Thursday, July 25, 2024

What’s Your Preference: Anime or Manga.

March 10, 2024 by  
Filed under Anime, Comics, GM, Manga, News

( As an anime or manga fan, you’ll run into two notable questions of preference. The first which tends to descend into ugliness of varying degrees is subbed versus dubbed—often the subbed group starts in on the dunking of dubbed anime.

It’s often funny if not unnecessary. For those who don’t know, “subbed” refers to anime with subtitles thus keeping the original language while “dubbed” features anime with voice overs for markets outside of Japan.

The other can descend into ugliness and that’s anime versus manga. In case you’re wondering, the mainly or pro-manga side tends to be the dunkers and we’ll find out one reason—the main reason I feel—why that is. However, let’s look at the pros and cons of both sides and I’ll let you know where I fall.

What’s Your Preference: Anime or Manga.

The Case for Anime

I love animation, I will sit and watch old cartoons and anime all day. Anime is often the adaptation of manga although there has been a few anime that dropped first and got a manga afterward. I will always find that a bit odd. Like, a sequel? Great. Spin-offs? Love those. Prequels? Also great. A comic retelling of an animated series? Ehhhh…

If I already watched the anime, I’m not reading the manga unless the anime is on hiatus and the story is further along or I just really want to see what was left out of the anime. The animated version gives us the epic battles in color and with motion, stories pop because of voice, tone, music and pacing.

I feel that in many ways, anime is how fans get attached to characters. While it’s an animated work, the characters are alive in that world for a 30-minute to two-hour span. Anime is for fans who want their stories in living color. They can save the imagination power for speculation, roleplay, and/or fanfiction afterward.

Now, the big issue lies in the production and delays that come with anime. See, decades ago in the West, an episode didn’t drop shortly after it aired in Japan nor did we really have news of a new season. Anime just popped up on our shores and you got the new season when you got it.

The reason for the delays and uncertainty then rested in the dubbing studios as most series we got in the 90s and early 00s were either completed or far into the series and we were a couple of seasons behind outside of Japan.

Now, it’s the native studios themselves. Anime requires a lot resources and time to produce. That means, it has to make money to warrant the expense. If it doesn’t, we won’t be seeing it anymore and you end up with a bunch of viewers lamenting the loss of the series— it’s unfinished.

If it’s a continuing series, you might have to wait a bit before seasons start. It’s not that different from TV in any country, really.

The Case for Manga

Now, this is simpler. Manga’s main flaw is that it’s print—or digital now—and you don’t get the living color aspect of anime nor is there an alternative. Sure, manhwa and manhua are often in color but those forms of comics usually don’t get an animated adaptation. That’s pretty recent with God of High School, Noblesse, Solo Leveling, and so on.

I’d say that’s part of manga’s strength. Creating manga takes time and talent as well as the treasure of a publisher. It also has a release pace where it’s regular until the series end, something unfortunate happens to the creator, or the publisher decides to cancel it. The thing is, you’ve got a better chance of finishing a series’ manga adaptation as the amount of money invested by the publisher isn’t as great as what a studio has to put in.

Make no mistake: it has to be successful but a publisher can let a series cook before dropping it or moving it to a more suitable publication and schedule. Another strength is the pacing. If you enjoy a speedy pace and want to just take in the story without a massive investment in time: manga is the pick.

You’re reading and taking in the artwork but this series gets to occupy only so many pages of an anthology. The artist has to make the most of the pages they’re given, so you don’t get the drawn-out exposition or filler that you might stumble across in anime. You get the story without being edged by animation pacing—which I feel kind of felt became egregious as the late 90s-early 00s wave of anime went into their second and third story arcs in some cases.

Where Do I Fall on Anime or Manga?

The fence-sitting answer would be “I enjoy both” then I would tell you “Get it how you live: enjoy it how you wish.” While I maintain that you should enjoy it how you wish and never mind the others since they don’t cover your Crunchy Roll or Shonen Jump subscriptions. However, I prefer the manga version of most series for the strongest reasons mentioned above.

There’s a greater chance for the series to be finished via the manga. It’s not too often you hear a mainly manga reader say “I wish the publisher or artist would finish the series.” Oh, it happens—especially in manhwa—but it’s not often. Of course, I also don’t want to deal with filler or episodes that are drawn because of—as BlerdsOnline founder @TheOriginalKingD once said—exposition. Sometimes, there can be a bit too much in the middle of a dope fight.

Yes, I’m looking at you, Chunin Exams Arc in Naruto.

So, I’m more of a manga reader than an anime watcher—but anime definitely introduced me to the world of manga while also being the reason I prefer the print/digital version of a series. How about you? Which do you prefer or favor more: anime or manga? Let us know in the comments!

Staff Writer; M. Swift

This talented writer is also a podcast host, and comic book fan who loves all things old school. One may also find him on Twitter at; metalswift.

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