Back when anime first made a major boom in the early 2000s, most full series were twenty-six episodes, with single seasons sometimes being half that (thirteen, for you lazy people who refuse to do math outside of class). But recently I’ve noticed more than a few shows with an odd number of episodes. Some entire series being only twenty-two episodes and others seeming to suddenly cut off at ten (as is the case with Problem Children). For some of these shows, a second season might be in the works as they are very recent streams. However, it still makes for an odd number of episodes in the end. It also means that these newer shows often suffer from an odd… pace. Story arcs are often sped up, making the relationships in many of these shows more unbelievable and awkward than they might be otherwise.
As for why, well, it could be for any number of reasons. It might be to save money in production costs. After all, animation is far more detailed now and, depending on the show, can take no small amount of money to make. Not to mention all the legal fees for openers and enders (although this fee might be determined as a single payment as well). Although the biggest factor is likely the networks that originally air these shows in Japan. To networks, ratings are all that matter. If a show is airing and doesn’t pull in as many viewers as the network wants, they pull the plug. For some shows, funding depends heavily on networks, or on companies that only care about a show airing on a particular network. Show politics, in other words.
In any case, this change could be a good thing for shows that need some story condensing (meaningless spa episodes, anyone?), but overall it could prove fatal for some shows. Some stories just can’t be condensed. Instant friends are just too awkward.
(my apologies for the lateness of this article. It was written and ready days ago, but a glitch in the new WordPress kept it from being scheduled properly. I’ll be making sure this doesn’t happen again)