Something that I rarely do is buy Manga. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not because I pirate Manga, which I don’t, it’s just that I am not really a Manga reading person. If you ask me, given the choice between Anime and Manga, I’d choose Anime. Why? Because it’s a more immersive and engaging experience. You have movement, voice, audio, color, the works. However, I do understand that usually, due to budget and run-time issues, the Anime version ends up being a less-than-faithful adaptation of the much-better original Manga. Yet, knowing this, another reason I avoid reading Manga is because I fear that I would spoil myself if they were to ever make an Anime adaptation of it.
Yet, sometimes, I do buy the Manga to give it a read after I’ve finished, and loved, the Anime series.
Here’s the thing. Having not bought any US Official English Translated Manga before, I was extremely hesitant to. I have seen my fair share of liberal official US Anime subtitles and being a staunch supporter of literal-translations, I could not fathom the horrors that awaited me. But, I went ahead and bought three different volumes of Manga, Railgun, Cardcaptor Sakura and Lucky Star.
…was I in for a surprise.
What’s this? Honorifics?
Translation notes? Oh my!
It would be an understatement to say that I have gained much respect for officially translated Manga and their efforts to retain the ‘Japaneseness’ of the original.
But this leads us to a very puzzling question. If Manga can do this, why not officially licensed Anime? Is there a difference in translation policies? Do they think that Manga has far more niche audience than Anime? Or perhaps it could be the limitations of the various media themselves?