Japanese animations usually adapt a specific manga or light novel, holding the original story and piece of artwork. More often than not, the animated versions of the manga series transcend the original piece. Through well-crafted visuals, passionate and flowing voice acting, fulfilling action, and satisfying musical themes that pull viewers deeper into a story, it is possible to clear the bar set by a manga.
However, just as there are anime that flesh out their respective manga’s storylines, there are times when the anime just can't catch up to the manga's depth. Possible reasons for this can range from cutting out important plot points from the manga or changing its narrative to a studio's limited budget, leading to unsatisfactory adaptations. These are some of the most popular shonen anime that have a better manga.
10 The Promised Neverland Altered The Original Storyline
The Promised Neverland manga debuted in July 2018, and, due to its excellent storyline, got an early anime adaptation the following year. The First Season of the anime was a hit, soaring above its counterparts. However, the Second Season wasn't properly adapted. The Second 12-episode Season was based on Chapters 38-181 of the manga, which was unreasonable.
Fitting over 150 manga chapters into a 12-episode anime resulted in the production of a half-baked plot and an unsatisfactory ending. Contrastingly, the manga tells the story differently, allowing readers to gradually immerse themselves in its depth, using plot twists and solid character growth. Those who felt that The Promised Neverland anime wasn't the best for them should therefore try the manga.
9 The Seven Deadly Sins Change In Animation Studios Affected The Quality
During its release in 2014, The Seven Deadly Sins skyrocketed in terms of popularity and viewership among anime fans. The anime was launched towards greatness when the first two seasons were adapted by A-1 Pictures. However, after Studio Deen took the helm of adaption for the third and fourth seasons, the anime changed significantly.
The third season’s animation wasn’t as excellent as the previous seasons. It censored key parts and neglected some parts of the manga's plot. Also, the last season altered the flow and pacing of the show, creating a decent plot when it could have been a great one. For the best experience, viewers can watch the anime's first two seasons and then check out the manga for the remainder of the story.
8 Akame Ga Kill! Manga Had A Better Ending
No doubt, Akame ga Kill! was an interesting watch. The anime was released in 2014, based on the manga series written by Takahiro in 2010, which ended in 2016. Consequently, right from the start, the anime started with the manga's plot. However, due to its slow release, the animation studio was forced to create a different version regarding some of its parts.
Critically speaking, the anime was as good as the manga, except for one major difference: the ending. In the anime, Tatsumi, the protagonist, sacrifices his life to save people from harm. However, the manga depicted Tatsumi uniting with his armor to morph into a dragon. The manga's ending was somewhat satisfying and less heart-wrenching compared to the anime.
7 Kengan Ashura's Manga Art Style Was Better Than The CGI Animation
Alongside Baki, Kengan Ashura is an iconic martial arts show revolving around Ohma, the formidable protagonist. The manga was written by Yabako Sandrovich, and, in 2019, Netflix created the animated version. The Netflix show was faithful to the original storyline presented by the manga.
However, the show’s CGI scenes were somewhat underwhelming. The characters in the show sometimes displayed stiff robotic-like movements, a vast difference from what most fans were expecting. On the other hand, Kengan Ashura manga was a gem, starring sensational fights using great panels and a spectacular art style.
6 Blue Exorcist Anime Included New Events, Different From The Manga
The First Season of Blue Exorcist made an appearance on April 11, 2011. Since it was adapted by the reputable A-1 Pictures, it wasn’t long before the anime was on everyone’s screen due to the show’s unique dynamics and interesting characters.
The anime closely followed the manga until episodes 17-18 of the anime. After those episodes, the anime created its own unique plot, which wasn’t really as successful as the manga. Blue Exorcist added new events absent in the manga, confusing the reader-viewer fan category. Conversely, the manga's storyline focused on specific details, including character development better executed than in the anime.
5 A Silent Voice Skipped Critical Moments From The Manga
A Silent Voice was an emotional show that first premiered in 2016 and topped the charts in the anime movie franchise. Honestly, Kyoto Animation did an excellent job with the anime adaptation. The story closely matches the original source, allowing viewers to properly grasp what it has to offer. What's more, the story was elevated with beautiful musical themes, lovely animation, and a satisfying ending.
However, the anime has one minor flaw; the anime neglected some crucial parts of the manga. While this may not be important in some genres, it is critical in romantic dramas like A Silent Voice. Therefore, to consume the whole story unfiltered, the manga is a better choice.
4 Record Of Ragnarok Thwarted The Thrilling Manga's Glory
Record of Ragnarok presents a tournament-based battle, “Ragnarok,” between 13 Powerful Gods and 13 exceptional humans to determine the fate of humanity. In June 2021, the combined efforts of Warner Bros and Studio Graphinics resulted in its release on Netflix.
The manga was epic in terms of the well-paced fights and developments. Sadly, however, the anime wasn’t able to replicate the manga in its entirety. The anticipated Adam-Zeus fight didn’t reach the manga’s standard. Furthermore, the animation didn't match the art designs displayed in the manga. The manga is the better option for those who want to experience quality entertainment.
3 One-Punch Man’s Manga Art Style Is In A Different Dimension
In terms of art style, Yusuke Murata’sOne-Punch Man reigns supreme over most manga. It is on the same pedestal as Kentaro Miura’s Berserk and Takehiko Inoue’s Vagabond. The First Season of One-Punch Man was a fascinating experience, with captivating fight scenes and hilarious moments.
However, the long wait for the second season proved unfruitful since it failed to meet fans’ expectations. By contrast, One-Punch Man manga is an exquisite work of art, with amazing fight scenes and solid pacing, allowing readers to experience a thrilling version of the story.
2 Bleach’s Art Style Evolution Is Proof Of Tite Kubo’s Growth As A Mangaka
In Japan, Bleach anime premiered in October 2004, following the story illustrated by Tite Kubo. Unfortunately, unlike its shonen anime counterparts like Naruto and One Piece, which continued to evolve their animation style throughout the years, the anime ended abruptly in 2012, ruining its slow evolution in animation within the shonen franchise.
To present-day Gen Z fans, Bleach's animation style may look unpresentable and unsatisfactory. However, these problems are non-existent in the manga. Instead, the manga clearly shows Kubo's growth as a mangaka artist over the years with its remarkable detailing and awesome panels. What's more, the manga has already ended, giving readers a complete wrap-up of the story.
1 One Piece Manga Is The Greatest
Unarguably, One Piece manga is as good as its anime, which is part of the Big Three of the shonen genre. However,One Piece manga surpasses the anime in specific aspects. First and foremost, Eiichiro Oda creates amazing artwork with a unique style that shines above most manga and comics. Even though One Piece anime fillers are relatively small, there is literally zero filler content in the manga, so it’s an unfiltered read that brings fans closer to Oda’s original intentions.
Finally, the One Piece anime stretches the manga storyline to meet the episode count. Initially, 1-2 chapters of the manga were equivalent to one One Piece episode. However, at present, the anime uses 2-3 episodes to adapt a single manga chapter, unnecessarily dragging out the story.