Sequels Don’t Suck? A Look into Manga Sequels
As I have gotten older and wiser, mostly just older…and maybe lazier…I have been stuck in this belief that as things get sequels and reboots and the like that the quality just suffers as a result. It’s like instead of getting that pure orange juice that you first tasted, you get a watered down rehash and they continue whittling away at the original till you get something worse than Tang.
I see the movie versions of some of my childhood cartoons looking so bad I regret being born early enough to know the original product. Maybe if I was born later in life I wouldn’t hate it as much? It is like they ruined my childhood.
There are exceptions to this though, usually in the “pre-planned trilogies” like Star Wars where they are all good, or the complete sets like Potter where the sequels were all written to go together properly.
Nothing is really safe from the sequel/reboot curse though, even anime and manga can suffer this trickled down fate. Luckily there are a couple of series where it worked in their favor to get a second shot at love.
First is Hunter X Hunter, the manga that has gone on more hiatus breaks then all other jump series combined, the series is addictive and action packed while still having enough silliness to make it appealing to a wide audience. It has had several reboots to the animated series, each one retelling the story from the beginning and then just adding an arc or to the end. It’s almost like the idea as to restart from the beginning every time instead of just finishing what they started. You would figure after seeing it once you would just want to skip it till the new arc, but oddly it was so addicting I watched every episode even knowing exactly what was going to happen. Usually in a restart they just change the animation style, but in HxH they also edited the story to actually flow better, removed a bit of filler they used to have and added in just the right places to improve the overall feel. It went up from an 80 to an 85 out of a 100 in my book.
Now you also have Tokyo Ghoul, the anime kind of ruined a bit of the amazing qualities the manga had by toning down the violence, cutting out a huge hunk of important story and censoring the blood and violence by a lot. If you have only watched the series I recommend reading it as well otherwise you miss the whole plot about how & why Kaneki was given the organs he was and the plot behind the doc’s actions in doing so.
[spoiler title=”Expand Me”]You miss out on Rise being alive! Her organs being used to make a bunch of other one-eyed ghouls! Several awesome fights Kaneki is involved in and how the mask-maker is actually part of Pierot! This information is huge and vital for the later story arcs.[/spoiler]
Now the anime’s first series/season ended at what is about the halfway point of the manga’s first series/season. So it took both sets of the anime to be roughly where the initial series of the manga ended. A bit odd, but it gave them a buffer so we didn’t need filler to make up the time gap. Now while I consider the anime sequel series to just be roughly on par with the first series (both being a 3 out of 5) the manga was given a sequel that truly feels like a sequel.
In Tokyo Ghoul:RE you continue after that heart-wrenching ending by time skipping a few years into the future. You get to see that the Doves now have a new special attack unit of what they call “Quinx” (several different translators have used different spellings including ‘Quinces’ & ‘Quinks’) who are actually hybrid human/ghouls. What was so rare in the first series is now manufactured in the second. You get to see plenty of familiar faces, all older and more developed, and learn a lot about how things have changed. The RE in the title is in reference to a new coffee shop in the series also secretly run by ghouls in homage to the first one. Recent chapters have gotten crazy with a huge all out brawl going on between several factions. Overall this series is a bit confusing in pacing but action-wise and plot is a marked improvement over the original. If the Tokyo Ghoul manga was a 4 out of 5, Tokyo Ghoul:RE is 4.5 out of 5. A must read!
Extra: Speaking of sequels, there is one sequel I have high hopes for and can only pray it will be good. Gantz:G is a sequel or spin-off to the amazing series Gantz. I don’t much about it other than what I saw in the first chapter, but Gantz:G appears to be telling an alternate story, with characters resembling or referencing the main characters from the original series placed in a different plot. You get to see two familiar faces in the first chapter and a huge new cast. Though no telling how many will quickly die in chapter 2. I look forward to reading it and seeing where it goes.