With last week’s scorcher hitting the UK like a fiery inferno, many of us were left hot, sticky and in desperate need of some ice cream and air conditioning. Unsurprisingly, then, thoughts of the beach and how wonderful it would be to escape work for a few days to soak up the sun and sea popped straight into my head. So, if you’re reading this, you’ve probably already read the title of this week’s post, and it’ll come as no surprise that I made the leap from real beaches to animated ones. As the heat has backed off for now, on this week’s trip down the Otaku Rabbit Hole, we’re going to take a look at three great “beach” episodes in anime to get us pumped and ready for the summer. Without further ado, let’s jump right into it!
1. The Sun, The Sea and The Host Club! – Ouran High School Host Club (Episode 8)
Well, let’s start as we mean to go on with some fun in the sun, this time featuring the members of the Host Club! The first in our list is the embodiment of what beach episodes set out to do. Starting out with the solid fundamentals that Ouran set in place up to this point, we’re treated to the Host Club at the beach, and get to enjoy them in all their glory – quirks and all. However, what’s so magnificent about this episode is how it so quickly blooms into something far more important within the overall narrative of the series, allowing characters to grow closer and secrets to be revealed. Fears and fights are all part of the course for the Host Club, but worry not, as even the darker moments are played lightly or for laughs. For a simple but fun beach episode, you could go for worse than with what Ouran has to offer!
2. Holiday – School Live! (Episode 9)
Ok, so this is a bit of a cheat, but this episode is so close to a beach episode in all but location that I couldn’t leave it out. For those of you not aware, School Live! Holds a dark secret that changes how you view it – but for spoiler reasons, I wont mention that here. Thanks to that secret, much of the anime is shrouded in a dark veil that will make even the most lighthearted of moments hit a somewhat sour note. Now this episode, while it is in essence no different, holds a more lighthearted and relaxed tone than what came before, and marks one of the final light moments in the series before the epic climax. As such, it’s important that this episode provide the essential comic relief and, of course, fanservice, because what anime would be complete without fanservice!? To not give too much away, this episode is emotional and heartfelt thanks in no small part to the reality that these girls find themselves a part of, making the episode the perfect bittersweet moment – even if it is a tonally stark shift from the rest of the anime.
3. Summer’s Staples! (The Fanservice Episode, Frankly) – Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid (Episode 7)
This anime can only be described as a heartfelt dream that will pull on your heartstrings, thanks in no small part to its depiction of family, with the message that, regardless of how your family looks, even if it is made up of the strangest collection of dragons, as long as you all look out for each other then that’s all that truly matters! So, with such a wholesome and fanservice-y anime on offer here, it certainly wouldn’t be complete without the obligatory beach episode. This one, as is the convention with Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid, is divided into two chunks. The first of which being the beach episode that focuses on Kobayashi, Tohru, Kanna and friends as they go to the beach and do cute beach-type things, such as splitting watermelons for fun. There’s very little here to help re-define the everyday conventions of what we expect from your typical beach ep, but what it does do well is lean heavily on the solid foundations already laid out by the series as a whole, offering sweet and stomach-achingly funny moments that really help you relax and unwind. This is one that’s definitely worth a watch, and let us never forget the untapped power that stems from Lucoa’s jiggle – poor Souta!
That’s all from our list, but let me know down below your favourite beach episodes in anime, and why they hold such a special space in your heart. Thanks again for joining me on yet another trip down the Otaku Rabbit Hole and, until next time, keep it weeby everyone!