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.