So I was looking through crunchyroll looking for an anime I could really get my teeth into. Something deep, something with no filler, something with substance. So I came across this show “encouragement of climb”, I assumed that I was going to drop it after an episode but before I knew it, the episode over. I looked at the length of the show and it was only three minutes per episode. So I said “screw it” and watched the whole season, and to my surprise I thoroughly enjoyed it. HOWEVER, in my opinion, this anime only worked in a short episode format. After trying out the second season, I found this verdict to be true. The episodes of the second season felt boring and dragged out.
After watching this show, I formed an opinion that at least 80% of slice of life shows should be a short. The other 20% of slice of life shows that are at least capable of being in a twenty-minute format are shows similar to Haruhi and Genshiken (to be fair, this could be a pretty enjoyable short), where the content is already dense and there is no wasted time. I feel that it is often the case that the exposition takes too long for a subsequently disappointing execution.
Short formatted slice of life episodes are dense and therefore allows the user to experience a range of emotions in a shorter time frame. There is never no wasted time, and I always immediately see what I want to see. With The Disastrous Life of Saiki K (one of my favourite shows of all time), every single episode was a unique experience, the jokes were always fresh, and even the jokes that were based on-going gags were built upon, instead of being repeated. Another reason why I think the short format is superior for most slice of life shows is because the artists behind the show can spend more time on how the show looks rather than being constrained by the time limits. I saw this in Encouragement of Climb, the first season was gorgeous but in the second season that flare was lost and it was now boring to look at and listen too.
Now I’m not saying that ALL slice of life need to be a short, I acknowledge that melodrama is often the main ingredient in these kind of shows. My argument is that sometimes replacing melodrama for dense humour, story telling and beautiful production will do more good for a show.