Manga bookshelf tour

I’ve loved reading since I was young.

I started listening to cassette tapes, because I found reading tricky. Then something in my brain kicked into gear and it no longer became a struggle. I spent my summer holidays buried in stacks of books borrowed from the library, or prowling the shelves of my town’s local bookshop.

When my nakama and I decided to create a manga together, I thought it would be a good idea to actually read some, which is how I got into the mess I’m currently in…

Fast forward two and half years and I now own 272 volumes of manga – and it rises very quickly with each passing year (and MCM Comic Con).

I have no regrets.

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Can you spot my nakama’s ZoSan figures at the top of the shelf?!

Bakuman tells the story of an artist and a writer who decide the create a manga together, which is how my nakama and I are creating our series. Since I knew virtually nothing about manga when we started the project, Bakuman was an excellent series to read as it taught me a lot about the industry, but also the story telling and the manga paneling is a great  reference on how good manga should be written. [Also see: 10 Things I Learnt About Manga from Bakuman]

Death Note was a manga I started collecting because I wanted to revisit the story years after watching the anime. For a series with a dark overarching theme, there are so many funny moments to lighten the tension. However, unlike Bakuman, I felt the female characters in Death Note were severely lacking in any substance. And, yes, that is a Death Note slotted between Bakuman and Death Note volume 1! [Also see: Why the second half of Death Note was dull]

One Piece is one of my nakama’s favourite anime series, and these four volumes are her’s. I’ve read most of the first volume, but, to be honest, I struggle with Oda’s over the top shounen writing style. The manga is stuffed full of imaginative ideas and Oda’s world building is particularly noteworthy.

Naruto is my favourite manga and anime series. I binged watched the anime back in 2013/2014, but stopped watching it when Pierrot began to drag out the episodes. I read this series when I need a pick up, as Naruto’s sunshine smile and encouraging words never fail to lift my spirits.

Assassination Classroom was a series I fell in love with from watching the anime. I’ve watched the whole series, but have enjoyed revisiting the characters in the manga. I think the mangaka makes a lot of important points in this series about the education system and how hard that journey into adulthood is.

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Hunter x Hunter was another series I began at the start of my manga collecting journey. Boy, this story got dark, but I love the magical system in this series – it’s really unique. I now suffer like the rest of the fandom waiting for new content. Get well soon, Tagashi! [Also see: A Possible Future for Hunter x Hunter]

My Hero Academia was a series I started reading after beginning the anime. I literally couldn’t wait for more content so bought the first three volumes of the manga. I devoured them over one weekend. I love how Horikoshi has consequences for the characters when they become injured, and the American-comic setting for a manga. [Also see: Boku no Hero: A Hero/Villain Origin Story?]

Attack on Titan was the first series I started collecting, back in 2013. After finishing the anime I was desperate to find out what happened, especially with how they finished the first series. As you can see, I’ve still yet to collect the first half of the series – I’ve got volume 1 and then 8… It’s on my list of volumes to buy one day.

Noragami caught my eye browsing in Waterstones. I think the idea of creating a manga about the Shinto gods is pretty ingenious. The quality of the series has dipped a little in the arc I’m currently reading – I feel like Adachitoka is dragging it out for no purpose and they’ve also increased the fan services, which is really disappointing.

Seraph of the End is my gay vampire go to (I can’t believe that MikaYuu is not canon – something is going on there!). I started collecting the manga after watching the first anime season. I think Wit did a pretty decent job of animating it, but some part of the series felt a little strange, especially with the use of the music. The manga is worth picking up if you enjoyed the anime.

Haikyuu!! had to be on my shelf after my nakama and I watched the anime, and then started playing volleyball ourselves! I love reading a volume on the bus on the way to training on a Monday night – gets me into the volleyball mood! [Also see: Haikyuu!!: Amazing Writing Techniques]

Black Clover has some awesome world building and the characters are pretty decent, but the writing needs a lot of improvement. I’m interested to see if they can improve it in the upcoming anime. [Also see: Let’s Talk About: Black Clover]

No.6 was a series read after watching the anime, since the two split a little at the end. I found the anime really confusing – they focused a lot more on Rat and Shion’s relationship, letting the sci-fi element slip. The explanation for the giant wasp is a lot clearer in the manga!

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Durarara!! is the first and only light novel series I’m currently collecting, although one day I would like to collect Baccano! I really like the setting for this series and the characters – it has a such a cool feel. I also like how skimmed down the writing style for light novels is – it is literally like reading a manga, but with more description. It’s a style I would like to experiment with one day.

Magi was collected over the space of half a year as I had finished both anime series and I wanted to find out what happened next. I love the Arabian Nights setting for this series – although it’s a shame everyone is so white in a middle eastern setting. The magic system in this series is pretty awesome – I love the djinn equip powers.

Servamp is a series I want to collect more of as I only have the first volume. I really loved the anime that was released last year – I think the staff for the show did really well to improve the manga writing, which is a little weak and slow in places. The thing I love the most about this series is Mahiro’s character trait that he has to become that “someone” who saves those who are in need, rather than waiting for someone else to take action.

Nabari no Ou was another one I wanted to read because I watched the anime and wanted to see how the manga series differed. I think the manga ending might kill me a little inside…

Tokyo Ghoul is my one horror manga – and it’s mild horror at that. I much prefer the second half of the manga to how the second season of the anime panned out. It makes a lot more sense, but there are elements that are happening in the manga that didn’t happen in the anime at all – Ishida explores Rize’s character more in the manga.

Aoharu x Machinegun was a series I campaigned for a lot on Twitter – I bugged Yen Press A LOT to get them to print it. And now I have it on my self. And it’s beautiful. Hotaru is a character I wish I was more like – she’s just so awesome. One day I want to cosplay her.

Bungou Stray Dogs was a series I fell in love with from watching the anime. I can’t wait for the third season. It was my favourite anime of 2016 – seasons 1 and 2 were both amazing. Naming the characters after famous Japanese authors and giving them powers that relate to their work is so clever. Makes me annoyed I didn’t think of something like that!

Yona of the Dawn should be on the josei/shojo shelf, but I ran out of room! I love this series with a fierce passion. It’s everything that shojo should be – although I’m not too fussed on the reverse harem element. Yona’s such a strong female character. I love her. And I love the Korea-inspired world. I wish there were more high fantasy shojo stories like Yona.

Fullmetal Alchemist is a recent addition to my shelves, which I started reading because I wanted to find out how if differed from the first anime series. I tried to watch Brotherhood a few years ago, but really hated the writing style at the beginning. I’m really glad I read the manga series – there are a lot of elements in it that I preferred to the first anime series.

Blue Exorcist is one of my favourite manga series. I’m glad that they’ve started remaking the anime, even though they sort of rounded it off at the end of the first season. There is so much awesome manga content available, it would be a shame if they didn’t animate it all. [Also see: Blue Exorcist Season 2: Questions Raised]

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All the other series on this shelf are my nakama’s – she likes horror manga if you can’t tell!!

Kiss Him Not Me is my little guilty pleasure. It’s not the sort of thing I would usually read – I’m not one for harem romances – but I love that the main character is a hardcore fujoshi. She so realistic it’s a little scary! I’m not keen on how they dealt with the weight issues – no one loses that much weight in a week and in the anime they very much poked fun at the fat version of Kae by giving her a stupid voice.

A Silent Voice was my treat when I got my first full-time job. It’s such a heart warming series, but also deals with some really important issues. I would highly recommend it to everyone. I’m really looking forward to watching the film. I have a feel KyoAni wouldn’t disappoint.

Kamisama Kiss is one of the few shojo series that has a heroine I like. Nanami is a really strong female character, who doesn’t become blinded my love, or get caught up in all the male characters that surround her. She’s got a lot more substance than a lot of your average female heroines.

Orange is the only manga series that has made me cry. It deals with issues that teenagers go through but are very rarely touched upon in manga, like teenage suicide. Seriously, go read it.

The Ancient Magus Bride is such an underrated series. I think the 2017 impending anime will give its popularity a boost. I love this series mostly for the England-based setting and the British folklore creatures that appear in the series. It freaks me a little to see familiar places like Paddington station in a manga, but it’s still pretty cool!

Princess Jellyfish is one of my favourite manga series. It’s so heart warming and funny, filled with amazing characters. I especially like Kuranosuke and the reason the mangaka gave him for cross-dressing. I bought my friend who has never read manga or watched anime before the first volume for Christmas and she loved it – it’s a good gateway series.

Sweetness and Lightning is one I started collecting after watching the anime. I wanted to find out what happened after the anime ended, but also wanted the recipes that are written in the manga. It’s such a cute series. I’m interested to see how the romance element – which was completely omitted from the anime – is going to develop.

The Prince in His Dark Days isn’t the best series for writing style – some parts of it are rather confusing – but I like the premise and the mix of characters the mangaka has included in the cast. It’s great to see lesbian and gay couples in a shojo manga. I’ve only got one more volume left to read, which is a shame, but I could tell from volume 3 that the author was struggling to keep the story going. I’m definitely going to watch out for more of her work (I bought this series because I really enjoyed her yaoi manga End Game).

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D.Gray-man is another of my nakama’s series, which I am reading. I really loved the first two onibuses, but the last one I read, which includes volumes 13/14/15, didn’t grab me all that much. It was confusing. The battle system is now all over the place – I feel like Hoshino is making stuff up as she goes along and not taking the time to explain it.

So, there you have it! This is what the collection of my manga addict looks like!

Do you collect manga? What volumes do you own? 

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