I don’t know where this entire trend originated, but it’s something that caught my interest pretty quickly. Reading this will just reinforce that I’m a pretty boring person.
Frankly, my opinion on these kind of things is conditionally fluid, so…
Anime vs. Manga
As a medium, I far prefer anime – the advantages of color, movement, and sound normally exceed any intricacy manga art can offer.
When it comes to comparing an original and an adaptation, it really depends. As some examples, A Certain Scientific Railgun’s anime generally exceeds the manga, Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood is about equivalent to the manga, and Dragon Ball Z’s anime turned a decently paced story into a tedious drone. So there’s no consistency to it.
Dub vs. Sub
Generally, I prefer subs, and that’s because I tend to go with the option that’s more contextually appropriate. Probably about 92% of anime take place in Japan, so the language being Japanese makes sense. On the other hand, something such as Hellsing Ultimate, with its European setting, feels far more natural in English, especially since the character’s accents come through more appropriately than they would in Japanese.
As a non-anime example, take Inglourious Basterds – during the movie, the characters speak in multiple languages based on the context of the situation, and needing to read subtitles during the non-English portions is far from being a problem. It makes sense for the Germans to speak German, the British and Americans to speak English, and Brad Pitt to speak Italian, right?
And all of that is before you even get into the matter of a localization butchering anything, or the actual quality of the voice-acting. As far as I’m concerned, besides contextually correct dubs, the only ones that should really exist are those like Garzey’s Wing or Ghost Stories.
Vintage vs. Modern / Cel vs. Digital
This is something I hardly ever think about, but most of the anime I’ve seen are post-2000, so my answer would obviously be that I prefer more current stuff. I don’t have enough experience with older stuff to fairly compare the generations.
Moe vs. Realistic
Assuming that this is talking about “moe” character design compared to something more realistic, I don’t know which I truly prefer. Mainly because there is no singular “moe” style. I suppose I generally prefer character designs that aren’t pushing for realism. Especially if that realism requires shitty rotoscoping.
But simply comparing “realistic” and “moe” is far too polarized. Are there not other styles out there?
Light vs. Dark
Once again, I don’t have much of a preference. I like anime that are light-hearted, and I like those that aren’t.
Of course, if we’re just talking about lighting conditions, I prefer to see what I’m doing.
Continuous Plot vs. Episodic
If it’s slice-of-life or comedy, it doesn’t particularly matter. But with drama, action, or adventure, a continuous plot is far superior. My main issue with Cowboy Bebop is actually that it’s nearly exclusively episodic – not because this approach doesn’t work at all, but because there are several episodes that are completely forgettable since their individual stories aren’t remotely interesting, and they don’t tie into anything else. A stronger overarching story would have been far preferable.
Series vs. Films vs. Shorts
I’d prefer a full television/OVA/film series 100% of the time. This allows the creators more time to work through a story and develop characters, the latter of which is normally my main problem with anime films (especially dramas). They rarely do a good job of making me care about the characters during the limited timespan. As for shorts… I’ve only seen a few. They can be enjoyable if they hammer out effective jokes in the short time allotted, but a series with more time to work with is going to outperform a short most of the time.
Having said all of that, three of my favorite anime are movies that conclude the series – Madoka Magica Rebellion, the K-ON! Movie, and The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya. Obviously, these are extensions of the series, not standalone films. (Shirobako movie when?)
A year or so ago, I ended up talking to someone about spoilers, and our differing opinions on them. He preferred to go into a series knowing what would happen, and after reading multiple reviews. I avoid spoilers as much as possible. Having an idea of what may happen can mess with your expectations, especially with plot twists.
While not a “spoiler” per se, if you’re familiar with A Certain Magical Index, you’ll know about the Sisters Arc. This arc was also the basis of A Certain Scientific Railgun S, just shown from a different perspective and done far better. I made the mistake of watching Index first, so when I started Railgun S, I already knew what would happen. That didn’t keep me from loving the show, but knowing how everything would play out and be resolved really killed the impact or tension of many scenes. (This is also why I suggest watching all of the Railgun series before Index. It’s also much better than Index anyways.)
By the way – Snape kills Dumbledore.
Weekly watch vs. Marathon
I always prefer to marathon over watching something piecemeal. Unfortunately, time doesn’t always allow for that, and I still like to watch shows as they air, so I normally just end up watching a few episodes of stuff a week, unless there’s something that demands my attention.
Watching alone vs. Group watching
If I watch alone, I can go at my own pace, eat half of a watermelon without judgmental stares, and laugh at fart jokes without feeling embarrassed. Group watching a movie would be alright, but a full series? No thank you.
Paper vs. Digital
Paper. Unless the text is white on black, it can be very tiring to read from a screen for a long time. For manga, novels, textbooks, or whatever else, physical is much better. Obviously books take up a lot of space, especially 15+ volume manga, but I’d say it’s worth it.
Reviews vs. Editorials
As far as writing goes, I prefer reviews (or “thoughts” posts, as they normally end up). As far as reading, I don’t really have a preference, because I normally just read something because it catches my interest, whether it’s a review by another WordPress user, some article on a random website, etc.
A few of these topics have come up in other posts I’ve written before (I think), but it was interesting to think a bit on a few of them.
Also, concerning my upcoming Shirobako review, which will likely be my next post, here’s what I posted on my Hummingbird profile about it. Please ignore the excessive alliteration.
So it may be a while.