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3 Things Thursday: Resolutions

With the holidays finally over and our excess cookie weight staring up at us from the bathroom scale, we’ve reached that very special time when we look back at the year behind us and think about all the things we’ve failed to accomplish. New Year’s resolutions may be a time-honored tradition, but they’re also a time-honored source of depression and guilt, so I like to keep mine as realistic as possible. Fortunately, if there’s one thing I can count on doing every year, it’s reading a whole lot of manga, so it’s not too ridiculous to hope that I might finally get around to some important series I’ve continuously let slide.

As a relative n00b to the manga scene, I started out with a huge amount of catching up to do. And though I’ve accomplished quite a bit of reading over the past three-and-a-quarter years, there are still quite a number of previously-released series I’ve embarrassingly held out on, whether for lack of time, money, or organizational skills.

Since most of these series are must-reads for anyone hoping to be respected as a manga critic, I’d like to make a resolution to read at least three of them this year. So let’s make a list, shall we?

3 series I resolve to finally read in 2011:

1. Buddha | Osamu Tezuka | Vertical, Inc. – Though I’ve come a long way with Tezuka over the past year or so, when my best friend mentioned that her pre-teen daughter was reading (and loving) Buddha, a series I’ve never even started, I felt quite keenly that I’d hit a very special low. Though I tend to leave much of the serious criticism to those more knowledgeable than I, there’s no excuse for not reading a classic like this.

Fortunately, Vertical’s paperback editions are fairly easy on the pocketbook, and I got some Borders gift cards for Christmas. I may be slow, but there’s hope for me yet!

2. Fushigi Yûgi | Yuu Watase | Viz Media – What kind of self-proclaimed shoujo fan hasn’t read Fushigi Yûgi? This kind, apparently. Though I’m a fan of this series’ prequel, Genbu Kaiden, I’ve never actually picked up the original, despite any number of chances to do so. Sure, I’ve been told not to expect a lot from the story’s female lead, and I’ve read enough about it to know that I’m unlikely to enjoy it quite as much as Watase’s more recent work, it’s still fairly unbelievable that I’ve never read a shoujo series as popular and iconic as this one.

Lucky for me, the very awesome Michelle Smith gifted me with the first two VIZBIG editions as a Christmas present this year, so I’ve no longer got any excuse to put it off. Fushigi Yûgi, this will be the year!

3. One Piece | Eiichiro Oda | Viz Media – Though I have indeed read the first three volumes of this series (again, thanks to the urging of Michelle Smith), popular opinion suggests that I’ve never gotten far enough in for it to truly grab me, and with brilliant folks such as David Welsh and Erica Friedman singing its praises, further reading is not merely warranted, but downright required. Sadly, the series’ recent appearance at the Manga Moveable Feast turned out to be badly timed for me (and my sluggish library system), and I let yet another opportunity slide.

At 60 volumes and counting, it’s a daunting task for sure. Thank goodness for omnibus editions?

So, readers, what are your manga resolutions, if any, for 2011?

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  1. What got to me was the fact that the omnibuses for One Piece go oop pretty fast.. so re-reading the first couple of One Piece, and continuing has also been proving a challenge for me, in spite of my intense love for it.

  2. I’ll get to my resolutions in a paragraph, but first on One Piece… while it’s true that it first gets genuinely moving around volume 9 or so, I’ve tremendously enjoyed the Water Seven arc, volumes 32-45, and hope you’re able to get that far eventually because I’m sure you would love it, with your abiding affection for broken people. :)

    My Top Series to Read in 2011, as it happens, are things you have been urging me to read.

    1. I counter your Fushigi Yûgi and raise you a Genbu Kaiden! Unlike you, I’ve read the original but not the prequel. I will do eet!

    2. Shugo Chara! This lull while we wait for Kodansha to release volume 10 (May 2011) is the perfect chance to read 1-9!

    3. Nodame Cantabile. I will do eeeeeet!

    I also plan to read Totally Captivated and Let Dai, as well as resume reading Fullmetal Alchemist and Claymore, all of which are favorites of yours.

  3. I’ll keep my manga, or rather my manhua, resolution simple and realistic too … to read some (at least three volumes, but the more the better) manhua in Chinese by the end of 2011, whether manhua originally made in Chinese, or comics in Chinese translation (guess what language I’m studying now … and no, my reading skills are not at the point where I’d try to read manhua now).

  4. I’ve been thinking about this very question, and I will optimistically list the following. I’ve read some of each, and I keep meaning to read more, but circumstances (or short attention span, which I guess is a circumstance of a sort) keep intervening:

    1. Phoenix by Osamu Tezuka
    2. Skip Beat! by Yoshiki Nakamura
    3. xxxHoLic by CLAMP

  5. Man, I rented Buddha from the library years ago and finally actually acquired the whole series so now I’m re-reading it! Hooray for Tezuka! Hopefully Vertical will bring us more fun stuff from Tezuka in the coming year! Ideally, Viz will lose the right to Adolf and Vertical will pick it back up in order to make the world be perfect, that is my wish for the upcoming year of manga.
    As for my resolutions of things to finish around my collection:
    1) All those damn JRPGs I’ve been buying but not playing
    2) Full Metal Alchemist manga
    3) Rewatch a bunch of things I’ve been meaning to rewatch form my anime collection

    • #2 *HEART*

      • Well, I wanna finish up getting Hikaru no Go (I was missing a lot of blanks, now I’m only missing 23 which isn’t out yet) and Dr. Slump because volume 9 of Dr. Slump has already gone out of print and Hikaru no Go probably isn’t the most popular shonen jump manga Viz puts out but with FMA, I don’t think Viz is going to let that go out of print any time soon.

  6. Having just started reading manga in March of 2010 I have a lot of catching up to do (with all three you mentioned already on my list) but the three I’d most like to make a good dent on (they’re all 20+ volumes so I don’t count on finishing all 3, given that I’m already in the midst of plenty long series)
    1. Astro Boy by Osamu Tezuka
    2. Lone Wolf and Cub by Kazuo Koike
    3. Red River by Chie Shinohara

    To be honest I’d like to get through most every English translated Tezuka work this year, but I figured a list of just his titles would be pretty boring.

  7. There’s so many manga I should be reading but I’m not that I hardly know where to start. I won’t even bother to mention the serious classic stuff like Tezuka since the likelyhood of me ever getting them is really low. Easier to make resolutions that I have a chance of actually keeping. So here are my three.

    1. Anything by Naoki Urasawa. I know I should have read something by him ages ago but I just can’t seem to get started.

    2. Jyu-Oh-Sei. No excuse for this one. I just always have something else that I just need to buy before getting around to it.

    3. Finally finish Banana Fish. I’m up to volume 10 and will keep working at it slowly.

  8. I have one very simple resolution – to read more of my Manga TBR stack and be very careful with starting new series. I now have roughly 40 or 50 volumes I haven’t read yet and have already put another order in to get the current month’s releases at my trusty Manga provider.

  9. Hmm, resolutions for 2011… thanks to Viz Media and their omnibus books it’ll be checking out some shonen series I’ve missed (or was underwhelmed with the little I read). Notably Full Metal Alchemist and Kekkashi. I also still haven’t been able to track down a copy of the final volume of One Thousand and One Nights! Which has plagued me to no end – not sure why I keep being told it’s unavailable but it makes me super sad. More shoujo that’s been recommended to me for some time as well such as Sand Chronicles is on the goal-agenda as well.

    I also resolve to write more reviews, specifically for series I didn’t enjoy, not to spread negativity but to offer a different voice to titles wildly praised that I generally become too scared of public opinion to share my own thoughts about. Yup!

  10. 1) Finish my Fumi Yoshinaga collection. I’m not missing many books, but a couple are out of print, I think.
    2) Watch all this anime I’ve been buying but not watching. Sitting on my shelves unwatched since I bought them are: Moribito (shame on me!), Xenosaga, X, Yu Yu Hakusho S3, Paradise Kiss, Evangelion You Are (Not) Alone, Nausicaa, AIR, the rest of Trigun, Appleseed, Ghost in the Shell 2…. Many of them I’ve either seen on TV, rented, or otherwise watched before, but a couple of them I’ve never seen entirely, or at all.
    3) Convince the MMF group to host a Fumi Yoshinaga month, even if I have to do it myself. :)

  11. I resolve to finaly start reading X/1999

  12. Yay! I’m really excited about you reading One Piece. It is really the best shounen series I’ve ever read. It’s amazing how well-plotted it is, and even though it’s long, long, long, Oda actually knows where he’s going and what he’s doing and I am consistently amazed by how he ties everything together and how you can see the seeds of current events (way up in vol. 60+) back in the very first volumes.

    I am actually just starting a readthrough with some friends on Dreamwidth. The first post is over here for vols. 1-3. It does take a while (as most series do) to really start living up to its potential and becoming the awesome story it is today, but I really urge everyone to keep at it because Oda is really a master storyteller.

    Also yay for Fushigi Yugi. It would probably bug me some reading it now, as I read it years and years ago when I was a much less critical reader. But I did love it and have fond memories of it. I never understood why people didn’t like Miaka, tbh. (I know there are some legit criticisms, but I think a lot of the hate is just down to misogyny (of the typical “all female characters are Mary Sues” variety) and jealousy that the guys the readers are crushing on all are in love with Miaka.)

    • I’ve been told I need to get to volume 10 or 11 or something to really fall in love. Do you think that’s correct?

      And I’ll be really interested to see how I feel about Miaka. I’ve heard so much.

      • I’m not sure. I think that’s about where they enter the Grand Line, so probably yeah. A scene right before they enter the Grand Line is one of the few fictional things to ever make me teary-eyed, and it’s also one of the things that gets brought up again some thirty volumes later and just had me in awe of how he continually brings back all these seemingly small things and weaves it all together.

  13. Oh, and my own resolutions are, um, same as last year. Finish Yu-Gi-Oh, which I have been about halfway through for ages. Read a few more vols. of Mars and decide whether to power through to the end or give up on it (it hasn’t really grabbed me so far, but I’ve only read three vols). And reread the early vols. of Yamazaki Takako’s Zero and finish the series. It’s one I was following along with and then stopped reading for a while due to lack of funds, and by the time I collected the rest of the series, I’d forgotten too much and really needed a refresher. It’s only 11 vols. so it’s not a huge thing, and I love what I’ve read of the story (post-apocalyptic with reincarnation!!), but for some reason it just sits here.

    Also I only read 150 vols. total last year and I would really like to get through more of my massive to-read list, so one goal this year is at least five vols. a week.

    • I don’t think even I have been managing 5 vols a week, and I’m pretending like it’s my job! :)

      • I recently read Claymore (have you read that one? If not, I highly recommend it; I think you’d like it a lot) and got so sucked in I was reading a volume or two a day and had to stop myself from reading more. It was like, oh wow, if I’m reading something I’m really into, I can read a lot more! Sometimes I get caught up in feeling like I have to finish a series I started or whatever and so I’m reading things I’m not that keen on and it takes me a longer. So maybe one of my goals should also be to read things I’m really keen on and not fuss about the things I’m not…

        • Yes, I am a big fan of Claymore! Though I think I am a couple of volumes behind now on the English releases. So I’ve only read up through volume 15 I think.

          I completely know what you mean. I can marathon a whole series in a day if I’m really into it. Not that this is necessarily healthy. Hee.

          • It’s up to 19 + a handful of chapters in Japanese, so I had quite a bit chunk to get through. Actually, now that I think about it, the other new ongoing series I started this year was Kimi ni Todoke, which I also fell instantly in love with and devoured (though there are only 12 volumes out of that one). Since a few of my long-running series have finally ended, I’m allowing myself to start a few new ones and Claymore was one of those. I hope whatever else I choose turns out to be as awesome.

  14. I own all 8 volumes of Buddha, but have only read one — short version: I liked it — so let me know when you pick the series up. I’ll be happy to read along. We could make it a book-group-thing, if you feel like discussing the books after reading each 200 page chunk or so.

    As for my own [reading] resolution: I plan to buy and read all of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind.

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