Sometimes, hearing that a manga you’re reading is getting a run as an anime brings more concern than excitement: Will the animation hold the same quality and be of the same caliber as the print art? Will the plot and storyline stay true to course? Will the anime do the characters justice in their quirks and development? How many episodes will be produced? How many seasons? How will it “end”? Personally, I’ve never had this happen to me (at least not with manga/anime), and while I can imagine the anguish some fans feel when their beloved manga gets man-handled in an anime, I just want to say that sometimes, good will still come of it.
I’ve come to depend on anime shows in finding manga series to read. I know there are probably better ways to see which manga may be interesting – and of course, there are the shows that aren’t based on manga – but this method has proven adequately effective for me, especially in the last few seasons. Originally, I’d look up a manga to see how much further the story goes in an anime, or I’d start reading due to personal impatience, waiting on the development of a show. Perhaps Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun was the first where I thought to myself, after the show had ended, that I wanted a bit more, and so I started reading the manga. Thus began a trend that I haven’t looked back on yet. In some cases – like Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha, I was not particularly impressed by the anime, but decided to check the manga anyway and discovered that there was more to the story than the anime led me to believe. I was therefore grateful for the anime, even if its source wasn’t able to redeem the show itself.
My most recent obsession is Haikyu!!; that’s right, the one about volleyball. I know next to nothing about sports in general, but I find this quite helpful as I’m unable to dwell on or criticize game sense, feasibility, and realism. Just like my obsession with Eyeshield 21, I’m coming to love each and every member of the Karasuno Volleyball Club and cheer them on (wow that seems quite dorky of me) as they overcome obstacles that block their path to glory. Oddly enough, rather than checking out the manga after the anime series had completed its 25-episode run, I looked it up after watching the second episode. And, even after burning through 60 of the 100+ chapters or so of the manga (I’m trying to show some restraint), I still look forward to each weekly airing episode.
It helps, of course, that I really like the art and character design – even in the anime. While you shouldn’t “judge a book by its cover”, it’s the cover that catches the eye first. Once you get past initial aesthetics, you can get into the story itself, the characters, and all the good bits of action.
So the next time you’re cursing any one director or production studio for butchering one of your favourite series, try to remember that it’s likely someone’s introduction to those characters and storyline that you love so much, and hopefully, with time and some perseverance, they’ll have the pleasure of enjoying it as much as you do. Having said that, I also understand that sometimes a series is so wronged by its anime that it’s potentially turned hordes of people away due to the inadequacies. In those cases… your anger is justified. Rage on righteously.