More likely than not, anime tend to have their most shocking episodes on Episode 3. This is mainly because most fans decide whether to continue or drop the anime on the third episode with the so-called “Episode 3 rule”. These include anime like Madoka Magica, where they killed off Mami Tomoe in a rather brutal way in the third episode. But sometimes, nothing beats the first impression, and anime would aim to shock their viewers on the first episode itself.
Japanese ranking website, Goo, has surveyed 1,971 people and asked them which debut episode of an anime shocked them the most. The poll featured 61 anime in their lineup, and here is the Top 20:
20/19/18 (3-way tie) – Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion, Higurashi: When They Cry, Angel Beats!
17 – Asobi Asobase
16 – The Melancholy of Harushi Suzumiya
15/14 (tie) – One Punch Man/The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
13 – The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.
12 – Tokyo Ghoul
11 – Mobile Suit Gundam
10 – Pop Team Epic
9 – Kingdom
8 – Neon Genesis Evangelion
7 – School Live!
6 – The Promised Neverland