It happens to everyone at some point or another, for some reason or another. Sooner or later, every manga fan will drop a series they previously liked–maybe even loved–out of boredom, disappointment, or just plain oversight. And though a significant part of what draws me particularly to manga is its tendency towards long-form storytelling, it’s happened to me too.
Though as Kate Dacey recently stated, breaking up is hard to do, sometimes making up is even harder. Once you’ve let a few volumes pass for this reason or that, even if your intention is to pick a series back up, the catch-up can be daunting. So on this 3 Things Thursday, I’ve decided to take a look at 3 series I’ve dropped, intentionally or not, why I dropped them, and what my chances are of returning to the fold.
3 series MJhas failed to continue:
1. Bleach | Tite Kubo | Viz Media – At this point, I suppose I know more fans who have stopped reading Tite Kubo’s shounen battle epic than those who have kept on, but for my part, I’m actually a little surprised. While it’s absolutely true that I tend to find its long battle sequences tragically uninteresting, the point at which I dropped the series (after volume 28) feels a bit sad. Yes, the series was headed into a (likely) long stretch of battles, none of which I was keen on sitting through, but it had also just produced two of my favorite volumes of the entire series. With such riches so recently offered up, why did I stop reading?
I think it’s possible that $9.99 a volume just felt like too much to spend to wade through another swath of battles, waiting for the next bit of juicy characterization to finally materialize. Now I’m more than five volumes behind. Return? Unlikely.
2. Otomen | Aya Kanno | Viz Media – Otomen is a series that has left me tormented. On one hand, it’s absolutely brilliant. I mean really, truly, a gorgeous piece of work. But much like one of Kate’s drop-ees, Detroit Metal City, a person could die waiting for something to actually happen. These series are like old-school television sitcoms. Though at any moment it might seem like something significant could happen, changing its characters’ lives in truly dramatic ways, everything is back to normal by the end of the episode, with everyone safely returned to exactly where they started. As brilliant as the series’ premise is, it’s failed for me as long-form storytelling, and unless there’s going to be some genuine forward motion in plot or characterization, I’m loathe to give it more of my time.
I stopped reading this series after volume five, though on some level, it broke my heart to do so. It’s such a smart, funny series. But what’s an epic-loving girl to do?
3. Pluto | Naoki Urasawa/Osamu Tezuka | Viz Media – This dropped series is the saddest of them all, because I had no intention of dropping it at all. And though I understand how it happened, I’m not sure how to get back on track. Back in July of 2009, I wrote an entry called Tears and Manga, inspired by my experience with volume four of Pluto, which had so affected me with the death of a mechanical dog in its first chapter, that I was unable to continue reading at the time. Now, any regular reader of this blog will know that I love to be hurt by fiction. Really I do. I love to feel deeply about what I’m reading, even if those feelings are difficult to handle. I fully expected to jump right back into Pluto, one of my very favorite series at the time, once I’d recovered from the hurt, and I expected to read it eagerly to the end. But the truth is, I haven’t. In fact, I don’t even own past volume five.
How do I return, now that I’ve failed to buy the rest of the series? Can my heart or my pocketbook ever manage it? I sincerely hope so.
Readers, what beloved series have you dropped and why?