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5:33pm on Monday, 29th January, 2007:

Anime and Manga


I mentioned last week that I went to the Toy Fair at ExCeL ("Exhibition Centre for London") in London.

That reminded me...

I've mentioned before that I read quite a bit of manga, and that one of my favourite series is Excel Saga. Well, after my wife finally cracked and bought a Sky TV account (so she could watch Lost, its having been acquired exclusively by Sky precisely for the purpose of making her open a Sky account), I discovered that I now had access to the anime version of Excel Saga.

So, I watched it.

OK, so I'd had an inkling from reading the editorial of the manga (ie. the comic) that there was some disparity between it and the anime (ie. the TV cartoon), but ye gods! The anime was ... surreal. It bore no relation to the manga except that it shared two characters and a dog. Things happened that were not only absent from the manga but were contradictory to it. Little seemed to make any sense whatsoever (and, given that the manga isn't exactly clear at the beginning, this is saying something), and the individual parts that comprised an episode were entirely unconnected. Worst of all, the voice given the main character, Excel, was intolerable. The character is supposed to be enthusiastic and (pretty well) mad, but jeez, shouting quickly and incoherently in a high-pitched whine didn't convey either of these features — it might as well have been in Japanese. Watching was a bizarre but disturbing experience.

My wife saw it and declared she would never read a word of the manga. If I hadn't already read the manga I'd have been with her, but I have read it and it's pretty damned good. Why the anime is so gaah-turn-it-off-turn-it-off I have no idea.

I'd press my wife to give the manga a chance, but then she'd make me read the Harry Potter books on the basis that an intense dislike of the character in the movies should not condemn the one in the books...

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Copyright © 2007 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).