One of the most frustrating experiences for an anime and manga fan is to see what can only be described as a bad adaptation. Naturally, these things are especially subjective; however, based on the subjectivity of most fans, especially veteran fans who are unlucky enough to encounter this at different points in time, the biggest crime of anime adaptations is deviation from the source material when such material exists.
Names like Naruto’s senen giants and BLEACH come to mind; however, they have suffered from a different kind of adaptation curse. The worst ones are those in which there are stories that, again, from the subjectivity of many fans, are ingenious works of art that the anime adaptation simply does not reflect and does not retell. Anime adaptations of fan-favorite movies like Tokyo Ghoul and Promised Neverland had brilliant first seasons; however, something unpleasant happened in the seasons of their sequels: they deviated from the existing material in such a way that it was already impossible to reconcile. Why is this happening?
There are various aspects of the manga adaptation that fans are generally not very aware of, in particular, the involvement of the original author of intellectual property. While some adaptations suffer because of the necessary invention of storylines and a plot that does not comply with the pre-established rules of the franchise, others suffer simply because of decisions made out of a desire to improve the business. Sometimes these changes are made with the full participation of the original author, and sometimes the change was made by him personally. Tokyo Ghoul √A, otherwise known as Tokyo Ghoul Season 2, was such an adaptation.
The author of the series, Ishida Sui, wanted the goals of the protagonist Kaneki to be more understandable to the audience; however, in pursuit of this, the intricate and well-woven story of Tokyo Ghoul was greatly changed compared to its original trajectory, which only confused the situation. The biggest change was Kaneki’s decision to join the Aogiri Tree, the main ghoul faction in history and possibly the main antagonists of the series, instead of forming his own rogue faction, which would become a serious threat not only to the Ghoul Counter Commission (CCG), but also to the aogiri tree. This example is probably the solution not only of Studio Pierrot, but also of Isis Sui himself to create separate iterations of the same story. As a result; however, in the next season of Tokyo Ghoul: re (and its second season), major adjustments had to be made to compensate for the storylines that were closed to study as a result of such a drastic change in the actions and motivation of the protagonist. .
In the case of “Promised Neverland,” a collaboration between author Kaiu Shirai and artist Posuki Demizu, the changes went beyond creating what can be described as an “alternative timeline.” Entire storylines were erased, characters who were an integral part of the continuation of the story after the escape of the children from Grace Field’s house were simply never included, and the writing suffered terribly. In the second season, an attempt was first made to accurately adapt the “Promised Forest” story arc, before following the trajectory of the anime only, retaining only the main themes from the manga.
When certain parts of a story are removed from its canon, the overarching narrative and its purpose are lost in creating something new, whereas what already existed would be better than enough. Ultimately, the second season of “Promised Neverland” never adapted what is perhaps the most important part of the series: the Golden Pond arch, and what is most unfortunate about the failure of the second season is that, like “Tokyo Ghoul” long before it, it was also a joint effort between the original author and the production studio.
In the case of older series such as Deadman Wonderland, the decision to take a different path to the source material can be seen as a sign of Studio Manglobe’s better quality: creating anime originals. However, there is something sinister about the decision to remove some characters, in particular a character from the LGBT community. There is also a strange ending that hints at the true identity of the main character as the main antagonist of the series, but never goes further.
There are huge problems in production due to constraints such as budget, but the biggest limitation is time.