The Writer’s Guide to Anime: One Piece and Structuring Long-running Stories

One Piece is perhaps the most well-regarded of the “Big Three,” the three most popular and longest-running Sh┼Źnen Jump weekly manga. These three are known largely for their impressive length. At the time of this writing, Naruto has recently ended with 700 chapters, Bleach is in the mid-600’s, and One Piece has just passed the 800-chapter mark. I can’t speak to the quality of Bleach or Naruto, because only One Piece has ever really interested me. Why? Well, upon reflection, I’ve realized that there’s one key reason that One Piece initially drew me in and has continued to hold my attention: no matter how drawn-out and long-winded the plot can get, I never feel like it’s wasting my time because the story is structured in such a way that it always feels like it’s going somewhere. Read More

It Bugs Me: Phantom World Interlude

In my previous Phantom World posts, I’ve been breaking down the episodes bit by bit and complaining about whatever strikes my fancy, but I’d like to take a moment to talk more broadly about why exactly Phantom World is failing so hard for me.

First of all, I suppose I should answer one important question: why do I care? Why bother tearing a show apart like this? Why get riled up about a show that, overall, is just “on the bad side” rather than “irredeemably awful?” I think it largely comes down to betrayal. I was expecting good things from the series before it was airing, and KyoAni has a pretty good track record. So when it ended up being bad, I got angry. The things you have high expectations for or that become popular are always the ones that are most infuriating.

So on to what’s wrong with Phantom World. Read More

It Bugs Me: Phantom World Episode 8

Thought I was done with these, huh?

After the first four episodes, there wasn’t a lot to talk about in Phantom World. I’d covered the setup and worldbuilding, I covered the lazy writing, I covered the characters by not covering them because there’s nothing there, but after that initial surge of terrible, there wasn’t a lot to talk about. It just went back to being generically bad. You know, the type of bad where the fact that the show looks pretty is actually able to keep the show relatively enjoyable.

But then comes episode 8. Read More