Let’s be honest, Dragon Ball was one of the first anime series that a lot of us fell in love with. I am twenty-one currently and I know that it was that, Pokémon, and Digimon that we got over here in the United States. Sure, there were other things occasionally, but Dragon Ball was different from the rest. If you were a boy, then you basically had to watch it. Constant ass kicking. Literally, constant ass kicking. As I look back on the series, there are obviously a lot of flaws in it. Having said that, it is still very entertaining to watch. One thing that I must say is that Dragon Ball Z Kai was a great idea. Cutting out some of the unnecessarily long fight filler was brilliant. However, it is those ridiculously long fights that the Dragon Ball series is known for. Unfortunately, I pretty much started out with that. Why is that bad? Well, I subconsciously believe that fights have to be long regardless of my outward criticism. I am constantly afraid that a series won’t have enough time to cover their fights even though it ends up working out in most scenarios.
I didn’t really follow-up on Dragon Ball in the Best way either. Shounen Jump likes to give us fights that last fairly long. They don’t last months like Dragon Ball fights would, but it might take one month at times. I am talking about things like Naruto, Bleach, and One Piece. Bleach isn’t the biggest example, but it does have its moments. Fights that last for three or more episodes occur quite often in these series. I am not even talking about groups of fights either. Naruto and Sasuke fought for a little over three episodes right before Sasuke bounced to train with Orochimaru. How many episodes did it take for Luffy to fight Lucci? There was other stuff thrown in there, but the actual fight did take a while. Ichigo’s fight with Byakuya was quite long as well. What is the worst thing about this when it comes to someone who doesn’t just watch action series? I enjoyed all of those fights. The mind starts latching onto the notion that this is what is necessary. Obviously, if you only watch shounen action series, then you should be fine. This happens quite often.
Well, not all series boast fights like this. There have been two series that came out this year that have pretty short fights. Watching Mushibugyou has basically put the idea for this article in my mind. Fights in that series last for one episode or less in most cases. A lot of that is used to emphasize the difference in power between certain participants, but that isn’t even the oddest thing. I feel like the fights are too long sometimes. Why is that? The series often fills fights with useless information. The stuff is obviously meant to develop characters, but I think that they lay it on a little thick. That means the fights could be even shorter. I am currently worried because there is one episode left in the series, for this season, and the main guy is only about to really start fighting the big villain in said last episode. Even though I know that fights don’t need to take forever, even though I know that fights in this series are just fine being short, I can’t shake this feeling that the fight should have started like two or three episodes ago. This is a feeling that I could never shake when I was watching Mondaiji earlier this year. We only got ten episodes in that series. If you told me what they planned on doing going in, I would have said that they needed at least ten episodes to cover the last arc if not more. Arguably, I do think that they could have spent more time on those fights, but that is because each one only got a handful of minutes even though a few were meant to be close. Honestly though, it’s not like these series don’t appeal to people who enjoy things like Dragon Ball, Naruto, etc. So, what is with the huge difference in battle times?
Listen, fights are great. I love fight scenes and I will always love Dragon Ball. Unfortunately, they put it on a little thick when it came to their fights. The series wasn’t perfect, but I do believe that Dragon Ball Z Kai showed how easy it is to fix what is a fairly big flaw. I don’t know if I could have sat through Dragon Ball now. When it comes to the shounen series, I think that it is a good length when the fights are a heavy focus of the series. They could cut out some stuff if flashbacks weren’t such a big part of the fights. That wasn’t really the case in One Piece so much, but Naruto is basically flashbacks, fights, and gay sexual tension. That is something that really fills the fights. As far as this new wave of series go, I think it may be the age of Dragon Ball that is affecting the way that things are written. Now that the series is old enough for people to have either not watched it or not be attached to it at least, writers can start to leave the skeleton a bit. Shorter fights are perfectly fine. Would I like to see more from them? Of course I would because I like the action in those series, but it isn’t necessary. What else affects the fight length in series like Mondaiji and Mushibugyou? Well, unlike the shounen series, these shows don’t have unlimited time to work with. You are kind of strapped for time when another season isn’t guaranteed. It is unfortunate, but true. I do think that Mondaiji would have spent a little more time in the fights if they had more time simply because the powers and battle events were such a heavy focus of the series. Mushibugyou may stay the same though. Overall, I don’t think that I will ever be able to accept shorter fights going in. Too short until proven otherwise. I do blame growing up on shounen series for that, but I don’t think that I would change anything. I love Dragon Ball and One Piece. Bleach and Naruto kind of betrayed me though. What do you guys think? I would love to hear from people who grew up on this stuff and people who didn’t. It would probably be nice to hear from people who didn’t start out with shounen series.