The Modern Trend of Short Anime
One of the first things I do when starting a new anime series is glance at the length to see how long the episodes are. Is it the standard 22 minute episode length? Or the recent “hybrid” length like Aho Girl (10 minutes) or Tsuredure Children (12 minutes). All too often, new shows are even shorter, just 3-4 minutes per episode, a trend that got started with the moe mountain climbing anime Yama no Susume from 2013.
This season has quite a few anime shorts I’m following, including Alice or Alice (generic cute girls x oniichan) and Uchu Senkan Tiramisu (a comedy sci-fi series dedicated to making food jokes in space). Then there’s Fumikiri Time, a three-minute format show about love that unfolds when two characters are at a fumikiri (train crossing) waiting for the train to pass. It’s charming and cute, plus there’s yuri, so it’s right up my alley.
Another short anime I’ll certainly be watching this season is close to my heart: Omae wa Mada Gunma wo Shiranai, or You Don’t Know Gunma Yet, which pokes fun at J-List’s home prefecture while promoting tourism and local products to people around Japan. A few years ago, Gunma — a prefecture of 2 million located in the exact center of Japan’s main island of Honshu, 100 km north of Tokyo — was voted the last popular prefecture in Japan, and a meme emerged that Gunma is a backward, unexplored region like the deepest parts of Africa. Each episode of the anime makes jokes about some aspect of Gunma Prefecture before showing shorts that promote how delicious our udon noodles are.
Are these short anime series good for the industry? I naturally understand the pressures that have made these short format needed, as the once “long tail” of anime gets shorter, and it’s nice that experimental ideas can be tried without a lot of risk to animation studios. With a few exceptions, most of the short series never attain lasting popularity, and all too often are forgotten when the cour is up.
Another nice update of anime figures on the site today, including all the kawaii anime waifus you want on your figure shelf. We’ve got a sexy new Rem from Re:Zero, a new Makise Kurisu, plus Kobayashi figures. Remember that buying figures is how we get future seasons of our favorite shows made!