I Was On The Radio! (talking about manga)

So, my sister and I have been fans of anime and manga for over 20 years now. And because of our loooong history being fans, we’ve had strange opportunities to “nerd-out” in public!

Our first chance was when we visited Japan in 2009. We went on a tour for fans, and our tour was subsequently interviewed by a local English-language newspaper. We were sadly misquoted in the piece, but it was still pretty exciting at the time to see the online engagement by Japanese fans with our words. Particularly my sisters’s (at the time) obsession with MatsuJun.

A few years later, we were asked to be interviewed by a photographer for a local magazine. She had been commissioned to do a photo essay about collector’s in the city. My name was passed along by a colleague who is very involved in the local art-scene. So a few weeks later, we were interviewed, and a large portrait of ourselves in front of our collection appeared in this magazine. I heard that this year the magazine has now ceased. But still, it was a cool (albeit an embarrassing) experience.

Because of that photo essay we’ve been contacted a few times for different opportunities, all of which were turned down. But, the latest phone call was from a local radio show “CBC : The Homestretch” requesting an interview. This was for a program series they were doing about ‘passionate hobbyists’, so they have a wider berth than just “collectors”.

We agreed to the interview. A few weeks later we had a knock on the door, and our interviewer came in with her microphone on and ready. And a few more weeks after a surprisingly awkward and unprepared interview, that left us both feeling emotionally anxious, we were on the radio.

Because the interview was quite awkward (on our end), I was especially nervous to listen to the program. I couldn’t do it live. I waited a day and listened to the broadcast online. It’s not bad. But there are some things about it that aren’t awesome which I need to address, before I share it with you…

  1. The in Japanese introduction is unfortunate (I’m not sure I’m confident this was written by a Japanese speaker). Do you really say, “aishimasu” toward inanimate objects? I would say “manga ga suki desu”. Not “watashi wa manga o aishimasu”. So that sounded weird to me… and the off-the-cuff remark “That’s Japanese for, ‘I love manga,’ or close enough”. Ummm…. No. There’s no “close enough” about it. Granted, he probably didn’t know what he was saying and was actually just remarking on his pronunciation. But, still… it comes off as an excuse for not doing your homework. Almost as bad as saying, “Ai rabu manga” in a Japanese accent and calling it “close enough” …urk.
  2. The Japanese koto/shamisen playing over our discussion of why we like manga was sooooooooo wrong! Why! Why did that have to play? Yes, we were talking about how much we like Japan, but we aren’t Japanese. It came off (to me) as orientalism. Which I… no…just no!
  3. The way the interview was cut is very good. Some of the worst parts of the interview that I was dreading to hear were removed. But, some context may have inadvertently been removed as well, which makes me sound like I approve of reading scans.  I state that we started buying manga because the only way to read manga at the time was to buy it. But, that was more a comment on (at the time) small library collections, and just the lack of availability of titles in regular book stores… not scans. So, no, I still do not approve of scanslations or scans reading. Please don’t take that message away from this.

Okay, so now that I’ve prepared you for the worst… it’s actually really not that bad. I may be reading more into it than I should (because that’s what I do). And, I certainly don’t think any mistake made was malicious in any way.

Plus, I had fun doing it. It was a good experience. And, I’d probably do it again.

So, here we are! Click the radio to listen, if you’re interested!

radio

 

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Review/Rant: 100 Manga Artists by Amano Masanao

100 Manga Artists.jpg100 Manga Artists / by Amano Masanao ; edited by Julius Wiedemann.

Köln : Taschen GmbH, [2017] ©2017

9783836526470

Original edition published as: Manga Design. Amano, Masanao. Köln : Taschen, c2004.

 

Before you get too far into this review, know that this is effectively the WORST book I’ve read on anime/manga… and I’ve read my fair share! It’s poorly written (I hope the parallel French and German text were better), is inconsistently formatted, provides no useful information, and is an unbalanced and creepy curation that leans heavily toward the over-sexualized.

I was fooled. I was fooled by photographs of a kindly online recommendation. I was fooled by the cover design/title (which I’ll get to later). I was fooled by the publisher whose works I usually appreciate (At least as coffee table books). And, I was fooled by the $10 price tag. I should have known better.

So before I get too far into rant mode, I should probably describe the book. This is a relatively small-trim sized 5.7 x 7.9 inches and chunky 672 pages hardcover book. As far as coffee table books go, it is appealing: a fun size crammed with black and white manga illustrations. Inside, each artist is introduced in a short paragraph with parallel text in English (first), followed by French and German, and 3 to 6 full page examples of that artist’s manga on thick glossy pages.

The actual publishing quality of the book is good, but the content leaves a lot to be desired.

 

Design:

I was originally hesitating to pick this up because of the hideous cover design, and also I’m not usually very interested in these types of encyclopedic surveys of anime and manga. I know because I read them. But, a little push from an online recommendation, and the $10 price tag were enough to reel me in. I’m always weak-willed to any books about manga.

The title “100 Manga Artists” sounds like it will be an encyclopedic work (which it is), featuring 100 different manga artists (which it does) and talking about those artists and/or why they are important (which it doesn’t). There are 100 manga artists named, and their work shown, but there is little to information about the artists themselves or why they were even included in this book. The text was merely there to briefly describe the plot of one or two of that artists’ more notable manga (notable, according to the author).

manga designThis lack of biographical information had me questioning the title. Why was it called 100 Manga Artists? I quickly realized that this had everything to do with marketing, and nothing to do with content. This is actually a “revised” edition of a previous book published by Taschen. That book was called “Manga Design”. Though, I would also take issue with that title, it is definitely more appropriate to the content of this book than “100 Manga Artists”. The Artists aren’t given any importance in this book. It is not at all about Manga Artists.

Book titles are changed for one reason – to make money. You most often see book titles change when there is a movie to tie-in (for example “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda” was recently re-published under it’s movie name, “Love, Simon”). It also happens a lot when books are published in different countries (for example “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s/Philosopher’s Stone”. There are a few other reasons, but these are the easiest examples to think of.

There was no reason to change the title of the book “Manga Design” except that the author or publisher wanted to make money. Best way to do that, especially if people have already read the first edition and realize they don’t need another copy, is to change the name and fool the idiots (i.e. me) who didn’t do their homework before picking it up.

This appears to be a quality published book, by a publisher who often puts out respected coffee-table style art history books. I have always trusted them to produce beautiful, well written books for the layperson. But, the quality of the content of this book is so poor, and the fact that they had to change the title of the book for no visible reason except to trick potential patrons, seriously damages my trust in this company.

 

Writing:

The first sentence of the introduction had me immediately excited, “Manga are Japanese comics created for Japanese readers.” Oddly enough, the term manga is rarely defined in these type of books as anything more than Japanese comics. Even academia seems to forget this important sentence when they are writing about manga for academic journals and other research papers. So, when I read this statement I was anticipating great things! Not only is it rare to get a definition about manga in writings on manga, but it is doubly rare for me to agree with said definition. This author has caught the most important defining aspect of what manga is in their first sentence, “for Japanese readers.” I’ve never read anyone write that before… except me. Unfortunately this wave of brilliance soon departed. The rest of the writing in this book, which I will say is fairly lean, is not brilliant. It is poor. And, I found myself having to read passages aloud to my sister (who was baking pies in the kitchen at the time) in exasperation.

The most hair-pulling example of this writing comes from the paragraph introducing Jiro Taniguchi (page 540).

Jiro Taniguchi is a talented artist who is always breaking new ground with different kinds of images for every new story or theme he pursues. He thoroughly researches each of his stories. When he was first starting out, he created interesting hard-boiled action pieces. He then experimented with a variety of themes. […]

ARE YOU KIDDING?!! A grade-schooler could construct better sentences than this! Forget that Jiro Taniguchi “researches each of his stories”, this makes me wonder whether this author researched for their book at all!

Now, not all of the blame can lie on the original author. This was originally written in Japanese (as far as I can tell), so the translator also gets to share in the brunt of my annoyance.

“He thoroughly researches each of his stories.”

I’m assuming that the author meant that he does research before working on a story, or researches for each of his stories, but to say “he researches his stories” implies that he goes back after the story is written and collects any articles or papers that discuss them.

I could go on.

On top of the plethora of problems with this writing there is also no style. If they had to write each sentence in a passive voice, and start 90% of the sentences (this may be an exaggeration, I’m really frustrated and don’t feel like counting) with the word “He”, wouldn’t it have been a better option to just use bullet points to organize?

But then, what is there to put into bullet points? Try this experiment: ask yourself what concrete information you have learned when you read the short paragraph above.

Give up?

Let me give you a hint:

Jiro Taniguchi created more than one art thing.

That’s it! This statement may seem a bit facetious, but NOTHING else is stated in these sentences. The rest is supposition and posturing with none of the necessary details or explanation which give concrete meaning to the words.

This wouldn’t frustrate me so much, except that I feel like these words are a complete waste of space (and waste of my time). This block of text is 1/3 of the description used for Jiro Taniguchi. The remaining 2/3 of text is a quick list of some of his more famous titles and their topics (NOT their themes). And to top it off, of all of the works listed, not one of them includes what anyone would call a “hard-boiled action piece.”

So the writing is poor. The content is non-existent. And I still have another objection! [Can you hear my voice getting louder, because it is!] That problem is inconsistent formatting.

I haven’t mentioned yet, but in addition to the short paragraph to introduce the artist (or whatever it’s doing, I’m not really sure), there is a short list of facts for each artist (in English only). These facts can include: when and where they were born, their debut work, their best known works, anime adaptations of their works, and some prizes they’ve won.

But the use of these facts is inconsistent, and therefore untrustworthy. In the category for anime adaptations, for example, some artists who have known anime adaptations of their works have a short listing, but some don’t. This is also true of the awards listings.

The listings of “best known works” is what tipped me off to this issue in the first place. Back to the example of Jiro Taniguchi:

Best known works

“Unu o kau” [Owning a Dog]

“Kamigami no itadaki”

“Botchan no jidai”

Umm…

So, someone explain to me why the first title was translated into English, but the other two weren’t? Especially considering that the other two titles are BOTH published in English, this wouldn’t have been difficult to resolve.

And if we ignore that gross oversight, why weren’t these titles printed in Japanese with the plain phonetic pronunciation beside them, instead of the phonetic pronunciation alone? Why?! Why, I ask you?!

 

Curation:

The last thing I want to talk about is the creepy curation. I don’t understand why certain artists were included, and some artists weren’t. And, why certain manga illustrations were included instead of something else. After reading this book, I did go online and check other people’s reviews, and some of them stated that they liked the variety of artists discussed. So, this may be more subjective than my other arguments. But let me at least describe what I see:

Page 6: Flipping to the introduction, the illustration to the left comes from (I’m assuming by the art style) Mitsuru Adachi where a girl appears to be boxing (probably from the manga Katsu), falls over, and lands with her panties exposed while a bunch of men watch.

Page 25: Koji Aihara. The illustrations used directly beside the introduction is a 4-koma sequence that ends in a rambunctious theesome.

Page 31: Ken Akamatsu. The illustration used directly beside the introduction is from Negima. The little wizard boy performs some magic, and the girl in question’s clothes blow off.

Page 49: Moyocco Anno. The illustration used directly beside the introduction is from Flowers and Bees. If you can’t read Japanese or haven’t read the original story, this wouldn’t look like much. But, this is the moment that the two female hairdressers proposition the main boy and suggest that having sex with them will make him more appealing to women (right before they rape him).

Page 79: Kiyohiko Azuma. The illustration used directly beside the introduction is from Azumanga Daioh. Again, you’d need to know the series or Japanese to get it. But, this is a sports scene where Tomo tells Sakaki-san to step back because her boobs give her too much of a lead when they race.

 

In my opinion there is an over-use of unnecessarily sexual content. Mitsuru Adachi, and Kiyohiko Azuma are far from artists who I would think of when I would discuss fan service. Yes, I know, it’s a major part of shonen manga, blah blah blah… but… there are much better, and more memorable aspects to these stories that could have been included.

The placement of these images is also a bit creepy to me. The majority of the more “tantalizing” illustrations are on the first page to a section, next to the introductory paragraph where you’ll spend the most time. There are of course exceptions.

I’m not offended by sexual content. But I don’t like the subtle leaning towards the so-called “male-gaze” that I feel all over this curation. I feel too much of the author’s “interest” in manga in this curation and in his writing. As an encyclopedic work this should have been more neutral.

Some of the illustrations are appropriate as a representation of an artist’s work. In my opinion, both the illustrations for Ken Akamatsu and Moyocco Anno fit fairly well.

And there were a few surprises. Shintaro Kago, for example, doesn’t really have any example art in this book that I would consider overly-sexual. I can’t read the Japanese, so can’t be sure about the content. But, for someone known for his EroGuro (grotesque erotica), and who often sells as pornography, there is only one small image of a naked woman being pulled apart by school children using her legs as rope in a tug-of-war. But that’s it. And that very much is indicative of his art.

Gengoroh Tagame who is a notable gay-manga (bara) artist has some of his non-censored work included in this book. These types of scenes are fine to include as a representation of his work, but they also make me nervous. This book doesn’t have any external clues that it’s intended for adults only. The least that could have been done is a rating on the back, like any respectable English-language manga would get.

[Also, before you congratulate this book on its inclusivity, just note that Tagame was only included in this book because he’s recently gotten popular outside of the gay-manga genre. The same is true for the inclusion of Fumi Yoshinaga. There aren’t any strictly yaoi, yuri, or gay-manga artists in this book.]

 

Conclusion:

This reads like a self-published mess. But, the art is nice, and the price tag of $10 for about 500 pages of glossy art seems relatively reasonable as someone who likes to do paper crafts. I wouldn’t be surprised if this didn’t meet my scissors in some mad crafting afternoon sometime.

 

Game:

Do you see what I see? Find the glaring omission. [hint: the original edition was published in 2004. This “revised” edition was published in 2017.]

obata scan update

obata scan update2obata scan update3

MY COLLECTING HISTORY + tips on growing a massive collection

I’ve often had the question on my YouTube channel of “how many manga do you own” and “how did you collect so many”. Here is a little history of how I’ve collected such a huge collection of manga, with tips on how you could do the same… (Think before you decide to collect a huge collection. A huge collection is fun, but isn’t necessarily all it’s cracked up to be!)

751888

ONE: Start Early, and Be Consistent.

I started collecting manga in 2003, and in 15 years, have amassed a collection of over 5000+ volumes. That means that I’ve collected nearly a volume of manga every day! Every. Single. Day. That’s a ton of manga! I’ve had a few ups and downs in collecting, but manga has been something that I’ve regularly invested in. I couldn’t have done this in a few purchases, it’s taken a LONG time to get here, and consistent shopping is really the only reason my collection is now bursting at the seams.

TWO: Collect With a Friend.

I’ve been collecting with my sister since day 1. This was one of the major things that we bonded over when I moved away after university (and she still lived at home). So technically, of the 5000+ volumes of manga in the collection, half of them are actually hers. She has slightly different tastes than me, so we have been good at keeping to collecting our own series. Because it’s two people collecting together, we’ve been able to collect so many more than if we were doing it alone.

THREE: Don’t Have Discriminating Tastes.

It’s basic math. If you subtract from your collection it will take you longer to accumulate more manga. We don’t subtract from our collection. This isn’t the recommended way to collect, but it’s the way that we do it. Even if we don’t like it, we keep it in the collection. It’s a major reason why the collection has gotten so massive!

FOUR: Don’t Read Scans.

You shouldn’t read them anyways, because they are BAD for the industry. But, when we started collecting, scans weren’t a thing. I didn’t have a chance in the early days to be tempted by scans. And if scans aren’t an option, the only way to read manga is to either buy it or borrow it. If you want to grow your collection, you need to buy the books you’re reading! I did later discover scans (in recent years, even) which I was a bit naive about how detrimental they were… but while I was reading them, I didn’t have a desire to buy them… my collection barely grew at all during the 2-3 years that I was reading scans. Now that I’m back to avoiding scans, my collection has been growing by leaps-and-bounds.

FIVE: Get a Job.

The more expendable income you have, the more you can buy manga. I discovered manga as an adult, and I’ve always made manga a priority in my budget. In the early days I was more foolish with my money, and I did take on debt thanks to my interest in manga, but now with a very manga-specific budget I’m able to collect nearly as much as I want without going further into debt! Manga is NOT worth going into debt over!!

SIX: Reorganize Your Financial Priorities.

If you can’t afford the manga you want, maybe you’re spending too much in other areas. I’ve made tough choices, and gotten rid of expensive hobbies (like giving up paid-for TV services, and collecting 80s toys) completely because I wanted more money to dedicate to manga.

SEVEN: Buy Used.

It’s one of the main ways I’ve been able to add so many manga, so quickly. Used is a great way to find good titles, for a good deal. I’ll often pick up titles for more than 50% off the cover price. But, I do caution you that if you’re not careful, you could actually end up spending more on used than new. I have a motto to NEVER pay more than cover price. Sometimes it means waiting a decade for a volume I really want, but I’ve found some amazing deals on titles I REALLY wanted this way! It pays to be patient!

Manga Bingo Challenge + Giveaway | #mangareadathon 2018

#MANGAREADATHON GIVEAWAY #3: Manga Bingo!

You might remember that last year we made a bingo board for our reading challenges. We had fun with that bingo board, so we decided to keep it by combining it with another one of our challenges that we hosted last year, our Manga Treasure Hunt! This year we’re calling the challenge “manga bingo” AKA “mango” but the idea is the same.

To Enter This Giveaway:

  • Find pictures of the items listed in the mango board below in the manga you’re reading.
  • Take photographs of the items you find and share them on your social media (anywhere online as long as it is publicly visible). *Please DO NOT share pictures you’ve found in non-licensed publications or scanlations.
  • Share at least one item to enter this giveaway one time. Click HERE, to fill in the form.
  • Remember that when you share the pictures you MUST include the following information for any of the pictures you share to be eligible: name the item you’ve located (from the mango board), include the hashtag #mangabingo, the title of the book, and the author.

Ex. it may end up looking something like, this:

mangabingo2

  • Try for a Mango Blackout! If you find all of the items in the board below, Click HERE to fill in the form AGAIN and your name will be entered in this giveaway 3 times. You need to submit this form twice for your blackout to be counted.
  • Read the Rules & Disclaimers carefully before you enter.

 

mangabingo18

Some definitions:

  • Tatami: these are the traditional woven flooring panels used in houses
  • Miko: these are usually young shrine priestesses. They can be identified by their large red pants (hakama), large white shirt (haori), and are often holding a leafy tree branch (for performing purification rituals)
  • Pompadour: this is the classic hair style of gangster boys (or yankee) where their hair is twisted and pulled forward. It makes them look dangerous…
  • Geta: these are the traditional sandals (like flip-flops on stilts) worn with kimono or yukata (spring kimono)
  • Sailor Fuku: this is the style of school uniform that is often worn by Jr. High School girls (hint: where “Sailor” Moon gets her name)
  • Katana: this is a distinctly long and straight type of sword often used by samurai
  • Yokai: are Japanese spirits or monsters
  • Sensu: are folding fans used to cool oneself, to look sophisticated… and sometimes used as a weapon to defeat the enemy

 

Prizes:

ONE: A copy of Anne of Green Gables (novel) with illustrations by Maki Minami. A copy of Clover (manga) by CLAMP. Assorted Canadian and Japanese snacks.

TWO: A copy of Anne of Green Gables (novel) with illustrations by Maki Minami. A copy of Solanin (manga) by Inio Asano. Assorted Canadian and Japanese snacks.

*NOTE: manga copies may be previously used but are all in very good condition.

*Snacks may not be exactly as shown.

 

Rules & Disclaimers:

  1. Contest open internationally to countries and locations that my country currently ships to. You do not need to be participating in the manga readathon to enter.
  2. Open to subscribers 18 years or older or, over the age of 13 and have a guardian’s permission to enter.
  3. There will be 2 winners of this contest.
  4. You may enter up to 2 times in this contest (for a maximum of 3 chance to win this draw). Enter one time for participating. Enter a second time for completing a Bingo Blackout (finding ALL of the pictures in the mango board).
  5. Contest closes June 24, 2018 12pm MST (noon).
  6. Contest winner will be randomly chosen via draw. *Draw will be June 25, 2018*
  7. Contest winner must reply within 36 hours of notification with preferred shipping address or they will be disqualified.
  8. I reserve the right to disqualify any applicants for any reason without notification. (i.e. evidence of abusive, copyright infringement or illegal behavior)
  9. I am not to be held liable for any items lost or damaged in the mail. Manga awarded may be in very good/used condition.
  10. Prizes will be shipped using the cheapest means available to me. This means I cannot guarantee tracking or fast delivery.
  11. YouTube is not a sponsor of this contest. Participants must agree to release YouTube from any and all liability related to this contest.
  12. Entering this contest means you are agreeing to all terms above.

 


We are running more giveaways during this readathon. Make sure you follow this blog, and our twitter to find out what giveaways/and activities we’ll be hosting. 

Bookmark this page, which is being kept up-to-date with all of the giveaway/activities/challenges: https://mangahoarder.com/readathon18/

Follow us on Twitter: @MangaReadathon

Don’t forget to use the hashtag: #MangaReadathon so we can find you online. And, leave a link in the comments and let us know if you’ll be participating!

Manga Art Challenge + Giveaway | #mangareadathon 2018

#MANGAREADATHON GIVEAWAY #2: Draw your favourite manga!

I want you to create a picture of your favourite manga or character. One page is all I need. Then SEND it to me via snail mail! Yes, you read right! I want you to send me your physical drawing in the mail.

Last year I had several participants mention that they weren’t allowed to use social media. So, I wanted to have activities that everyone could participate in. That’s where snail mail comes in. Plus, I really love receiving things in the mail! (who doesn’t?!)

stamps-1712530_960_720

To enter this giveaway:

  • Send me one picture in the mail that you’ve created yourself of your favourite manga, or character. You can use any art mediums you like (please no glitter).
  • Pictures should be no larger than 8.5X11 inches (Standard letter size paper). I will accept photographs (of 3-dimensional or oversized art pieces).
  • Include the following information with your submission: your name & address (where I can send your prize to), your email (so I can contact you if you win), the name of the manga and character depicted in your art (because I don’t know everything), and if it is an original design or not.
  • If you have copied the picture from somewhere make sure you include a reference to the original artist, and the source of the picture.
  • Include the hashtag #mangareadathon.
  • Please DO NOT include any personal information on the front of the picture.
  • Send your picture to my P.O. Box listed below.
  • Read the Rules & Disclaimers carefully before you enter.

 

NOTE: You will not be judged on your artistic skill! The winner of this contest will be chosen randomly via draw.

 

Prize:

The winner will receive:

  • a Kaweco Ice Sport (Black) fountain pen, with extra refills (various colours)
  • and, a selection of Japanese stationery (including a muji notebook, washi tape, page flags, and stickers)

 

art prize

*Prize may not be exactly as shown.

*If you want to see what the Kaweco fountain pen looks like out of the box, you can find a picture on “Jet Pens” (this is NOT an affiliate link): https://www.jetpens.com/Kaweco-Ice-Sport-Fountain-Pen-Black-Fine-Nib/pd/16674 

 

Rules & Disclaimers:

  1. Contest open internationally to countries and locations that my country currently ships to. You do not need to be participating in the manga readathon to enter.
  2. Open to subscribers 18 years or older or, over the age of 13 and have a guardian’s permission to enter.
  3. There will only be 1 winner.
  4. *Draw will be July 17, 2018* You should get your artwork in the mail by at least June 27 to ensure it arrives in time. Any submissions received after this time will not be included.
  5. Contest winner will be randomly chosen via draw.
  6. By entering this contest you are giving me the right to share your art on my social media channels, which include: this blog (mangahoarder.com), YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram.
  7. I reserve the right to disqualify any applicants for any reason without notification. (i.e. evidence of abusive, copyright infringement or illegal behavior)
  8. I am not to be held liable for any items lost or damaged in the mail.
  9. Prizes will be shipped using the cheapest means available to me. This means I cannot guarantee tracking or fast delivery.
  10. I will not be returning your art after the contest is over, nor am I able to reimburse you for postage.
  11. eMail submissions will not be accepted.
  12. Please keep your art rated PG (or less).
  13. Please avoid glitter or other messy art supplies.
  14. Pictures should be no larger than standard letter size 8.5X11 inches.
  15. YouTube is not a sponsor of this contest. Participants must agree to release YouTube from any and all liability related to this contest.
  16. Entering this contest means you are agreeing to all terms above.

 

SEND YOUR ART TO:

Manga Hoarder’s Art Challenge

P.O. Box 47042

Creekside

Calgary, Alberta

T3P 0A0 Canada

 


We will be running more giveaways during this readathon. Make sure you follow this blog, and our twitter to find out what giveaways/and activities we’ll be hosting. 

Bookmark this page, which is being kept up-to-date with all of the giveaway/activities/challenges: https://mangahoarder.com/readathon18/

Follow us on Twitter: @MangaReadathon

Don’t forget to use the hashtag: #MangaReadathon so we can find you online. And, leave a link in the comments and let us know if you’ll be participating!

READING CHALLENGES | #MangaReadathon 2018

2018 readathonIt’s that time of year again, our Manga Readathon will be running from June 17-23, 2018. It starts at 12:00am Sunday and ends at 11:59pm Saturday in your time zone.

The aim of this readathon is to encourage you to read more manga than you normally would! So, if you normally don’t read manga, try to read 1 book. If you normally read 60 volumes, try to read 61. That’s all there is to it.

However, we do have optional challenges which you may want to use to construct your TBR (to be read) pile:

reading challenges.jpg

Remember these are optional challenges, and are just there to help you pick what you’ll read during the week. They are also very flexible, so just make them work for you!

If you participated last year, you may remember that we created a 25-challenge bingo board for reading challenges. But with the number of comments we received after last year’s readathon we decided to scale it back to 7 simple challenges to make it easier for everyone.

However, if you are missing the 25-challenge bingo board from last year, we would recommend that you add-in the prompts from the #readmanga18 yearly manga reading challenge. The yearly challenge was created to replace the 25-challenge bingo board from last year’s readathon. Challenge yourself to see how many of the 52 yearly reading prompts you can complete in a single week! Find the challenge, here: #readmanga18


READATHON RULES: Please only read manga that have been legally translated into your language or legally licensed for distribution in your country. If you’re not sure you’re reading something legally, you probably aren’t. Thanks for avoiding scanlations during this readathon!


GIVEAWAY #1: What manga would you recommend?

We realize that it might be difficult for some people find a manga to read that’s been recommended. Maybe you’ve never been recommended a manga!

We want to give everyone a chance to find a title to read that someone else recommends.

To enter this giveaway:

  • Recommend 1 title below. Include the title, author, English-language publisher and a sentence (or two) on why you recommend it.
  • It must be a title that is currently in print in English (either physical or digitally).
  • Include the hashtag #mangareadathon in your response.
  • Read the Rules & Disclaimers before you enter.

Prize:

The winner will get to pick 3 volumes of manga from the following. *NOTE: these are used manga, but are all in very good condition:

7 Billion Needles — His Favorite — Berserk — One-Punch Man — Nextworld — Bakuman — Takane & Hana — Miss Me? — B’TX

All of the volumes above are volume 1s, except Miss Me? which is a 1-shot or self-contained volume, and Bakuman which includes volumes 1 & 2.

NOTE: If you decide to pick Bakuman, you will have to take both volumes 1 and 2. This title will count as 2 of the 3 volumes you can choose as your prize.

**7 Billion Needles, His Favorite, and Berserk are intended for an older audience and include mature subject matter.

Rules & Disclaimers:

  1. Contest open internationally to countries and locations that my country currently ships to. You do not need to be participating in the manga readathon to enter.
  2. Open to subscribers 18 years or older or, over the age of 13 and have a guardian’s permission to enter. (**Parents/Guardians: Please note that some manga are intended for an adult audience and may include mature subject matter.)
  3. There will only be 1 winner. This contest is being run on my blog here, and on my YouTube channel. You can enter the contest 1 time at both places (for a maximum of 2 entries).
  4. *Contest closes June 17, 2018 12:00 AM MST.* Any submissions after this time will not be included.
  5. Contest winner will be randomly chosen via draw.
  6. Contest winner must reply within 36 hours of notification with preferred shipping address or they will be disqualified.
  7. I reserve the right to disqualify any applicants for any reason without notification. (i.e. evidence of abusive or illegal behavior)
  8. I am not to be held liable for any items lost or damaged in the mail. Manga awarded is used (in very good condition).
  9. Prizes will be shipped using the cheapest means available to me. This means I cannot guarantee tracking or fast delivery.
  10. YouTube is not a sponsor of this contest. Participants must agree to release YouTube from any and all liability related to this contest.
  11. Entering this contest means you are agreeing to all terms above.

We will be running more giveaways during this readathon. Make sure you follow this blog, and our twitter to find out what giveaways/and activities we’ll be hosting. 

Bookmark this page, which is being kept up-to-date with all of the giveaway/activities/challenges: https://mangahoarder.com/readathon18/

Follow us on Twitter: @MangaReadathon

Don’t forget to use the hashtag: #MangaReadathon so we can find you online. And, leave a link in the comments and let us know if you’ll be participating!

25 Otaku Facts About Me!

I’ve been thinking of this list for a while now. I was originally going to film a video, but then I saw DynamicDylan film a tag which he titled 50 otaku facts. 50 facts is a lot to share in a single video, so I’ve been debating what to do about it. I’ve even filmed that video twice, but I haven’t liked the result either time. It’s weird to talk about yourself so much in such a short period of time. I’ve decided to scale it back to my original plan, and just do 25 facts… and so that I’m not actually “talking” about myself, I’ll post it here! haha!

1.  I discovered Japanimation by watching Sailor Moon. But, my first official anime title was Blue Seed.

2.  Of all anime I re-watch Blue Seed, 3X3 Eyes, Shura No Toki, HunterxHunter (1999), Azumanga Daioh, The Vision of Escaflowne, and Hikaru no Go the most. But still I only watch about 2 or 3 shows a year at the most these days.

3.  My favourite anime opening songs. At least, these are songs that can stick in my head for days. There are others, but this post is long enough (and also I couldn’t find good videos on YouTube for sharing)!

Nightwalker (Gessekai / BUCK-TICK)

Great Teacher Onizuka (Driver’s High / L’Arc En Ciel)

Zenki (I actually don’t know who sings this… send help!)

Edit: ZENKI (Kishin Douji ZENKI)” by Hironobu Kageyama — Thanks ZED-RAM!

Kimagure Orange Road (Night of Summer Side / Masanori Ikeda)

4. I prefer subs to dubs. Actually prefer is a mild word. I REALLY hate dubs. I won’t watch dubs if I have an option. And sometimes, I just won’t watch the series if I don’t have an option.

5. The Best line in anime (and probably one of the most famous) is: Omae wa mo shinde iru from Fist of the North Star. It often comes to mind when someone makes me angry. It’s good on so many levels! But, I have yet to say it to anyone in a fit of anger. ^ ^;

6. The first manga I read was Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind by Hayao Miyazaki in 2003, from my public library. It legitimately changed my world!

7. The first manga I bought was Wedding Peach… also in 2003. Probably the day after I finished reading Nausicaa.

8. I relate most to Madarame from Genshiken (season 1).

9. My favourite characters are Piccolo (Dragon Ball Z) and Arale Norimaki (Dr. Slump).

10. The first time I went to Japan was on a tour (for geeks). Thanks to that tour my photo now appears in some manga. Or, maybe I should say… my forehead appears in some manga. haha!

meinmanga1

11. My biggest pet peeve are translations that try too hard to Westernize a title. Titles that attempt to remove the Japanese characters, settings and situations from it. Not only does it feel culturally insensitive, it feels insulting to readers. Give readers some credit! We can handle knowing that the title is set in Japan, has Japanese themes, and guess what, star Japanese characters! Gasp!

12. My 2nd biggest pet peeve are translations that neglect to translate Japanese terms like kawaii. The English use of the word kawaii and the Japanese use of the world kawaii are two completely different things! They are NOT equivalent. Not unless the character speaking it happens to be an otaku from the West. That’s the only time that it works! gah!

13. RANT TIME: I used to read online scans, but now have a very strong bias against them. Regardless if they are licensed in your country yet, or not… they were created illegally. AND their existence hurts the industry that I love. If it’s not licensed in your country, and you can’t read the original English, you are NOT entitled to read it. Not being able to afford manga is NOT a good excuse to read scans. Neither is the lack of availability in your country. If you are reading scans with the intention to invest in the series you like later, you are hurting the industry (have you even considered you also need to support the creators you don’t like?). Don’t read scans! But, if you are doing it, I beg you, don’t tell me about it! I am now on a mission to collect EVERY volume that I read through scans; even the titles I hated. I’ve bought about 200 in the last couple years… and have about 800 to go. This may take a while!

14. I love re-reading series. I would be happy to only re-read my favourite manga forever!

15. I re-read the series From Far Away 7 Times in less than 7 days. It was an experiment to see what rereading something over and over would be like. I’m glad I picked that title, it’s still one I can pick up any time and enjoy.

16. Art is MUCH more important than story in manga. If you take away the art, you’re left with a very confusing novel. But, if you take away the words (or even the plot), you can still have a very compelling manga.

17. My least favourite topic is World War 2. I’ll read it. But, I hate feeling the feelings.

18. My favourite genres are historical, romance, and gekiga (despite it often being about the war). I also prefer older titles from the 70s and 80s to modern stories. I’m old, it makes sense I’d prefer old titles, too.

19. My least favourite genre is harem. I can’t express to you how booooooring I find it!

20. My favourite trope/scenario in manga is the indirect kiss! It’s just so adorable (and absolutely ridiculous) every single time.

21. Takehiko Inoue is my favourite mangaka. He writes dynamic stories with complex characters, draws unbelievably gorgeous art… and he’s totally cute! haha.

collectors article22. Our manga collection was featured in a local magazine in a photo essay about collectors! Look at those empty shelves – what happened?! haha.

23. We used to regularly buy so much manga at one local comic book store, that they nicknamed us “the manga sisters” and used to print it on our receipts.

24. Together my sister & I have amassed over 5000 volumes of print manga.

25. I strongly believe that anime and manga have enriched my life. I’ve gotten close to my sister, made great friends, learned a language (sort of), tried many interesting hobbies, and lost a lot of money while having a ton of fun! I’ve genuinely enjoyed every minute of it!

 

I’m not going to tag anyone to do this, but if you’d like to please feel free! But don’t forget to put a link in my comments, so I can find you! 😀

Manga Reading Wrap-Up | Apr 2018

It’s the May 2-4 long weekend here in Canada (aka Victoria Day) so I’ve got a bit of time to myself for once! I’ve been working a bit on planning our upcoming Manga Readathon, will be working a bit on some blog posts, I’ve got a long list of videos I’d like to film…(but probably won’t) and then after that I better get outside and finally start planting my vegetable garden. But maybe I’ll leave that chore until next weekend… Ah, adulting.

So, until then, let’s catch up with some blog posts, shall we? Today, I’m wrapping up everything I read in the month of May.

★★★★★ 5 Star Reads:

Akira / by Katsuhiro Otomo (translation and English-language adaptation, Yoko Umezawa, Linda M. York, Jo Duffy). You have to read this. It’s so beautiful. The Kodansha box set. Beautiful. The story. Beautiful. The art. Beautiful. I have a video, where I talk more extensively about this manga. But, really, as a manga reader, this is about as good as it gets!

Magic Knight Rayearth II / by CLAMP (translator, Anita Sengupta ; English adaptation, Jamie S. Rich). Basically, this is a continuation of Rayearth (which is sort of a magical girl series). Rayearth is about a magical land, Cephiro, that three jr. highschool girls are summoned to to save the pillar who is the support for the land. In this title, the girls return to Rayearth, because now without a pillar, Cephiro is at risk. Powerful magic users from all around are coming to compete to become the new pillar (not understanding what the role really means).

This features CLAMP’s trademark gorgeous art, a fairly compelling story in three-short volumes and a somewhat surprising twist that really went above my expectations for this title. I’ve owned it for a long time, but this is the first time I’ve actually read this part of the series.

Itazura na Kiss / by Kaoru Tada (translation, Sachiko Sato.). Easily one of my favourite shoujo manga. Itazura na kiss is the standard scenario – dumb but upbeat girl falls in love with the intelligent jerk. After she confesses her feelings, and he completely humiliates her publicly, a family tragedy (her house falls down) forces them to live together in the same house.

Oh, the drama. Oh, the comedy. Oh, the revenge studying.

The scenario is so predictable. The situation is so overdone in shoujo manga I sometimes want to scream. But this manga just seems to get it right. The art in it isn’t perfect, but there are some perfect situations that I’ve never encountered in another shoujo manga. These two volumes are the best in the series, in my opinion.

The series doesn’t complete, and leaves you at a tantalizing cliff-hanger due to the untimely demise of the author. But, because of her health struggle, and because much of this story deals with the nursing/and doctoring professions feels so much more poignant. I absolutely love this one!

★★★★ 4 Star Reads:

Magic Knight Rayearth I / by CLAMP (translator, Anita Sengupta ; English adaptation, Jamie S. Rich). The beginning of this series has the girls meeting for the first time in Cephiro, gaining their warrior abilities, and fighting to save the pillar. But, in true CLAMP style things aren’t as rosy as they appear. This is a surprisingly effective series in 3 very short volumes.

Yes, I did rate 1 volume of Akira only 4 stars. Shock!

★★★ 3 Star Reads:

Mink / by Megumi Tachikawa (Translated by Michele Kriegman ; Adapted by Darcy Lockman). Another incomplete title by Tokyopop, but I have a faint memory that I also haven’t collected everything that’s available. This is a cute magical girl series that involves a computer program who turns our main character into an idol singer. It’s fairly stock. But, the characters, and the art are completely adorable.

*Edit: Mink, as I have learned, is complete in English. I guess that just means it’s just incomplete in my collection. But, knowing that I can collect the full series is VERY good news! Thanks, Krystallina, for the info!

Pixie Pop / by Ema Toyama. Another magical girl series. This one, the girl accidentally drinks the magical “grow up” juice of the drink fairy. Now, whenever she drinks something she transforms (or gains a special ability or personality trait relating to that drink). I think it’s a fairly cute series, but definitely geared for a much younger audience than I am.

QQ Sweeper (translation, JN Productions ; adaption, Bryant Turnage) and Queens Quality (translation, JN Productions ; English adaptation Ysabet Reinhardt) / both by Kyousuke Motomi I was worried about this one, I must admit. I wasn’t terribly fond of the first series (QQ Sweeper) when I originally read it. I did like it a lot better this time.

The problem is that the ideas, characters, and even story felt like something I’d already read by Kyousuke Motomi. It wasn’t new or fresh. But, thanks to the move to a new magazine, and a new direction for her manga the continuation in the title, Queens Quality, looks like it’s taking her other ideas to another level. There is a dark mystery about this title that is super compelling. I can’t wait to see where this series goes!

platinum garden 7

Platinum Garden, 7 / by Maki Fujita  (Translated by Egan Loo ; English Adaptation by Sarah Dyer). I did it! I found volume 7. I have already written a fairly complete review for this series from volumes 1-6, and I was missing this final book. Luckily found it at a recent sale.

Unfortunately, despite now having the entire thing it is still far from complete. This is a title that started as drudgery, and ended up achingly compelling. It takes some time for this series to “get going”, and ends on the most frustrating cliff-hanger. I really hope someone will rescue and re-translate this series.

★★ 2 Star Reads:

Pink Innocent /  by Kotori Momoyuki (translated and adapted by Joshua Weeks). Another series in my collection that’s not complete, but I believe it is completely available in English… I think. This one is a story of a very wealthy young lady who has a crush on one of her classmates, and so pursues him to the extreme. Her personality is obnoxious but sweet – and so, of course, has completely won him over. This actually reminds me of another title (Flower in a Storm by Shigeyoshi Takagi) except that the roles are reversed… I also rated it 2 stars. I don’t like to read about this particular kind of domineering/obnoxious relationship.

★ 1 Star Reads:

Nothing! Hurray!

And there you have it. That’s everything for the month of April. Now, I can finally move onto May, which apparently will be ending any minute…

Manga Reading Wrap-Up | Mar 2018

Did Spring actually happen? I had every intention of keeping up with these monthly wrap-ups… but with Summer looming I am busier than ever. Now that I apparently have a moment to myself, let’s see what I read 2 months ago, shall we!??

★★★★★ 5 Star Reads:

NOTHING!!! That’s disappointing!

★★★★ 4 Star Reads:

Alice 19th / by Yuu Watase (Translated by JN Productions, Adaptation Lance Caselman). This is a cute (and somewhat dark) shoujo manga series about the power of words. I’m not a fan on how rushed the ending is of this title, but overall this is one I love to return to over-and-over. I wrote a more complete review, here. Continue reading