Anime, like any other form of media, is subject to constraints such as budget, production schedules, and audience expectations. One of the reasons why anime is often only 12 episodes long is due to the way anime is produced and distributed in Japan.
Anime production in Japan typically follows a seasonal schedule, with new anime premiering in the spring, summer, fall, and winter. Each season, several anime series are produced and aired, with each series typically airing for 12-13 episodes. This format allows for a steady flow of new content for audiences to watch and helps to keep the anime industry running smoothly.
In addition, anime production is often heavily dependent on funding from sponsors, such as corporations and governments, which can be limited. Producing a shorter series with 12 episodes allows studios to work with a smaller budget and still produce a cohesive and satisfying story.
Another reason is the anime industry’s focus on the manga source material, anime series are often adapted from manga and light novels and may only cover a specific arc or section of the story. The 12 episodes format allows the studio to adapt a specific part of the source material and focus on telling a complete story rather than trying to stretch it out over a longer period.
Furthermore, anime is also a medium that is geared towards a specific demographic, which is mostly young adults, and they often have a shorter attention span. A 12-episode series can be consumed quickly, which can be more appealing to some viewers.
Lastly, anime series are often created with the intention of being watched in one go, as a whole story, rather than being released on a weekly basis. This allows for a more cohesive and satisfying viewing experience, since the viewer can watch the entire series and see the story arc play out from start to finish.
In conclusion, while 12 episodes may seem short for some, it is a format that works well for the anime industry in Japan. It allows for a steady flow of new content, works within budget constraints, and allows for a more focused and satisfying viewing experience. It’s important to remember that the format of anime and how it is produced and distributed is shaped by cultural and industry-specific factors, and it is not the only way to tell a story.