Friday, December 3, 2010
While part of my discomfort with long series comes from an unreasonable fear of the ongoing, I also think long series have a tendency to spiral out of control and be rather disappointing. In Japan, manga is serialized monthly (or weekly), and the development of the story is often dictated by reader response. If a story is doing well, the editors push the creator to make the series longer, add a new arc, add new plot elements, etc. But that can get a little ridiculous. One only needs to take a look at something like Dragonball to see what can happen. I'm not saying all long series are bad, but I find that they can get a little ridiculous as time goes on. And by the time it starts getting silly, you're so invested in the characters that you can't stop reading, even if it's completely lost sight of its original purpose.
On the flip side, some short series are serials that got cut because fan response was poor, so their endings are incredibly unsatisfactory. It's all about the happy medium, I suppose.