OK. So I’m now at episode 56 of Bleach, skipping about four or five episodes to get here.
I have solved it! Basically, make absolutely sure you have panning sequences. They are a necessity in Bleach, and they must be a slow pan to squeeze that extra few seconds so each character can go on with their verbal excess. False Throne of Terra, I swear they could be talking about something for so very long that they could be suddenly be talking about yesterday’s breakfast and you’d be none the wiser.
You want to be a character given some screen time? Then you’d better come prepared with a long-ass dialog script. Anything less than five pages will not be tolerated.
Also, never forget the eyes. Intense, staring eyes, full of emotion! For they help convey the intent of your message. How passionate you are. You need to focus so hard it’s as if you would bore a hole in your opponent with your mind! (Or bore him/her/me to death.) While this is happening, have some quick panning close-ups of their eyes of course. Bonus points if you can do it for all the characters involved!
Another essential ingredient to the magic is egotism. Each and every main character involved in a fight has to be full of confidence and nurse a bloated ego. Peacocks will run in shame, because you are that good. Never mind if your opponent is of higher capability than you, for you have magically become better with overnight training! Never mind if you get beaten to a ruined mess and have blood spray from your body, for all your wounds will close and heal in mere seconds if you just have willpower!
Still not enough? Then hell son, time to pull out that trump card of yours! Oh wait, what’s this? Your opponent has one too! Oh noes! Looks like you’re back down on the floor. No worries, back to training for a few days and you’ll be better and more bad-ass than ever. It’s all good because your opponent will gladly let you off to go train and not spare a second to interrupt.
(Refer to previous three paragraphs to continue show.)
If character wins the fight, advance plot.
If character loses, pull out secret best ability reaped as a result from speed-training and win. You can do this as many times as you please. Shikai not enough? Then why good sir, bankai it is! No? Half-hollow? Full-hollow? It’s ok, come up with something else and explain what happened to your audience with a dialog in the middle of a fight! Over half or maybe even one complete episode! Because it’s OK to treat your viewers like idiots, as long as there’s some nice looking characters on screen.
Oh wait, there’s one more thing! You need to build up suspense. Pump things up for one hell of a fight. Stuff it full of anticipation. Then have your two characters charge at each other and disappear in a blast of energy/dust/suitable effect. Then cut to some different characters and don’t come back. For one episode or more.
Shounen anime. Never again. I’ll stick either to my moé rubbish of a show that is thankfully short or go with shows that have decent stories and production. FMA:Brotherhood did a great job. Black Lagoon does superb. Learn to be good. Kthxbye.