A new found appreciation for manga

With February 2012 nearing its last few days, I can’t help but feel that summer break is oh so near. Mostly because the heat is really kicking it up a notch these last couple of days, alongside the final stretch of this semester’s subjects. With exams and such steadily approaching, I decided to hold off some completed shows I had on-cue for the weekend until a week or two into March.

That being said, I don’t want to rush and pull an all-nighter of studying just yet. So taking anime out of the equation for the time being (save for on-going shows, lol) I needed to find something to pass the time when I’m not studying. Light novels doesn’t sit well after studying. Same goes for VN’s. A few curious clicks later though, and I found myself enjoying some manga.

The first manga that I ever saw, and subsequently touched, was Slam Dunk. That was a few years ago (six maybe?) when my neighbor/childhood friend showed me a set of nine-volume paperbacks which, back then, I believed was some comics about a popular TV show that aired at our local television. I remember asking why the cover page was “at the back” and thought that his copy wasn’t printed right. The reaction I got was that of any manga/anime fan today.

I guess what made me steer away from manga was how it was so mainstream here in the Philippines (still is actually). It was in my late grade school/early high school days that talk about Naruto, Bleach and One Piece, could’ve been considered normal school-talk. I was just getting into anime at that time, and I wasn’t really into the whole shounen deal once I stopped watching anime at our local TV. I tried to read Shaman King one time, but a little under halfway through, OneManga “died”. Of course, I tried looking for the licensed volumes, but to me it was very expensive at the time ad thought that it wasn’t worth it.

Fast track to my junior year in high school when I read through Mirai Nikki in no less than two or three days (which, at that time, I believed to be a nice feat) but even then, I didn’t try to look for any other title that would pique my interest.

Fast track again to the later part of 2011, when I got into Kagami no Kuni no Harisugawa. I found out about it from an anime vlogger on YouTube. It was at a time when comedy and romance were already one of my favorite genres, so right away Kagami became an interesting read. It was on-going at the time which was also a first for me.

Which brings us to this month. Kagami had already ended three weeks ago, and at that time I was only following that, Gamaran, which was a recommendation from my high school friend, and Yozakura Quartet. Honestly, after Kagami’s finale, I felt a bit lacking. Without Kagami’s weekly dose of love and humor, I started looking for some sort of substitute. I stumbled upon Nisekoi, which I subsequently enjoyed. After the announcement of the Spring 2012 lineup, I checked out and caught up with Tasogare Otome x Amnesia. Recently, I also got into Nazo no Kanojo X, and today I began reading Medaka Box.

This is a first for me, and I’m really liking the titles I’ve mentioned above (despite how weird some of them are) I really can’t see a common genre among them so I can’t really say I prefer a certain type of manga yet, but nonetheless, born from my idleness, I have found myself appreciating manga more than I did before, even if it was because I didn’t like studying for three hours straight.

 So, to the manga readers out there, any titles you’d recommend based on what I’m reading? Or, just something you’d recommend? ^^

13 thoughts on “A new found appreciation for manga

  1. Manga is even more varied and creative than anime, since there’s so much more manga out there. But finding the ones you’ll like best can be more challenging!
    My #1 favorite is Pandora Hearts, which is IMO the epitome of character development and plot twists. Wonderful mystery and drama. If you watch the anime, that covers the first 32 chapters of the manga (which is now at chapter 70, and still going).
    There are tons of great shoujo manga out there. My favorite romance is Hana to Akuma, which is so funny and cute. It’s about a demon bishie who takes care of a little girl who grows up falling in love with him. I Am Here, Mixed Vegetables, and Otomen are other enjoyable shoujo manga.
    A manga that I think deserves way more attention than it ever got is Dazzle (called Hatenkou Yuugi in Japan). It’s technically a shoujo, but it’s adventure, fantasy, comedy, drama, mystery, and romance all rolled into one. The very witty dialogue is my favorite element of this series.
    I’ll also throw in compliments for the Higurashi manga, and the xxxHolic series. They’re really solid stories, with memorable characters.
    I haven’t heard of most of the manga you’ve listed, but I’ll be sure to look some of them up on MyAnimeList at least, and see if any pique my interest!

    • I definitely agree that manga is more varied than anime, with at least anew title every two weeks or so. I might check out Pandora Hearts, but I’m debating whether to watch the anime first, or just read the manga straight. What works best?
      I’ve heard wonderful things about Hana to Akuma, and I remember looking at a few chapters before. Mixed Vegetables sounds intriguing though, because of the title, same with Dazzle, lol.
      Strangely enough, despite being a fan of the xxxHolic anime, I never tried reading the manga. I vaguely remember how Cardcaptor ended up, and I haven’t watched/read Tsubasa Chronicles as well, so I thought I wouldn’t enjoy the xxxHolic manga as much.
      Kagami no Kuni is a short, but really good series in my opinion. Nisekoi is doing well too, and they’re both rom-com ^^

  2. I’ve read Nisekoi and Gamaran, and I’m starting Yozakura, so I think I have a good idea of what you like. The closest i can think of is the manga version of Railgun, which has a bit more material than the anime.

    One other thing you may like is a series called Yankee-kun to Megane-chan. It’s a bit like Nisekoi, but with a bit less romance and a lot more delinquents kicking people.

    • Awesome ^^
      lol, Yozakura was hard to catch up to for me because of the insane amount of side characters. The manga is way better than the anime though. I liked the Railgun anime, but I never really thought of the manga version so I might check it out

      Might check out Yankee-kun to Megane-chan as well, since I can see the gist of the story from the title. A bit less romance huh, part of Nisekoi’s appeal to me was the romance part, but if the delinquent rumbles play out in awesome fashion then I guess it’s okay

  3. For some reason, you made me wanna read Kagami no Kuni no Harisugawa >.<. It's even better now it has ended. I prefer reading completed series although I have quite a few on-going series in my list including Nisekoi.

    I only started reading manga about 2-3 years ago. It has always been anime only.

  4. Oh, cool we are reading nearly the same manga. I started on Kagami no Kuni no Harisugawa (just because it is by the same author for MXO), so I hope it does not disappoint me too much. I have not gotten around to reading Tasogare Otome x Amnesia or Nisekoi yet, but will as soon as I finish the complete stuff I have planned. As for recommendations, I will not recommend you anything I have not read myself, but lets say you might be interested in the following (if you have not read it yet):

    Onidere: Think it finished like last month…week. 11 v and 138 chapters.
    Wakusei no Samidare: Finished a long time ago, about ten volumes.
    Beach Stars+Sequel: About Seven volumes for the 1st and 2 for the sequel. A mix of ecchi, volleyball, and a romantic comedy if you into that.

    Alive – The Final Evolution: Seen it a forum and looks interesting. Complete 21 volumes.
    Zero (completed)
    Gekkoh (completed)
    Open Sesame (completed)
    Tsubame Syndorme (completed)
    GOKUJOU DROPS (completed – yuri)
    Tende Freeze (completed)
    Shade The Other side of light (completed)
    Heavy Object (completed)
    Denpa Kyoushi (ongoing)
    Cage Of Eden (ongoing)
    Hajimete no Aku (ongoing)
    Otaku no Musume (completed)
    Tonari no Kashiwagi-san (ongoing)
    Coppelion (ongoing)
    Kimi No Iru Machi (ongoing – definitely on my list)

    I have tons more than that, so you interested let me know and I will send you html bookmarks. I bookmark manga like crazy and does not even include my non-translated list XD

    • Kagami’s alright if you like a nice short read, compared to the kind of fate the author had with his other works (a friend of mine says Mx0 didn’t really end like it was supposed to) so I don’t think it would disappoint you. Tasogare’s updates are erratic so it was easy to catch up to it. Nisekoi was a bit new when I got around to it. Both are doing well, especially Nisekoi.

      From those you listed, I see myself reading more than half of them, so yeah, our tastes may actually be kinda similar ^^
      Onidere and Wakusei no Samidare feel right up my alley, as well as Fujimura-kun Meitsu.

      I might actually take you up on that offer, seeing that I’m liking almost all that you wrote here 😀

  5. Been reading some very, very obscure/unknown stuff like Unbalance X Unbalance, The Breaker, Teppu, Rebirth: The Lunatic Taker, and Mangaka San to Assistant San…and I’m always looking to add more when I can^^

    • I’ve only encountered one from those you listed off (The Breaker, if memory serves me right) so I’d agree that those are some unknown stuff, lol, I’ll check these out too ^^

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