Many anime purists will advise more casual fans to “not say you love the anime if you haven’t read the manga,” but how justified is this statement? After all, many manga series don't achieve their full potential until they're brought to life with motion and color.
Whether it’s a typical, hot-blooded Shonen Jump action series, or a comfy musical about high school life, some stories need to be seen and heard, not just read. Some anime adaptations are actually capable of improving upon flaws that hampered the source material. While this often amounts to the expansion of popular plot points, in extreme cases, a good anime adaptation will rewrite a controversial scene to make it feel more satisfying.
While many still consider it a faux pas to like an anime series better than the corresponding manga, it's worth giving props to the shows that take their reference material to new (and often more interesting) places.
The key to telling a good joke lies with the line's delivery. For that reason, the anime version of Gintama is superior to the original manga. Much of the manga’s written humor plays noticeably better in the anime, thanks in part to the wonderfully hilarious performance of the Japanese cast.
In particular, jokes that break the fourth wall are way funnier when fans actually get to see Gintoki Sakata look directly through the screen to question what’s happening. Additionally, the fight scenes are unarguably more fun to watch than they are to read.
Whether you’re watching the anime or reading the manga, Cardcaptor Sakura remains a fun magical girl romp that everyone can enjoy. For those who can't get enough of the series, it's important to note that the anime version has Sakura capture 53 Clow Cards, as opposed to the measly 19 offered by the manga.
Another definite plus is the anime's removal of the highly-questionable relationship between the 10-year-old Rika Sasaki and her 30-something elementary school teacher. In the show, the romantic foray amounts to no more than an innocent crush, which is considerably more palatable.
#13 on The Very Best Anime for Kids
Attack on Titan is a series that’s begging to be watched, rather than read. The larger-than-life battles between humanity and the wretched Titans aren’t fully realized until they are animated, as it's hard to capture the scope of the conflicts in individual manga panels.
The anime's seamless blend of 2D and CGI animation flows nicely with the crazy, full-throttle action of the series, making each colossal takedown thoroughly satisfying to watch. The series isn't just visually stunning; the adrenaline-pumping score makes the viewer feel like they are fighting alongside the soldiers.
Bunny Drop — the slice-of-life series about a 30-year-old man named Daikichi taking care of a six-year-old girl named Rin — has a black mark on its record as a result of the way the manga concludes its story. In the written version, Rin grows into a 16-year-old high school student, admits that she has feelings for her father-figure, and expresses a desire to marry him and bear his child.
Wisely, the anime focuses solely on the early chapters that portray Rin and Daikichi’s father/daughter relationship, instead of the creepy, romantic one. It's rare to see fans celebrate an anime adaptation's finale over the original source material, but Bunny Drop is a special case.