Reading Manga vs Watching Anime – Which is Better?

  • Some may say either is fine…

    But let’s face it. It’s so rare for us to read the manga and watch its anime adaptation at the same time. Unless the story is that interesting, and you’d like to get the nitty-gritty of the full storyline, choosing one way over the other is more convenient and less time consuming.

    But how exactly would you know that you are not missing out the most important parts? How sure can you be that the anime has it all? How sure can you be that the manga can provide as much engagement without the visual effects?
    The only surefire way to answer this is to both read and watch. But hey, we don’t have enough time!
    So it’s either we read the manga or watch the anime. The question is, which one is better? To answer this, it’s important to understand the following details.

    Original Vs. Adapted

    We have to get this straight. Most manga are original and most anime are adapted from manga. And while there are animations that are independent, the industry primarily depends on the prolific production of mangakas (manga creators, authors, illustrators) before a studio decides to create an anime adaptation based on combined analysis of manga’s ratings, fanbase and potential market value.

    So if you want a detail-oriented, original, and straight-from-the-author story, then manga is definitely the right thing for you. If you don’t mind some details being cut off to adjust to the standard anime air time, then the animated version will be good.

    Consistent Vs. Collaborative

    Manga is mainly created and managed by one mangaka and perhaps few assistants to help on the legwork of production. But generally, the idea is generated from a single mind. Here, the mangaka has direct control on what he or she wants and can directly put it into his works.

    Anime, on the other hand, while adapted from a manga version, is a creation of a whole team. Experts like animators, producers, directors, and editors are all part of the entire production process. Even the sales department can have its say when it comes to the potential of a series to earn. Their work is more targeted to a specific audience which can guarantee sales. Therefore, if a group thinks that a scene from a manga should be cut out for censoring or sensitivity issues, it will be. And in fact, we’ve seen a number of animes that deviated or changed scenes from their original manga storylines.

    Of course, some changes significantly improve the original stories, so it’s not all that bad.
    But if you find yourself discontented from how the story turned out in the anime, then checking out what happened in the original manga will shed some light on it.

    Fillers Vs. No Fillers

    MANGA doesn’t have fillers. ANIME can have a lot of them. Why? Because the industry has to keep producing if the current anime episode catches up with the current manga update. So while the mangaka works on the update, a different person works on filler episodes to fill in the time.

    You could say that fillers are stand alone. But they’re not necessarily part of the storyline, and more often than not, they’re not needed to forward or impact the existing one. In fact, it sometimes contributes to some inconsistency, especially in characterization.

    Want to get rid of fillers? Then reading manga is what you’re looking for.

    Time Efficiency

    What will take hours to finish watching in anime could be done in a matter of minutes and a few hours reading manga. Plus, there is that issue of downloading and viewing speed issue.

    Manga can easily be accessed and loaded in various free manga reading websites. There are even apps catering to such need. Whether you’re at home or on the go, reading it on your mobile isn’t a problem. Even bringing a paperback is still more handy.

    Anime, on the other hand will require more time to load especially with a slow internet connection. It usually has some streaming issues when run on a mobile device. When it comes to tracking, it’s also more challenging to go back and watch the beginning of a series granted that some streaming sites may have removed the old copy to accommodate the new ones.

    If you’re among those who prefer mobile gadgets when getting updates on the series you’re following, downloading the manga version is sure to give you an advantage because of its lightweight size.

    Colors and Animation VS. Black and White Pictures

    Anime’s major advantage comes with the colors, and technically the added liveliness in its presentation. You see the characters move, hear the awesome voices of the seiyuus (voice actors) and get to feel the emotions through the sound effects. Anime is a treat for the senses while manga is stuck in the static mode.
    Good storyline aside, you need to fancy reading, and be imaginative to totally enjoy and immerse into manga and feel the action amidst the static art.
    Anime is perfect for visuals. Manga is a treat for the readers.


    Now this is a bit tricky as different shops in different countries have their own price tags on merchandise. Buying original and full DVD series is arguably more expensive than its manga counterpart.
    The cost you’ll have to pay should be among your considerations as well when investing to either of them. After all, in as much as you’d like to spend a lot on your hobbies, there’s probably a limit to your financial resources.

    So… anime or manga?

    At the end, your personal preference is all that matters. And it wouldn’t hurt to give both a try. Many avid fans do. So get started with your list and decide how you’d like to have it finished.

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