Many an anime has come from the humble cradle known as manga (that’s a mouthful). But not all shows keep to the cannon. In fact, many TV series and movies veer off course, leaving original fans either content with a new interpretation or enraged by the let down of seeing their favorite battle sequences in colorful animation. But these differences aren’t always a matter of interpretation. While it is true that Miyazaki’s Howl’s Moving Castle (which is based off of a novel, not a manga) is indeed just another twist on a single story, other series, like Fullmetal Alchemist and Black Cat, have a different reason for being… well, different.
The more frequent reason for a series taking a drastic turn from its story is the original story being incomplete. That’s right. Companies often start making an anime adoption before the manga is finished. Of course, this sounds just plain stupid to us, but there is a bit of logic behind it, abet it being business logic. Because, while many a fan don’t want to admit it, anime and manga are businesses. And when something is licensed by a company, they are concerned with making money off of the deal as soon as they can. In the case of changing a manga story into an animation, companies often fear that the hype around the manga will die down after it is completed, thereby affecting sales for the anime. Companies like to “ride out” the fan feels of a series early on, least it peters out later. Which is why a series will often start off while its original version is only, at best, halfway through telling its tale. Of course, this causes problems of its own. What ever does one do when they have caught up to the original story and yet must rush forward anyway? That’s when animators decide to either bring in the original mastermind of the piece and work along with them (rare), or take their own route for the story (common).
So there you have it. That’s why Train meets Eve while still an enemy in Black Cat and why the middle part of the first Fullmetal Alchemist series feels mega strange and many plot elements are left to die. But, hey. At least we get more adventures with our favorites characters! Even if those adventures seem a bit… odd.
What’s the last show you saw that had an anime version that was different from the manga? Did you like the differences or hate em?