Random Musings: Manga Tag

Earlier this month, Megan of The Manga Test Drive (which is one of my favorite manga review blogs and worth checking out if you haven’t already) gave a tour of her manga shelves and answered some questions about her collection as part of a game of manga tag. And wouldn’t you know it, I was tagged at the end! I thought it would be fun to participate, and it gives me a chance to talk a bit about my own manga collection, so here goes!

Adolf, Volume 1: A Tale of the Twentieth Century1. What was your first manga?
The first manga that I ever read was Osamu Tezuka’s Adolf as published by Viz way back in the day. I came across it while helping a friend locate materials for his thesis about the Jewish population in Japan during World War II. I’m fairly certain that the first manga I purchased for myself was Blade of the Immortal by Hiroaki Samura at the recommendation of my fantastic local comic book shop.

Basara, Volume 12. What is your most expensive manga?
Considering the amount of manga that I accumulate, I try very hard to keep my habit as inexpensive as possible. But sometimes it just can’t be helped and exceptions must be made. I discovered and fell in love with Basara after most of the series went out of print and ended up spending more than I really wanted to find a complete set. But I did get a couple of Basara artbooks out of the deal, too, which was cool.

Gunslinger Girl, Omnibus 13. What was your least expensive manga?
Relatively recently, my good friend Traci (who did a guest video review for me a couple of years ago) gifted me with her collection of Yu Aida’s Gunslinger Girl. She was moving out of the state and had to be very selective with the books she could take with her. As a result, I inherited a bunch of comics, most of which I still need to actually read. (I dread my next move; my collection is huge.)

Project X: Cup Noodle4. What is the most boring manga you own?
This was probably the question that I found the most difficult to answer. I’m going to guess that Project X: Cup Noodle by Tadashi Katoh might be the most boring manga that I own, but it doesn’t seem entirely fair to say that since I haven’t actually read it yet. However, I don’t expect that the manga will be terribly exciting, even though it may be interesting and at the very least educational. I could be wrong, though!

Wandering Son, Volume 15. What is your favorite manga series?
I have way too many favorites to narrow it down to one, so instead I’ll just highlight the series that has been the most personally meaningful—Takako Shimura’s Wandering Son. As someone who is all sorts of queer, the manga’s earnest and sensitive exploration of personal identity, including gender identity, made a huge impact on me; it’s not an exaggeration when I call Wandering Son life-changing.

Real, Volume 16. What is the most relatable manga series you own?
This took some thought, but in the end I’m going to go with Takehiko Inoue’s Real. It might seem like an odd choice for me seeing as I’m not really a basketball enthusiast and am currently fortunate enough not to need a wheelchair, but Inoue’s characterization in Real is phenomenal. He has created incredibly complex individuals with whom I can strongly identify with even though they’re unlike me in many ways.

Samurai Champloo: The Complete Series7. What is one manga you own that is based off an anime?
It’s certainly not always the case, but many manga based on anime often leave something to be desired. I’ve still collected a few, though. Samurai Champloo was one of the first anime series I ever watched and it remains a favorite. Sadly, the Samurai Champloo manga by Masaru Gotsubo didn’t overly impress me. But, it has its moments, and I’m enough of a completist that I’ve held onto it.

Fist of the North Star: Master Edition, Volume 18. What is your rarest manga?
I’m not certain it’s necessarily the rarest manga that I own, but let’s just say I hope I never need to purchase the colorized master edition of Buronson and Tetsuo Hara’s Fist of the North Star ever again. The sixth volume alone, even used, would cost several hundred dollars to replace. But I’ve actually got all sorts of interesting, uncommon, and unusual things kicking around.

Parasyte, Volume 19. What is the most reprinted manga you own?
Well, assuming we’re talking about the different releases of a manga rather than the number of printings, that would be Hitoshi Iwaaki’s Parasyte. In English, the manga started out in Tokyopop’s MixxZine before being collected as individual volumes. Tokyopop eventually lost the license and Del Rey Manga picked it up. Kodansha Comics rescued the series after that. (I have the Del Rey version, though.)

Attack on Titan, Volume 110. What is the most popular manga you own?
At the moment, that would probably be Hajime Isayama’s Attack on Titan along with its numerous spinoffs. The immense popularity of Attack on Titan fascinates me, so I like to keep up with the series. (In some ways, I’m almost more interested in the fandom than I am in the franchise itself.) Even though I do find parts of the manga to be extremely frustrating, other parts can be very engaging.

Berserk, Volume 111. What is the most damaged manga you own?
I try to take very good care of my collection and am largely successful, but thanks to my cat Lysander (affectionately and sometimes not-so-affectionately known as Stupid), I have a few volumes of Kentaro Miura’s Berserk that I need to get around to replacing. Lysander used a box of full of manga as a scratching post, so some of them look like they were mauled by a tiger. I’ve still not forgiven him for that.

A Bride's Story, Volume 112. Which manga has the most amazing art?
I’m with Megan on this one. Kaoru Mori’s work in A Bride’s Story is absolutely stunning. It’s incredibly detailed, beautifully drawn, and thoroughly researched. There are a lot of mangaka whose artwork that I love and appreciate, but the illustrations in A Bride’s Story really do amaze me. In addition to the frequently breathtaking artwork, I also enjoy the series’ story, characters, and setting immensely.

The Four Immigrants Manga13. What is the oldest published manga that you own?
I’m pretty sure the oldest manga that I have in translation is The Four Immigrants Manga by Henry (Yoshitaka) Kiyama. The Japanese compilation was published in 1931. I’ve also collected the work by Masaichi Mukaide released in North America the 1970s, some of the earliest manga to be published in English. Granted, depending on the definition of “manga” being used, those may or may not count.

Prison School, Omnibus 114. What is the newest published manga you own?
Let’s see… what came out this week? I actually picked up the first omnibus of Akira Hiramoto’s Prison School. I’m intensely curious about this manga since it’s such an extreme shift in tone from Hiramoto’s earlier series, Me and the Devil Blues. I have a feeling Prison School will be a very divisive series. If for no other reason, it’s something that I want to read myself in order to have an informed opinion.

Cross Game, Omnibus 115. What are some of the most recent manga you have purchased?
Not counting all of the preorders that I’ve recently placed (and there have been many) the most recent manga that I purchased was a complete set of Cross Game by Mitsuru Adachi. I’ve actually been meaning to do this for a while now. (Sorry, Viz, for taking so long!) And as for my most recent out-of-print find, I was very happy to finally get my hands on Akimi Yoshida’s Banana Fish!

So there you have it! A very brief look at a very small selection of my manga collection. (Where is all the shoujo and josei?! The alt manga?! And everything else!?) Like Megan, I’m next going declare a free-for-all. If you’d like to answer some manga tag questions about your collection, either in the comments below or elsewhere, go for it! I’d love to keep talking about manga with you all. I’m also specifically going to tag my fellow bloggers manjiorin at Manga Connection and Lori Henderson at Manga Xanadu in case they’d like to participate, too. It’s been fun; hopefully you’ve found this diversion interesting!


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Comments

  1. I ended up doing this manga tag. It was fun! I posted my responses on my blog: http://familiardiversions.blogspot.com/2015/07/manga-tag.html

    I’m amazed at how big my manga collection has gotten, but looking through it made me realize I still have many, many gaps, both in terms of volumes (like only owning volume 53 of Naruto) and in terms of series that made a big impression on me (I don’t own any of Skip Beat!, even though I consistently love it, and I don’t own any of Battle Angel Alita, even though it was one of the series that helped get me interested in manga).

    • Ash Brown says:

      Oh, thanks for dropping a link! I enjoy reading about other people’s collections. And I’m glad you had fun, too! I found the questions to be an interesting way to think about all of the manga that I have.

  2. AshLynx says:

    Oooh! My list, mine! Not bothering with the last two, they change far too often
    First manga: Tokyo Mew Mew, embarrassingly enough. I find it’s pretty average
    Most expensive: Basara (series), or for a single volume, #20 of Firefighter Daigo
    least expensive: I dunno, a lot of them, I buy lots of used things very cheap
    Most boring: not sure, I tend not to hold onto boring manga
    Favorite: Banana Fish!
    most relatable: Wandering Son
    manga based on anime: Tiger & Bunny Anthology
    rarest: one vol of the colorized fist of the north star, a lot of the Tezuka books
    most reprinted: Parasyte?
    most popular: one piece
    most damaged: some of my What’s Michael? vols
    most amazing art: Vinland Saga
    oldest manga: something Tezuka I’m sure

    • Ash Brown says:

      Yay! Another player! Thanks for sharing. :D

      I almost listed Wandering Son as most relatable, too, but I was trying to avoid duplicates and needed to get out of choosing a favorite somehow. XD

  3. Zoe Alexander says:

    1. What was your first manga? Sailor Moon

    2. What is your most expensive manga? Assuming that we’re talking about individual books and not boxsets, then probably the Azumanga Daioh omnibus (from Yen Press). The retail price was $24.99 according to the cover, although I know I didn’t pay that much. Still, I imagine I still paid around the $15-20 range for it.

    3. What was your least expensive manga? The manga I got for free as gifts, obviously! But sticking to manga I paid for myself… Well, I actually bought the two volumes of The Flower of the Deep Sleep off the Amazon Marketplace for only a cent each, but I still had to pay shipping on them, so they ended up being $4 each. Still a pretty good deal, though not amazing. Hmm, I vaguely recall paying a dollar (or maybe $2?) for a manga on clearance at Half-Price Books, but I’m not sure which one it was… Call Me Princess, maybe? Yeah, I think that was the one. It’s something I probably would have never picked up unless it was that cheap. (Just checked the price tag that’s still on it — $2.49, but I still don’t think I paid that much for it.)

    4. What is the most boring manga you own? Miyuki-chan in Wonderland — pure fanservice, and not even that sexy. Still, it was CLAMP, so…

    5. What is your favorite manga series? Fruits Basket! Although if NANA was ever completed, it might knock FB from the top spot.

    6. What is the most relatable manga series you own? Kimi ni Todoke, definitely. I identify with Sawako like “woah”!

    7. What is one manga you own that is based off an anime? As in the anime came first? Umm… I don’t think I have any. I guess the closest would be Story of Saiunkoku, since the anime and manga were both based off the original light novels. (And I’m pretty sure the anime came before the manga.)

    8. What is your rarest manga? Well, I don’t know about rare in the general sense, but one of the most difficult volumes for me to find was Name of the Flower, Vol. 1, since I had the misfortune to order it right before CMX went out of business. I searched for around eight months for a decently priced used copy. And I still don’t own print copies of Red River Vols. 15-17, but I have digital copies, which is good enough. (If I found those print copies for really cheap, I’d probably pick them up, but I’m not going out of my way to search for them.)

    9. What is the most reprinted manga you own? I have no idea, really. I guess if you interpret the question to mean which had the most editions, then Sailor Moon might count: chapters in Mixxzine/Smile, Chix Comics editions (the single-chapter floppies), the Tokyopop graphic novels, and the new Kodansha graphic novels. (And I actually own most of those.)

    10. What is the most popular manga you own? I imagine it’s either Fruits Basket or Death Note, depending on which demographic you’re talking about.

    11. What is the most damaged manga you own? No question, the Tokyopop GNs of Sailor Moon. I’ve got pages falling out of a few of those.

    12. Which manga has the most amazing art? I’d say A Bride’s Story has the most amazing art in a technical sense — Emma from the same mangaka is really beautiful as well — but my heart really lies with Yuu Watase’s style. CLAMP is no slouch themselves, especially when Mokona’s the lead artist, like in Card Captor Sakura and Magic Knight Rayearth.

    13. What is the oldest published manga that you own? Well, I know that Sailor Moon was the first manga I bought, but I don’t think it’s the oldest published, especially if going by when it first came out in Japan. Looking at the dates at MyAnimeList and Anime News Network, it looks like the oldest would be Let’s Stay Together Forever, which came out in 1989. (Have no clue about American publishing dates.)

    14. What is the newest published manga you own? Looks like Vol. 3 of Yukarism. (This time, talking about what was released in the U.S.)

    15. What are some of the most recent manga you have purchased? The aforementioned Yukarism Vol. 3, Meteor Prince Vols. 1 & 2, Utsabora omnibus, Skip-Beat! omnibus (with Vols. 31-33), Arata: The Legend Vols. 21 & 22… Those are the ones that I remember off the top of my head.

    • Ash Brown says:

      Oh, Nana! Such a fantastic series. I’d love to see it completed one day. Also, I really need to get around to reading Red River. I have a feeling it’s a series that I would like. And now that it’s available digitally, I don’t have the excuse that it’s out-of-print and hard to find. (Though I do prefer reading in print.) Thanks for playing along! I enjoyed reading through your list and comments. ^_^

  4. your cat scratched berserk ?kill the cat immediately.

    • Ash Brown says:

      Stupid really doesn’t have any sense of self-preservation; I’m pretty sure it’s a fluke that the cat’s managed to survive this long. And he certainly doesn’t help his case when he messes with my books.

Trackbacks

  1. […] My Week in Manga feature, of course) was something a little different: I was tagged in a game of manga tag, so I had an excuse to talk a bit about my collection. It was fun, so I hope others found it […]

  2. […] I was tagged by Ash Brown of the Experiments in Manga blog to join in the game of Manga Tag that been making the rounds of manga blogs and vlogs. I thought it […]

  3. […] around that you are supposed to respond to based on your own collection. I first saw it posted on Experiments in Manga, but it’s been featured on other sites and videos like The Manga Test Drive, Organization […]

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