I have a confession to make. I have been an anime fan for well over 15 years, but until last month I never touched the manga. While I fully support and advocate graphic novels, they have always been hard for me to read. There have been some exceptions like Rapunzel’s Revenge, but for the most part I’ve stayed away from actually reading them. And when it came to manga I didn’t see a point, especially since I usually watched the anime.
After suffering two years of teasing/harassment from my Anime Club teens, I broke down and promised I would read one. I decided on Fruits Basket (aka Furuba) since I had seen part of the anime, which I adored. And since it was a finished series I wouldn’t have wait months for the next volume to come out.
To make a long story short, I ended up falling in love with Furuba. If you’re library doesn’t own it, I would buy it right now. Seriously. My teen girls adore it and it’s one of my higher circ’ing mangas; even though it’s a couple of years old it’s still rarely on the shelf. I will admit that artistically it is nothing amazing, but storyline wise it has such a good message. Of course, I may have a soft spot for the love conquers all type books.
Remember how I said I didn’t read the manga because I watched the anime? After all, they’re basically the same, right? Wow, could I have ever been more wrong this time around. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a little. Overall, the anime does a great job at adapting the manga until the very end. Without giving too much away, let’s just say I have several WTH moments. There were several things that they changed/added that totally changed Tohru’s and Yuki’s personality and relationship with Kyo. They also add in a threatening scene with Akito that never happens in the manga. These were the biggest changes for me and shifted the storyline to a different path; part of me wonders if this is why the anime stopped at season one.
Other than that, the changes are rather small. Some events are combined or left out completely. Two of the zodiac character never make it into the anime. Of course, this is largely do the fact that the 26 episodes only cover events that happen in the first 8 volumes. Yup, that’s right, the anime never makes it past volume 8! If I hadn’t decided to read the manga as well I would have missed out on 18 volumes worth of story. When you consider each manga is roughly 200 pages–well that’s a lot of story to miss.
Which, naturally, leads me to my next dilemma. How much have I missed in other series that I’ve watched? I know Furuba is most likely not the exception to the case, especially since I’ve heard some of my teens complain a bit about it. I guess this means there shall be more manga in my future! Oddly enough, this excites me.
If you have any titles of manga you would like me to review, please leave them in the comments! I’ll use them to guide my Manga vs. Anime posts in the future.