Category Archives: Manga to Anime

Manga to Anime: One Piece

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Apparently, I’m in the minority when it comes to crossing over from manga to anime. Whenever I find out that an anime series I like is based on a manga, I want to search out that manga and visa versa. One place you can be sure to find crossover is in Weekly Shonen Jump. So many titles that appear in there get an anime series, where it’s a short thirteen episode series like Letter Bee, or a never-ending series like One Piece.

The One Piece anime started in 1999, about 2 years after the manga. It has gone non-stop since then and is at about 478 episodes. A complaint a lot of manga fans have about anime adaptations is that it’s not always faithful, and it has a lot of filler. Filler can’t be helped. Weekly anime takes up a lot more chapters than mangaka can put out, so the anime often catchs up to the manga and has to wait. In general, these are short arcs and the show gets back to the manga storyline as soon as it can. As for being faithful, well, for the One Piece anime, it is, mostly, with a few exceptions.

Something I’ve noticed Shonen title directors like to do, is not start the show where the manga does. I’m guessing it has something to do with pulling in an audience fast by jumping into the action first, and then going back and showing the beginnings/origins/etc. I’ve seen it in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood and Beet the Vandelbuster, and it happens with One Piece as well.

The manga for One Piece starts at the beginning, with Luffy as a little boy living in a sea-side village where “Red-haired” Shanks and his pirate have made a base. It shows how Luffy got the Gum-Gum Devil Fruit and his trademark straw hat. The story then jumps 10 years to a grown Luffy setting out to see to become the Pirate King, and his adventures start there.

The anime takes some liberties with this and changes a few things around in the first couple of episodes. It starts not in the past, but with the second chapter in the present, with Luffy already on his journey to find a crew and become the Pirate King. He doesn’t wash up on the shore of Lady Pirate Alvida, but is picked up at sea. The whole adventure with Luffy and Coby take place on Alvida’s ship, with changes made to accomodate that. Another change the anime makes, is that it introduces Nami to the audience. She is seen sneaking around Alvida’s ship, while everyone is distracted with Luffy and steal their treasure. She and Luffy never meet, and though she sees him, he never sees her. Most of the chapters with Zolo and Captain Morgan stay intact, with the change of seeing Zolo’s past. This too is put off, and instead we finally see Luffy’s back story. The Buggy the Clown arc is kept intact, as is the Black Cat Pirates arc. The single chapter story, “Strange Creatures”, which occurs between the Buggy and Black Cat Pirates arc in the manga, is moved up to after the Black Cat Pirates arc, as is Zolo’s back story.

It’s takes 19 episodes of the anime to tell the chapters in the first four and a half volumes of the manga. While the changes above might make it not worth it to some to see it, I still enjoy seeing the story in motion. A lot of shonen manga like One Piece has a lot of fighting, action and moves that may look good in the manga, but become ten times better in the anime. You can imagine what Luffy’s arm looks like when he’s retracting it after a long punch in the manga, but in the anime you can actually see it happen. And for so many of the awesome moves Oda comes up with, not just for Luffy, but for everyone, that makes the anime so much more fun. The animators of the manga also use the title pages that Oda comes up with that often tell a story in and of themselves, and incorperate them into the filler episodes, so they don’t feel so unnatural, as so many filler arcs can.

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And then of course, there are the openings. One Piece has had a lot of great music that does a good job of showing the humor, fun and adventure that’s going to happen in the series. The first opening, We Are! is fun and bouncy. The second opening Believe which takes the show through the Alabasta arc is fast moving with a lot of drive, as are the episodes. Hikari E is just a great song, with visuals to match. Bon Voyage does as good job of showing the friendship theme that runs though the series, and Kokoro no Chizu, which covers the first half of the Water Seven arc is one of the best songs, with the first opening shots depicting the crew’s personalities perfectly. The openings really do a good job of matching the music and animation and really fitting the story arc at the time.

The One Piece anime is available online for free at both and Funimation, both of which premieres new episodes only an hour or so after broadcast in Japan. I encourage you to check out the anime, even if it isn’t where your interest lies. You will only miss out on some time in your life, but it’s totally worth it.

Manga to Anime: 07-Ghost

Most of the time, when comparing a manga to an anime, the anime takes liberties that can make it less like its source, and often not as good.  07-Ghost is one of those rare exceptions.  The manga started in Japan in 2005 in the magazine Monthly Comic Zero Sum, the same magazine that publishes Saiyuki.  Eight volumes are available  The manga was licensed by Go Comi! here in the states, and there are 4 volumes published.  The anime ran from April to Septermber 2009, and went for 25 episodes.

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Manga to Anime: Fullmetal Alchemist

Back in 2003, an anime was made of the manga Fullmetal Alchemist.  Because the story was still ongoing, and Arakawa didn’t want to give away any of her story, this anime took a turn at about episode 29 into a completely different direction.  There’s nothing wrong with the remaining 20 episodes of the anime, but it doesn’t follow the manga.  With the publication of the 20th volume of FMA, Arakawa announced another anime series, this one reported to follow the story of the manga more closely.  Also called Fullmetal Alchemist, this anime is available in the US from Funimation, who is streaming it subtitled on their site.  But how close is this new series to the manga?  I’ve read most of the manga and have been following this new anime to see how well it stays on track, and I have to say, I’m impressed so far.

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Dub vs. Sub: Buso Renkin

I was channel surfing last weekend, and happened upon the first episode of Buso Renkin on the Funimation Channel.  I like to see manga I’ve read as anime.  Reading static action scenes are okay, but seeing them move can really bring it to life.  So, I try to at least see some episodes of an anime.  I stopped to check out the first episode and see how Viz did with it.  I have a habit of hoping for the best  about these things.  Sometimes I’m rewarded, sometimes not.

The opening started as a good sign.  It was the original Japanese opening “Makka Na Chikai” with subtitles.  I liked the opening song, and the animation was well done.  I especially liked at the end of the opening with Kazuki and Tokiko holding the Sunlight Slasher, and it switching from color and then to black and white with speed lines.  Like a switch between anime and manga.

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Not bad so far

This week, I decided to check out some of the new titles I’ve gotten recently.  I’ll be doing full reviews of these later, but I just wanted to give some general impressions first.  I read Two Flowers for the Dragon Volume 1, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion Volume 1and Ghost Slayers: Ayashi Volume 1.

Two Flowers for the Dragon I ordered because it is by Nari Kusakawa, who also also did The Palette of 12 Secret Colors which I enjoyed a lot, and the main character turns into a dragon.  I love dragons, so, I decided to take a chance on this one, and I wasn’t disappointed.  I really liked the characters, and Kusakawa-sensei’s art.  It was a fun read, and the cliffhanger the volume ended on made me ready to read the next.

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion is from Bandai, and this first volume was released simultaneously with the anime, which might cause some confusion for people, as the manga doesn’t follow the anime perfectly.  And that’s just fine by me.  The manga hits the major scenes it needs to, but some were altered to fit a manga audience better, I think.  There is more attention on Lelouch and the academy he attends than the big mecha action, which is more suited for an anime.  But, it works.  While the character designs are by CLAMP, the manga is not.  Majiko is the artist, but she keeps the designs while adding her own style, which isn’t too bad.  I wasn’t impressed with the manga by her that was releases by Tokyopop, but here it’s fine.

Ghost Slayers: Ayashi is another Bandai title, released in the same way as Code Geass.  Again, the manga is altered slightly from the anime.  Yuki is already a member of the Office of Barbarian Knowledge Enforcement, and has no qualms about using his abilities.  The volume contains two stories, taking up about half the book.  It’s a good setup.  The first story is from the anime, but the second, I don’t quite remember, but it was a good story.  I love any story that has Japanese monsters and/or folklore, and this one has both.  There are also some nice translator notes at the end of the volume to explain some effects and translator choice of words.

I’m definitely going to keep following these titles and would gladly recommend them to anyone who might be interested in them.

Haruka Anime Joins Manga in US

Haruka Manga from VizBandai Visual USA has announced that it will release the anime version of Haruka ~Beyond the Stream of Time. This is both good and bad. The good is that a shojo anime series has been licensed. There aren’t a lot of shojo anime out there, and with the manga version of this story being released in Viz’s Shojo Beat, a tie-in should help sales. Readers who like Haruka should check it out when it comes out. I do encourage people to check out the anime versions of manga they like. Especially a short series like this. Haruka is only 26 episodes long. Seeing the characters move and hearing them speak really adds another dimension to the story. I’ll admit that, while I usually end up preferring the manga to the anime, I have never regretted watching the anime.

The bad thing about this is that Bandai Visual USA got it. If you aren’t familiar with anime, then you should know that Bandai Visual has a reputation for high priced volumes for less Haruka Animecontent. And it looks like this release isn’t going to be much different. According to Anime on DVD, this release of Haruka will be subbed only, and will be spread out over 9 volumes. Each volume will be $29.99. That’s an average of 3 episodes per disk, at $10 an episode. At a time when most anime is coming out at 4-5 episodes per disk, this doesn’t seem like a smart move, especially for a sub-only disk. Why Bandai Visual likes to set themselves up to fail is beyond me.

Now, I don’t want to imply that Haruka is a bad series. From what I’ve read of the manga, it’s seems really good. But, historically, shojo anime hasn’t done very well in the US. And by doing this series as sub-only, they are cutting out a large percentage of their audience. Reading manga and reading subtitles are two different things. Only hard core anime fans (like me) are usually interested in a sub-only release. Casual watchers, and most likely readers of the manga that may be attracted to this release will be turned off by the sub-only. I really would like this release to do well, but it’s already off to a bad start it seems. Hopefully, I’m wrong about all this.

Golgo 13 in To Love-Ru – Trouble -?

ANN has reported that two new anime series’ for the spring have been announced that are based on manga; Golgo 13 by Takao Saito and To Love-Ru -Trouble- by Saki Hasemi and Kentaro Yabuki.

golgo-13.jpgManly men can rejoice that one of their idols is finally getting his own series. Golgo 13 is about an amoral assassin that takes on assignments from all over the globe. This series started in the 1960’s, and is still published today. It’s 147th volume was published on December 5 in Japan. Duke Togo, code name Golgo 13, is a crack shot and a magnet for the ladies. He can pop off a target in one panel and then score with a beautiful woman in the next. Few men are more manly than Golgo 13. But for all his manliness, Golgo 13 has never had his own series. He’s only had a live action movie and 2 animated movies. Finally, he gets to come into his own. Viz Media has published 12 volumes of Golgo 13’s adventures under their Viz Signature line.

to-love-ru.jpgTo Love-Ru -Trouble- is a sci-fi romance comedy drawn by Kentaro Yabuki, best known here for his Black Cat series, also being published by Viz. It just started publication last year, shortly after the Black Cat series ended and has 5 volumes out. It is about Rito, who can’t get up the nerve to tell Haruna he loves her. So, while he’s in the bath, an alien named Lala appears before him, so begins the classic love triangle of boy, girl he loves, and alien who loves him. This series is slightly risque, so if it were to be licensed by Viz (after Black Cat is complete) it would probably be in their Shonen Jump Advanced line. With an anime coming out for it now, I wouldn’t doubt if Viz started to take a series look at licensing this manga. And being a fan of Urusei Yatsura, I would definitely take a look at this series.

Viz's Vampire Knight to become Anime

Anime News Network has announced that the latest issue of Hakusensha’s LaLa shojo magazine has announced that the Vampire Knight manga, created by Matsuri Hino and published by Viz Media in the US will become an anime to be shown in Japan.

Vampire Knight, published in Viz’s Shojo Beat magazine, is already very popular with girls here in the US. There are websites devoted to the characters and manga, as well as fans dressing up as characters at anime conventions. The bishonen (pretty) boys that make up most of the series is one reason for it’s popularity. Another is it’s school-horror theme. The story takes place at Cross Academy that has two class; the Day Class and the Night Class. Only a select few know that the Night Class is made up of exclusively vampires. We follow Yuki Cross, the adopted daughter of Headmaster, Zero, a latent vampire who keeps his urges at bay by drinking Yuki’s blood (against the academy’s rules), and Kaname, the vampire that saved Yuki, and considers her his. This is a shojo manga that has all the sexiness of vampires combined with hot boys and high school problems. Expect to see this licensed real fast.