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10 Reasons Why Reading Manga Is Better Than Watching Anime – CBR – Comic Book Resources

The anime industry is doing better than ever, but for some fans, nothing can beat reading and collecting manga.
The Japanese entertainment industry is in good shape in the 21st century, with manga, anime, light novels, and Japanese video games enjoying substantial success all across the board. There are many reasons to dive into the world of both manga and anime, but after a point, fans might decide that they like manga better than anime, or vice versa.
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When it comes to anime versus manga, there is no definitive answer, especially since different fans have various interests, tastes, and preferences. Still, many fans like manga better than anime, and they have a handful of solid reasons to feel this way. Anime has a lot to offer, but collecting and reading manga is simply better in many ways.
If someone believes that reading manga is better than watching anime, their reasoning will be a combination of the best perks of manga and the worst aspects of anime, or a combination thereof. For example, while some anime series manage to tell the complete story of the original manga, most don’t.
Countless fine manga series only get as 12-episode or 24-episode anime, and that’s not enough to tell the whole story. However, the source manga will certainly tell the entire story unless it gets abruptly canceled, and overall, this is a major reason to prefer manga of anime.
Many modern anime series have excellent animation techniques, such as the popular Attack on Titan and Vinland Saga. Others have just mediocre or notoriously bad animation, such as The Seven Deadly Sins, which has inspired some unflattering nicknames such as “the seven deadly frames.”
Fortunately, manga is immune to this problem. Since it’s all still images, there’s no risk of awkward or cheap animation, and readers can imagine the action with as high a framerate as they choose. When Guts swings his legendary sword in the Berserk anime, the motion will always be perfectly smooth in readers’ minds.
Anime streaming platforms such as Crunchyroll and Funimation are excellent sources of anime, along with Netflix and Hulu. Still, some series are never streamed because certain platforms simply don’t have the rights to them. Some series, such as Wotakoi and Grand Blue Dreaming, are barely streamed anywhere at all in the West.
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This can be a real headache for some anime fans, especially if they cannot or don’t want to buy the Blu-Ray DVDs to dodge that issue. Manga, by contrast, never has problems with this, and any series can be printed and stocked on bookstore shelves just fine.
In general, people read words much faster than they can speak, which means an anime show or TV show will deliver its content more slowly than any comic book, novel, or manga volume. A sentence that can be read in two seconds might take eight or more to speak aloud in anime.
Manga/anime fans who are pressed for time can enjoy a story much quicker in manga form than anime form for this very reason, and that makes it much faster to read all of One Piece‘s manga than watch the entire anime. Not everyone has time to slog through 1,000+ episodes.
A particular downside to being an anime fans is the fact that many solid manga series never got an anime at all, so an anime-only fan is locked out of these stories entirely. Some anime fans won’t mind, but others will realize just how much they’re missing out on.
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Manga fans, by contrast, can enjoy a much wider variety of series than anime-only fans, and it’s rare for an anime to not have a source manga or light novel. Overall, anime-only fans make a much bigger sacrifice than manga readers do.
Granted, some manga series do have fairly simple art that is easy to adapt into a lovely anime series, and a few manga series are actually improved this way. But the reverse is more common, and that works in any manga fan’s favor. Some art simply cannot be animated.
Since manga panels don’t move, it’s easy to draw incredibly detailed art, and this is especially true for the famously well-drawn Berserk by Kentaro Miura. Not even today, much less in 1997, could any animation studio truly replicate what is found in Berserk‘s pages.
Not everyone has the budget or the room at home to collect dozens or hundreds of manga volumes, but it is a wonderful hobby to have for those who do. Some people love to collect physical items, and manga fans can buy a few bookshelves and stock them up with every volume of their favorite series.
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Collectors can find great joy in their collection and proudly show off all their neatly-organized manga volumes for their friends to check out. Having so many physical items in one place is the best route to take for those collectors, a satisfaction that anime cannot provide.
Even if an anime series doesn’t stop with a single 12-episode season, manga fans will still have the advantage over anime-only fans. In many cases, such as with Attack on Titan and One-Punch Man, the anime’s next season may take two or more years to come out. That’s quite a wait.
Fans waited for years for Attack on Titan‘s anime to resume, but manga fans rarely experience issues like these. Aside from hiatus-prone series like D.Gray-Man, manga series tend to release their material steadily and reliably, so there are no huge, awkward gaps to worry about.
Anime fans can enjoy their hobby for cheap, such as paying pocket change for a Netflix or Crunchyroll subscription and watching whatever anime they can find on their platform of choice. That’s great. But manga fans can enjoy their hobby for absolutely no cost at all.
Public libraries are an excellent resource for not just ordinary books, but also trade paperback comic collections and manga volumes alike. Anyone with a library card can visit their nearest public library and check out some free manga series at their leisure.
Thanks to smartphones and tablets, it’s also fairly easy to watch anime anywhere, but manga is even more flexible. Watching anime in public calls for earphones, a full battery, and a decent WiFi signal, which can be awkward at times. Watching anime on long airplane flights or at the DMV isn’t always going to work out.
Books are extremely convenient for entertainment on the go since they don’t require an Internet connection, battery power, cables, or earphones. This applies to manga too, so a fan can bring a few volumes with them on a lengthy flight or car ride. Plus, it’s perfectly quiet, which is helpful in many settings. Manga is very friendly to travel and the public.
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Louis Kemner has been a fan of Japanese animation since 1997, when he discovered Pokemon and Dragon Ball Z in elementary school. Now he’s a bigger anime/manga fan than ever, and is ready to share what he knows with readers worldwide. He graduated high school in 2009 and received his Bachelor’s in creative writing from UMKC in 2013, then put his skills to work in 2019 with CBR.com. He’s always looking for a wonderful new anime to watch or manga series to read.

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