Drama is a dynamic and powerful element of storytelling. It can create tension, raise the stakes, give gravity to events, and define the most important moments in a story. Many great anime series succeed because of their drama. Fans are won over by shows that excel there.
There are genres that work well without drama like comedy. However, even shows in these genres could sometimes use a bit of drama to give the series emotional weight or variety. There are plenty of anime locales that demand a certain measure of drama, but don’t deliver. It could be the difference between a good show and a great show.
ten Baccano! Does everything well apart from the drama
Baccano! dances and flirts with violence, action, comedy and non-linear storytelling. It’s exciting and incredibly fun. Its only drawback is that its dramatic tension is not strong enough. The characters don’t have enough screen time to build personal drama.
Jacuzzi has the best opportunity to present a dramatic narrative, but her character arc is too flat and predictable. Eve’s quest to find her brother should bleed with tension and inner angst, but childbirth is muted. Baccano! cannot generate steam for its drama because its cast is too large for its short duration.
9 The impersonal nature of humanity has declined
For most of Humanity has declined, its lack of serious personal drama does not affect the viewing experience. The show is a comedy that uses its pastel colors and apocalyptic fantasy setting to contrast its deeply cynical nature. Usually 2 episodes are bundled into standalone arcs filled with quirky storylines that end with a mean punchline.
While the anime is very funny and wickedly pessimistic, its approach becomes more and more hollow with each new thumbnail. Its first half features the main character from a distant goal. We understand his thoughts, but not his feelings or his past. Once it’s shown near the end, it’s a little too late to build on the drama.
8 Ranma 1/2 gives only a handful of truly dramatic moments
Ranma 1/2 is a titanic series that has a deathly fear of developing its dramatic narratives. The core tension between Ranma and Akane, as well as Ranma’s struggle with identity, is constantly pushed aside to make way for more comedy. Tackling either of these issues, or even developing them too quickly, means the anime needs to resolve sooner.
The anime keeps delaying it to the point where fans can count how many times it’s been properly built. This can get frustrating for viewers who want to see the resolution. To its credit, the anime ends before its source material, so delays are to be expected.
seven Infinite Stratos accomplishes the bare minimum for drama
One of the forgotten harem anime of the 2010s, Infinite Stratos sums up everything that was mediocre in the genre at that time. Ichika didn’t have a strong personality, all of his love interests were flat characters that revolved around him, the plot was tedious and formulaic, and it had almost no drama.
Sometimes the characters worried when Ichika got hurt or threw himself into the line of fire, but that was the norm for drama in action anime. He didn’t capitalize on the potential internal dramas of school life or the harem. His acting was never bold enough to create stakes that could hold stronger drama.
6 The drama of the Monogatari series could have been sharper
Compared to other anime, the Monogatari Series has a lot of drama. Zoku Owarimonogatari and Monogatari series: second season has some dramatic moments that satisfy fans. However, it still manages to overlook its true dramatic potential.
The series puts a lot of emphasis on the supernatural anomalies around Araragi, but not enough on the romantic dynamic. The only member of the pseudo-harem to have their romance pushed to a dramatic end was Hanekawa. There was still plenty of room to develop Senjougahara, Nadeko, and Shinobu.
5 Wake up, girls! Play the drama too low and too slow
Wake up, girls! manages to deflate the strengths of the group’s idol anime. Unfortunately, he is slow, indecisive and unable to establish dramatic urgency. Its premise calls for a relatable struggle that leads to pathos. Wake up, girls! wants to tell a story more grounded in the idol’s dream, but doesn’t push the drama necessary to make the stakes tangible for the audience.
These are young girls who face the insurmountable difficulty of making a name for themselves in the entertainment industry. If the forgiving nature of idol anime is abandoned, the result should be prepared to dramatically showcase failure, hardship, tenacity, and acceptance.
4 The Spy X Family Uses Convenience and Ignorance to Silence Their Drama
It’s no surprise that Spy x Family retains its dramatic potential. It is primarily a comic anime with action elements. Additionally, its source material is still ongoing, so the anime cannot dictate its own direction to its characters or plot. As is, Spy x Family is still a fantastically charming show about a precious found family.
However, his aversion to drama is blatant. No one in the show questions the other’s movements or behaviors. Yor’s characterization doesn’t lend itself to much soul-searching, while Loid doesn’t care about his killer instincts. It’s strange that a seasoned spy should be so modest.
3 There’s unfulfilled potential in Haruhi Suzumiya’s melancholy
It’s safe to say there’s a decent amount of drama in The melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. Kyon constantly has to deal with supernatural nonsense that revolves around Haruhi without alerting her. The only problem is that it’s written in the plot that Haruhi can’t discover her virtual godhood.
This freezes Haruhi as a character. She’s the catalyst for a lot of drama, but she doesn’t experience it herself. The series proves that if a character like Yuki has space to be a dramatic focal point, it can lead to great moments like in The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya. Haruhi could have delivered more powerful drama had she been treated like a character instead of a force of nature.
2 Komi can’t communicate needs variety to keep things fresh
Komi can’t communicate confirmed its comedic premise to a fault. In a classroom full of quirky characters, what defined Komi was his inability to socialize with others. If the anime had allowed Komi to be the focus of the series, it would have revealed more of the hardships and pains that come with that anxiety. Instead, she’s mostly treated as a subject.
The anime is seen through Tadano’s eyes. This allows for a lighter tone since he’s not the one dealing with social anxiety, even though his whole joke is that he’s not well liked. Without a dramatic edge, the anime repeats its inflexible gags until they begin to wear out their welcome.
1 Nothing ever happens in Glasslip
There’s a lot of things wrong with it glass lip, but the biggest problem is that it has no dramatic hold on the viewer. At no point is the audience obligated to care about the characters or the plot. There’s a time travel element to the show, but it’s almost never felt. The pacing of the anime barely moves. It’s serious enough to consider it a sleeping pill.
Every character is underdeveloped and the dialogue has no tension or sparkle. There are times when it feels like the anime isn’t even sure what it wants to do next. glass lip needs drama because it has nothing else to lean on, but it’s completely inert.
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