The one thing I hate is when you finally find a great anime, then it turns out to be shit, just like your grades. It has an interesting world, characters, and a unique theme then halfway through the series you can’t ignore how cheap it feels, just like your girlfriend.
I can’t tell you how many times this has happened to me, you too?
Welcome to the club, I’m pretty sure every anime fan goes through this at least once. This is caused by multiple things, the biggest part has to do with pacing. In this video, we will be going over what pacing is, how it affects anime. the difference between good and bad pacing, and why anime struggles with good pacing.
So let’s get started.
Pacing is a stylistic device, that shows how fast events in a story unfold. Its sort of like the rhythm of a movie.
Now there’s some miss conception. For some reason, people think that types of pacing defines whether its good or bad. Like if an anime has fast-pacing its bad or if it has slow-pacing it’s bad.
When in reality. Both slow and fast pacing can both be good if used the correct way. The style of pacing should enhance the story. This is really similar to sex, but that’s for another time.
How Pacing Effects Anime
So different pacing techniques make the audience feel different things. Good pacing will Make the viewer feel more immersed in the story.
Likewise, there is nothing more than takes the viewer out of the experience than when the pace doesn’t match the story.
There’s no doubt that there are guides when it comes to pacing. They’re not set rules but usually, people will follow a similar pattern. An example of this is slice of life and romance anime, they tend to have a slower pace then what you would find in an action anime or hentai. The reason why the anime genres have similar pacing, is that it has a proven track record. This, of course, makes people lean towards using it.
So we’ll talk about two different anime that use fast and slow pacing to enhance the story.
Example of fast pacing –
A great example is Redline, an anime film that focuses on fast pacing. The director Takeshi Koike wanted the movie to feel like a thrill. Something middle-aged adults desperately crave. They do this by making fast cuts, lots of fast-paced action, colorful scenes, and loud fast sharp sounds.
This gives it a nice effect almost like your heart is beating fast and you have an adrenaline rush. You have no time to think so you sit on the edge of your seat and enjoy the experience.
Fast pacing is extremely hard to pull off the right way and can sometimes make the experience feel cheap if done the wrong way.
Example of good slow pacing –
Now An example of a slow paced anime is perfect blue, which is a Psychological horror. Compared to Redline there are fewer cuts, a quieter soundtrack, and slower movement throughout the movie. This gives the viewer more time to think, which can make you more anxious or uncertain about what may happen. Also called suspense. Thus making you feel more in tune with the story since the main character Kirigoe Mima feels similar things throughout the film and has as much confusion as you do which gives it a much more immersive experience.
The Difference Between Good And Bad Pacing
There are a lot of things that make pacing bad and a couple of them is inconsistency, and when it doesn’t fit with what’s happening in the story.
Bad Pacing –
Now let’s talk about an anime that has some of the worst pacing I have ever seen and that
honor goes to demon king Daimao.
If you watched the show you know what I’m talking about but for those who haven’t.
The pacing is like your mom, its been everywhere. Sometimes when it makes no sense it will have extremely slow pacing on irrelevant things. Rushes through important parts. Then randomly switches throughout the entire anime. When it gets to the end, it’s like a league of legends base race to finish the anime off.
It feels like the production committee said it was going to be a 24 episode anime. Then at the last second told them it was actually going to be a 12 episode series. Then the studio had to fit the rest of the series in 4 episodes.
Now, this is an example of bad pacing because the pace changes rapidly without meaning and doesn’t aim to enhance the show or make the viewers feel immersed in the show. Its almost like they are pacing the anime to fit the content into their 12 episode contract. Which will never make for good pacing and will leave the viewer uninterested, bored or even confused. -(extra)
Good Pacing –
Now let’s go over an anime that had good pacing.
The promised neverland.
Throughout the entire anime, you’re on the edge of your seat.
The pacing stays consistent until it gets into high-pressure situations then the pacing speeds up. It also does this thing where it will have two different paces at the same time, for example, it will show A antagonist moving really fast then fast cutting to a slow-paced scene with the protagonist which really puts you on the edge of your seat because it feels like the antagonist will catch up to the protagonist because it’s moving faster.
If you want to check out a cool video on pacing check out this video they even go over examples where they change the pacing themselves to see how it would be better.
Why Anime Struggles With Good Pacing
It always feels like an anime has either great pacing or bad pacing. This is because of the current 2 anime business models. Both of them make it really hard to implement good pacing.
First Business model –
the first is seasonal anime that usually have 12 to 24 episodes. This is where a production studio is contracted by a production committee to make a season of an anime to see how well it will perform and if it’s profitable. There is a lot of uncertainty in this since the studio doesn’t know if there will be a season two so they need to figure out how much of the manga is crammed into the 1st season and will sometimes make filler episodes to just make the demand of the contract.
The production committee might also change the anime to try and make it more profitable and you’ll usually get something that’s similar to what happened in Rosario plus vampire where they turn a good but risky story into a panty flashing fanservice piece of garbage.
Second business model –
The 2nd business model is long-running anime which is a lot rarer. this is mostly used in shonen that’s aimed towards teenagers and kids. where they make the most of their money from selling merchandise now be a good boy and get your mom’s credit card and donate. they will try to keep the show airing as long as possible to avoid losing a good time slot or losing merchandise earnings so the studio will make fillers if they are catching up to the manga and make the pace of the anime slower so they can keep airing it. This of course makes the pacing fit into what the studio needs rather than making it fit whats happening in the story.
Both of these business models make it really hard to spend time on the pacing to make the anime great and that’s why you ultimately see more bad pacing anime then good ones. It sucks for everyone the creator of the manga, the viewers and the studio but all we can hope is that it changes of course some studios can pull off good pacing in anime and as the viewers we should make sure that we appreciate the work done into them and show that good pacing shows are worth the effort