What I Want From Anime: Good Cliffhangers

A somewhat weird thing to want, I do admit however I feel like it’s quite an easy thing to justify. Having watching anime for a long time I’ve not felt hooked into a show for a while, there’s plenty of shows that I enjoyed just not any that I was motivated to finish quickly. For example I loved Kuroko No Basket but it took me ages to finish, log horizon is also something that I’ve enjoyed yet still not finished and there’s plenty others like Yuri on ice, noragami and one other (which probably deserves its own blog post).

Yet today, this very day, I’ve become hooked like I’ve not been hooked into a series for a long time. And it’s all thanks to a show called Kaiji – ultimate survivor. It’s great; even now I want to go back to it right now but why? Why this show? What does this show do differently to make me get hooked on this but nothing else? Well it’s the cliff-hangers, absolutely brilliant cliff-hangers. I’ve only seen the first three episodes so this won’t spoil anything really, just in case you’re worried.

The anime has a lot of high stakes gambling in it which creates tension, normally I can find shows predictable in the case that the main characters will win however there’s always a massively strong doubt in my head for no reason that they could lose, which is absolutely essential in a show like this. So when the show ends you still have that tension and will just immediately carry on watching, therefore making you hooked into a show.

Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t always good; I feel like it’s often bad and should be avoided, so let’s look at how this show gets away with it. When a show ends in a cliff hanger it can often feel like a cheap way to try and hook someone in, I’ve been so enraged some times that I’ve outright dropped a show before because of a cliff-hanger. They only really work when the content in the middle of the show is actually good, this is because it gives you good faith that the content in the next episode won’t be a let-down leading you to click that next episode button.

A rule that I often hear is the three episode rule, I’ve technically done that with Kaiji, I’ve seen three episodes and decided to carry on watching, the only problem is that I knew that I’d carry on watching anyway from episode one, I never would have needed three episodes, one episode was enough, So I feel that if you use the three episode rule then I’d want you to reconsider, to save time it’s probably a better idea to find something that you enjoy by episode one. Sure if you carry on using this method then you may find something you like but if you search for something that hooks you immediately you’ll save time and probably end up enjoying the show more.

Now, time to go and test if my idea is right by carrying on with watching Kaiji!

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