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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Review: Fullmetal Alchemist (Manga)

 

Within a year’s time, I have collected all 27 volumes.

…As of this weekend I have also finished reading all 27 volumes.

For the third time 18 months, I have completed an entire Manga set. The first was Code Geass last year while Death Note was the second earlier this year. The legendary franchise earned its spot in Anime history over 10 years ago when the Anime was first released (first in Japaan and then in the U.S.). The Manga’s storyline was the basis for the more recent Anime adaptation Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.

Havimg read the Manga after warching FMA:B in full, I came to appreciate both mediums a whole lot more:

  • I might have missed the episode it happens in but Heinkel kills Kimbley in a surprise ambush and Pride later eats his corpse. I knew Kimbley stops Pride from escaping from Ed during their fight later on but I couldn’t remember how he ended up inside Pride.
  • It’s never actually stated what Armstrong’s “disgrace” was in FMA:B.  This detail is revealed in the Manga: Armstrong questions his orders during the war in Ishval and later lets some Ishvalans escape. Moments later, the citizens he let go are gunned down by Amestrian soldiers. He is branded a coward and a weakling by his superiors and his sister Olivier.
  • Speaking of General Armstrong: The Manga confirms she is Louis’ oldest sister. Elizabeth (who appears in both the Manga and FMA:B) is the youngest followed by Louis, two unnamed sisters and then Olivier.
  • Father’s monologue after the final battle doesn’t happen in the Manga but The Truth has a much longer monologue when it’s confronted by him on the other side.
  • Speaking of The Truth: The Manga does a slightly better job of pointing out The Truth mirrors whoever appears before it. Ed, who opens the portal three times (the first time as a kid, the second time while inside Gluttony and the final time to get Al) figured it out after he and Al figure out how Al’s soul can survive without his physical body for so long. This is the reason he says to The Truth in the Anime “Who needs Alchemy when I’ve got them?” The Portal of Truth is what allows an Alchemist to transmute even though with a few exceptions, they will never see it with their own eyes.
  • By chosing to give up Alchemy itself, Ed did what the Dwarf in the Flask couldn’t and realized Alchemity itself was the root cause of his and Al’s troubles. The Dwarf only saw it as a means of becoming a God.
  • It’s interesting to note the Manga reveals Olivier has her troops smuggle Scar away from Central after the final battle. This explains why he’s shown in the Armstrong Mansion in the final episode.
  • In the Anime, Mustang and Dr. Marcoh use a Philosipher’s Stone to fix Havoc’s spine, allowing him the use of his legs again. In the Manga, Havoc is shown undergoing some intense rehab to regain the use of his legs.
  • Hoenheim explains in the Manga as he activates the Reverse Transmutation Circle even if a person’s soul is ripped from their body, as long as the body is still capable of housing it, body and soul will automatically be drawn to each other like a magnet. This explains why Barry the Chopper’s body followed him to the end, why Al blacked out in Briggs and why all of the souls of Amestris taken by Father returned to their original bodies. In the Anime it’s suggested the souls of the Xerxes Citizens that triggered the Reverse Transmutation Circle also returned them to their rightful bodies.
  • Hoenheim was about 35 years old at the time of the destruction of Xerxes. It’s suggested the over 500,000 souls in his body were added to his lifespan. 350 years pass from the time of Xerxes to the births of Ed and Al. We know from the deaths of the Homunculi each time they’re “killed”, they lose one of the philosipher’s stones that keep them alive. In the Manga, Hoenheim states after Father is defeated only his soul remained. He burned through the others during the course of the battle. Based on that, it’s no hard to understand why his body decayed so quickly. At 400 years old, he far exceeded a normal human lifespan!

Overall, I give the Manga a 10/10. A solid storyline and it’s a must-read for fans of anything FMA. I’m even considering cosplaying as an Amestrian Soldier at Anime Boston 2015. If not FMA then possibly the Survey Corps from Attack on Titan. Hmm…

 

 

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

Fullmetal Alchemist Manga set almost complete

 

All I need are volumes 23, 23 and 24 and it will be complete ^_^

 

I bought 3-in-1 books, which contain 3 volumes but cost $15 each. I got singles for volumes 25, 26 and 27 before I knew the whole series was getting the 3-in-1 treatment. For those who don’t know, a single volume of FMA costs $10 so it makes more sense to buy a 3-in-1 these days. Bleach, Naruto and Dragonball Z are also releasing 3-in1 versions of the manga as well so…yeah.

Once I finish FMA it will join my complete Death Note and Code Geass sets. I will then focus on adding to my Blue Exorcist and Ouran High School Host Club sets. I also have seversl Bleach and Naruto volumes but in those cases, I’m more interested in getting all of the volumes for certain Arcs. While I do have most of the volumes for Rosario + Vampire and Oh!My Goddess, I’ll wait until AB2015 before I look at getting more volumes for those series.

I almost forgot to say this before but Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood faithfully follows the manga’s storyline. The original Anime from 10 years earlier uses an original storyline with the same characters. Those who saw FMA:B after seeing FMA but before reading the manga will find FMA:B much darker than the original Anime. The original storyline has been critically acclaimed for the more narrowed focus on what it means to seek “The Truth”.

I think it would I would be pretty cool if an after story was done but things are fine as they are. For those who may have heard of FMA and wondered about the name, Edward Elric is given the codename Fullmetal by King Bradley when he becomes a state alchemist. He’s universally known as The Fullmetal Alchemist because of his prosthetic arm and leg. He lost his limbs and his younger brother Alphonse lost his entire body after tried to transmute their mother back to life. The main story is their quest to find a way to get their bodies back.

 

Slight change in the name of this blog

Starting today, this blog will be called Aurabolt’s Anime and Manga. The links won’t change since I know some folks reblog my posts periodically.

I got a new bookcase this weekend and over the last two years my collection of Manga has quadrupled. This afternoon I bought some volumes of Naruto for the first time ever. Like my other Manga, all of them were purchased after I started watching the Anime. What this means for this blog is now I will start posting reviews on Manga I’ve read as well as Anime. I’ve already been doing that with Anime that are have a Manga counterpart so…yeah.

Right now, Death Note are Code Geass are the only series in which I have all the volumes in the series. I have two thirds of Fullmetal Alchemist and Ah! My Goddess! and half of Rosario + Vampire. my intent is to finish collecting all three series. Naruto and Bleach are both ongoing in both Manga and Anime form in Japan so…yeah. Both have passed the 60 volume mark at that. I’m definitely not going to try to collect the entire Bleach Manga series though I do plan on getting all the volumes for the Soul Society, Arrancar, Hueco Mundo amd Aizen Arcs. As for Naruto I’ll collect the early ones to 18 and then start collecting the more recent volumes.

Here’s a protip for those looking to start collecting Bleach, Dragonball Z, Naruto or Fullmetal Alchemist Volumes: Buy the 3-in-1 Mangas. Why? You’re saving $15 and you only have to carry around 1 book vs. 3. I got my early volumes of Bleach and Naruto from Anime Boston so I ended up having to buy them one volume at a time. I have the 3-in-1s for FMA up to 18 plus volumes 26 and 27. This leaves volumes 19-25 (seven volumes) for me to buy and I’m done with the series.

For those making the arguement “what if I wanna lend a volume to a friend? it’s easier with single-volume books.” Be a good friend and just let them borrow a 3-in-1. Besides, if they trash it you can demand they cough up $30. See what I did there? Yep, I’m good.

 

Ten Timeless Anime You Must See

Some of ’em are in my Top Ten Faves and some of them are not. Here’s my list of Ten Anime that I think have or will stand the test of time:

#10: Cowboy Beebop

There’s a reason this Anime lives on in reruns Sunday mornings on Adult Swim/Toonami. This timeless Anime has been been around for nearly 15 years and is an outstanding entry-level Anime.

#9: Samurai Champloo

I got the series on DVD at Anime Boston in April after watching it on Netflix for nearly two years. This Anime’s got a little bit of everything and as such you’ll find yourself falling in love with the characters every time you watch it.

#8: Death Note

It’s hard to believe seven years ago this was one of, if not the Anime to watch worldwide. This Anime spawned a trio of live-action movies all dubbed by the Anime’s English Voice Actors and a slew of spinoffs in manga form.  Like most of the Anime on this list it’s hit or miss though few can deny it’s more than earned its place in Anime history.

#7: Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex

I admit I haven’t watched this Anime much though I have seen it on Adult Swim/Toonami alot over the last 10 years. As the subtitle says this is a meta-sequel to the original Ghost in the Shell. It was an instant hit and can still be found on the Sunday morning lineup.

#6: Naruto

The anime that defined a generation, it’s hard to imagine how things would have looked without it. The ever-popular Anime will be talked about for decades to come.

#5: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

The original FMA was quickly forgotten when FMA:B began airing. Unlike the orinal anime, Brotherhood is a more faithful adaptation of the Manga. There is also far less filler and a deeper and more engaging story to it. I myself have purchased most of the series on iTunes and Xbox Live.

#4: Pokemon (Indigo League + First 2 Movies)

Nearly 20 years have passed since the Anime first aired. Although several “Gens” have passed since 1995 none is looked at more fondly than the first season.

#3: Dragonball Z (Plus all the movies)

There are so many dubs and edits of both the Anime Series AND the movies it’s a wonder the voice actors on both sides of the pacific aren’t filthy stinking rich. DBZ is one of the few anime to go mainstream that has remained a fan favorite almost 20 years later.  Its most recent iteration, Kai currently airs on Nickelodeon (and yes, Kai is heavily censored). I bought a few choice episodes from Xbox Live and iTunes (Uncut as it should be) though. Each of DBZ’s Sagas–Saiyan, Vegeta, Namek, Frieza, Garlic Jr., Future Trunks, Android, Cell, Otherworld Tournament, Saiyaman, World Tournament, Babidi, Majin Buu, Fusion, Super Buu and Kid Buu–are easily a season or three each. Everyone’s got their favorites. Mine is Classic Frieza vs. Goku battle on Namek. There’s nothing like a fight to the finish on a dying planet!

#2: Clannad (Plus After Story)

My personal all-time fave, I am doing a panel on this Anime at Anime Boston every year to make sure it’s never forgotten to time. A cast of characters with everyday problems most people can relate to.  David Matranga’s role as Tomoya Okazaki is easily my favorite out of all the characters he’s dubbed.

#1: InuYasha

Quite possibly the most prolific Anime after DBZ over the last 20 years, InuYasha created the mold when it comes to introducing an Anime seeped with Japanese culture to North America. InuYasha is also unique in the aspect it lasted nine seasons (7 regular seasons and 24-episode series finale in the West), something that has become a rarity in an Anime since the turn of the century.

…That’s my list.

Two more Anime that should get honorable mentions are Fruits Basket and Bleach. Both have made their mark and Bleach especially has already cemeted its place in Manga history.