ericg

ericg

Contributing writer for The Artifice.

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Latest Articles

Latest Topics

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Is there an ideal length for anime?

Anime vary wildly in length–some have hundreds of episodes (One Piece, Crayon Shin-Chan), whereas some only last 12 or 13 (Tokyo Ghoul, Angel Beats). Each ends of the spectrum have their own problems–watching a long-running shonen is a daunting task that’s bound to be plagued with filler episodes and uninteresting arcs. Similarly, short shows might not have enough time to make a lasting impact. But is there a sweet spot in between? Is length irrelevant to the quality of a specific show? Is an anime more likely to be successful if it runs for a particular length?

  • The shorter the better I say. Yes, the really long and practically endless series keep die-hard fans coming back again and again, and people apparently never get bored with them. But with series like "Detective Conan/Case Closed," "One Piece," and "Pokemon" seemingly stretching onward with no end in sight, I get irritated after a while because there's no end game, there's no ultimate resolution. Conan/Jimmy Kudo never gets back to his normal body and reveals to everyone what happened to him. Luffy never finds One Piece. And freaking Ash never gets any older and never becomes the greatest Pokemon Master. What a load of bull.Shows that can tell their whole story in a perfect condenced set of 13-26 episodes are the shows I prefer, and sometimes even the ones that last about 50. Each may have it's own tendency for a few "filler" episodes, but they usually provide a much greater amount of satisfaction to me in terms of conflict resolution, and knowing the ultimate fate of characters I've come to love and enjoy watching."Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water" was a great older series that lasts about 40 episodes. "Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood" is around 50. "The Woman Called Fujiko Mine" and "Panty & Stocking" last a simple 13. And all three original "Slayers" tv series last 26 in total. Same goes for "Magic Knight Rayearth" and "Hyper Police."I'm getting into older shows. But I guess I would be included to choose between a one season or two season show (13-26). Shows that last longer with an episode count between 40 and 50 should only last that long if they have something meaningful to say within that time, and they need that time to develop their characters to a point where things can really make an impact once the final ultimate climax begins.Something from the West like "The Legend of Korra" can last much longer, because I feel like the West is more used to writing and constructing shows with a flow, where one season has a single contained story, and then the next season is a continuation of that from a slightly different point in time, and they often don't need cliffhangers in order to get you to come back. Japanese shows, on the other hand, seem to have seasons bleed into each other without much regard for starting and stopping. There's no half-way point if a show lasts 26. Sometimes there isn't even a sense of story progression for groups of episodes, because they drag a plot point out for multiple episodes in order to fill a large gap of space, rather than just make a shorter series, or try to expand the story with some actual important elements.But I digress. – Jonathan Leiter 1 year ago
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  • Most shows have that issue where they do too much to quickly and then its the remaining episodes to fill in whatever else there is to make sure an audience exist to sell merchandise to otaku, who are still gonna buy it. – DustinKop 1 year ago
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  • I feel as though it is more about timing then it is about the length of the series and how much people are planning on packing into their episodes. Such cases are strongly demonstrated in light novel adaptations. Where there are series like "Black Bullet" and "Date A Live" that do a usual adaptation of 3-4 light novels per 12 episodes. There are even some series like "High School DxD" or "Devil is a Part-Timer" that adapt only two novels and ae still able to cover a good 12 episodes.However, then you have the recently released series "DanMachi" which has a strange means of adapting where the first 2 volumes take up 3 episodes each, the 3rd is only 2 episodes, the 4th being only one, and on the fifth volume we are back to 3 episodes. This makes the style extremely irregular and following an extremely slow pace. – Kmo 1 year ago
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  • There is an irritating circlejerk among online anime fans that 13-episode-long series that don't meet the grade would be inherently better off if they were 26 episodes instead. I would love to see this avoided or even exploded. – JekoJeko 1 year ago
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  • Sometimes less is more, especially if it leaves the audience wanting a bit more by the end. Some of the best Anime I have ever seen, such as Space Dandy, Fooly Cooly, or Cowboy Bebop, have had pretty short lifespans. Other really good Anime, such as One Piece, have RIDICULOUSLY long lifespans, and are still going. While I do not think that being longer or short really makes any particular Anime "better" or "worse", I think one thing that is often ignored is that, for many people, seeing something that has only a few seasons, and maybe a max of 20 episodes, is much more inviting to watch than something that spans several HUNDRED episodes, all of which you must watch if you want to get the most out of the story. – Heavy92 1 year ago
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  • Depends on how material is handled.One piece is popular because of its length and still awesome story telling while naruto is infamous because of its rushed ending. – Akash 1 month ago
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Latest Comments

ericg

It seems like remasters are going to be more common, considering the fact that Sony and Nintendo systems don’t have backwards compatibility. It’s probably a good thing remasters exist though–as you say in your article, old consoles won’t last forever. I’d be surprised if my Dreamcast is able to function for longer than an hour before shutting down! It’s a shame that not every game can get remastered, though.

An Abundance of Remasters: Originality in the Gaming Industry
ericg

This I-Novel phenomenon seems to be pretty similar to slice of life (which you mention in the article at one point). I’ve always been a fan of that genre, so I should check out a couple of these I-Novels. I don’t know about Murakami, though–Kafka on the Shore was a bit too weird for my tastes. Has he written anything more… realistic? Also, do you know if there are any other contemporary I-Novelists that have books released in the West?

This was a really interesting read. Great article.

Influence of the I-Novel (私小説) on Makoto Shinkai's Films
ericg

This article reminds me of a moment in a class I took during my senior year of college. We were talking about books that YouTubers had published, and the professor jokingly stated to the aspiring writers in the room that they should be taught how to start YouTube channels so publishers will notice them.

I do have to wonder, though–why did you single out YouTubers in this article? Other celebrities from so-called “traditional media” have produced some lackluster books. Snooki from Jersey Shore, for example, wrote an awful book that people only bought because her name was on it.

How Necessary is it for YouTubers to Write Books?
ericg

I could be wrong about this, but I thought I heard about this PETA Super Bowl commercial that was banned for being too risque.

I wonder how long the Super Bowl will be this popular, though? From what I hear, football is on the decline, and enthusiasm might wane in the coming years.

Superbowl Commercials and Sponsorship Influence
ericg

This was a good read. Game of Thrones is my favorite show, but recently I felt that the show has just been getting too gratuitous for its own good. I like how you were able to justify at least (some) of it by finding meaning in it.

Although, I have to point out a mistake you made in the article–Catelyn Stark has a brother–Edmure Tully. He was in the third season of the TV show, famously trying (and failing) to shoot a flaming arrow at his father’s corpse as it drifted off to sea.

How A Feminist Watches Game of Thrones: Power Is Power
ericg

I was surprised that the list ended with two films I’d never even heard of! I’ve gotta go check them out, especially if you say that they’re better than Full Metal Jacket. It was just such a horrific movie that I thought really displayed how awful humanity can be.

The 10 Greatest War Films of All Time (So Far)
ericg

You know, before I read this article, if you had asked me to reflect about Gravity, I wouldn’t have recalled many details about the characters (certainly not Ryan’s past). I just remembered how intense and gripping the movie was and that I was glad that I never aspired to be an astronaut, because man, her situation was terrifying. I thought it was a movie all about the experience of being in outer space, and how terrifying it is, with the characters taking a backseat to the setting. I can appreciate the film more now, knowing that it can be interpreted as a much more personal story about Ryan and her struggle. Great work!

Gravity: Braving Tragedy
ericg

Crash Course, Sex+ and ASAPScience are all really good from what I’ve seen. Haven’t checked out the other two yet, though.

Surprised you didn’t mention Game Theory, though. Although it is a bit more “entertainment” than “education” than these other channels, it does use video games as a teaching tool to help people learn about subjects like psychology, technology, and even geology.

Snacks for Thought: 5 ‘Edutainment’ YouTube Channels To Improve Your Knowledge