Are all Manga Adaptations terrible?
What’s worse than an anime that’s basically an advertisement for the manga? A manga that’s an advertisement for the anime. More often than not these are the things said about manga that are based anime series.
I bet most of you already know that it’s much more common for a manga to be adapted into an anime, than the other way around. More often than not, it’s assumed that an anime series is adapted from a manga, at least in the early days of anime fandom that was the case. Now it seems adaptations of light novels, visual novels and games are much more common than they used to be. And like with every adaptation from one medium to the next, there are normally changes made from the source material. Whether it be the story, the omission or addition of characters or the plot being completely changed, there are almost always changes in the adaptation process.
Anyway, I can only think of a handful of manga titles that I’ve read that were created alongside or after the popularity of the anime, light novel or game. But I’m sure as I collect and read more manga in the future I’ll encounter more titles that I can discuss in this series of posts. Feel free to recommend titles to me in the comments, I keep a list of the titles all of you that follow my blog recommend to me~!
No Need For Tenchi! Story and Art by Hitoshi Okuda
Published in 12 Vols. by Viz, English Translation by Shuko Shitaka.
This adaptation starts off in a way that I really dislike, there is a lot of exposition by Tenchi Masaki, basically summarizing everything that happened in the Tenchi Muyō OVA. And when I say everything, I mean everything! Text about all of the characters and how they came to live with Tenchi, text about the mysteries regarding Yosho and the fight with Kagato, all of it! It’s basically all set up with no substance, which would just appear as an info-dump for people that have never heard of Tenchi before. It’s obvious that Hitoshi Okuda wanted to quickly summarize the story and characters from the OVA so that he could get to the fun manga-only antics of his adaptation of Masaki Kajishima‘s original story. I couldn’t help but feel like that was incredibly lazy storytelling and also a terrible way to begin the series for people that are not already familiar with Tenchi Muyō.
For people that are already fans of Tenchi Muyō this manga has a decent amount of new content to offer. Hitoshi Okuda continued this adaptation by creating The All-New Tenchi Muyō! which continues the antics of all the Tenchi characters you know and love (even Kiyone, which is fascinating for reasons I’ll get into in future spoiler discussion post, for now check out this link), and the edition of new characters that were never in the anime like Dark Washu. The artwork is well done and fits the style seen in the anime very well. I especially love the curvy line-work that Okuda used for Mihoshi’s hair.
I would only recommend checking out this manga series if you that already enjoy the Tenchi Muyō anime series. The OVA is definitely worth watching and is the type of “harem” show that it seems is rarely ever made today.
The series focus isn’t on who Tenchi will end up with romantically, there’s a lot of humor and a ton of fantastical sci-fi elements; spaceships, intergalactic travel and galaxy police officers. If any of those elements interest you, you won’t regret getting into Tenchi Muyō!