A research team at the University of Cambridge announced earlier this week that they have discovered an anime that is of higher quality than the manga source material from which it came. The existence of such anime has so far only been theoretical, and researchers from around the globe have been searching for an example for years.
“This discovery shows that anime exist where you can read the original manga, and actually enjoy the anime version more,” Professor David Graham tells Anime Maru. “It turns everything we previously knew about manga on its head.”
A team led by Graham discovered the 2005 anime Pilgrim Jager, an previously unknown adaptation of a manga of the same name. After detailed analysis, Graham’s team found that the anime version did a significantly better job exploring characters and depicting the action scenes. Even more surprisingly, the pacing of the anime was actually better than the manga.
“We knew that it was possible for a 12 episode anime to keep pace with a 6 volume manga, but no one has ever observed it outside of laboratory conditions before,” Graham added.
According to the team’s findings, the anime strikes a nearly perfect balance between being faithful with the source material and expanding on the story, fully leveraging the medium of animation in a way that no fan of the franchise can reasonably find fault with. The team’s review of the anime was submitted Anime-Planet on Thursday. They gave a score of 4/10, citing a predictable story and lackluster characters — criticism consistent with the original manga.
Graham told Anime Maru that while his team are proud of their discovery, they are wasting no time in their search for anime’s next biggest mystery: an even passable anime that is adapted from a video game.