I feel like I need to add more to this post by Nate (Manga Guy).
Although I agree with Nate’s words for the most part, there are some things that need correcting or just plain rebuttal. Then again, what can I say? This ain’t the Animanga Spellbook for nothin’.
Nate says people always demand more content from their manga storylines and never less – this is true, except for that key word “never”. Normally the argument is that people would ask for more content, but in rarer cases, I’ve seen reviewers say series were biting off more than they can chew and should condense their storylines down a bit, such as Concrete Revolutio‘s examples here.
Sidebar: I would like to note that Concrete Revolutio does have a manga, but apparently it deviates from the anime after a while so it fits into two volumes.
Nate also says “anime itself isn’t very profitable” (emphasis in original). Anime and manga are two arms of what is known as the “media mix” – a good anime should be able to bring in the moolah by itself as well as amplifying word of the original material, if there is any. For anime-originals, there is one less arm of the manga mix, so someone normally gets tapped to do a straight (or as close to straight as the producers would like!) adaption to patch that part up…yes, even things like Phantom in the Twilight, where the manga doesn’t get publicised outside its own magazine and webpage (well, in Phantom in the Twilight‘s case, it was more like a website than a magazine, since it was serialised on Comico, but that website functions like a magazine), get manga…Normally you have to dig on the Japanese side of things to get access to these adaptions in the first place, though. In other words, they normally just don’t get licensed.
Furthermore, anime isn’t very profitable because most of the money doesn’t actually get to the creators – it’s taken up by licensing fees (which are notoriously expensive), import fees (if any) and the rest of the whole production, distribution and advertising system that sits between you and anime.
According to a poll Shineek – he who runs Chibi Tamago – did to insert manga/LNs into Chibi Tamago, most readers (the ones playing the game, at least) take about 20 minutes to read one chapter. Specifically, my answer was “about 20 minutes to half an hour, but that’s if it’s a volume for a wordy series like Detective Conan or Death Note” – if I’m chipping away at a series week-to-week, each chapter is about 5 minutes, but if I’m catching up on 50-odd chapters (as Manga Plus makes me do sometimes) or reading volume to volume, then it really adds up…
There is a bit of a deadly assumption in saying all manga fans – or potential manga fans – are in their 20s and read Harry Potter in their youth. Manga is meant to be for all ages – I think that’s one of its inherent appeals – and, of course, there’s always the one person who hasn’t seen or read X series, regardless of how popular it is…I know that for things like Attack on Titan, I can’t read them because they’re so hyped up, people get annoying about them.
Finally, I’d just like to add that I read manga because it’s cheaper than anime…well, at least it was in the days when everything was physical collection. Manga is made at much cheaper prices than anime, sold for just as much and, in some cases, can be marketed as a “graphic novel” or “comic”, so it’s easier to find if you’re not going to a specialised pop culture store (or “geek goods store”, as I’ve called it in other posts).
Sidebar 2: There are differences between comics – at least, the ones I’ve set eyes on – and manga, but I don’t want to bore you with a laundry list of how they differ. Maybe someday, if I can think of a way to present that without it being a laundry list, I might do a post on it, but I won’t promise anything on that front…
So why do you read manga, for those who do? Why don’t you read manga, for those who don’t?