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Field Trips in Anime

Well fans, we’re deep in the middle of summer, which can only mean one thing: vacations. Even our fave Anime characters need a break now and then, whether that takes the form of a beach day, school field trip, training destination with a beautiful view, or something else entirely. We’re breaking down some of the most memorable Anime “field trip” episodes in this edition of Let’s Rank.

Sailor Moon – Luxury Cruise

a large cruise ship outside a city port

Sailor Moon doesn’t waste much time before breaking out the vacation episode: season 1, episode 12, “I Want a Boyfriend: The Luxury Cruise Ship is a Trap”. Like all Sailor Moon episode titles, the name is doing a lot here: Sailor Mars and Sailor Moon go on a couples cruise to try to find boyfriends, but things quickly go South. At a dance, Jadeite drains energy from any couples in the room using an evil disco ball and the Sailor Scouts have to stop him. Also, it turns out the ship isn’t a nice cruise, but is instead an old rust bucket made to look nice using illusion magic. Dang, no cruise or boyfriends!

Sword Art Online – The Forest House

a rustic cozy log cabin in the middle of the woods on a sunny day

We’re already getting a little loose with the theme here but bear with us. Kirito and Asuna buy a peaceful, isolated house located deep in a forest on the 22nd floor of the virtual world they live in. The whole point of this house is that they want somewhere quiet and safe to stay where they can begin their new married life together. That life includes a lot of activities they didn’t have time for before, like sleeping in, fishing, cooking, pottery, etc. Like all vacation homes, that peace and quiet doesn’t last forever though—it’s destroyed at least once and the two lovebirds are called back to the frontlines constantly.

Pokémon - Dig those Diglett

misty brock and ash look at a map in a forest

This episode has everything: Ash and the gang enjoying a hot spring, the debut of Diglett and Dugtrio and their trademark ditty (“Diglett dig, Diglett dig, TRIO TRIO TRIO”), Team Rocket getting so close to eating their yummy picnic food for once (interrupted by an explosion this time), Gary trying not to look like a huge failure, two evolutions (Ekans into Arbok, Koffing into Weezing), and the Diglett making Team Rocket surf on a massive dirt wave that crashes them into the ground. Is it the peak of relaxation for anyone involved? No, but it does embody the feeling of a vacation gone awry, like so many of the great episodes on this list.

Avatar – Aang Rides a Big Fish

athletic boy holds onto a large fish fin and surfs a wave

One of the early themes of the first season of Avatar: The Last Airbender is simple: Aang wants to ride big animals and go very fast. This is the instigating event for season 1, episode 4, “The Warriors of Kyoshi”: Aang makes Team Avatar travel to a certain bay to ride giant koi, which attracts an even more adventurous ride (the unagi, a huge sea monster eel thing). The Kyoshi Warriors show up, the townspeople basically worship Aang for a bit, Suki and Sokka flirt and the warriors teach him to fight, and yes, eventually Aang does ride the unagi and use its water spray to put out some big flames. 10/10 would ride again.

One Piece – Spa Island Arc

tall metal spire rising out of the ocean

When you have an Anime that is already about eating fruit, sailing on the ocean and visiting little towns, if you want to make a vacation episode, you’ve got to go big. That’s why instead of just one episode, One Piece has the Spa Island arc: a mini-arc set on an island with wading pools, water slides, shapeshifting raccoons, secret treasure, and more. Of course, this is One Piece, so the arc ends with Luffy destroying it and the whole thing sinking into the ocean. Still, it was nice while it lasted, right?

MHA – Forest Training Camp

group of my hero academia students looking tired in a forest

This one’s a true-blue school field trip arc: Class 1-A and Class 1-B travel out to a forest lodge to do some training with the Wild Wild Pussycats (a team of pro heroes). Well, at least, it starts that way for the first few days (sorry! Anime shows can’t help themselves and neither can we). Then the League of Villains’ Vanguard Action Squad crashes the trip and starts hunting everyone down. This is also shortly after Dabi and Toga’s first appearances, so it’s one of the first times we see what they can really do. In terms of the field trip, this was definitely tougher training than anyone was accounting for, but it did make everyone a lot stronger.