Anime or manga? It seems like this question never escaped being asked in the life of a person who enjoys a certain Japanese subculture: he or she who watches anime or reads manga or does both. I’ve been asked, or rather dragged into the debate, many times: which is better? I don’t have an answer and I don’t think I ever will.
It’s a personal choice.
People would argue: manga is better because it’s the true source. It’s the original story. It’s how the story would have been if the anime has adapted accordingly. I’m sure followers of super long shounen series know exactly what I meant. The long, unnecessary, whiny fillers that manga readers loathe. Plus, you get to know what happens next a lot faster than watching the anime. Worst case scenario, anime-only fans will get the story at the earliest two years later.
While I find it amusing and fascinating that people would compare chapter to chapter between manga and anime, I personally couldn’t bring myself to do it. Partly because I wouldn’t remember anything I read clearly from few months ago, lest giving out the wrong information. And partly because it takes a lot of energy to do that.
I Prefer Anime Because…
It’s true that I’m usually not a fan of fillers. However, I’d say I’m more inclined to watch an anime than to read a manga. Perhaps because I’m enjoying these media for what it’s for: enjoyment. I’m not here to compare works or have some kind of intellectual awakening from watching anime or reading manga. So, I think at the end of day, the fundamental difference between the two media is the added dimensions in anime.
Anime breathes life into the characters we read about in manga. With anime comes voice, deeper emotional connections and movements. Battles, for example, are more interesting when animated. The clashes of weapons, the stomping of foot on the ground and of course, the often energetic background music.
Personally, these are added values to my enjoyment of a content. There are many things manga can’t do what anime can. I think the same can be said about what manga can do that anime can’t do too. For starters, manga offers limitless imagination and more insightful thoughts.
I Prefer Manga Because…
I found out that I put my imagination into pretty good use when I read manga. That’s one thing I hardly do when watching anime (I mean, what is there to imagine, really?). I personally give voice (inside my head) to the characters. I would imagined how the characters would sound. Believe it or not, as it turns out, Kirisaki Chitoge from Nisekoi is exactly how I pictured she would sound.
Also, certain manga, especially in shoujo manga, have a lot of characters that do monologues. Some of this maybe important in seeing from a character’s perspective and understanding why a character does what he or she does. But sometimes, that may got lost in translation due to many factors.
As far as I’m concerned, anime and manga both have their own qualities I appreciate. Do you prefer one over the other? If yes, why?
P.S. Age-Old Questions is supposed to be a regular series bringing up popular debates when I first started out but things don’t always go as planned. This post has sit in my Draft list for over a year now. Ah, life.