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Top Anime That Dont Stick To The Manga

Discover anime that dont stick to the manga - Explore unique interpretations and surprising twists in these adaptations.

Yukihiro Nakajima
Yukihiro Nakajima
Nov 17, 202319.9K Shares266.2K Views
Jump to
  1. Tokyo Ghoul
  2. Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters
  3. Chrono Crusade
  4. Violet Evergarden
  5. Cowboy Bebop
  6. Puella Magi Madoka Magica
  7. Samurai Champloo
  8. Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles
  9. Durarara!!
  10. Code Geass
  11. Reasons For Deviations From Manga
  12. Anime That Don't Stick To The Manga - FAQs
  13. Conclusion
Top Anime That Dont Stick To The Manga

Anime, a vibrant and diverse medium, has often been celebrated for its ability to bring manga to life, offering fans an animated interpretation of their favorite stories. However, not all anime adaptations remain faithful to their source material. Some productions take creative liberties, resulting in unique experiences for viewers.

This departure from the original manga can either enhance or diminish the overall quality of the anime, and it frequently sparks heated debates among fans. Here, you will explore several anime that dont stick to the mangaand delve into the reasons behind these deviations and their impact on the anime industry and fandom.

3 Different Anime
3 Different Anime

Popular manga series have proved difficult to translate into anime throughout the years. While most translations nowadays stay faithful to the original material, earlier works sometimes took unanticipated detours from the manga's plot. Such radical modifications often signal doom for the appeal of an anime. Some versions, nevertheless, are well-liked by the audience.

Tokyo Ghoul

Person With Red Eye
Person With Red Eye

Although Tokyo Ghoul may seem to be a standard "vampire" narrative, its plot moved farther away from standard supernatural fiction conventions. The comic portrays daily life in a parallel Japan where terrifying ghouls coexist alongside people.

Once Ken Kaneki, an average student, transforms into a half-ghoul, the narrative officially starts. Kaneki learns to adapt to his new existence while hiding his identity with the help of ghouls operating the Anteiku coffee shop.

While both the anime and the manga primarily have the same plot, the manga allows for more significant character development in the characters. Additionally, the anime presents a rather "mellow" portrayal of the blood and gore that were highly evident in the manga.

It doesn't help that later seasons of the anime didn't adequately explain some of the differences from the manga, making it a more challenging experience to process.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters

Thumbnail Of Yu-Gi-Oh
Thumbnail Of Yu-Gi-Oh

TCG enthusiasts may credit Yu-Gi-Oh! for igniting the trend. After all, the series not only had a continuing animation, but it also often updated its gameplay to keep things fresh.

All of them, however, can be traced back to Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters from the year 2000, when viewers saw Yami Yugi, the King of Games, use the might of card games to defeat a number of global dangers.

Despite the fact that the anime appropriately adapted the whole original tale of Duel Monsters, it did have a good number of pointless filler arcs. The Duelist Kingdom finale visiting Noah's virtual world in the "Virtual World" arc, facing Dartz in "Waking the Dragons," and competing in the KC Grand Prix in "Grand Championship" are only a few examples of non-canonical events in the manga.

Chrono Crusade

Chrono Crusade Thumbnail
Chrono Crusade Thumbnail

Chrono Crusade, which is set in the Roaring Twenties, depicts an alternative past in which the effects of the First World War provided the opportunity for demons to wreak havoc on civilization.

In order to remove these evil dangers, the Order of Magdalene is sent forth throughout the globe. As they look for Sister Rosette Christopher's lost brother Joshua in Chrono Crusade, the demon Chrono is soulbound to her. There is a ton of action to anticipate from a manga where a nun has talent with a gun.

The presentation of the anime deviated somewhat from the manga. The manga focused more on Rosette's points of view despite the fact that both forms of media share the same plot. With the underlying concept of having to pursue destiny, the anime has a darker tone in contrast.

The harsher interpretation of the anime does, however, take away some crucial character development that was done in the manga, especially for the antagonist, Aion, and his allies. Even Rosette and Chrono's connection was seen differently in each medium, which is more significant.

Violet Evergarden

Girl Sitting In Water
Girl Sitting In Water

Violet Evergarden will move the audience to tears with its breathtaking poetry and hypnotic artwork. This anime series, in contrast to many others, had its start as a light book rather than a manga.

Kana Akatsuki's light novel series Violet Evergarden was first published. It quickly gained popularity and, in 2014, was awarded the prestigious Kyoto Animation Award for the Novel category. In 2018, Kyoto Animation produced a fourteen-episode anime series based on the captivating narrative.

The story of Violet Evergarden, a young orphan who has been groomed as a child soldier, is told in the television series. She had always been seen as nothing more than a weapon since she was little.

Thus, she had no experience with feelings like love and compassion. She becomes a ghostwriter to help people express their emotions via letters, but after the war, life takes an intriguing turn.

Unexpectedly, she begins to explore her own emotions as she goes. An anime with well-developed characters and a plot that will leave viewers in tears is Violet Evergarden.

Cowboy Bebop

Thubnail Of Cowboy Bebop
Thubnail Of Cowboy Bebop

Neo-noir science fiction Japanese animation called Cowboy Bebop was first shown in 1998. This anime is regarded as one of, if not the finest, entirely original works ever produced. Just realizing that this was not a manga adaptation is perplexing enough. The anime takes place in a world where Earth is no longer hospitable in the year 2071.

In essence, cowboys are bounty hunters who evade the law and sometimes help it to survive. The narrative of their journeys follows the spacecraft Bebop and its band of bounty hunters. They constantly encounter danger throughout their space missions, and on occasion, they also have to board complicated visitors.

The series heavily incorporates elements from noir, science fiction, and Western movies. When the series first begins, it will likely be another action-packed one. However, when this anime delves into concepts like boredom and existentialism, they are in for a journey more profound and more intellectual than that.

It also touches on problems like loneliness and being mired in one's past. Even with no comics to take inspiration from, this challenge is difficult to do. Consequently, it ranks as one of the top anime produced to date.

Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Small Girls With Weapons
Small Girls With Weapons

Those of you who like magical girls have undoubtedly heard of Puella Magic Madoka Magica. Despite the anime's lengthy name, the plot is quite tight.

Fans were astounded by the show's terrifying twist on a typical shojo narrative and were stunned by the show's stunning visuals. Viewers saw a group of teenage girls signing contracts to become magical witches charged with eliminating renegade teammates without the guidance of a manga to assist them.

However, as the anime progressed, both viewers and the main characters discovered the unbelievably sinister truths concealed in the contract. All of a sudden, it seemed to be entirely unfun to be a magical girl.

Samurai Champloo

Sun Setting In Background
Sun Setting In Background

Samurai Champloo has a manga, but anime is what gave the franchise's plot its start. The anachronistic animation, which visionary Shinichir Watanabe directed, is set in an alternative history during the Edo period in Japan.

The story, which has strong hip-hop influences, centers on a young guy called Mugen, who is both free-spirited and skilled with a sword. After coming into contact with an abused lady called Fuu and a renegade ronin named Jin, the character finds himself with new allies.

The latter two are condemned to death when they unintentionally murder a magistrate's kid, but Fuu helps them escape on a quest in exchange for finding a guy from her past.

Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles

Cute Girl In Background
Cute Girl In Background

The way Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles incorporates designs from the famous series Cardcaptor Sakura will excite fans of Clamp's Cardcaptor Sakura. There are some parallels between Tsubasa and the Clamp title xxxHolic, but they stop there.

Archeologist Syaoran will assist Princess Sakura of the Clow Kingdom in regaining her memories over various adventures. Tsubasa will create a tale about friendship and making sacrifices for the people you love despite this straightforward concept.

Tsubasa's anime adaptation could have precisely adhered to its manga source in every way. In the beginning, the anime attempted to "connect" Tsubasa to Cardcaptor Sakura as a type of sequel, departing somewhat from the book in the process.

Many of Tsubasa's darker elements from the manga were also dropped in order to appeal to Cardcaptor fans and kids. As a result, the lighter plot of the anime didn't even have a place for the shocking developments in the manga.


Headless Creature
Headless Creature

Durarara!!, like Violet Evergarden, is based on a well-liked light novel. It mainly chronicles the story of a variety of personalities that reside in Ikebukuro, a neighborhood in Tokyo that seems tranquil at first glance. On the other hand, Ikebukuro is everything from tranquil when one scrapes behind it.

The city is strange, with reports of massive gang conflicts involving young boys and tales of a headless black shadow riding a bike. The viewer is given an introduction to a variety of personalities and how their lives interact.

This is, without a doubt, the best-written series in a very long time, with really engaging characters and compelling plot arcs. One aspect that makes the anime a fan favorite is the way everything interacts with and connects during the story. It's a must-watch series because of how events develop and come full circle, which will wow the viewer.

Code Geass

Cute Boy
Cute Boy

Based on an alternate historical chronology, Code Geass is a video game. In a universe where the Empire of Britannia rules over Japan and the people there are considered second-class citizens inside their nation. The youthful Lelouch vows to his companion Suzaku that he will do whatever it takes to discover a method to bring down the British Empire.

Geass, a magical skill that allows him to order people to do whatever he pleases, fortunately, comes to Lelouch's help. His declaration of Japan's independence from the British Empire is followed by his adopting the vigilante Zero persona.

Usually, anime series struggle to surpass their initial season, but Code Geass continues becoming better with every new installment. Characters take center stage throughout the whole series. This really engrosses the audience. Throughout, they will relate to Lelouch, mainly when he is in distress or faced with moral quandaries.

This anime excels, and as a result, both seasons won multiple prizes at the Tokyo International Anime Fair, the Animage Anime Grand Prix, and the Animation Kobe event. This is different from the extent of the series' fame, however, as it went on to be converted into a light novel and then a whole manga series, earning praise as one of the best original anime ever produced.

Reasons For Deviations From Manga

There are various reasons for anime adaptations to diverge from their source material:

Manga Ongoing

Sometimes, anime adaptations are produced while the manga is still ongoing, forcing the creators to come up with their content to prevent catching up to the manga. This often leads to significant deviations.

Creative Freedom

Anime adaptations offer an opportunity for creative freedom. While adhering closely to the manga is ideal for some series, others benefit from the freedom to explore alternative narratives, themes, and character developments.

Pacing And Adaptation

The pacing and structure of manga and anime differ. Some adaptations make changes to suit the medium better and maintain viewer engagement.

Filling Gaps

Manga-to-anime adaptations may add content or alter storylines to fill gaps or answer questions left unanswered in the source material.

Anime That Don't Stick To The Manga - FAQs

Are Deviations From The Manga Always Well-Received By The Anime Fandom?

No, deviations from the manga can be divisive. While some fans appreciate the fresh perspective and creative risks taken by anime adaptations, others feel that the source material should be faithfully reproduced, leading to mixed reactions.

Can Anime Adaptations With Significant Deviations Positively Impact The Manga's Sales?

Yes, successful anime adaptations with significant deviations can boost manga sales. Fans, intrigued by the alternative narrative may be motivated to read the original manga to experience the source material's original vision.

How Do Deviations In Anime Adaptations Affect The Overall Pacing And Structure Of The Story?

Deviations in anime adaptations can lead to changes in pacing and structure to suit the medium better. This often results in a more engaging and concise narrative, making the story more accessible to viewers.

What Is The Significance Of Creative Freedom In Anime Adaptations That Differ From The Manga?

Creative freedom is essential in allowing studios to explore alternative narratives, themes, and character developments. It encourages risk-taking and the opportunity to offer viewers a fresh and unique perspective on the source material.


Anime that dont stick to the manga is a natural part of the medium's creative landscape. While these deviations can be controversial and divisive, they also provide opportunities for studios to explore unique narratives and perspectives. The impact of such variations varies from series to series, influencing the dynamics of the anime industry and shaping the experiences of fans.

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