It's no surprise that you felt that way, you heartless cur. Taichi is the fucking man.
As for killing the pacing, you can't kill what doesn't exist. We are talking about a series where you frequently sit through a 15 minute cutscene and finally regain control of your character, only to walk a few feet down the street... right into another cutscene. Ludicrous!
WHEN WILL YOU BE NICE TO ME!?!
I actually thought the pacing during the Okinawa bits I played during the first part were quite nicely paced. Or at least, nothing I wasn't expecting compared to other JRPG's I've played.