What comes first: the chicken or the egg? The same age-old dilemma applies to anime and manga as well.
Before you delve into a particular series—especially if it's available in both manga and anime formats—you have to make the impossible decision: read the manga or watch the anime adaptation first.
Although a certain series might have the same characters, plot, and settings in both manga and anime versions, it's possible that they both give you completely different experiences.
So, is there a "correct" order to consuming anime and manga? Here's where we fall when it comes to reading the manga first or watching the anime adaptation first.
Reasons to Read the Manga First
Reading a manga series might seem like a huge financial commitment... if you can't find the manga online for free. But if you know where to look, you can read tons of manga without spending a single cent—without breaking any laws!
Picking up and finishing a manga series before you follow it up with the anime adaptation can give you a thorough primer on the world, characters, and plot, which can help you to appreciate everything as it plays out in animated form.
You can also get an edge on future anime releases by reading the manga series first.
In most cases, the manga is what precedes the anime, which means you can get further in the story by reading the manga before it gets adapted for the screen. Some amazing mangas don't even have an anime adaptation yet, making them worth reading.
Not only does manga allow you to get ahead of an anime series, but it also lets you stay ahead. You won't have to wait anxiously for new episodes—by the time you're finished reading the series, an ongoing anime might've released its final episodes.
Reading the manga first is for people who want a full experience the first time you hear the story. You won't always get the total experience with an anime.
Reasons to Watch the Anime First
If you want a shortened, fast-paced version of a manga before you read it, you'll want to watch the anime first. Like I previously mentioned, manga are much more detailed. That makes it a fantastic supplement to its anime counterpart.
Manga often comes with scenes and dialogue that you just won't see in the anime. Reading the manga after watching the anime will shed light on any insights you may have missed. Plus, you'll get to indulge in the incredible artwork done by the manga artist.
It's also pretty disheartening to read the manga before watching the anime. When you start up the anime, you might find yourself not even wanting to watch it. Since you've already seen everything (and more) in the manga, an anime adaptation might bore you.
Watching the anime first is for people who want to supplement their viewing experience. You'll find out even more details about the story you already love in a manga.
Is It Worth Doing Both?
It's definitely worth reading the manga and watching the anime. But there's one caveat: you should only do this for the series that you really love. Otherwise, you'll end up feeling incredibly bored.
You may think that consuming both the anime and manga of one series gets redundant, and that's somewhat true. You'll definitely see a lot of overlap, but you'll also get to relive the story in the most detailed way possible.
Ultimately, it's up to you to decide whether to watch an anime or read a manga first. In some cases, doing one or the other first might make you lose interest in the series altogether.
Before you decide which to do first, consider your personal preference, and then look up reviews online. Sometimes an anime adaptation of a series is awful, and vice versa, which could spoil your experience of the series altogether.