time showcasing the myriad of characters participating in the Summit War. In another series, this sort of display might be boring, but in One Piece, where every character has been fleshed out, it becomes a testament to how epic the Marineford arc truly is. The OP also highlights Luffy and Ace’s relationship through brief flashbacks. Ace’s death at the end of Marineford thus gives this OP even more emotional weight, making it both epic and tragic.
3 Opening 4: Bon Voyage
“Bon Voyage” is another opening that doesn’t actually relate to the events of the arcs it covers. But it makes up for this by highlighting how great the crew are together. The photos of the Straw Hats hanging at the beach at the beginning are really fun and the way they all appear walking together shortly after highlights how the crew has grown. But right after these uplifting moments the OP gives its viewers a gut punch by highlighting the harrowing backstories of all One Piece’s Straw Hats. The fact that they are still able to come together and have fun after that is a testament to their great resiliency and shows what makes the Straw Hats so great.
2 Opening 14: Fight Together
“Fight Together” takes place at an unusual point in the series. Luffy is still trying to deal with Ace’s death and the various Straw Hats are scattered. The OP highlights this, showing how the Straw Hats are trying to improve themselves in their time apart, which is nice to see. But the true strength in this opening is when it shows how each Straw Hat joined the crew and the impact that One Piece’s Luffy has had on each of their lives. This is a gauntlet of tear-jerking moments that show how even when the crew is apart, they will always be together due to the great influence they have had on each other. It makes OP 14 easily the show’s most emotional.
1 Opening 1: We Are
“We Are” is one of the most iconic OPs in both One Piece and anime in general. It perfectly captures the joy of adventure that One Piece’s early episodes celebrated. It also highlights the original East Blue crew members and their unique fighting techniques. The opening has become so iconic that One Piece itself has repurposed it many times to show how far One Piece’s Straw Hats have come on their journey, with the thousandth episode even inserting the newer crew members and villains. No matter how far the series goes and how big the Straw Hats get, the first opening will always serve as a nostalgic reminder to the core spirit of the series and for that reason it is One Piece’s best OP.
Even as One Piece’s manga enters its final saga, the anime shows no signs of stopping any time soon, meaning that there will likely be many more awesome openings to come. It remains to be seen if they will be able to surpass these older openings. However, if they emulate the strengths of these past OPs, then they are sure to provide One Piece fans with more great Straw Hat moments and stunning animation.
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