Celebrate the 25th anniversary of a legendary anime song with a single take YouTube video
Twenty-five years ago the Japanese airwaves were graced with arguably one of the best anime series ever made: One Piece. However, it wasn’t just the story that captivated audiences on a fateful Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. The opening theme song “We Are!” by Hiroshi Kitadani played an integral role in solidifying the series in the minds of many. In fact, one could argue “We Are!” is the only theme song the series ever needed—in the same way “CHA-LA HEAD-CHA-LA” is the theme for Dragon Ball Z. Now, 25 years after the original release of “We Are!,” Kitadani was invited to the YouTube channel The First Take to perform his song in one take. And it’s glorious.
The video opens with Kitadani placing headphones on and after composing himself screams, “Boys! We’re setting sail!” as the opening riff begins. The performance itself is one to witness as Kitadani really gets into the song and is expressive throughout. What makes the performance so exhilarating isn’t the nostalgia for the song (I mean, you can just see the animation in your head as he sings), but rather seeing what can only be described as a live studio rendition of “We Are!”
The First Take YouTube channel was started in 2019 and invites musicians to perform their songs in one take. While there are different camera angles utilized in many of the videos, they are meant to show a dynamic performance instead of one continuous front shot. Other notable talents to appear on The First Take are Shoko Nakagawa performing “Sorairo Days,” MAN WITH A MISSION preforming “Raise Your Flag,” and Rica Matsumoto performing “Mezase Pokémon Master,” among many others.
The performance of “We Are!” by Kitadani on The First Take is a great way to bring in the 25th anniversary year of One Piece. Hopefully we’ll see some more One Piece songs on The First Take throughout the year considering there are some bangers for both opening and ending theme songs. For the time being, we’ll have to rock out to “We Are!”
Sources: The First Take Twitter’s account and YouTube channel (link 2, link 3, link 4), Comic Natalie