Welcome to November’s Follow Friday! This month, I’m going to focus on The Reliable Reviewer. You know the one I mean… the critic whose priorities and tastes in fiction match up so closely to yours, that you know you’ve got at least a 95% chance of liking anything he/she likes. Most of us have a few of these amongst our daily reads, and they’re likely to be different for everyone. Today, I’ll focus on mine.
David Welsh (The Manga Curmudgeon) – I can count on one hand the number of David’s opinions I’ve disagreed with over time, that’s how reliable he is for me as a reviewer. If he likes something, that’s a good signal for me to buy, with little to no risk involved. He tends to shop in the same genres and demographic categories as I do (which is to say, nearly all of them), offering up reliable opinions in shojo, shonen, seinen, josei, and boys’ love manga. He’s also got quite a way with the English language. You can follow David on Twitter @MangaCur.
Michelle Smith (Soliloquy in Blue) – Much like David, Michelle is an omnivorous reader with genre tendencies very similar to mine. We have a few contentious series between us (Nabari no Ou, anyone?) and some contrasting pet peeves, but for the most part, her recommendation of a series is all that’s required for it to earn a place on my to-read list. She’s also a smart, witty writer whose reviews are worth a read, regardless of the quality of their subjects. You can follow Michelle on Twitter @swanjun.
Katherine Dacey (The Manga Critic) – Though Kate is frequently critical of series I like quite a lot, when she makes a recommendation, I can take that to the bank. Kate is a very particular type of Reliable Reviewer for me, because, though we have different priorities when reading a work, her overall assessment of a series she actually likes is 100% reliable for me–something that can’t even really be claimed by critics with tastes that more closely match mine. She’s sharp and perceptive, and her standards are impeccable. You can follow Kate on Twitter @manga_critic.
Ed Sizemore (Manga Worth Reading) – Unlike the three critics listed above, Ed’s typical demographic/genre range overlaps less with mine. He reads primarily seinen and mature shonen (with some dabbling elsewhere). He’s a man’s critic, but with an especially thoughtful tone that draws me in to his reviews nearly every time. Though I’m less likely to be able to refer to him for opinions on the latest Shojo Beat release, his thoughts on the books he chooses to review always resonate with me deeply, even on the rare occasion in which we disagree. You can follow Ed on Twitter @edsizemore.
Readers: Now that you have a list of reviewers I count on, who do you turn to for your reliable reviews?