Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Top 5 Anime That Should Be Shorter

One of the biggest anime hits last century is now a big hit THIS century: DragonBall Z, now known as DragonBall Z Kai, currently airing on Nicktoons Network and soon to show on CW's Saturday morning Toonzai block in September 2010. Watch for it!

The big deal about Kai is that it's DBZ footage remastered and re-edited to cut out a lot of scenes and speed up the story. Brilliant! We could do without all the time wasted on recaps, sweaty standoffs, and glacial-pace power-ups.

Besides DBZ, here are
Top 5 Anime That Should Be Shorter

#5 - Bleach

At its beginning, Bleach was a unique story of "soul reapers" that oozed with coolness and diverse character designs. But like other hit shows, Bleach became a victim of it's own success. Fans (and producers) wanted more, so the creators began pumping out more episodes. Bleach's story line began to drag with loose plot threads and unfinished character development.

What we'd cut: A lot of fans point to the non-manga-based "Bounts" arc. We do too, but we also could do without some of the lame high school "comedy" and the melodramatic side battles that result in the same status quo after the smoke clears.

#4 - Fullmetal Alchemist

We won't go near the whole "reimagined" Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood series. Talk about an anime Mulligan. Ugh. So instead, we'll focus on the original anime series.

What we'd cut: The whole backstory of Ed and Al's training with their teacher Izumi Curtis and her crew. It's not particularly interesting and we don't need a detailed origin of the Homunculus Wrath (above). Get back to the Philosopher's Stone and the State Military, which have much more interesting histories.

#3 - Last Exile

We love this Gonzo-produced anime, and at 26 episodes, it's the shortest series on our list. Still, the middle of the story loses steam before the grand finale through the Grand Stream.

What we'd cut: The whole Sophia Forrester ditching her Silvana crewmates to act as reigning Anatoray princess was a waste of time--it's not long before she's back on Silvana's deck in her Vice-Captain uniform.



Plus, ditch the many potential love interests for hero Claus--this is Victorian steam punk, not a harem show! Besides, while we may enjoy the sexual tension with Tatiana, we all know Claus belongs to childhood friend and co-pilot Lavie.

#2 - Gundam Wing

This is most American viewers' introduction to the world of Gundam, and it's still one of the best. Even so, Gundam Wing is not without its faults.

What we'd cut: Pick a side already! Our five malleable mecha pilots switch allegiances faster than Senator Joe Lieberman picks political parties. (Thought we'd throw in a little political humor there.)

#1 - InuYasha

So we're finally getting the "Final Act" of InuYasha anime. Hooray!

The original InuYasha series clocked in at over 160 episodes and eventually had an unresolved ending, as we had to wait for creator Rumiko Takahashi to finish her manga. While we waited, the anime series featured a lot of fun misadventures and one- or two-episode self-contained stories.

What we'd cut: We actually enjoy all the mini-story arcs. But the massive "Band of Seven" story line (much of Seasons 4 & 5, see below) didn't do anything for the overall plot. In fact, it basically was an excuse to plop out (resurrect) seven new villians to pester and eventually succumb to InuYasha and Co. It probably would have been better for everyone if those seven bad guys just stayed dead in the first place.

Quality over quantity--Handy reminder next time you hunger for fast food.

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