Japanese animation has grown tremendously in popularity over the years. A once local phenomenon has become a worldwide past time. Heavy translation of both manga comics and animated series has lead to a global fascination with the unique culture and interesting stories told through anime. Anime classifies a whole array of categories that cater to many different audiences. There are children, adult, and countless other types of animated series to satisfy any interest.
Action Based Animation
Perhaps the most common type of anime is the action adventure story. There is a hero and he embarks on some journey or quest. This popular story line however, is often presented in new and intriguing ways. Animation can bring an old and tired plot device into a new light, creating excitement and interest in fantasy characters. Some of these shows quickly fall flat, while others like Naruto air for years, clearing hundreds of different episodes and maintaining a incredible following of viewers.
The only issue with this type of series is maintaining interest. Driving a simplistic plot through three hundred episodes is no easy task. The journey often consists of a number of throw-away episodes known as filler allowing the story and it’s plot line to stay ahead of the curve. These episodes can detract from the overall excitement of a series and cause lasting damage to a brand name if they aren’t developed correctly. Keeping a long running series packed with excitement is a problem facing any kind of TV show, not just anime.
Drama and Thrillers
Another adaptation seen in popular animation are short stories that target an older audience. Death Note comes to mind as a particularly well executed thriller. It tells the story of a boy who is granted god-like powers of life and death and can use them at a whim. Dark themes clouded by ethics and moral dillemas run throughout the series, making for an interesting and exciting ride. The audience, a smaller and older group of people, is less specialized since they don’t need to watch hundreds of episodes to reach the shows conclusion.
Both types of series can present exceptional commercial success. Naruto is an obvious slam dunk for the producers, who have targeted a specific audience and delivered flawlessly. This combination is not easy to achieve. Establishing a fan base and keeping them satisfied with the direction of the series might be easy for awhile, but somewhere around the 300th episode it might get a bit difficult. Shorter series will always hold a bit of higher regard because they are cleaner and unblemished by silly side plots.
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