The First Episode of Every Show Sucks

Some quitters out there think it's a great idea to drop a show if its first episode doesn't look interesting. Don't they realize that the first episode of every show sucks? It takes time to set a plot into motion. You can't get to the good stuff until the characters are properly introduced. Then there's background info, terminology, and other basic concepts that need to be explained. On top of all that, every genre has inherent weaknesses in its opening:

Most good shows have too much overhead to be impressive right off the bat. This is exactly why I suggested contracting potential anime viewers to a set number of episodes before allowing them to back out. Some of the most entertaining shows have relatively boring first episodes. Just to name a few:

Series: Claymore

First Episode Description: Clare meets Raki. Raki cries and gets banished from town.

First Episode Grade: B

Grade After 4 Episodes: B+

Grade After 8 Episodes: A

Overall Series Grade: A+

Series: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya

First Episode Description:


That was my reaction too.

Maybe the crappy movie gag left me unimpressed because Home Movies set the bar too high. Crappy amateur filmmaking doesn't get any better than The Rock Opera of Franz Kafka.

First Episode Grade: ...

Overall Series Grade (first time): B-

Overall Series Grade (rewatch): A-

Series: Hunter x Hunter

First Episode Description: Gon plays with a bear.

First Episode Grade: C-

Overall Series Grade: A-

Series: Last Exile

First Episode Description: Soldiers on gigantic air fortresses try to take each other down with rifles.

First Episode Grade: C+

Overall Series Grade: A-


I could easily extend this list by about 20 anime series, but I'm lazy. Now to pay homage to a few shows that actually kicked off with a bang:

Series: Higurashi no Naku Koro ni

First Episode Description: Keiichi murders his classmates with a baseball bat.

First Episode Grade: A

Overall Series Grade: A+

Series: Coyote Ragtime Show

First Episode Description: An old man pulls off a chaotic and violent jailbreak. This is perhaps the only time in anime history when a show's first episode was its best episode.

First Episode Grade: A

Overall Series Grade: B

Series: Midori no Hibi

First Episode Description: There's a fight, a failed confession, and a masturbation joke all in the first four minutes.

First Episode Grade: A-

Overall Series Grade: B+

Series: Great Teacher Onizuka

First Episode Description: Technically this was a double episode, but that didn't dilute the awesomeness of the sledgehammer incident.

First Episode Grade: A+

Overall Series Grade: A+


5105 shows with shitty first episodes turned out to kick ass