From Pages to the Screen: What Makes a Good Anime Adaptation?

Key points for What Makes a Good Anime Adaptation:

  • A good anime adaptation should optimize the source material for the strengths of the animation medium, avoiding blind faithfulness and instead enhancing aspects like pacing and action, as seen in UFOTable’s adaptation of Fate/Stay Night.
  • The Bleach TYBW anime exemplifies how an adaptation can elevate a previously criticized arc by capitalizing on animation strengths, covering weaknesses, and even altering character perceptions, showcasing the potential for an adaptation to surpass its source material.
  • When the original creator is involved in the adaptation process, it enhances the chances of a successful adaptation. Their insights into what can be optimized or expanded upon contribute to creating a version that respects the source material while delivering an improved experience for the audience.
CSM is another example of an adaptation done right, controversial, I know but I like it.

This is an interesting discussion I have been wanting to have for a while now. What exactly does make a good anime adaptation? Is it blindly and faithfully following the source material? Is it doing something completely different like Tokyo Ghoul Root A? Or is it something else entirely? Turns out that taking panels from manga or text from a LN and turning them into a full-on animation is a hard thing to do.

I am not here to criticize anything today, I am not here to throw shade on any faithful adaptation or anything along those lines. I am just here to give you my two cents on what I think makes a good anime adaptation. Or rather, a good adaptation in general. Shame that I can’t use The Last of Us TV series as an example here. Because even though the game’s story was a masterpiece in its own right, the TV series went out of its way to optimize it. But I do think that I have a fairly recent example in anime that fits this.

A good Anime Adaptation Should Optimize the Source Material

I know that this might be a little controversial. But I am not asking for complete deviation like Tokyo Ghoul Root A, that is a completely different series at that point. Manga, LN, anime, and games, each medium has its own merits and an adaptation should seek to optimize the story to fit the strengths of each medium. Example: Fate/Stay Night (UFOTable versions). They knew that certain sections of the VN wouldn’t work for the anime, especially in Heaven’s Feel so they opted to make them more action-oriented or modified them in some other way to fit better.

Heck, the recent and the best example of improving on the source material I can find when it comes to anime is Bleach TYBW’s anime adaptation. That arc was panned in the manga for falling short in almost every aspect. But when you watch the anime, it really makes you wonder if the arc was always that good. The anime has been capitalizing on the strengths of the arc while doing its best to cover up for its weaknesses. Heck, in the manga Squad 0 looked like chumps. But in the anime, they are some of the biggest badasses of the series now.

Bleach TYBW is a fantastic example of a great anime adaptation!

That is what I mean when an adaptation should seek to improve without losing touch with the original. If the original creator of the series is involved in the creation of the anime adaptation, nothing like it. They will know best what could be optimized and what could be expanded upon to create a better version of the same story.

That is all for now

Let me know what you guys think in the comments. Again, this article isn’t meant to throw shade on any adaptation other than Root A, of course. Root A shouldn’t exist. These are just my thoughts on what I think makes a good adaptation, yours may differ. With that said, I will take my leave here. See ya!

Also, check out this week’s manga recommendation here!

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