I've read the manga, should I watch the anime?

I’m of the opinion that 99% of the time, the original is the best no matter the media. I’ve read the manga of several things that were later made into anime. Should I bother watching the anime? Specific examples: Sailor Moon, Cardcaptor Sakura, and S-cry-ed.

For that matter, if you wanted to recommend some great anime or manga, that’d be awesome. There’s very little I don’t like or won’t try.

I usually recommend watching the anime of just about any action-based shounen like Bleach or One Piece (if just because the action is often hard to see in manga form). One Piece in particular is one where I get super confused reading the manga, but once I watch the anime, the action makes sense. Also, the seiyuu for that show are fantastic, so it’s worth it just to watch their acting.

The problem with anime, though, is that you often get filler episodes (that is, storylines or episodes that aren’t in the manga). Some range from okay to pretty good, while others are downright awful. Filler episodes often come with poor animation, in my experience.

As for the series you listed…not sure about the first two, but I didn’t really like the anime of S-cry-ed. Haven’t read the manga, though.

As for great anime, I recommend Monster. It’s a very dark, very creepy drama, with an incredible story and fantastic characters. It’s on SyFy now, but it’s nearing the end of its run, and the story is pretty complex, so I’d recommend watching it elsewhere first. The manga and the anime are virtually identical, so don’t worry about missing any story if you just catch it in one form (though here, too, the voice acting is superb). It’s long (about 74 episodes), but it’s worth it.

For something even longer (like, 400+ episodes), there’s always One Piece (the series I mentioned above). Seems like a silly little kiddy show, but it’s really quite thrilling and even emotionally heavy sometimes. There’s a lot of comedy, but there have been episodes where I’ve cried buckets. Again, LONG, but it’s one of those rare 100+ episode series where the story actually gets better the longer it gets. If you watch an English dub of this series, do not–I repeat, DO NOT–watch the dub made by 4Kids. (It’s getting rarer to find anyway, so you might not even run into this issue.) Everyone thinks fans exaggerate when they say how bad it is. They absolutely do not. It really is that horrible. (A newer dub by Funimation exists, which is much better.)

And, of course, Cowboy Bebop is always a great series. You MUST watch the anime, though, the manga doesn’t even begin to compare. (And, though I normally don’t recommend this, you MUST watch it in English. From what I hear, even the series’ creator preferred the English version to the Japanese.)

Whew! That’s enough for now. There’s a lot of great stuff out there, though, if you know where to look.

The only one of those 3 that I’m familiar with both versions is Sailor Moon, which I’d skip - the anime’s…confused even before considering dubbing. (Although the Ail and Ann non-manga arc is kind of fun.)

CCS, I’ve never read the manga, and S-cry-ed, I’ve seen neither.

More general anime and manga recs…

Sticking to ones that are commercially released in English…

Strawberry Marshmallow (Ichigo Mashimaro) is…weird. But I adore it - it’s, in turns cute, demented, occasionally perverse… The manga’s available from TokyoPop, the TV series might be hard to find - Geneon, the company that did it is no longer in the anime translation business. The OAVs are not available in English. If you can find the anime, though, I recommend watching it - while it mostly adapts manga stories, it adapts them liberally, so it’s different enough to be worth it. (Watch the sub, though…the dub voices for the younger girls are awful - but I prefer Nobue’s English voice.)

Read or Dream is probably my favourite commercially released manga - although Strawberry Marshmallow comes close - it’s very different from Read or Die. ROD the TV is good, too, but it incorporated too many Read or Die elements too predominately, so the Paper Sisters and their supporting characters get short shrift. ROD the TV, again, may be hard to find, since it’s another Geneon series. On the other hand, the manga’s Viz, so should be easier to find.

There are actually 2 Cowboy Bebop mangas - the one that came out before the anime, and thus had very, very different interpretations of the characters, called Shooting Star, was quite interesting.

I’ve seen a few episodes of S-Cry-ed. The manga is just this side of softcore porn at times. Not that that’s necessarily a bad thing, just that, well the tits are completely unrealistic.

Generally speaking, no. Especially for major series like almost anything out of Shonen Jump, I personally almost always find the anime to be a letdown. It can be hard to do, though… I was wandering the shelves of a local store trying to find an interesting looking anime series to watch and about 80% of what I found was originally a manga.

I think it also depends on the specific work. For instance, I highly recommend watching Revolutionary Girl Utena, but I wouldn’t recommend the manga- it was written by a different person collaborating with the original creator, was made concurrent with and not prior to the anime, and just generally takes a different take on the characters and story.

Boogiepop Phantom is another great anime, but again I’d suggest watching it before reading the book it was based on- the book is great, but a lot of what makes the show truly exceptional for me lies in the cinematography, the sound effects and music, and the manic, desperate atmosphere that tends to vary between claustrophobic and explosively open. The story remains good in both formats, but the anime uses the visual and audio effects to buy a lot of stuff that the book can’t.

On the other hand, Gantz was a so-so show but a hilarious manga, and I thought that the Love Hina and Mahou Sensei Negima manga were passable, while the anime were mediocre. (The live action adaptation of Negi was an outright travesty.)

I rather liked both the manga and anime versions of GTO, but I thought they were approximately equal- the anime was generally more clever, and the character of Onizuka really does deserve an overdone, hilariously shonen voice actor to do him justice, but the manga featured much deeper characterization and a generally more coherent story, albeit at the expense of some of the comedy. (The live action show was actually pretty good, too, although entirely different from both manga and anime.)

So that’s my 2 yen worth of opinion. ^^

I haven’t read much manga nor watched much anime, but do I have a few recommendations:

[li]Lone Wolf and Cub - this one is a manga and absolutely superb. The writing is great and the art is just fabulous; both seem very japanese to me yet I never have that feeling of cultural alienation that happens so often in other manga and anime. It tells a very long though basically simple story of revenge in feudal Japan but is mostly episodic for much of it’s length. This is one of my favorite comics of any kind.[/li][li]MW - I never imagined Osamu Tezuka could be so perverse! This one is a thriller whose main characters are a genius serial killer who likes to dress up as women and his lover, a catholic priest. The whole thing is incredibly violent and very sexual, sometimes in a disturbing manner, but Tezuka’s cartooning is so good it’s hard to stop reading. Buddha, also by Tezuka, is wonderful too (in fact, I’d say it’s better than MW by far, but somehow I preferred the other). Atom Boy I’ve tried and didn’t like too much. I’m definitely in the wrong age group for this one and Tezuka’s drawing didn’t strike me as anywhere near as good as in the other two titles I mentioned.[/li][li]Ghost in the Shell - skip the manga which is just mediocre and watch the movie. The movie isn’t so wonderful either but it takes less time than reading the manga and it prepares you for the wonderful anime that came after both.[/li][li]Cowboy Bebop - was the one that got me interested in anime. Unfortunately, I found I didn’t like most of them, but this one still holds up.[/li][li]Anything by Yoshihiro Tatsumi - this is manga in a very different style. Realistic, down to earth stories told with simple but very assured cartooning.[/li][li]Uzumaki - this one is a very disturbing horror manga by Junji Ito. I thought the ending was crap but it’s still well worth reading for all that happens before it.[/li][li]Metropolis - this is an anime based on an early work of Osamu Tezuka that I never read. Easily as good as most Studio Ghibli’s pictures.[/li][li]Pom Poko - is an anime by Isao Takahata, who also directed the worthy but depressing Grave of The Fireflies. An ecological fable about raccoons with gigantic magic scrotums (seriously!). It’s my favorite anime not by Miyazaki.[/li][li]Anything by Hayao Miyazaki.[/li][/ul]

My sister loves manga and anime and has shown me lots of it, the huge majority of which I disliked and have already forgotten about. All the ones I mentioned above are not only good but good enough to impress somebody who has some prejudice/dislike against most japanese comics and and cartoons. (Japanese literature, on the other hand, I mostly like but my sister doesn’t; she can’t stand Junichiro Tanizaki or Mishima for example and we only agree on Haruki Murakami.)

My favourite manga, Hellsing, was adapted twice: once as a 13-episode series and once as a series of OVAs–I think they’re up to eight, now? Read the manga and watch the OVAs, which are kinetic and over-the-top and just plain fun, but skip the series. It was made long before the manga was nearing completion and just made things up as it went along. Badly.

I’ve read Uzumaki, and you’re right. It’s creepy as all hell, but the ending is just WTF? And not mind-breaking WTF either. I have this pet theory that the spirals in Uzumaki and the spiral power in Gurren Lagann are related…

I have Pom Poko, although I haven’t watched it yet. They’re not raccoons, they’re tanuki, and they actually do have giant scrotums. And I was raised on Miyazaki, so that’s a given.

Read the manga, watched the original series, waiting for the OVAs to finish before I watch them. Have giant girl-crush on Integra. And Walter. There were a few bits in the series that I liked, but yeah…

Thanks for the recommendations everyone. I will be checking things out.

I would suggest you do watch Sailor Moon - so long as you watch a subbed version of the Japanese, rather than the dub, which is pretty terrible. It’s no particular great shakes (though i’m sure others would disagree) but SM is one of those anime touchstones that a lot of other series reference either directly or just in thematic terms. Don’t feel the need to bother with the live-action series, though.

As far as recommending other things goes, i’d second Monster and Cowboy Bebop, to at least try out. I’ll suggest The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya in anime form before someone else does (where actually the originals were light novels, not manga, and the manga adaptions are terrible). It’s somewhat difficult to describe, and worth pointing out that episodes by design aren’t in chronological order. Plus the official English dub is reasonably decent (and i’m a huge sub nerd, so that’s high compliment ;))

I haven’t read the manga nor seen the anime of Sailor Moon, but Revolutionary Girl Utena was done in the same style. They had the director (Kunihiko Ikuhara) making the anime at the same time as someone else was making the manga. They had decided the overall story beforehand, but were each making their own interpretation largely independently. Kunihiko Ikuhara’s version is almost certainly going to be the better of the two. Shinichiro Watanabe’s version of a story is probably going to be better of the two as well. Some directors are just more skilled than the author of whatever original work they were hired to adapt.

For manga series that aren’t all that impressive to begin or where the anime uses the manga as a veritable storyboard (Ruroni Kenshin, One Piece, and other Jump Comic offerings), you may as well just watch the anime. However, in the case of Ruroni Kenshin the two OAV series that the director did outside the style of the comic are amazing. (At least the first one is, I still haven’t seen the second.)

In general though, whichever was the original is the better. The manga isn’t always first. Quite often neither the anime nor the manga is first. There’s a thing called a Light Novel in Japan which is a novel that could be seen as a proposal for an anime or manga series. They have a character design at the beginning, some illustrations through the book, and a storyline that’s manga/animeish in content. It’s not often that you get a series in all three mediums (Spice & Wolf, for example), but you often get doubles.

The anime Monster is almost identical to the manga panel for panel and kicks a large amount of ass, coming from someone who doesn’t care for anime.

I’ve never been able to get into manga for one simple reason: I just can’t get used to reading right to left. It’s an embarrassing psychological roadblock that many western fans have overcome but, for whatever reason, I just can’t adapt. Maybe it’s because I’ve never found a title that absolutely compelled me to read it. Not to mention I can’t get many titles through my library and I just can’t fit regular manga purchases into my budget…sigh…

Therefore, I’m going to ignore the OP and just make a recommendation:

Try Black Lagoon. If you loved CB, you’ll love BL. That is all…

I now return you to your regularly scheduled debate.

I guess I’m a bit odd, but generally I prefer the anime to the manga.

No, that’s not my problem. It may because things are a bit more fleshed out in the anime, or it may be because there are visual conventions in the manga that I hare trouble with, but right to left is easy for me to get used to.

[quote=“vdgg81, post:7, topic:542748”]

[li]Uzumaki - this one is a very disturbing horror manga by Junji Ito. I thought the ending was crap but it’s still well worth reading for all that happens before it.[/li][/QUOTE]

I love Ito, but nothing he’s written has ever creeped me out, save Tomie. Uzumaki and Gyo were interesting reads, but not scary or creepy at all.

Amigara Fault triggers a claustrophobic reaction, but that’s it.

Right. Like Wolf Rain was an anime first, and thus the anime is better than the manga.

There are at least two more dimensions to consider with the really popular manga:

(1) live-action vs. anime vs. manga

(2) Korean or Taiwanese live action vs. Japanese live action vs. anime vs. manga.

Examples of the last are Itazura na Kiss – manga, Japanese live action, Taiwanese live action and anime – and Boys over Flowers (Hana Yori Dango) – manga, anime, Japanese live action, Taiwanese live action (“Meteor Garden”) and Korean live action. In both of those cases, I think I prefer the Japanese live action version, but the comparison is interesting.

Not much to add concerning the specific mangas/animes in the OP but on the tack of making suggestions:

As you have some magical girl stuff on your list, I’d suggest Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha. All three series are fun and they become more dramatic as they go along. The third season (StrikerS) is rather like Gundam meets magical girls.

I whole-heartedly second*** Black Lagoon***. Both the manga and anime are very good.

And for a touch of the “out there”, I’m currently watching*** Bakemonogatari***. It’s hard to describe, but is by turns wacky, thoughtful, disturbing and self-aware. It is also very pretty, almost a multi-media combination of cel animation, photorealism, rotoscoping and God-knows what else.

This reminds me of another interesting series: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. The light novels and manga are currently being published in North America by Yen Press. I think the anime (at least the first series) may be available here as well. So far I think I like the light novels slightly better than the anime, and that a little more than the manga. But they are all fun. Kindsa wish I’d known someone like Haruhi when I was in high school, would have been alot less dull.