"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. The most recent rendition of the song was at the end of episode 516 of One Piece right before the timeskip in episode 517. Due to its extensive use until this point, it can be considered to be the main theme of the first half of One Piece.
The narrator introduces Gold Roger, describing his "Wealth, Fame and Power" before telling of his execution and his final words in a manner identical to the original version. A pirate ship's sail is unfurled, bearing the Jolly Roger, and many ships are shown preparing their sails and sailing towards the horizon. The narrator states that the world has entered the "Great Age of Pirates".
Luffy is shown running up a hill, and he jumps of the cliff at the top. Flashes of the rest of the crew are shown; Zoro with a stern look, Nami waving, Usopp with arms folded, and Sanji with a cigarette. Luffy then stretches his arm behind him, before shooting it towards the Going Merry, he grabs the top of the mast and pulls himself towards it. As he closes in on the camera, the One Piece series logo is shown over an old map.
The Going Merry is shown sailing over rough seas, with gigantic Sea Kings all around it. Then it shows the front of the ship, with Nami, Zoro, Usopp and Sanji standing at the bow, and Luffy hanging upside-down off the figurehead. Luffy grins and looks at the Sea Kings. Then the Merry is shown sailing over a map, leaping off the water into the air.
Zoro is then shown using Santoryu against multiple enemies, defeating them all. Sanji does a twirling kick also beating multiple enemies. Usopp shoots an egg at an enemy's face, who is then whacked over the top of his head by Nami. Another Sea King appears to attack, but Luffy punches it and defeats it. Flashes are then shown of Buggy, Kuro and Don Krieg.
Next Luffy is shown landing on the deck, in front of the other crew members. He stands up and grins, and flashes are shown of Arlong, Alvida, Smoker and Dragon. The Straw Hat's Jolly Roger is shown blowing in the wind. Luffy then spins his straw hat on his finger, and the camera zooms in on the hat. It then zooms out again to reveal the hat is being worn by Shanks, who turns around and is followed by his crew: Lucky Roo, Yasopp and Benn Beckman.
Finally, Luffy, Nami and Zoro smile up at the camera, Usopp and Sanji look on also smiling, and the Going Merry sails off. A seagull flies past, and 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 Carue 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 portfolios of all of the 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.
Originally aired at the promotional showing of One Piece for America, the origins of this version are unclear. 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 good 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 on our 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.
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.
Pandaman makes a cameo in this opening. He is seen running with a sword along with the rest of the enemy pirates on the right side of the screen just as Zoro begins to use his sword attack.
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.
Don Krieg's appearance in the first version of this opening was drawn with long hair, rather than his short hair as he appears in the series. The image used was used directly from his wanted poster as opposed to his current appearance.
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.
Interestingly, Smoker's cigars were not edited in the 4kids version. Within the actual episodes, however, they were edited.
During his appearance in this opening, Smoker's hair retained the manga color white, instead of the grey anime color.
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.
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 Arlong's shot, the writing on Arlong Park says "Arlone" instead of Arlong.
The original opening was featured in Shônen Jump’s 45 Year Anime Opening Collection DVD.