15 Manga Series That Are Better Than The AnimeThis post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
Hearing that your favorite manga will gain an anime adaptation is always exciting.
Seeing your beloved characters gaining movement and color, as well as a new voice, is an amazing experience. However, not everything is a bed of roses.
Fillers, bad animation, poor voice casting, and bad music choices can ruin even the best manga as it adapts to the screen.
Knowing this unfortunate truth, here’s our picks for mangas that are actually better than their anime counterparts.
15. Fist Of The North Star
The tale of Kenshirou in a post-apocalypse wasteland is one of badassery and death.
The manga is filled to the brim with great art, characters, and blood.
The anime, unfortunately, only gets one of those right: the blood.
Granted the art quality is not terrible.
But compared to the source, it is clearly lacking. Add to that uninteresting characters and plotlines that don’t exist in the manga, and you have an underwhelming piece that pales to the real thing.
14. One Punch Man
One Punch Man tells the story of Saitama, a hero who can defeat any enemy with one punch.
The art here is incredible, being one of the best among manga being published.
The first season of the anime came out having a high expectation because of that, and they delivered beautifully.
But the second season had a change of studios, which lead to doubt among the fans… doubts which sadly came true.
It’s not awful, by any means.
But compared to what we had before, and to the source, it’s just sad.
13. History’s Strongest Disciple Kenichi
Kenichi is a young ordinary boy, with no talent whatsoever for martial arts and fighting.
But after training harder than ever to beat his bully, he sees himself being targeted by stronger and stronger foes.
This leads him into being forced to rise to the occasion time and time again to preserve his leisure lifestyle.
It’s a pretty basic setup for a fighting shounen, and it`s quite good in that genre. It has cool characters and interesting fights sprinkled throughout the series.
The anime, though, fails to accomplish any of those points.
Lackluster animation with static-looking fights, bland music, and some below-average voice acting, turns this enjoyable story into a forgettable anime.
12. The Seven Deadly Sins
Seven Deadly Sins is a shounen set in a magical medieval world.
The animation for the first two seasons was done very well and was praised by the fans.
But the same fate of One-Punch Man fell upon this anime too.
A change in animation studio has taken the quality level to way below average – and it put the fans in an uproar.
When it comes to the Seven Deadly Sins, save the heartache and stick with the manga.
11. Junji Ito Collection
Junji Ito is one of the greatest horror manga authors, having a unique and detailed art style that can evoke fear in just about anyone.
This anime took several short stories from his works, and made practically a one-for-one adaptation.
Yet it failed to capture any of the creepiness from its source.
Oversimplified art, along with a laughable atmosphere instead of a disturbing one, make for a terrible horror anime compared to the source material.
Toriko is a typical fighting shounen, with the difference of being focused on food (literally everything is food-themed).
The anime had plenty of good material to base itself on too. So what went wrong?
Filler episodes, filler characters (even showing up and affecting cannon arcs), censure in the fights (no matter the severity of the injuries there is no blood), and some stiff (and weirdly shiny) animation.
9. One Piece
One Piece is an amazing manga.
Following along with the travels and adventures of the Straw Hat crew is an unforgettable experience.
And while the anime can replicate that feeling well, it’s not without its faults.
First, the pacing is terrible, with some infamous episodes adapting the content of half a chapter.
Second, filler episodes. Most long-running anime sometimes they have to make up self-contained arcs to put in some distance with the manga.
And third, the animation quality is a rollercoaster, ranging from great (like the Wano arc) to terrible (like the Dressrossa arc).
All in all, the anime still has some really good points – such as the music and voice acting department – so it is worth watching if you’re a fan.
But if you have to pick one way to enjoy the story, the manga is the true answer.
8. Tokyo Ghoul
Tokyo Ghoul is one of the best-selling seinen manga, for good reason.
It’s a great story with well-developed characters and beautiful art.
The anime chose to try and cram as many chapters as it could in each episode. Which resulted in characters being underdeveloped, acting in irrational ways, and being killed with no emotional weight whatsoever.
The animation is still good, and the music can be enjoyable, but the manga is so much better it’s not even funny.
7. Akame Ga Kill
Akame Ga Kill follows a band of assassins as they murder their way to a better kingdom.
It’s a darker shounen, using death, blood, and gore as its selling point – and adding some comedy here and there to not make everything so bleak.
The anime uses the darker side of the manga in the first few episodes to call new viewers, but seems to be too afraid to keep it up later on. This allows comedy to take a front seat, which is kinda selling short the main attraction.
Also, the plot deviates completely later on, to a not-so-good place.
All in all, read the manga.
Bleach while being published was one of the three big pillars in Shounen Jump magazine, alongside Naruto and One Piece.
But it was also the only one where the anime ended up canceled instead of finishing together with the manga.
So much bad filler that even hardcore fans have trouble getting through it.
Just so you can have an idea: out of all 366 episodes, 160 are filler.
Making 45% of the entire anime series filler was probably not the best decision.
5. Record of Ragnarok
Record of Ragnarok is basically the pinnacle of fighting manga.
The duels between men and gods, and how cool they sound and act are what attract the public here.
So the biggest challenge for the anime was to animate the fights and characters in the coolest ways possible – a challenge they failed at miserably.
Epic battles being reduced to a picture show, great characters looking and sounding completely bland… there’s a lot that didn’t hit the mark.
I mean, even the opening with its heavy metal music is just so damn boring thanks to how stuck in place everything is.
They really screwed up on this one.
4. Rosario + Vampire
Tsukune is an everyday kid, and thanks to his bad grades, he can’t find a school that accepts him.
As a last-ditch effort, his parents are able to get him a place at Youkai Academy – a place that’s actually for monsters.
So begins his life in hiding and trying not to get killed by his classmates.
While the manga is an ecchi comedy, it builds up to an action manga with a good plot. The anime takes the other way around, focusing exclusively on the worst aspects of the story, and deviating from the source every chance it gets.
It’s sincerely a shame, because the manga is a ton of fun.
3. The Way of the Househusband
The Way of the Househusband is a simple comedy manga that follows an ex-yakuza boss trying his best to become a great househusband.
It’s a funny piece, filled with great little moments that anyone can enjoy.
The anime? Not so much.
It’s like watching a slide presentation.
There’s barely any animation to accompany the jokes, and the timing seems way off.
So this anime basically transformed into the equivalent of reading the manga, but with worse art, comedy, and bad coloring.
Honestly, just read the manga.
Berserk is called by many manga fans as one of the best ever written.
An affirmation that makes you think that a well-animated adaptation would be in order sooner or later, right…?
Well, right, but also very wrong.
The first adaptation made in the ’90s is pretty good. But it only adapts what the manga had finished up to that date.
Two decades later and there’s plenty of more material to be animated, which was what the 2016 anime announced & promised to deliver.
The result couldn’t be more underwhelming if it tried: awful and clunky animation, entire arcs cut-off, and storylines being rushed to end nowhere.
Even the most easy-to-please fans will be left with a sour taste in their mouths after watching this adaptation.
1. The Promised Neverland
This is a story about a group of orphaned children, and their quest to unravel the mystery surrounding their caretaker, their house, and even their world.
This anime falls into the category of “other items” of this list, where the first season is done wonderfully, but the next one falls short.
Or in this case, it falls so much that the only mystery in the story is how any of this was allowed.
The atmosphere of terror? Gone.
Three-dimensional characters and their clever plans? Gone.
It’s soul-crushing, appalling, and I’d say even rage-inducing.
So believe me when I say that the best course of action here is pretending none of this ever happened, and just reading the manga.