So, I know I put a lot of new, awesome manga in my gift guide this year, but when it comes to my own Christmas list, I admit I bulked it up with oldies. There are a few older shoujo series in particular that I’ve been collecting over time, and it looks like this Christmas, I just might complete my collections! At least one I’ve read all the way through already, and all I’ve read to a point, with the help of libraries, friends, and (in one case) scanlations, as some volumes have rapidly fallen out of print and are difficult to purchase without paying hundreds of dollars to some unscrupulous Amazon or Ebay seller.
Out-of-print shoujo is one of my deepest woes, and since the more we talk about these dwindling series, the more likely Viz is to consider omnibus treatment (or so we hope and dream), I’ll dedicate today’s 3 Things to three shoujo series I’m hoping to own in completion after this Christmas!
I’m Gettin’ Manga For Christmas
1. Basara, vols. 24-27 | Yumi Tamura | Viz Media – Oh, how long I’ve been collecting this series! Perhaps my greatest regret as a latecomer to manga is that I wasn’t aware when this series was originally being published of what it was, or how sad I’d one day be when its middle volumes started going out of print after I became a fan. Fortunately, most of the trickiest ones I’ve already picked up, including the legendary volume 20, which goes for $125+ online, but which I happened to stumble upon at a convention two years ago for 20% off the original retail price. My quest for this series has seemed endless, but with just four volumes left, I’m counting on Santa to pick up the slack. You wouldn’t let me down, Santa, right? RIGHT? And by “Santa” I mean “my in-laws.” :D
My post-Christmas marathon reads will be epic.
2. Please Save My Earth, vols. 11, 12, 15, & 18 | Saki Hiwatari | Viz Media – Back when I was a manga n00b, I read this series scanlated in its entirety, with no concept of how difficult its volumes would be to find once I started trying to buy them up myself. I’ve been cobbling together my collection since late 2007, buying new when possible, but also snatching up some of the harder-to-buy volumes as trades or used books when I could find them. Having recently acquired the elusive volume 7, I have just a few, scattered volumes to pick up before I can re-read that series, which I shall do with relish as soon as my collection is complete.
This series is a special pet of mine, because it’s one that I desperately want to recommend, but with a major stumbling block. “This is the greatest series ever. You’ll have to pay upwards of $25 (plus shipping) just to read the first volume, and after that, well… But seriously, it is the greatest ever!”
3. X/1999, vols. 8, 9, 16-18 | CLAMP | Viz Media – I’ve slacked off on collecting this series, partly because I’m a bigger fan of Tokyo Babylon (which I own in its entirety and have reread several times), and partly because it’s unfinished anyway, but I realize my assessment of it is hardly fair, since I’ve never read past volume 7. My collection’s holes begin there, and I’ve never been able to move forward. I thought it was time I persevered, so I put my missing volumes near the top of the list this year.
My greatest difficulty with X/1999 of course, as a fan of Tokyo Babylon, is that it’s painful for me to watch what’s become of my beloved Subaru in the aftermath of that series. It’s also a bit painful to know that the story is not about him, when he’s the one who’s already got all my loyalty and interest. Can I overcome my issues and join the ranks of other CLAMP fans, who laugh at my TB obsession in the face of their obvious superiority? Thanks to Santa, we may soon find out!
So, that’s what I’m hoping to score this holiday season. How about you?