So where’s the manga fandom? Not anime fandom, manga fandom.

(Apologies in advance for this petty rant. ^^ I’m just venting.)

Over the past few weeks, I’ve done a lot of googling and blog-hopping in search for this elusive thing: the manga fandom. The English speaking anime/manga fandom has always been focused on anime over manga, of course, so I’ve never really connected to it, since I prefer manga and don’t care about anime. But lately, it’s reached frustrating levels!

For example, when the new Rurouni Kenshin manga was announced, commenters on ANN and elsewhere didn’t really seem to care, but demanded a sequel to the anime instead. There’s this sad, annoying mindset in anime/manga fandom that the purpose of manga is to be a template for an anime, that a manga without an anime adaptation is not worth one’s attention at all, is somehow automatically a failure. And even the worst drivel on TV is somehow more noteworthy than literally any manga.

Very often, anime fans don’t even seem to care about the fact that many of the anime series that they consume are adaptated from a manga and not an original work. Again, look at all the Kenshin fans who desperately want to see the Jinchu arc animated, to finally see the story of Rurouni Kenshin properly concluded – but who have no intention of reading the manga! And it has been available in English for years! Yes, there are a lot of manga that you can’t easily get a hold of, or who aren’t available in English at all. But … well, often it’s like people don’t even consider the possibility that what they’re watching is just an adaptation, that there might be a longer, ongoing, better manga behind it. They don’t realize that quite often, the anime is the secondary material meant to support, not replace the manga. That mangakas create their stories to be read as manga, not used as screenplays for anime.

It’s not that I think people shouldn’t like anime. You can like whatever you want! But I’ve come across so many blogs and websites that claim to cover “manga and anime” but turn out to be about anime only, with maybe the occasional acknowledgement that manga exist. There are posts about anime that are tagged “manga” for some reason, which makes it really hard for me to find things that are relevant to my interests. It’s frustrating.

Does anybody know of any interesting manga blogs/websites? There are probably many that I just can’t find …

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14 thoughts on “So where’s the manga fandom? Not anime fandom, manga fandom.

  1. Read your article! Im sorry that you feel that way. You can check out The Promised Neverland manga. Its kind of new and in my blog Ive written a review for it. If you are interested, please check it out :)

  2. Oh, man, that’s a pretty frustrating issue! I often feel kinda lost in anime/manga (and that mostly means the former, as you point out) fandom since I’m really not that interested at keeping up with the latest shows. The “what are you watching?? WHAT ARE YOU DROPPING AFTER ONE EPISODE???? oh no, NOW I’M WATCHING TOO MANY THINGS” craziness that happens every time a new season starts is just… bewildering. And if you barely care about manga, then you’re missing out so much good shoujo/josei stuff, given that those are not adapted to TV very often!

    • Oh, yeah! Why do people start watching anime series when they probably know (based on the premise, the character design, whatever) that they won’t enjoy it? And in a year, no one will remember it ever existed, so why bother? :D

      And if you barely care about manga, then you’re missing out so much good shoujo/josei stuff, given that those are not adapted to TV very often!

      Yeah. Well, it’s not just shojo/josei, but so many great series that either were never adapted into anime, or got one of those anime that only covered a small part of the (then ongoing) manga. But … at a super-superficial glance, a large part of current TV anime seems to be aimed at a specific (male otaku?) demographic, so if you’re into stories for women or girls, it makes no sense to make TV anime your top priority. O_o

      • Exactly! I admit I have no interest in watching a ton of, like, light novels adaptations featuring harems, trying to find something about it that appeals to me—”oh, this isn’t as AWFUL about women as I thought! Oh, this panty shot is actually kinda feminist…?” That way lies madness. (And yes, I am being a bit mean and generalizing current anime. Oops. But sometimes you just look at a season chart and go, “…my God. This is sad.” Which, again, is me being judgemental, haha.)

        Thinking about of your question of where to find people talking about manga (licensed in English, at least), it occurs to me that one probably has more luck on Goodreads than on your regular anime/manga site!

        • Aw, let’s be mean and generalize for a bit. It’s freeing!

          ”oh, this isn’t as AWFUL about women as I thought! Oh, this panty shot is actually kinda feminist…?” That way lies madness.
          Yes … D: Well, this isn’t really anime/manga-specific but very widespread. It’s so noticable when people arbitrarily raise and lower their standards when reviewing something. Then they end up being super-critical and ultimately negative about, say, a movie with a black female main character because it’s not *perfect*, yet praise a movie with a white male main character (played by a guy named Chris, probably) because his black sidekick gets slightly more lines than is the norm and that’s progressive!
          Whatever the reasons for this kind of thing, it’s … unhelpful.

          (Interesting, I have to check out Goodreads now.)

  3. I grow with manga before anime, so I kind of understand your feeling a bit. When I comment about good anime and said I think manga is good too, but in different reason, some reader don’t like me to compare anime with manga!? I never think this is bad, that is better. I think some anime fandom is so alert about comparison so much.

    When I write analysis in my blog, I try to pick all sources (such as if original source is light novel, I would pick some clues from anime & manga too). I think all sources are giving me storytelling in different point of views (although some plot might change, some are still remain the same).

    ps. So you find blogs from tag?

    • When I comment about good anime and said I think manga is good too, but in different reason, some reader don’t like me to compare anime with manga!?

      Wow, really? But that’s so interesting! I really wish there were more detailed comparisons between anime adaptations and their original manga, discussing the changes and their possible effects …

      ps. So you find blogs from tag?

      Sometimes I browse tags to find out what people are saying about a specific topic, yeah. I don’t know if it’s the most effective method, though.

  4. I really like this post! I’m a person who was reintroduced to anime as an adult by a new friend. Then, by extension, I began reading manga. This started because a lot of anime that has been adapted from manga is not complete. I could give numerous examples. (Fruits Basket, Blade of the Immortal, Berserk, etc.) For me, I started on manga because i wanted to know the rest of the story. Then, as I spent time in the manga section of bookstores, I started to notice other titles that sounded interesting and I started reading them. (such as Black Bird, Pandora Hearts, Shaman Warrior, etc.) At the time, some of the titles i started reading didn’t have an anime adaption, some still don’t, and I am alright with that.
    I do like the experience of both though. Sometimes the anime goes off in a completely different direction (Black Butler for example) and you get a different story that started at the same point.
    My blog is still fairly new. I’ve only been on WordPress for about a month or so. I’m currently reading Inu x Boku and posting reviews as I go. I’d be very happy if you checked it out!

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