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Do light novels have better stories than manga?

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Sorcha
Post #561493
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6:52 am, Jul 17 2012
Posts: 338


I didn't watch lots of anime, so I'll give opinion based on a person who read LN and Manga standpoint.

The quality of light novel and manga's story is actually, the same. Both suffer from cliche, and both tend to stay in the common ground. Light novel's form (text) however, give the author more freedom in writing character's thought& emotion, and story's logic & background explanation, thus making it easier to go "deeper" than manga (especially in mystery/fantasy/detective), but that doesn't mean it got better story.

Tasogare-iro no Uta Tsukai (novel), for example, have the same "feeling" with Lapis Lazuli no Oukan (and other manga that give similiar vibe), yet since Lapis Lazuli has (in my opinion) better logic and story line thus is a better story. Toaru Majutsu no Index (novel), that suffer from filler arc & unimportant fanservice.

And honestly, like Drakron say, you can't judge LN/ manga has a better story based on its anime adaption. never.

Blique
Post #561564
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7:27 pm, Jul 17 2012
Posts: 999


Thanks for all the replies, everyone!

The anime comparisons aren't meant to be evidence of my argument, more like an experiment to see what would happen if I threw a random bunch of anime together. Guess I should've clarified that. Feel free to not take it seriously at all. I threw it pretty loosely together, and as you've found, I've made some origin errors (thanks auriga and gundamgundam).

I was expecting maybe one or two comments after this was posted, so I included those stray points to try and reel in some discussion, most certainly didn't expect an entire page to fill up after just a day. The reason I included it was basically a "look at this from a different perspective" attempt. I find it hard to compare two different forms, so the anime idea was to help trying to see and compare the similarities between the two, a tool to get people thinking. Again, feel free to ignore it if it doesn't help. I guess I should stop doing public experiments...

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@Spawnblade:
Oh, that's a good point. I figure more time and effort has to go into light novel anime since they have less visual references...

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@Reiten:
Hmm, I'm not sure how accurate that description is, but I do agree that literature and manga have their own different strengths.

By "bad anime adaptation", I mean in surface quality (animation, music, voice acting, art, etc). Yes, there are anime that butchered its light novel origins beyond recognition, but if the anime is a decent standalone piece, even just because it looks pretty, I count it as good quality. Didn't explain that in detail because I didn't think people would take the anime thing so seriously...>.>;;

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@Alaena Night:
Hmm, that makes sense...You make very good points yourself.

I agree with you on that. Manga requires a balance of art and story, which often requires mastery in both areas, as well as knowing how to tie the two together well. And it reminds me, I've found that author-artist manga teams end up with much better quality than other manga. I think that might actually be the answer to my question...*takes notes*

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@auriga:
Hmm, I was thinking of light novels and manga in general, but I guess that is pretty broad...What about the majority? .-. Though I guess that would be a debate all its own...This thread's question, more specifically, would be, "are light novels as a whole more developed than manga as a whole?" There are advanced outliers of course, but I'm mostly wondering if maybe manga in general is being held back by something while light novels have a secret to success.

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@gundamgundam:
You're taking this way too seriously. Firstly, everything anyone says is an opinion, and I already clearly stated "These are my ideas", so do stop assuming I think everything I say is a fact. I put this topic up for discussion, not to preach to everyone about my philosophical intelligence. I figured that would be obvious, but I guess I have to put "I think" in front of every sentence for some people to get it.

Second, see the sixth paragraph.

Third, I can read Japanese and I like collecting light novels, thanks. You really should confirm that I'm an idiot before assuming that I am one.

And fourth...Ahahaha...You really think that? Now you're just making up insults to throw at me. For every novel I've read, I've read dozens more comics. Comics is an art and communications form separate from literature, and I appreciate it much more because I'm attracted to all the things that only it can do. Even as a kid I never thought comics were for kids. You say I'm jumping to conclusions, but man, what a hypocrite.

I said that literature has more to offer because it's much more widespread and has been a popular medium long before comics were even recognized as being anything of value. Therefore, literature has covered a lot of ground. On the other hand, comics has much untapped potential. Part of this, as you've mentioned, is due to the belief that comics are for kids, and many think that comics has already reached its (low) potential. But another part is just how young comics is.

When novelists look for good writing, they have millions of works that date back to the dawn of the written word. On the other hand, while there were technically "comics" here and there (Bayeux Tapestry, Egyptian hieroglyphs, Codex Zouche-Nuttall), comics only became a recognized medium just a couple centuries ago (thanks to Rudolphe Töpffer). And it was only in the 1900s that said medium gained a decent following (thanks to many great comic artists like Winsor McCay, Rube Goldberg, and George Herriman). And then the Golden Age was filled with superhero comics, and after the Golden Age, few comics at all. Manga was scarce until the postwar boom. It's only been 58 years since Osamu Tezuka, considered the "father" of manga, first entered the scene. Compared to literature, comics is at its infancy.

And you really should stop assuming things about someone you just met.

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@Sorcha:
I'd have to agree with you there on the cliche things...

By "story", I mean it in a general sense, like the whole reading experience. In other words, are those pluses that light novels have solely due to it being a light novel, or can they be translated into a manga format? Similarly, are there any downfalls one of them suffers from that can be borrowed from the other medium?

---
Um, I skipped some people because I sorta answered their questions by replying to someone else, plus I got overwhelmed...If I skipped you and you still have a comment you want replied to, please say it again. ><; Yay debating!

Last edited by Blique at 4:23 pm, Jul 18

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FormX
Post #561598
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10:29 pm, Jul 17 2012
Posts: 681


Glad to see how you hid the anime comparison.
It blew me off when I first entered this topic and almost made me completely ignore it.
gundamgundam said it well.

Anime adaptations of manga are just not worth watching, while I would rather watch a LN adaptation since I wouldn't read it, that is all. I also have a feeling that the director has more liberty in fitting a LN script than a manga script into episodes.

That said, original anime *ahem* Angel Beats! *cough cough* is preferred over adaptations.

Otherwise in general are pretty much the same, but I have not yet seen a light novel that is a real masterpiece in terms of plot.

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auriga
Post #561670
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6:16 am, Jul 18 2012
Posts: 273


Quote
I've found that author-artist manga teams end up with much better quality than other manga. I think that might actually be the answer to my question...*takes notes*


I'd say an example of an exception to that would be - IMHO - Medaka Box. *takes cover*

Quote
Hmm, I was thinking of light novels and manga in general, but I guess that is pretty broad...What about the majority? .-. Though I guess that would be a debate all its own...This thread's question, more specifically, would be, "are light novels as a whole more developed than manga as a whole?" There are advanced outliers of course, but I'm mostly wondering if maybe manga in general is being held back by something while light novels have a secret to success.


I dunno about majority; I'm not aware of the statistics. But mainstream, on the other hand... Hence my suggestion of shounen and shoujo.

Also, how do we define "success?" Is a "successful" series one with a good story or one that rakes the money in? I can tell you right now that if we talk about it in terms of profits we would probably get a definite answer; but if we talk about it in terms of being a "good story," well, entertainment is subjective.

Let me just say that I'm actually in no position to fully answer your question. Outside of the various LN anime adaptations I've seen I've only completely read Fate/Zero (novel), dabbled in a few chapters of Toradora! (novel), and finished Hitagi Crab. I just want to point out some holes to help you guys out. biggrin

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