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Cultura Otaku

Do long episodes ensure the success of an anime?

There is no doubt that “Oshi no Ko” and “Sousou no Frieren (Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End)” were two of the most important anime productions of the year 2023. Leaving aside their plots and more, both series have something in common: It turns out that the premiere episodes of both series had an extended duration instead of the usual 30-minute block.


When it comes to the first episode of an anime series, it’s usually about the introduction of the characters. However, in recent years there have been over 200 releases a year, making it much harder to stand out. For this reason, many animes extend their initial episodes to quickly reach the initial plot climax and captivate the audience from its first broadcast.

Apparently, this strategy continues with favorable results for the majority of anime series that have resorted to its use. Not only “Sousou no Frieren” with a first episode of 120 minutes and “Oshi no Ko” with a 90-minute first episode, but also “Kimetsu no Yaiba: Katanakaji no Sato-hen” had a first and last episode extended to 60 minutes; and “Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu” also resorted to extended episodes when it had a remaster, so to speak. Other examples of success have been “Kusuriya no Hitorigoto” and “Uma Musume Pretty Derby“.

But does the dynamic of the extended first episode really ensure the success of a series? Fans are already debating about it:

  • «It’s not that those series were successful because of the extended first episode, but we finally realized that twenty minutes per episode is sometimes not enough to judge a series completely.».
  • «I think the extended start is just a way of looking at it, like waiting for three or four episodes to come out and watching them in a row to determine whether you’ll watch a series or not. Eventually you realize that a series will be successful or not as it progresses, I don’t think the extended premiere has much to do with it».
  • «Oshi no Ko would have been popular anyway. However, I think that the extended premiere only applies to certain series, especially those that have a drama that you absolutely must see on your first sitting.».
  • «I love Sousou no Frieren. However, I’m more than sure that not everyone would have fallen in love with the series if there hadn’t been an extended release. After all, Frieren’s emotional development from the beginning had to be witnessed».
  • «I feel that the interest comes more from how much it is recommended by those who read the original work, whether manga or light novel, and not so much from an extended release».
  • «Ragna Crimson also had an extended first episode, but it wasn’t enough to make the series popular.».
  • «I think that success does not come from there being an extended first episode, but rather that the first extended episode decides precisely whether the original work is popular or not.».
  • «It’s very nice and everything that there are first episodes of extended duration, but eventually all the premieres will be like that and it will stop being something special».

Fountain: Otakomu

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