Western Animated shows, on the whole, are fundamentally different from anime in a number of ways.
The tropes they employee, their general reputation, the style they use–it all combines to create a more lighthearted, comedic atmosphere in comparison to the Japanese medium many know and love. This has led to a format where most Western cartoons tell their stories sporadically. With lots of independent, unrelated stories in between, compared to anime, which continue a single plot without interruption.
However, there are times when these shows choose to focus on a single story, over the course of multiple episodes. These are the episodes that get plot-heavy really quick–the ones that oftentimes are responsible, for creating the most high-stakes, memorable situations of a show. And today, I’ll be talking about my top ten favorite story arcs!
I tried to stick to two criteria for this list. First, only one story arc per series, and second, the arc has to last at least five episodes, or at least be addressed over the course of a series. This was to rule out those hour-long specials, which are so common in Western cartoons. That said, let’s get to it!