Off-topic post: Anime and manga discussion (third post)

This is another post discussing the anime and manga I’m looking at. So far, I’m watching one anime this season. I had considered others, but most of the others are either second/subsequent seasons of anime that I’ve yet to watch, works that don’t fit my rather strict criteria on what I will look into, works which deterred me by their themes, or shorts. However, subsequent seasons seem to be a bit better for me. I should warn, though, that there may be spoilers ahead.

For this season, the only anime I’m watching right now is Comic Girls. I will talk about some of the differences between the anime and the manga, and how the anime handles the necessary shuffling of the chapter order to accommodate its goal. Before that, though, I noticed on TV Tropes that there may be some mistakes and misunderstandings as to chapter numbers. Since chapter numbers are not made explicit in the regular announcements on the Manga Time Kirara Twitter account, I thought I should list them (minor spoilers ahead):

Volume 1:

  • 1: Kaoruko enters the dormitory, and is introduced to the rest of the main cast.
  • 2: Kaoruko and Koyume dig into what Ruki actually draws.
  • 3: The girls assist Tsubasa as the deadline looms.
  • 4: First day at Kaoruko and Koyume’s new school.
  • 5: Koyume and Ruki dress up Kaoruko.
  • 6: Koyume models for Ruki.
  • 7: The girls head to the art store.
  • 8: Kaoruko and Koyume aren’t eating well, so…
  • 9: Ruki’s deadline is approaching.
  • 10: Kaoruko goes to Akihabara.
  • 11: Koyume is in love with Tsubasa? Also, trying to help her.
  • 12: The girls go to the beach.
  • 13: Kaoruko is asked to draw a one-shot, but can’t actually manage to do so herself before the deadline. (Note that this was actually published in Kirara Carat, not Kirara MAX.)

Volume 2:

  • 14: After seeing Koyume’s published manga, Kaoruko searches for storyboard ideas.
  • 15: Nijino finds out who Wing V actually is.
  • 16: Ruki gets her own PC.
  • 17: The girls head to a cat café. Kaoruko finds a cat that is just like her.
  • 18: The girls study for the upcoming tests.
  • 19: The adults discuss Kaoruko and their high school selves.
  • 20: Big Boobies Himeko signing event.
  • 21: Fuura-senpai introduces herself… and scares the life out of Kaoruko (and Ruki).
  • 22: Tsubasa helps the volleyball club.
  • 23: Ruki and Tsubasa get sick. Kaoruko ends up catching the sickness as well.
  • 24: Koyume and Ruki go clothes shopping, while Kaoruko and Tsubasa play video games.
  • 25: Koyume and Tsubasa go to an amusement park, with the others tailing them.
  • 26: Kaoruko’s mother visits the dormitory.

Volume 3:

  • 27: It’s Christmas Eve… and Ruki’s birthday.
  • 28: Kaoruko heads to Tsubasa’s house.
  • 29: The girls of the dormitory welcome the New Year.
  • 30: Koyume’s weight woes.
  • 31: Tsubasa lost her manuscripts at school.
  • 32: Kaoruko goes glasses shopping. So does Nijino.
  • 33: Tsubasa goes out with Koyume.
  • 34: Fuura-senpai’s rituals and horror manga, featuring Kaoruko.
  • 35: The adults meet up in the dormitory.
  • 36: Thinking about one’s future…
  • 37: A passionate debate between Tsubasa’s mother and Nijino… concerning Tsubasa’s manga and manga drawing.
  • 38: Kaoruko’s four storyboards; three, which are poor imitations of her friends’ manga, are rejected. Also featuring the other girls and their editors.
  • 39: Kaoruko is feeling down.

Volume 4:

  • 40: Miki enters the dormitory… and finds out just what her beloved older sister actually draws.
  • 41: Miki grows acquainted with her new roommates, Kaoruko and Koyume.
  • 42: A new school year…
  • 43: Fan letters.
  • 44: Miki’s storyboard is rejected. Also, she meets Fuura-senpai for the first time (not counting being chased by a “ghost” earlier).
  • 45: Kaoruko and Miki go to an idol concert.
  • 46: Fuura-senpai’s horror manga… and insecurities?
  • 47: Asuka-senpai, Fuura-senpai’s roommate.
  • 48: Designing a T-shirt print… and Ruki can’t seem to get something satisfactory to her.
  • 49: The athletic festival… and Ruki trying to impress her sister.
  • 50: Kaoruko’s storyboard is accepted… but Miki’s was rejected for lack of sexiness.
  • 51: Back when Ruki and Tsubasa were in elementary school…
  • 52: Ruki contemplates quitting as a teens’ love manga artist, but Miki barges in and tells her not to.

That’s as far as I will go. The later chapters introduce a new character, Kurisu, who is to Koyume as Miki is to Kaoruko, but I don’t have the latest issues of Manga Time Kirara MAX with me right now.

Anyway, this is what the anime adapts:

  • Episode 1: 1, 2, 3
  • Episode 2: 7, 4
  • Episode 3: 5, 6, 8
  • Episode 4: 9, 16, 20
  • Episode 5: 12, 24, 25

After episode 2, the anime seems to try and have all chapters related to a single character together in one episode (episode 3 focused on Kaoruko, episode 4 on Ruki, episode 5 on Koyume). This obviously means that some chapters will be skipped (such as 10 and 11, which focused on Kaoruko and Koyume, respectively) and some of the rest will be adapted out of order (episode 4 had chapters 16 and 20 occur before 12, and episode 6 will have 15 and 21, which will occur after 24 and 25). Note that aspects of skipped chapters may appear in adaptations of others (such as 22 in the adaptation of 20).

I mentioned some of the alterations made in an earlier post, so I’ll mention just one made in episode 5. In the adaptation of chapter 25, when Koyume and Tsubasa notice two people, one of them cosplaying the main character of Tsubasa’s manga, said cosplayer realises that some of her students are there and runs off, leaving the other alone to deal with the ones tailing Koyume and Tsubasa. This did not actually happen in the manga; the dark hero cosplayer (Nijino) joins the rest of the tailers alongside the other cosplayer (Amisawa). I believe this alteration was made because of the order in which the chapters are adapted. The manga assumes the events of chapter 15 had happened by the time chapter 25 comes around, and at this point Nijino knows about the fact that the girls are manga artists living under the care of Ririka. However, in the anime, chapter 15 had not happened yet, and as a result Nijino does not know about this. To avoid any awkward continuity issues, the anime instead had her run away.

With regards to the anime, I believe it will end somewhere between chapters 38 and 40. Chapter 38 feels like a natural end to a cour, as it finally has Kaoruko finding some success. Chapter 40 introduces Miki, and should the anime end there it may act as a hook to the manga (or another season, although it’s unlikely).

And one last thing about the anime. In the adaptation of chapter 12, the four girls of Wakaba*Girl make an appearance (and are the ones whom Koyume befriended in ten minutes). They even have the original voice actresses play them (although the credits list the roles simply as “high school girl”). Both anime adaptations were done by Nexus, and both are part of the Manga Time Kirara label. This isn’t the first time that aspects of a Manga Time Kirara manga appeared in the adaptation of another (there was the “blink-and-you-miss-it” Kuro cameo in the adaptation of GA Geijutsuka Art Design Class, and an ad for the Kiniro Mosaic: Pretty Days OVA appeared in the adaptation of Magic of Stella).

Anyway, the summer season has two anime I’m definitely going to watch (one being a third season with half-length episodes, not quite a “short” short, but not a traditional full length either; the other is a Manga Time Kirara adaptation), and there are five or six I’m considering. There are four or five I’m considering in the autumn/fall season, and I haven’t counted the ones that don’t have a set airing season yet. In the mean time, I’m still waiting on more information regarding the anime adaptation of Anima Yell!.

On to manga. Going back to Comic Girls, I should mention some of the characters. While you may be familiar with the eight that form the “core” cast (the four main characters, the three adults and Fuura-senpai), there are some other named characters who appear in the manga, whom I’ll describe below.

While they have not appeared in the anime (yet), one might notice in the manga two dormitory residents who appear repeatedly as background characters in volume 1. They are Fumiko Hashimoto (端本 文子), or Bun-chan, and Motoko Sumitani (隅谷 もと子), or Mon-chan. They become Koyume’s friends by chapter 30, and in the girls’ second year, become Kaoruko and Ruki’s classmates. Interestingly, they first appeared all the way back in chapter 1, and even have lines then (note that Fumiko had her twintails at the back, rather than at the front as in later chapters). One thing I noticed about them is their surnames. Fumiko has the kanji for “end” (端, as in the tip of an object) in her name, while Motoko has the kanji for “corner” (隅). I have no idea what kind of manga they draw, but I’m guessing that, like Koyume, they probably draw shōjo manga.

There is also Ruki’s younger sister, Miki. First introduced in chapter 40, it is clear at first that the two sisters adore each other (in fact, I sometimes get the impression that Ruki is a siscon). Miki is two years younger than the main cast (which makes her a ninth grader and 14 years old by chapter 40). She, like Kaoruko, initially struggles with actually getting her storyboards accepted, but eventually succeeds in chapter 52 (right after telling her sister that she shouldn’t quit). While she is better at drawing animals than her sister, that isn’t her specialty. Rather, she draws magical girl manga, and is inspired by a moe magazine she thought was aimed at young children (but is actually aimed at young men, and is the very magazine Kaoruko is trying to get her work in). Her impression of her sister was shattered by Tsubasa, who after her persistent questioning told her exactly what Ruki drew.
One of my impressions of her is that she is, in some ways, similar to Kaoruko. They seem to be around the same height, and do share some interests (such as idols).

I would mention some of the others, but I don’t have that much information right now. I can tell you is that Kurisu shares some similarities with Koyume, such as blond hair, blue eyes, similar sized breasts…

Lastly, the birthdays of the main cast. Three of the characters have birthdays that fall on notable days. Kaoruko (Aries) has her birthday on April 1, which is, of course, April Fools’ Day. As for Koyume (Pisces), her birthday is March 3, which in Japan is Hinamatsuri. Ruki (Capricorn) celebrates her birthday on Christmas Eve. The odd one out is Tsubasa (Taurus), whose birthday is today.

Anyway, that will be it for now. I’ll discuss other manga below, but before that:

With regards to Manga Time Kirara manga, I internally keep a short analysis on how likely a certain manga will get an anime adaptation. Typically, for manga other than those in Kirara Forward, the release of the third volume is when an anime adaptation is announced (there are exceptions, but it is almost always at least the third, which is why Anima Yell!‘s anime announcement surprised me). Conversely, many less successful manga (and some popular ones, whose authors did not plan to extend it) end after two volumes. To gauge this likelihood, I take into account the age of the manga (the longer a manga runs after the third or fourth volume, the less likely there will be an anime adaptation; exceptions have occurred, though; for newer manga I typically wait until I figure out whether the second volume is the final volume), its visible popularity (this can be number of Twitter users who follow it, number of pieces of fanart, or the existence of Wikipedia articles), and in some cases the plot of the manga (I’ve seen manga end after two or three volumes simply because the story reached its natural conclusion and no second arcs were planned).

While I won’t give my exact analyses, here are some things regarding my thoughts on anime adaptations:

  • Manga in Manga Time Kirara Carat that have no anime adaptation at all have not featured on the front cover for a number of years. This was what clued me into figuring out that first Blend S (Miyuki Nakayama), then Anima Yell! (Tsukasa Unohana), would receive anime adaptations.
  • The same cannot be said for Manga Time Kirara, Manga Time Kirara MAX and Manga Time Kirara Forward. Kirara has featured Slow Start (Yuiko Tokumi) and Koharu Biyori (Nekoume) on the front cover (the former before its adaptation was announced), Kirara MAX has featured Comic Girls (Kaori Hanzawa) and A Strawberry in Soda Water (Cherry Arai) (the former before its adaptation was announced; the latter has since ended), and Kirara Forward has featured Chotto Ippai! (Kayou).
  • For Manga Time Kirara Forward it’s a little muddy. The “third volume = anime” rule does not apply here due to the differing format (three volumes of traditional monthly manga is around 18 months, compared to three years for four-panel manga), although that is the earliest an anime adaptation would be feasible (assuming it takes a year to create a single-cour anime, that will give five volumes, or around 30 chapters, to adapt). I typically expect announcements at the fourth volume release (as with Harukana Receive (Nyoijizai)).
  • Moving on to speculation. I have a rough idea of which manga have a chance of being adapted. From Kirara, the only one I can think of right now is Kira Kira Study (Tsubomi Hanabana). From Kirara Carat, there are Machikado Mazoku (Izumo Itō), Swap⇔Swap (Tomekichi) and Dropout Idol Fruit Tart (Sō Hamayumiba), all three of which are older than Anima Yell!. From Kirara MAX there is Why Did I Enter the Art Course!? (Utau Aizaki). There are three possible candidates I can identify in Kirara Forward, one of which has featured on the front cover, and another which ranked on a survey of desired adaptations.

And some general observations and events:

  • On May 8, there will be a signing event for Utau Aizaki and her manga Why Did I Enter the Art Course!?. Someone on Twitter even suggested that it might be a prelude to an anime adaptation announcement.
  • Notable manga releases on May 11 include the fifth volume of Mami Tomoe’s Everyday Life (Magica Quartet/Mai Arata) and the third volume of Chotto Ippai!.
  • Notable manga releases on May 26 include the ninth volume of A Channel (Kuroda bb). The Slow Start guidebook will also be released on that date.
  • Notable manga releases on June 12 include the tenth volume of School-Live! (Norimitsu Kaihō/Sadoru Chiba).
  • Notable manga releases on June 27 include the third volume of Dropout Idol Fruit Tart.
  • Soon after the release of the first volume of Koisuru Asteroid (Quro), an article for it appeared on the Japanese Wikipedia. Admittedly, I am interested in this manga; it revolves around astronomy and geology, and the author herself shows a significant interest in science (and animals, and Aikatsu, and Hidamari Sketch). If you’re wondering, it’s about a girl, Mira, who made a promise a number of years ago with a “boy”, Ao, she met to see an asteroid. Said “boy” turns out to actually be a girl, and they enter the same high school. It revolves around both astronomy and geology because the two relevant clubs have merged.

That will be all for now.