10 Short Anime Movies That Drag – CBR – Comic Book Resources

Although short anime movies should have fast pacing, some can take a premise that should be entertaining and turn it into a challenge to get through.
Anime films provide great opportunities for stories that have smaller scopes, punchier plots, or faster pacing. Occasionally, these films are shorter than the modern average movie and can range from 100 to 20 minutes. With runtimes that short, audiences might expect pacing that is alert and assertive. They're likely expecting movies that do not let the viewers breathe for one second.
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However, not every anime film understands how to pace itself, including the short ones. There are a few that waste their time without accomplishing much. They drag out the plot and dampen the mood of the story. This is not an automatic dealbreaker, but it does affect the viewer's experience considerably.
Pale Cacoon is one of the shortest anime films out there, with a total runtime of 23 minutes. Most of those minutes feel extremely stretched out. The dialogue is monotone, the pallet is muted, and the pace lacks any sense of urgency. The movie is far too content to take its time pondering over its themes without giving the audience a reason to care.
Greater emphasis is placed on showing off a virtual 3D camera rather than making the movie engaging. While its message has merit, it somehow makes its extremely short runtime difficult to get through. If it could have been expanded into a series, it might have shined more.
Sakura Toyama Space Book — His Name is Gold is a film from the '80s that's just 59 minutes long. It is a movie lost to time, and for good reasons. For half of its run, the film does nothing important. It sets up the setting and the idea of a supercomputer handling society, but the plot does not use those enough to justify it.
The setting feels little more than an excuse to give Gold a beam sword. The action scenes look extremely cheap. Gold is a campy character, but his actions cause more groans than laughter. This movie could be trimmed down to 10 minutes and leave the same impact.
Dracula: Sovereign of the Damned is a beloved anime cult classic of the '80s. Lasting for a little over 90 minutes, the movie contains iconic moments, like Dracula eating a cheeseburger and the hokiest conversation with God. Sadly, it is not enough that this film has Dracula's dead child return as a supersoldier for God. The movie is just too slow.
Every scene in the film feels three times longer than what it actually is due to poor storyboarding and stiff animation. This neuters the film's reputation as a so-bad-it's-good anime. It would be so much more enjoyable flowed better.
The original run of Fullmetal Alchemist did not need a film to conclude its story. The 2003 adaptation had a bittersweet open-ending that felt right for the series' tone, so it's a shame that Fullmetal Alchemist: Conqueror of Shamballa exists.
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Unfortunately, Conqueror of Shamballa is 104 minutes of pointless airtime. The movie takes too long trying to establish the world Edward Elric finds himself in. It becomes evident that the setting is an altered version of the audience's real world, but the movie doesn't make that worth it. Instead, it adds Nazis and calls it a day.
Horror films take their time establishing their worlds and characters so that the underlying menace can build in the viewer's consciousness. Unfortunately, that doesn't work for Ao Oni: The Animation. The film's horrendous usage of CGI animation is too distracting to build a proper mood.
On top of that, the monster itself is comically awful to look at. The film builds up suspense for it, but every time it's on-screen, it looks incredibly out of place. Instead of coming off as an incomprehensible abomination that lives off body horror, it looks like the smallest and silliest Titan from Attack on Titan.
A Whisker Away is a 104-minute-long film that feels like it is three hours long. Unable to decide if it is a Makoto Shinkai or Mamoru Hosoda ripoff, the movie wastes its time looking for its own identity. It settles with being a really generic romance with fantasy elements.
Miyo Sasaki takes center stage as the film's heroine, but her characterization is drawn out and hollow. Her crush for Kento Hinode does not evolve past the feeling of stalking, even though it's the core focus of the movie. A Whisker Away spends all of its time doing nothing.
It is very strange for a Pokémon film to be as hollow and tepid as Kyurem vs. the Sword of Justice. The movie is 71 minutes long but uses its first act to slowly establish Keldeo's character. It goes on far too long and does not do anything interesting with Keldeo's insecurities and resolve.
Once the ball starts rolling, the action and story finally take center stage but are cut by light-hearted and comedic breaks. The movie's pace is incredibly uneven, and the city Ash and the gang find themselves in is unlived. It feels like Pokémon are running and battling through a set, rather than a city.
The structure of idol anime is nothing terribly exciting. School girls with passions for music and dancing find mutual bonds with each other and work towards their dreams. It's a cute premise, but it only works if the girls are interesting, colorful, or relatable. The characters in Wake Up, Girls! The Movie are not.
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Every character in this film is extremely flat and dull. Wake Up, Girls! The Movie is to idol anime as what crackers are to snacks — dry, stale, and bland. The anime gives viewers no incentive to care about the plight, so the whole story falls apart. Every step of the journey becomes a slog to get through.
The Kizumonogatari light novel is a single volume containing a complete story. The films break that story into three parts and requires a considerable amount of stretching and padding, which is the most evident in the first film: Kizumonogatari Part 1: Tekketsu.
Establishing Araragi's journey to become a vampire should not have taken 64 minutes to accomplish. It's padded by Shaft's onslaught of visuals and the methodical speed of the dialogue's delivery. Kizumonogatari relies too hard on expecting fans to already have attachments to the characters instead of urgently building up their narratives.
Makoto Shinkai is one of the most celebrated modern directors in the medium, but before there was 5 Centimeters Per Second, before there was Your Name, and before there was Weathering with You, there was The Place Promised in Our Earlier Days. It is a 90-minute film that cannot be asked to move. A good majority of it is Hiroki Fujisawa recollecting on his past with languid delivery.
There's a whole sci-fi plot behind the romance of the movie, but it is not adequately explored. The parts that are touched on come off as tedious and deadweight. It is a far cry from Shinkai's other films, which have gone on to captivate the wider film audience.
NEXT: The 10 Most Inspirational Anime, Ranked
A Quezon City native, Dave Carl Cutler is an aspiring writer and devout hobbyist. Having graduated from the University of the Philippines Mindanao with a major in Creative Writing, he’s written and edited articles for the university’s academic science journal. All that said, his heart lies with anime, manga, and movies.
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