I’ve been wanting to write this for a while but haven’t had the time. Now that we’re here I’ll keep introductions short with just a few guidelines. Firstly I’ll be listing the entries as “Series title (ep. #)” with no pictures. If you are worried about spoilers this should make it pretty easy to skip past things you haven’t seen yet. I will also be organizing in alphabetical order by English title. This isn’t a “top” list so the order doesn’t matter. I also do not claim these to be the best scenes in anime, just the ones I’ve enjoyed the most.
A Silent Voice (movie)
The Ferris Wheel.
There’s so many touching moments in this movie and so many scenes that could have been considered. I chose the ferries wheel scene for two major reasons. The first being it’s the first time we really hear Shouko speak (she did speak before but this was the first time she was really speaking in full sentences) and the second being the line “I don’t hate you, I hate myself.” Even now, months after last watching it I remember that line perfectly. I remember the visuals when it happened too.
Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day (ep. 11)
This scene is essentially what the entire anime has been building up to. The 6 friends are finally reunited but they’re about to lose Menma again. As the other 5 run through the forest trying to find her, Menma, knowing she doesn’t have much longer, writes good-bye letters for everyone. As Secret Base plays in the background and everyone is breaking into tears reading their letter the impossible happens. Menma is seen by everyone! This is probably one of my most watched scenes in any anime. I frequently go back and just watch the scene all on its own. I love seeing the friends finally reunited although it really sucks knowing they’re about to be torn apart again.
Assassination Classroom (ep. 46)
The scene at first feels like it will just be drawing out Koro Sensei’s inevitable death, going through all 28 students one at a time but that sure changes. This scene is a final good-bye. These characters have grown to know and care for each other in the span of a year and while even in the manga there’s some we don’t know very well just watching how each character is reacting as Koro Sensei calls their name one final time I can’t help but feel I knew them too. I loved this in the manga when it was a full chapter and I love it here where it takes a decent portion of an episode.
Clannad After Story (ep. 18)
First Thing From Daddy.
Yet another show that could have so many scenes places on this list. Including the scene directly proceeding it with Tomoya learning his father’s past. I chose this scene all because of the facial expressions. The look on Tomoya’s face as Ushio explains why she wants that specific robot so much as well as both of them clearly holding back tears until scene end and they just burst. The After Story arc (as in what is actually After Story in the visual novel) is about Tomoya’s growth as a person and no scene better captures that then the scene he realizes how much he has been hurting Ushio and that she needs him.
Danganronpa 3 – Despair Side (ep. 7)
The Biggest, Most Atrocious Incident in Hope’s Peak High School’s History.
The Danganronpa anime are pretty mixed reception wise but this is one scene I’ve seen pretty much constant praise for and I totally agree it’s justified. All the way back in the first game we hear about this event but it was always left kinda vague, the anime flat out shows us the event in all the gory goodness. Junko narrating over and Mukuro singing a cover of Tsubasa wo Kudasai with Hajime just watching makes this scene perfect. I do wish we at least learned how each character died though as we see a chainsaw wielding girl at one point and the next scene has the “winner” kill 2nd place and she isn’t either of them.
K-On!! (ep. 20)
It was a toss up between this and the scene the original four play Tenshi ni Fureta yo!. I went with this scene because during my rewatch I realized the lead-up the movie gives is what makes the later scene so amazing while this one stands amazingly on its own. The final concert After School Tea Time believe they’re going to throw has just ended and we see the girls sitting in the club room, backs against the wall, looking straight forward, talking. Yui brings up next year and they all start talking about what they’ll do next year as a band. The camera gives a few panning shots of the room before setting back on the cast who are now crying realizing it’s all over. The slow piano playing U&I in the background is perfect. Not only was that the last song they played but Yui had written it in part because of fear of losing the club room.
Love Live! Sunshine!! (ep. 9)
Kanan and Mari make up.
This is the end result of what I believe to be the best character drama in the entire series. As a fan of Kanan from pretty much the original Aqours reveal I of course was upset with her lack of appearances up until this point. This scene totally made up for that. I’m always a sucker for scenes that show a character as a child saying something and it transitioning to modern day and that happens perfectly here with Kanan’s “give me a hug”. Plus I think you can probably tell by other scenes/shows on this list but I love anything with friends and reuniting.
School Live! (ep. 1)
Probably one of the shorter scenes on the list although it does require context from the majority of episode 1. Yet another show I could have picked multiple scenes from although I chose one right from the start. I think everything about this scene is perfect. From Yuki talking with her friends and the camera shifting to barely let us see cracked glass before turning again and having Yuki seemingly presenting the truth to us to the slow music box type song that starts playing (while not being creepy) to the countless hints you can find rewatching this episode. I love everything about it and I have multiple friends I convinced to watch this show solely based on this scene (combined with episode 1) alone.
Steins;Gate (ep. 12)
I’m not sure if it’s the scene it self or the lead up I love so much. You can just tell something really bad is about to happen but (at for me) not exactly sure what. Even once the SERN agents are in the lab it’s not immediately clear Mayuri is about to die. They even basically flat-out tell us with Mayuri’s watch stopping right before the agents burst in. Having Moeka, someone who didn’t seem at all as a threat previously, being the one to kill her (and purposely at that) and not just be some random goon (at first at least) was really great as well.
When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace (ep. 7)
I Don’t Understand!.
This scene. This scene inspired this entire list and how could it not? It got me to watch the show (which I ended up enjoying quite a bit) and cemented Saori Hayami is one of my favourite voice actors (in any language) of all time. So why do I like it so much? I love the music. It starts off with none but as Hatoko gets more intense a piano starts playing which gets more intense as she does. I love the visuals from Hatoko’s facial expressions to Jurai standing there in shock. I love Hatoko’s voice. I think the thing I love the most is how even though Hatoko clearly does not understand what Jurai is talking about she remembers it. She lists a number of things and topics he’s talked about to demonstrate this. If I were to pick a perfect scene in anime it would be this one. There is absolutely nothing I can think of to improve it.
So that’s my list! There’s a number of scenes I left off (I can think of one from Your Name and a couple from the Monogatari series for example) but I think this is enough for now. Maybe in the future I will write another one but until then which scenes are your favourite?