ANNA: Welcome to Manga Shopping Bag, a new monthly feature that will showcase what exactly the Manga Bookshelf crew has been spending their hard-earned money on. We’ll cover both print and digital purchases, and highlight a few shopping deals along the way.
I don’t order from RightStuf very frequently, but sometimes they have deals that are so good you would have to be crazy to pass them up. Right now, they have discounted sets and individual volumes of 20th Century Boys, and I decided to dive in and get the volumes that I need to finish off the series. These bargain bundles are only good until April 4th, so snag this series while you can! I stopped reading at around volume 13 but always meant to get back to the series, so I’m looking forward to being able to experience the rest of Urasawa’s masterwork.
On the digital front, I decided to pick up volumes 1-3 of Please Save My Earth on the Viz iPad app. I’ve read a few volumes of this when it was first coming out but didn’t collect it, so I’m looking forward to reading this properly for the first time.
I was also really happy to see that Vertical was moving into digital editions for 7 Billion Needles, Twin Spica, and Drops of God, but since I already own print volumes of Twin Spica and Drops of God, I decided to pre-order the first volume of 7 Billion Needles. I am super happy that Twin Spica is coming out digitally, since the print volumes are going out of print.
I think that was plenty of manga shopping for me for March, what are you buying?
MELINDA: I’ve been feeling giddy on the digital front as well, especially regarding Viz’s new wealth of older shoujo—much of which I missed completely when it was being released in print. I picked up first two volumes each of From Far Away, Red River, and Angel Sanctuary (the first two of which Michelle & I discussed in this week’s Off the Shelf), and I plan to follow all these series through to the end, now that I can.
In print, I picked up volume one of Dark Horse’s new release of CLAMP’s Tokyo Babylon. I already discussed much of the content, but I guess this is my opportunity to report that it’s an absolutely gorgeous edition. Dark Horse’s large trim size and smooth, bright white paper really make the most of the series’ clean lines and deep blacks. I suspect I’ll hang on to my well-loved Tokyopop volumes for nostalgia’s sake, but Dark Horse’s edition is vastly more beautiful. I should note that though this officially retails for $19.99, Amazon lists it at $10.98, which is an impressive savings. I’ll be preordering the second volume soon.
As you can see, 80s and 90s shoujo is where my money most often goes. I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
Lastly, this may sound a little silly, but I saw a couple of sets of Fumi Yoshinaga’s Antique Bakery for sale on ebay that were just too good to pass up. I picked them both up to give as gifts. I just couldn’t let them go unsold. I should note, too, that a few of these volumes are currently on clearance at Akadot Retail.
SEAN: Generally I tend to review the print manga I buy (hence go read my blog or the Briefs for those opinions), but there’s quite a few digital titles that I’m revisiting thanks to Viz. One of the more interesting is Bleach, a series that I’d grown increasingly jaded about once I realized that it was better to read it in chunks of 20 so that I could read in real time. Back with the first few volumes, though, it’s a different beast, and almost seems like it’s going to be about death and how we ceremonialize and respect those that have gone before us. It also has Rukia’s drawings, which are hysterical, and Orihime’s crush on Ichigo, which is adorable. It’s easy to see why it became popular, in the days before it was battles lasting for 52 weeks.
I’ve evangelized about Excel Saga quite a bit, both on my blog and on Twitter, and it’s just fantastic to see that Viz has made nearly the entire series available on digital, including the hideously out of print Vols. 7 and 8. Now, I’ve gotten some flak about pimping this out on the Excel Saga forums, most of whom live in England or Europe and are thus regarding me as a brat dangling their favorite toy just out of reach. Sigh… international rights are still a bear. But for North American fans, it’s a great way to see that the anime is not the be-all-and end-all in regards to this series, and there’s plenty of plot and characterization excellence to be found among the biting satire and zany humor.
ANNA: Early Bleach is pretty great, and I’m also very excited about the older shoujo series that are coming out digitally.
Readers, what have you been spending your manga money on this month?