Fang Talks

Drinks in the barpub are on me tonight!

So I had a pretty length discussion over this with a friend today. Needless to say, I now have enough material to write a long-ass post with.

You all know I’ll just make it another average one, but hey, the possibility is there at least! In this post I’ll mostly be talking about my experiences with this regarding anime series, but I’m sure it can be applied to other media as well. I am of the opinion that, on average, a short series has much higher overall quality than the long-running series almost everyone knows. (Decent examples here would be Naruto, Fairy Tail, et cetera.) But why is this?

Let’s take a look. First, the main question. Why do these series span hundreds of episodes, with still no finale in sight? Most obvious answer here is milking. Keeping a successful show running for extended periods of time results in greater profit. Fans stay hooked, and there’s enough time for other people to pick up on it as well. What better way to stretch the lifetime of a series? Fillers (episodes unrelated to the plotline), in-episode stretching (for example through flashbacks), and unnecessary development in the plot, or whatever they decide to show us.
Furthermore, if you take a closer look, these 500+ episode series fall more or less into the same genre. Fantasy, or whatever you want to call “epic magic battles”. Because that’s basically what the shows thrive on. Their plot is stretched out over such a long period of time, that it can’t possibly hold anyone’s attention. “Epic battles” are cool to watch and get people hooked, but sadly they don’t add much of value.

Shorter series do the complete opposite. They run on their often strong plots and good character development. Where in longer series you often see lots of flat character, or God forbid, trope characters, the shorter ones tend to do a lot more with its characters. They often don’t have enough time to feature a 50-character main cast, so they can put a lot more detail into the characters they do feature prominently.

Of course there’s lots of exception to this, and you can’t really compare anything to each other. In the end though, I’m of the opinion that longer series generally are for “dumb watching” (you know, brain on zero and eating up that entertainment), and shorter series are more engaging. Thick intricate plots, tough subject matter and characters you can connect to.

This post doesn’t do the topic justice, and it probably is a bit biased, but I got a guest coming over soon so I’ll cut it here.
~ Fang

Comments

  • 26/08/2013 (2:47 PM)

    As a writer, there’s nothing I would hate to see more than one of my characters in a storyline that’s just been beaten to death. I want an ending. I crave that ending, that wrap up that ties everything together. A neverending storyline just feels like one of those lame daytime soap operas.

    Oh, and as for your comment the other day, I figured I’d reply here instead of replying on our blog. I do indeed do surveys to pay the bills. You have to have the right sites, and you have to know what you’re doing, since some of those sites want you to fill out some longwinded form (that takes 30 minutes) in exchange for a dollar. Forget that. I do product tests (try things and give my opinion on them, anything from foods to deodorants to shampoos), I do focus groups (drive to a hotel, give my opinion on something with a small group of people, get paid), or I do surveys for IT companies.

    Product tests are the easiest because I just try something and answer a few questions. Focus groups are great because those usually pay $100-200 (I did one last week that paid $300 for 5 hours of my time). And the IT company surveys are great because out of all the ‘fill out these online form’ surveys, they pay the best, hands down. Usually $15-20 for a 20 minute survey. They want to shell out the big bucks to know that their IT solutions are the best fit, or to know what IT folks want in a solution. And as a guy who used to work in IT, I do actually have the knowledge to back this up. So I’m not just BSing them.

    No, I’m not making a ton of money, but the variety keeps things interesting and I make enough to pay all of my bills comfortably and be a full time writer. Overall, it’s not a bad gig.

  • 26/08/2013 (7:50 AM)

    I haven’t touched any manga or anime related things in a long time, except for one particular visual novel.

  • 25/08/2013 (9:29 PM)

    I think you did a pretty decent job of saying what you wanted to say and for the most part I can agree with you really. I’m a big manga reader and the mangas I read have been going on for over ten years. I’ve been reading them for over five or so and it’s insane to think that I’ve been reading the same story for that long. I can tell you what happens in the beginning but I often lose track of the middle too and lose track of characters.

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