Thanks to writing a post on here the other day I realised that I should use this site more. One of the things that sprang to mind is a monthly reading log, keeping track of the manga/light novels I’ve read in that given month as well as linking to any reviews that might have come from them.
Without realising it myself, I’ve always been a bookworm. I love games and anime a great deal, but if I step back and look at my hobbies it’s safe to say that the majority of my time is spent reading. I read a lot of on-going manga series, 102 at the current count, and I sometimes get into a rut and wonder to myself why I do this. Why I follow so many; what I’m looking for; what I’m searching for. The answer came to me today unexpectedly.
Being a reviewer for Anime UK News, I take a chance on manga a lot more than I did when I was younger. I’m not very picky and my tastes are fairly broad, so this approach usually works out well. I’ve come across some really fantastic manga series by doing this, like Wotakoi and Complex Age, but they’re not all winners – they just can’t be. Over the weekend I had a couple of new series to review for Anime UK News and neither of them sparked my passion much at all. It was unfortunate, but not wholly unusual.
Shortly afterwards I started reading Black Torch, a series which had recently appeared on Weekly Shonen Jump’s app. It didn’t sound all that special and I picked it up on a whim knowing it was (a finished in Japan and (b short. However, while reading it I had a moment where I thought ‘wow, this is so cool’ – or my accurately my brain thought “すごい” (sugoi). Despite the fact the story is fairly average and the main character is an idiot (albeit a somewhat loveable one), what really struck me was the artwork. It was just so cool. So detailed and vivid. The kind of thing that left me with boundless enthusiasm and a smile on my face like 13 year old me first discovering the world of Naruto and manga on a whole.
Because of this I finally realised why I read so much manga and why I forever will; why I love this medium so much and where my boundless enthusiasm for it comes from – even during the ruts of mundane series. I’m just chasing after those moments of pleasure, the moments that reduce me to nothing but pure passion – that captivate and stir my imagination in a way nothing else can. Without realising it, I have developed an incredible commitment to manga and finding these unexpected periods of wonder.
In these moments it doesn’t matter if a series is good or bad. It doesn’t matter if it captures me once and then falls off a cliff. Whatever happens, for those brief periods, I am incredibly grateful that these stories exist for me to lose myself in.
As a reviewer my writing is made better by being able to experience these feelings and I hope I never get to a point where this stops. It has been over a decade so far and it hasn’t let up, so I’m sure it won’t.
People say I’m crazy to follow so many series but I feel like today, finally, I can put into words why I do. So this is one manga fan just having finally worked out why this world is so important to her, leaving something for me to look back on in the future.
The more I read Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? the more I truly come to appreciate the series despite the somewhat awful choice of title. Author Fujino Omori comments that the third volume of the series finishes off what he regards as the first part of the series’ story, and with that in mind I think it probably is the most fitting end you’re going to get for this section of our tale. Continue reading
Your Lie in April undoubtedly became one of my favourite things when the anime aired last year and so I’ve ended up starting to collect the manga both out of curiosity and the simple fact that I want to support the series as much as possible. For such a musically driven show I was always wondering how the original source managed without the music, but three volumes in and I’m still as deeply in love with Your Lie in April as I was watching the anime.
I went into Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? (or DanMachi as I’ll be referring to it as from here on out), is a series I wasn’t expecting to get very attached to it. Our story revolves around a young adventurer known as Bell Cranel a 14-year-old boy hoping to become a hero, save the girl, and have a harem of sorts around him. Wait, no, that’s the novels…
With Tokyo Ghoul I was interested in the series from the moment an anime adaptation was announced, but knowing that the anime went for an original story in its second season made me want to read the original manga all the more. Cue much excitement when Viz Media revealed that the series has been licensed for an English release and eight months later I happily have the first volume in my hand to flip through.
Watching a recent episode of My Love Story I got thinking about how realistic and down to earth the series is being. Sure there are most certainly a few things that are a little on the crazy side, but for the most part it’s doing better than Kiss Him, Not Me for example.
Of course most of us read manga and watch anime and don’t really expect or want it to be down to earth and completely realistic, but in some ways I think it’s important to have a few series that break the trend of being completely sakura blossoms and overblown teenage feelings. Lets take a favourite series of mine, Say I Love You as a perfect example of what I’m going for here. The story is focused on shy Mei who has never really had any friends and certainly isn’t thinking of dating, but when she meets Yamato that slowly changes and the two of them must work through their problems, very real problems that couples have, if they wish to stay together. What makes this better is that the manga, given it has more time than the 13 episode anime, deals with a lot of problems that everyday kids go through at one point or another. I appricate the series a hell of a lot for this, especially author Kanae Hazuko who is heavily writing from her own personal experience.
It has to be said that I am a massive fan of Dusk Maiden of Amnesia and it quickly became one of my favourite stories, so when Crunchyroll announced that they had the the latest work from author Maybe I was definitely excited. Tales of Wedding Rings might only be 10 chapters in but already I can see some brilliance shining through in ways that only Maybe seems to be able to capture.
The Devil Is a Part-Timer is yet another example of a series where I experienced the anime first and then have read the light novel. This is of course due to the light novel scene outside of Japan not really existing until well after the original anime was a thing, but nevertheless we have it now! The Devil Is a Part-Timer is probably also yet another example of a series I like quite a bit more in its original form rather than as an anime.
One of the shows which was hyped up at the beginning of this season is Plastic Memories. The idea behind the series is that in a city in the near future humans and androids can live comfortable side-by-side. These androids look and act like humans, with human memory and emotions, the only drawback is that the androids only have a short lifespan before they begin to lose their human personality and their memories. It’s then the job of a Terminal Services to collect these androids just before the end of their lifespan to avoid any unfortunate accidents when they begin to lose their personalities and memories. The idea of humans and androids living side-by-side is an interesting one, but ultimately one that Plastic Memories wastes in the end. It’s worth noting that this article will include spoilers for Plastic Memories.