Most anime on the market derive their content from a variety of sources. For example, such sources include light novels, games, and visual novels. Manga has the highest percentage of where sources are derived from, it is not a surprise that most anime on the market with manga adaptations are either a hit or a miss. The fear for an otaku has always been whether if their favorite manga will turn out good. Nobody would want their favorite manga to be ruined. In fact, some of the unknown and unpopular animes out there all came from top selling manga. Hence, just because it is a much raved about manga, the reputation doesn't carry forward to the anime. For today's article, we are going to explore some of the top adaptations of manga for anime!
10. Kiseijuu: Sei no Kakuritsu (Parasyste: The Maxim)
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: Oct 9, 2014 to Mar 26, 2015
They've finally arrived: parasitic aliens that take over the minds and bodies of humans, turning them into flesh-eating aliens. Shinichi Izumi happened to be one of those unlucky souls. However, the parasitic alien failed to reach his brain and instead took control of his right hand. Now coexisting as one, it is up to them to defend and protect humanity from the parasites. Through this unlikely turn of events, both alien and human must learn the way of life of each and find a middle ground for both races.
True to its original source, Parasyte the anime did not deviate from the original story in the manga. The scenes were masterfully adapted, leaving the fans awed and impressed. The action scenes, one of its most iconic feature was kept. True to its diabolic nature, the adapted scenes were both gruesome and impactful. Despite being an old manga, the series was brought back to live with this anime adaptation.
- Episodes: 20
- Aired: Jan 11, 2014 to May 24, 2014
Raku Ichijou is the heir to a yakuza family. However, 10 years ago, Raku made a promise with an old childhood friend to meet again in the future. Left with only a key, he must now find the fated pendant. The key Raku holds will unlock the pendant of which the wearer will be revealed to be his long awaited significant other. Now as a high schooler, he faces a dilemma - different girls who had met him in the past all seemed to be the promised one. Unfortunately for Raku, his high school life is about to change...
The original manga series spanned over a whopping 229 chapters. Of course, fans of the series will know that it is filled so much with fillers and an additional story that it will even make Naruto look bad. However, the anime managed to sieve out the less interesting ones and adapted the captivating arcs that helped to propel the story. In a sense, the anime helped to work on character development while eliminating redundant storylines. The final product is a condensed version of Nisekoi that is both lovable and enjoyable! Of course, if you want to know the eventual outcome, you would still have to read the manga -_-
8. Shokugeki no Soma (Food Wars)
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: Apr 4, 2015 to Sep 26, 2015
Ever since he was at a tender age of 15, Yukihira Soma has been cooking alongside his father in their own diner. One day, however, his father decided to close the diner to travel the world and continue his cooking endeavors. With little instructions, young Soma was sent to Tootsuki Academy. Famous for its Shokugeki, or Food Wars, the Academy puts its students in high stakes cooking contests. In order to inherit the diner, Soma will have to graduate from this merciless academy where it was rumored that only 10% of the students graduate.
Shokugeki no Soma kept true to the story leaving little details omitted. It is the purest form of manga adaptation such that even those that read the manga will have little to complain about. Further, the pacing and the linkages between each arc flows so seamlessly such that even new fans to the series will have no trouble keeping up. The intriguing concept of a cooking anime and it's infamous ecchi scenes made this anime a hot favorite during its year. To date, the manga received increased viewership due to the success of the anime.
7. Kuroko no Basuke (Kuroko’s Basketball)
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: Apr 8, 2012 to Sep 22, 2012
In Japan, there exist a team of genius basketball players. Dubbed the Generation of Miracles, it was said that such talent was only seen once every 10 years. As the team graduated from middle school, they were split up into different schools. Taiga Kagami debuts at Seirin High School and meets Tetsuya Kuroko who was known as the Phantom Sixth Man of the Generation of Miracles. With his undying passion for the game, he hopes to surpass the Generation of Miracles. Little does he know of the true ferocity and tenacity of the individual members of the Miracles and how difficult it was to even beat one of them...
Being of a sports genre, the manga exceeded expectations in portraying a dynamic sport in a manga format. With the adaptation, however, this sports manga was brought to life. Infusing energy and spirit in its scenes, viewers were able to better envision how basketball was played. We believe that the animation was what the mangaka envisioned in his mind as he crafted the manga. Just like every successful adaptation, each episode leaves you wanting for more!
6. Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan)
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: Apr 7, 2013 to Sep 29, 2013
Long ago, humans lived in fear of the Titans. These titans crave human flesh, leaving the humans to hide behind concrete walls. For the next 100 years, humanity lived in peace from the titans. One fateful day, a colossal titan managed to breach the walls, causing panic and mania. Young Eren Yaeger lost his mother in this attack and on that very day, he vowed to join the Survey Corps in order to rebel against the titans.
SnK spared no effort in detailing every single aspect of Eren's pain and vengeance against the Titan. Usually, adaptations will leave out crucial details regarding a character but not SnK. Every single detail was drawn into the scenes. The art style used fits in well with the medieval setting as well. The adaptation was so successful that it skyrocketed the fame of both manga and anime into the spotlight.
5. Jojo's Bizarre Adventure
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: Oct 6, 2012 to Apr 6, 2013
When George Joestar took in Dio Brando as a foster son, he never expected him to become one of the greatest villains of all time. Growing up, Dio and Jonathan, George's legitimate son never got along and they were often at heads with each other. When Dio found a Stone Mask, he puts it on which will set the chain of events that will follow. As Dio dons the mask, he transforms into a legendary vampire. Only Jonathan, who wields the power of sunlight can stop him and recover his family name.
Jojo is a long-running manga series that began its time in the 1980s. It wasn't until recently that the manga was finally adapted for anime. It was hard to incorporate the presentation style of the manga into anime but somehow, the animation studio managed to recreate abstract scenes from the manga. The iconic contrast in color schemes is what identifies Jojo in the anime industry. To date, any Jojo fan would be able to recognize a Jojo anime purely based on a single scene. Needless to say, the anime is still ongoing, a testament to its popularity.
4. One Punch Man
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Oct 5, 2015, to Dec 21, 2015
Saitama may appear to be your average man on the street. However, he has the ability to decimate his enemies with a single punch. As a kid, he wanted to be a hero and went through a grueling exercise regime, losing his hair in the process. Now, as powerful as he is, he can't help feeling bored whenever he wins a match with just a punch. That was all to change when Saitama met Genos, a cyborg who earnestly pleads him to be his master. The comedic duo now takes on the streets in order to protect their hometown.
One Punch Man started off as a 4koma manga with very simplistic drawings. Usually, Saitama will be portrayed as an easy guy to draw whilst the other characters are all complicated in nature. The anime adaptation of the series took the same art style with them, giving Saitama a simplistic look amidst an intricate looking world. The action comedy that was present in the manga was also expertly inserted. Today, fans of the series wait for the highly anticipated season 2, hungry for more of the lackluster hero.
3. Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso (Your Lie in April)
- Episodes: 22
- Aired: Oct 10, 2014, to Mar 20, 2015
Arima Kosei was a genius pianist by birth. When he lost his mother at a young age, however, he was unable to hear the piano anymore due to the trauma he sustained. Now as he enters high school, his life was about to be changed by the free-spirited violinist, Kaori Miyazono. Instructing him once more on the beauty of music and spirit it holds, Kaori is set on getting Arima on playing the piano again. This is a story of facing your past and moving towards the future.
Being a music anime by nature is hard. Music must be heard in order to invoke the emotions of humans. This was one aspect that the manga was unable to attain. With the adaptation, however, the true power of music emerged, enhancing both the setting and feel of the whole series. It can be said that this is one of those rare moments in which the anime surpassed its original source. You should watch the anime if you haven't already as it still is one of the most talked about series despite being a 2-year-old series.
2. Koe no Katachi
- Anime Film
- Aired: Sep 17, 2016
Shouya Ishida was a carefree happy-go-lucky boy in elementary school. When Nishimiya Shouko enrolls into his school, he was taken aback by her disability. She was deaf. Unable to comprehend fully, he instead took to bullying her which eventually caused her to leave the school. Ironically, the people that once sided with him now turn against him and he was, in turn, the subject of bullying. Many years have gone since then and Ishida, hoping to set things right, meets with Shouko once more. Will he eventually redeem himself?
One of the most anticipated films of 2017 was Koe no Katachi. There was an endearing aspect in the manga that the fans hoped to see on the big screen. Luckily, the movie surpassed expectations. Keeping good track of the flow and presentation, the movie presented the manga just as how anyone who had read the manga had envisioned it to be. In a sense, just as how influential the manga was to its fans, so too was the movie to the rest of the world.
- Episodes: 74
- Aired: Apr 7, 2004 to Sep 28, 2005
Dr. Kenzou Tenma is a famous brain surgeon. His talents have earned him the respect of his peers and he is lauded as a significant figure to revolutionize the medical field. One night, however, Dr. Kenzou was faced with a moral dilemma. He could either save a nameless child or the mayor of the town. He chooses the former. What happens next is unimaginable to the young doctor, as strings of murder started occurring near him with evidence pointing back to the patient that he had saved years ago. Dr. Kenzou is now embroiled in a cat and mouse game with the killer while seeking answers to the mysteries and his own principles.
If we're talking about a benchmark for a manga adaptation, it would have to be Monster. Monster retained the elements of suspense and psychological thriller in the anime. Keeping true to the story, the story progresses at the same pace of the manga. The anime managed to express and paint the characters just as how the manga did. To date, Monster serves a reminder of what a manga adaptation should be in the anime community and remains highly popular.
So that was our pick of the top 10 anime adaptations of manga. Have you watched any of these series or read anyone of them? Do you share in the disappointment of a poorly adapted series? Perhaps there are other adaptations out there that we missed? Do let us know in the comments below and we will see you next time!