There are plenty of anime out there that felt like they were cut short. Maybe the plot hadn’t fully emerged, or you were just starting to care about the characters before it ended. Maybe the world needed more exploring, or episodes started getting rushed thanks to the time limit. Whatever the cause, we all know certain anime should have been longer.
I am purposefully leaving off anime that has a source material with the exception of #2. That’s because if they only animated a small part of the series, it means they were only doing it to advertise the manga anyway, which you should go read. Therefor, Berserk, Gunsmith Cats, Battle Angel Alita, Claymore, etc. will not be appearing on the list.
10. Kamichu! – Kamichu is one of the most inventive and charming slice-of-life anime around, and perfectly threads a needle between lighthearted fun, introspection, crazy supernatural adventure, and a cute romance. There was simply so much more that could be done with this concept!!! Kamichu is the kind of show that would never get old (like Aria) and could take much more time to flesh out it’s characters, world, create new adventures, and seek more introspective meanings. The last episodes are right at a turning point for the characters, and seeing beyond that would have been a ton of fun. this show simply had much farther it could go.
9. Pale Cocoon – This was a very interesting 20 minute short with great animation and what looked like a cool story, but I was rather disappointed by how… shallow it felt. I couldn’t help but feel there was more to be said here. We are given a very interesting setting and the main characters’ story within it could have been at most quite powerful and grand, but was limited by only being 20 minutes and not particularly connecting.
8. Escaflowne – Honestly, telling it to be longer is probably just me throwing a random solution at this show. For those unaware, I found it’s second half extremely disappointing, especially since this could have been one of my favorite anime but got snagged on shitty pacing and boring sub plots too close to the end. I wonder if it could have gotten things right if it had another 13 eps or so to really think things through, develop itself more carefully, and for gods sake fix the fucking ending.
7. RahXephon – The plot in RahXephon makes no fucking sense. The show does feel pretty complete as it is, but it took little to no time to explain anything. As a matter of fact, the show spent more time on experimental, weird ass episodes than it did on explaining – not that it’s a bad thing. Maybe it could have been longer, explained everything, and still had experimental episodes. I don’t know, the things is just such a total clusterfuck….
6. Howl’s Moving Castle – This movie felt like an epic adventure trapped in a movie’s body. It has a huge, unique world full of wonders, war, and potentially great characters. However, the movie didn’t seem like it could decide what it wanted to do with all this stuff. It kept rushing between character development, world development, and plot development, and all of them managed to loose interest in the time spent on something else. I think this movie could have been an awesome 2-part or trilogy and really laid everything out well, but instead it kind of collapsed under it’s own weight.
5. Xam’d Lost Memories – Bones seems to make a similar mistake to RahXephon by spending time on everything other than explanation and careful development which led to the show feeling very awkward and under-developed. We are put in a huge world with a huge cast, but we only get a tourists’ view of the place. Could have been at least 39 eps.
4. Futakoi Alternative – Anyone who’s seen this show can tell you it’s big issue – the plot jumps completely between extremes in tone and development so hard the viewer gets whiplash. It’s an excellent show full of great concepts, fun things, awesome drama, and elements that could have made it a veritable classic, but the pacing throws a it of a monkey wrench in there. Had this show perhaps been given just a bit more time to move logically, it might have improved. Though at the same time, it’s insanity may be one of it’s charms. I’m sure different fans have their own opinions.
3. Tenamonya Voyagers – This is a 4-episode OVA directed by Akiyuki Shinbo in 1999 which I watched last night, inspiring this post. The show is an awesome journey of 4 girls through space on their way to earth leaving a trail of immense destruction, tons of fanservice, and Shinbo at his best in their wake. After 4 episodes of fun, awesome, hilarity, and stellar production values, the girls have hopped across a few planets and are on their merry way… then the show ends. There is simply no more. It’s like someone took a 13-ep show and vut off the first 4 episodes. I suspect that the show simply didn’t sell and the company couldn’t keep up the very high budget of the production (uncharacteristic of a shinbo show) so it ended. In any case, I REALLY WANTED MORE.
2. Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind – I know I said no adaptions but COME ON MAN!!! It’s one of the greatest manga ever and it’s 8 volumes long! How do you turn that into just one 2 hour movie?! Miyazaki’s fan-fucking-tastic art deserves more than anything to be animated, especially by his fan-fucking-tastic studio, but they only did one feature length film. Come on Miyazaki! DO AN OVA OR SOMETHING!!!
1. Top wo Nerae! 2 – This show needed to be at least 13 episodes long. Nono and her oneesan had WAY more they needed to do and their development had only really just begun. Episode 3 was spent almost entirely developing a character who would practically not show up at all again. What was the deal with that?! The pacing was total shit, too. This was still an excellent OVA, but it could have been SO much better.
That’s all from me. If you have ones you want to add, please do, but the first person who says ‘FLCL’ I’m sawing their fucking legs off.