The first episode of an anime is arguably the second most important episode of the entire series only behind the very last episode of the series. That first episode is when you meet the characters, world and concept for the first time. Then you ask yourself; should I invest my time into watching the entire series? Even if you don’t truly ask yourself that question, subconsciously you are making a decision if this is going to be a journey your willing to take in this world; with these people. The first episode has a responsibility to set the stage of greater things to come and to hopefully capture the viewer’s attention. The episodes that directly follow that entry point has to keep the pace going in order to keep the audience’s interest. So with that in mind we are going to look at a few Japanese animated series and determine how well the first five episodes did in terms of initiating that interest.
Keep in mind that this is the writer’s opinion on the first five episodes of the anime series in question. We aren’t trying to condemn an entire series based on the first five episodes, but just looking how good of a job the five episodes have done to establish and represent the series itself. We will also keep everything spoiler free. Enjoy.
Attack on Titan
Genre: Action, Drama, Fantasy
Attack on Titan has the potential to end up being something truly spectacular. I haven’t seen such a beautifully crafted opening episode in a very long time. As a person who personally reads the manga based on this show, I can say that the first episode set the tone for the entire series. The first episode of Attack on Titan is brutal, depressing and strangely beautiful; perfectly encapsulating what this show is all about.
Granted the next few episodes were a bit calmer than the opening, but for good reason. The second, third and fourth episodes focused on giving the characters some heart and personality. These three episodes are showing the viewer that this show isn’t just another action show. An element of humanity’s true nature to fight and perceiver; to struggle for survival at all costs is sprinkled throughout. Then the fifth episode revved back up, showing some amazing action, with jaw dropping events seeming to happen every three minutes. Attack on Titan might just be the next big anime that can be looked at as one of the best of all time.
Rating: 4.75 Out of 5
Genre: Comedy, Romance, School Life
Not only did Kokoro Connect establish the purpose and concept of the show, it told a complete story in the span of five episodes. If a person watches only the first five episodes and nothing after that, they can experience a complete and unique story. Kokoro Connect didn’t use basic storytelling mechanics that have become common over the years. It separates itself my doing something different, and in my opinion they succeeded. The story of Kokoro Connect is both touching and heartbreaking, and the first five episodes is nearly a masterpiece.
Rating: 4.5 Out of 5
Genre: Sports, School-Life, Bishounen
Going into this anime, I didn’t know what to expect besides the fact that it was about swimming. However, I have watched a couple of sports based anime before such as “Kuroko no Baske” and Haijime No Ippo.” So I know what makes a good sports anime: humor and a character to root for. Also, I wasn’t familiar with the “Bishounen” genre before… and sadly I am now (look it up…don’t use Google images fellas). As a guy, I can’t watch this anime, but not because of the half naked animated men flexing on the screen, it’s because no character stands out enough for me to root for. If you watch a lot of anime, you’ve seen these character traits before. The quiet but determined main character, the small and cutesy character, the best friend turned rival antagonist and the smart but extremely weird guy/girl. All of the stereotypes are present without any endearing qualities to make up for it. A few funny moments were there but not enough to keep me interested further than the five episodes that I watched. No doubt this show will have a few hundred fan-girls that’ll love it, but not this guy.
Rating: 2 out of 5