Comparing Anime and Manga versions of a series

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As you guys know, I have the full Anime and Manga sets for Death Note (WOOT!) and Attack on Titan (plus the spinoffs!). While most fans of a particular series usually favor one over the other–I’m referring to Anime or Manga–some are so good, you don’t mind experiencing them through a second lens.

I picked Death Note and Attack on Titan as examples for another reason: The storyline is virtually unchanged in the conversion from Manga to Anime. You can literally quote chapters from Death Note while watching same scenes in the Anime. In the case of Attack on Titan, I started buying volumes after watching the Anime for the first time on Netflix. As I mentioned in my review of the Anime last year, The Manga continues the story after the series (or rather now the first season) starting with Volume 9. If you never read the Manga, you’d be in the dark about alot of things going on as well a how Levi’s past and what happened during the time of Commander Ervin’s Predecessor tie in to what’s going on now. Death Note does have prequels too of course but they were written after the original series was done to add on to the storyline. The BB Case L references early on gets a miniseries in Manga form. The third Death Note Movie L Change the World takes place during the space of time between when his name is written in the Death Note and when he dies.

Of course, not all series with both of Anime and Manga either get a US Release (History’s Mightiest Disciple Kenichi) or stay true to the Manga (The first Fullmetal Alchemist series). The original Dragonball Z Anime (292 Episodes) drew alot of heat due to the huge amount of filler added to extend the Anime. DBZ Kai is almost half as long (The rest of the remaining Sagas are currently in production in Japan) but is prettymuch the same story just WAY shorter.

Code Geass is an interesting example in which the Anime came first. The Manga is the same story minus the Knightmare frames used in the Anime. Most folks already know this but Naruto Shippuden doesn’t “exist” in Manga form. All volumes after 29 fast forward to Older Naruto in the Manga. They had to add a subtitle to the Anime for licensing reasons.

 

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Had your fill of Toonami’s Weekly Lineup? Looking for More Anime? Here’s a few places to start looking!

I’m at that age where I’m old enough to remember watching Gundam Wing, Dragonball and Sailor Moon in the early 1990s, Dragonball Z a few years later, Fullmetal Alchemist, Code geass and Death Note about twelve years ago and more recently, the likes of Soul Eater, Blue Exorcist, Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood and Bleach. What all of these Anime have in common is at one time or another they all aired on Cartoon Network and/or its anime block, Toonami.

Back in the day, you only really had Toonami and 4Kids to get your Anime fix. Things are very different now. As an added incetive, outside TV and Hulu there are no commercial interruptions so…yeah. Here’s two places I reccommend to get started:

This should come as no surprise given I reviewed it in January. For those who are unfamiliar with it, it’s basically Netflix but just Anime and Korean Dramas. Like Netflix, programming is on demand but like Hulu, new episodes are made available right after they’ve aired on TV in Japan.  Even though I’m a Dub Man and the Anime CR provides is all Subbed, no other provider comes close to the sheer volume of Anime they have to offer.

Crunchyroll can be streamed through both Microsoft and Sony Consoles as well as the Vita, iOS/Android devices and of course, your computer’s browser. CR is 100% free to watch on your computer but if you want to stream it, it’ll cost you $7 a month which is a buck less than Netflix for prettymuch just Anime.  The original content is easily worth the monthly subscription in my book.

 

As the first streaming service I ever used and as much as I hate to admit it, Netflix has its usefulness in regards to Anime. While the streaming giant has been quietly making original content in recent months (Orange is the New Black and House of Cards), it has also been acquiring exclusive licensing deals with various media providers. One such deal brought the entire Pokemon series to Netflix. At the moment, The Indigo League and The Unova Saga as well as the Reshiram and Zekrom movies are the only Pokemon-related stuff they have so far but those ALONE will easily take a few weeks to go through. The rest are set to be added over the coming months.

Moving on, almost all of the Anime I now own I saw for the first time on Netflix: Clannad, School Rumble, Ouran High School Host Club and Samurai Champloo to name a few. The small but respectable selection of Anime they have is a great place for folks to cut their teeth on Dubs without having to deal with the Ads on Hulu. Netflix also has Attack on Titan Subbed, which recently started airing on Toonami.

Like Crunchyroll, Netflix streams on both Sony and Microsoft consoles as well as the Vita and the 3DS family handhelds and all the rest. It’s $8 a month which isn’t bad. I actually have both CR and Netflix so…yeah. As a reminder: When streaming both CR and Netflix there are NO ADS =D

 

That’s just to whet your appitite.

So now you wanna buy some Anime but not ready for the DVD/Blu-Ray sets yet? That’s ok. I know a few providers that can help you get your Anime fix and the prices are obscenely cheap:

 

 

These were the first places I bought Anime from starting about seven years ago with Xbox Live’s PC Client Zune. The first Anime I bought was Ah! My Goddess! Unsurprisingly, I went on to own both seasons, the movie and two thirds of the Manga volumes (LOL!). This brings up the all-important question of cost. It really depends on which route you go. If you wand Standard Definition (SD) it’s $2 per episode across the board and $3 for High Definition (HD) episodes. While yes, HD is better quality the files are also MUCH bigger and in the cases of the consoles they can really eat up your storage if you’re not careful. For movies, the cost is $8-$10 though with those that have HD versions available it’s $12 or $15.

Both iTunes and Xbox Live/Zune allow you to buy whole seasons if you want. If a season is airing, you can buy a Season Pass which gets you all the episodes of a season in progress so far plus the rest of the episodes made available for download as early as an hour after they’ve aired on TV. You can also just buy all the episodes of a season at a flat rate after all the episodes have aired.

I reccommend one or both personally in regards to Anime. Most Anime seasons are 12 to 13 or 24 to 26 episodes long so…yeah. On average, Buying a whole season on average runs between $18 to $32 on both Xbox Live/Zune and iTunes (the Playstation Network doesn’t currently offer whole season purchases). I wouldn’t pay more than $30 personally for a digital copy of an Anime season or series. The most I paid was $24 each for both seasons of Spice & Wolf, Ah! My Goddess!, and Rosario + Vampire as well as Shuffle! (I bought the DVD set last year at Anime Boston) which I bought on Xbox Live three years ago. Each episode (Standard Definition) was $2 so more often than not, I got a real good deal on a season package. I paid $24 for the Shuffle DVD set in case you’re wondering.

 

…I’ve talked about Xbox Live/Zune almost exclusively but there SEVERAL benefits to buying your Anime on iTunes and The Playstation Network, more so if like me you have quite a few of their portable devices =O

For starters, once you buy anything from iTunes you can download it on all of your devices right away. Cross-buy and cross-download is also possible so for example if you buy Wolf Children on your PS3, you can download it to your Vita or PSP at no extra cost. Don’t wanna wait for it to download? You can stream it while it’s downloading in the case of Xbox Live/Zune and iTunes. In all three cases, you can que multiple downloads simultaneously.

Of course, the smart way to distribute your stuff after you’ve bought and downloaded it to your PC/PS3 is to use a Sync cable so you can get it on Portable device in seconds and not minutes or hours.

Whew…now we’ree getting to the third and final layer. In case it isn’t obvious: I am only providing LEGAL OPTIONS to get your Anime. Of course, there are illegal means but if you wanted to go that route, you probably wouldn’t have read this much (LOL). Support your favorite anime and BUY it!

 

That said, the final layer is of course DVD and/or Blu-Ray. While yes, Digital Purchases are the future there’s nothing wrong with wanting to own a physical copy of your favorite anime and anime movies. I have 14 Anime DVD and Blu-Ray sets (I count multiple seasons as part of a set personally) and 6 Anime movies myself so…yeah. I got most of my Box Sets during Anime Boston and have actually made it a tradition to buy two Anime Box sets at Anime Boston. For example I got Ouran High School Host Club and Fate/ZERO this year and Samurai Champloo and Shuffle! last year.

You really can’t go wrong when you buy your Anime on DVD/Blu-Ray: No DRM, no internet connection, no monthly fees, no ads, nothing but the Anime. The best part is you can decide if you want to watch it with the English Audio (default setting) or the Japanese Audio. With the other layers you’re locked into one or the other.

As for the price, that depends on where you look and how rare the Anime you’re looking to buy is. For example, Code Geass Season 1 goes for $49 while Season 2 costs $72. Persona 4 Blu-Ray is about $27 for each season (they split it in half for the home release presumably to bring the price down and double profits at the same time). Samurai Champloo (complete series) goes for $28 on DVD and $30 on Blu Ray.

Some sets are simply rarer or more common than others. Much of it has to do with licensing and/or the original distributor going under, ending the production of new DVD/Blu-Ray Sets. This is what happened to Code Geass. Those who paid attention will have noticed this Anime never reaired on Cartoon Network/Toonami. The reason for that is the company that held the license went under while the series was wrapping up on Toonami so it was never reaired. It’s also the reason the DVD Sets are so rare and costly XD

 

Ok that’s it for now. Up next, I’ll throw out my reccommended picks for folks who are not fans of Anime =D

Review: Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion (Anime and Manga)

This video embodies how awesome Lelouch is:

To date, he is the ONLY fictional character to have achieved world domination. And he does it like a boss.

This review as the title says is for both the Anime and the Manga. Unlike most Anime/Manga conversions, in the case of Code Geass the Anime came first. It ran from 2006 to 2008 and yes, that’s also during the same time Death Note was taking the world by storm. Naturally, the comparisons between Lelouch and Light Yagami are hard to ignore. Both gain a supernatural ability. Both have an alter ego. Both use cold logic and reasoning as their guidepost. Both are willing to die for their convictions.

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion follows the story of Lelouch, the banished prince of Britannia. He and his sister Nunnally (who both change their last names from Britannia to Lamprouge) are banished from Britannia after their mother Marianne is assassinated. The incident that left their mother dead also left Nunnally paralyzed and blind. They live in hiding from Britanna in the newly annexed Area 11–formerly Japan. Lelouch vows to punish the people responsible and free Japan as well. His fateful first encounter with C.C. begins a fantastic thrill ride.

In case you’re wondering Nunnally does eventually regain her sight:

Like all the members of the Britannian Royal Family she has violet eyes.

The Anime aired on Adult Swim (Cartoon Network) from 2007 to 2009. Unlike the other Anime that aired around the same time, surprisingly Code Geass was never reaired in the U.S. after the series finale. It used to air on Hulu.com but it is no longer listed there. It is also available on DVD of course but be prepared to pay alot for it. Season 1 goes for $70-$85 in Amazon and Season 2 goes for $85-$110. I saw it at mutiple booths my last three trips to Anime Boston including this year. Next year, my goal is to buy both seasons, if not the second.

As for the Manga, there are actually three different series: Lelouch of the Rebellion, Suzaku of the Counterattack and Nunnally’s Nightmare. Each one of them focuses on their namesake character and tells the story from the anime a little differently. I actually ended up getting my mits on the first seven volumes of Code Geass: Lelouch during Anime Boston and need only the 8th to finish the set. Given it’s selling for $65-$115 I will wait until next year’s Anime Boston for the final volume as well.

Overall I give Code Geass a 10/10. Outstanding storytelling. Likeable cast. Compelling philopshical discussioms in almost every episode/volume. A must-see/read for anyone who’s into Anime or Manga!

Now go forth and Check out Code Geass.

In case that voice sounds familiar, yes it is Johnny Bosch Young. He’s certainly come a long way since his days as Adam Park on Power Rangers!

 

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