Is the Three-Episode Test Fair?

Even if you’re a NEET or an otaku, you have a pretty busy life! Balancing different hobbies, personal agendas and life overall can be quite daunting. Add to this the fact that if you’re an anime fan—which we all are, obviously—then the multitude of series releasing seasonally can be overwhelming. With each season usually launching a dozen new series—on top of the currently airing shows—figuring out what shows to invest time in is extremely tough. That’s why many of us anime watchers have resorted to using the three-episode anime test—where three-episodes will determine your future investment in a series—but is this a fair way to judge an anime? Argue your cases down below in the comments but maybe first you check out our pros and cons on watching only three-episodes of an anime!

Pro: Don’t Get too Invested

The beauty of the three-episode test is that it allows easy detachment from the series you check out. Rather than watching a series for three or four arcs—which is typical for shonen series—or several episodes of a 12 episode series, you resort to just ending it before you spend 5 or ten hours in a show. An hour of your time—or slightly more—is easier to waste than several. Plus, you won’t feel obligated to keep watching to see what happens to the MC—main character—or how the plot thickens. You’ll just move on to another show that looks more interesting.

Con: Shonen Need More Episodes

We mentioned this before but shonen series tend to be longer affairs than most anime. Instead of having multiple seasons of 12 episodes, shonen series—like Black Clover or Boruto—can last thirty plus before going into a new “season” or arc. Giving a series like Gintama a three-episode test is pure blasphemy. How can you judge an anime when the story barely gets off the ground? You can’t, folks, and that’s why for some series, the three-episode test is truly unfair.

Pro: Come Back Soon

Most assume that giving up after watching three-episodes means you won’t ever try—or finish—the series. That statement isn’t always true. Walking away from a series early on might be needed for several reasons. Maybe you’re burnt out from a specific genre and/or you want a newer type of anime to binge. As much as we love the Gundam franchise, have you ever tried watching each spinoff back to back? To say the task is herculean is an understatement! Walking away from a series after three-episodes might help you later to give it another go.

Con: Just Don’t Forget to Come Back

On the flip side, the one major drawback from walking away from any anime series after the three-episode test is forgetting about that series completely. Years will pass and only after hearing someone commenting on the series or having a friend mention it will make you go “oh wow I forgot all about that anime”. Unfortunately, it happens, folks! That’s why, if you do plan on pushing an anime to the side, maybe write a reminder down somewhere…just in case.

Final Thoughts

There are a lot of debates online about only giving an anime three episodes to judge it. While we—as reviewers—tend to give a series the full run before giving it a review, there are a few series for which we do feel the three-episode rule is justified. That’s why we have two questions for you readers down below. Do you believe in the three-episode rule and, if you do, what series deserve it? Let us know and be sure to keep stuck to our amazing hive here at Honey’s Anime!

Black-Clover-Phantom-Knights-SS-1 Is the Three-Episode Test Fair?


Author: Aaron

Hey everyone I’m Aaron Curbelo or Blade as I’m called by my YouTube Subscribers. I’ve been an anime/manga fan since I was a young kid. In terms of anime I have watched nearly a thousand shows and have read hundreds of manga series. I love writing and honestly was so happy to join Honey’s Anime to get a shot to write articles for such a wonderful site. I’m a firm believer in respect in the anime community being the most important embodiment we should all have. We all love anime and we have varying opinions of series but we should respect one another for those differences! Life is too precious to spend it making needless arguments in a community that should be the shining example of loving an amazing medium. I hope as a writer for Honey’s Anime I can bring you folks some amazing articles to read and enjoy!

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