When the Anime Just Ain’t Cutting It

Recently, I’ve managed to find time to slowly go through my stacks of DVDs and continue watching Season 1 of Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle, based on the manga by CLAMP. I’ve only gotten as far as Episode 18 of the anime, and for some reason I find myself particularly bored after each episode. The funny thing is, I really enjoy reading the manga itself.

This brings me to the topic of my post, have you ever watched an anime series which is based on the manga, and after watching a few episodes or more, you find yourself less engaged by the anime compared to reading the manga itself?

I really don’t find this being my issue most of the time. There have been many series where I’ve watched the anime first then read the manga, or vice versa. I always enjoy reading the original material and then seeing how the anime compares to the novels. I don’t often find myself disappointed. Like all book series that get turned into films, I always view the books and films as separate entities. Things will always get changed around, taken out, or added in for whatever purpose. It’s better to appreciate the two as different from each other. Most of the time, I’m more excited to see my favorite manga series as an animated series. To actually watch the manga in motion on my television screen is very exciting.

Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle

Going back to Tsubasa, it’s a little disappointing when I find an anime series isn’t as exciting as the manga. I think my issue with Tsubasa may have something to do with the pacing of the anime. I find the set up of events slow to uncover. The manga seems to do it better, and the action is always continuous. I also think the use of too much recap of events from a previous episode, followed by the same animation sequence being recycled in the same episode has gotten a little repetitive after watching the episodes continuously. I am aware there are anime series that use the same animation sequences dozens of times, like the sailor soldier transformation sequences in Sailor Moon, but I find those to be more exciting than what you get in Tsubasa. I also wonder if Tsubasa is a tougher manga to translate over as an anime. There are just some book series that are hard to turn into films, or just work better as book form only. I think Tsubasa may be one of those instances.

I still have the rest of the series to watch. It is possible I may be judging this series far too early. I plan on watching the anime in its entirety to see if my feelings about this series remains the same. As it stands now, I rather devour more of the manga volumes than watch the anime.

Has anyone ever felt disappointed by an anime series which is based on the manga? Do you think the series is better off staying as a manga, and wish the anime version never existed?

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6 thoughts on “When the Anime Just Ain’t Cutting It

  1. I know what you mean. I have the same feelings for the One Piece anime. I love the manga to bits, but the anime is way too drawn out. The manga has a really brisk pace and outside the early chapters, I never felt anything dragged too much. The fights were a perfect length (again outside the early chapters where this was actually a problem) and unlike other weekly releases, each chapter always adds something new. But in the anime the pacing is off. Things drag on too long and the filler episodes (minus a few well executed ones) only make the problem worse. I sort of stopped watching the anime for the time being. I don’t know if I’m going to continue it.

    1. I guess I didn’t know what to expect from the anime. Maybe I expected it to be really good because I find the manga really good? It’s interesting when you read both the manga and watch the anime, you would think you would like both. That has been the case for me many times. Now, I’m disappointed when the anime hardly feels entertaining. It’s weird because the anime follows the manga closely so far, but I really don’t feel excited about watching it.

  2. I’ve never experienced this myself, but that’s probably because I’m not big on reading manga. Most of the manga I do read have not been turned into anime, so I guess I’m just lucky that way.

    I enjoyed all seasons of Tsubasa Chronicle, but I think that may have been because I just saw it as an extension of another series that I love so much: xxxHOLiC. However, I do understand that the recaps can be annoying. I was always irritated since I watched the show after it had all aired and so could marathon as many episodes as I wanted. I guess they sort of make sense if you watched the show while it was airing, but even then, so many other anime make do without having to do a recap.

    1. Exactly! I didn’t understand why the Tsubasa anime made use of having so many recaps. I think this also kind of turned me off a bit from the anime. I really find it distracting, and I’ve watched other animes where recapping wasn’t done too much at all.

  3. I haven’t really had this happen because I tend to stick with only one version of the same story, but one of the reasons I do so is because I fear the adaptation not meeting my expectations. Many times anime versions draw out the story, leave out important plot elements or characters (Rayearth sort of does this), or have a different tone than the original story.

    1. I can understand your fears of the anime ruining the manga for you, especially if you have read it first. It has always been the opposite for me. I end up encountering the anime first, loved it, and then I would seek out the manga to get the original story. This is why I’ve always assumed I would like both the anime and manga.

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