10 Years of Lovin' Manga

I just realized the other day that my 10th anniversary of being a manga fan passed without me realizing it. (Sort of, my birthday was also that day and I certainly didn’t forget that.)

When I got into manga, I was already watching Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball Z on Toonami whenever I went to visit my dad, but I hadn’t really learned the difference between it and all the rest of the shows on Cartoon Network. Then I had my Bat Mitzvah and my parents took me on an fateful six week long trip to England, Greece, Turkey, Israel and Egypt.

Thus, it was on a Nile river cruise where I met a Japanese-American girl with a copy of Animerica Extra. Being the only two people on board of the same age, we quickly bonded and I fell head over heels for Fushigi Yugi. So much so that at the end of our trip, I purposefully stumbled upon a comic book store in London and made my dad buy me a copy.

Now that I think about it, some of the content in that magazine wasn’t really appropriate for a freshly minted 13 year-old girl (Video Girl Ai, anyone?), but I didn’t care as long as there was Fushigi Yugi involved. That Hotohori sure was dreamy.

If you’d told me then that I would be working in the manga industry in ten years, I probably would have squealed with fangirlish glee. Back then I didn’t even KNOW there was really a job to be had working on this stuff. (Back then, perusing the Viz catalog of stuff I couldn’t afford to buy and trying to copy the drawing style of Yuu Watase was as good as it got for me.)

Ten years and thousands of dollars later and I can honestly say I’m still hooked.

Any interesting stories about how you got into manga, dear readers?

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60 Responses to 10 Years of Lovin' Manga

  1. Lissa says:

    Good ‘ol FY!

    My first manga was volume one of Ranma 1/2 – I was flabbergasted by the length of it, having only collected floppy-length comic books before then. The humour and boobs got me hooked I think, I felt very grown up at that age reading it ;p

    • Haha, I think we’re around the same age, right? When did you get into Ranma 1/2?

      For me it was ALL ABOUT THE ROMANCE and FY definitely delivered the goods.

      • Lissa says:

        I had just entered junior high so I was 11. Reading a book with boobs before I even had any made me ‘very’ grown up you see πŸ˜€

        Fushigi Yuugi was quickly one of my favourites to follow thanks to Animerica Extra, with the Sailor Moon manga in between.

        • Oh cool! You got into it earlier than I did.

          I totally got teased once I started bringing my hobbies to school. I’d start drawing figures and all of a sudden it was like “DANIELLA’S DRAWING JAPANIMATION PORN!”

          So I guess I was pretty grown up for standing up to people and saying “No, this isn’t porn, I’m just drawing the figures before I draw the clothes!” But I totally didn’t realize that until waaaay later.

  2. Josh says:

    On a Nile river cruise? Damn… that’s kind of epic.
    Also, I used to do the same thing with the Viz catalogue and their manga samplers (miss those).

    I had an interest in Japanese pop culture from an early age; anime and games, but I guess was just ignorant of comics and manga.

    I’d say more, but I drew a comic about so… maybe I should just post the comic?

    • Ah, well, my mother’s runs a travel agency so going on epic trips to weird places was not really anything new to me. It’s kind of like if your dad owned a car dealership, you’d probably get a swanky new car on your 16th birthday, actually.

      Because of all that traveling, I’ve pretty much always been interested in foreign cultures of any kind, but when I discovered manga it was like the fates aligned. Plus, you know, there was manga drawn for tween girls who didn’t have much more on their minds than steamy romance. That just kind of clicked with me at the time.

      Nice little comic! Is your name really Joshua Israel Santamaria Zafrani though? o_O

    • lys says:

      That really is such a sweet comic!! Good luck in your quest to become the best! (that last panel totally cracked me up! the narration text, oh man. I love it!) Thanks for sharing your introduction to manga!!

  3. Kris says:

    Oh man, I don’t even remember.
    Sometime around 2000 or 2001 I think is when I read my first manga. Probably 2001. …. Maybe 2002. I had a friend who came back from college with some anime and manga, and he got me into it (it didn’t exist in any capacity in our home towns). I think the first manga titles I got to look at were Escaflowne and…maybe Gunslinger Girl, Cowboy Bebop….. The first stuff I started buying on my own in college, mostly from the comic/game store across the street from the language building…Ai Yori Aoshi, Love Hina, Saikano….
    Then when I started working at a comic shop (in 2006, I think), I started finding all kinds of stuff and buying it seriously. Absolute Boyfriend, Fruits Basket, Skip Beat, Trigun. I was almost exclusively a shojo reader, until I became a reviewer about a year ago. That opened up a HUGE world for me. Now I read a little of everything, and I spend way too much money buying manga. Our apartment is nearly overflowing with it.

    So that’s my story. Every time people tell stories like this, I wish I kept track of things a bit better.

    • I have to agree that reviewing has really pushed me to buy more than just shojo as well. It’s nice to also have a network of being letting you know what’s worth checking out!

      I always wanted to work in a comic book shop. I tried at my LCS back in my hometown, but you needed to be 18…

      It makes me wonder if I couldn’t try to get a job at the comic book shop down the street from me now, but they’re not too strong on manga and that’s obviously a specialty of mine.

      Honestly, I remember it a lot better because it was the most miserable birthday of my life and I didn’t want to go back to Cairo and be parted from my new best friend with the awesome manga magazine.

      • Kris says:

        Oh, the manga blogger network is amazing. I love it. So many pleasant people, and we’re all working toward the same goals (get more people to read awesome manga). The people I’ve met has been my favorite part of reviewing manga.

        The comic shop I worked at did not have a huge manga presence, but they did sell it, and I may have helped bring a bit more in now and then. I was certainly the resident manga person in the store. I worked there for…a bit under a year. Maybe 9 months or so, I don’t recall. I quit just before Halloween, avoiding having to wear a stupid costume at work.

        • The manga blogger network is so HELPFUL too. I mean… Deb Aoki basically snagged me my newest client. *_* Soooo grateful for that.

          Man, I totally would have stuck around to wear a costume, but that’s just me. I love holidays like Halloween.

          • Kris says:

            Well, I didn’t want to walk around the store in a Supergirl short skirt and top, or a 2 sizes too large Spider-Man outfit or something. That’s not why I quit, but I was glad I had gotten out before that. I don’t know that I would have gotten into serious trouble for not wearing one, but it certainly would have been looked down on, and they didn’t like me as it was.

          • Oh, I wouldn’t have done that. I would have cosplayed a manga character. Were they going to make you wear a specific outfit or something?

            Also, boo on them for not liking you for that kind of thing. :<

          • Kris says:

            They went and bought up a bunch of superhero costumes for all the stores (and brought out some they already had). If I had the patience to make my own, I probably could have.

          • Oh ok. I wouldn’t have wanted to wear the store’s costume. I would have pieced something together on my own.

  4. Josh says:

    That makes sense actually. My father is a furniture salesman, so when I moved into a new apartment, he gave me a new bed. πŸ˜›

    I definitely understand how reading that first comic that really clicks is like having the stars come together. Manga still manages to do that to this day, if its drawn with FEELING (can’t think of any other word, lame, I know).

    Glad you enjoyed the comic! And yes, that is my full name. Pretty holy, innit?

    • Yeah, it’s kind of like that. I’ve been tagging along for my mother’s trips for 21 years straight.

      I don’t know if I’ve had too many experiences since that one fateful day that felt quite the same. Perhaps when I discovered the genius of Tezuka back in college…But other than that it’s more of a “Oooh I like” than stars colliding or something.

      I just have to ask: where does one get a name like that? It sounds like you’re Jewish and Mexican and Middle-Eastern at the same time.

      • Josh says:

        Haha I had the same thing! When I read Apollo’s Song, my first Tezuka book, it was like discovering manga all over again. His stories are like finding undiscovered stars.

        On my name…haha, since you asked! (be prepared!)
        I’m Panamanian. My father’s side is of Panamanian, Chilean, and European descent, Spaniard with semitic blood if possible (his hair is what makes me think this). My mom’s side is Native Central American, Venzuelan, French and Hebrew.
        My mom’s father (and lineage) was Jewish, but her mother was not.

        Joshua- from the Hebrew/Aramaic name for Jesus. Parents are very spiritual/religious. Also, not pronounced “Josue”, the Spanish version of the name. Hard ‘j’ pronunciation in English, soft ‘j’ in Spanish (Yo-shua).
        Israel- for my mom’s father, and the nation. My dad wishes he was Jewish.
        Santamaria- from my dad. Means ‘Holy/Saint/Sacred Mary.’ From Spanish descent, I believe.
        Zafrani- my mother’s maiden name, which belonged to my granpa. His two last names would’ve been Zafrani Cohen. Apparently this name means ‘from Persia’? Or rather, from Zafaran.

        “God is the Salvation of Israel” is what the first two mean, I would think, according to my parents. “Saint Mary is from Persia” is what the latter half boils down to I guess, haha.

        I’m just glad I can end my name with the initial Z, like Mazinger (my childhood hero).
        It looks so cool… took me 2 decades to figure that one out though!
        Hope that answer was satisfying! Sorry for the long post.

        • The first Tezuka I read was Ode to Kirihito. I didn’t like Apollo’s Song quite as much as that one, but then again I read Ode to Kirihito first. ^_^;;

          That’s a pretty cool breakdown there. o_o

          Well, you can see my name up on the site.

          Daniella means “God’s judge” and I was named Margaret after my grandmother on my father’s side. I never looked up it’s meaning til now, but apparently it means “pearl.”

          Orihuela’s from my father’s side (He’s Peruvian of Spanish descent with a little Irish and probably other stuff somewhere. One of my aunts told me that we’re part Native American and apparently my grandmother thought the family was once Jewish.)

          Gruber is actually from my adoptive father’s side (long story), but it’s from Austria. Both my adoptive father and my mom are Jewish from Austro-Hungarian families. My mom was born in Budapest even.

          I don’t have any idea what my last names mean, but there is a town of Orihuela in southern Spain, so that’s pretty damn neat.

  5. My first actual manga purchase was Dragon Ball Z Vol.1 , the old VIZ big graphic novel edition many. many years ago.

    I heard of the concept of manga back in junior-high while reading an issue of WIZARD Magazine. They talked about Ghost in the Shell.

    I used to read text summaries of the Dragon Ball volumes online before they published the series here in America. At the time, I never thought they would publish the manga here. This was back in 1998.

    I think Dragon Ball Z was a huge factor in getting me to read manga. I grew up watching a Chinese-dubbed version of the series back in 1993 (I was 10-11 years old). I used to collect a lot of DBZ-related merchandise from posters to toys.

    Yeah, that’s my story on how I got into manga. πŸ˜›

  6. Brian says:

    I bought a “special edition” Eureka Seven DVD pack that included the last volume of the manga. The story in the manga differed enough from the anime that it drew me in.

    From there, I sought after the other volumes and slowly branched out to other titles, and the rest is history. πŸ™‚

    • Interesting! I think this is the first story (maybe, I think?) that involves being into anime before being into manga. Do you remember how you got into anime?

      • Brian says:

        I was into anime since I could remember…

        When I was really young, I lived in the Philippines, and Daimos and Voltes V were my favorite cartoons. It wasn’t until high school (and moved to the U.S.) that I was told that they weren’t just “cartoons” and were a whole other phenomenon entirely.

        I fell out of it completely for a while, but I got back into it right when Adult Swim began airing FLCL. That short, 6 episode series rekindled my love for anime and it hasn’t burned out since.

        • Oh I see. That makes a bit of sense then. I was technically into anime before I knew what anime was too because of Toonami.

          I think FLCL became a lot of people’s gateway drug into anime. It was a damn awesome manga, but now that I think of it, I haven’t see much of the anime…

  7. lys says:

    Story-sharing time!! I love it πŸ˜€ Counting back, I guess it’s been 10… no, 11! 11 years and a few months since I discovered both anime and manga (and Jpop (through the sailormoon character songs) and all things Japan, and the internet and computers in general, actually!)β€”I remember flipping to Sailormoon on TV near the end of my 8th grade school year and ignoring my brother’s derision while I checked it out with wonder-filled eyes, and it was probably a few months after that I was in a comic shop with my mum and brothers because they NEEDED some Pokemon cards, and I was wandering around and amongst all the muscle men and scary guy-stuff I saw this colourful, pretty picture, with these familiar hair-buns… and rainbowy colours… and I nabbed the 10th issue of the Sailormoon floppies and have been spending all my money on manga ever since! I remember being fascinated with the differences between the anime and manga storyline, and the wooshy-sketchy-airiness of Takeuchi-sensei’s artwork, the soft colours of the cover illustrations… the occasional bit of Japanese text that got left in (I’d get out a mirror since the art was flipped, and one-by-one look up each hiragana in the J-E dictionary I’d borrowed from the library to sound it out :D) And like many, I got really into drawing and art through manga-reading, and a couple years later gathered up my courage to submit some DBZ fanart to a certain Krillin-focused website. And now I’m a professional children’s book illustrator and manga letterer. Woo!! What a crazy world πŸ˜€

  8. Apple says:

    You must be very well-traveled πŸ˜€ That’s pretty awesome. Not a lot of people can say that πŸ™‚

    My story is kinda funny. I was a young teen just figuring out that I was a girl that liked girls (at the time I didn’t really know what that meant, I just knew I liked girls; turns out I’m bi) and I walked into a bookstore and there was an issue of Animerica that was a face-out, and it had Utena and Anthy embracing on the cover (Revolutionary Girl Utena), so I bought it. Anime wasn’t really special to me–I had seen it before, and it was just like any other TV/movies or whatever. But also inside the mag, they were running Galaxy Express 999 (the manga). SoI kept buying the magazine to keep up with the story. And then I started buying MIXX magazine (Tokyopop’s mag), and Smile (Tokyopop’s girl manga mag), and then tankobans, and it just snowballed. By the time I was 18 I had over 400 books (and I was poor, so that’s saying a lot–I actually got a job working at that same book store so that I could get a discount), and then at some point after that, I completely stopped buying any manga at all. It stopped interesting me.

    It was actually a really disheartening thing; I loved manga so much, why not anymore? Especially disheartening because I always have (and still do) want to draw manga. And it took several years for me to figure out what the problem was. Just a year or two ago, I started reading Ai Yazawa’s Nana, and then hunted down used copies of Paradise Kiss. I started reading Mari Okazaki’s works, Est Em, Inio Asano, and Natsume Ono. And that’s when I realized that it wasn’t that I didn’t like manga–my preferences had changed, and the industry doesn’t cater as much to my demographic, so I just have to hunt harder for things I want to read.

    So I fell in love with manga twice. XD The second time was almost more amazing. And I think it’s made me a better artist, too, and I feel confident about trying to get my work out there, now. (I literally just started XD)

    Phew, that was long-winded, sorry ^^;; thanks for this discussion! It’s fun talking about this kind of stuff.

    • It is fun talking about this kind of stuff! I love getting to hear everyone’s stories, truthfully.

      Yeah, the early manga market didn’t really cater (and doesn’t really even today) to older people. Which makes us lucky that there are companies who’d rather put out one or two volumes of excellent gekiga or seinen manga than 50+ volumes of whatever insanely popular shonen series is out there right now.

      I definitely enjoy more mature stuff, but I often still find delight in simple shojo stories a lot of the time. It’s like I want to be well-read in classic lit and have my Harlequin romances at the same time!

      • Apple says:

        Haha! Nothing wrong with that; I still read trashy romances myself XD (*cough* yaoi *coughcough*)

        I’m actually finding that, as far as josei goes, there seems to be more of it that’s out-of-print than currently licensed or with plans to come out. (ParaKiss, Erica Sakurazawa, etc). But it is great that more gekiga and seinen are coming out; I am really grateful for that, too.

        I’m really curious as why to why there isn’t more josei. I mean, you would think there would be a demand for it–all us girls who read shojo in the early 00’s (who practically carried manga into its big boom) need something new to read, right? It seems like there could be an untapped market there. (…You don’t happen to have any licensing sway, do you? XD)

        • Heheh, yaoi has the trashiest romances by far…

          You’re right about not a lot of josei being licensed. I guess it just doesn’t sell enough to make it worthwhile to publishers…

          I have no licensing sway, but I have a dream to one day build my own publishing company so I can start licensing all the stuff *I* want to read.

          • Apple says:

            Haha! You should do it! 8D

            …You don’t happen to want to read more josei, do you? XD Heh.

            I guess I understand that it doesn’t sell, but at the same time, I don’t really understand why. There was that big manga boom between 04-07, right? And a lot of people are guessing that female readers from that time “grew out” of reading manga, which was why there was a drop-off. To me, it feels like, “of course they did, there was nothing to read.” But that’s just from the point of view of a reader, not an industry insider.

          • I’m planning on doing it! I just need a few things to come together: legal people, sales people and capital. Everything else I’ve had people volunteer to work for me when this company gets going!

            And yes, I do want to read more josei. I’m actually hoping that the success of manga like Black Bird (I know it’s kind of ick, but it’s also more mature!) and Butterflies, Flowers start paving the way for a smidge more josei-like titles on the market.

            Actually, I’ve never heard the argument that female readers grew up. People place the blame largely on the failing economy. I think there was more of a problem that shonen could be marketed to boys AND girls of many ages, where shojo/josei could bring in both those audiences enough.

            My knowledge is fairly recent because I really only got into the industry until recently. Before that I wasn’t quite as good at keeping up on news. So I could be totally wrong, you know?

          • Apple says:

            Dude! That’s totally awesome. Best of luck ;D

            Things like Black Bird–even though I’m not into it, I can be grateful for it because like you said, it can open the door for more mature titles for females to make their way into the market.

            It’s been mentioned on a couple of blogs when talking about the decline in manga sales; one theory is that female readers moved on to something else, like Twilight. But again, that’s just a theory. Although it does line up with my own buying habits–I used to buy a lot more, and no longer do because there aren’t as many titles that I want to read. So I’m wondering if it was the same for other people, too.

          • Thank you!

            Yeah, I’m hoping those titles bring a little more out. Black Bird seems to be doing fantastically, which only makes me wonder how insane most women must be if they think that relationship is sexy… Whatever, I’ll take it if it means more stuff like Butterflies, Flowers.

            You have a good point. I guess I just hadn’t heard that argument as much. There’s not much data on it, so maybe it’s not as obvious to some people (like me.)

  9. safetygirl0 says:

    In the mid-90’s I briefly internet-dated a comics nerd who took it upon himself, even after the breakup, to widen my taste in comics – he would send me everything from Legion of Super-Heroes to now-forgotten indie comics, and he also sent me my first manga – the old floppy releases of Ranma 1/2, Lum and Oh My Goddess. I thought they were awesome, but after the free comics ended, I had a hard time getting a shop near me to bring them in, and it was about that time when I got too annoyed with main-line superheroes and gave up on comics altogether.

    Years later, I “adopted” a co-worker’s 11-year-old daughter, I am a big lover of good YA literature and we had fun sending books back and forth. And one day she sent me her two volumes of manga… Kare Kano and Kindaichi Case Files. It took me a couple of weeks to become interested in reading them (oh no! It’s so hard to read backwards! LOL) but when I did… wow. It really re-opened my eyes to the wonders of comics, and I dove headfirst. It also helped that around that time I got a promotion and suddenly had a LOT more money to spend on hobbies. πŸ™‚

  10. Erica says:

    I got into manga the same way I got into anime – Sailor Moon. I will always love Sailor Uranus and Neptune for setting me out on a more than a decade long trip into the wilds of Yuri. And wow, have we come far in those years.

    • Sailor Moon was many a person’s gateway drug. It was definitely mine into anime (even though I didn’t realize it at first.)

      Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune were always pretty damn cool in my book. They are awesome characters.

  11. Tamar says:

    I’ve been watching anime since I was six years old, thanks to my older brother. We would watch a lot of whatever the local Blockbusters had in stock or the extremely early Saturday morning movies that the Sci-Fi channel would play. These usually consisted of Robotech/Macross, Dominion Tank Police, Akira, Fist of the North Star and some other things I’d rather not recall lest I realize how old I really am.

    Way back in the early 90’s, we were introduced to a show called Ranma 1/2 by a friend of ours. My brother and I instantly fell in love with the show but we found it a bit difficult to find stores that carried copies of all the VHS tapes (or to afford them, for that matter… $26 per video is expensive when you’re a kid). So we only got so far as Ranma fighting Kuno while at school and then falling into the pool as they jumped out the window.

    Anyway, it was either 1993 or 1994 when we were on a family trip to North Carolina. We managed to stop by a comic book shop and were perusing the selection of DC/Marvel superhero books when I stumbled upon a 300 page red graphic novel with the title “Ranma 1/2 Volume I.” I knew right away that I had to have it. I wanted to know what happened after Ranma fell into the pool. I needed closure.

    …And as we all know, closure does not come easy to anything Rumiko Takahashi writes about.

    So began my addiction to manga (with my parents’ blessings and money, of course).

    It’s been 16 years since then and, unfortunately, Ranma 1/2 has fallen off my radar… I gave up after volume 16 or 17. It was at that point that I realized Takahashi was not very interested in character progression after building up Ranma and Akane’s appreciation for each other in that particular volume and going right back to them hating each other in the next. But it was my gateway drug to a lot of other manga, which inevitably extended my interest to alternative and European comics as well. Without Ranma, I probably would not have picked up anything by Masamune Shirow, Hiroaki Samura, Doug Tennapel or Craig Thompson until much later in my life. For that, I am immensely grateful.

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  14. I went on Wikipedia to figure out when I got my first manga, and I believe it’s been 10 years-ish for me, too O_O I’m old.

    My first manga was the first volume of Tokyopop’s Cardcaptor Sakura, back when it was flipped. I had been watching the awful Nelvana dub, and after being a giant nerd and looking stuff up online, I knew that there were some big things that were different and I wanted so badly to watch/read the original version. Imagine my excitement when, in a trip to Walden Books, I saw on a random shelf (there was no manga or even comics section in that store) volume one of CCS. I didn’t have enough money and practically bullied a friend into lending me a couple of dollars.

    I thought manga was going to only be a sometimes thing. Then I went into Barnes & Noble a few weeks later and discovered the Manga SECTION. Things went downhill from there…

  15. DeBT says:

    The first Manga I ever read, like many other people here, was Ranma 1/2. At the time, having only been aware of Heavy Metal Magazine and the humourous underground Crumb comix, reading Ranma was like seeing an underground comic gone mainstream. What was particularly interesting to me was, whereas in any other comic, (American or European) I would skip straight to the skin scenes, but in Ranma 1/2, I read the books straight from beginning to end without skipping anything in between. I read the first five books (back when they cost $25 each) at the bookstore everyday after school for two weeks straight until they disappeared.

    The ironic thing about Anime & Manga was that I’d been slightly aware of them, often seeing them at the video store or advertisements in gaming magazines, but was always afraid of reading or viewing them because their eyes were too emotional. They made me uncomfortable to look at because of what they were conveying. Now, I simply can’t get enough of them.

    The only other Mangas I saw were the French volumes of DragonBall & Sailor Moon. DragonBall was easy enough to follow by the pictures alone (even now, I prefer how the French editions put the covers in front of the chapters), but Sailor Moon tended to make me feel uncomfortable for the reasons above. I might do a post on some comic panels leave me emotionally drained later.

    Another French Manga that was translated was DragonQuest, which had character designs similar to DragonBall. The difference was, that unlike the other two titles, it was released unflipped. When I first read it, I was perplexed at how, during the fights, the opponents would constantly be beaten, then always get back on their feet again. It wasn’t until several volumes later that I realized that I’d been reading the books BACKWARDS. I’ve done several posts about panels that’ve been read the wrong way, and plan to do another on Samurai Executioner & Blade of the Immortal later.

    • I’m sorry, your comment about the eyes is hilarious. I keep imagining the eyes haunting people! Also greatly amused by the fact that it took you so long to figure out you were reading things backward! I guess it comes naturally to me, since I speak a language other than Japanese that’s read right to left, but oh man. That must have been interesting.

  16. JRB says:

    I can pinpoint exactly when I got into manga:

    I discovered comics in college (which went, roughly: Terry Pratchett -> Good Omens -> Neil Gaiman -> Sandman -> class on popular culture -> The Comics Journal -> lit/alternative/art comics), but I never paid much attention to manga. Almost exactly two years ago, while rummaging around the TVTropes website, I came across a description of the yaoi series The Tyrant Falls in Love, which sounded compellingly weird and twisted. It wasn’t yet out in English (still isn’t, but after two years and a publisher switch it is due in a matter of weeks), but rummaging around on Google yielded some scans in Spanish, which I didn’t fully understand (it was in good Castilian Spanish, and all the slang and colloquialisms were different from my hard-won Mexican Spanish), but I was nonetheless instantly converted to manga and yaoi both. Now I have more manga than will fit in my apartment and am in a constant crunch for bookshelf space…

    • From scans to actual books, huh? I guess it helps when you just can’t even understand the language the scans are in! (Castilian Spanish is hard for me and half of my family speaks it!)

      Sandman is how I got into stuff other than manga again in high school. I thought it was totally edgy and dark (I was a wannabe goth kid), but it was also totally engrossing and remains awesome and extremely well-written to this day. ^_^

  17. Gavin says:

    I definitely got into manga through anime first. I’m not sure if anyone has seen the Teknoman series, but they used to air it in Australia every morning before school. I hadn’t seen anything like it – the soap opera episodic narrative, the cool robot suits and the high drama was unlike any other morning cartoon. I loved it and moved on to Akira, Ninja Scroll, Fist of the North Star and Ghost in the Shell. Anything with robots or samurais pretty much got my attention from then on.

  18. DeBT says:

    Just wanted to point out that I’ve finished my post about the Samurai Manga that I hinted about in my earlier comment:

    Thank you.

    • Ahhh interesting! I know my boyfriend reads Blade of the Immortal. He told me about how they flip the pages, but not the panels per the artist’s request… (It’s a dinosaur from the left-to-right manga era, so it didn’t surprise me that it was flipped.)

      But it’s interesting to see how flipping it hasn’t necessarily worked in their favor.

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