Where do anime adaptations come from?

A fellow blogger was so bold as to proclaim that light novels are some of the most common sources of anime adaptations today. That got me thinking, is that really true? My husband didn’t think so. And so a new research post was born. (While researching this I found another post claiming almost every anime is adapted from manga. I’ll disprove that along the way.)

First of all, let’s look at anime from 2016 and this year. The aforementioned claim is from October 2016, which nests nicely in the middle of my interval. Regarding my methodology: I’m researching only nonH TV series (no OVAs or movies) that started that season (no continuing anime, like One Piece, but I count second seasons that started after a pause).

In total I have 393 anime series. 104 of those were not adaptations, also known as originals. In percentages, 26.5% of TV series were originals and 73.5% were adaptations. To disprove the parenthesized claim about almost every anime being a manga adaptation — 160 of 393 series were manga adaptations, which rounds to 40.7%. It is a high percentage, but nowhere near “almost every anime.”

Below I put together a graph of the adaptations, so my results excluding originals. The total is 289. As you can see manga takes up more than a half of the pie (55.4%) — this includes regular manga, yonkoma and webmanga. Orange light novels come to 13.1%. It would be the second highest percentage, if I didn’t add the two green slices – games and visual novels – together, totaling 50 series and 17.3 percent. I must concede that in either situation light novels are “some of the most common sources of anime adaptations.” Still, they do not make up a large part at all. In addition, a great number (19 out of 38) of those light novel adaptations come from 2017, that is after the claim was written.

Anime Adaptations 2016-7

To complete the circle, regular novels make up 6.6% of anime adaptations and the rest is anything that didn’t fit into my categories. For example anime adapted from pachinko machine commercials or illustration books (I’m talking about Honobono log).

That’s settled. My curiosity has been quenched, but another question arose – was it always like that? I think it’s pretty (about 100%) likely that it wasn’t. I’ll try to delve into that some other day. So look forward to that!


Backlog: Week 15

This week I’ve been pretty busy. I still watched 21 episodes, but a great majority were shorts — 19 to be exact. Oh well, better luck next week.


This enigmatic title is an amalgamation of contractions. Ani is a contraction of anime, Kuri of creators. This 18-minute piece is comprised of 15 one-minute shorts, each produced by a different creator from Japanese anime studios. See the list on MAL.

One of the 60-second stories is Good Morning by Satoshi Kon of Madhouse. He died 7 years ago, leaving behind works like Memories or Paprika. I admire his varied skill sets — storyboarding, directing, screenplay, key animation,… Anyway, you can see the likeness to Paprika. Detailed backgrounds are one thing, but the appearance of the main character is a dead give-away. And it works great. It’s a clear, concise story told in a minute.

Another is A Gathering of Cats by Makoto Shinkai. That’s a name you’ve probably been hearing a lot lately — he’s the director of Kimi no Na wa, Your Name in English. I liked this one the best, because cats. Planning world domination/destruction at that.

Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to watch Your Name this week.
Like I wrote above, hopefully next week will be better.

First Impressions: Room Mate

Room Mate is a shorts series related to One Room which aired last season. When I reviewed One Room in Backlog: Week 10, I wrote:

The main character, you, interacts with three girls one after another. Everything is from his/your POV and you only hear one side of the conversation, the girl’s of course. The animation is nice, but the plot is very simple — it’s just like every other visual novel. All the girls like him/you. Boring really, but the girls are cute.

I was expecting Room Mate to be just like that, but with bishounen. What is my opinion after the first three episodes? Spoiler warning! Continue reading

Anime Broadcasts Delay Due to the World Cup

Do you remember this year’s World Cup? That football tournament that filled all the newspapers less than a month ago? Remember how the last episode of Soul Eater Not! aired a week late because of the World Cup? I do.

Here is the yonkoma in question from chapter 6 of the Lucky Star manga.


Notes on Jinsei 1-2

It is time for another screenshot heavy post. This time the focus is on this season’s Jinsei, although I still have some screenshots from the spring season I want to write about.

Jinsei (人生) literally means “life” and tells the story of the Second News Club, specifically the four writers of the Life Advice column. The main character, Akamatsu Yūki (Any relation to Akamatsu Ken? How common is this last name?), is your average protagonist. There really is nothing special about him, except that he is the leader of the group. The remaining three are girls, which makes quite a bit of fanservice possible.jinsei_2_fan2

Of course the girls need to cater to as many viewers possible. That is why we have a well-endowed, motherly Kujō Fumi from the Tea Ceremony Club representing liberal arts; an easy-going to the point of recklessness Suzuki Ikumi from the girls’ Basketball Team representing sports; and a no-nonsense tsundere in glasses Endō Rino, a lab rat representing science. Continue reading

First Impressions: My Neighbor Seki

Tonari_no_Seki-kun_mangaSeveral months ago we bought the first volume of the manga, from which this anime was adapted, in Japanese. Not that either of us can read it, but if you’ve seen a little of the anime, you’ll understand that the text isn’t that important. Anyway, when we found out that it was airing this winter, there was no doubt that we should watch it. Today I’ll be covering the first three episodes. Since they are just under 8 minutes each (including the opening and ending songs), I’ve decided I can fit them into a single post. I usually expect anime with short episodes like this to originate from yonkoma manga, but My Neighbor Seki has a regular manga structure, only with exceptionally short chapters (about 8 pages) called 1st period, 2nd period and so on. Continue reading

AMV: I Wish I Was A Lesbian by AbsoluteDestiny

Long before I got involved in my local otaku community and met my partner, who used to be an avid AMV editor, I knew I would one day want to make an AMV. I’m sure I had seen a number of videos before the one I’d like to introduce today, but I Wish I Was A Lesbian by AbsoluteDestiny is the only one I remember and the one that spurred my ambitions to make my own. Citing AbsoluteDestiny’s description, it’s “a comedy about the benefits of being a lesbian.” And that’s what set it off from all the others – it was funny, memorable and, while old (premiered in 2003), the editing was still well above average among what I could encounter on YouTube back then. Continue reading

First Impressions: Red Data Girl

The first episode of Red Data Girl just aired last week, but for some reason three episodes already pre-aired for premium users on Niconico in 398p a while back. I can’t say I understand the reasoning behind this marketing move, though maybe it is to encourage people to get premium accounts… That aside, let’s look at the anime itself.

izumikoThe main heroine, Izumiko Suzuhara, has lived at Tamakura shrine, supposedly one of the Kumano shrines, her whole life. Apart from that Izumiko has an another special thing about her – the unfortunate ability to destroy every electrical device she touches. At 15 she is to enroll in Hōjō High School in Tokyo (although she would rather go to the local high school with her friends) with her guardian’s son and childhood friend Miyuki. Continue reading

Short thoughts on ’50 years of anime’

In 1963 Astro Boy first aired in Japan. Its creator Osamu Tezuka utilized a new way of animation to make the series. Until he started animating with this less-demanding procedure, anime could hardly be made fast enough for an episode to air on weekly basis, so animation studios were focused on movies. (Not that all studios manage to animate their serialized works within their designated time nowdays. No, I’m not hinting at SHAFT. They may be cutting it close, but they always deliver.) Simply said there wouldn’t be anime as we know it today, if it wasn’t for Osamu Tezuka and his Astro Boy. And, as you may have noticed, it has been 50 years since 1963.

There are countless blogs, like The Golden Ani-Versary of Anime, popping up for the occasion and doubtlessly there will be an endless stream of essays and ani-blog posts on the topic of the evolution of anime and countless rants on how today’s anime is so much worse than anime back when it started or, more often, when the writer was just starting out as an otaku. Please do not expect me to write anything of that sort, as my perfectionism would not let me rest until I wrote something worth submitting as a thesis…

Personally, with anime turning 50 this year I keep thinking I should watch something ancient. The oldest movie I’ve watched is probably Castle of Cagliostro from 1979. From anime series it should be Yu Yu Hakusho, which started in 1992 and ended in 1995. Any suggestions?

What are the oldest pieces you have watched?

Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!

Yuuta as Dark Flame Master

Dark Flame Master!

Originally I didn’t even consider watching Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! this season, but when it turned out to be one of my anime-watching-partner’s favorites, I succumbed. Even then I was all for dropping it after the first couple of episodes. Why? The unbelievably annoying main heroine and her similarly irritating servant would be the reason!

Nevertheless Chuunibyou turned out to be one of the two anime we watched on weekly basis this season, excluding those with three minutes per episode. The other one was the fourth season of Hidamari Sketch (in case you were wondering).

As this is more or less an end-of-the-season review, there are obviously going to be spoilers. With that warning out of the way, let us proceed towards my assessment.

Continue reading