304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124
The anime community has been gripped by Fuuka, which is a music-centric romantic-drama that follows Fuuka Akitsuki, Yuu Haruna, and their band “Fallen Moon.”
It’s written by Kouji Seo, who was also behind the popular manga Suzuka and A Town Where You Live. Fuuka is also localized and published in English by Kodansha Comics.
Like the adaptations of those other two series, Fuuka has some major differences between the original manga and the anime that completely change the experience.
One of the biggest differences is how Fuuka is presented. In the manga, she is an impulsive youth with a forceful personality that is guided by emotion. In the anime, Fuuka is a straight up tsundere.
There is an early scene that highlights this shift, which changes how Fuuka treats Yuu. In the manga, after accusing Yuu of being a pervert, Fuuka immediately helps him find his phone and is happy to see that the pair is in the same class. In the anime, Fuuka leaves Yuu on his own and acts cold towards him.
Despite being titled Fuuka, the anime focuses on Koyuki, who is an idol that is also Yuu’s childhood friend. Without spoiling much, a pivotal scene after Yuu’s school festival concert performance plays out differently in the anime. This one scene has reshuffles the character dynamics, causing Fuuka to take on a supporting role in the anime.
Also, that scene from the manga doesn’t happen in the anime. Or if it does, later on, it may happen to someone else.
Kouji Seo is a powerful artist and knows how to convey subtle body language in his panels. His crisp lines, use of shadows, and layouts are also a joy that adds subtle layers to his writing.
The anime is a little iffier due to production issues and the relatively new team behind the adaptation. It takes things in a more muted direction with washed-out colors that add a melancholic feel that’s not in the manga and plenty of birds-eye view shots that compose scenes.
Naturally, the anime focuses on bringing the band’s songs to life, which is a dream come true for Fuuka fans! The music adds another layer of sensory pleasure although, as some fans have pointed out, by adding the music it takes away something special.
The manga lacks music so it focuses on the emotions that were put into the lyrics, especially later in the series. Since you’re left only with words, the reader is forced to focus solely on the imagery inside the lyrics and how it reflects what the characters are feeling.
As said earlier, Koyuki takes on a larger role in the anime, but other events play out differently. We won’t delve deep into spoiler territory, but this larger role changes the purpose of establishing the band to the relationships of cast members.
Having the story expressed differently in manga and anime allows for different perspectives on the underlying meaning of the series. Change can be a good thing and in this case, it’s like double the fun depending on what you love. Fuuka is like a case study on how different artists interpret the same material.
For anime fans looking to read the original story of Fuuka, BookWalker is providing bonus rewards and discounts when you purchase digital bundles of manga between March 14th to March 21st. During this time, Fuuka vol 1 and Suzuka vol 1 will be free read! All digital volumes of Fuuka will also be on sale for $5.45 USD.
Fuuka © Kouji Seo / Kodansha Ltd.