Let’s face it. We all enter this arena in one form or another. We often look at this from a perspective of which is best. I however want to look at it from the view of which brings more to the table; anime or manga? It’s an age old question that has at least a couple thousand responses to its initial question. How it is answered depends on a couple of items…
- Is the person partially or fully biased?
- Which did they start with?
- Is it a matter of substance that drives their response? Or is it style?
- Is there a preconceived notion or external pressure?
While not a full list of possible items, these are some that are more thought of in design when a person approaches said topic. Also please do not take my word as truth. Just doing a fans job of talking about a topic that very much interests me.
Is it a Matter of Bias: This is something that is so fundamental in everything that we do. From the brand of clothing we buy to the type of phone that we carry. We all have them whether we like to admit to having one or not. This bias will be the fundamental basis in all that we do when it comes to talking about one or the other; you can be unbiased in the situation too. The small percentage of unbiased peoples tends to dote more on the smaller side of the fence as they are often overshadowed by the larger group of individuals who feel one way or the other about it. This extends to anyone who prefers the drawn book to the drawn media or the drawn media to the drawn book. Each will have a reason that supports their stance and from the source they can draw backing support. I can speak from experience that when it comes to watching a show first over the manga, I will become biased towards the anime. If I happen to grab the manga first over the actual anime then I will share a fondness towards the manga.
This matter of bias is a strong indication as to what method we prefer and it can go on to have long lasting impressions. These impressions can dictate whether or not we carry that bias into other series that we venture into; granted that series has an anime or manga run to begin with. This whole situation of bias over one or the other is easily crushed when it comes to a media like Kiznaiver that starts as an original animation. Other original animation like Kill la Kill have gone on to gain an manga run that is now adapted from the anime. Only in that situation can bias truly have anything to do with it.
Which did they start off with: To carry on with that aforementioned bit on Kill la Kill it all depends on what they start with. If they started with the anime, as with Kill la Kill’s state, then they will be more inclined to stick with what they have watched versus purchasing the manga that is just now releasing. Take this situation and turn it around to starting off with the manga and then having the anime release after the fact; now you have started with the manga and therefore you may be more inclined. Naturally we are more comfortable and feel safe with a first choice and will hardly venture beyond the safety net once we have established familiarity with an item or concept. It’s why when you go to a restaurant you are more inclined towards the very first item you got there; save for a bad first choice. Your first experience will forever color your perception of items that you further engage with.
Is it a matter of substance or style that drives their response: Taking this into account is a massive factor in determining whether or not someone will be more partial towards the anime or the manga. From my own experience I have always found the subtle charm of manga more preferential than anime, but at the same exact time I have also enjoyed the anime as of late. That being said everyone is going to look at the art differently, but when you boil it down to substance, to what the manga shows versus the anime then you have something to work off. Anime adaptions of manga’s are the reason why we have this sort of discussion and stance. Take the image of Ryuko Matoi from Kill la Kill as an example. The Manga draws her in a much more innocent and feminine way than the original anime draws her. While manga adaptations of anime will often strive to bring their own flair to the established art, it still can be a detracting factor for many fan; personally I think there is never enough Kill la Kill so I cannot be too picky.
Most adaptations have been withholding of content or they pour too much into the filler category that it completely ruins the spirit of the original manga work; at least for some. Many will hold a bias towards an anime for providing more content in the terms of a filler arc or episode that you never had gotten with the manga run. This is such a tenuous topic in the anime community and the most well known filler arc comes from the anime adaptation of Bleach. The arc in question was the painfully long Bount Arc. While not bad in terms of action it was the story, the pacing and the quality that made a great many fans of the anime quite upset. It was nothing but filler and poor pacing which gave the fan base such an awful taste. In the defense of filler, it is implemented for the sake of providing content while they wait for manga releases to catch up. This will have to be saved for another article at a later time.
Take a page from the manga bias and what you get is no filler, however there some cases of filler content that adds no weight or value to the overall story. These can be for needed comedic relief or for a placeholder due to a missed publication date. They are there, but they are never seen in the same light as they are in anime. Therefore one could say that they would be more partial to manga in the sense of substance. Not to say there wouldn’t be anyone biased towards anime and filler. There are great filler, but they are so buried that it is hard to pull them out.
Is there a preconceived notion or external pressure: As mentioned above with the example of going into a restaurant and picking a certain item from the menu, how does one know that, that choice was not a pressured one? Frankly we don’t. Peer Pressure or just general societal pressure can be quite handy in forming a bias. A guided choice by the hand of a friend or society can lead you in a direction. Maybe you grew up around friends who preferred actually reading their manga over watching the anime or maybe they only preferred watching the anime itself and not the source or inspired material. What our friends do and or show us has a massive influence on what we develop a bias towards.
Granted one can also form a preconceived notion towards a certain medium due to past experiences within that medium. It can be anything from say an anime that caught your eye and took you by storm or a manga that you could not pull yourself away from. Each can have a lasting impression that can influence you to go one way or the other; In terms of actually sticking with said choice is another thing altogether. The bias you from will ultimately push you into either camp or maybe you are like us and can sit comfortably between the two.
The route someone takes in the enjoyment of the Japanese animation/drawing industry is an interesting one and it keeps the actual community fresh and enjoyable. Whether you prefer that new manga smell and the thumb-able pages over the flashy and cinematic style of anime you are at least doing your part to help further the industry through your support of that said medium. Just don’t let that bias cloud your judgement and rational sense of thought. The last thing anyone needs is someone with a bias as they try to tear down your views on why you favor one over the other. Just remember that whether or not you love anime over manga that you are still sharing in the love that is the Japanese anime and manga industry.
So as we always like to ask, what camp are you in? Feel free to voice your opinion down in the comment section below or on our official Facebook page! I am curious to see what one gets picked more. We will also post a poll that will run for three days to see which bias reigns supreme!