"We Are!" is the name of the first One Piece opening. Although it is the one that was used for the most early episodes, it is used frequently for Special Episodes. It was also heard at the beginning of the first movie. It was originally sung by Hiroshi Kitadani. For the 7th opening, an alternate version sung by the Straw Hat Pirates was used. A remix was produced for the 10th anime opening by the South Korean boy group Tohoshinki (Dong Bang Shin Ki), who also sang the 17th ending song Asu wa Kuru Kara and the 11th opening song, "Share the World", in order to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the One Piece anime. Another remix was used at the end of Episode 516 of One Piece right before the time-skip in Episode 517. The most recent rendition of the song was in Episode of East Blue, which retold the events of the East Blue Saga. Due to its extensive use until the events after the time-skip, it can be considered to be the main theme of the first half of One Piece.
The narrator - in a straightforward adaptation of Chapter 1's first page - introduces Gold Roger, a pirate who had won boundless "Wealth, Fame and Power" before his capture and execution. With his last words, he had promised the same to anyone who could find his treasure.
A ship is seen unfurling its Jolly Roger sail, then another, then another, until the sea is dotted with pirate ships. Excitedly, the narrator states that the world has entered the "Great Age of Pirates."
The camera cuts to Luffy, sprinting up a hill and leaping in excitement, followed by quick flashes of his crewmates: Zoro glaring, Nami waving, Usopp posing, and Sanji dragging on a cigarette. Luffy then shows off his abilities, stretching one arm onto the Going Merry and rocketing the rest of himself onboard.
As Luffy he closes in on the camera, the opening smash-cuts to the One Piece logo.
The Going Merry is then shown amidst a rough sea, surrounded by massive Sea Kings on all sides. A close-up of the ship's bow shows all of the Straw Hats grinning and unafraid, Luffy even hanging upside-down from the figurehead. The Merry is then depicted from a super-deformed perspective, a stretching little caricature "sailing" the world map.
Next, the Merry comes under attack by enemy pirates, and the Straw Hats demonstrate their fighting skills: Zoro fends off a horde of men with his Santoryu, Sanji defeats another horde with an upside-down spin kick, Usopp uses his Egg Star to stun a man, and Nami finishes the man off with her staff. Finally, Luffy - in an adaptation of Chapter 1's last pages - throws his signature Gomu Gomu no Pistol at the Lord of the Coast.
In-between flashes of upcoming figures - Buggy, Kuro, Don Krieg, Arlong, Alvida, Smoker, and Dragon - Luffy lands back aboard the Merry, standing tall with all his crewmates. Then, as their Jolly Roger proudly flies overhead, Luffy begins spinning his beloved his straw hat on his finger, the camera zooming in on it until Shanks suddenly emerges, Lucky Roux, Yasopp and Benn Beckman following in his wake.
The opening concludes with two more shots of the smiling Straw Hats - Luffy, Nami and Zoro in the first, Usopp and Sanji in the second - and a rear shot of the Going Merry and a seagull flying past. Finally, the title screen shows.
Shots of the Grand Line ocean before cutting to the sails of the Thousand Sunny. A few birds fly along side it until one zooms into the camera. When it clears, we see they're flying by Luffy, who has his back turned to us and standing on the front of the ship. The One Piece title crops around him and then turns solid. It then goes back to Luffy as the camera swings around in front of him, showing the other Straw Hats behind him. He lifts his hat up and smiles before the real main title logo comes up. Next, Luffy, wearing a different outfit, is walking on a beach with the Thousand Sunny in the background. One by one, the other Straw Hats fade in as well, walking along with him. Luffy then takes off running with the others following suit, nearly leaving Usopp behind and running to catch up.
Cut to the crew running while previous characters, friends and allies of theirs are shown in the background (Surprisingly Foxy and his crew are considered as such as well. Possibly because they had only two allies in the Davy Back Fight Arc.). Next, cutting to shots of the major villains they've faced in order of their appearance (Buggy and Alvida, Kuro and Jango, Don Krieg, Arlong, Wapol, Crocodile, Enel, and Rob Lucci). It then goes back to the Straw Hats running as the camera closes in on each one of them in the order in which they joined. The next shot is from the final moments in Alabasta when the Straw Hats bid Vivi a silent farewell with their friendship marks displayed. Vivi and Karoo tearfully do the same before the scene zooms out, showing the Going Merry as it sails into the sunset. Back to the Thousand Sunny, it sails the sea then blasts off into the air with a Coup De Burst.
Next, Oars rises from a stone wall while Luffy is going Gear Second as he readies to face him with the other Straw Hats looking on, along with a individual shot of Brook. More character pan shots include the Marine characters, the World Government, Doflamingo, Kuma, and Mihawk. Then Ace and Blackbeard as they face off, then Dragon, Whitebeard and Gold Roger, and lastly the Red Haired Pirates with Shanks overlooking the ocean. Finally we go back to Luffy then a final zoom out of the Straw Hats as they continue running before the One Piece title ends the opening.
This song does not have a specific animation, being used as ending for the Episode of Nami, while was being showed the last scenes, as Nojiko giving her bangle to Nami, the Straw Hat Pirates sailing from Cocoyashi village and Nami stealing the wallets of all of its inhabitants. The song was also used in Episode 516.
A version of this song was produced with members of the Straw Hats singing the lyrics. During episodes 279-283, this song was used to replace the original "We are!" version produced for the first introduction, during the Enies Lobby arcs recap episodes. The TV version ends as did the original, On the first line of "WE ARE, WE ARE ON THE CRUISE! WE ARE!". Originally two versions of this song were released, the first with 6 members and the second with 7 upon the recruitment of Nico Robin. The nine member version of this song was released after Brook joined.
This song is featured in the opening cinematic of the Grand Battle! video game, a tradition that would continue with all three sequels of Grand Battle!. However, the first and third sequels featured an alternative set of lyrics.
Originally aired at the promotional showing of One Piece for America, this version was one of the many theme song demos 4Kids produced for the show at the time. This version was sung by Russ Velasquez. The song's appearance in the convention led to many English speaking fans becoming excited over seeing the series. After 4Kids gained the rights to the series, this introduction was dropped in favor of the One Piece Rap.
Now it's time to set sail for a mystery
Don't know where we will go or what we're gonna see
Gotta find a crew, and then I'll work 'em to the bone
There's just no time to rest, it's all mine, and mine alone
I've always believed this is my destiny
To be the greatest pirate the world has ever seen!
If you're not by my side, then you'd better run and hide
We'll defend 'til the end, all of our friends
On that you can depend!
Now it's time to set sail for a mystery
Don't know where we will go or what we're gonna see
We will never give up the ship or the hunt
One hope, one dream, one day...
In the edited TV version of episode 152, "We Are!" played as the Straw Hats sailed the Knock Up Stream. In the FUNimation dub Jerry Jewel sung a new version of We Are. While this is an official English We Are, it is a rushed last minute version and a revised version was released when the DVDs came out. The official DVD version is sung by Vic Mignogna. The TV version is now used as an insert song in the uncut DVD sets.
We Are! Straw Hat version is the last 1:50 run time opening.
At 5 episodes, this version has also lasted shorter than any other thus far.
This version is also the first opening to not include the song's lyrics.
Scenes of the remix opening were reanimated on later episodes. Various details in characters faces are different; the various characters on the background where early blue and later are colored, when Oars appears the screen is shaking, and when Luffy is using Gear Second his character is redrawn with his hat in another position.
An instrumental version of this song is used as background music for each episode preview for the first half of the series, before being substituted by We Go! instrumentals for previews of Episode 518 and onwards.
In the Odex version, the song is exactly the same as the Japanese version. However, the narration at the beginning was translated.
This song was part of the 27th single released by Tohoshinki. The single contained Share the World!, We Are!, and Asu wa Kuru Kara, and was called the "One Piece single" because all three songs at some point have been used as a theme song for One Piece (the latter of which was used as an ending). The single debuted atop the Oricon charts for selling 58,952 units during the day of its release.
While this was the first Japanese song to receive an English version, the third opening was actually the first to be aired alongside an English dub.
In Chapter 339 of the manga Gantz, a group of people who were being abducted by aliens sang the first verse of the One Piece theme song, to keep their spirits up.
The original opening was featured in Shonen Jump’s 45 Year Anime Opening Collection DVD.
In Episode 10 of Kiss Him, Not Me, the main character, Kae Serinuma, directly quotes the opening lines of 'We Are!' during a treasure hunt. In the episode's English dub, she misquotes the Funimation dub version of the song by asking her friends, 'Are you ready for adventure? Well, come aboard and bring along your hopes and dreams!'