Short vs. Long Series: Which is Better?


Some of the best series ever created are only 6 episodes long, while others are over 600! There’s definitely some good and bad when it comes to short series vs long ones — we’re going to break it down for you.


PRO: Product or Art?

Image © John White

Production studios eventually either choose the path of “product” or “art”. I first heard this analogy from popular youtuber DemolitionD+ in his “Should you watch: Ergo Proxy?” video.

Are we talking about a generic trope-filled anime laced with fan service and beach episodes, or are we talking End of Evangelion?

Short series definitely take the cake when it comes to artistic masterpieces.


PRO: Little Room for Filler

That might be because there’s only so much you can do in 13 or 26 episodes. A short series cuts out all the silly filler and gets to the juicy elements of storytelling.

Here’s a good example of juicy storytelling:

Image © Gonzo

PRO: Easy to Marathon

Image © AIC Build

Whether you want to re-watch the first season of a show to a prepare for a sequel, or you just want a little bit of nostalgia, short shows always have the added bonus of being easy to watch in one sitting.


CON: We ALWAYS Want More!

The better they are, the more we want. We often find ourselves waiting for years for a sequel that will never come.

(I’m looking at you, Mayo Chiki!)

Image © Shaft

CON: Rushed → Plot Holes

We meant it when we said “there’s only so much you can do in 13 or 26 episodes”. Rather than being filled with plot twists, shows wind up being filled with plot holes. Who? What? WHY?

CON: Cliffhanger Endings, Unresolved Questions.

Image © Sentai Filmworks

Maybe their budget ran out. Maybe they ran out of creative energy. When it comes to shorter series, we’ve all seen some terrible and unexplainable endings.

Case in point:


PRO: Character Growth and Transformation

Image © Veckito

Longer shows have more freedom to take characters down interesting paths of growth and development. Sometimes the growth is physical, but the coolest changes are those deep character transformations that happen beneath the surface.


PRO: It Becomes a Ritual, Part of Our Life Routine

Image © Bandai Visual

Coming home from school and catching up on yesterday’s or last week’s episode of our favorite show, in its eigth season, is awesome. It gives us something to look forward to, and explains why we have such emotional connections to those epic shows that have been around for years.

CON: Filler, Filler, and More Filler!

Image © Studio Pierrot

Dragon Ball Z might be the king of the filler. Enjoy this three hour-long video of Gohan fighting Cell:

Yes – three hours, (nearly eight whole episodes), dedicated to ONE fight.

CON: Overpowered Shonen Characters

Image © Toei Animation

Step 1. Protagonist is weak

Step 2. He loses in a fight, decides to become stronger.

Step 3. Trains for a long time

Step 4. Rematch vs bad guy, wins.

Step 5. New stronger bad guy shows up.



CON: You Will NEVER Marathon

Image © Xebec

I dare you to spend a day, weekend, or even a week marathoning all of One Piece orNaruto.

CON: It Feels Like We Died When It Finally Ends

We don’t have to think hard to remember this feeling. Naruto fans expressed their heartbreak when the Naruto manga finally ended. We can’t imagine what we’re going to do when the anime finally ends…

Image © Toei Animation


Which do you prefer: short or long?

And this is possibly an even a harder question: If you had the funding to make your own anime, would you make it a short masterpiece or a long series with some filler?


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