Beloved shows can be as comforting as a loved one's hug and some episodes can stand as best friends when times are tough. Re-watching the same episode of a show is not quite a guilty pleasure, but more like a habit of comfort-seeking. When working from home, I often keep animation on in the background, but I find I work better and my anxiety is kept away when I watch over my favorite anime. I cannot begin to count how many times I have watched Cardcaptor Sakura, Digimon, or Ranma 1/2 this year so far. You know, not counting every other year before.
While having a conversation with my editor we were discussing how many people keep floating back to shows they have watched before, be it Friends, The Office, or Avatar: The Last Airbender. This lead to wondering which would be the three episodes we would take with us to a deserted island. It was a tough decision to make since there are so many shows and animations I love, but here are my top picks. A quick note: I grew up watching the Latin-American Spanish version of each, so I am not sure translation-wise how it correlates to US broadcasts as I know some anime were censored during their original run.
"Cardcaptor Sakura" Episode 66 "Sakura's Most Favorite Person"/"The Person Sakura Likes the Most": I find it hard to pick favorite episodes of CCS considering they are all dear to me, however in Season 3 Sakura definitely grew stronger, more confident, and aware of those around her. This episode is aesthetically one of my biggest influences, especially how the star maze looks has forever left me obsessed with making my bedroom look like it. Most importantly though, it is the episode where Sakuraa finally confesses to Yukito how she really feels. Even in the midst of heartbreak, she manages to get the situation under control with a smile on her face. However, it was the scene with Shaoran where she tells him how, even when understanding and being happy that Yukito has found love in someone who loves him just as much, yet asked why is it that it still hurt so much. Between Yukito and Touya finally being mentioned out loud and her way of handling feelings, I felt like this episode helped me understand and cope with feelings.
"Digimon" Episode 37 "Wizardmon's Gift": While the saddest episode, it is the one I will never get over. Wizardmon was one of my favorite characters and other than Mufasa (The Lion King) it was the one death that really got to me and got me crying in front of my TV. His sacrifice for Gatomon and Hikari always stuck to me and has forever granted him a spot as my phone background.
"Ranma 1/2" Episode 123 "A Xmas Without Ranma": Any episode where we see Ranma and Akane open up with one another tend to be on my list of favorites. I love their dynamic and their hysterical banter, though I always hoped for more romance here and there. This episode always gets me with the ending though. That moment Ranma finally appears after being gone all day and we realize he has just been shopping for her Christmas gifts all way was the sweetest. Then the way she hugs her presents closer moves me. Ranma always melts my heart.