The success of Oshi no Ko and Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End has made headlines cartoon open with feature-length episodes. Although not common, anime sometimes open with episodes lasting an hour or more, either to wrap things up at a certain point without rushing or to expand on the source material. Those episodes are usually the sign of a spectacular production, and their anime are often the best episodes of their season.
An anime series that opens with a full-length theatrical episode is usually a movie worth watching, and below are 10 anime series that stand out among the best. It should be noted that many of the anime listed here will have technical premieres lasting less than an hour, as the additional time will come from commercials when they air in Japan or commercials that may run on certain streaming services. Regardless, each anime listed here opens with a much longer episode than its contemporaries, and the remaining episodes that follow are of similarly high quality.
10 Astra lost in space
Astra Lost in Space used its hour-long premiere to fully immerse audiences in the sci-fi adventure story and the ragtag group of characters caught up in it, and in the end it all comes together as one. episode sets up its story with perfect pacing and characterization for its cast. The rest of Astra Lost in Space does a great job of following that, and the overall quality of the series can be seen to be due in large part to such a long launch.
9 Rise of the Shield Hero
Another anime that took advantage of its extended release period to great effect is The Rising of the Shield Hero. Much of the Shield Hero series premiere is spent setting up as a typical isekai series, only for the end of the episode to turn the tables and show that it’s actually a darker story much more than most people might expect. That wouldn’t have worked if the anime hadn’t spent so much time on the premiere, and because it did, the anime is off to a great start.
8 Re:Zero – Starting Life in Another World
Similar to The Rising of the Shield Hero, Re:Zero – Starting Life in Another World also uses its lengthy launch for subversive purposes. Re:Zero also spent most of its release presenting itself as a typical isekai anime, albeit with some darker elements thanks to Subaru’s Return by Death abilities, but it’s clear that its theatrical run was just as good. to determine its structural level. genre conventions. Much of Re:Zero’s appeal stems from how different it is from other isekai anime, and its extended premiere was the perfect way to establish that.
Ufotable is famous for continuing the Fate franchise, and one of the best displays of their work came from the feature-length theatrical premiere of Fate/Zero. While the premiere is largely just exposition to establish the basic premise of the anime, not only does the added length allow it all to be brought out at the right pace, but so is the direction and shooting techniques. Ufotable’s feature film delivers it without ever feeling dull. Fate/Zero is the first Fate anime to be made with production values that match the source material, and its premiere is the perfect way to kick that off.
6 Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Swordsmanship
Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works is the next Fate anime to follow Fate/Zero, and it also opened with a lengthy theatrical release. In addition to adapting the original graphic novel’s opening sequence, Unlimited Blade Works also took the time to add original flair to the story with art direction and small additions to the source material, while also helping Its launch was more profitable. its length. The next episode uses a similarly long runtime to do much the same, and it all leads to the series being a clear step forward from the original Fate/stay night anime.
5th Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba
Another Ufotable series that opened with theatrical episodes is Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba. Both season 2 and season 3 of Demon Slayer opened with theatrical feature-length episodes that heavily adapted the manga with beautiful art, music, and overall direction that have become staples of the series, and The season 3 premiere did so well that it even had a theatrical release. The longer length of each release allows the Demon Slayer’s powers to reach their full potential, and with any luck, season 4 will be no different in that regard.
4 Sword Art Online: Alicization
Sword Art Online, for better or worse, is one of the biggest anime franchises of the past decade, and that’s best demonstrated by the series premiere of Sword Art Online: Alicization. Alicization told a completely different story from what the franchise was known for at the time, and with its extended launch, it was able to perfectly convey to audiences its setting and actors. turn around it. Sword Art Online: Alicization is also the anime’s first new installment in four years, and its extended launch does a great job of showing that the anime hasn’t missed a step.
3 Crimson Ragna
Ragna Crimson has only just begun airing at the time of writing, but its extended theatrical run already makes it worth mentioning. In its longer premiere, Ragna Crimson does a great job of developing not only the premise of the story but also the tragedy of Ragna’s character and what he has to go through to overcome it. Every minute of the theatrical-length premiere highlights the strengths of the story with its surprising direction, and with any luck, the rest of the series will follow.
2 Oshi No Ko
Another recent anime that received a full-length theatrical release and is one of the most famous examples in recent years is Oshi no Ko. Oshi no Ko attracted a lot of attention when it was announced to have a 90-minute premiere, with the said episode even being released in theaters in Japan, and sure enough, it tells the story. a story that is both beautiful and tragic, and it is more than worthy of every minute of its runtime. The attention garnered from the premiere has made Oshi no Ko one of the biggest anime of 2023 and it will be surprising to see how Oshi no Ko season 2 will top it.
1 Freeze: Beyond the final journey
Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End is another really recent example of an anime with a long theatrical run, but it deserves more mention. Frieren hits Oshi no Ko with an incredible two-hour series premiere, and not a minute of it is wasted, as it is used to perfectly convey the solemn nature of the story. story, the characters involved and everything they hope for. to make about it The extended premiere does a great job of living up to the original manga’s stellar reputation, and it’ll be great to see how the rest of the series follows it.
Overall, it’s clear that an anime with a long theatrical run is nothing but a boon to its quality. Every anime listed here uses lengthy premieres to give themselves incredible openings, followed by episodes of equally high quality, and thanks to that, they all manage to stand out. pop and leave a mark in one way or another. Not all cartoon need to open with one seriesbut as seen here, any anime that does that will definitely be worth watching.