Collection

See my collection at librarything.com.

So I’ve been collecting manga since 1998. I’ve got a huge collection of graphic novels, magazines, and floppy issues. I’m just as serious about collecting them as I am reading them, and I’ve got a number of rather rare and out of print items, some because I bought them and they went out of print, and others because I sought them out. I’ve also got a number of artbooks, both domestic and import, though I only pick up those a few times a year.

I used to keep a text-based list, as long as I’ve been collecting, of all my graphic novels as well as the series I’d collected in magazine and floppy comic book format. That list has bit the dust in favor of another format, which is more fun, namely the Librarything account.

So this page is not a total waste, here’s some photos of my collection! I just updated, so now this is a lot longer with new photos that are just as huge as the old ones. This got really long and ramble-y, so I’m pretty sure nobody will read this… but I had to put the photo of the CLAMP in 3D Land figures somewhere.

PHOTOS OF MY SHELVES AND PILES

Okay, you remember that old picture I had here of the pile at my parents house? Well, that blew up. I wish I could still point out oddities, but the only things worth pointing out are those horror manga in the pile on the right hand side, and you can’t see the cool stuff like the original editions of Uzumaki, Panorama of Hell, and Hell Baby that are all at the bottom of the stack. Mantis Woman is sitting on top of the pile, though, and that’s pretty notable. Dragon Head wouldn’t fit in that stack, so it got thrown in with the Trigun pile, and Variante is sitting on top of an exclusively CLAMP pile because I forgot to move it.

I can’t get a very good photo of the gigantic pile because it’s sitting in a narrow space between my bed and the wall. A large shelf now supports the stacks in the pile because they’re so tall. I am terrified this shelf will fall on me while I sleep. You can sorta see the two all-CLAMP stacks on the right hand side, nearly all of Astro Boy on the bottom shelf along with a ton of other Tezuka manga to the left you can’t see, Peach Girl (which is still notable because it’s awesome), the Miki Aihara stuff that’s been published in English, and… I don’t know, Cheeky Angel?

A really terrible picture of the top shelf. You can see the picture the Dragonball spines make, which is cool. All 42 don’t fit across, but the first 7 or 8 are just the dragon and the continuous image starts after that, so it worked out well. There’s some stuff hiding behind there, like Bleach and Hana-Kimi, but that stuff isn’t as cool as Dragonball. All my Fanfare volumes are also on the shelf below it, but you wouldn’t be able to tell from this picture.

This is the last picture from that large pile. I don’t know. Lunar Legend Tsukihime’s pretty cool. I’ve got a lot of GetBackers and Lupin III volumes, too, I guess.

There’s some stuff stacked at the foot of my bed too, but this is mostly Angel Sanctuary and other Kaori Yuki stuff. The latter pile also has Moon Child, X-Day, and a few other girly things. I just realized Angel Sanctuary is stacked upside down. Damn, and I can’t fix it from here.

I took a different picture of the actual shelf in this room, but it was somehow a lot worse than the old one. Just pretend the issue of Shoujo Beat with Princess Knight in it is on the shelf and it will be current. Same as last time though, two of my three longest series, all the old volumes of Oh My Goddess, almost all the issues of Animerica Extra, a bunch of floppies including all the issues of Pokemon (my first manga), a few issues of Animerica, a couple issues of Newtype, a few ancient Viz and Right Stuf catalogs, and a really old issue of Shounen Jump Japan with Luffy on the cover. Two issues of Shounen Jump USA too, the first and the 1-year anniversary issue, plus the issue 0 promo.

In my apartment in Chicago (which is where I actually live, the room in Ohio belongs to my parents, but I travel a lot for work and wind up there pretty frequently at the end of trips), I’ve got cases like a civilized person. This is in the front room with my real books, so I try to keep awesome series on it. Law of Ueki is more of a personal favorite than a universal one, but everything else on that shelf is totally boss. I still haven’t read Buddha, and I really should since I have that hardcover edition of volume 6, a very lucky thing indeed. I also keep my artbooks and CLAMP chess set out here, but I’ll talk more about that stuff later. There’s some anime on top, too. A lot of it is CLAMP, but I’ve got more anime, CLAMP and otherwise, in Ohio that is not pictured.

Remember how I used to have two shelves like that one above in the old pictures? Yeah, one of them totally snapped in half when I moved. I use the bottom half flipped upside down for mass markets et al now, but it committed shelf suicide when I tried to put manga back on it.

I’ve got two shelves in my bedroom to replace the one that broke. I can’t get clear shots of them because my room is small as well as dark. The first shelf, the one with the figures… eh. I don’t know. Detective Conan is on it? So is Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service, After School Nightmare, and Skip Beat? There’s also a lot of stuff I still need to tackle, like Pet Shop of Horrors, the rest of Tramps Like Us, and the rest of Sgt Frog. No real theme to this case. I try to keep all my non-Yoshinaga yaoi on the bottom shelf. The Finder Series is down there, which is notable. The Luvluv books are down there too. You can also see my to read pile. I try not to put new volumes of series I’m currently reading on the shelf until I’ve read them because otherwise I’ll forget. I’ve not been very good about reading new stuff lately, so it’s piling up. Also, you can see a pile of ARCs on the floor in the corner.

The second shelf has my… er, Akita Shoten magazines on it, notably. That’s all the issues of Princess Gold year to date, plus the two issues of Mystery Bonita from this year that have had Deimos on the cover. I guess I keep longer series over here. Nana, new volumes of Oh My Goddess, Tenjho Tenge, Swan, From Eroica With Love, I”s, all of Fumi Yoshinaga’s stuff, Monster, you know. Lots of the same thing. The second from bottom shelf has a lot of volumes in Japanese, mostly stuff by Yasuko Aoike and Moyoco Anno, plus Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure and Bride of Deimos (the new series sucks, but the old one was amazing). A few other random things are there, too.

The bottom shelf of that case has my hardcover Tsubasa volumes in Japanese plus some of my naughtier stuff. IWGP isn’t naughty at all, I’ve just been waiting a year for the third volume to come in so I can read it. Er, neither are a few of the others actually, but I still wouldn’t want my mom to stumble across any of these. I’m not sure why I took this picture. A lot of the rarer stuff is on this shelf (like Ultra Gash Inferno), but you can’t see it here. Maybe I wanted to take a picture of those Tsubasa volumes? But they’re not even very current, I’ve gotten some new ones since then, and I’m still 3-4 volumes behind. Silky Whip is tucked into a corner down here too, I guess.

STUFF THAT ISN’T MANGA, BUT IS STILL COOL

Here are my Trigun action figures. I stupidly passed on the chance to buy Meryl and Monev the Gale, but I’ve still got Japanese versions of both Vash and Wolfwood and the American version of Vash. All are awesome, but the Japanese action figures, while not as well-sculpted, had a ton of cool accessories. Also in this picture is a weird and tiny Sailor Pluto figure, all the Dragon Ball Z series 1 trading cards (stacked up with many duplicates, but I still can’t believe I got ‘em all), and a pontiki toy, which was popular for about 30 seconds when I was in high school. Vash the Stampede was my favorite character for a long time. His wanted poster is in the background of at least one of those other photos.

I don’t have a huge collection of artbooks, but I have a lot, in both English and Japanese. I do have all of CLAMP’s artbooks (the Tsubasa artbook isn’t in this photo, but it’s around), and the two X artbooks and the larger RG Veda book are still among my favorites since they are too gorgeous to be believed.  Far and away the best artbook on the shelf is Jojo a Go-Go, which is actually a box set of three different books, all of which are so full of awesome that I shed tears every time I flip through them. One of the other ones I’m really proud of is the Yasuko Aoike Princess Roman Album from the 70s, which has some awesome art not included in the large artbook, plus it’s old and I can’t believe I lucked into it. Other oddities include an Ai Yazawa book, one by Moyoco Anno, a really nice Mitsukazu Mihara book… and I’ll admit I still think all three of those One Piece artbooks are awesome. I’ve also got a couple magazines that are waiting to go to Ohio (the first issue of Yen Press and the first issue of Shoujo Beat), and a couple oversize manga volumes… but Tekkon Kinkreet is really like an artbook anyway. Plus a few doujinshi, two non-naughty Persona 3 doujinshi and a really hardcore Detective Conan doujinshi I couldn’t resist because it was ShinichixConan, which is like masturbation or something. I died when I pulled it out of a box when I moved and realized it was a Taishi Zaou/Mikiyo Tsuda doujinshi.

Hmm, what else? The CLAMP chess set? That’s pretty cool. That’s the board from Japan too, but I couldn’t get a set with the magazine holder because it was too expensive. The last two issues of CLAMP no Kiseki there are in Japanese because I started buying them backwards when Tokyopop stopped publishing them. I’ve got volume 11 in English still in the package in the rear, and I still need to pick up volume 12 just because. You can see I also store my volumes of boring postcards in all languages on this shelf.

The real bragging rights come with the CLAMP in 3D Land figures. This is a set of 40 different figures, released 5 at a time in 8 sets. In order to get all of the figures, you had to buy each set in a 10-pack, which was two of each figure as you see here, 80 figures total. Set 8 has still not arrived, but I’ll update this picture when it does. Different figures for the same series sometimes sit together in interesting ways, like the boys from Lawful Drug forming a staircase or Subaru and Seishirou sharing a globe, stuff like that. The ones with black bases are usually insanely intricate, the Kamui, Shun Shunkaden, and Miyuki-chan figures being my favorites in that area. I’m sort of sad there was no Hokuto figure, but what can you do. The awesome Kamui figure is my consolation. With the CLAMP chess set and extras, I’ve got 122 tiny CLAMP figures, which is like an army of… figures… I… can play chess with? I don’t know. They’re pretty awesome, and it’s something I’m insanely proud of.


82 Comments on “Collection”

  1. karen says:

    can you give me the lonk for manga godchild ?

  2. Connie says:

    If you mean a download link, the license was announced about a year ago so the scanslations have likely stopped. It’s being released by Viz, the link on their site is http://www.viz.com/products/products.php?series_id=343 The series is 5 volumes long, the third just came out and they’ll probably have the other two released before the end of the year.

  3. Anita says:

    wow! sooooo many!
    I’ve only been collecting about 4 month so I dont have many. Only 60 :(.
    Anyway how many manga do you have altogether?

  4. Connie says:

    60′s pretty good. When I started, there wasn’t too much available (and I was still in high school), so I probably only had 60 volumes after 3 years.

    I just broke the 1,200 mark. If you click the librarything link at the top, it’s a really cool site where I list everything and you can see who else on the site has the same volume, how popular they all are, etc. I love that site so much ^_^

  5. Yaoi_hugs says:

    I love you will you marry me *Dies when sees manga colection* I have only 98 mangas so far only been doing this for a year.

  6. Chantal says:

    Wow. That’s a whole lot of manga. *quite stunned*
    I’ve only been a die-hard fan since this January (started off with Fullmetal Alchemist).
    Mind if I recommend a few other series? We seem to have similiar tastes.
    Not that you need any more series to spend money on. :P

    - D.Gray-Man: Six volumes are out, and it’s one of my favourites. Kinda reminds me of Fullmetal.

    -Mushi-shi: A slower, folk-tale style manga with two volumes out. It focuses on making you think and being more epic. Watch the anime too!

    Any other series I own (Bleach, Immortal Rain, Deathnote, +Anima, etc.) you have already read.

  7. Connie says:

    D.Gray-Man is something I’ve been considering. It sounds really, really good (and some of my favorite characters in Jump Ultimate Stars are from that series), but the only thing holding me back at this point is that I already read too many shounen jump series, and they’re so long. I’ll probably pick it up once I finish Dragonball and get caught up with Knights of the Zodiac, which are my two SJ backburner series.

    Though I’ll probably just randomly get it during the next sale or something :p I’m so bad when it comes to randomly buying manga. A whole bunch of random stuff came in while I was away the past two weeks, and now I’ve got TOO MUCH to read. It makes me feel guilty.

  8. ame says:

    Wow! i look like a complete noob. i mean i have a huge book shelf too. but it doesn’t not compare to your collection.

    i have all the sailor moon manga’s too! rock on sister! i love your sailor moon poster. i wanted to reach through the screen and grab it!
    i went to a small comic book store and they had a sailor moon wallscroll and the second i saw it , i freaked! they thought i had seen a spider of something. i just pointed at it and said “i’m buying that! take it off the wall it’s mine!!!”

    heh..i should be ashamed of that shouldn’t i?

  9. Connie says:

    It’s cool that you found something like that Sailor Moon poster, I haven’t seen any Sailor Moon stuff around in years (probably since all the licensing for that series vanished a few years ago). My Dad bought me that poster, I actually don’t usually decorate my walls. There’s a wanted poster for Vash the Stampede hanging next to it that my Dad also bought, but those are almost the only wall decoration in my room.

  10. Pike says:

    You’re Chi-town Shelves are crying out in pain. Your collection is amazing.

  11. Connie says:

    Thanks! I appreciate the comment ^_^ They’re buckling because they’re cheap, unfortunately. $20 at Target, but they’re big, though slightly not suited to my purpose. I need better shelves. And a nicer apartment to put them in.

  12. Foggi says:

    XD I have only…somewhere between 140-160. Haven’t counted in a while. ^^ Been collecting for about 3-4 years, but a non-steady flow of income tends to slow one down. >< I would recommend Basara and Love Roma if you haven’t already read them. Basara is just classic, while Love Roma is cute and…slightly odd. XD

  13. Connie says:

    Yeah, Basara is one of the series I put off when it started coming out because I couldn’t afford it, then didn’t pick up later because of the huge number of long series I read anyway. I did read the two other series of hers in English though, Chicago and Wild Com. Both of those are pretty good.

  14. taily says:

    whoa you have so many the second biggest collection i have ever seen! I only have 77, and so i am gonna try hard to get as many as you! but i am eleven and manga is expensive so it might take a while

  15. Connie says:

    I didn’t have any manga when I was 11, so you’ve already got a head start on me. It took me a few years before I had 77.

  16. Rei says:

    Hi there! I just came across your site and wanted to say that you have an awesome collection! I wish I could have started collecting manga a lot sooner, but unfortunately being a kid didn’t give me much options, plus my parents would have thought that it was a waste of money anyway. Now that I’m older and have my own money to spend, it’s not only much easier but pretty addictive to collect too! If I didn’t spend so much money on clothes and electronics (plus X-mas shopping), I’d probably have a lot more manga, but right now I’ve managed to collect 32+ in 2 months (just started collecting).

  17. jun says:

    I’d post a photo of my collection, but looking at a bunch of plastic rolly bins under the bed (and stacked upon a disused treadmill) would not be very exciting. :)

  18. Connie says:

    Those photos are over a year old. I want to take new ones, but there are seriously stacks upon stacks everywhere, and I’d have to do some serious cleaning and organizing to get them in any sort of order for photos again. I’ll probably do it next time I go see my parents, though. I do like seeing photos of other people’s collections though, just because I like to get ideas for storage and stuff. Plus I really like playing I Spy with them and seeing how many series I can pick out ^_^;

  19. taily says:

    wow I can’t wait till my brother gets a job ( we both collect) but now because of B-days and christmas and christmas offers in the shops, we have as much as yaoi_hugs (98)

  20. Connie says:

    It’s cool that you share your collection with your brother. I didn’t really have anyone to read them with for a long time, but my current roommate really gets into certain series now. I’m still the only one who buys them, but my roommate is sometimes really good at spotting ones that I would have otherwise passed over. He’s the one that got me started on Hideshi Hino.

  21. John J says:

    Wow… imagine how many words are in there o_0

    Did you buy the bookshelves or make them? My collection is about 150 graphic novels and I’m running out of cardboard boxes xD

  22. Connie says:

    The shelves are just the cheapest ones I could find at Target. I can’t bear to put them in boxes (or even double them up on the shelves), for some reason I have a serious compulsion about making sure all the spines are visible.

    I’ll get back to you on how many words it is ^_^; You’ve made me almost want to figure it out mathematically.

    Actually, yes, I’ll do that. The volume laying next to me is Bastard 3. I flipped to a random page that wasn’t a full-page action panel, and there were 47 words on the page (kind of a text-lite page, but it wasn’t heavy dialogue or wordless action, so it works). An average volume of manga will have around 200 pages… we’ll go to 220 because there are a fair number of long volumes/omnibuses/whatever and not many that are less than 190 pages. That’s 10340 words per volume. Multiply that by the number of volumes in my collection… (at the moment 1571), you get 16,244,140 words. That’s a lot of reading.

  23. eimajtl says:

    You’ve got one heck of a collection there. I thought it was bad enough for me having only a 100 volumes of manga. XD

    You should really look into getting D. Gray Man. I read earlier that you didn’t want to because it’d be another SJ series, but this one is absolutely amazing.

  24. Connie says:

    I keep coming back to D. Gray Man and Claymore, which are two series I get confused despite the fact they have very little to do with one another. After I finish up a few of my current series, I may go for one or the other, and at the moment it’s kind of a tossup between the two since I really like dark fantasy, and I get it either way.

  25. ConnieXD says:

    Oh my gosh!You have so much manga,its amazing!
    I (like many people) just started collecting in like the past month and dont have that much,but you have inspired me!I love how you comment on mangas and show pictures of what you have.Actually today i just picked up a pile of Death Note >_<,….i love manga but my parents tell me i always burn holes in my pockets -_-,but im 14 and know what im doing! :)
    I also found it funny that we have the same name.:)

  26. Connie says:

    True, Connie is a very uncommon name ^_^ I started collecting when I was 14 too. Well, 13 or 14, I can’t remember. There weren’t that many manga series coming out at the time and no bookstores carried the graphic novels, plus I lived in kind of a rural remote area, so I would have to have my dad order one or two books a month over the phone for me. He definitely kept my buying habits in check until I moved out ^_^;

  27. Cameron says:

    very impressive! i’ve been collecting on and off since last spring, and i have about 35 volumes total. i do mean to collect more, but because the series that i want to read (sgt frog, excel saga) are > 10 volumes long and still running i’m trying to not buy into as many series like that (i’m focusing on shorter series like sugar sugar rune and emma, stuff like that).

    i am curious about one thing, though.. those tsubasa volumes – can you read japanese? i’m beginning to learn because my native japanese friend tells me i should ‘have pride for my country,’ (i was born in japan) and i remember that a manga i want to read (lucky star) is only in japanese atm. if you do read japanese, how long did it take you before you could say you were fairly proficient?

    tl;dr: awesome collection, i only have 35 volumes. also, if you read japanese, how long did it take before you could say you were fairly proficient?

  28. Connie says:

    Mmm… I’m not very good at Japanese. I can’t read kanji at all, and the Japanese volumes I do have take me a long time to puzzle through, and it’s got to be fairly easy to read. Tsubasa is the one I spend the most time with, but even then I often have to refer to a translation elsewhere. I’m not really the one to ask about that ^_^;;; I should start making more of a concerted effort not to be so lame about it, though.

  29. yoshi says:

    Just a small question: how do you keep the dust away from it? Cause when you have to clean them all the time – they don’t seem to like that…
    And.. how often do u read/reread your mangas?
    Honestly I only read them online nowadays because my space and money are limited.
    Greetings

  30. Connie says:

    Eh, I just dust them with a feather duster and wipe the spines and shelves around them with a damp cloth occasionally. I had to move a bunch off a shelf I had by the window because the sun was bleaching the pages and soot blew in from the window over them.

    I read them all the time, I try for 2 a day (mostly on my commute to work, one hour each way, and before bed). I very rarely re-read them any more, but after they pass a certain age, I tend to go back to them anyway. I usually read a few old volumes whenever I go back to my parents house. I don’t really like reading things on my computer, I sort of get impatient about scrolling around and clicking to view the pages, plus I just like having the book in my hands ^_^;

  31. Yoshi says:

    Certainly true that its nicer to hold a real book. But I find the prices here pretty exaggerated and since I can get them for free to try them out before I have to rent a room…^^ Since Angel Sanctuary there’s not much that interests me that much anymore, apart from Naruto and some fast food stuff. Can you recommend anything, that goes into that direction? Only if u don’t mind =)
    Btw, what do Mangas cost in England? Im from Germany, and they cost around 5-6,50 here.

  32. Connie says:

    True, they can be expensive if you have to import them. I live in America, and I can usually get most of what I have for around $5 if I wait for a sale. I’m not sure what they cost in England, but I heard it can be pricey if they’re imported from the US.

    Hmm… Angel Sanctuary? I’ve only read the first volume of it, but you may like the Demon Ororon, if you haven’t read that one yet. It’s got the otherworld power struggle (mostly devil-centric), some action, and a pair of star-crossed lovers with a LOT of angst. It’s four volumes long and probably not nearly as well-developed as Angel Sanctuary, but I flew through all four volumes and really, really liked it. It’s got sort of a disappointing ending, though. Moon Child is also good for a pair of star-crossed lovers and some weird magic stuff (in that case, mermaids), but it’s very different from Angel Sanctuary and Demon Ororon, not very action-y. Immortal Rain is very good and very romantic in its way, there’s a lot of very well done romance and some action too, but it’s more about a pair of immortals that are fated to do battle to decide whether humans deserve to live or die, one of whom is the immortal Methuselah. It’s pretty good, but a bit further removed from Angel Sanctuary than the other two.

    In short, Demon Ororon, Immortal Rain, and Moon Child are all very good and are varying degrees of similar to Angel Sanctuary ^_^;

  33. Hikari. says:

    Your manga selection is so massively epic, I feel vastly inferior. I was feeling pretty good about my 70 volumes before I saw your collection lol. I started buying manga casually when I was about 10 (I’m 14 now) but I only began to start collecting it seriously about six months ago. I’ll definitely collect a lot more, since I’ve been starting more and more series as time goes on, the only problem is I’m 14 and making no money ^_^;; Still, I manage to find whatever money I can to buy the latest volume. (I actually cracked myself up at my own desperation while buying volume 8 of After School Nightmare, which I purchased with nearly the entire remaining contents of my wallet, 10 dollars in singles and 2 dollars in quarters.)
    Well, anyway, just wanted to say you have an amazing collection and I’ll be looking forward to your future reviews ^_^

  34. Connie says:

    After School Nightmare is totally worth shelling out the last few bucks in your wallet, though. I think it’s one of the few series I would go hungry for and forfeit my lunch money for the newest volume.

  35. Hikari. says:

    Totally agree. I’m pretty sure the only other series I’d be willing to do that for are Nana and Loveless.

  36. Connie says:

    For me, it would probably be From Eroica With Love, too ^_^;

  37. Anna says:

    Connie, I am in such awe of your collection. Wow.

  38. Connie says:

    Thanks ^_^ I’m still very much in awe of your figures and doujinshi collection. I don’t really collect figures for fear my boyfriend will make fun of me (he lets me have it plenty for the CLAMP minis), so my jaw always hits the floor when I see an awesome figure collection.

  39. Pirkaf says:

    Hideshi Hino artbook, now there’s some awesomeness!

    But I should say “Hello!” first.. nice reading, Connie, and not at all boring, hehe… I’ve seen your photos for the first time and it’s really nice to see. My manga collection is almost as big as yours (don’t know the exact number but I’m over 1000) but I’m lacking in other departments like artbooks (not really interested) and figures (much interested but much expensive for me). I might as well have the largest manga collection in Czech republic (now there’s a challenge!) because there’s almost no manga in czech language so I have everything in english (not being able to read japanese).

    So…. so you had that super awesome hardcover edition of Buddha all the time and still did not read it?????!!!!!! hmm, okay, I still have to read most of the Phoenix voumes… ;-)

    Otherwise, there are some things to envy, like Sailormoon manga but I cannot have everything….

    And finally, some things to recommend!
    If you still have not bought any manga from Hiroki Endo, please please pleeeeease!!! Buy first volume of Eden (at least) and Tanpenshu, I promise you will not be disappointed! Of all my manga, Eden is in my top 3 series. Also, I saw the complete Planetes on Rightstuff the other day, I could also recommend it if you feel like reading some hard sci-fi. Uhh, I’ver written a lot. I’m currently reading Lady Snowblood, that’s also great manga series, much better than the movie.

  40. Connie says:

    Thank you! I haven’t read Sailor Moon in a long time, I should re-read it sometime soon to see how I like it since I’ve read so many other things since then. Even looking at them makes me feel guilty though, because a lot of those volumes are in really terrible shape from being loaned out so frequently in high school.

    Are there any Czech-language manga publishers? I’ve always wondered. I know in Europe there are French, Spanish, and German publishers, and I think there are Spanish and Portuguese publishers in Central and South America, and a ton of stuff is available in other Asian languages, but do you know if you can also buy manga translated to Polish, Russian, or other languages?

    And thank you for the recommendations! I’ve kind of been in the mood to read less shoujo lately. I’ve got Ohikkoshi by Hiroaki Samura, who I often get confused with Hiroki Endo but shouldn’t (I think I ordered Ohikkoshi instead of Tappenshu by mistake last time I saw a sale, but I’ve heard good things about both). I keep telling my roommate we need to read Eden, I’ve heard nothing but good things about it. Lady Snowblood looked pretty good, I read Offered by the same writer and was impressed by it, in its way. I’ve also considered picking up his series Wounded Man, which is along the same lines of tasteless over-the-top action as Offered, except I hesitate because that one may cross a line somewhere.

  41. Pirkaf says:

    There are no specialised manga publishers here and only one comics publisher. There have been some manhwa available lately but the books cost more than ordering them overseas from Rightstuf so it’s quite expensive, though I try to show my support and bought some. Manga is more popular in bigger countries generally (like France, Germany, Poland, not sure about Russia but anime is popular there) because there’s a bigger market and also longer tradition of comics publishing. But things are going to change with anime being televised now so I think young generation will create a bigger market for comics and manga publishers. We will see. Still, the better option is bying manga in english or ideally in japanese.. ^_^

    Dark Horse is the best manga publisher so you almost cannot make a mistake with buying anything from them.. ;-) Ohikkosi is a little bit strange but with great artwork, as expected. Lady Snowblood is very sexual, there’s an erotic content in every chapter (because it was serialised in japanese Playboy weekly) and sometimes it can be quite annoying.. but it’s very good none the less. And there’s lots of gore in Eden that can turn off some people but Hiroki Endo manages to create a special athmosphere in his manga that I love. Also, it’s totally unpredictable, which is super awesome. And the art is very detailed and very good. I forgot to mention one other series that I love and don’t see it here. It’s Battle Angel Alita. But I’m sure it’s not completely unknown to you. I think Yukito Kishiro is olnly getting better and GUNNM: Last Order is even better than the first series.

  42. Connie says:

    Ah, thanks for that info. Manga in Europe is something I almost never hear about except for occasional references to French or German translations. The Right Stuf sales are really, really good… it’s how I get almost all my stuff too.

    Battle Angel Alita is another one of the titles my roommate keeps asking me about, so I may start that one after I catch myself up on Knights of the Zodiac. I’m sure Alita’s a much better read ^_^; And I also know the original series isn’t that long. Actually, now that I think about it, I think Battle Angel Alita was the only manga series one of the guys I used to work with read, he was a huge fan.

    You’re right about Dark Horse, too, almost all the manga they publish is pretty high quality. The only thing I can think of that I didn’t really like was Dominion, but that’s not really my type of series anyway (more my roommate’s thing, he’s the one who bought it). I’m kind of dying to read Eden now, though. I’ll probably have to wait awhile for the next Dark Horse sale, but I’ll almost certainly pick up the first three or so volumes of Eden then.

  43. Heather says:

    All I can say is THANK YOU. I have been writing my manga collection down for over 15 years now….and it is just harder and harder to keep track of, especially in a 4 room house. This coming week everything is going onto Librarything.com. The headache of the last year will be over. Thank you, so much. I knew there had to be something out there that could help me.

  44. Connie says:

    I used to use a site called ListerX, which did basically the same thing and was only manga, but I found this around the time that site shut down. It’s great, it keeps track of absolutely everything, and I’m totally addicted to its statistics. I’ve got a separate account that has all my novels et al on it, too.

  45. Sarah says:

    *crying* Oh my god! So many! I don’t even think the bookstores have this many. Awesome, seriously! How long have you been into manga? It looks like you’ve been collecting for years and years! I’ve never seen so many in one place, it’s jaw dropping amazing.

    Since I have similar taste, I’m wondering what you think of the manga “Reborn!” if you’ve read it by any chance?

    And props to the awesome collection. Absolutely beautiful! ^___^.

  46. Connie says:

    Aw, thanks! I’ve been collecting for about 10 years now, I guess, so some of this stuff is fairly old.

    I haven’t read Reborn. The premise sounded really good, but I had one or two people tell me they didn’t really like it when it first came out. I tend to like most Shounen Jump series a lot though, so I’d probably like it if I sat down and read it.

  47. Oliver says:

    Hey, what a large collection, and beautifully stacked, too. How is it possible to re-read a manga if it’s in the middle of the pile, isn’t it hard to get out? I’ve been considering stacking my manga that way, but I never did. ‘Course there’s way less shelf space for manga when stacking it spine vertically, like this —>IIIIII

  48. Connie says:

    Thank you! Yeah, when I first got the tall shelf, in the middle of the piles, I had them positioned with the spines vertical, but there just wasn’t enough room.

    It’s actually quite easy to pull from the middle of the piles on the shelf since you can hold everything in place, then just take the piles off when you finish the series to put it back. It’s the tall piles on the floor that are bothersome since nothing holds them still. If I was just re-reading the series, I could just separate the pile and leave it until I finished, but adding new volumes to the middle of a stack as they come out is annoying. I usually do them in marathon sessions when I go back to my parents house 2-3 times a year.

  49. Oliver says:

    That’s good to know, ’cause I’m thinking of piling my manga that way, too. And how did you get so much manga? Are they mostly review copies, or are you just rich? Thanks for replying!

  50. Connie says:

    I just… buy them. I’m not rich, they just don’t cost very much. I spend maybe $200 a month on comics. I don’t have a car payment and don’t eat out very often, so it sorta balances out with those two things.

  51. Oliver says:

    Sweet! Thanks for sharing! Are you saying that $10 is cheap, though? If you spend $200 a month, that rounds up to about 20 mangas, right? Do you find many sales at all? And that’s good about not eating out and having car payments. Those would eat up time well-spent with a good manga, wouldn’t they?

  52. Connie says:

    Oh yeah, everything I buy is on sale. I usually do everything through rightstuf.com, which offers sales by publisher occasionally, and I preorder everything with a member discount and get around 38-40% off, so most things wind up being a little over $6. If I don’t get it from the Right Stuf, I usually then go through justmanga.com. Their regular discounts are good, but they also offer one book for $5.55 with every order. I have a bunch of stuff I like to get fast that I order from there (Right Stuf sometimes takes forever), so I do small orders with one book for $5.55 every time.

    I rarely buy manga in the stores… either because what I’m looking for is never in stock, or I’ve run into too many jerks at the comic stores I’ve tried. Occasionally I’ll go to a comic store to get something like Black Jack or the Drawn and Quarterly books (Good-Bye, Push Man and Other Stories, Abandon the Old in Tokyo), stuff I like to support and don’t mind paying full price for.

  53. Oliver says:

    That’s useful to know, but I’m afraid because I’m a Canadian customer, the shipping costs just eat up the discounts for both websites. In contrast, I buy everything at comic shops or used book shops.

    There’s also a type of book store kind of like a used book store, except they get perfectly new stuff (I guess they’re leftovers from other book stores) and I found almost the entire english run of Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles in new, unread condition for $4.99 a book. They also stock Nana, Negima, and a few major series in new condition as well. It was quite a thrill for me that day.

    I guess the web retailers work for you mostly ’cause you’re in the US. Also, I always find that comic shops stock up their series’ way better than those major book stores. The one I go to is mostly run by women and it’s a very friendly atmosphere, but I can understand how some comic shop owners can be total pricks.

  54. Connie says:

    Is the cheap store you’re talking about a remainder store? My job entails selling remainders at book fairs around the US, but we don’t often get manga since it’s hard for us to sell. They are very, very cheap and a great way to buy books. It’s good that some remainder stores stock manga, I was under the impression that it accumulates pretty rapidly at the sorting warehouses since a lot of stores don’t like it.

    I’m not sure about the international shipping on those websites, you’re probably right. It might be okay if you get a large enough order (there’s someone that comments pretty frequently here that gets huge Right Stuf orders shipped to the Czech Republic), but it’s true that there’s not much to be done about the high price of having books shipped internationally.

    The book stores here actually have the best manga selection, even compared to the three fantastically well-stocked comic stores I usually go to (fantastic enough to stock DramaQueen, Drawn and Quarterly, and Fanfare series, which is pretty great). My problem may just be that they lean more heavily on male-oriented titles and lack a lot of the shoujo series I like to buy. Only one of them carries any boy’s love series at all. Also, surprisingly, none of them carry mid-size publishers like Del Rey and CMX.

  55. Oliver says:

    Actually, it is a used book store I go to, but the manga still have the price tags from the places they come from, and some are from the comic shops nearby, to my astonishment. I think this store has a good understanding of manga and comics since they have pretty good collections of each.

    Yeah, there’s no way I would make large online orders anyhow.

    Really? Your comic stores don’t stock a lot of Shojo, when the dominant buyer of manga are females? None of them stock Del Rey or CMX either? Not even Del Rey?? At least one of them stocks BL, though, that’s good.

    I hate to brag, but my particular comic store (aside from the used book store) tries to stock everything from every manga publisher, including BL publishers. They have every title from Del Rey, CMX, and Viz, plus all that’s in print from T-pop (plus everything from Netcomics, Yen, 801 Media, Deux Press, BLU, the list goes on). And because many women work there, all Shojo and In-Print BL titles are to be found. I was lucky to find the entire Finder Series there before it went out-of-print. I guess you just have to find the right store. But yeah, not every store is like that one. I was just lucky to come across it.

  56. Connie says:

    I think the shops I go to don’t stock a lot of shoujo because they don’t expect a lot of girls to shop there. Not stocking shoujo would explain the lack of CMX titles, but I’ve got no idea why there’s not more Del Rey. They’re heavy on the small publishers I mentioned, and one of them has an amazing horror manga selection, but they can also be bad about keeping older volumes on the shelves, or even whole series from larger publishers like Viz.

    Is the comic store you go to The Beguiling? I only ask because I know that one is in Canada and they’re fairly famous. I’ve seen photos of their manga section, it is quite massive. I don’t have anything that compares to that around here.

  57. Oliver says:

    I’ve been to The Beguiling, and yes, it’s impressive, but I was actually talking about another place called Hairy Tarantula (yes, gruesome name for a comic store run by many women and a few guys). The Beguiling is mostly run by men, but they still do a good job of stocking Shoujo and Yaoi, as well. I just don’t go there as often because it’s further from my home.

    I think it’s really important to stock Shoujo,not only to attract more female customers (even though Shonen series do well in that aspect, too), but because there are some amazing plots to be read in the genre. Most of my Shoujo collection is CLAMP, but I’ve decided to expand it to V.B. Rose, Gakuen Alice, and many more I plan on searching out (with the help of your reviews).

    I’m really trying to look for a good Shoujo series to get from CMX (I’ve only read Emma from them). To me, their covers aren’t as attractive as Tokyopop’s covers. For instance, V.B. Rose and Gakuen Alice have some pretty creative and fitting covers, whereas, the graphic design on the CMX covers just don’t scream, “Buy me!”

    PS: I know you’re going to tell me to start with Eroica, but the truth is I’m looking for stories focused on the female mind.

  58. Connie says:

    I don’t know, Hairy Tarantula is a pretty awesome name for a comic store. The main three I got to are Chicago Comics, Comix Revolution, and Graham Crackers Comics. Hairy Tarantula is way better than those names.

    Haha, okay, you guessed my first choice for CMX -_^ My second choice for shoujo from them is probably Swan, which is another 70s-era shoujo title with really gorgeous art. It’s about really dramatic ballet dancers, and is probably one of the girliest series I can think of, with everything being way over-the-top.

    Well, I take that back. I like Apothecarius Argentum a little better than I like Swan. It’s a somewhat fantasy-themed series about a princess and her royal food taster, a boy who happens to have been raised as a basilisk, a type of assassin that can kill with various poisons their body secretes. It focuses a lot on their childhood, but the series takes place after they’ve met again as adults and Argent, the basilisk, has become the royal apothecary. There’s a forbidden romance-type thing going on between the two since he can’t be touched, and the series eventually expands to encompass a fairly comprehensive system of neighboring countries and politics, economies et al. I like it A LOT, it’s quite romantic… though the main character is Argent, it’s still pretty girly, and a lot of Primula’s thoughts are shown as well.

    I’ve only read the first two volumes, but Cipher struck me as a far-above-average high school shoujo romance that seems to have a really nice, slow pace about developing the friendships between what appears to be a love triangle between the main character and a pair of twins. In the second volume, I’m not quite convinced both boys will fall for her, but it might go that way.

    Moon Child is also a favorite, but it’s a really, REALLY bizarre one. The main love interest is a modern dancer who is in his early 20s, and the love interest is a woman who belongs to a species of mermaids that is in the form of a little boy in a white suit for most of the first half of the series. It’s got supernatural themes (the mermaids have psychic powers that they use occasionally), and it seems like the climax of the series will take place during the Chernobyl meltdown in Kiev.

    Oyayubihime Infinity is nice and short, but I would say it’s only about average. It’s more contemporary (both Moon Child and Cipher are 80s, this one is 00s), it’s six volumes, and is kind of a nice story about a girl coming out of her shell and the past lives of a group of teenagers hung up on finding their destined love.

    It’s true what you say about the covers. CMX uses most of the original cover illustrations from the Japanese editions, and they look better than the Japanese editions usually do… but I’ve always liked the cover designs at Tokyopop way better than other publishers. Instant Teen probably has the best covers of any other manga I’ve seen, and I don’t even like that series that much.

  59. Oliver says:

    Thanks for your recs. I was definitely thinking along the lines of getting Apothecarius. I was under the impression Swan was melodramatic, but I don’t think I’ll mind. I will definitely keep an eye out for Cipher, Moon Child, and Oyayubihime which all sound like they deserve more attention.

    I like the sound of a Dance Shoujo like Swan, and Apothecarius’ plot sounds real original. I wanted to give this publisher a chance since I ignored it for so long. You would think the manga branch of DC comics would be a little louder in their marketing and stuff (and have mostly manly titles), but there seems to be a good crop of Shoujo titles with timid covers to be had.

    To thank-you for your recs, I will reverse-recommend you read Emma (if you haven’t already done so). The historical romance about an upper class man falling in love with a beautiful maid makes for a somewhat dramatic story filled with interesting historic details about Victorian-era England. The setting is pretty well-drawn and it takes you easily right back to that period of time.

  60. Connie says:

    I’ve actually been meaning to pick up Emma. A lot of people have told me I’d like it, and I have to agree that it sounds like exactly the type of thing I’d be into. I’ve read so many CMX series, but that one is the one I’ve somehow missed, and it’s probably their most popular.

    I’m glad you’re checking out Apothecarius Argentum, it’s really way under-appreciated for how good it is. It grows on you quietly, and I didn’t even realize how much I genuinely enjoyed it until about 3 or 4 volumes in.

    CMX also publishes Tenjho Tenge, which is also one of my favorites from that publisher, though definitely not shoujo. Even with the censorship issues it has, the story isn’t any less awesome. It’s got great art and is probably one of the most hardcore fighting manga I can think of.

  61. Sara K. says:

    I actually don’t know how many manga I have. Suffice to say, if your collection were carnivorous, my collection would be nothing more than a snack.

    Reading ‘Tales from the Database’ has changed how I see comics collecting. In the long run comics are good at increasing in value faster than inflation. I imagine that 40 years from now you would willingly part with some manga titles if you could sell them for 5x their original retail value. Your manga collection might be your retirement savings. Or at least you can say that the next time someone comments on how much you spend.

  62. Connie says:

    Well, BSing about the value going up is how I get my roommate and parents to put up with storage. My parents could care less, but my roommate seems to have a serious problem with it. I do wonder about the eventual worth of some of the graphic novels, only because the print runs for many of them seem to last a long time and are remaindered if they’re not popular that I imagine that most will still be easy to get ahold of. But that fear probably stems from working with used and remaindered books, where you are constantly sifting through boxes and pallets of titles to find the few that are valuable.

    But then again, past being a curiosity, the value doesn’t really matter to me since I can’t see myself selling any of them in the foreseeable future. That tune may change when I’m old and they’re worth something, though.

  63. Sara K. says:

    I can understand why your roommate would have a problem with it, at least if it’s encroaching on his personal space.

    It’s not really possible to gauge the value in decades to come, but I’m pretty hopeful. Used manga sells for very little these days, but all kinds of things could happen. For example, if Netcomics’ online collection became permanently unavailable, it would boost the value of their printed books.

    Though in my case, the future value is probably even more academic than in yours. I emphasize quality. If I don’t feel that a manga is special, it gets pruned out. It’s not that I’m constrained for storage or money, it’s an aesthetic choice. I hope my heirs cherish and preserve the collection rather than sell it. That may not happen, but my dad’s Carl Barks’ collection is staying in the family as long as I’m around.

    Also, do you have renters’ insurance (in case of fire and other book-destroying events)?

  64. Connie says:

    Bah. It’s not encroaching on his space. He’s just a grouch. Almost all of them are in my bedroom.

    I can understand having a quality collection. Frankly, I would probably be better off getting rid of a bunch of my really bad series, but whenever I think about it, there’s always a good story or reason to keep them around. Somehow, the fact that I have all of Mikiyo Tsuda’s work in English is enough to hold onto all of them, even though I don’t really care for any of the series I’ve read by her. I just have a hard time parting with stuff in general. I’m kind of a packrat, though I’ve restricted myself to just comics the past several years, so I don’t accumulate CDs, DVDs, magazines, or stuff like that anymore.

    We do have renters’ insurance. We also have extra coverage, not just because of my books, but more because my roommate has a huge video game collection.

  65. Sara K. says:

    Glad to hear that you’re insured, though I hope you never need it. For now I’m sticking to self-insurance since my material collections are relatively small compared to my savings, but I’ve heard bad stories.

    Keeping a quality collection can be a lot of work. I don’t want eyesores in my room (any manga I don’t like is an eyesore), but I also don’t want regrets, so I put a lot of thought into what I remove. Actually, my manga collection is smaller than some of my other collections because I invest more energy in it – I am not so bothered by inferiority elsewhere.

    Trying to prune a collection of your size would be a bit overwhelming, so you’re probably better off not discriminating. Once you start, even if you only shed a few titles, it’s hard to stop.

    Speaking of collecting, a bunch of issues of Area 88 arrived today. I got them so I could brag that I have one of Viz’s oldest titles. Based on reading the first two issues, I also like the story. I’m very excited.

  66. Connie says:

    Speaking of old Viz series, I was actually going through an old 1999 catalog of theirs that I had found and was considering ordering a few series from Mile High Comics based solely on the fact I had never heard of them before. I was about this close to ordering Horobi, but then I realized I have no idea what it’s about other than the issues have vaguely fantasy-looking covers. I don’t have the Ultimate Manga Guide with me, but I’m looking that up when I get home, along with Cobra, another of their older series with hilariously campy covers. I also had no idea Viz published an Ultraman manga until I saw it listed in their back issues. There are also a bunch of really hardcore 80s action series listed in that catalog that I had completely forgotten about, like the Guyver, Eat-Man, and Ogre Slayer.

    The first three Viz series were Mai the Psychic Girl, Legend of Kamui, and Area 88, right? I’ve only read Mai, but I keep thinking about going back for Kamui since it’s got a lot of social/manga history tied to it. How is Area 88? I don’t know much about it, but the covers on the individual issues look surprisingly shoujo-y.

  67. Sara K. says:

    Well, I now love Area 88, and I know that as soon as I run out of issues to read, I’ll have issues with the fact that 2/3 was never translated.

    I was expecting Area 88 to be all about the aviator battles. Instead, it’s all about the characters, most of whom work in Area 88 aka hell on earth. Every day they get into military aircraft and kill people. Though the story seems simple, it’s turning into quite a saga, which includes more than one tragic romance. As the editor says, it’s “about men and women and the positions they take in a world far from perfection.”

    It’s also a great blast from the past. There was an article in one of the issues which mentioned Yasuko Aoike as being primarily notable as the artist of “Seven Seas for Seven Skies”, which amused me. One of the letters was from a Japanese fan who was so obsessed with Area 88 that she HAD to have it in English too. And one of the issues has an offer through which I could win a free copy of the first issue of … Lum Urusei Yatsura.

    I got 41 issues for less than $15, shipping included. While none of them are near mint, they’re good enough for my purposes. I’ll pick up the only issue I’m missing the next time I order from Mile High.

  68. Connie says:

    Ooh, I forgot about the letter columns and ads in old comics. I occasionally pick up American romance comics from the 60s, and looking at the girl-oriented ads in those is one of my favorite parts about them. I can only imagine how much more awesome they’d be in old manga. I have to say it’s kind of weird that Yasuko Aoike came up. Do they have occasional little magazine articles or news pieces in them, or is there a bunch of information in the responses to the reader letters?

    It’s a shame only the first parts to a lot of these series made it out. Almost all the series in the catalog I was looking at were the first two or three volumes of much longer work. Actually, I was going to mention 2001 Nights, which looked interesting but was going to pass on due to its truncated nature, but it looks like the series actually is only three volumes long. It seems like its composed of vaguely related traditional sci-fi stories, and it sounds like something my roommate would really like.

  69. Sara K. says:

    Once in a while there is a magazine-style article. Area 88 #12 has an article on shojo manga. Here is the Yasuko Aoike reference -

    “… girls’ manga also include a variety of adventure strips, such as Yasuko Aoike’s pirate tale, Seven Seas for Seven Skies.”

    All of the ads are for other comics done by Viz and/or Eclipse Comics. Which are all interesting.

    But really, all of the retro-appeal is secondary to the story itself. It’s a war story, and a sad one. Yet the characters still have hope, which is why they don’t lie down and die (though they occasionally try the lie-down-and-die approach). If you do get Area 88, you should definitely review it, since I have not been able to find a single online review of the manga.

    A long, long time ago I read one volume of 2001 Nights, it was one of my first manga. As a sci-fi fan, I liked it, but I also didn’t think it was anything special. It was a bit like Heinlein, but without Heinlein’s personality (which can be a good or a bad thing).

  70. Connie says:

    The issues of Area 88 seem quite cheap. I’ll probably wind up with it over the next few months. I usually try to avoid these series that are really focused on the battles and planes and stuff, which I think was my initial impression of it (which is why I was kind of surprised by the somewhat shoujo-y covers), but it sounds like the drama and story elements overpower that, and I do like drama. And I’d definitely review it on the site if I got it. I really like going back to old series.

    Apparently additional Area 88 stories ran in Animerica, but I’ve never seen the older issues of Animerica to know if they are whole stories or just a few pages over multiple issues. It kind of sounds like the older issues ran more than 1 manga, but the ones I have only have one title in each issue, which was Galaxy Express 999.

  71. Sara K. says:

    Yes, I was sort of expecting to also be all about the planes, though when I heard that the first issue is called “The Blue Skies of Betrayal” I began to suspect that it had some pathos to it. And judging by the letters, even the male readers were more into the romance than the planes anyway.

    From what I can find, a about one volume of Area 88 was published in Animerica. If it had the conclusion, it would be worth it, but to me it seems a bit expensive.

  72. Sara K. says:

    David Welsh’s article has inspired me to persuade you once again that no serious collector of shojo comics in the Japanese language should miss Rose of Versailles.

    This time, I’m discussing the female characters (only a handful, because there are a lot of female characters).

    Oscar – You already know her deal.

    Marie-Antoinette – You know her deal too.

    Jeanne – Born into poverty. Being a strong and ambitious girl, she doesn’t stand for that very long. And she doesn’t care if she tramples down people on her way up.

    Rosalie – Like her sister, Jeanne, Rosalie eventually rises from poverty. She even learns how to use a sword and occasionally wears gentleman’s clothing. Her sexuality is almost as discussed as Oscar’s, partially because there are hints that she is lesbian/bisexual. Don’t let all that fool you – she’s still a really girly character.

    Madame du Barry – The mistress of Louis XV. Most readers find her annoying (as do most of the characters), but I don’t.

    Madame de Polignac – Marie-Antoinette’s “friend”. By “friend”, I mean that she tries to kill Oscar because she is jealous of the way Marie-Antoinette feels about Oscar.

    Charlotte de Polignac – Madame de Polignac’s daughter. Unlike her mother, she’s in love with Oscar (Oscar, you ladies’ man!)

    My two favorite female characters are Oscar and Rosalie. The survival rate is … low. Though history is a little different – one of the “survivors” actually died during the French Revolution, whereas one of the characters who die in Berubara survived the Revolution. Speaking of history, all of these characters, except Oscar, really existed. Some, of course, are quite different from their historical counterparts.

  73. Connie says:

    I agree with you 100% on this, actually. I’ve been waiting for months for the large omnibus volumes to come back in stock at Amazon Japan, but I actually decided just a few days ago that I was sick of waiting and I’m just going to get the bunko volumes with my next Amazon order, which will be after Princess Gold comes out on the 16th. There should be an Eroica story in that issue, so that’ll be twice the 70s manga experience.

    I’m happy to see that Madame du Barry is in the series. I had done some reading not to long ago on the court of Versailles and the long line of mistresses enjoyed by the last kings before the Revolution. Madame du Barry had the unfortunate luck of coming after Madame du Pompadour as the royal mistress to Louis XV, so I think she tends to get a worse reputation than she deserves. The books I read were also not kind to Marie Antoinette, though did her more justice than a lot of sources do. I’m curious to see the rise of Jeanne and Rosalie too, because a lot of the sources I read suggested the only way to work your way into Versailles from the bottom was to basically sleep your way in, and I have a hard time imagining that in a shoujo manga.

  74. Sara K. says:

    Oh, I see. Forgive me for doubting your commitment. That’s too bad about the aizoubans (they are available on eBay for about $40 – but eBay is … eBay).

    I myself plan to get the kanzenban someday. It’s supposed to be the best edition (with color pages and other good stuff – the aizouban has color extras, but the actual pages are all b&w). The kanzenban is by far the most expensive, which is why I don’t recommend it to anybody who isn’t hardcore.

    I agree that Madame du Barry gets a worse rep than she deserves (even Rose of Versailles does it, though Ikeda’s priority was drama, not accuracy, so all is forgiven). Some of it was people being jealous of her power, and some of it was revolutionaries trying to discredit the ancien regime.

    As for Jeanne and Rosalie … they do have luck on their side, but in Jeanne’s case, the luck is historically accurate.

  75. Connie says:

    Actually, I kept thinking how I would rather have the aizoubans rather than the tiny bunko editions, so I turned to Yahoo Japan and bought a full set for about $20. There wasn’t quite as much Rose of Versailles stuff to sort through there as I thought there would be among the auctions, which is kind of unfortunate since I was looking forward to wading through decades worth of oddities dedicated to the series.

    I feel better now, though. Settling for the bunko editions just felt wrong when there were way better options available.

  76. Sara K. says:

    Good for you. I hope you enjoy :D

  77. Riv says:

    I just wanted to say impressive collection and I like your reviews and they have raised my interest in several series. Also do you not like Akira, Lone Wolf and Cub, or Blade of the Immortal? I was just surprised not to see them in your collection, unless they are hiding.

  78. Connie says:

    Thanks! I’m glad a few new things caught your eye.

    It’s not so much that I don’t like Akira, Blade of the Immortal, or Lone Wolf and Cub specifically, but I wasn’t really into serious action series until recently. I’ve come close to starting Blade of the Immortal a couple times, but keep putting it off until I’ve finished a few other things. And I’ve thought about starting Lone Wolf and Cub a few times, too. I may yet, since Vagabond has recently gotten me in the mood for samurai-type action, and I also tend to love old manga unconditionally. For Akira… it was out of print and expensive secondhand for a long time. It is getting a reprint sometime soon… but I feel like Domu was all the Katsuhiro Otomo I needed to read, as much as I loved it.

  79. Riv says:

    Yeah sometimes it is hard to start new series when you are continuing other series. There’s just so much out there right now with all the decades of manga finally being translated and released.

    I really like Kazuo Koike’s writing/plots in such series as Lone Wolf and Cub, Samurai Executioner, Path of the Assassin, Offered, Crying Freeman, Lady Snowblood, Wounded Man, etc. Also the artists he pairs with like Goseki Kojima and Ryoichi Ikegami are some of my favorites as well. It’s interesting how Koike’s style can go from being very artistic and subtle to extremely trashy and over the top, sometimes within a few pages. Vagabond is a great series as well and I’m sure you’ll really like Lone Wolf and Cub and Blade of the Immortal.

    It is a shame how Akira has become so hard to obtain. I have all 38 of the original colorized Epic issues from 1988-95 and the Dark Horse black and white releases. It’s a lot of fun to compare the two since in addition to the colorizing there are slight differences in the translation as well. The colorizing is also really well done and was the first computer colorizing of a comic. It would be nice if they would reprint that edition as well someday. Anyway, I think Akira may be my favorite manga as it is the only manga I’ve read all the way through 5 times now. Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind is in second place with 4 but it is quite a bit shorter than Akira, lol. I hope you get the chance to read it when it is rereleased, it’s quite the experience.

    I’ve been trying to broaden my horizons as well and been interested in reading more shoujo series. I’ve recently been reading/collecting several CLAMP series and From Eroica With Love after seeing your favorites/reviews. I’ve found them very enjoyable. I guess I was somewhat unsure and intimidated by the vast amount of shoujo manga and didn’t know where to start. I’m a guy and it seems there are many less guys interested in shoujo manga than girls interested in shounen manga, which is a shame because there is a lot of great stuff to be found.

  80. Connie says:

    I found a slender collection of some of the old Epic Akira issues the other day. I left it since I didn’t want to read a fragment of the story, but that edition is pretty awesome, and I’ll probably be reading the reprints when they come out in the near future, so I think I am going to go back for that Epic graphic novel. And I did not know that about Akira being the first computer-colored comic. That’s pretty cool.

    I really am going to get Blade of the Immortal next time I see a Dark Horse sale. I still kind of associate it with Vagabond in my mind, but I enjoy Vagabond so much that I have no doubt that I’ll easy get into BotI. And I really need to read more Kazuo Koike. I’d like to try out one of the Goseki Kojima collaborations, but I think Crying Freeman will probably be the very next series I pick up by him.

    I’m glad you’re starting to get into shoujo manga! Especially Eroica! I know there are at least a few guys out there who aren’t afraid of shoujo, but I think it’s a hard case to make sometimes because shounen manga seems to cater to both genders, but shoujo makes very little attempt to reach out to guys. And it’s easy for girls to read a lot of shounen and move into some of the seinen classics from there. I’m glad you’re finding some of my shoujo reviews helpful, though.

    If you’re looking for more, Banana Fish is a good gateway shoujo series too, since the plot is very action-oriented (mob connections, gang wars, drug conspiracies, stuff like that). The catch is that it very much panders to a shoujo audience with the characters. There are no female characters, and quite a number of the male characters are gay, or at least implied to be gay. It’s really strange in the context of the series if you’re reading from an outside perspective (my roommate commented on it constantly while he was reading it), but enjoyable from a shoujo perspective. The series balances plot and characters pretty well, and is probably driven more by plot in the end, but a lot of the action happens as a result of the characters trying to help or rescue each other, too.

    Basara is another I’ve read recently, and probably among the very best in shoujo fantasy. It’s similar in a lot of ways to some of the early CLAMP series, and has a good balance of action and character development, both romantic and otherwise. For a couple others that might be appealing and aren’t as long as Basara and Banana Fish, you might also try After School Nightmare and Honey and Clover, which are both addictive and strange and do their own things in different ways. Honey and Clover uses an art style more common in women’s manga, which is kind of unusual until you get used to it.

  81. Holy cow!!!!! :O And everyone thinks that I’ve got a big collection xDD You’ve got some great stuff too! :)

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