There are 3 types of people in a debate:
- Those who agree with you.
- People who disagree with you.
- And the rest who are neutral.
The debate between anime vs manga is no different.
Anime fans have debated for YEARS about the differences between anime and manga. And which one is more superior overall.
This debate has heated up in the pot in recent years as anime becomes more and more popular and visually breathtaking.
So I’ll be answering questions similar to those points today.
Giving examples from both sides, and my own thoughts about which one I believe is better.
What makes Manga better than anime?
Nostalgia might seem odd for a reason Manga is better than anime… But it’s one point to consider.
Manga started in 1947 after world war 2.
The man behind the first ever Manga was Osamu Tezuka.
As a medium, Manga has been around longer than anime. It’s considered a treasure among Manga fans and collectors worldwide.
I’d even go as far to say it’s similar to an antique, except it’s still relevant and popular in modern-day society.
That’s why Manga gives you a different feeling to anime. Especially since TONS of anime start out as Manga (Hinamatsuri for example).
It’s hard to beat how the “original” makes you feel.
Compared to anime which is a like a car with dozens of moving parts, Manga is more like a bicycle in comparison.
You can read when you want to, and pick right up where you left off. Without being forced to watch a full episode to take things in.
That’s only one aspect of Manga.
You also have the images, drawings, designs and the flow of the pages.
Compared to anime, there’s less to process and you can read a manga while traveling.
It’s pretty hardcore to stay on top of an anime while you’re on the move (on top of the weird looks you’ll get).
Manga’s go deeper than anime adaptations do. This isn’t always true, but it’s true enough.
Hunter X Hunter is one of the best examples of this fact. It’s been going on for years, keeping fans more engaged than the anime series (might be debatable).
One Piece is another series that’s stacked full of depth in the Manga. Without the Manga, One Piece wouldn’t be anywhere near as successful as it is.
But that’s besides the point.
4. Original material
It’s ironic that I’m listening to Akame Ga Kill instrumentals as I write this, because that’s what I’m about to mention. 😉
The Akame Ga Kill Manga existed before the anime came to fruition. And yet – the difference in material is pretty surprising.
In the Manga series of Akame Ga Kill, Mine gets married and survives.
This isn’t true in the anime (so many people get killed off).
In the end, Manga is the better option if you want the best, most original material for anime adaptations.
But that’s only assuming you care enough about every last detail of how the story originally plays out.
It’s so common for anime series to STOP after 1 season. Even if it’s as short as 12 episodes.
I hate that.
The Ambition Of Oda Nobuna is one of those anime I’d like to see with a season 2.
Manga on the other hand has a longer expiration date. With countless Manga still being produced with new chapters 5-10+ years later.
Just take a look at the new Slayers Novel that was recently announced for 2018.
The anime version of Slayers is long and gone. It’s likely it’ll never come back (like a sickening amount of anime in general).
So Manga (and Novels) has anime defeated in that department. No contest.
What makes anime better than Manga?
1. Beautiful aesthetics and visuals
You can’t fuck with anime when it comes to visuals and aesthetics.
Manga doesn’t stand a chance in this area for obvious reasons.
When you take something like a Manga and turn it into an animation with moving pictures, bright colors and what not, the results aren’t surprising.
If there’s one reason to choose anime over Manga, beautiful animation is a good enough excuse.
2. Action scenes
One thing that’s hard to experience in a Manga is action scenes and battles between characters.
There’s only so much you can do with “still” images in terms of emotion and impact. And let’s not forget Manga is in black and white. Making it even worse when compared.
That’s where anime dominates without a shred of a doubt.
It doesn’t matter WHAT anime we’re talking about.
Dragon Ball Super
Akame Ga Kill
Fate Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works
Or some other anime worth mentioning… The action scenes are 10000 times better than you’ll get in a Manga.
Watching the anime helps bring these “Manga” moments to life in full color.
I mentioned it for a moment, but emotions is one of the BIGGEST aspects of watching anime.
Let’s take something like Violet Evergarden for example.
Violet Evergarden started from a Light Novel series, not a Manga. But the point is still relevant.
Because what you get out of the anime is:
- Raw emotions that pull on your heart-strings.
- Powerful story telling.
- Shocking visuals that look super-realistic.
- And world-class animation that few anime could EVER hope to compete with.
The same is true for Dragon Ball Super, Hinamatsuri, or any other show you’re thinking of.
It’s hard to get “hit in the feels” through Manga compared to an anime adaptation. Assuming it’s “good”.
The experience is too realistic and relatable in comparison. And the intimacy is on another level.
Reading is powerful. It’s a different experience all together when you read a Manga vs watch an anime.
But the drawback of reading is you can’t hear the characters voice.
That’s where anime steps in like a boss and differentiates itself.
You get to hear the voices of your favorite characters. Which makes them more “human” and realistic.
You also to get to hear what they sound like when:
- They’re angry.
And dozens of other emotions that gives you a soft spot for certain characters.
It’s hard to ignore the power of hearing your favorite characters voices, especially when it fits their personality.
That’s true from both a dubbed and a subbed perspective.
Experiencing comedy through a Manga is one thing, but seeing that same comedy become “real” is a special feeling a Manga can’t give you.
Obviously if this goes wrong… It can ruin your interest in a Manga series all together. Because you’ll associate the “bad” comedy with the series as a whole.
Whether it’s the Manga or the anime. This is even more true if the anime is “purely” comedy.
But when it’s done right (like most things) you get to experience the best of both worlds. Except with a little icing on top of the cake if the anime pulls it off
So which one is better – anime or manga?
If you’re asking what I think, anime beats Manga everyday of the week.
It takes everything a Manga stands for (almost) and transforms the entire experience. Making it more appealing, beautiful, rich, fun, and full of emotion.
You get to relate to your favorite characters in ways that are impossible with Manga.
And laugh in ways the Manga isn’t able to make you.
It’s the closest thing to realism on-screen, even if it’s fictional.
But with that said – reading the Manga AND watching the anime is the best of both worlds.
If you experience both:
- You get to experience the full story (or 2 sides of it).
- You get a blend of depth, story, visuals and more from both worlds.
I grew up watching anime, so it’s natural I choose that. But it all comes down to what suits you best.
Opinions on the internet
On Quora, one writer has this to say about the question: “anime or manga?”
“Anime has color. Color is more visually pleasing than the pervasive whiteness and blackness of manga. When you want to illustrate a story, why make it monochromatic? I find that lack of color drastically affects the potential of a piece of literature; it’s part of the reason I don’t read books.”
And another writer went on to say:
“Well I myself am more of a manga reader than an anime watcher. I like mangas more, because first of all, there is nothing like adulteration in them.
There are some animes… many animes in which the story or scenes are totally different than original manga. Due to this the originality of a story is destroyed.”
Source: Anime Vs Manga (Quora)
I think they both make good points. Similar to points I’ve made in this post.
In the end – it all comes down to what you want. And what’s most convenient for you.
But watching a bit of both is the best choice if you have the time for it.
Which one do you like most: anime or manga?
If you’ve got something to add to the conversation, let it be known in the comments.
I’m the Founder of Anime Motivation. The #1 website dedicated to making a difference in the anime community.
The 1st anime I watched was Dragon Ball Z. Followed by Claymore, Inuyasha, Attack On Titan, and the rest as they say is “history”.