Abridgers Wanted

On Wednesday, January 23, 2013 1 comments

I realized something today. I don’t hear as much about abridged series as I used to. Do you remember when they were all the rage? Back in 2008, when you trawled Youtube for illegally uploaded anime, all you could find were these poorly dubbed, pop-culture saturated pieces of crap. Those were the days.

No, not "a bridge," ABRIDGE

If you don’t know what an abridged series is, here’s an (abridged) explanation. It’s when you remix a show, redubbing it for satirical purposes. Abridging aims to present a show in a humorous light, pointing out all the leaps in logic and bizarre happenings, while still retaining a strong love for the source material. Also, pop culture.

Behold, the crown jewel of self-referential satire

Littlekuriboh made the practice popular with his Yu-gi-oh Abridged, but the idea is probably older than the internet (although probably not much older, as the technology was more difficult to come by). One of the oldest examples I can track down is Evangelion: ReDeath.

Abridged series were a great way for fans to come together and celebrate a show they loved. They forced fans to be analytical, looking at both what makes a show great and what is absolutely ridiculous about it. In order to craft a successful series, you had to understand why the show worked, despite its flaws, and understand character roles and how they advanced the plot. Sure, some of the abridged series were downright awful, but enough were (and still are) worth every other painful viewing minute. When done right, they provide a smart insight into what made a series tick, all with a chocolaty-fudge coating of sarcasm. I love when people think deeply about what they like, and I would love to see the abridged series make a comeback.

However, interest in abridging has waned. As you can see from the graph, it experienced peak popularity in 2008-2009, but is slowly sinking back into obscurity. Why? The reasons are probably too complex for me to fathom, and definitely too long for this blog post. What I can say, though, is that abridging still has a lot to offer. I mean, come on, are you ever really done making fun of something? Don’t let this be a passing fad! Pick up you microphones, grab your equally nerdy friends, and go make your own abridged series!

1 comment:

  1. i see abridged series as blasphemy on the original. harmless, sometimes entertaining blasphemy, but blasphemy nonetheless.