Kingyo Used Books 3

January 2, 2012

Seimu Yoshizaki – Viz – 2011 –

Apparently I skipped this volume. I’m not sure how I forgot about it. It’s got a Kazuo Umezu book on the cover. One I’ve talked about here before.

I tend to enjoy this series for the historical information it offers as supplements to its stories, rather than the stories themselves. But it’s hard to complain when the volume opens with a double-page spread of a girl asking for Kazuo Umezu manga. He’s one of my absolute favorites. The first story revolves around a club that meets to talk about just how scary Kazz manga is, and a man who can’t handle scary stories trying to get close to the leader of the Umezu group. A lot of his manga comes up, but Mori no Kyodai is the book on the cover and the subject of a trivia question in the chapter itself.

The second chapter is a story about a young woman struggling with her design career that visits Kingyo and has her spirits lifted when she finds Sailor Moon, a series she enjoyed immensely when she was young. I hate that series, so… a biased failing grade on that chapter. I liked the next chapter about Sanpei Shirato manga better, though. Again, it was fun because it made me want to read Sanpei Shirato, not because I liked the story about men getting together at the zoo. Though it wasn’t a bad story per se, just not that memorable.

The last half of the book mostly covers topics related to manga distribution and collecting. One chapter talks about the sedori profession, people that go from bookstore to bookstore, buying items that are marked down at one and selling them to a store that can mark them up. This is more about the sedori characters than it is their job, and again, I’m not very attached to the characters, so I was more interested in what they were doing and how they were evaluating the collections. As someone that works at a used bookstore in the US, I can tell you the American equivalent of sedori are some of the most infuriating barterers that I’ve ever met in my life. I’m sorry, you are not entitled to a discount because you are going to resell this. No, I will not mark that down for you. No, no sales today. No, I don’t have any coupons to give you. Don’t do this at the register when we have a line, please. Or ever.

Other chapters cover lending libraries, rental manga, and book restoration, all of which are topics I’m interested in, but again… if you’re not a huge book nerd, the stories don’t really make up for the fact the topics aren’t gripping stuff.

But if you are a huge book nerd, as well as a manga geek, there’s a lot to like here.

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