“I read the novel and…” Are These Real Spoilers? Maybe not

Recently, I’ve been seeing a lot of comments and reblogs on posts with “spoilers” from the novels of popular novel-turned-mangas/comics/animes and I wanted to comment on this growing trend.

I didn’t think it needed to be said before, but as a reminder: Each version of the story (novel, manga, and/or anime) becomes its own story. I have, as I’m sure all of us have at some point, seen how different mangas to animes are (Black Butler, anyone?) and the same can be said for novels turned manga/comic. Even things expressly stated as part of the canon can sometimes be seen as its own separate work (and is sometimes said to be such after publication).  

The reason for my seemingly obvious comment here is that more and more often I see community members vehemently rejecting people’s opinions or theories on where a series will go next simply because the novel says otherwise. 

I don’t want to be misconstrued here. I like comments and reblogs revealing things about other versions of the series. I am not bothered by spoilers as it rarely keeps me from continuing or finding enjoyment in reading the next chapter for myself of any given series. Especially since, more often than not, those spoilers don’t come to pass.

Like, Black Butler for example. I love the manga and when the anime came out I was ecstatic! I was still new to the community and didn’t know/comprehend a lot about the difference from print to screen adaptations. I was a twelve-year-old rage machine after I saw the angel character and the divergence from the manga plot when watching the first season of the anime–and even more enraged by the time the second season came out… but then I grew up and had more anime from manga/novel experiences. I think it really hit home in college though as I was learning about literary criticism and film criticism and realized that different mediums create a sort-of alternate world for the story of how things “could be” rather than how they are for any single telling.

You don’t have to agree with me, of course, but it might be something to consider because, like you and me, everyone has their own preference. I know some friends that adore the anime of Black Butler more than the manga (they’re monsters but to each their own), and that’s okay because while it is a different telling–a divergent series– it’s still a part of the series’ fan community and the larger anime/manga/web novel community as a whole.

Saying something will happen in a series because you read the novel or manga prior to the release of something else reminds me of counting eggs as chickens in the cannon basket before they hatch. (Dear followers who may not understand, here is a reference link to the proverb.) It’s fun and adds to the medium of theories and possibilities, but it’s erroneous to get upset over and pick fights. 

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