Manga or Anime, which one is better?

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header by @Ruttika_Shin Twitter

How many of you did ask themselves or maybe discussed with others which one was better: the anime or manga?

And often there is a distinctive winner and at other times you just simply cannot decide.

Why is that?

Why can we sometimes not decide what is the better option?

While everyone has their preferences there are a section of three people: the ones who only watch the anime and therefore reject reading the manga (whatever the reason is), the ones reading the manga and prefer it over all costs, and last but not least the good middle who may prefer one side but also favor the other at times.

In this blogpost we will discuss the big question: Which one is better, Anime or Manga? as we delve into the topic of what makes both amazing in their own ways but also their shortcomings, seeing which one is better in the end, also considering the three types of people.

Anime

Probably most of you started their journey into the world of Anime and Manga through the former rather than the latter. 

Usually it’s even the case that some people watch only anime while others who may have liked the anime so much would consider reading the Manga afterwards.

Yet what makes anime so distinctive and wonderful?

What aspects catch our eyes and would let you choose it over manga?

There are many things that you can only enjoy when you watch the visualization of a series you enjoy, whether you have been a Manga reader who waited for an animation of the so-desired series or a newcomer who never had something to do with the series yet get caught up in it.

In comparison to the Manga who may have visual aspects as well when speaking about panels, Anime gives us the ease of not having to put up together movements such as fights, escapes or other scenes by ourselves but we get to see them right in front of use without using much of our brain.

While in Manga one attack can stretch over several panels and even pages, we get to see that in one smooth movement on the screen and not only that is an aspect that stands out on top of that the same scene we can read silently is now connected to auditory feedback as well.

Characters having a voice, sound effects being represented with actual sound rather than writing a word to make the readers imagine the sound themselves and even background music known as OSTs do give the scene a whole atmosphere for itself.

Despite watching something absent-minded or subconsciously our brain intakes all the information we get on the screen and proceeds with voices especially the character becomes more real as he/she becomes more distinctive through voice and movement that most of the people use to distinguish between others next to facial features and appearance.

But there are always the negative aspects that come along, especially if you fall into the category of being a Manga reader that waited for the anime’s airing, usually our brain automatically fills in holes of information which means voices that didn’t exist for a reader may have been chosen differently than expected, which distorts the image of the character that was built up through reading and filling the hole.

In some cases the anime even derives from the original plot and doesn’t go along with the manga storyline anymore, for the better and in sadly most series for the worse. Also since the episode count is already determined many scenes get left out due to the lack of time that the episode has in store or some of the most relative scenes get shortened to an extent that if not for the Manga some watchers would be utterly confused about what is happening on the screen context-wise. One good example would be the latter seasons of Tokyo Ghoul.

But what if you are not necessarily someone who doesn’t know a thing about the manga and the series is completely new to you?

There are stories which take a while to unfold their full potential and become therefore much more interesting towards the middle, yet if you don’t know what motivates you to watch until that point?

If it wouldn’t be for recommendation or people who are a bit familiar with the plotline some might even drop some anime due to the frustration of a slow plot development which might be worth the wait, yet could stay unknown therefore being a Manga reader or at least knowing people who did could give you that safety net of not wasting your time on a bad plot under the condition the Anime sticks to the manga for the better.

Manga

Next to games, light novels and webtoons usually Mangas get adapted a lot, therefore they are valuable source which make it possible to derive amazing anime from it as we see that anime with no adaption source usually don’t get as much recognition or don’t have a thought-through plotline (or at least it seems like that).

Usually the Manga covers much more scenarios than the anime and is in some cases even completed while the anime is still airing or almost finished airing. Other ones are still on-going because they are much more extensive than the anime.

Now what are the perks of reading the manga?

Since the series from a reader’s perspective starts much earlier prior the anime release it feels like you are bonding with the manga much more before the release comes out, it gives you the feeling of being early and already much familiar with the series.

Do you know the feeling of reading a manga for years and then suddenly seeing the anime adapting that very gem you are reading? The excitement and anxiety of how the studio will implement all of the details or what they might leave out?

It creates a kind of longing but also the feeling of nostalgia as you remember “ah yes that very scene, I have read it in the manga it was so good.”

With some manga even updating weekly or others with more pages but monthly, as a manga reader you have much more content you can look forward to over a certain period of time, not only that but you get a lot of details along with it.

Scenes which usually take a lot of time to understand and rewinding it many times on the screen can seem much more comprehensive in the manga when seeing the things step by step, usually we also get insight of other people’s thoughts through thought bubbles which were left out in the anime or even little details far in the background of the panel that are something like an easter egg provided by the author.

On top of that you get to see little extra comics of some of your favourite characters or a little talk from the author who might from time to time drop some old concepts or original plot ideas that were discarded for the later chapter releases.

Since the manga basically is only visuals with no voices or sounds, for people who might lack a bit of imagination it might be quite tiresome to fill the holes of not having that provided or is bland, yet for other people it gives them the advantage of imagining the characters having the voices how they want them to sound.

Unlike the anime the manga also needs a bit more attention and therefore usually we tend to be a bit more aware or focussed on other things in the manga then in the anime, of course only generally speaking since there are other anime where you are supposed to constantly think along such as Danganronpa or Steins Gate.

There also characters which are manga-only meaning that the character is either not introduced at all as if they never existed or they come in so late that many people won’t even know about them who only watched the anime, in Ouran Highschool Host Club for example we have another Love interest for one of the host boys who was never introduced in the anime but plays a role in the manga, since we are also talking about Ouran, the ending of the anime heavily derives from the manga plot as there was no such scene which means a major change occurred to get a got final episode. 

On top of that many backstories and secrets let’s take the former example, we have Tamaki’s, Kyoya’s and even the twins’ story revealed. Yes, you might say, wait, the Hitachin story was revealed in the anime? but many details and a lot of scenes that are relevant as to why they have become what they are, are left out. 

Usually story-wise the plot gets deeper and much more complicated, to a point that the reader just cannot stop reading but sadly the anime only covers the inception of a much bigger problem that awaits the characters, but watchers only would never know about that another two examples would be Toiletbound Hanako and Gakuen Alice.

As Gakuen Alice might even come off as a children series if you start watching the anime the manga surely refutes that impression, the anime with 25 Episodes is something like a character introduction compared to the manga where the major events happen and you later on might ask yourself if not for the title and characters: is this the same series I watched on screen? That’s crazy.

So which one is better?

Now the question we have been waiting for after establishing pros and cons on both sides: Okay, I got it but which one is better?

Plottwist: 

There is no universal answer to it.

You might take it as a joke or not, but it’s a preference thing yet I encountered many people who actually favoured the Manga due to the reasons stated.

Usually when the anime ends many fans, regular readers or first timers, tend to read the manga at some point because when does the sequel come?

Or will there be a sequel?

Maybe there was a scene that seemed lacking and you heard the manga outdid it.

Whatever the reason is most people tend to have at least a look or two into the manga.

Fans of Attack on Titan, Haikyuu or Jujutsu Kaisen for example just simply couldn’t wait for a sequel and went straight to the manga even though they hate reading in general, since the tension built up just wouldn’t fade away and sometimes that results in people suddenly liking manga more and becoming a regular reader.

Yet there are people who would rather wait for the next episodes and refuse to read from the adapted source, even in the case where the anime obviously is badly adapted or even altered to a point where the story is becoming confusing due to the plot holes that come from the many changes.

It all depends which type of person you are: Watch anime only, Manga over everything or the good mix of both?

Because in the end if you hate reading then the manga surely wouldn’t give you the same experience when you are also a fanatic of amazing soundtracks, animations and so on.

Which one is your preferable source: Manga or Anime?

Which type of people did you already meet?

Meanwhile as I await your comments let me see what the tea brings.

-Makii

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