This is a topic that has caused arguments with a lot of people. Everyone has something they want to see in their anime, whether it’s story, world-building, character design all of us have different opinions when it comes to anime. So down below, I will be explaining what I like to see in anime and why. If you think I’ve missed anything in this topic, feel free to let me know in the comments below.
Pacing in an Anime
When I was a kid, I was ok with the pacing in anime. It wasn’t something I noticed because I was too busy focusing on the cool character designs and voice acting. I had never seen Anime before, so I was taken in by how great it was. As I got older, I realised what I wanted to see in anime. If a pacing in anime is too slow, I get bored and move on to the next anime, it doesn’t matter how many fellow Anime fans say its good or amazing. I will drop it, like when you drop your phone on the floor and the screen cracks because you suddenly have butter fingers. If the pacing it too fast, I lose track and end up having to watch the previous episode again because I believe I’ve missed something.
If you know the Shonen Genre, then you will know that the genre is guilty when it comes to pacing. It’s especially a problem with long running anime like One Piece. Now don’t get me wrong, I love One Piece its second to Gintama for me, the manga it great and amazing to read. But when it comes to its anime, the pacing ruins it for me. So the One Piece intro in an episode is about 2 minutes long, then there’s the recap which is 3 minutes long.
The intro and the recap are only a problem for me if the recap adds on an extra 2 minutes which happened once or twice in the anime. So that leaves us the rest of the episode which is so slow, you could microwave some popcorn chicken and hang out the washing to dry and you’ll still be able to finish before the episode ends. When it comes to pacing the worst thing about it is when a huge problem is introduced at the beginning of an episode, only to be solved at the end of the episode.
For me that ruins the tension that I felt at the beginning of the episode, why add this huge problem only to then resolve it at the end of that very same episode? It doesn’t make sense to me. Good pacing for me is a problem is established at the beginning, the characters try to work it out throughout the show but then the problem gets solved at the end. It gives a reason to keep watching the show, to see how the story progresses. Pacing doesn’t need to be super fast or slow. An in-between is nice to see sometimes.
Character Design in an Anime
Now Character Design is all down to choice. For me character design is important in anime because it allows me to remember a character. An example of great character design are the teens in Danganronpa The Animation. Why? All of the characters look unique in that show, you can tell them apart. That character design is enough for me. There are some anime that don’t have amazing character designs but they make up for this by adding a focal point to the character that makes them easier to remember.
Edward Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist is a good one. He wears a long, red trench coat that makes him stand out against some the dark settings in this show. If he’s in the background shot then you will spot it right away because if that red coat, he’s the only one who wears it. The red coat stand out from the rest of his outfit which is black. It’s a great focal point for a character.
Too much character design exists. Too much armour or hair on a character bothers me a lot. When I look at these kind of characters, I feel like the anime studio tries to hard to sell some of these character as unique and cool looking but it just comes off as an eyesore. I know why they do it, to sell figurines or to watch the anime. It’s a shame they have to do that as sometimes a simple character design works just as well as an amazing one.
Character Development in an Anime
Character Development is always important in anime. I can’t relate to characters if I don’t like them. Characters need to grow, adapt and change for me. Assassination Classroom is a great example of character development. If you’ve seen the show then you know what I mean. The 28 students in this show all get some character development. The bigger characters get a lot of it. It’s a long running show so it has to develop its characters otherwise people won’t care.
In this show instead of explaining what a character is good at, they are place in a situation where they get to show off their skills. We don’t have to go through lines of dialogue that explains what the character and their skills it shows this and I love it. Character development can also be shown by having the character at the beginning of the show go through a change and by the end of the show it’s like their a different character. Poorly developed characters is awful to see. This is a problem sometimes when there are too many characters in the show on-screen, not enough screentime equals boring and unrelatable characters to me.
Soundtracks in Anime
This one is all down to opinion. I have no problem with anime using specific music tracks to set the scene. What I don’t like is when Generic music A is used for a happy scene or Generic music B is used for a sad scene. It gets boring when the same music track play for the same happy or sad scene. When a certain track is played at the exact moment, that’s when you know the music was great. Soundtracks to me in anime is all about creating that strong feeling, you know it’s strong when you want to find the soundtrack that was used but you haven’t finished watching the episode yet. Clannad is a great example of an amazing soundtrack.
Take the music track, Nagisa for example. The reason why I remember it and so many fellow Anime fans remember it as well is because most of the time it’s played when Nagisa is on the screen. It’s her theme, if you don’t know this then you will once that track is played over and over again. When the track is played you know exactly what to feel in that moment. I react instantly when that track plays because I know what to expect in the scene. When a certain track played in an anime makes your remember when you heard it in a scene, you know it’s great. That’s how I feel when it comes to soundtracks.
All of what I have said here is all down to your opinion. One anime may have an amazing story but the character development and animation makes it lose marks. One anime may have great animation but the story is boring and slow. Anime’s that have the issue of the week have this problem at times. Myraid Colours Phantom World is a perfect example of this, the animation is beautiful to look at but the story pacing is awful. The issue of the week storyline could have been way better.
An example of a great anime that has all of the content I have spoken about is Gintama. Now you may think that Gintama is all about its gags. But underneath all of that their lies a great story. Little moments between different characters mean so much more when the story arcs start. I love the animation, the characters, the story and the pacing. I have loved it from the start. Gintama has a way of making me watch its anime all over again. If you haven’t seen it, check it out if you’re looking for a comedy anime. Gintama being a beautiful package of everything I’ve spoken about is just my opinion of course.
Even though I’ve expressed my thoughts on what kind of content is needed to make a good anime, it’s still something that will be debated for many years to come. And that’s ok as it makes for a great discussion between fellow Anime fans. If you have any anime that you think is great let me know.