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New Poll - Manga Quality
The idea for this week's poll was suggested by Helipilot, but I re-used an old poll from a decade ago to see if sentiment has changed. Has manga gotten worse? Or better? For the purposes of this, let's just go with manga and not include manhwa or manhua.

You can submit poll ideas here

Previous Poll Results:
Question: What is the best quality of your favorite hero?
Bravery - votes: 45 (2%)
Conviction - votes: 250 (11%)
Courage - votes: 86 (3.8%)
Determination - votes: 377 (16.5%)
Helpful - votes: 60 (2.6%)
Honesty - votes: 108 (4.7%)
Inspirational - votes: 87 (3.8%)
Moral integrity - votes: 316 (13.8%)
Protective - votes: 100 (4.4%)
Self-sacrifice - votes: 111 (4.9%)
Selflessness - votes: 119 (5.2%)
Strength - votes: 132 (5.8%)
Funny - votes: 219 (9.6%)
Other - votes: 272 (11.9%)
There were 2282 total votes.
The poll ended: May 6th, 2023 12:09pm PDT

Apparently I should've had intelligence as an option
Posted by lambchopsil on 
May 6th 12:13pm
Comments ( 18 )  
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Comments (limited to first 100 replies)

» kaloo on May 6th, 2023, 12:38pm

The only major drop in 'quality' that I perceive is that we get way more novel adaptations, which aren't really paced right to be a serialized comic. (And often cut details that make the plot more coherent)

That being said my preferred era is late 80s/early 90s but I think that's just nostalgia


» PolaarBear on May 6th, 2023, 12:46pm

I honestly think it has only gotten better over the years. I read a lot of romance manga and in recent years we've gotten a lot of them where the main characters actually communicate and are more forward with their feelings compared to early 90s/2000s where they would take 20 volumes to confess their feelings and talk.


» YuriM on May 6th, 2023, 1:01pm

Graphics sometimes are much better, but for the stories... There weren't well-thought and profound plots since Death Note. And comedies since Ranma 1/2, Dragon Half.
Also, not many experiments nowadays. Publishers demand stable-income stories, like generic isekai's.


» mah_lenneth on May 6th, 2023, 1:30pm

Drawing quality improved. Paper and cover art improved. Story, hm, not so much. There are great mangas nowadays but some lack in characters development and story in my opinion.


» residentgrigo on May 6th, 2023, 2:20pm

No difference at all. There is a bunch of total trash and follow-the-trend shovelware but that was always the case. The shitty trends of today will give away to the shitty trends of tomorrow and ESP and mechs being shoved into goddamn anything in the 80s and 90s wasn´t better than isekai being inserted into 85% of all fantasy manga rn.

Some of the best manga of all time are also being published rn. Darwin Jihen only began in 2020 and is being showered in awards for a reason.


» Sugarshark on May 6th, 2023, 2:42pm

everything is better (for other people)
for me, I have to find the needle in the haystack
but the teenage me would be super impressed and would never see the light of day with vitamin deficiencies etc etc


» flowinmyboat on May 6th, 2023, 5:25pm

I voted "In general, no, but some new manga are really bad" because some of the stuff produced in the recent uptick in low-quality but mass produced isekai manga have made me go 'huh' more times than I'd like. It's just capitalizing on a popular trend in a sillier and less amusing way than other trends, but that's just for me, I suppose.

Otherwise, I think things are generally the same. I find manga from the 80s - 90s are some of the best in terms of quality, pacing, and plot but you can't find a lot of it in English. Then there was a period of time (looking back now; I can't say at the time I thought things were bad) in the early to mid 00s where there were powerhouse series but a lot of the other stuff doesn't hold up on re-read. So, I don't think we're getting any worse / I'm enjoying things any less.


» VawX on May 6th, 2023, 6:15pm

There is definitely no improvement or decline in story quality, it just fit its time mmm...
But the drawing and paper quality definitely increasing so overall it's getting better mmm...
If you think it's declining in quality, it's because you remember some of those few great old manga, but you might not even realize there are tons of garbage in the past too mmm...


» Trimutius on May 6th, 2023, 6:45pm

Because it became way easier to just draw something and put it out, average quality in general went down, but of course there are talented mangakas out there right now like there always were...


» Yunwu on May 6th, 2023, 9:32pm

Manga, no. Anime, yes.


» YuriM on May 7th, 2023, 1:01pm

Graphics are better though. And no frame jitter.


» Aremon on May 7th, 2023, 4:58am

I think that there are so much more manga released to a much wider audience that there are bound to be more "bad" manga, and with the way social media works those bad manga get more attention...
For the 20+ years I've been reading manga I've always found bad stuff that I just couldn't continue reading.


» Joese on May 7th, 2023, 5:25am

In general, no, but some new manga are really bad.

There was always generic garbage and that hasn't really changed. From the old stuff usually only the best survive and sometimes some old manga that gets an adaptation or suits current tastes. I recently rediscovered "Shangri-La Frontier" which makes me keep my faith in the current gaming genre … but with the intense competition against comics, web-media, globalisation, if I hadn't found that series I'd be ranting about some atrocious works that see the light …

I thought there'd be more on the yes side. I mean there's always been a crackdown on scanations, but they're really going down hard on English ones and I do see a delay affecting even licensed releases outside the main magazines/series. There is also a surge on Spanish unlicensed / licensed translations, though that's more on the Korean/Chinese side.


» calstine on May 7th, 2023, 6:48am

In general, yes, but there are some really good works lately.


» HikaruYami on May 8th, 2023, 12:17pm

In general, no, but some new manga are really bad

imo this is a natural consequence of there being more/easier ways to publish these days. Digital-only publishing has a lower bar, so more stinkers sneak in. However, the baseline for a magazine is the same as it ever was, and a decent number of online works are still incredible, so to say that it's worse "in general" is just completely forgetting about decades of bad manga that no one even cared about. Mediocre-to-bad manga from the 1980s never even got translated so most of you guys have no idea how bad it was.


» kawcrow on May 9th, 2023, 11:34pm

Yeah, this is a scanlation tracker site, so it's worth pointing out that most people here are reading manga in translation, and manga will only get translated/scanlated if there fan scanlators and/or publishers interested in it. Years ago when there were fewer manga translation book publishers and a smaller community of scanlators, the only series getting translated were the already REALLY popular series, the manga that translators had a personal interest in reading, and/or manga that the handful of existing publishers thought could turn a print publishing profit. There are mountains of mediocre older manga that were never and will never be translated from Japanese because they sucked and nobody cares about them now.


» kawcrow on May 9th, 2023, 11:29pm

Survivorship bias makes it easy to remember older manga as "better" because the good (& the amazingly terrible) manga that we read then are the series that linger in our minds. I've read a ton of mediocre older manga over the years, none of which I could tell you anything about, because it was so forgettably dull that that left no impression in my brain.


» LazyReviewer on May 12th, 2023, 8:21pm

Part of the problem is publishers opening the flood gates and funding way more manga and anime than they used to, so way more bad products get approved.

Another part is that, increasingly, authors don't understand how good literature works: they take the moments they like and reproduce them (sometimes with a spin) without actually knowing why something worked. This means all sorts of issues from plot contrivances to awful characterization, to edge for the sake of edge with no realistic filter.

Another part is that, increasingly, we're on screens and not living life. Miyazaki complained about animators not having enough IRL experiences to create something special and he's been proven right. The best stories seem to be from authors who know how people and places interact with each other. Kind of hard to avoid stereotypes and checklists when you don't know anything but.

I'm also starting to see a moral failing among some new authors (a different way manga overall may getting worse). For example: there's an isekai manga that wants the reader to cheer for rape.

Some publishing agent actually got this funded, apparently.

And no, seeing how bad it got wasn't worth it.