In the flashy technicolor world of anime, humble, inky manga often gets overlooked. Here are just a few of the reasons we hear all the time not to read manga:
"Reading manga takes too long."
"Why read when I can see the action unfold in color?"
"I can just watch the anime. It's the same story."
We hear you. And while we love binging on anime as much as anyone, there's just something about settling in with a great manga that can't be replaced with a screen.
Manga isn't just a black-and-white version of your favorite anime. It's a portal to the uncharted depths of the story, offering a close encounter with the raw artistry, intricate details, and subtleties that the anime might skip over or alter. It's the mangaka's unadulterated vision, with nothing lost in translation or adaptation.
Let's dive into 10 more irrefutable reasons you should give manga a chance.
1. Unleash Your Imagination
Sure, manga doesn't grab you by the eyeballs with flashy lights and pulsing colors.
But that's the beauty of it.
In a world full of overstimulation, manga is a moment of zen. It whispers to your imagination, quietly encouraging it to come out and play.
Just think about Izuku Midoriya from My Hero Academia, standing against all odds. In the manga, you feel the silence before he screams, "SMASH!", the raw energy that resonates in that moment, the sheer willpower behind his attack—it's literally all in your head. You can feel it all because your mind crafts the drama, not a pre-rendered animation.
Or how about experiencing Gojo's sewing journey in My Dress-Up Darling? The manga invites you to visualize the gentle hum of the sewing machine, the soft rustling of fabric, and the silent concentration etched on Gojo's face as he painstakingly works on each stitch. Your mind fills in the rhythm, the texture, and the pace—offering a totally different immersive experience.
It pushes you into a realm where your imagination shapes reality. You're no longer a mere spectator—instead, you're actively engaged, experiencing the chaos and emotions in your own unique way.
2. Dive into the Details
With the extra dialogue and narrative found in manga, you'll explore an in-depth look into Kaneki Ken's internal struggles in Tokyo Ghoul— a facet that the animes tragically gloss over.
The manga takes you deep into the crevices of his mind, allowing you to experience first-hand the agony, confusion, and identity crisis that Kaneki grapples with. The subtle details of his transformation and the intricate workings of the ghoulish world are beautifully fleshed out in the manga.
You'll experience the story from a whole new perspective, with a new-found appreciation for the nuances that make Tokyo Ghoul an unforgettable journey.
3. Accessible Anytime, Anywhere
Unlike technology-dependent anime, you can get lost in manga anytime, anyplace.
Imagine those thrilling, high-intensity volleyball matches from Haikyuu. With the manga, you can feel the adrenaline rush, hear the crowd’s roar, and see the sweat and determination on the players' faces anytime, anywhere.
You could be sipping your morning latte or waiting for your bus to arrive—just open your manga, and you're transported to the heart of the match. There's no need to worry about data, wifi, or whether your headphones are charged.
Manga is your hassle-free, ready-to-go portal to adventure.
4. Stay Ahead of the Curve
Anime lovers might feel smug knowing they're up to date with the latest episodes. But manga readers? They're time travelers. Often, the manga is a few arcs ahead of the anime.
Remember the suspense, the anticipation when the "Dark Continent" arc was introduced in Hunter x Hunter?
Manga readers knew what was coming.
This foresight, this privilege of knowing the storyline before it reaches the screen, gives manga an irresistible allure.
As a manga reader, you become part of a privileged group, enjoying plot twists and turns well before your anime-only friends.
5. Unveiling the Artistry
Imagine walking into an art gallery where every piece is raw, unprocessed, and speaks directly to you—no digital gloss, no over-the-top animation. This is what reading manga feels like.
Manga presents you with art in its most authentic form, showcasing the meticulous handiwork and unique styles of each mangaka. It's like peeling back the layers of animation to appreciate the soul of the art beneath.
Let's take a moment to appreciate Tite Kubo's Bleach, for instance. Kubo's use of stark, high-contrast images and his distinctive, bold line work brings a unique aesthetic to the panels that's both visually striking and thematically fitting. You see every line of tension on Ichigo’s face as he confronts Hollows, feel the raw energy radiating from his Zanpakutō. These are Kubo's brush strokes, his way of etching the story onto the canvas.
It's like walking into an art gallery where every frame tells a story, and you have all the time in the world to admire it.
6. Supporting the Industry
When you purchase manga, you're supporting the entire anime and manga industry.
You're supporting the mangaka, the publishing house, small retailers (that's us!), and the entire ecosystem that enables these beautiful stories to reach you. Your purchase contributes to the sales figures that could potentially greenlight more anime adaptations.
You could be the reason Fullmetal Alchemist gets another reboot, or why the next hit manga gets an anime adaptation.
Your support fuels the industry, keeping the magic alive.
7. No Filler Content
If you've ever found yourself yawning through a stretch of filler episodes in One Piece, you'll appreciate the lean storytelling of manga. There are no circuitous detours, no pointless padding—just the robust, richly layered plot you signed up for.
Remember when One Piece introduced the infamous Davy Back Fight arc in the anime, and it felt like the Straw Hat Pirates were stuck in a never-ending series of odd games and challenges? That was a filler arc designed to give the manga some breathing room to move ahead.
But if you were a manga reader, you'd know that in the original storyline, this entire arc was much shorter and compact, ensuring a quicker return to the main plot. By reading the manga, you save yourself from the agony of filler content and dive straight into the heart of the story, exactly as the mangaka intended.
Manga doesn't make you wait.
No detours, no unnecessary padding—just pure, unadulterated plot.
8. Break Free from Censorship
Anime often has to tiptoe around broadcasting regulations, which can sometimes result in softer, less impactful scenes.
But manga? Manga is the wild child of the family.
Take Hajime Isayama's Attack on Titan for instance. The anime had to tread lightly around some of the more brutal aspects of the story. Remember the grim shock of Eren's mother being devoured by a Titan in the manga? The gruesome detail, the unfiltered portrayal of human despair, hits differently in the black-and-white frames. The anime version, while still heartbreaking, couldn't quite deliver the same gut-punch as the manga.
Manga is storytelling in its purest form, undiluted by censorship or broadcast guidelines. This unrestricted approach not only offers a deeper, more authentic storytelling experience but also respects the integrity of the mangaka's original vision.
9. Dive Deeper into Japanese Culture
Have you ever felt lost when anime characters bust out references to traditional Japanese festivals, etiquette, or cultural references?
This is where manga truly shines.
Take Ouran High School Host Club as a case in point. This comedic, romantic manga isn't just about the shenanigans of a high school host club. It's also an entryway into the unexplored avenues of Japanese culture.
Ouran High School Host Club delves into the nitty-gritty of Japanese high society customs, etiquettes, and the concept of traditional gender roles, all while keeping it light and enjoyable. Plus, the manga frequently uses traditional cultural references like ikebana (flower arranging), cha-no-yu (tea ceremony), and the cultural significance of various festivals, all seamlessly interwoven into the storyline.
Alongside the story, the manga includes explanatory footnotes and side notes that shed light on the cultural context for international readers—a feature often skipped in the anime due to time limitations.
10. Unearth Gems Before They Become Popular
Discovering a hidden gem before it hits the mainstream is like finding a secret treasure.
Remember the satisfaction when your favorite underground band finally hit the charts? Or when that obscure book you couldn't stop raving about got a movie adaptation?
That's the kind of joy we're talking about here.
Take Death Note, for example. Years before it became an international sensation with its intense mind games, morality play, and iconic characters, it was a manga series sitting on the shelves, waiting to be discovered.
Early manga readers unearthed this gem, getting embroiled in the cat-and-mouse game between Light Yagami and L, way before the mainstream anime crowd did.
As a manga reader, you have the privilege of discovering these underappreciated treasures before they burst into the mainstream.
These unearthed gems are our specialty—we're constantly seeking out unknown gems with huge potential, so you can stay ahead of the crowd!
There you have it—ten compelling reasons to plunge into the world of manga. While anime has its charms, manga offers a distinct, immersive experience that you can't quite get from a screen. The deep, layered narratives, the raw artistry, the opportunity to stay ahead of the curve—all these and more make manga an adventure worth embarking on time and again.
So, are you ready to delve into the intricate world of manga? Curious about finding a manga series that perfectly matches your taste?
Don't worry—we've got your back.
Take our Match Survey, and let us help you find your perfect manga match. Discover new stories that will linger in your headspace—and your heart—long after you've turned the last page.