Dragons Blog

Dragon’s Blog July 2022

Have You Read the Manga?


“Have you read the manga?”. These words are at once, a legitimate question and the most annoying statement any fan can make when the discussion is about an anime. Ok..so it’s an irrefutable fact that pretty much all anime is the derivative of a manga, light novel or webtoon. That’s generally how the story gets noticed and builds a fan base. Other considerations like merch sales are not the defining factors as to whether it gets an anime adaption, but it doesn’t hurt if the story is generating revenue. Let’s be real, it ain’t cheap to make anime.

All that being said, here’s where things turn ugly. Why…why…why is every time there is a discussion about an anime. That is to say, the moving, speaking characters with sound effects, backgrounds and background music (there’s reason I’m pointing these things out). Does some guy launch into how they “failed to remain cannon” to the manga? Or, how they completely screwed up the “insert name here” arc because in the manga, Nakamura-kun didn’t actually throw the pie at Sachi-chan, or some shit like that. Worse, is the guy who asks you if you read the manga in such a condescending manner you would bet money that he has a username on some account ending with -sensei or -sama. His whole tone implies his superiority over us great unwashed who have failed to properly compare the anime to the manga. My Dude, we’re not working on our doctoral thesis. We don’t need to cross reference sources. Worst still, is the guy in the threads acting like he’s Nostradamus. You know…the “wait until you see what happens next” guy. Then he must add the disclaimer, “if they don’t mess up and stick to the manga”, like it’s the anime production team’s fault he’s talking out of his ass.

OK… since you’ve asked, I haven’t read the manga, and probably never will. Not because I’m anti-manga, but because I have been watching anime waaay before I even knew manga existed. And as an adult with all the responsibilities of an adult, I only have time for one. So, I pick anime. But I digress.

Consider this. If you are publishing a manga, it takes a relatively small team to get an edition completed and out on time. By comparison, it takes a small army, usually across a few countries, to get an anime produced, edited and released on time. Just the additional tasks of music and sound mixing after the voice actors finish the script shows the vast difference in the labour needed for production not even considering the animator’s work.  So, you can see the probability of not matching the manga 100% is pretty high given the creative tools and time constraints. Also, it’s unreasonable that they would be expected to basically create a moving carbon copy of the manga. Which would be a waste of creative talent and budget.

Listen, I get that manga allows the fan to maybe better digest the story and that there is probably far more opportunity for the author to present detail. I even get the aesthetic enjoyment that reading from a book brings. But when you’re locked into 288 minutes, which is the total time of a 12-episode season, you ‘gotta present the story for the masses.

So, the next time we’re talking anime, just once for all that’s sacred, cut us a break. We know the manga exist. As I said that’s how we got the anime in the first place. But we just wanted to chat about the battle scene and the kick ass music behind it.