The One Piece Premier Show (jap. ワンピース・プレミアショー, Wanpīsu puremiashō) is a performance presented at Universal Studios Japan, in the Water World ™ themed area, based on the story of One Piece. It premiered on July 22, 2007, and has been performed annually since 2010, with the exception of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The story is mostly based on the current state of the manga, but tells stand-alone stories, similar to filler episodes.
New characters are created, usually as antagonists and their subordinates. The show features stunts, 3D projections, and pyrotechnics, as well as vocal performances and audience interaction, and usually lasts over an hour, usually around 75 minutes. In addition to the Premier Show, other One Piece-related events, such as One Piece rallies, are always held at the park during the performance period.
In addition, One Piece-related merchandise stalls are set up and Sanji’s Pirate Restaurant opens. Sometimes, voice actors of the Straw Hat Pirates are also on site after the show and available for photos, though their appearance is not announced in advance. The original voice actors are also used for the premier show.
One Piece Premier Show 2007
The first One Piece Premier Show premiered on July 22, 2007. The setting is the water fortress Atoll, which has been taken over by the antagonist Deacon and his men. They are on the lookout for a treasure that is said to be located below Atoll. Buggy and his band of pirates are also on the scene and come across information about the treasure. It soon turns out that the Straw Hat Pirates had accidentally come into possession of the treasure.
It is a necklace that the Straw Hats brought on board as a “by-catch” while fishing. To get the treasure, Deacon and his men team up with Buggy’s band of pirates, but Deacon, after the Straw Hats defeat Buggy, catches sight of the necklace in Nami’s hands and reveals its history.
The necklace once belonged to his mother and has immense value to him because his home sank into the sea, after which Atoll was built over the sunken city. Touched by the story, Nami then presents the necklace to Deacon, however, the buggy balls he shot into the air before his defeat then explode, destroying Atoll. Deacon is also caught in the explosion and sinks into the sea with his mother’s necklace in his hand.
One Piece Premier Show 2010
After not having a One Piece Premier show in 2008 and 2009, the second show was not performed until 2010, during the period from July 17 to August 31. The main plot location is the Sabaody Archipelago or the Human Auctioning House. Disko, at the behest of Donquixote Doflamingo, manages to capture the pirate empress Boa Hancock herself with his subordinates by telling her that Monkey D. Luffy would be waiting for her. In the process, other Kuja pirates are also kidnapped, but Marguerite manages to escape. While Disko then plans to auction Boa Hancock off as a slave in a special event, inviting World Nobles Charlos and Shalria as well, Marguerite seeks out the Straw Hat Pirates and asks them for help. Her attempted rescue, however, is thwarted by the appearance of Donquixote Doflamingo himself, whom the crew is no match for. Brook, however, is able to sneak away and infiltrate the auction in the disguise of a subordinate of Disco. He manages to free Boa Hancock, who escapes, but is himself captured for doing so. Doflamingo then offers Luffy Brook in exchange for the pirate empress, but the Straw Hat captain does not take him up on it. When the situation seems hopeless and Luffy’s colleagues, under Flamingo’s control, attack their captain, Ace appears and frees them from Flamingo’s control, whereupon they all escape together, with Brook and Hancock.
One Piece Premier Show 2011
The One Piece Premier Show in 2011 was performed during the period from July 16 to September 4, 2011. This year also saw replicas of Whitebeard and Ace’s graves displayed in the park, and the opening of Sanji’s Pirate Restaurant, which sells One Piece-related food and caters to guests personally hosted by Sanji, as well as alternating between other characters for entertainment.
The show itself takes place on an unknown island where a party is supposed to take place. There the Straw Hats meet Emporio Ivankov and Boa Hancock with their Kuja pirate gang, however the navy is also stationed on site and the promised party turns out to be a trap set for them by the World Nobles. So Enel and Arlong and Spandam show up shortly after, the latter two managing to kidnap Nami and Robin, leaving the rest of the Straw Hats to chase after them.
In the process, they walk right into the trap of Charlos and Shalria, who, with Enel’s help, are able to capture Luffy and cuff him with sea stones. But Bentham is also on the scene and is able to save the Straw Hats using his devil powers. However, after they are able to defeat Spandam and Arlong in their escape, the three admirals Akainu, Aokiji, and Kizaru appear to stand in their way. Once again, it is Bentham who saves his friends’ lives by posing as a marine and responding to the condition of the world aristocrat Charlos, whereupon the three admirals immediately rush to him.
Now only Enel prevents the Straw Hats from escaping, but with a giant gum-gum-giant pistol, Luffy is able to defeat him as well.
One Piece Premier Show 2012
The One Piece Premier Show in 2012 was performed during the period from July 7 to September 9, 2012. For this show, Eiichiro Oda specially created the antagonist Chameleone. It is the first show that takes place after the time jump in terms of content, which is why the straw hat pirates were also visually adapted.
The main plot of this show is the island of Samba, which was once under Whitebeard’s control, but is now controlled by Chameleone after his demise. When residents see the Fake Straw Hat Pirates being captured by the Navy led by Sentomaru, they talk about the annual Samba Festival, which they are very excited about. Shortly after, the Straw Hat Pirates show up on Samba to stock up on supplies and Luffy has a conversation with Rio, a resident of the island, who asks him to free the island from Chameleone’s control. Her brother had already tried to do so, but Chameleone gets backing from Admiral Kizaru. Chameleone, on the other hand, had eaten of a devil’s power, giving him the ability to copy anything, even abilities from other people. Thus, he impersonates Luffy and infiltrates the Thousand Sunny to steal the Straw Hats’ flag. He manages to take out Nami and Usopp, but Brook and Chopper also return to the ship shortly after. Since Chameleone is allergic to animals, he is unable to maintain his transformation in Chopper’s presence and transforms back, blowing his cover. The two now fight, with Luffy seemingly outmatched at first, but receiving unexpected help from Marco. Marco has gone in search of Chameleone, who was once a member of the Whitebeard pirate gang, but merely infiltrated it. Marco and Luffy now fight together against Chameleone, who among other things also copies the appearance and abilities of Ace, but can finally be defeated. In the process, Chopper was once again a great help, taking advantage of his allergy. After the victory, Samba Island is finally liberated again.
One Piece Premier Show 2013
The One Piece Premier Show in 2013 was staged during the period from July 5 to September 8, 2013. In addition to the Premier Show, other activities also took place in the “One Piece Area”, such as the “Pirate Elimination Operation” with Koby, Tashigi and Smoker in the “Amity Village” area.
The main plot location for the 2013 Premier Show is Paradise Island in the New World. The Straw Hat Pirates, accompanied by Kinemon and Momonosuke, encounter a naval unit led by Smoker on this island. However, Homey, a young entertainer, is also in the Navy and stops a fight. Instead, she introduces a dance and fight contest with prize money waiting for the winner. Homey herself, however, is forced by the festival’s organizer, Lambor Bukini, to procure strong contestants for him, as he is holding her parents and other residents captive and making them work for him. The sole purpose of the contest is to capture strong pirates and make them his slaves. Law, who is also there, finds out that Donquixote Doflamingo is also involved in the machinations on Paradise Island. So Law interrupts the contest, with Caribou and his brother Coribou also working for Lambor Bukini. After the Straw Hat Pirates learn of Bukini’s true intentions, Luffy angrily destroys the weapons factory where Homey’s parents, among others, are forced to work, and challenges Lambor Bukini to a fight. Although Jinbe also rushes to the rescue of the Straw Hats, the samurai of the seas Donquixote Doflamingo himself appears and brings everyone under his control with his devilish powers. Only the appearance of former Navy Admiral Kuzan, who ices the entire area, can free the Straw Hats from their predicament. Avoiding a fight with Kuzan, Doflamingo takes flight and Caribou and Coribou are also quickly defeated. Finally, only Lambor Bukini is left, whom Luffy is able to defeat with a Gomu Gomu no Red Hawk and free the island and its inhabitants.
One Piece Premier Show 2014
For the 5th anniversary of the One Piece Premier Show (not counting 2007), the “One Piece Premier Year” was held, with a special event held in the spring in addition to the show in the summer. A fan vote was held to see which show from previous years people thought was the best, with the 2010 show being chosen by a large margin. This was then revised, which means that the events now take place after the time jump. This was held from March 8 to May 11. The “One Piece Water Battle” also took place for the first time, allowing visitors to engage in a water battle with One Piece characters and the Navy.
The second and new premier show in 2014 was performed from July 4 to September 30, 2014. The setting is the island of Madatascar in the New World. The island is under control of the DX Navy, led by Smash and Bildy, who subjugate the inhabitants. Smash is also subordinate to seven generals, some of Luffy’s former enemies, including Crocodile, Rob Lucci, and Buggy, but Eustass Kid and Boa Hancock also seem to belong to them. Once on the island, the Straw Hats get into a brief fight with some of the aforementioned generals and manage to escape. Luffy then meets young Flora, the daughter of fireworks master Volg, who tells him that the DX Navy has banned all fireworks on the island, which is why the usually annual fireworks festival cannot take place. On the way to Smash, Luffy is confronted by Law, who also appears to be under the command of the DX Navy, but it turns out that Bildy can turn people into other people like play-doh using his devil powers, the Plasticine Fruit. Thus, each Straw Hat member faces an enemy, while Luffy is able to defeat Smash with a Gomu Gomu no Grizzly Magnum.
One Piece Premier Show 2015
The One Piece Premier Show in 2015 was held from July 3 to September 6, 2015, and for the first time, S3D projection mapping technology was used, so 3D glasses were distributed to visitors. Furthermore, Dadan’s mountain pirate restaurant opened for the event period in addition to Sanji’s pirate restaurant.
The show begins with a brief recap of the events on Dress Rosa. A few days after their departure, the Straw Hat Pirates are surprisingly attacked in the waters of the New World by an organization called Bürst Lab, led by Bürst. These plan to kidnap Nami, which they succeed in doing, whereupon they retreat to the island of Marriage Greenland. There, Bürst wants to marry Nami, who agrees to this as Bürst’s brother manipulates her with his devil powers. His devil powers allow him to force love on any living creature, causing Nami to love Bürst. The Straw Hats then try to save Nami, but they initially retreat after Nami makes it clear to them that she wants to stay there. Shortly after, Bartolomeo, who had been following the Straw Hats since Dress Rosa, appears and together they infiltrate the wedding between Bürst and Nami. Cavendish, Jeet and Abdullah also come to the Straw Hats’ aid as a result. A battle ensues against Bürst, who showcases his devilish powers. He can create explosive nitroglycerin. Eventually, Sabo and Koala also appear and together with his blood brother, Luffy defeats Bürst. Afterwards, there is a flashback to the past of the three blood brothers Luffy, Sabo and Ace.
One Piece Premier Show 2016
The One Piece Premier Show in 2016 was set between July 1 and October 2, 2016. The plot takes place after the events on Dress Rosa, however the Straw Hat Pirates is complete. Instead of Zou, however, it takes the pirates to Promise Land, an island ruled by Vice Admiral and Devil Fruit user Wilder. He forces the young cadet Pokke, who is able to create clones of himself or others by eating a devil fruit, to help him capture the Straw Hat Pirates by holding his father hostage. Thus, once on the island, some former enemies like Gecko Moria or Fujitora directly stand in their way. Together they actually manage to capture the Straw Hats, but Wilder breaks his promise to Pokke and doesn’t release his father, even though promises have a high value on Promise Land. The ensuing onslaught of trannies allows the Straw Hats to escape for the time being, and eventually Law and several captains of the Straw Hat Grand Fleet appear, apparently defeating Wilder. In desperation, however, the Vice Admiral unleashes his most powerful attack, which threatens to sink the island. Pokke now stands up for the pirates and saves them with a clone of the The Going Merry, buying Luffy enough time to recharge his Haki. Again in Gear 4, Luffy is finally able to defeat Wilder and free the island from his tyranny.
One Piece Premier Show 2017
The One Piece Premier Show in 2017 was performed during the period from June 30 to October 1, 2017. To coincide with the 10th anniversary of the first One Piece Premier Show in 2007, the “One Piece × Universal Studios Japan: One Piece Premier Show 10th History Book” went on sale.
After a brief flashback to Marine Ford’s summit battle and the retaliatory war between the Whitebeard and Blackbeard pirate gangs that takes place a year later, in which a member of Ace’s second division named Hakuto stands out and Blackbeard receives support from the BIG pirate gang, there is a time jump to the present. The Straw Hats use a coup de burst to escape from the Navy and end up in the waters off Tomoshibi Island. Naturally, Luffy immediately dashes off on his own and explores the island, meeting Hakuto and helping him fight other pirates. When the rest of the Straw Hats show up, Hakuto realizes who he’s dealing with and explains that he once served under Ace in the Whitebeard pirate gang. At a feast afterwards, Hakuto recounts how Ace once helped him and the island, after which Hakuto joined the Whitebeard gang. However, the festivities are interrupted by the BIG pirates, who can be chased away for the time being, but attack again a short time later with the support of Germa 66. Eventually, sporadic fighting ensues, with Luffy fighting the leader Bad One Gracie, who has been eating from the Shooting Fruit. Luffy wins and a celebration is held once again. Jesus Burgess is also on hand to inform his captain of the defeat, while the Germa 66 leaves again for Whole Cake Island, and Sabo and Koala appear to get an idea of what happened on Tomoshibi.
One Piece Premier Show 2018
One Piece Premier Show in 2018 was performed during the period of July 6 to September 30, 2018. In terms of content, the story takes place during the Levely Arc and focuses on the bond between the Straw Hat Pirates and Vivi.
After a brief flashback to the events in Arabasta two years ago, the plot jumps to the departure of the Arabasta delegation to Mary Geoise for the Levely. However, the Bounties pirate gang, led by their captains Bounty and Prize, plan to assassinate all the regents attending in order to receive the highest bounties ever. To do this, they plan to use Caesar Clown’s poison gas, but he has been kidnapped by Igaram Jr, a spitting image of Igaram. Igaram Jr. seeks out the Straw Hats with Caesar in tow, but fights soon break out between the Bounties pirates, who want to kidnap Caesar, and the Straw Hats. When Buggy’s pirate delegation company also interferes, the enemy pirates are actually able to kidnap Caesar and escape. The Straw Hats then ask Duval for help and give chase.
Meanwhile, panic breaks out in Mary Geoise when they learn about the Bounties pirates’ plan, but Vivi is able to calm them down for the time being with the help of Koala and Sabo.
Back on the open sea, the Straw Hats have now caught up with the Bounties pirate gang, though Crocodile and Daz Bonez also interfere, also interested in Caesar’s poison gas. After numerous battles, the Straw Hats find themselves victorious, but Prize reveals his devil powers, which allow him to send objects to targets within his sight, which he plans to demonstrate with a poison gas bomb that he delivers towards the Regents’ evacuation ship. It is now up to Luffy to defeat his opponent quickly enough, which would cancel out his powers and save the Regents. At the last minute, he finally succeeds in his Gear 4: Boundman form. The Straw Hats and Vivi catch sight of each other from a distance and raise their left arm in a sign of their bond.
One Piece Premier Show 2019
The One Piece Premier Show in 2019 was staged during the period from June 26 to September 29, 2019. The show is related to the movie One Piece – Stampede, which was released the same year, and tells a backstory. As the Straw Hat Pirates are on their way to the Pirates Festival on Delta, they are attacked by Naval Officer Balzac. The latter wants to eliminate the Straw Hats on Maze Island, and makes use of Impel Down prisoners, which include characters from previous Premier shows, such as Chameleone and Brush, as well as other prisoners, such as Lao G and Diamante. Bentham, on the other hand, has come to the island in support of the Straw Hat Pirates, though Magellan, Hannyabal, and Kizaru are also interested in Balzac’s scheme. Much fighting ensues between pirates, Impel Down inmates, as well as the navy, with Luffy facing off against Balzac, the leader, while all the other Straw Hats also get opponents of their own. Using a gum-gum King Kong gun, Luffy is eventually able to win and the Straw Hats plan to leave the island with Bentham, however Kizaru appears to prevent this. When things get dicey again, Sabo appears and together with the Straw Hat Captain, they are able to force Kizaru to retreat. The Straw Hats now make their way to the Pirates Festival, but Bentham says goodbye to them, as he cannot leave his comrades behind in level 5.5, whereupon they part ways again.
One Piece Premier Show 2021
The One Piece Premier Show in 2021 was set to run from August 6 to October 31, 2021. It told a divergent story of the events on Wano Country, which had already been scheduled for the 2020 Premier Show from July 3 to September 27, but had to be postponed due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.
As the Straw Hat Pirates and their allies infiltrate Wano Country, a former officer of the Donquixote Pirates named Kardia appears, seeking revenge on Luffy and his friends for the defeat of Donquixote Doflamingo on Dress Rosa. With the help of his two subordinates, Heart and Cuore, and his devilish powers to reproduce the appearance of the deceased, he puts Luffy and company in a tough spot.
One Piece Premier Show 2022
The One Piece Premier Show in 2022 is scheduled to run from July 1 to October 2, 2022. In celebration of the 15th anniversary since the first performance in 2007, the roller coaster Hollywood Dream – The Ride at Universal Studios Japan will be called “One Piece x Hollywood Dream the Ride-Downhill! Mini Merry No. 2 ~” to become an attraction for all One Piece fans. The roller coaster ride will be themed around the next One Piece movie, One Piece Film Red.
The Straw Hat Pirates are heading for the island of Elegia. An island where the hottest open-air concerts take place. While their enemies are already hot on their heels in the form of Udy, the leader of the “Ageage Super-Marine”, the Straw Hats meet two boys on the island of music who made a promise to each other in their childhood days. However, their views seem to diverge in the battle between the Straw Hats and Udy. So a battle of promise and conviction is in store for more than just the Straw Hats.
- In 2014, the show received the internationally recognized “IAAPA Brass Ring Award” for Best Overall Production.