Every new anime season I grab the first episode of every show that looks vaguely interesting. If the first episode can’t hook me, then I’m sorry, I will probably skip the show. At a push I will watch two episodes if it’s not completely boring. A lot of friends have said that I am a bit anal in this regard (perhaps), but my time is too valuable to waste watching a show that doesn’t interest me off the bat. One friend told me I should watch at least the first three episodes. Another told me I should watch the first six. Another told me I should watch at least twenty (in all fairness, this was applicable to One Piece, where I watched the first twelve episodes and didn’t enjoy it at all).
Some of the newer shows released towards the end of 2012 were absolutely boring, so I’ve been grabbing new shows as they air, hoping to find some anime that’s worthwhile to watch. Nothing really grabbed my attention… until now. Here’s a list of shows that seem pretty good from their first episodes:
Suisei no Gargantia, or Gargantia on the Venderous Planet
In the distant future, mankind has taken to the stars and formed the Galactic Alliance of Humankind. The Alliance is currently engaged in a genocidal war with a plant-like alien species called the Hideauze. 16-year-old Ensign Ledo is a soldier for the Galactic Alliance, piloting a Machine Caliber, an AI-automated, humanoid-shaped battle suit, which he refers to as ‘Chamber’. After a failed attempt by the Alliance forces to destroy an enemy super-weapon, Ledo is knocked into a wormhole and loses consciousness. When he awakens, he learns from Chamber that he has been in cryo-stasis for 6 months while his wounds were healing. Ledo learns that he and Chamber have been ‘found’ by a rag-tag band of ‘primitive’ human scavengers. Escaping, Ledo quickly discovers that he is on board a massive floating ship on an ocean covered planet. Chamber tells him that local star charts reveal the planet is Earth, the birth-place of humanity, a place members of the Alliance only knew of in stories and believed was a myth.
The first episode of this is brilliant! The pacing is great, and they manage to capture my attention by giving me enough to engage with the characters, without bogging it down in unnecessary exposition or details. It’s only slated to run for 12 episodes, which seems such a shame at this point because the universe seems really, really awesome.
Kakumeiki no Valvrave
Shinreki 71, 70% of all human beings have finally migrated to space due to the development of space cities. Between two organizations called the Dorssia Military Pact Federation and the Atlantic Ring United States (ARUS), there is a small neutral nation called Jior that has prospered economically. In the same year, Haruto Tokishima, a high school student living in Jior discovered a mysterious mecha called Valvrave during the Dorssia’s attack in the nation.
I have slightly mixed feelings about this show. It’s got good action, even if it’s a bit cliched story wise. The thing that annoys me is the really unnecessary fanservice. Seriously, just watch the first episode to see what I mean.
UPDATE : Ok, I actually missed a scene at the end of the credits of episode one that make this show very interesting. Also, episode two didn’t have a drop of fan service so I’m definitely going to stick with this one for now.
Aku no Hana, or Flowers of Evil
The story follows Takao Kasuga, a bookworm whose favorite book is Charles Baudelaire’s Les fleurs du mal, after which the series is named. One day after school, he discovers and impulsively steals the gym clothes of Nanako Saeki, the classmate he has a crush on. However, a lonely girl named Sawa Nakamura happens to catch him in the act. Nakamura blackmails Kasuga into a “contract,” or else she will reveal his secret.
This is an anime that’s based on a manga, but I’m guessing the manga is not super popular. The reason why I say this is because a lot of the animation in this show is rotoscoped, which can only lead me to believe this show didn’t have a decent budget. Having said that, the first episode is super interesting and somewhat creepy. I’m look forward to seeing where this story goes.
Shingeki no Kyojin, or Attack on Titan
In an alternative, middle-ages setup, the human population is dwindling in numbers. With the advent of Titans, giant humanoid creatures that attack and devour any human on sight, what remains of civilization is protected by three concentric walls, hundreds of kilometers long and around fifty meters tall, called Wall Maria (the outermost wall), Wall Rose and Wall Sina (the innermost wall housing the capital). Efforts to expand the human territory beyond the walls have failed, but the citizens inside remained safe for a hundred years, until two unusual Titans, a colossal one, sixty meter tall and another one, covered with a hardened shell, break through Wall Maria, bringing the other Titans inside, forcing mankind to face its greatest threat and ensure its survival.
To say this show starts off dramatically would be a massive understatement. The first episode, while almost pushing the drama too far, manage to grab my attention with some intension action and emotion. This show seems like it could go very far.
Akutabe, a detective, summons devils to solve the troubles of his clients. One day, a low class devil Azazel Atsushi is summoned by Akutabe and is used harshly by him and his assistant Rinko Sakuma.
This show is weird. And fucking hilarious. Did I mention it was weird? Also, be sure to watch this from season one since the story in season two picks up right from the end of season one.