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View Poll Results: How long should your favorite anime be?
The more, the better! Make Vegeta say "It's Over 9000!" (episodes) 1 5.00%
I like long-runners. So well into the hundreds of episodes. End before I get old though. 2 10.00%
I like to see a season where a Roman "V" shows up, or a crazy number of exclamation marks! 1 5.00%
2 to 6 cours worth of episodes spread out over 2 to 4 seasons 15 75.00%
One cour, no more! 1 5.00%
Voters: 20. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2015-10-25, 17:30   Link #1
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How long should your favorite anime be? (Sequel Discussion/Poll)

I recently caught up on Symphogear, watching through both G and GX over the past month or so. At the end of GX, I am about 95% satisfied, and am generally content with the series as a whole. I feel that all of the major named characters have been fleshed out very well with good character-focused episodes and some compelling character arcs. Symphogear has had a very nice run, and if it ended now, I'd feel happy about the series. I'm not necessarily opposed to a 4th season, but I don't feel a particular need for one either. However, that definitely seems to put me in the minority here on Anime Suki (and likely elsewhere), if this thread is anything to go by.

The desires for a 4th season resonates very clearly on the last few pages of that thread. It's like a crowd shouting "Encore! Encore!" at the end of a live performance. This, I've felt over the years, is usual for us anime fans. A desire for more, for the shows that we love to have ever more sequels. Very rarely does the sentiment seem to be that a good series stopping point has been reached, and that we should be happy that a series can now be completed with a very good ending.

So this has left me wondering if there's any set idea that people have for a good length for one of their favorite shows. Is it, in fact, "the more, the better!"? Or is there a set number of cours, or seasons, or episodes, that many anime fans like their favorite shows to reach?

What's the ideal anime series length for you?

This post comes with a poll providing a few poll options that I hope does a decent job of capturing a good range of possible numerically specific answers.

Keep in mind here that I'm mostly talking about anime-original anime, or anime shows that go beyond where their source material ended. An answer of "I want to see the finished source material adapted to completion; no less, no more" would clearly make sense for an anime adaptation, but such an answer would likely cloud what I hope to accomplish with the poll. As would an answer like "It depends". However, those answers still have validity, so if you'd like to share them (or something like them) in a reply to this post, then please do so. I'd love to get a wider discussion going on this particular topic, but just for the purposes of the poll, please take your best stab at what a good anime series length tends to be for you.
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Old 2015-10-25, 18:14   Link #2
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If it's for an original story (not an adaptation), I prefer a multi-season approach with each season having 26 episodes and no more than 6 months between each season. I have yet to get bored with a series due to its length, so as long as it stays interesting, I don't want to put a limit on the number of episodes/seasons it could have.

If it's for an adaptation, I prefer they wait until the source has ended and then just do a complete adaptation with no breaks. Have as many episodes as they need to make a nice adaptation.
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Old 2015-10-25, 18:37   Link #3
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I tend to like around anywhere between 22 to 52 eps. I like slow, steady, careful, detailed, deliberate world building and character development very generally speaking, and 2-4 cour roughly seems to do the job.

There are exceptions shorter and longer than that, of course, but this is just a generalization based on the series I find I have enjoyed the most over the years.

Sometimes this can stretch over a handful of seasons and sometimes apply to a single season.
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Old 2015-10-25, 18:56   Link #4
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As many episodes as it needs to tell the story without it being rushed or moving at a glacial pace.
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Old 2015-10-25, 19:27   Link #5
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I think 12-52 is enough. Really, it depends on the series and how they explore the characters and world.

100+ is too goddamn much.
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Old 2015-10-26, 01:16   Link #6
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12-13 episodes is never enough to decently cover a story especially if it's a LN adaptation.
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Old 2015-10-26, 11:17   Link #7
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It should go as long as possible until it either reaches its conclusion or the staff starts making fillers. Especially for the latter, the staff should just take a break and go on hiatus at that point.
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Old 2015-10-26, 16:53   Link #8
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Often it depends of the source material, especially if the anime is commissioned early on.

A long season (20+ eps) without much to adapt might end up with some filler episodes, though these can sometimes allow the production team to experiment.
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Old 2015-10-26, 17:31   Link #9
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Thanks to everyone for their feedback and their poll votes.

Those poll votes are certainly quite definitive so far. They do paint a pretty clear picture so far.

I have to admit I've been spoiled by one cour shows over the years. I'd say the ideal length for an anime series for me would probably be 2-3 seasons, with the first one only one cour long.

Of all the answers given so far, I'm probably most in agreement with Flower or GDiddy.
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Old 2015-10-26, 17:50   Link #10
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Hmmm.....I prefer watching 12-100 episode anime. I usually get bored when I watch really long ones.
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Old 2015-10-27, 01:08   Link #11
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26 episodes times x seasons, no anime-original plot if necessary.
And no Detective Conan-length insanity please.
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Old 2015-10-27, 23:00   Link #12
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I prefer better detailed and structured works and have enough length to give more depth to the story. So in ideal 2 cour would be a bottom line, and it have to actually finish in reasonable lenght of time. Multiple seasons of 2 cour might be ideal generally speaking.
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Old 2015-10-27, 23:04   Link #13
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Well, hmm, As for my vote was the biggest amount of episodes.
One big reason is I'd like to think as, is that more content the better. But don't sacrifice quality for quantity.

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Old 2015-10-28, 17:24   Link #14
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As long as it needs to be. Different lengths work for different types of stories (that being said, at present there are no series of more than two cours at the top of my all time favorites list).

There are things that can be done in a two cour show that can't be done in a one cour show (at least not well). But one cour is just right for some series. One cour shows are often more focused than two cour shows. My two all time favorite series are both two cour, but they both have some significant issues. By contrast I think I'd have trouble thinking of much that could be done to improve Ga-Rei Zero, a one cour show which also ranks highly on my top favorites list.

Basically, I think longer series allow for doing bigger things, but shorter ones tend to be more focused. Some franchises tell longer stories using multiple one or two cour seasons, which I think can be a good approach.
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Old 2015-10-28, 21:28   Link #15
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It depends on the source material.

Original anime? 2 cours at most. I start losing interest after the 2nd cour real fast, unless it is really good. I'm actually glad that Shirobako for example ended at 2 cours, though I wouldn't mind another 2 cours if it gets another green light, but that's only because it is Shirobako.

Adaptation? Light Novels are pretty wonky. On one hand, SaeKano did 4 volumes in 12 episodes, and it didn't feel rushed at all. On the other, Strike the Blood had mostly 4 episodes per volume, and even then I still felt the pacing a little bit rushed. On the extreme ends, Rokka no Yuusha did 1 volume for the entire cour, and the pacing was good in one hand. On the other hand, you have OreGairu S1 where they blazed through 6 volumes in 1 cour and it still felt fine because IMO they did good in cutting out a lot of the 'fat'. So I'm at a loss; I think the credit goes a lot to the skill of the director and the writer to make the story feel complete at the pace they decide to go on, because Light Novels really differ in content the most out of all the mediums.

Regular novels I think is 1 cour per volume at minimum. If there is enough material for 2 cours per volume, then I'd be happy for it, but I can't see ANY regular novel going past 2 cours. My measuring stick here is Tatami Galaxy, Shin Sekai Yori and Hibike Euphonium, both of which I personally found excellent animations.

Manga, I think about 2-3 chapters per episode. Your Lie in April did 44 chapters in 22 episodes, while Cross Game did 160 chapters in 50.

Visual Novel.... hmm, I think 1 cour is enough if they solely focused on one route. I mean, on one hand, Waremete (aka In search of lost future) I found had a beautifully written plot in 1 cour. On the other, White Album 2 only had the introductory chapter in 1 cour, and it was absolutely amazing, but I think WA2 is the exception rather than the rule. Oh yeah, and please no omnibus... >_>

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Old 2015-11-08, 14:14   Link #16
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For comedy or slice of life, i.e episodic series, they can be as long as they want to be so long as the quality remains constant (which, granted, doesn't happen all that often). These type of series tend to have very likable characters since they're the core of the shows, and the more attached to the characters you become, the more you don't want to part with them. I believe this is the main reason people wish for more seasons: attachment to the characters. There isn't a single great (the keyword) anime of these types that I haven't wished would have gone on longer. Having a series you absolutely love go on for years is a great feeling. It becomes a part of your life and yourself. Unfortunately, I only know of one anime that gave me this feeling (and still does after 9 years).

For series that try to tell one continuous story, this is trickier. If a story is concluded correctly, no matter the length, then I never feel the need for a sequel. In this case, the length of the series should be entirely dependent on the scale of the story being told. It's pointless to even talk about this though, because no anime will ever be ambitious enough to tell an original story in more than 52 episodes. Too many risks involved. Even with adaptations, those reaching more than 100 episodes are increasingly rare. That's most likely the reason 95% of my and everyone else's favorites are 26 episodes or less: there's barely any alternatives. It's a real shame, because lengthier series would be able to tell stories we aren't used to in this medium.

One thing I really want to say is that there is no such thing as too long. It all depends on the type of story being told, and more importantly, the talent of the writer. Plenty of manga and western series can prove that. They can't go on forever and do need to end at some point though. A proper story must have a beginning and an ending. Miura dying before finishing Berserk is my nightmare.

t;dr : there is no ideal length for me. It entirely depends on the type of stories being told, so I can't answer the poll. I enjoy stuff with all types of length.
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Old 2015-11-08, 14:52   Link #17
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Kanon, that's a nicely thorough post that covers a lot of different bases. It was definitely good reading your take on this. However, there's one sentence I have to take some issue with.

Originally Posted by Kanon View Post

One thing I really want to say is that there is no such thing as too long.
I accept that this is probably true for your own personal experience with anime, or you wouldn't have wrote it, but I have to say that there are some anime shows that I found overly long. I still remember how slow I found the first half of Shakugan no Shana's second season. And then there's all the anime-original filler material that anime adaptations of LNs/manga often make, some of which I found boring and tedious (and from talking to other anime fans about it in the past, I very much doubt that I was alone in finding it that way).

In the cases I mentioned, a shorter length would have been preferable to me. In my eyes, Bleach (I couldn't stand the Bounts arc) and Shakugan no Shana would have both been better off with some of the fat trimmed off.

So I hope you can understand how for some of us "too long" is a thing. For some people, it does reflect their honest feelings towards a show or movie or whatever. (By the way, as much as I love The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya movie, I can definitely understand how some would find it a bit long for a movie watch)
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Old 2015-11-08, 15:41   Link #18
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Thinking about it 50 odd episodes would probably be the max for a single arc / closed end story like, but if it's a series with plenty of 15-20 episode arcs & only the odd "breather" episode then 100+ is doable as long as the writers keep things fresh.

Outrunning the source material / wanting to include the better set pieces earlier in the storyline can mess things up for an anime.
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Old 2015-11-08, 16:52   Link #19
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1 season is good. Easiest on my wallet when it comes to buying stuff as well. 2 in a pinch, but after that I start to balk. Very few stories are so good that they need to be spread out that long.
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Old 2015-11-08, 21:38   Link #20
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It really depends on the type of story being told. Different stories need a different amount of time to be told without being rushed or dragging on too long. Though to me personally most adaptions should be about 2 cours long unless they can reach a good ending point with only one cour.
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