Despite all the helpful information I have received this week regarding manga I still can’t shake the feeling of being overwhelmed by it. Daryl Surat of Anime World Order has been a big help in explaining why I have had so many problems. Essentially the manga translated into English has been the type geared towards boys and females. This is not to say all manga is like that but it’s easy to think that because the most popular translated manga are geared for those demographics and rightly so because those who read American comics are already well taken care of.
Here are some of the things that give me problems. Like most that read American comic, I believe the artwork is very important. I personally do not enjoy the style you see in popular manga or anime as I prefer a more illustrative look to a cartoonish look. Whenever I see manga that has some combination of samurai legends, girly romances, settings in a schools, or Dragon Ball type battles I tend to tune out and go back to the American comics I know. These are the things I constantly run into when trying to find manga that interests me. This is not to say I will not read manga involving those things but it has to be pretty unique and special to get me on board.
A key problem in this is that I still enjoy American comics like I always have. So any manga I pick up will be in addition to what I’m already reading. Even if I had a unlimited budget I still only have a limited amount of time and energy for reading. It is impossible to read everything. This sets the bar pretty high for what I am willing to read as both the art and the writing need to be high quality. I think most people that primarily read American comics have this problem as well.
As much as I appreciate the help I’ve received from people and various websites, I’m left now to just sift through the countless manga titles to find what suites me. I’m determined to add to the list I already started, so as I find manga that meets my standards I will be adding them to the list. With any luck I will be able to put together the kind of list I was looking for in my search through manga recommendations.
As a quick note I want to mention Blade of the Immortal. This is one of the books I checked out because of the high quality artwork, but I’m not going to add it to my list because the writing did not hook me or make me want to read more. It was not enough to make me overcome my samurai issue. I was able to overcome that with Vagabond because of the art and strong writing. I thought it worth mentioning Blade of the Immortal since some may be interested in it. The art in the book makes it an easy jump from comics.