Thursday, February 26, 2009

Nice, brief "Manga 101" article

I just read Robin Brenner's really excellent article, "Manga 101: Tips for the Curious, the Confused, and the Clueless." I don't fit any of those three categories, but I still enjoy seeing how others explain manga (or anime) to those who either may know little to nothing about it, or those who have only heard worrisome things about it. For me, the most useful part is the last portion of the article, where Brenner includes lists of suggested titles, organized by age group and sex (kids and tweens, teen guys, teen girls, women, men). That's 25 suggested titles - even with the amount of manga I've read, I've only read 11 titles from these lists (however, I've at least heard of 8 other titles, which only leaves 6 I have no experience with).

I can't possibly afford to buy all the manga I'd like to read - even if I only limited myself to buying used volumes, that's still around $4 or $5 per volume, with each series anywhere from 1 volume to more than 30. I've started experimenting with trying to get manga through ILL. I requested the first volumes of Angelic Layer (which I haven't read any of yet) and Chobits (which I've read and enjoyed). I believe both titles have been available in the US for several years now, so, in theory, I should be able to get them more quickly than, say, the latest volume of Naruto. So far, I've been waiting a week, but at least I haven't gotten an email saying that the request has been cancelled.

If my little experiment seems to go ok, I'd like to try requesting a few of the titles Brenner mentioned. In particular, I'm interested in Antique Bakery, Cowa!, The Palette of 12 Secret Colors, Tramps Like Us, Suppli, and With the Light. If it doesn't go ok, I'd consider buying Antique Bakery and Tramps Like Us. It won't be long before Fruits Basket, one of the few titles I buy regularly, wraps up, so I could replace it with something else.


  1. You might also try PaperbackSwap—volumes of the older series show up there fairly often.

  2. I've had quite a bit of luck getting manga through ILL. Of course, it depends on the titles, as I've had no luck getting Antique Bakery but I was able to get all currently published Fruits Basket (and then I went out and bought them all on a few years ago when I first started reading the stuff. Newer titles are, of course, harder to get, but I was able to read up to the latest released volume on series like The Wallflower, Ghost Hunt, and Chibi Vampire. Some of those can be as hard to get as the latest Janet Evanovich novel!

    Good Luck!

  3. I tried to start out my ILL experiments with titles that had been out for a while - I figured I'd have a much better chance of getting them. So far, it's been going ok. I've already gotten the first volume of Angelic Layer and am now waiting for the second. A few days after getting Angelic Layer, I got the first volume of Chobits. Your comment about Antique Bakery is disappointing - I'll still try to get it, but it sounds like I might have to buy it if I want to read it.