Posted by: AceRailgun | April 14, 2013

Continuing after the end – Anime to manga

Magi The Labyrinth of Magic 2

It’s common knowledge that anime end but what a lot of people don’t know is that often anime adaptions of manga only cover a portion of the story which is disappointing as a lot of viewers never experience the entire story. I myself didn’t really know about manga until maybe two or so years ago which means that every anime I watched before I was potentially missing out on content. Take Full Metal Alchemist for example, that anime was good but it was an adaption which only cover the first half of the manga and then made up a different ending. If another version of it wasn’t created I’m almost certain I wouldn’t have gone back and read the rest of the manga seeing as I watch the original anime back in 2006. Reading manga is a must for any good anime fan.


Still don’t believe me? I’m sure you are probably already nodding and agreeing now but for that one guy who still thinks I’m full of it I’d say go read the rest of Magi: The labyrinth of Magic, Claymore, Soul Eater, Mysterious Girlfriend X, Tasogare Otome x Amnesia or Sankarea. Those manga all tell a lot after the anime ended and that list was a good way for me to say what I’m still reading. Yep that’s right those are all still ongoing even though the anime for them ended years ago in some cases.


Take Claymore for example, what has happened in that is so vastly different from the anime that the anime may as well be a glorified opening arc. Same goes for Soul Eater, that anime had a satisfactory ending which wrapped everything up but that isn’t really how the story ended and it’s still going now long past where the anime left it.


So what I’m questioning here is the just how valid is an alternative anime ending? In some cases it can be done right as seen in the first Full Metal Alchemist anime but in a lot of cases it just feel empty and makes you crave more which might actually be a good thing for the manga writers as their work gets viewed more.


  1. In the end, it comes down to how interested you really are in an anime, and if that interest constitutes a jump to a different medium. Anime isn’t manga; manga isn’t anime. Just because you enjoy one doesn’t mean you’ll enjoy the other. Saying a good anime fan has to read manga is comparable to calling out a film enthusiast for not reading the original novels.

    I feel that I could logically take your argument a bit further and say that a good anime or manga fan must also read light novels. Taking that to its extreme, one could go as far as to believe that only reading classical literature is appropriate for someone who cares about well-crafted characters and settings. With that being said, I fully understand where you’re coming from, and I do read manga from time to time because I enjoyed the anime adaptation.

    I also agree that anime original endings very rarely live up to the potential of their source material, but that will always be an issue because fans (understandably) don’t like it when key elements of their favorite manga change. But instead of promoting the idea that anime should strictly follow their source material, I think the industry should instead focus on creating original anime series (Ex. Anime no Chikara). Stories written with the intention of being portrayed through anime could much more easily take advantage of the intricacies of the medium and the creative opportunities those provide.

    • You probably though about that on a whole new level to what I did. It’s certainly okay to be an anime fan without reading manga but in all honesty who are you kidding if you haven’t read at least a little bit of manga. I’m not saying on is better then the other but manga sort of completes the anime experience and if you aren’t reading it you’re missing out on a portion of the experience (And often half of the story)

      I’ve always hated when people get up in arms about an anime being different from the manga. If they are different it’s probably better because then you get two unique experiences instead of just one.

      • There’s definitely a connection between anime and manga right now because of the many anime adaptations. While I understand that connection is essential to keeping the industry afloat financially, I think its holding it back creatively. Like you said, anime and manga should be two unique experiences, but we’ve clearly blurred the line between them.

        Books get turned into movies all the time. Sometimes its a successful adaptation and sometimes it’s not, but what they all share in common is that changes are made. A movie directed word for word from a book is going to be undeniably awful. There are just too many differences that can’t be reconciled. Anime adaptations of manga work in a similar, if less extreme, fashion.

        I guess I’m taking a theoretical approach to the discussion. Your original post was definitely addressing things from a more practical standpoint.

  2. I’ll also add Kuroshitsuji. Not only they created an original ending, they also made an original season which really sucks IMO. I think continuing the story in the manga depends on the person because some don’t like reading manga. They just accept what was given to them by the original anime endings and just wait for a miraculous second season.

    • A whole original season sounds like a really really bad idea. If the manga writer wasn’t involved either I imagine it was dreadful. I used to be one of those people with my fingers crossed for a second season of anything but then I discovered manga and that’s even better.

  3. I somewhat disagree with you when you say reading the adapted manga “completes the anime experience.” While that may be true in some cases (I particularly think of Berserk, since the anime was meant to cover only a portion the the story and didn’t have a true “ending”), I must say the the two experiences do not depend on each other. First off, you can’t compare adapting a novel into a movie to adapting manga into anime; movie adaptations tell the entirety of a story, because novels are for the most part complete when adapted. Manga, on the other hand, is frequently ongoing when adapted into anime, which forces the creators to take so liberties with the source material. So the two are incomparable. In my mind, anime adaptations are alternate tellings of adapted source material; there are bound to be more differences than there are similarities. Just think about it: how many anime do you watch that follow the manga verbatim? What I’m trying to say here is that you can enjoy anime my on its own, without the aid of manga, because it is an inherently different medium. It tells its own story separate from the manga, and I enjoy anime because anime is anime, and rarely do I feel the urge to “complete my anime experience” by picking up the manga. Besides Berserk.

    • I really wish I rephrased what I said before I posted this because what I said only scratches the surface of my true opinions. It’s not that I think you must read any and every manga after you finish the anime because clearly that’s just crazy. Plenty of anime adaptions are far superior from the manga and by reading the manga you are actually taking away from the experience.

      What I wish I said was is that some anime are half complete drivel which end with ending the story. For example Tasogare Otome x Amnesia is a great story with some really interesting plots and yes the episodes of the anime which exist are a good watch but they didn’t finish it. They turned the last arc they adapted into a make shift ending and then undid it anyway in the last two minutes leaving nothing resolved. This is the kind of anime you must read the manga for to truly appreciate the story the writer wanted to tell and is still in fact telling.

      It’s like reading 3 Harry Potter books and calling it quits. You had a good experience but you didn’t have the whole experience. You can disagree with that if you want, it’s just my opinion.

  4. I must be a bad anime fan. I either read the manga or watch the anime, but rarely both. I do however make an exception when they have differing stories. I’m so bad.

    • It’s not a bad thing, it’s just personal preferences and sometimes there just isn’t time for both. That said there is some anime which are simply an incomplete experience which make reading the manga for them necessary.

  5. This is what I refer to as “Manga bait/lure”. The whole point is to intentionally end the show on an open ending to make fans/viewers buy the manga to find out what happens next. Elfen Lied, Rideback, Rave Master and Murder Princess are just a few examples of shows I wanted to see more of but the writers told me to “READ THE MANGA STUPID!” Okay, it wasn’t exactly like that but you get the point.

    • For most cases it’s like that and I can understand why they do it. I’ve been picked up dozens of manga after the end so their cheeky marketing strategies work on me.

      • The West does it all the time with superhero shows and comics.

Leave a Reply

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

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: