Category Archives: Manga Features

Why I Forever Search for the “Wow” Moments in Manga

Okay first off it has been forever since I’ve posted on Curiosities. All of my work goes on Anime UK News now, so I guess I lost the need to write posts here because anything relevant usually fits there. This time I have something a little bit more personal to write though and something I want the ability to look back on for myself.

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.

Realistic Shojo and Why It’s Important

My_Love_Story_manga

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.

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30 Day Manga Challenge: Day 12 – Favourite Manga Scene

Today is most certainly a tough question. I need to somehow figure out my favourite manga scene, which definitely isn’t easy. Nevertheless onwards we shall go as I attempt to figure it out!

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30 Day Manga Challenge: Day 11 – Favourite Mech Manga

Yeah so, I missed posting an entry yesterday but in my defence I was at a StreetPass meet all day and didn’t get home until fairly late. Normal daily service should resume for the foreseeable future now! For today’s challenge I have to pick my favourite mech manga. Problem is I don’t actually have one…

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30 Day Manga Challenge: Day 10 – Favourite Fighter Manga

Another question today as I have to pick my favourite fighter manga which is something I don’t really read. How do you even define fighter manga? Is it just any old shonen? I’m thinking you’d probably define it as shonen (I hope anyway), so I’ve based my choices on that.

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30 Day Manga Challenge: Day 9 – Best Manga Villain

I find it fairly amusing that on Halloween I’m writing about the best manga villain for my 30 day manga challenge. Because I read a lot of shojo manga and there aren’t really any characters you could define as ‘villains’, my picks for today were pretty hard to come up with. I think I’ve made the right choices in the end though.

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30 Day Manga Challenge: Day 8 – Favourite Manga Couple

Today I have yet another tough question to answer for my manga challenge (and yes I do find myself saying this everyday!). For my eighth challenge I have to pick my favourite manga couple which is definitely a challenging question.

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30 Day Manga Challenge: Day 7 – Your Manga Crush

A part of me has been really looking forward to today’s challenge and a part of me hasn’t been at all. It’s a fun challenge but I’ll likely never live it down among my closest friends. Nevertheless here’s my answers for my manga crush!

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30 Day Manga Challenge: Day 6 – Manga You Want to Read But Haven’t Yet

This 30 day challenge is certainly interesting for throwing me from questions that I have very few answers for to questions I have endless answers for. Today is one of the latter questions as ‘manga you want to read but haven’t yet’ could be an endless list but I’m limiting myself to five or ten depending on how things… So in no real order:

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