How Starting an Anime Blog has Affected My Manga Interests

I think it’s fair to say that many anime series are adaptations of manga series. If you wanted to be pessimistic while making broad and generalizing statements, you could claim that the goal of most manga authors is to produce a series that is considered popular enough to receieve an anime adaption. If the adaption is well received, the reception of the series becomes even more positive and more people buy volumes of the manga in question. After all, the world runs on money, folks.

I know this seems to be common sense, but bear with me here. While visual novels, mobile games, and light novels are becoming increasingly popular to adapt into anime, I’m under the impression* that most anime remain adapations of manga. With that in mind, I often find myself hesitating to pick up more manga to read. This especially goes for yuri manga.

*lacking cited research to support said statement

Why is this the case? Well, while I was writing up my episode review for Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya (episode 1), I realized I wasn’t enjoying myself. Granted, one of the reasons may had to do with the fact that it was my first attempt doing an episode review since it ended up being very long due to feeling like I had to cover everything of interest. But the main reason is that the fact that I already know what happens since I’ve read (and reread) the manga several times.

My observations felt forced. I felt like I was given an unfair advantage compared to an uninformed viewer since I would know to focus on so-and-so or this-and-that due to my prior knowledge. While my reviews have proven to be riddled with spoilers on a regular basis, I didn’t really like knowing what happens in the series since I could potentially ruin the entire show, let alone an episode, for my viewers if I’m not careful with my words. 

As a result, I’ve refrained from continuing my reviews of the Fate/kaleid  liner Prisma franchise. I’ve also stopped reading manga as often as I once did. I understand these are kind of drastic measures. But Summer 2016 kind of proved to me that these could be currently considered the optimal moves for me. 

I’ve been following New Game! as a manga for years now, so hearing that it would receive an anime adaptation had me excited. Then it started airing and the show surpassed expectations. But it was painful playing dumb throughout the entire series. I knew how every situation was going to unfold and how each episode would play out, but it would have been in poor taste to spoil everything.

However, this could be due to how I write my episode reviews. I’ve been trying to find a better style, but I used to only give out a long-winded summary of the episode’s events. Not only would this take a long time to write and contain tons of spoilers, but the only real perk I had over episode summaries found in Wikipedia or something were pictures from said episode.

If I switch to making my episode reviews focus more on impressions, then knowing what happens in an anime adapation of a manga series shouldn’t be as much of a problem. My prior knowledge would even allow me to point out the little details the anime cut out in order to fit time constraints, or to elaborate on subtleties that were skimmed over or misinterpreted by the studio, or to praise anime-original tidbits that fleshed out character or scenes altogether. This is ideal, but it may take a while for me arrive at such a state since I still can’t help myself from going over what exactly happened in an episode when I write a review.
When I mentioned this issue to my brother, he just told me to read stuff that will never get adapted as an anime (he recommends Meat Toilet, by the way). However, that would really limit my manga choices. I mean, I do appreciate one-shots and short manga series since they showcase an author’s ability to lure in readers while allowing their imaginations to go wild (since the ending is often open-ended). But long-running popular manga are usually popular because they’re good (unless they cater to a specific audience that happens to be the largest common denominator such as SAO did, but I digress), so purposely avoiding such manga could cause me to miss out on quality stories.

I’m sorry for this long ramble. Obviously I need to start approaching episode reviews with impressions and critiques in mind instead of summary and recap so this isn’t a problem. Writing this out has convinced me that this needs to be done. Hopefully this blabbering kind of made sense.

7 thoughts on “How Starting an Anime Blog has Affected My Manga Interests

  1. ….Meat Toilet….?
    (Reading the full name in the above comment just confused me more but I’m scared to google that)

    I don’t usually read manga so I don’t really know the struggle but it does sound like doing episodic reviews would be harder than usual if you have prior knowledge of what happens afterwards. You idea of doing impressions or analysis instead of recap seems like a good solution though. And hey, maybe as a manga reader, you can also share your opinions on what the anime did better/worse? Just a thought.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. On the surface level, it is exactly what it sounds like. He keeps hyping it up and I keep drawing away.

      I think focusing on impressions is ideal. If readers really want a recap, they can look it up on a wiki. If I already have prior knowledge of a series, I can just talk about what the anime added or left out and how it contributes to the episode since that kind of stuff seems to be unavoidable for anime adaptions.

      Good idea. Ding what you suggested would be helpful for viewers who are not sure if they want to watch the anime or read the manga (or do both). I’ll try my best not to sound too much like a snob haha.

      Thanks for dropping by and commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I see your dilemma, but I don’t know if I would have come to the same conclusion. I don’t read a lot of manga, but if I was an avid consumer I don’t think I would stop just because it colors my impression of an anime series.

    I write spoiler free reviews, and only after I’ve seen the whole series. I definitely have spoilerific content floating around in my head as I write, but I’ve been able to find a way to talk about what makes the series interesting without giving away exact details. I see that you seem to want to do this same sort of thing. If you struggle with it, it’s all just a matter of practice.

    That’s just what I think anyway. It makes me a little sad that you’d cut back on manga (which you love) just to be able to write without bias, but you know yourself best.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I’m quite torn about it. I think it’s probably for the better that I go for the same sort of reviews you do. That way I can keep reading manga without spoiling everything in my reviews. Just gotta exercise restraint, etc.

      Thanks for dropping by and commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What in the world is Meat Toilet?! (Do I want to know?)

    Sorry, had to get that out of the way. I think you do have more summary usually, but you often also include nice analysis interspersed throughout. Whatever you decide will be fine, and looking forward to the next generation of reviews.

    I unfortunately don’t follow that much manga, but maybe manga vs. anime is better left for a series review based on what you said? I don’t think that was the focus of this post, but just curious.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Its full name (translated) is roughly “How to Skilfully Make a Beautiful Girl into a Meat Toilet.” Apparently it’s deeper than what it sounds like, but yeah…

      Mmm I’ve been trying to do more analysis lately. But thank you. I’ll have to keep mulling this over in my head.

      You have a good point. I’ve just been thinking about Nanaya telling me Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku how started off as a novel. It makes me feel like I should look into it so I can provide a better analysis, but I also don’t want to spoil myself. Maybe I should take a page out of Karandi’s book and evaluate the anime adaptation in regards to whether or not it’s good enough to stand on its own.

      Hmm yeah. Thanks for commenting and helping me organize my thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You could do both. There are always the Manga vs. Anime posts. I’ve also seen reviews where they just sorta brush over it. “The anime didn’t follow the manga, but here’s what I think of the anime” and that’s it. Good luck.

        Liked by 1 person

I-it's not like I want you to leave a comment or anything. B-baka.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s