Over on the TGWTG, JesuOtaku posted an interesting video of what are some good stand alone episodes in anime shows, particularly what might be good to show people who aren't into anime. Link here: http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/vid...ies#josc747239
So, this got me think what other good examples of this are there? What would be your top 5? In this case, doesn't even have to be a good "introduction for newbies" episode, just some good stand alone episodes.
My five, in no particular order:
Kino's Journey Episode 2, "A Tale of Feeding Off Others -I Want to Live-". Encapsulates the spirit of the show, and in general the spirit of what "literary" artful shows can be, heck even beyond an anime, but unlike most "artistic" short films, still gets me to care about the characters as characters, which I think will draw people in more so than most "artsy" films I've seen, which can be overly symbolic or obtuse.
Fullmetal Alchemist (2003), Episode 1, "Those Who Challenge the Sun". Kind of a cheat, since it's basically designed to be a "this is what the show is about" episode, but it does give you a good blending of all the shows themes and shows that anime can be about very interesting ideas while still retaining a lot of fun.
X (TV) Episode 9: "Onmyou." This is a very atmospheric episode, and very self-contained as both a good example of an "anime ghost story" as well as the somber tone of the show. Most of the "need to know" stuff about the series is explained by two of the characters who are looking for Subaru (the onmyou in question), while most of the episode is a sort of stand-alone Subaru adventure that uses the context of the ghost story to hint at Subaru's own past and internal conflicts.
Cowboy Bebop Episodes 12 & 13, "Jupiter Jazz parts 1 and 2." Again, all the context needed is given in the episode, great moments for Faye, Vicious, and Spike, and a really heart wrenching character in Gren, also does well enough to show off the world set up.
Samurai Champloo, Episodes 13 & 14, "Misguided Miscreants," pretty much all the same reasons as the Bebop episodes, don't need to really know anything other than the three main characters travel together and Jin and Mugen have a deal to duel when their quest is over (which is covered in episode). Otherwise, is an almost stand-alone episode focusing on Mugen's dark past. Mugen's near death scene is one of the most beautifully haunting sequences I've seen in any show.