One thing I’ve really appreciated about delving further into the worlds of anime and manga here is that doing so has given me a better perspective on the American comics and cartoon industries. Case in point… the movie KICK-ASS’s recent release represents a key breakthrough in that it’s probably the first major motion picture adaptation of an American comic that’s come out barely a month after the comic itself wrapped up. That is, the comic and the movie were developed at the same time and, while the various authors communicated a lot, they both want off in drastically different directions (as it should be obvious to anybody who’s seen both) .
That sounded really novel, at first, until I remembered something I read about AKIRA after watching it the first time. Correct me if I’m wrong (and that’s probably likely), but didn’t the anime come out before the manga had finished? I’ve been meaning to read the mangas for a while, especially since my friend told me that it the plot goes on for a lot longer, with a big portion concering Tetsuo becoming "King of Japan."
The “cross media” model I’m used to seeing is that you’ll see the printed story, first, and then, once it’s finished, you see a cinematic adaptation (with varying degrees of faithfulness). I assumed, for instance, that EVANGELION was based on a manga. But then a number of you have pointed out to me that manga is actually an adaptation of the anime, not the other way around, and that it’s still going on today (some 15 years after the show ended?). There seems to be some disagreement about which is better executed, too. I heard something that was just as intriguing about VISION OF ESCAFLOWNE’s origins. That supposedly the anime is actually a combination of two manga series - - one, a shonen take, and the other a shojo take.
Like I said, I find this all really intriguing, because it seems different than the differences (different than the differences... HA!) you typically see in American adaptations. Those changes seem more dictated by suits, while these (at least from my perspective) sound like they’re made by creatives (almost like jazz musicians riffing on a common standard). I’d like to learn more about the whole topic, so I figure you lunatics in the Anime Vice community are the best people to turn to. Could somebody break down how this all works to me? Maybe even list some examples where the anime version of a story was better than the manga, and vice versa? I’m the anime noob… so EDUCATE ME!