Episodic vs. Linear

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Lapis Lunaris
Apr 3, 2012
In the discourse around Sailor Moon Crystal vs. the classic Anime adaptation, one aspect that did get the writer in me intrigued was the talking point of each Anime’s individual story structure.

In particular, many felt that a strength the first Anime adaptation held was that its more segmented storylines allowed for greater character depth. While the plot development could go at a snail’s pace, it would allow viewers to see the main cast in more subdued situations. It would often be these little moments that gave the bigger moments far greater effect.

I find it hard to disagree since one of my favorite moments in Sailor Moon S as a writer has to be during the episode where Eudial targets Minako after her over-the-top efforts to get her Pure Heart recognized.

The first two acts focus on the usual shenanigans our heroines get up to but the final act blindsides us by having Usagi being forced reveal her identity to Haruka and Michiru as well as vice versa.

Usually, this reveal would be dramatic and done during a big event in the storyline but this played upon our expectations of the episodic routine we’ve been use to. This freed up the room for the big event to come next episode.

It’s something that couldn’t have been done in the original Manga where it’s one big event after another.

Now linear storytelling is hardly bad. Some of the best Netflix dramas I’ve seen are like movies but with little need to compress their storyline. For me, A Series Of Unfortunate Events benefited from this when given a new adaptation.

Additionally, not everybody has the patience for a slow burn plot progression like when TV shows come out weekly. Some want to be sure that they’ve got a real keeper right out the gate. An episodic series that takes its sweet time might not fulfill this desire.

So... yeah.
Jul 5, 2009
Double posting it here cause of the way the game tells a different story.

Aug 5, 2017
Balance of the 2 is generally preferred. Have an episodic series with an underlining overall arc tend to work best for the largest audience.
The best example I know of (IMHO) to have this balance was Babylon 5.


Luna Nova
Jan 21, 2017
my preference for sailor moon is episodic, hands down

because i like my favorite series to be as long as possible. if i get bored, i'd prefer linear.