The best of the beach!
Ahh yes, the anime beach episode. The typical "filler, fanservice episode." Truth be told, not all beach episodes are the same, and some actually have more to offer than summertime steaminess. Some beach episodes offer a nice break from the action for both the characters and the viewer. Other beach episodes provide the perfect environment to ignite the flame for those two characters who have been crushing on each other for quite some time. Finally, some beach episodes are just so wildly insane, there's no point to them other than to show off everyone's favorite characters in swimsuits and lay down the comedy — but hey — there's nothing wrong with that! With a variety of episodes to choose from, here are some suggestions for good beach episodes you shouldn't skip.
When Banri, Koko, and the gang planned a trip to the beach, they expected fun in the sun, swimming, ice cream, and fireworks, but what makes Episode 15 of Golden Time a standout beach episode is that it's the exact opposite of all that! It's not glamorous, and this episode is the perfect example of "anything that could go wrong, does." Everyone's late, the traffic is terrible, our characters are stressed, and despite all the time lost, our characters DO eventually make it to the beach, but of course, the sun is replaced by heavy rain. This crew just can't catch a break! Deciding not to let the obstacles ruin their time, Banri decides to make the most of the situation: He strips down to his speedo and invites everyone to dance in the rain. Everyone came all this way to have a good time, so why shouldn't they still try? All in all, it's a good day with good company.
"Reminiscences... of Paradise Lost"
The Eye of the Wicked Lord will not leave you disappointed when it comes to this beach episode! What makes Season 1 Episodes 7-8 of Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions so great isn't so much the episodes themselves — although, it's pretty enjoyable in part thanks to the comical antics of frenemies Dekomori and Mori-Summer, I mean Nibutani — but how the episodes impact the future of the story. Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions starts out as a wacky series, full of fun and "magical battles," but trips to the sandy seas and Rika's hometown take the series down a more serious route where we learn about Rika's childhood. Not everyone in this series can accept Rika as chunibyo, and there's this constant battle between what's "real" and what's "fantasy." This beach episode further establishes the hardships we see the characters face for the remainder of the season. It's from here on we see more of their character growth. Needless to say, the time spent in paradise served as the turning point for the series, setting forth the emotional journey to come.
"The Other Side of the Wall"
I never thought an anime as serious, thrilling, and action-packed as Attack On Titan could have a beach episode of all things. Okay, it's more of a beach scene, but this moment is the furthest thing from watermelon smashing and sandcastle competitions. This series is heavy; the characters are emotionally, physically, and mentally exhausted. Then comes Episode 59. If only for a moment, the scouts were able to experience a moment of pure happiness and peace. Armin got to live out the dream he had to see the ocean. All the death, the pain they experienced, the friends they lost, all led up to this moment where we were able to take a break, catch their breath, and experience this moment where our characters got to see a potential future with opportunity, retaining as little of their hope and innocence they had left. But of course, that moment was short-lived as Eren delivered the tragic truth of what actually lies on the other side and what it'll take to truly gain the freedom they desire.
As a huge fan of romance anime, I always look forward to what cute moments the beach episode will bring. Science Fell in Love, So I Tried to Prove It doesn't just have a single beach episode; it has a whole beach arc that serves as the climax to the first season! Nothing about how these characters experience things is normal, so why should a trip to the beach be any different? Instead of admiring the large body of sea, Yukimura has to analyze the surroundings, smashing a watermelon is mathematically and scientifically mapped out, and wearing swimsuits while conducting the "close contact experiment," becomes a little too much for our love birds Yukimura and Himuro to handle. While the beach arc starts off with the same level of scientific humor as the previous episodes, as our characters reach the more complex stages of their experiment well ... let's just say research may have some unexpected results.
"Shooting Star Moratorium"
Anime will always find a way to go to the beach, even in a post-apocalyptic world like in DARLING in the FRANXX. With the first few episodes dedicated to fulfilling missions and engaging in battles, the characters are exhausted from pushing their limits to connect and pilot mechs, and worrying about each others' well-being. Squad 13's purpose and identity are based on piloting a FRANXX, and they don't understand a life apart from fighting klaxosaurs. Then comes Episode 7, Squad 13 is sent on a trip to the beach. If only for a moment, the beach episode was a nice break, allowing them to experience pure freedom and happiness, and for the first time, let them be who they truly are ... kids. It's during this trip Squad 13 was able to really explore their adolescent emotions, questioning the knowledge of the outside world when the boys ask Hiro about kisses and love. Squad 13's curiosity about human civilization grows when they stumble upon something unexpected. Up to this point, these characters lived sheltered lives, it was nice seeing them form their own thoughts about humanity and life. Squad 13 may have left the beach, but their lives were forever changed.
"Island Time" and "Action Time"
Image via Hulu
Play hard, kill hard! Assassination Classroom is the perfect example of an anime beach episode that shows not all beach episodes are senseless filler and just because you're switching up your location to a tropical paradise doesn't mean the plot of the series is going to press pause. Ansatsu Kyōshitsu is your average school anime where the students of E class learn all your typical academic subjects. Math. Science. How to assassinate their teacher Koro Sensei before he destroys the world ... you know, normal school stuff. Season 1 Episodes 17-18 is the start of E class' summer vacation, or should I say assassination vacation to Okinawa. Now when you only have a few months to protect the Earth from certain doom, you don't really have any time to waste. The students have to take advantage of every opportunity to terminate Koro Sensei, no matter where they are. While it looked like the students were enjoying their time scuba diving, hiking, and hang gliding, all of that was just for show. They were actually preparing themselves for their most ambitious and elaborate assassination attempt yet.
What are some of your favorite anime beach episodes? Let us know in the comments!
Veronica Valencia is an anime-loving, hot sauce enthusiast! You can follow more of her work on Twitter.
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