The source material for an anime can come from many different sources. There are anime that are original stories crafted for the anime, while other anime are adapted from the many different trading card games that are out there. One of the most widely used source material is manga and light novels. In the fall 2014 anime season there is 24 out of the 47 anime that came out were from light novels or manga. Pulling from these sources can be great but can also be terrible depending on how the anime is done. With so many anime pulling from these sources we should take some time to point out the positives and the negatives of anime adaptions of manga or light novels. In this post the following examples will be used to show off the good, the bad, and the ugly of adapting source material into an anime:
- Seitokai Yakuindomo
- Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei
- Trinity 7
In these examples there are some that stick very close to the source material and have done well for it and there is one that strayed from the source material and tried to come up with their own story using the source material and created an anime that many feel was a complete failure. Lets start with a title that just about everyone should know Fairytail. This title is based on a manga with over 40 volumes. This title has stuck very close to the source material in the anime adaption to the point that the anime is just a new animated version of what a person has read in the manga and this could be why the anime has done quite well over the course of its running. The anime just got a new season and shows no sign of slowing down. Even if Fairytail is not a title that you are interested in we have to admit that it has done quite well and that is most likely due to the fact that the anime creators have stayed true to the source material.
The next title is Campione, This anime is based on a light novel series that has 17 volumes. There has also been some manga created which tell the story in a different way or from a different perspective. The anime that was created was very well made in that the voice actresses were well picked and the artwork was very well done. The story though strayed so far from the source material that you can only call it Campione in name only. The anime even created its own enemy that was not even in the source material. Ironically the light novel series has a bad guy for the main characters to fight in almost every volume so the need for them to create a new enemy was completely pointless. This anime is a great example of what happens when you stray too far from the source material. When you already have a great story why change it that much? The anime also cuts out lots of content that helps to explain the world that the story is set in or the relationships between different characters. This doesn’t help bring in people who have never read the source material because they will not understand why that person is so mean to this other person or why this event is happening. The people who have seen and loved the source material are not going to be happy with changes that alter the story so much.
This next title is Seitokai Yakuin domo. This title is based on a manga series with over 8 volumes. This is a different series than the last two because it is not a drama or fantasy type of story. Seitokai Yakuin domo is a 4koma or 4 frame manga where each of the sets of the 4 frames is a different story or joke. You might think that this would make it hard to turn that into an anime but the people who made this adaption stuck to the source material and only filled in some of the gaps in the jokes that would be needed for it to be adapted to an anime. This is another great example of how if you stick to the source material and just change some things to make it easier for it to be adapted you can create an anime that will do well and still be just as great as the source material. Seitokai Yakuin domo is still one of the funniest anime out there and just had a second season that just ended a couple of seasons ago. If you watch the series from start of season one to the end of the season two you will understand why it is so good.
The Last two anime that we will talk about is Mahouka Koukou no Kettousei and Trinity Seven. These two anime are current ether being in the current (Fall 2014) season or the previous (Summer 2014) season. Mahouka is based on a light novel series with 14 volumes. The world that the author creates is quite expansive and detailed. The anime was very well done and stuck very close to the source material. That being said the anime does make quite a few changes to the story to help make it fit in the format of an anime. These changes though do not change the core of the story but only take out some of the explanation of the more detailed aspects of the world. There are also parts of the story that have been moved around to help make it flow better in the anime but these parts fit right in where they put them. Even with these changes the anime stays true to the source material and does not make changes that could drastically change the story by adding characters or an enemy that should not be there. The changes that were made only helped with the adaption from light novel to anime. Those people that have read the light novels are able to see many of their favorite scenes or characters become animated and tell the story that they enjoyed. This anime was a great success both in japan and here in the states and shows that if you stick to the core story and don’t add or take out important aspects of the story you can make a great anime for the people who already enjoy the source material and hopefully bring some new people to the story.
Trinity Seven is based on a manga with over 9 volumes and has an anime currently airing in the Fall 1014 anime season. The story for Trinity Seven is quite good with a good mixture of combat, school life, and ecchi. Based on the first episode it seems like this will stick very close to the source material. If it does then this anime should be a very good anime this season. This anime is highly recommended to all anime lovers. Lets all hope that the people making this anime are going to stick to the source material like glue and give us a great series.
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