I’ve found myself wondering lately about the difference in storytelling to be found in manga verses light novels. You will sometimes see popular manga series have light novels released that are either a re-enactment of the manga’s events, or a side story (gaiden). But it always makes me wonder: is it possible to portray characters in the same way in a light novel as they appear in the manga?
I wonder in particular about manga that has a lot of action, or does a lot of its storytelling via illustration instead of words or dialogue. Is it possible to retain the same feeling of the characters or the story when translating manga to a more ‘traditional’ form of storytelling?
The same goes for anime. For example: I just finished the awesomeness that is the Baccano! anime not too long ago, and decided to do a little digging for the light novels the anime was based on. I got a few pages into the light novel before having to put it aside (for now at least) because the portrayal of the characters in the light novel seemed so different from how they were portrayed in the anime. (This is, of course, only my opinion.)
So I guess my question is this: are some stories best told in a certain kind of format? If you had asked me 3 years ago I would have said no, and that a good story would still be just as good in any format. Continue reading