Is shorter, better?

  • Think back to your favorite anime. How many episodes was it? Is it still going?

    My top five favorite anime have always been short lived and though it kills me to watch them end, I love to see it happen. I see a lot of these shows make a lot of peoples top lists as well. Shows like FMA, Cowboy Bebop, Death Note, Baccano, or Jyu Oh Sei have always captivated audiences everywhere with their amazing plots, quote worthy dialogue, and timeless characters. Yet these are all shows that ended perfectly when they were supposed to.

    This makes me wonder, is a shorter anime that focuses on key plots and characters, a better anime? Perhaps it is just my personal taste, but, when a show has 70+ episodes I can't honestly enjoy it as much. What do you think, and while your at it what are your top 5 favorite anime?

  • Most of my favorite shows are 13 episode series, the two longer ones being the Crest/Banner series and K-On. I don't really get into longer series because I like to purchase (shows like Bleach or Naruto would cost a small fortune to own). There's also the substantial time investment required to view an entire series. There's also something to be said that when constrained a good director has to fit more story and events in each episode, where as in a longer series they maybe more inclined to run with cheaper to produce filler episodes.

    It also depends on the anime, some shows like Case Closed fit perfectly with a longer running style, others like Pumpkin Scissors get 26 episodes and never tell a complete story, all in all it should be judged on an individual level but overall I like shorter series.

  • Some of my favs have been over 100 eps. My top fav being Yu Yu Hakusho. Fairy Tail being another and that's still ongoing. But I like many short series too since there are more of them than long running shows. Such as TWGOK, Hagani, Spice & Wolf and Wagnaria.

  • Looking at my favorites, most are 13-26 episodes, with outliers like Higurashi and Eureka Seven both clocking in at 50. I do think that shorter running times lends to tighter and more focused storytelling, and a generally more even level of quality. On the other hand, FMAB, Monster, and Legend of Galactic Heroes exist. So I don't think it's a strictly black-and-white issue.

  • FLCL is one of, if not my most, favorite show, and that's only six episodes, but I still love shows like Eureka Seven, Chihayafuru and One Piece. It's not just about length, as others have said, but also about how that time is used, and how well the characters are written.

  • More episodes are better as long as they are not just doing it for money. If season 1 epic and season 2 sucks it going to take away from it overall score.

  • Quality over quantity I say. doesnt matter if its 13 episodes, 26 or 1000. What matters is how well is it written!? Any series can potentially have good or bad writting. Best to watch & decide for yourself.

  • I can't say for certain, but there are shorter series that I wish we had more of like Midori Days and Gunsmith Cats, and others that felt like they went on too long. There just isn't a right answer here. That said I usually stay away from the longer series when it comes time to actually buy a DVD set because I worry that a: the company releasing it on DVD won't finish releasing it (like Viz with Monster) or b: its so long that buying all of it would keep me from picking up other shows I'd like. Because I'm not made of money and I don't know too many people that are. So I'd want more variety in my collection rather than every single thing from just one series.

  • In my experience I tend to gravitate towards shorter series; anywhere from a 6 episode OVA like GunBuster to 11 episodes to 26 episodes. This range of episode counts tends to make up a majority of all my favorites.

    Of course there are a few exceptions of series that go a little longer than that; both Fullmetal Alchemist series are 51 and 64 episodes respectively. Then, if I want to get technical, the complete Queen’s Blade series goes to around 42 episodes if I count all three seasons and the special 6 episode OVA. Of course there’s the four seasons of Ikkitousen and I can’t forget Revolutionary Girl Utena that clocks in at 39 episodes. I suppose though, in comparison to many of the longer running series, these shows are quite short, so I guess it’s safe to say I like shorter shows.

    As much as I liked Inuyasha and Ranma ½ both these shows episode count goes well over 100 and the issue I find with that is they tend to get repetitious, just so many episodes. It’s from this experience that I’m somewhat repelled from shows like One Piece and Fairy Tail.

    So to answer the question; is shorter better? I can’t really provide a definitive answer since it’s pretty subjective and depends upon what a person wants from an anime; some people love the fact that One Piece is over 500 epsiodes. As for me, with the few exceptions I have that go over 26 episodes but stay under 70, I lean towards shorter, more concluded titles.

  • All my absolute fav animes are usually between 12-13 episodes with no second season. There are exceptions - Freezing, High School DxD, Baka Test, Rosario + Vampire, Spice & Wolf, etc - are some of the exceptions that included a 2nd season.

    The longest running anime I've watched was Fairy Tail. Though, I only watched it up to episode 56 (or 58). From there I felt the series "jumped the shark" with the introduction of their moe-loli character Wendi and Carla. I lost interest from then on.

  • I hate that term, only character that can jump the shark is the Fonz! EHHH!

  • There is no correlation between length of a show and its quality

    There are some 24-episode shows that would be better if they were shorter (Sword Art Online, Honey and Clover), and there are some 12-episode shows that would be better if they were longer (Danganronpa, Blood Lad). There are even some 12-episode shows that would've been better if they were shorter (Sankarea, Unbreakable Machine Doll)

    But to decide which is better depends on what you're looking for. Do you want a tighter story, or do you want more elaborate action? Obviously for something as long as Bleach or Fairy Tail, longer is better if you're asking for battle scenes

    I don't judge the same length as you do. Anything longer than 26 episodes, I consider a long-running show. Even then, there are some spectacular shows that cross the 70+ threshold, such as Bakuman and Maison Ikkoku

    And generally speaking, if shorter was better, you'd never see these never-ending stories like One Piece or Naruto. There are people buying these things

    EDIT: People that are saying they tend to watch and enjoy single 12-to-24 episode series are silly. You realize that makes up, like, 80% of all anime, right? EVERYONE tends to watch and enjoy this amount more

  • length dosent matter its how you use it. cough cough

  • True

    Length doesn't really matter. It's the SIZE of the anime that's going to give you the best satisfaction

  • I'd say it's more about moderation, too long and it overstays it's welcome and becomes filler ridden and often ends like crap, too short and it can get left unfinished or feel rushed.

    I don't really notice any correlation in my top 10 as far as episodes go other than the fact that they're all under 100 episodes:

    Monster: 74
    Planetes: 26
    Haibane Renmei: 13
    Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex (both seasons): 52
    Rumbling Hearts: 14
    Kurenai: 12
    When They Cry (both seasons): 52
    Welcome to the NHK: 24
    Baccano: 16
    Kanon (2006): 24

  • @Riles:

    EDIT: People that are saying they tend to watch and enjoy single 12-to-24 episode series are silly. You realize that makes up, like, 80% of all anime, right? EVERYONE tends to watch and enjoy this amount more

    I dunno, I know more than a couple people who like pretty much nothing but 100+ episode shounen battle anime.

  • I have to go with the consensus on this one, longer does not necessarily mean better, though I will admit like many of you, generally a shorter show does come off as appealing. That is not to say that a show with 100+ episodes cannot be appealing, for example One Piece is a show that, at times, I feel can become stale and repetitive, but, the minute I indulge such thoughts they manage to pull themselves out with some new fascinating character or note worthy plot.

    On the other hand I can remember a time when everyone I knew watched Dragon Ball Z, then a lot of people dropped off around the time of Cell, and myself even lost interest around the time of Majin Buu, because they failed to keep it fresh.

    On the other side of the spectrum sometimes a show can fail due to it being short lived and unsatisfying to the viewers.

    Leading to the conclusion that just as many of you have pointed out, if a show can stay fresh and keep its audience satisfied, then what really matters is quality over quantity in any instance.

    I do look forward to more takes on the subject, but as for now the argument seems to be generally in that standing

  • My favorite anime is DBZ which has a lot of episodes. However I like many short anime series that only have around 12 episodes. I feel that those anime were too short and should get another season. I would say the ideal length for an anime is 22-26 episodes.

  • Length is really determined by the story and the type of show that the creator wants to tell. However, I find that shorter shows that are more condensed are able to tell a better story. A vast majority of my favorite shows fall between 12-26 episodes in length with the expects being A certain Scientific Rail Gun (48 epsiodes) and The Garden Of Sinners (7 movies).

  • I say it depends on how the story is handled, no matter how many episodes there are in a series.

  • I think one of the biggest factors with anime length is how they handle dealing with overtaking the manga or light novel. I've seen other fans mentioning it, but a issue I'm seeing lately with anime seasons is a lot of shows that just adapt the first two arcs of the source material and then don't finish. This is especially troublesome when the source material isn't available in countries outside of Japan (looking at you Devil is a Part Timer)- especially light novels. What the anime is left with is either the option to make its own ending or, and more troublingly, just end without resolution to various plot threads (insert old as dirt Berserk joke here)

    That being said, there's the opposite case entirely where an original source could end, but editorial constraints force it to labor on due to popularity. It's not about the story being "good" anymore, it's about it making a quick buck aka why Bleach is now a shambling husk

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