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This Week in Anime - Are Some Manga Truly "Unadaptable"?


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residentgrigo



Joined: 23 Dec 2007
Posts: 2456
Location: Germany
PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2024 10:39 am Reply with quote
Hideki Arai´s Kiichi!! is basically unadaptable due to focusing on actual politics and hinging on the rape and prostitution of a child by elected officials. His The World Is Mine is psychedelic, the protagonist is a rapist murderer and the character are intentionally ugly. No Tezuka prize will save you from being advertisement kryptonite and being too niche and unappealing for Netflix who has a history of going balls nasty otherwise. Contemporary politics, child rape played straight and a despicable protagonist. If you have those then you 99,99% stay a manga even if it got acclaim. Or if you just string explicit sex scenes together with no coherence but those manga don´t sell that well anyway.

The only truly "adaptable" things, as it can´t be done in a legible way, are writing experiments like Mark Z. Danielewski first 3 novels that can´t even be turned into an audiobook. House of Leaves:


Any beautiful comic can be adapted, even without a theatrical budget. Berserk 1997 had a micro-budget and worked when it stayed on topic and didn´t skip, change or censor. Direction, music and acting can go a long away. Vinland Saga doesn´t look better or worse than A Bride's Story and that anime might be better than its manga. Delicious in Dungeon´s anime is arguably better due to expanding the omake bits and inserting them into the plot where they fit. I have been reading comics since the 90s and still have to read one where I couldn´t fathom how to do it in animation and sometimes live action due to the artform being identical to storyboarding. Dead Dead Demon's Dededededestruction´s anime is simply mismanaged in multiple ways.
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OpenYourEels4TheNextFeels



Joined: 14 Nov 2023
Posts: 72
PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2024 12:32 pm Reply with quote
Heterogenia Linguistico is impossible to adapt as an anime because tons of important characters communicate with languages that include vocalizations that are explicitly noted as being impossible for humans to recreate, and you can't just fully translate what they are saying into recognizable speech because the entire point/premise of the series is that the Reader and the Human MC don't fully understand what the other characters are saying, but are gradually piecing together how their language works.
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tintor2



Joined: 11 Aug 2010
Posts: 1900
PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2024 1:24 pm Reply with quote
No love for Vagabond?
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Beatdigga



Joined: 26 Oct 2003
Posts: 4436
Location: New York
PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2024 1:26 pm Reply with quote
The only time I can think of something that can’t be adapted, it would be something where the author makes it impossible. Like say, Five Star Stories. The one shot OVA and Gothicmade, anime’s Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, don’t really count, but a full on series. It would never get made because even Apple TV throw their hands up and go “We can’t work with this guy. He makes Scorsese look like a work for hire.”

That to me is what I think of when I think unadaptable.
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Greed1914



Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 4483
PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2024 2:06 pm Reply with quote
Being "unadaptable" is much more applicable to the actual content than what it looks like. I'd wager most of the people working in anime don't put a lot of stuck in those side-by-side comparisons for the very reason that they go into understanding that a change in visual medium, which includes a change in how the audience interacts with it, means that those direct comparisons are not exactly fair. Not only does that gorgeous two-page spread oftentimes have to become something that is multiple frames of animation, but it is going from something where the audience can stare at it for as long as they choose, to something that is always moving forward with time. Honestly, I think that is why a "good" Junji Ito adaptation has been hard to accomplish. You're meant to sort of sit there with this unnerving imagery, which isn't something that works in television. The level of detail he puts into it isn't as much of a barrier compared to how the audience is meant to interact with it.
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Glordit



Joined: 11 Sep 2020
Posts: 551
PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2024 2:25 pm Reply with quote
I doubt that anything is truly unadaptable, there's always a way to make it work.
Will it be 100% true to the source? Never! Nothing really is and that's OK because it wouldn't be an adaptation then, it would just be a carbon copy in a different medium.
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AdditionalRamen



Joined: 02 Feb 2024
Posts: 20
PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2024 3:08 pm Reply with quote
I wonder if I Want to Hold Aono-kun So Badly I Could Die will ever get adapted. The Summer Hikaru Died just recently got its own anime adaptation announced, and having read the volumes that are out in English for both of them, I feel like Hikaru is a lesser version of Aono-Kun (they're both psychosexual dramas about ghost boyfriends), and has less material out, so I'm surprised it got adapted first. Maybe because Hikaru is buzzier?
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Custom Apex



Joined: 30 Jun 2019
Posts: 142
PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2024 5:07 pm Reply with quote
Glordit wrote:
I doubt that anything is truly unadaptable, there's always a way to make it work.
Will it be 100% true to the source? Never! Nothing really is and that's OK because it wouldn't be an adaptation then, it would just be a carbon copy in a different medium.


How do you know that? Like nothing is truly unadaptable as long as you make it work for a certain audience and not just fans of the source material?
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whatev



Joined: 31 Dec 2013
Posts: 14
PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2024 7:32 pm Reply with quote
My sorta-hot take is that the attempts so far to port 999 to devices that are not the (3)DS are failures. Video games are sort of an interesting case of inevitable adaptation decay when porting to another medium, but even still, 999 in particular is very interesting in how even porting it to a non-DS device make it not nearly as effective. Needless to say, any adaptation of 999 to another medium would be some combination of 1, not good or 2, not much like 999 at all.
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Suxinn



Joined: 23 Jan 2009
Posts: 245
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2024 12:49 am Reply with quote
Not manga (though it does have a manga adaptation), but I'd just like to throw out Ayatsuji's The Decagon House Murders, which even the author thought was unadaptable in any visual medium, largely because of the ultimate twist. (If you read it, you know what I'm talking about.) Now, of course, it got announced for a live-action adaptation a few months back (and no idea how it's going to pull that off -- if anything, an anime adaptation might've even been somewhat easier), so it really does seem that anything can be adapted, as long as people try hard enough.
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Sekaro



Joined: 12 Nov 2018
Posts: 370
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2024 8:00 am Reply with quote
If any studio tried attempting an anime adaptation of Hatsukoi Zombies (The best romcom manga I've read in a long time), I'd imagine quite a number of episodes will have black bars covering the whole screen at about half of its runtime. Laughing
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Shay Guy



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 2159
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2024 11:47 am Reply with quote
whatev wrote:
Needless to say, any adaptation of 999 to another medium would be some combination of 1, not good or 2, not much like 999 at all.


I think a 999 anime could theoretically work -- at any rate, it'd be much more workable than a Virtue's Last Reward anime, even though the latter game is diminished less by single-screen ports.
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KutovoiAnton



Joined: 03 Mar 2013
Posts: 943
Location: Vladimir, Russia
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2024 12:22 pm Reply with quote
tintor2 wrote:
No love for Vagabond?


I mean... Vagabond is an adaptation itself and there has been a lot of screen adaptations of Eiji Yoshikawa's "Musashi". One even has won an Osacr back in 1955.
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Dr. Wily



Joined: 09 Nov 2007
Posts: 313
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2024 12:30 pm Reply with quote
whatev wrote:
My sorta-hot take is that the attempts so far to port 999 to devices that are not the (3)DS are failures. Video games are sort of an interesting case of inevitable adaptation decay when porting to another medium, but even still, 999 in particular is very interesting in how even porting it to a non-DS device make it not nearly as effective. Needless to say, any adaptation of 999 to another medium would be some combination of 1, not good or 2, not much like 999 at all.


I've never played that one but I agree that a lot of ports of video games to newer consoles suffer from adaption problems, the DS and 3DS catalog suffering the most since newer consoles lack the features it had (I suppose the Wii U came closest but, well, it fell flat on its face) and as such the games that took really creative advantage of those features (in particular the camera) are literally impossible to use on the Switch.
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psh_fun



Joined: 22 Oct 2023
Posts: 53
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2024 1:54 pm Reply with quote
Each medium has it's own strengths and weaknesses. I don't think anything is truly unadaptable - it's just going to have to make some compromises in the process. A gag in a manga where the characters turn or flip a panel or page can be translated into an anime equivalent - or I've seen shows just keep it as is and have the characters flipping down the screen like a manga page.
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