M is for Manga

A to Z Challenge: M

M is for manga — Japanese comics. I have a ton. Okay maybe not a ton. But I’m sure it’s close. I know the movers weren’t happy with me. 😛

I read shoujo (storylines aimed at girls, which means Romance) and yaoi (m/m romance). To give you an idea of my collection size, check out the manga section in your local B&N. That’s it. Whereas they have multiples of certain volumes so they can sell them, I have nothing but singles. I would post a picture of my shelves but I don’t have a camera with a wide enough lens or enough space to back up (without taking out a wall) to get it all in one picture.

Five 25×54″ DVD-shelves-turned-bookshelves sit behind my desk and two 30×54″ ones sit in front of my desk. Now granted, the 30x54s are half normal books and half trade-sized manga. But the ones behind my desk are all filled with normal sized manga. Each shelf holds on average 34 books (give or take one or two for the double-sized volumes) and the cases are five shelves high. Then add in the books I bought recently that are sitting on the floor…

Well you get the picture. I really like manga. I’m a Japanophile and love the culture. Because the culture is different from the US, the fiction troupes are different as well. That means whole new territory for storytelling. Of course, after reading as much as I have, I have figured out all the troupes (or the majority of them), but it’s refreshing to get away from the usual cliches.

I’m currently reading Black Bird by Kanoko Sakurakouji, Kamisama Kiss by Julietta Suzuki, Dawn Love Spell by Mayu Shinjo, Dawn of Arcana by Rei Toma, The Betrayal Knows My Name by Hotaru Odagiri, The Wallflower by Tomoko Hayakawa and Crimson Empire: Circumstances to Serve a Noble by QuinRose & Hazuki Futaba. As well, I toss in the random one-shot yaoi from time to time.

You have to remember these are stories told over several volumes. Some long (longest to date is The Wallflower at 30 volumes and STILL going) and some short. As such, reading multiple series all at the same time is normal because there can be anywhere from a one month to a one year gap between books… which really sucks when the author/artist leaves you on a cliffhanger.

And cliffhangers are par for the course because these stories were originally published in magazines before being collected into books and the author/artist has to find a way to keep the audience coming back for more. It would be like releasing a book one chapter at a time and whether the full book gets printed is based solely on the sales of the magazine that month and popularity of the story within that magazine.

One of my writing goals is to one day have one (or all) of my books translated into manga for sale in Japan. That I would totally LOVE.


  1. The closest I’ve got to ‘reading manga’ is watching anime 😛 I know, totally different, but still, similar by comparison. I have really enjoyed the anime I’ve seen. I’m sure I’d love manga too.

    • Similarity is dependent on the production team. Some anime follow the manga verbatim with absolutely no differences. I mean none. You could do a read along. Some anime is so far off the original manga that it’s hard to reconcile them as the same story. In a lot of cases, the anime ends long before the story does. That’s where reading the manga comes in handy because the manga finishes the story.

      For instance, Fruits Basket and Ouran High School Host Club. Both anime end after the first plot arc, usually around the middle of the manga series. Kamisama Kiss is another that ended after one plot arc, which was volume 5 of the manga. The manga is now on volume 12 and still going. I’m hoping it gets picked up for a second anime season. Vampire Knight and The Wallflower (aka Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge) are two more that stopped early in the series.

      The list goes on and on. It’s kind of rare for an anime series to ride out the manga plot. It was touch and go there for a while with Inu Yasha. I totally recommend manga, since you like anime. I do both in equal measure which is why I’m happy for Crunchyroll and Funimation and simultaneous broadcasting. 😀

    • The hubby and I are both manga readers and anime watchers. All you need to do is find the right story to get her hooked and then she can’t make fun of you any longer. 🙂

      One of us. One of us. One of us.

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