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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, you have to make the lifechanging decision to read the manga or watch the anime adaption first.
Although a certain series of anime and manga might have the same characters, plot, and settings, they both give you a completely different experience. That said, is there a “correct” order to consuming anime and manga?
Reasons to Read the Manga First
Reading a manga series might seem like a huge financial commitment—that is, if you don’t find the manga available online for free. Picking up a manga before you switch on the anime can give you a thorough primer on the series and helps you get a better grasp on it.
You can also get an edge on future anime releases by reading manga first. Most often, a manga precedes an anime, which means you can get ahead of the game by reading the manga before it gets adapted for the screen. Some amazing mangas don’t even have an anime adaption 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 adaption 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 adaption of a series is awful, and vice versa. This could end up spoiling your experience and discouraging you from continuing the series.
Want to engage in even more anime-related debates? Find out the pros and cons of watching subbed or dubbed anime.