I strongly disagree. If anything, I think the storytelling and emotional impact of the first just gets better after it fully diverges from the manga. Not better than
the manga, but it really does mature with time.
But see, this is why you're not going to get a consistent vote on which one is better. This is generally a Broken Base
where people often love one version and hate the other, and the proportion of who loves and hates what changes depending on where you go on the internet.
Sounds to me that you should give the first anime a go, though, if you're in the mood for something darker and more tragic.
edited 4th Mar '11 4:30:09 PM by ungelic