Because they’re almost all mini-series.
Generally you know if you’re starting something, it will finish. It will have nice closure. You won’t be left hanging. If the show gets popular, it is still going to finish the story line and end. They might add a new season, but it will also have a story line that has a crafted ending at the point in which it starts.
As a kid I HATED when the puppy never made it home or we never found out if the pirates were successful at getting rid of the evil miasma that was taking over the world.
Now at least sometimes we get some closure when they take a beloved series cancelled too soon and make it into a movie. Though in the movie (spoiler alert!) everybody gets killed off. Failing a movie, sometimes we get to see the last couple of unaired episodes on dvd, like with Wonderfalls.
Another reason I like anime is that it tends to focus on perseverance over innate talents. In a series DC1 and I are currently watching, Law of Ueki, that idea is spelled out point-blank. The main character loses “talents” as the series goes along and makes the point that that loss just means he needs to work harder, and that he can still enjoy the process of something like running even if he’s lost his innate ability to run well.
That idea that you can escape your circumstances also shows up with a recurring theme that you can create our own families, our own lives, our own destinies. We can surround ourselves with other imperfect people and help each other grow. As one of my favorites, Fruits Basket, says in the opening song, “I can’t be born again, but I can change a little every day.”
OTOH, #2 doesn’t like anime — most of it. I have seen some lovely and wonderful examples, but mostly it irritates me. I can’t stand how all the women have BIG EYES and teeny tiny mouths. Just bat your lovely eyelashes and don’t talk, airhead. Sigh. Anatomically impossible women’s bodies in children’s outfits creep me out. Yes, I know it is a cultural thing that I will not fully understand, not being steeped in that culture. Still, ick. IBTP.
#1 notes that #2 is talking about anime that #1 does not watch (well, maybe some harem anime…). There’s a lot more to anime these days than male fantasy, especially with anime that is appropriate for children (a necessity when one’s child is old enough to ask awkward questions). There are a lot of strong smart female characters who persevere for their own reasons. Ginormous breasts are also absent from most of the anime I watch. There’s even animes in which the girl starts doing something because of a boy, but like in Legally Blonde, through her struggles she realizes the boy isn’t worth it but she is. Another of my favorites, Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge, turns the Pygmalian story on its head– 4 pretty boys are recruited to transform a goth girl into a lady, and instead she changes them.
Any other anime likers? What do you like most about the art form? For non-anime watchers, have you ever been annoyed by a series ending before there’s closure, or deciding to drag out a story arc way too long after the show gets popular?