Anime Pilot Episodes



  • For the record, I'm not sure if anime even have pilot episodes production-wise, but I know there's nothing that pulls me into an anime more than a stellar first episode. Especially one that avoids the monster-of-the-week intro convention and starts the main plot right off the bat. I'll start with a deep cut: Wolf's Rain.

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    This anime starts with an out-of-context flash forward of protagonist and wolf boi Johnny Yong Bosch dying in the snow, struggling to find "paradise." It cuts to a kind of cold open, with a train heist in the tundra. Then there's some world building, shots of this mysterious girl, a duel, one of the characters gets captured—and who doesn't like trains?

    But I didn't make this thread to hear myself talk, what are your memorable pilot episodes?



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    Code Geass
    Pretty simple, this one. Game of Thrones ep. 1: Characters, world building, inciting incident, all in under 24 minutes. Zero to 100 while still solidly establishing character depth (and Shirley totally screwed Lelouch over, haha). And if that wasn't the most sinister "Well then..." you've ever heard!

    Ga-Rei Zero
    Demons, fighting, amazing. A very easily-spoiled experience that spans over multiple episodes.

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    Tales of Zesteria the Cross
    I dare you to not be at all blown away by this pilot, numbered episode zero. So much: happens it's amazing; duels, generic politics, questing, dungeoneering. Between the CGI / anime mix and the music, this episode is a sensual overload.



  • Sword Art Online
    It had an excellent first episode, so good that it fooled everyone into thinking it'd be one of the greatest anime of all time. You know this anime because of the first episode. People wised up a couple of episodes later (and oh man the fall from "greatest of all time 10/10" to "this is barely a 6" was beyond entertaining) but the fact still stands that the first episode goes straight for the heart of the type of people who would watch the show - because really, who doesn't think it would be freaking cool if there was a VR MMORPG that had swords you could swing around?



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    Having just seen Durarara, I'd say that first episode was great. It's pretty mysterious, and has some interesting characters.

    I don't watch anime as much anymore, so it's impressive for a show to suck me in so quickly.



  • @Inustar Yeah, Durarara was excellent. I'm not sure if it was written this way, but I've always thought of the first two as the pilot. They have that introductory arc with Rio, then start talking about the Yellow Scarves and such in episode 3. I really love that whole rooftop scene. It's so intense, and Izaya is such a deplorable person, but he's so fabulous while doing it all! Bosch Best Boi 2K16.

    Durarara ep. 2 spoiler.



  • @Haru17 I have 2 more episodes before I finish the first sesson, but I would agree with the first two episodes being like the pilot.
    Johnny Yong Bosch is an amazing voice actor, but for me I adore Shizuo and his voice actor, Crispin Freeman.

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    This scene made me love this show



  • @Inustar Shizuo's pretty great. I've heard that voice actor in a lot of things. He always plays the gruff and grumpy-but-not-too-grumpy dudes and does a pretty good job of it. He actually played major characters in both Wolf's Rain and Code Geass as well as Eureka Seven.



  • Rolling Girls had a pretty hype first episode.
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    I liked the show for what it was, but it's completely understandable why anybody would drop it. It's cute, it's colorful, the action is well animated( from what I remember ), and I loved the character designs, but the show itself really feels like huge waste.



  • How can anyone hate Crispin Freeman, he's great. He also kinda looks like Fred from Scooby Doo (seriously just add a orange scarf to him)

    Speaking of Eureka Seven ive always considered the first 3 episodes its pilot, probably because Adult Swim played all 3 episodes back to back when it premiered with no OP or ED (except on the first and 3rd episode) between them, not to mention the naming convention of all 3 (Blue Monday, Blue Sky Fish, Motion Blue)

    But those 3 episodes introduce all the major players of the story, leaves hints about events that have happened in the past, and sets things up for going forward, with some decent bits of action for the start of a series.

    Also the OST is freaking amazing
    Youtube Video

    Also a really early Crispin Freeman role that I think everyone should see
    Youtube Video



  • @DMCMaster Oh man, 90s anime, I can't, haha. Even putting aside Taylor's encouragabblity, that English dubbed opening was pretty bad. Eureka still sounds lit tho! Freeman's character is a bit irredeemable in that one, though.



  • Mob Psycho 100!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMc3DccO-zM
    I think it speaks for itself, but I was totally sold once I saw this intro. The art style is so unique, and the juxtaposition of this against the following scene really sets up the tone of the series.

    Lupin the Third Part 4
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yo8c0XJah6M
    I feel like Part 4 doesn't get nearly enough credit for being as jolly and downright amazing as it is. It was my first exposure to Lupin and after watching the other 3 parts, it's still my favorite. The first episode is especially fun. I'm not sure what to say about it other than that you should watch it, after one episode you'll surely be sucked in.