The One Episode Test

The One Episode Test

The anime community is full of differing opinions but one thing that is agreed upon almost unanimously is the three episode test. With many shows, it takes a bit of time to get to the true pitch of the series so we’ve kind of all agreed to give it three episodes. At this point, you can drop the show and just wait to see what friends or just other people in the community say about it when it’s finished. But what if you didn’t have to do that? Can a show take full grasp of your attention in one episode? The answer is yes! So, why don’t I share some shows that I feel have the best one episode tests and if you can think of any others that I haven’t mentioned, let us know in the comments below! Let’s jump right in.


I don’t know where I would place Season 1 of Psycho-Pass but I truly loved the shit out of season. As much as I loved it, I wouldn’t have been so compelled to watch it if it wasn’t for it’s first episode. Psycho-Pass had the task of world building, introducing a large cast and hooking you all at once. I believe it did the job very well and because of that, I normally tell people just to watch episode 1 and if they didn’t like it, maybe it’s just not for you. It doesn’t help that it’s a 2 cour series that will require you to sit through more world building the further along the story goes and developing the characters of its large cast.

Image result for psycho pass episode1

Yu Yu Hakusho

Alright, I feel like I don’t really need to talk about this show very much because it’s the series that everyone has had to have watched or vaguely knows about. If you haven’t watched, you really should. The first episode is very engaging but it’s only a minuscule glance into what this series has in store for you. It’s an anime that starts on such a small scale, develops fast and extremely well.

Image result for yu yu hakusho car

Attack on Titan

Attack on Titan is a great example of the episode one test mainly because of the one event that started everything can fit so well into one episode. The despair that is felt through the loss of so many people on that day was tough to watch but just Eren as a kid having to see his mother get killed and devoured in front of him. The voice actor’s performance alone gave me chills. Just as a reminder, here is the moment I’m referring to.

The animation was also something totally new to us during the time of its release in 2013. There were just many great things about this ONE episode that helped grab our attention and held it for the last 6 years.

Samurai Champloo

One of the best fights in anime just happened to be in the first episode of Samurai Champloo. This was all I needed to know that I was going to love this series. Two of the best swordsmen we’ve seen on screen duking out. You really can’t go wrong with this episode. This, plus the soundtrack and Shinichiro Watanabe’s direction during it, there was no way that you were walking away from this show after episode one.

Image result for samurai champloo fight

Tokyo Ghoul

I feel like I might be the only person that would put this on their list but I really did love the first episode of Tokyo Ghoul. The beginning introduction with Jason and Rize was very ominous. You did not know what the fuck was going on but then you started to learn about the ghouls slowly through Kaneki’s eyes. Kaneki’s journey learning the danger of ghouls during Rize’s attack, the rules of ghouls(mainly their diet) and learning that he can no longer live the life he once had was great storytelling for us. ALSO, the ending was a great touch with the OP playing throughout Touka forcing Kaneki to eat in order to live. The show did not end great but great episode one.

Image result for tokyo ghoul episode 1


Erased has everything you need to hook the audience in the first episode. One of my favorite things about it is how well paced this episode was. Yeah, you kind of learned that he has this unexplainable power early but you are not supposed to know what it is or where it came from. All you are pretty much being told at this moment is the main character has this ability and this somewhat lax moral code that requires him to right wrongs. I want to say more but if you haven’t watched it you really should check it out. Something big happens at the end with a very big cliffhanger. AND THEN YOU’RE HOOKED!

Image result for erased episode 1

These are not all of my favorite one episode test anime. There are plenty of great first episodes but the issue with this way of filtering out anime is you can watch some really bad anime because of it. For me personally, I just want a show until it loses my interest. It can be 20 episodes from now but as long as I enjoyed it up until that point, it was all worth it… I hope.

Thanks for taking the time to read this! Hope you all have a great rest of the week and I’ll have another post for y’all Monday!


5 Replies to “The One Episode Test”

  1. There are plenty of anime that just grab you from episode one. Sometimes they don’t end up delivering, but they still have you hooked. I really loved the first episode of The Promised Neverland as I was just incredibly drawn into the story straight away.

    1. I agree. Promised Neverland has a great first episode that can grab you immediately. The shock value and cliff hanger ending with Mama finding the bunny at the end. It’s hard not to continue.

      I also agree with some first episodes not being able to keep us enticed. It’s a weird test so I don’t recommend anyone really going down the road of doing the one episode test but good for the people who just want to dive into something. I guess if they are on a time crunch? Who knows.

  2. These are great choices!! I still remember the first episode of Attack on Titan so clearly… They really made the atmosphere and mood so calm until THAT happened.

    1. Dude, Attack on Titan’s first episode was brutal. You really couldn’t stop there but then all you get is training for the next few episodes so they really needed to grab us with that first episode if they wanted to keep their audience.

  3. ERASED looked interesting – until Satarou’s Revival all the back to middle school right at the cliffhanger. That hooked me but good.

Tell us what you think...

%d bloggers like this: