I’m quite sure I’m not the only person wondering about the reasons why specific manga get chosen to get an anime adaptation while others don’t. Some choices seem quite questionable to me, while I’m still waiting for other specific manga to finally get noticed as well.
Since I think this is a pretty interesting topic, I tried to come up with a list of possible requirements for manga to get picked up by animation studios. Please note that this list only contains my personal thoughts and opinions, and it’s surely not an universal checklist for these kinds of decisions. So if you have any additions or disagree with any of my thoughts, feel free to let me know.
Also, and please don’t complain about this right away, I decided to use Citrus as an example for this little list. It’s probably the yuri manga with the highest demand for an anime adaptation right now, so please just try to deal with it.
1. Popularity of the Manga
First of all, it’s pretty obvious that said manga needs to have some kind of fanbase, or in other words, people who will be interested in the anime adaptation and eventually also watch it. The popularity can be measured by many things other than how many people actually talk about it online. Some ways to tell if a manga is actually popular is by seeing that the work gets translated into other languages and to see whether enough people buy it.
|On Amazon as well, Citrus managed to take the place as the best-selling Romance Manga|
2. The Overall Reputation
Being popular doesn’t always mean that the manga is well-liked, so having a good reputation is probably a necessity. For example, a controversial manga is something that many people know of and talk about, but it is not necessarily something that many actually enjoy and want to watch.
The mangaka as well needs to be known and have a good reputation. In some cases, you can even see that specific mangaka get multiple opportunities to get their works animated, so this is definitely an important factor as well.
3. The Length
If a manga only has a few chapters or one single volume, it’s probably not enough to make an entire anime out of it. A few volumes are simply needed, even if it’s only going to be a short show.
Citrus currently has 4 volumes, with that number growing. This is more than enough for a typical 12-episode show.
4. The Current Situation
Is there actually a demand for a specific show, or in other words, do people really want to see it right now? For example, when do you think more people will watch a show about a school swimming club like Free!, in winter or in the summer? This is an example on a smaller scale, but we should always keep in mind that it’s all about numbers, and the animation studios are surely keeping an eye on what the majority of people actually want to see at the moment.
5. The Content of the Manga
I’m not talking about the plot or anything like that. What I mean is rather if a show can actually be aired during the day or whether it will be deemed as inappropriate for a younger audience, which simply means that it will air during later times.
|Scenes like this might the big problem here…
Colored by TempestDH
6. Possible Merchandise
As already mentioned, it’s all about the money, so other than good quotes and DVD sales, it’s always good if the series actually allows the selling of specific merchandise; be it figures, cards, plushies, or other things. Maybe you can even make some games about it. The more you can make out of it, the better.
|Stuff like this would actually be really nice, but doesn’t really work in case of Citrus.|
7. Connections and Anime Studios
In the end, even if we enjoy something a great deal, that doesn’t mean that others do so too. The ones who make these decisions are the anime studios, so it’s all up to them. Having the right people see specific works is probably the key here, so connections are needed.
Well, knowing that we all want some more yuri to appear, it’s quite hard to say whether specific animation studios are actually into that. There is Kyoto Animation for example, that often brings in some strong or not-so-strong yuri subtext, but never goes all the way. There are also others who have either released some full yuri shows or a lot of subtext ones.