Anime Vice News

One Fan’s Opinion: We Need Story Insurance

Don’t you hate it when an anime becomes nothing more than a trailer for the manga?


 I'm totally not talking about you
 I'm totally not talking about you
Let me tell you what really grinds my gears raw. Let’s say you have been watching a 25 episode series and everything is going great. You are really getting into the story, the animation is wonderful, the characters are interesting--you are basically on cloud nine. However, you soon realize by episode 23 that there is no way you will be getting the complete story from this anime, that it doesn’t even feel that the story is even half way done. Worst part is you realize that no one apparently has any desire to make more. 

You soon realize that what you watched was nothing more than a glorified trailer for the manga.

There are tons of anime out there that stop short, and not in a good Frank Costanza way either. Anime that either gives you a false ending, or an anime that just picks a good stopping point in hopes that someone will finish it in the future. One of the biggest perpetrators of this crime against humanity is the anime Berserk, or as I like to call it, the trailer for the Berserk manga. 

Not talking about you either 
Not talking about you either 
Berserk dedicates its entire 25 episode run on a flashback revolving around the main character’s past. This shows the audience why the main character is the way he is, and what motivates him to achieve his goals within the primary storyline. The real sucker punch is that the audience never experiences the main story, just teased with its existence before the anime ends. Perhaps this was created because studio Oriental Light and Magic believed with all their hearts that they would make a sequel, continuing on where they left off. But it never happened. 

This is the crossing point where business and art clash. If an anime does not do well in ratings and in DVD sales, of course it would be stupid of them to create more. The only thing a viewer can do in this situation is to return to the source material to get a conclusion to the story, which too isn’t guaranteed at all. Worst part is, sometimes the anime isn’t based off anything, so when the anime stops short, its dead for good.

Sad thing is, there really isn’t a fix for this problem either. Animators will still continue to make anime that is based off of manga that are still ongoing, and the business side will not let an anime continue if there is no chance for profit in the future. I suppose I should just stop and smell the roses for what they are, to not expect a full story but a brief look into a world that may or may not be fully animated. 
Krison July 13, 2010 at 10:24 a.m.
It does suck, but it's kind of useless to complain, other than just to vent.
 
Berserk was killer, though.  It really stops in the middle of a story line.  Hell, it stops in the middle of an ongoing battle.  It's all "die die die rape OMG YOU ASSHOLE IMMA KILL YOU *end flashback* WTF just happened why is it over."  
It's a real shame, because it's an excellent anime.  But how do you honestly recommend a show that is so obviously incomplete to someone? 
GodLen staff on July 13, 2010 at 10:28 a.m.
@Kris: yeah, there is nothing that can me done
Killajadeon July 13, 2010 at 12:46 p.m.
@GodLen said:

 Worst part is, sometimes the anime isn’t based off anything, so when the anime stops short, its dead for good.

*very disbelieving voice" Name one.
Count_Zeroon July 13, 2010 at 1:11 p.m.
As much as I liked Berserk and felt alright, though not totally satisfied, with the ending I still think it was a little abrupt. I understand why they ended it that way - the storyline in the anime was an abridged adaptation of the manga up to where the anime wrapped up. In theory, with where they ended it, you could pick up the manga right were they ended it and have a reasonable idea about what was going on. While this does turn the series into a sort of advertisement for the manga, it also makes the series a decent primer for the manga, for people coming into it early, at least in the Japanese market. If you enjoyed the series and wanted more, you could pick up a copy of Young Animal (the magazine it ran in) and be more or less current, without needing to buy 13 Tankobon to catch up.
 
However, at the time the anime was licensed for a US release the manga hadn't been licensed, and considering the prior history of more violent, gritty manga not doing well in the US (such as Fist of the North Star*), there was the serious possibility that the manga would never be licensed. Consequently, the conclusion rubbed a lot of Western anime fans the wrong way. I suspect that the ending of the manga might play better now, since the manga has been licensed and has gone past the point where the anime ends. Now, there are still 13 more volumes in the manga after the conclusion of the series. However, there isn't as much ground readers need to cover to catch up
 
*Crying Freeman being something of an exception.
sickVisionz moderator on July 13, 2010 at 1:30 p.m.
@Kris said:
" It's a real shame, because it's an excellent anime.  But how do you honestly recommend a show that is so obviously incomplete to someone?  "
Anime that's not worth recommending isn't excellent imo. 
 
@Killajade said:
" @GodLen said:

 Worst part is, sometimes the anime isn’t based off anything, so when the anime stops short, its dead for good.

*very disbelieving voice" Name one. "
Any anime that's an original ip.
Killajadeon July 13, 2010 at 1:38 p.m.
@sickVisionz said:

@Killajade said:

" @GodLen said:

 Worst part is, sometimes the anime isn’t based off anything, so when the anime stops short, its dead for good.

*very disbelieving voice" Name one. "
Any anime that's an original ip. "
i meant  name one original ip anime that has been cutted short when it still had some story left to tell, cause unless the studio went bankrupt or we are talking about some VERY old anime then i dont believe there are any like that.
sotyfan16on July 13, 2010 at 5 p.m.

This can be said about 99% of anime. The other part of this issue is when the manga isn't far enough for the anime series. Thus the creators of the anime come up with some alternate ending that is quite different than when the manga reaches that point. A great example is Claymore. The last couple eps were made up because the manga was behind. This a real shame because from where the series ended up to now in the manga is really cool. A lot more is revealed about the story (def not what you would think based off the anime) and there is a lot more action. Of course, there is like a 7 year time jump I think.

N15PCAon July 13, 2010 at 6:15 p.m.

I hope they do finish the Berserk anime in the near future.  I just hope they start from scratch .   
 
I hate when they do that has well.
Gaseroon July 13, 2010 at 10 p.m.
There are far too many examples of this and it often seems like the anime is made specifically to get people to read the manga. There are a few shonen anime I have watched only to learn that there is an ongoing manga for the series and the anime is planned to end at a certain amount of episodes. The most recent example I can think of is Soul Eater, but I this is also the case with other shows like Hunter x Hunter, and Kekkaishi. I admittedly gained interest in those series, but I am not much of a manga reader...especially when the manga is not easily attainable in USA.
 
To be fair it really only bothers me when they end at a story arc that doesn't tie up loose ends. Claymore is the example I use for that. A lot more to occur, but no more eps.
Gozertcon July 13, 2010 at 11:28 p.m.

I would just point out the minor exception of OAV's.  They're not series but they tend to just be big ads for either the Anime or the Manga or both.  Not that it's a bad thing since OAV's were basically how I got into Anime.  (Thank you Riding Bean, Gunsmith Cats, and Dirty Pair Flash. :) )  
 
AJVon July 14, 2010 at 5:37 a.m.
I know what'cha mean. I've felt that way with plenty of the anime series I've watched.
Though the two you mentioned I haven't seen before, so I won't go into those.
I believe anime series should last longer, not necessarily as long as Bleach or Naruto but at least as long the original source material (manga in this case).
I wrote about a few series I thought could've and should've lasted longer over at my blog here if you're interested:  http://ajvsblog.blogspot.com/2010/03/anime-series-that-couldve-and-shouldve.html 
 
@sotyfan16: That sounds very similar to what happened to Fullmetal Alchemist when the first anime came out. Thankfully FMA got a second chance (anime).
PenguinDuston July 14, 2010 at 8:03 a.m.
You're preaching to the choir on this one.  I hate feeling like I've wasted my time after watching a really entertaining anime.  And I would be talking about  Tenjho Tenge.   Another that disappointed would be Pilot Candidate.  It was an show that started off interesting, but then just stopped.  I have to assume it was because the show wasn't renewed, but the manga continued onwards from what I understand.  Also, as much as I loved most of it, Desert Punk is one of those animes that just turn on their heels and stop leaving the viewer confused.  In the manga, the protagonist changes from the hero to his apprentice, and that happens in the anime, too in the last 4 episodes.  There were changes made from the manga in the anime that covered chapters 43 to 86.  There were so many unanswered questions left by the end of the anime series, that I was left feeling dissatisfied.   
 
If there is some kind of sensible conclusion that I can live with such as Soul Eater's end, then I am okay but if I feel that major plot points are still running that haven't been addressed then I have trouble recommending the show.  Zero no Tsukaima (The Familiar of Zero) better have a 4th season eventually because that's another that could make my list of good titles that feel unfinished.   
 
There is another trait to some anime that I'm not sure how to feel about.  Sometimes an anime series will end and the show sets up a follow up season that never materializes.  Maburaho has that after the end credits roll as does Toaru Majutsu no Index, but luckily that one got a call-back for this fall's season. 

Dig Deeper into Tenjho Tenge

Souichiro Nagi quickly learns that his new high school isn't as normal as it seems-- all of the students are highly skilled in combat, and some even have mysterious supernatural powers...

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