manga bookshelf

About Aja Romano

Aja (pronounced "Asia") is a writer and a fangirl. She blogs at bookshop and sometimes writes for She swore for years she'd never enjoy manga or anime, and then naturally fell in love with about a jillion different series and dramas and bands at once, and now she can't hear you over the sound of this 2NE1 MV. Despite having been in fandoms large and small, Western, International, het, slash, femslash, and everything in-between, she has no idea what she's doing here at MB. But she can't wait to find out!

TV Will Break Your Heart

My very favorite thing in all the world is a bowl of raw blackberries on a hot July day, but a very close second to blackberries (never cooked, straight off the vine) is a good Stephen Sondheim musical. And my very favorite quote about Stephen Sondheim is a quote from Frank Rich, who, writing in […]

Fannish Drift: All We Are Is Lust In the Wind?

Hello, Manga Bookshelf! It’s the time of year where everything turns into a frenzy, and I haven’t had much opportunity for reflecting upon fannish things; but lately something has been on my mind, and that’s the syndrome of Fannish Drift. In this case I’m speaking in the fandom sense–how people move from one fandom to […]

50 Shades of Morally Unambiguous, Part 4 (The Final Post I Swear!)

Hello, MB! This is the last post in a series of posts rebutting last week’s Dear Author series on fanfiction. (That is, I think it’s the next-to-last. Either way, I just really like saying ‘penultimate.’) It’s also the 4th and final of a sub-set of posts responding to one DA post in particular: “Fanfiction: A […]

50 Shades of Morally Unambiguous, Part 3: The Sparkle-Fairy Edition

Hello, MB! This is the 4th (or 5th, but who’s counting) post in a series of posts rebutting last week’s Dear Author series on fanfiction. And it’s the third of a set of posts responding to one post in particular: “Fanfiction: A Tale of Fandom and Morality.” TODAY IS THE VERY SPECIAL FAIRY EDITION OF […]

50 Shades of Morally Unambiguous, Part 2

Copyright, Transformative Fiction, and Value Continuing the series of responses to the Dear Author series on fanfiction; this is Part 2 of a 3-part response to “Fanfiction and Morality.” (Part 1 is here!) To recap, the author of this post, Has, argues that “Taking an entire fanfiction story and turning that into a published book […]

50 Shades of Morally Unambiguous, Part 1

Hello, MB! First off, in response to requests to expand on a few of the terms I’ve been using in these posts (and thank you all so much for your comments!), I’ve created a glossary here! I will update it as new terms come up, and I will try to give more clarity in posts […]

Fannish Inquisitions: Countering Assumptions About Fandom

Lofty idealism? Bitter rants? Might as well just call it “fangirling.”

Hi, MB! I’m Aja! I’m your newest columnist and I have no idea what I’m doing, but I’ve been brought on board primarily to give a pan-fandom perspective to the work being done on this site, and to regularly infuriate you all with my hastily conceived opinions! So let’s just dive right in, shall we? […]

Happy Hikago Day! Let’s Five!

Hi, Manga Bookshelf readers and friends! I’m Aja, the person who introduced our dear Melinda to Hikaru no Go, and I’m so happy to be a guest here, today of all days. May 5th is a huge day for Hikaru no Go fans. Not only is the date extremely important in the storyline of the […]

Roundtable: Hikaru no Go

    MELINDA: Back in June of 2007, not long after having loudly proclaimed in my blog at the time that I would never get into comics, my friend Aja finally convinced me to take a look at a shounen manga series called Hikaru no Go. It was a revelation for me. The series was […]