Starting out, I’m probably not talking about the obvious issues that most people think I am going to talk about. You know, the magical high school tournament arc anime that have bland and over powered protagonists and are also a harem series. No, not talking about that. Those are tropes that have been a part of the anime brand for as long as I can remember and I can’t see those leaving it anytime soon. The earliest I’ve known about their existence is when I watched Tenchi Muyo on Toonami, but I have a feeling that these tropes have been around for even longer than that. No, the main problem I have with light novel adaptions are how choppy each show are from a pace perspective.
From all of the light novel adaptions that I’ve seen so far, a lot of them have this problem to some degree. A lot of series don’t have good transitions from arc to arc. I’m not a light novel reader, so I don’t know if that is how light novel series are paced or formatted. All I know is that a lot of anime adaptions of light novels don’t have a consistent flow to them. The second season of Log Horizon feels like an unfocused mess because of the way its arcs are formatted. I didn’t watch Re:Zero, but this is a complaint that I hear quite often about it. Durarara is an unfocused, but loveable, mess as well. If Baccano’s anime wasn’t written and formatted the way that it was, I would be adding it as an example as well. Last but not least, The Book of Bantorra, which is an anime that I will be reviewing soon, has an issue that it tries to tell you the back story of a situation as the situation moves along, so each episode feels disjointed and confusing sometimes. I’m not sure if its way the way the light novel is written or the studio involved with adapting a light novel does a lousy job at it, but this seems to be the problem most of the time. Does this mean that this happens all the time? Well no. There are some series that don’t have this problem at all.
The two examples of series that I feel don’t have this problem are Spice and Wolf and Devil is a Part-Timer. Once again, I am not sure if it’s the light novel is written or the studio that did the adaption, but Spice and Wolf’s plot progressed fluidly throughout its two-season ruin. (Can we have more please?) One thing lead to another incredibly well and the relationship between Lawrence and Holo felt incredibly natural. Devil is a Part-Timer feels the same way. While there are two arcs, the lead in from one to another feels incredibly natural. There is a connection and it’s great because of it. Also, the characters are incredibly likeable and seeing their arcs are humorous and exciting. Grimgar is another anime that has a good and fluid arc movements. I digress though…
There are probably others out that that I haven’t named yet because I haven’t watched all the light novel adaptations that ever existed, but it still seems like a common problem in light novel anime. Whether it’s the light novels that the adaptations are coming from or the anime studio that produces them, light novel anime seem to have a high chance of choppy pacing. I wish they would be able to figure out the problem and give more fluidity to their series. Unfortunately, I don’ think that’s going to happen anytime soon.