Japanese Fans Pick The Manga Series That Were Improved By Being Adapted Into Anime

When they dug into the top picks, there was some interesting thinking behind the selections, as it evolved into something of a referendum of what works in comedy

Generally fans and critics prefer the original to the adaptation. The book is better than the movie. The manga is between than the anime. The anime is better than the movie. However, sometimes, at least arguably, that isn't the case.  Japanese ranking site Goo has done one of their polls (they do a "Research Plus" survey of 500 readers - 250 male and 250 female between ages 20 and 30), asking fans to name a series where the anime adaptation improved on the original manga.


When they dug into the top picks, there was some interesting thinking behind the selections, as it evolved into something of a referendum of what works in comedy. Some suggested that jokes work better in animation, where there is more of a directed experience in the timing of the gags than in manga, arguing the adapted medium is better able to structure a punchline and play up a reaction.


Other responses built up a case that comedies were better when they were naughty, but not crude. They wanted to see shows offend institutions like the PTA and rights holders for the subject of parodies. However, they also suggest that comedies might be better if some of the nastiness is mediated. Some felt that Lupin III's gags and adventures were more appealing without the adult edges that Monkey Punch worked into the manga. Similarly, it might be surprising to learn that Crayon Shinchan ran in mature audience magazine Manga Action, and the suggestion here was that it was served by broadening the targets of its humor along with its audience in its adaptation into anime.


Obviously these are highly debatable points, but enough voters felt that way to place Shinchan, Gintama, and Lupin III at the top. The full list included...


49. Saki

46. (tie) Maria the Virgin Witch

46. School Rumble

46. Dusk Maiden of Amnesia

43. (tie) Seitokai Yakuindomo

43. Kannazuki no Miko

43. Ga-Rei

41. (tie) Engaged to the Unidentified

41. Future Diary

38. (tie) Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Soma

38. Akagi: The Genius Who Descended into Darkness

38. Excel Saga

36. (tie) Mushishi

36. Shōnen Ashibe GO! GO! Goma-chan

32. (tie) Lucky Star

32. Is the Order a Rabbit?

32. Kill Me Baby

32. Pani Poni

29. Gag Manga Biyori

29. Ouran High School Host Club  

29. Miss Machiko

28. Ashita no Joe

27. Kodomo No Omocha

26.  Ultimate Survivor Kaiji

25. Sexy Commando Gaiden: Sugoi yo!! Masaru-san

23. (tie) Basilisk: The Kōga Ninja Scrolls)

23. Squid Girl

20. (tie) Jojo's Bizarre Adventure

20. Chihayafuru

20. Rakudai Ninja Rantarō

18. (tie) Ordinary High School Girls Tried Being Locodols/Locodol

18. My Bride is a Mermaid

17 Akira

16. Akazukin Chacha

15. Oishinbo

14. Ojarumaru

13. Working!!

12. Kochikame

11. Hunter x Hunter

10. Dokonjō Gaeru

9. Mister Ajikko

8. Planetes

7. Attack on Titan

6. Chibi Maruko-chan

5. Sazae-san

4. K-on!

3. Crayon Shin-chan

2. Gintama

1. Lupin III


Scott Green is editor and reporter for anime and manga at geek entertainment site Ain't It Cool News. Follow him on Twitter at @aicnanime.

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