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
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
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?