I’m at the point where I just don’t straight up trust people if they say shit like “People need to read the source, the adaptation butchers it” as a way to deflect criticism. Experience tells me that most of the time the stuff the adaptation changes/omits that they cite is irrelevant bullshit - i.e. nothing that’ll significantly alter characterization, narrative themes, et cetera, just minor bullshit.
Then, when an adaptation of a work they were a fan of before it was cool
gets criticized, their response to that criticism is to try to move the convo to an area the other party is unfamiliar with and dictate the true
contents. Unless the cited changes are actually very significant to the characterization and theme, it’s a cheap fucking rhetoric tactic.
What’s usually missing isn’t stuff that’ll change shit on a fundamental level. It’s usually fine details that, while it could add another dimension to what’s happening, won’t really sway a viewer to like what they were already disliking. Adaptations very rarely leave out shit that’d be that groundbreaking. They can
but it’s very rare.
Likewise? There’s been series like Sankarea or Nazo no Kanojo X which actually did take great liberties with the source material, and the anime adaptations were significantly better off because of it. People don’t really like to bring that up when they’re using sourcefagging as a cheap rhetoric tactic, though, because the endgoal is just to try to abdicate all issues to the adaptation to prop up the source material that other people aren’t reading or looking into to nearly the same extent as pristine.
It’s just kinda cut and dry. Don’t trust people who sourcefag unless they actually say something meaty to back it up. “Adaptations bad, manga always better” is a fucking noobtrap used by people who want to try to shape the discussion surrounding a series they like into something they’d prefer without actually putting forth the effort to make a convincing point about why it’s great.
It’s just like rec culture, man - try to make new people to rely on more experienced fans for recs instead of trying to equip them with the tools to find shit on their own, and then use those recs to try to curate the opinions of the new person to assimilate them into the hive. Y’know, a noobtrap.
So many of the perceptions a lot of people have when it comes to how they should watch and interact with anime - and a lot of stuff that people who aren’t very familiar with anime yet say about trying to navigate the medium - just blatantly read like overcomplications of otherwise simple things that stem from how so many people in this fandom have an obsession with trying to curate the tastes and interests of others. Nobody needs to rely on recs. Nobody needs to read the manga. That rigidity is an illusion.
I mean, hell, this thread a few years back was super harsh about that sort of thing, too. It’s cringe.
A more cohesive rundown of this rant, I guess:
Sourcefagging has always - overwhelmingly - been a way to try to deflect criticism from the series as a whole to just the adaptation, and the stuff people cite won’t change elements or aspects fundamental to said series. It’s a stupid fucking feelings protector, i.e. “I don’t like the anime and will say it’s bad but you’ll say the manga/light novel/whatever is good and the adaptation is bad. This lets me uphold my criticisms of the anime that I watched and you get to make it sound like it’s a problem with the anime and not the series.”
New people seeing shit like that and having the idea that manga > anime is a problem because it’s born from what was always a ridiculous and dishonest element of discussing anime online. It’s rarely better or full of twists, it just adds on to and reinforces shit that was already setup. Major plot twists tend to get adapted.
Furthermore, adapting a manga/light novel into an anime isn’t some cavalier bit where people just completely disregard what they’re adapting to do their own thing. People get fucking shitcanned for doing that unless it works out extremely well. First season of TLR sold really well despite being full of anime original content. Director who took it in that direction still got shitcanned. Next season under the new director completely realigned it with the source.
It’s a bullshit myth perpetuated by dishonest discussion and cheap rhetoric tactics. Nothing more.
Also, if you’re new to anime/manga and feel like you need help getting your bearings with how shit works, for fuck’s sake, don’t trust people who try to tell you what and how to interact with the medium, i.e. “watch this show” or “read manga its always better than anime.” If they’re not equipping you with the tools to find shit out for yourself, they’re just putting you in a noobtrap, intentionally or not. Anime is ridiculously diverse in terms of content and audiences. The only way to do shit in a situation like that is to adapt shit to yourself as an individual. What they like or how they think shit works might not be how you end up seeing it.
Best decision I ever made as an anime fan was sticking with the H&E shit that I found I really liked and got made fun of here for liking, instead of becoming a fucking Jojotard or whatever like this thread kept trying to pressure me into when I was still new. Their fucking consensus approved shit. Do your own fucking thing, fuck what anyone else says you should do. You wanna watch anime and not read manga? Fucking go for it! And breaking news, you won’t enjoy reading manga if you don’t actually want to read manga! Expanding and adding a bunch of tertiary details because they’re cheaper to produce and therefore have much longer runtimes won’t fucking change shit!