My Top Ten Story Arcs in Western Animation

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!

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My Five Favorite Western Animations

You know, I’ve been concentrating a lot on the worlds of anime and video games.  For all my talk about appreciating all sorts of media, I really haven’t been giving any love to other forms for the entirety of this blog’s existence, save for Lucid 9 and Miraculous Ladybug months ago.  That being said, I’d like to spread the love around, this time for the genre least touched on the blog- Western Animation.

Between the Americas and the whole of Europe, we’ve gotten some pretty exceptional series.  The differences between Western and Asian animations are rather clear, Western cartoons far more often gearing towards comedy and adventure, rather than lasting emotional value and artistic strength.  However, as the years have gone on, some truly wonderful pieces of animation have emerged that have proven to exemplify the best the medium can offer.  For this list, I’ll be listing off five of my personal favorite Western Animations.  This is almost entirely by personal preference, but generally speaking, a combination of technical quality, story telling, and characterization is what separates each entry from the rest.  With that out of the way, let’s get started!

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