Anime, Light Novel, or Manga? Which do you prefer?

“Did the light novel interest you?”

“Did the manga get you interested?”

These are common questions that will be asked at some point during any discussion about anime shows. This is almost the same as when a movie is based on a book. A common question is “Did your read the book?”

This kind of thing bothers me, to be honest. Why? There are many manga and light novel readers who don’t mind if others have done the same. However, there are also many that almost take offense. These people will usually reply to any comment or question you have about a show by saying, “Well, if you read the manga…”

It is very annoying. My personal opinion is that there’s a big difference between an anime adaptation and a movie adaptation. What does that mean? Volume. Producing movies takes a while. The same goes for anime, which airs new episodes four times per year (anime seasons). How can you compare a movie that is released after a long period to an anime that is released four times per year?

This is just food for thought. This article is not about which book to choose. Do you want to start reading light novels? Perhaps you should start reading manga? You should just watch anime.

Let’s look at the pros and cons for each.


When I hear about an interesting story, anime is my first choice. Why? It’s easy. It’s easy. You can sit at your computer, lay down, and enjoy the animation and the dialogue. Without having to read a light novel or assemble manga pictures, you can see a story unfold right in front of your eyes.

The problem is usually lack of depth. A limited amount of anime can be fit into a season. It is easy to miss some important background information or fail to fully grasp a situation because you don’t know what the character is doing.

It is my personal favorite.

Light Novel

I love anime and I often read the light novels. However, I must wait for the translation. As with any book, a light novel can be a significant investment. I view it as me enjoying the story enough that I will back it. I never read online translations. I buy the book. Two, I love the physical copy and three, to support the author.

As with any other book, the light novel usually covers a lot more than the anime adaptation. The light novel gives you a deeper look at the scenes. It’s possible to see the background. Instead of trying to figure out what a character feels, the author can tell you. Your imagination can be used to create the scenes you envision. Illustrations are also helpful.

What is the down side to any book? It can be time-consuming. This is why I always choose the anime as my second choice. Before I get into detail, I want to make sure that the story is enjoyable. The writing style could also be a problem. A story could be my favorite, but if it is written in a way that I don’t like, I will not enjoy it.


Manga is another option. Manga is my second favorite. Manga are usually easier to read than light novels, because you’re dealing with images. A manga allows you to see the scene before you, instead of trying to imagine scenes that don’t accurately reflect the story as the author intended. It is possible to literally see it develop.

Manga are similar to light novels but more detailed than the anime version. A manga has one drawback, at least in my opinion. You have to read from right to left. It’s an absurd accusation that drives me crazy, I know. Although the images might be welcomed, I like to create scenes with my imagination. A manga limits my ability to do that.

What’s the best? It all depends on what you like. People who don’t spend the time reading manga and light novels will almost always be criticized. It’s just how it is.

If you enjoy a story, I recommend the anime. If you love a good story, pick up the light novel. You can choose to read the manga or one of the books. I consider manga to be visually appealing after I have learned the characters.

There you have it. Here are my thoughts about the anime vs. light novel vs. manga debate. Everyone will have their own opinions, and everyone is welcome to disagree.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *