For the past couple of days, Comcast has been having one of its too-frequent periods in which its DNS do not know that our domains exist. It’s been difficult to develop the motivation to post, when I know that anyone using Comcast is unable to reach my blog (this includes my mother, how cruel is that?) but I hate to just ignore everyone else. So, those of you who are not Comcast subscribers (or are Comcast subscribers who use Open DNS, like we’re doing right now), this post is for you. ETA: DNS problem solved! Thanks, Comcast!
Lots of people have been posting “Best of” lists for 2008, and I’ve felt too embarrassed to participate much. Since I’m so new to everything, I spent much of 2008 playing catch-up on many great series that the rest of you have been reading all this time, and haven’t really made my way to much that was newly released in 2008. So what I thought I’d do here, is make a list of manga I loved that was new to me in 2008.
This list was interesting to assemble, as I realized that much of the manga I raved over this year, I’d actually begun reading last year (xxxHolic, Fullmetal Alchemist, and Banana Fish, for example), so with those eliminated, here are my Top Five “New to Me” Manga in 2008:
2. Please Save My Earth This is obviously an oldie for most, but I first discovered this series in February of this year, while I was obsessed with Shaenon Garrity’s Overlooked Manga Festival. Four volumes in, I said to friends, “It’s like they removed my teenaged brain and stuck it on paper for all of Japan to read.” And. Yeah. That’s pretty much it. I recently chose Please Save My Earth as the manga universe I would most like to live in.
3. Fruits Basket This is a series I avoided for along time, based mainly on its popularity (yeah, pretty funny coming from someone who loves Fullmetal Alchemist, I know), and the fact that for a while, I didn’t think I was going to like shojo manga at all. This probably sounds hilarious considering that the top three series on this list are all shojo, but I really thought that at one point. Thanks to recommendations from a couple of friends whose taste I respect, I finally caved and bought the first volume of Fruits Basket in September at NYAF. After discovering that it was actually good, I was further enabled by my very kind friend Deanna, who loaned me the rest of the series. If you want to know what I think of it now, probably you only need to check out my recent review of volume 21 at Manga Recon. Do I still have issues with its portrayal of gender roles? Yeah. But the series is so good, it hardly matters.
4. Dororo Though this is clearly the oldest manga series on this list, it is also the only one released in English in 2008. It took me forever to get around to reading this classic, mostly thanks to my own insecurity, but it definitely won my heart. Thanks, Dororo, for proving to me that I’m not too uncultured to appreciate Tezuka.
5. Yotsuba&! This series has just charmed me to bits. Absolutely to bits. Ed Sizemore warned me that a Kiyohiko Azuma addiction “only gets worse with time,” and truer words were never spoken. After being sucked in by Azumanga Diaoh, Yotsuba was the next logical step. I am now completely lost. Say what you want about moe, Yotsuba truly is the cutest thing to ever grace the earth (beating out even Chiyo-chan, which is a mighty spectacular feat), and I am hooked. Please, please let someone come along and save the English releases from eternal limbo!
So there you have it, non-Comcast-users (and LJ-readers)! My favorite “new to me” manga of 2008!
All I have to offer in other news, is a link to some new changes at Manga Recon. The upshot of all that for me, is that I’m going to be responsible for posting press releases and news in addition to my regular reviewing schedule, which I’m rather excited about.
Hopefully soon I’ll be able to post for everyone, Comcast users included. :)