Death Parade and how not to make an anime too long

Death Parade is one of the best anime I have ever watched in recent years. I know that that is a huge claim but hopefully I can help explain why I feel that way. But before I get into why I love it, let me speak  briefly about something I have been thinking about for a while. As an anime fan for years, I have seen anime and manga that have been extremely long and have overstayed their welcome. Either the story begins to get tiresome or it loses some other hook that made it great. Bleach is a great example of a manga and anime that lost its fire. The manga and anime had extremely lengthy arcs and often would seem to repeat things a bit too often. Also, and this this just my personal opinion, the characters were not nearly as enjoyable. One Piece is another manga and anime that is extremely lengthy. However, One Piece does not bore me. So it cannot be just that lengthiness makes it more difficult to craft a compelling narrative. Now One Piece isn’t for everyone and certainly I prefer the manga to the anime, due to the ridiculous number of episodes, but there is a clarity of purpose and good storytelling that Eichiro Oda has that other shonen manga-ka seem to lack. I think the story benefits from what could be seen as, actual foresight and planning on Oda’s part. From what I understand, and please feel free to comment and correct me if I am wrong, Oda has had an actual outline and plan for his story from the beginning. Of course, it can change, but I imagine that this clarity of story, theme and purpose has served him well. Now, sometimes however, being short and sweet benefits a manga or anime. Death Parade is an example of this. Despite being only 12 episodes in length, the drama, character work, animation and story are concise and heart warming. Now not every story can be told briefly, but I think that this anime does its job very well. Each episode deals with new characters and elucidates the jobs of the main cast. There are mysteries teased through storybook segments and the varied party games with horrifying extra stakes are exciting. The characters are actually extremely interesting and you find yourself never really disliking anyone. The opening theme is extremely catchy and the music in episode is very fitting and heartwarming occasionally. I even found myself tearing up at certain points. I cannot recommend this highly enough whether you prefer dub or sub, check it out.

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