Manga VS Anime: What is the Difference and Which One is Better

The argument about manga vs anime has never stopped. Whilst the overwhelming popularity of anime has proved it to be an optimized way to watch various series, manga still holds prominent advantages and is many senior buffs’ preference. To make a decision between manga and anime, you firstly need to know their basic definition and differences.

Vita | Updated on June 8, 2022

Part 1. Definitions of Manga and Anime

Part 2. Why People Like to Read Manga

Part 3. Why People Like to Watch Anime

Part 4. Manga VS Anime: Which One We Should Go For

Part 1. Definitions of Manga and Anime

Manga is a broad term to describe comic books and graphic novels originally published in Japan. Different from comic books in the West, which is printed in color and primarily for kids, Manga is mostly in black-and-white and widely open to all age groups. Depend on manga artists and publishers, a typical Japanese manga series is released charter by charter weekly or monthly. Weekly Shōnen Jump, Weekly Shōnen Magazine, and CoroCoro Comic all are top Japanese manga magazines on which many well-known manga titles get featured. Moreover, when a long-running manga series achieves success, publishers will also round up all chapters of it and release the manga series as dedicated volumes, namely tankōbon. It may also be published as an anime adaptation.

Anime is another crucial element consisting Japanese pop culture. It basically refers to all Japanese animated works yet in the narrow sense, anime is animated movies and TV episodes. What’s controversial is there is an increasing number of animated productions outside Japan adopting the similar visual stylization and are considered as anime. Nevertheless, it is a mainstream consensus to refer only Japanese animation as anime. Anime can be adaptation from a manga, video game, light novel, etc. Unlike black-and-white manga style, Anime features high contrast and bright colors, sensational OP and ED, derivative works, etc. Consequently, anime production requires the publisher to invest more.

Part 2. Why People Like to Read Manga

1. For people who want to view original content, Manga is undoubtedly the best source. Compared with anime version, many manga series have more accurate depiction and details on the same scene, which exactly displays a mangaka’s ideas.  

2. Another reason people prefer manga is most anime are results of modification to different degrees. For example, in case that the content of an anime catches up with the Manga, anime producers always release anime filler episodes that don’t come from the original content, to set aside time for the manga author to produce new content. Meanwhile, anime producers may also underplay some of the original plots and characters for various reasons.

3. Many of the 90s-80s have grown up with those long-lasting manga series, such as Dragon Ball, Saint Seiya, Naruto, Gin Tama and some may also have collected a large volume of manga series. So it's not surprising why many people prefer reading paper Manga books.

Part 3. Why People Like to Watch Anime

The biggest advantage of Anime is it can deliver dynamic visual and deeply engaging audio effects with the combination of bright colors, moving pictures, vocals as well as music.  

1. Colors matter in reality life, and also an important factor making people choose anime. The rich and high-contrast colors in anime can deeply affect the audience’s moods and bring out specified atmosphere.

2. Different anime characters have distinct individualities that are realized mainly thought their voices. All sound effects in anime are beneficial to create more real scene than silent manga.

3. Anime OST is an integral part to set a tone and atmosphere in a scene, which is much easier to resonate with viewers. Many fans are more attracted by anime soundtracks.

4. Fierce fights, running trains, flowing water, swirling cloud, etc. Everything in anime is alive. We don’t have to visualize scenes.

Part 4. Manga VS Anime: Which One We Should Go For

The argument is still going on. Manga or anime? The choice depends on your viewing preferences, and also different manga and anime series.

Firstly, some people enjoy formulating a splendid combat in their minds through a series of still images of manga, but there also are many people who find intuitive animated videos more suitable for their taste.

What’s important, due to different anime studios and original manga, some manga series are better than anime ones while some anime adaptions are more accepted than original manga by the public. Thus, you might as well read related reviews before you decide to delve into a manga or anime series.

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