Some while back, there was a meme going around on Twitter where folks were listing off their top ten anime episodes. I decided to make a full entry here at the Lounge instead, and somewhere along the line it morphed from favorite episodes into mostly favorite scenes. So it goes I guess, once you start writing you never know where the Muse will lead you.
Anyhow, hit the jump and take a look. Let me know what your favorite episodes and scenes are down in the comments!
These aren’t in any particular order other than a mix of “they occurred to me in this order” and maybe “this show belongs next to that one”. I also worked on this post here and there over a period of two or three weeks… If I were to do it again, some things would stay but others might be replaced with something else.
Sword Art Online – Episode 4, “The Black Swordsman” (Episode)
OK, at least in some quarters of the ‘net I’ll get a lot of crap for this. (For not hating on SAO.) Don’t care. A lot of them are right about Kirito… He’s way overpowered, a harem master, etc… All spot on. But he never gets credit for his desire to help other people, and this episode (which follows directly after his failure in that respect when he was adventuring with the Moonlit Black Cats) is where that is first illustrated.
This episode also resonates with me and really earns a berth among my favorites because I’ve been Silica. I played a Tamer back when I played Ultima Online in the early 00’s, and I’ve felt the pain of losing a pet that you’ve invested a long time in training and which has become a companion rather than just a pet. (Here’s some very bad fanfic that I wrote shortly after they introduced pet resurrection about losing a pet to a server revert and then finding him again.)
iDOLM@STER – Episode 21, “Like a Flower Blooming”, Chihaya sings “Nemuri Hime (Sleeping Princess)”
The end of Kisaragi Chihaya’s character arc… For several episodes, Chihaya was unable to sing for personal reasons. The previous episode, she was only able to get on stage and sing as part of a group because she had the support of her fellow idols. Now, it’s the day of the Idol Jam – and a rival production company has bribed the organizers to “lose” 765 Production’s music. While they are are trying to figure out what to do to fill time while the problem is fixed… Chihaya volunteers to sing solo and *a capella* – despite the risks to her reputation and career if she fails.
A Certain Scientific Railgun S – Episode 1 “Railgun”, The terrorists realize just who they’ve pissed off…
Honestly, I like this scene mostly because of the voice actor’s work… The way the terrorist gasps “Railgun” just as he realizes what’s going down is excellent.
Yuuki Yuuna – Episode 1 “A Maiden’s True Heart”, She will be a hero.
One of my all time favorite scenes. Yuuna isn’t at all sure about this whole magical girl thing until her friends are in danger. At that point she has had Precisely Enough and charges in… thus establishing not only her character, but one of the central themes of the show – heroism isn’t about yourself, it’s what you do for others. (You can also read my series review for more on Yuuki Yuna’s themes.)
Sound Euphonium 2 – Episode 5 “Miraculous Harmony”, Kansai Regional Competition performance.
Euph 2 suffered from sequelitis, the need to find a way to continue something that was never meant to be continued. The crux of this was the need for the Kitauji High School Music Club to win the Kansai Concert Band Competition so they could proceed to the Nationals. Making things worse, their performance would be a piece the viewing audience had already seen multiple times. Despite these handicaps, KyoAni managed to pull off a tour de force and drag the audience into pulling for them despite the foreordained conclusion. Two things contributed to this… First, using the non performing members of the band as audiences surrogates. Second, interspersing cuts from earlier in the series and of the band’s annotated scores with the performance. Together, these reminded the viewer than in-world, to the characters, that this was competition was real.
I’ll never forget holding my wife’s hand, leaning forward with tension – and when they cliffhangered to the credits, grabbing for the remote to see if there was a post credit scene. (There was! Oh, there was!)
Well, after fiddling with this for a couple of weeks in and among other things I’ve managed to come up with five… Good enough for the moment. Drop a comment and share your favorites!