I’m a very patient reader. I like long manga series, and since the long ones usually pace themselves (up to three full volumes of exposition at times), I’ll usually give a series that’s captured the slightest of my interest at least five volumes to woo me. Some of my very favorite series took a while to warm up for me, including the likes of xxxHolic and Fullmetal Alchemist–series I now vigorously recommend.
While it’s rare that I’ll drop a series completely before the five volume mark, there are times when I simply can’t go on. Sometimes I can recognize this as a pure matter of taste. Toriko, for instance, is a perfectly fine series… if only it didn’t make me recoil in disgust. Others, I find genuinely offensive or perhaps just completely lacking.
Considering my overall patience, I usually trust myself on these few occasions, but there are times when my judgement is so at odds with those whose tastes I normally share, re-evaluation seems in order. So for today’s 3 Things I’ll ponder a few rejected series that have earned a second look.
3 manga series that deserve a second chance:
1. Butterflies, Flowers | Yuki Yoshihara | Viz Media – Though this series’ first volume won my praise immediately, its second and third volumes so rubbed me the wrong way that despite my claim that the humor would keep me going, I privately doubted I’d ever pick it up again. A quote, “It’s possible I’m still holding a grudge over “strict but warm,” which ranks right up there with “I get the message” and “Men have dreams that women will never be able to understand” on my list of Great Moments in Imported Sexism.”
But when a series is consistently championed by the likes of David Welsh, it’s time to step back and figure out where the hell I went wrong. Butterflies, Flowers, we’ll meet again soon.
2. Black Butler | Yana Toboso | Yen Press – I tried to be fair to the first two volumes, I really did. I pointed out some character bits I genuinely liked–noted how there might be a deeper story hidden under the glitz. But these lines really get to the heart of my problems with the series, “That these series are intended to appeal to female readers seems plain, with their bishonen character designs, elaborate costuming, and frequent BL overtones. Unfortunately, Black Butler‘s specialty is not just BL but shota, which makes Sebastian even creepier and not at all in a good way … Black Butler gets off to a very slow and fairly vapid start…”
Yet, just last night, Michelle Smith gave me reason to give the series another chance. What Michelle says, goes. It’s that simple.
3. Little Butterfly | Hinako Takanaga | DMP – This one is a long time coming, and while it’s a series I’ve actually read in its entirety, my initial dismissal of it is sufficient for it to qualify. Way back in my infamous thoughts on yaoi (which I’m now afraid to re-read), I said of Little Butterfly that maybe if it “had actually been ten volumes, and the romance was developed over the course of a much greater plot, I would have actually liked (it), because honestly I did find the characters interesting, what I got to see of them. I just felt cheated by the way the ‘plot’ and the relationships were rushed along to serve the romance.”
But when someone like Kate Dacey gives it a review like this… what’s a girl to do? I actually have Kate’s omnibus sitting here in my living room, and it’s high time I gave it that second look.
Series that didn’t make the cut, but could have include St. Dragon Girl (beloved by Ed Sizemore) and Hot Gimmick (secretly loved by… everyone). So, readers, what series should you give a second chance?