The end of junior high and into the start of high school began my love for anime and manga. It was around the time the Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball Z anime have crossed over into North America and found an audience of young kids discovering, perhaps for the very first time, an entirely different style of animation that came from Japan. Anime and even manga were still pretty new to Americans at the time. The amount of series that arrived over here were few and far between, but the ones that did were the kind that felt as if you had discovered buried treasure. They were just that good. As more anime and manga titles started getting imported for young American kids to find, the more I gradually added to my own personal collection.
I’ve been an avid manga collector ever since they became accessible at bookstores and comic shops. I devoured every shojo manga I could find and always looked for anything that had a good story and memorable characters that stuck with me. But the older I got, the more my collecting tendencies dwindled. The reason mostly stemmed from not having enough money to buy all the books to complete the set. Now that money has sort of become less of an issue, where does a manga collector go from here?
Being an older adult anime fan comes with its own set of struggles you don’t really encounter when you’re a teenager or young adult college student. When you’re younger, you tend to have more time, especially when school is out for the summer, to binge watch a longer series. Attention spans, at least mine back then, aren’t too short to watch an entire series to completion. When it takes a good seven years to finally finish one season of an anime, I tend to think the issue may either lie with you or the anime itself. This is the problem I encountered with Season 1 of the anime Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle.
Welcome back to another guest blogger week on simpleek! This week we have the very awesome Ashley Hagood of Robo♥Beat. Ashley’s blog focuses mainly on the things she loves the most, which are science fiction, fantasy, and video games. If you’re looking for a blog that focuses on film, TV, books, or games with a sci-fi and fantasy angle, most likely you will find it on her blog. Nothing Ashley blogs about is ever boring, and she brings fresh and insightful perspectives on the genres. She’s also a contributing writer for Population GO. Aside from her love of all things sci-fi, fantasy, and video games, Ashley is a new fan to manga. For her guest post, Ashley talks about what it’s like to navigate the wide and wonderful world of manga as a newbie. Read her picks for the best starter manga if you’re also a newcomer to manga like she is. If you love sci-fi, fantasy, and video games as much as she does, please visit her blog. You can also follow her on Twitter for updates on her current projects or if you want to just chat with her. Ashley is a lovely person to chat with, so tweet at her!
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.
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?