Why the manga is always (sort of) better than the anime

Manga to Anime manga and anime

I’ve already said the book is better than the movie, but when it comes to manga turning into anime that’s an entirely different story.

Many books nowadays are part of a series, and if one is picked up for a movie usually all will follow suit in subsequent movies.  When manga are picked up to be made into a product of the screen, however, the entire manga series is used from the beginning and is more often than not made into a T.V. show.

As manga themselves are written as installments of a story the format lends itself to T.V. show writing as it is easier to break apart into episodes, but that does not mean mangas turning into animes are necessarily anymore accurate than books turning into movies.

Though on occasion they are.  This issue is not as cut and dry as the book to movie problem, which is why I have to say that the manga is always (sort of) better than the anime.

As with anything, when a story goes from one format into another, things will be lost.  This holds true for manga that become anime.  No matter how close they get to the manga inevitably something will be missing in the anime.

Running out of Time

Ranging from a lot to a little the main problem for anything missing is that even though an anime has episodes, and thus a bit more time than your average two hour movie, it does not have as much time as you think.

Aside from anime like Naruto and One Piece, which seem to have no end, most animes are on average between twenty-four and twenty-six episodes long with the episodes running for an average twenty-four minutes (including opening and closing theme songs).

Unless a manga is super short, this will not be long enough to include or explain everything that happens in the manga.  Leaving those who have only seen the anime with lingering questions, that could very well be answered by the manga.

Ahead of Their Time

Another reason for the lingering questions that come at the end of an anime could also be the fact that when a manga series is picked up to be turned into an anime, the manga itself is often not finished yet.

Unlike books that are turned into movies where at least the book they are basing the movie on is complete (even if its series is not) an anime is most often based on a manga that is still ongoing.

This of course causes a lot of plot holes in the story which the writers of the anime have to fill.  Since they (nor anyone else for that matter) don’t actually know how the story will end, writers make up their own ending for the anime.

Sometimes their ending kind of works, but a lot of the time it really doesn’t make any sense with the beginning.  As the beginning of the series was based on the actual story written by the manga-ka and the end was written by different people you can see where the two halves of the series may not line up.

Another thing that happens in regards to that is that sometimes anime writers don’t try to make up an ending at all.  Sometimes they just stop where the manga stops which leaves the anime open-ended, and a lot of questions to still be answered.

Manga to Anime is not Always Bad

Now even though it frustrates me to no end when an anime turns a manga I love on its head, the truth is animes usually get closer to the actual content of the manga than movies get to books.

Mangas already include artwork, so usually anime artists follow that original template so at least the characters you love look the same.  Also there are some things anime can give you that manga (no matter how good it is) just can’t.

It is very hard to picture an action sequence in a manga, especially when it is drawn over several pages you have to flip through.  Anime solves this problem as it is able to show movement on screen.

Aside from that anime really does do its best to keep the integrity of the manga alive, where as I feel movies are not as concerned with that for the book.  Rarely have I seen an anime where I couldn’t at least see a little bit of the manga shining through.

Of course the anime will still be different than the manga, and as with movies based on books you just have to go in knowing that and look for the good bits.  Oftentimes the anime is actually very good, even if it does go off book a bit (or a lot).

Read the Manga!

It does annoy me though when people who have clearly only seen the anime, judge a manga by its anime.  Do not do this!  It’s the same thing as judging a book by its movie.  It’s just bad form.

The writers and artists of an anime, though they try to keep the integrity of the manga, are not the person who originally thought up this idea.

The truth is manga-ka usually have just as little say about the animes based on their mangas as authors do about the movies based on their books.

If you see an anime you like, but were really confused by and have a lot of questions still unanswered, READ the MANGA!  Chances are either the manga is still ongoing, or the anime couldn’t fit all of it in.

If you read the manga you’d be surprised how fast the ending and the entire series makes sense.

Mangas and animes are an entirely different breed than books and movies when it comes to turning one into the other.

However, they do face similar problems with their content being shifted.  The anime may keep better to the original manga, but still it is impossible for it to keep perfectly to the original story.

The anime and manga can both be good, but just remember do not judge a manga by its anime.