I’ve been plugging away at a post about global manga, but it’s just not coming together quickly, so I’ll take a brief rest to talk about some of the manga I bought at NYAF!
Some volumes are yet unread (Dororo v.1, Galaxy Girl, Panda Boy, Seduce Me After the Show), but here’s a quick rundown on what I’ve plowed through so far.
Nana, volumes 4-8: This story continues to be riveting, though I’m torn at this point about my feelings going in to the next volume. The developments with Nana’s band have been fascinating, and I’m completely hooked on really every aspect of this story, but I’m so horrified that Hachi (I hate calling her that, but it does make things easier) would choose a doomed, unbalanced relationship with Takumi over her relationship with Nobu (which is, as far as I’m concerned, the first real relationship she’s ever been in), regardless of her pregnancy, and I think she’s doing Nobu a great disservice by not sharing what she’s going through with him. Obviously I’m biased. I think Nobu is awesome, and I think Takumi is a walking ball of slime, but even just looking at what they each offer in a relationship, her choice here is absolutely appalling to me. I know I want to continue with this wonderful series, but for the moment I lack the will to go on.
Fruits Basket , volume 1: Yes, I really am just reading the very first volume of Fruits Basket. I have resisted this manga for so long, and really had no interest in it for most of that time. It’s only been some recent (pleading) recommendations from friends that finally convinced me to suck it up and try it. I am horrified to report that I really liked it. I was a bit put off by the assertion that marriage is every girl’s dream (ugh), but the characters are so compelling, I’ve been sucked in anyway. Only, what, 22 volumes to go? *sigh*
Tokyo Babylon , volumes 2-3: I was really thrilled to find these at the con (on sale, of course), because I’ve been completely unable to pick these up in any store in my area. I wish they’d had more! This series is moving a little slowly for me (well, slowly and confusingly, but I’m assuming the confusing part will be cleared up in the next couple of volumes), but I’m so enamored of Subaru, it doesn’t even matter. I’m really interested to see just how evil Seishirō really is (yes, I’m certain that he’s evil, just not how evil), because at this point it’s hard to tell. Hokuto, I don’t quite get yet, but I’m sure I will as the series goes on. I continue to love the art. The differences in maturity, both in art and storytelling, between this and something like xxxHolic are still very obvious, but it’s a story beautifully told, no matter how you look at it.
Tactics, volume 4: This story has really not hooked me yet, though it remains interesting enough to keep luring me into the next volume. I’m having a hard time getting a real handle on it, though. There have been a few truly intriguing insights into each of the main characters (Kantarou and Haruka), but for the most part, I feel like I’m not really getting them, and I expected to feel more invested, four volumes in. I should remind myself that I felt a bit the same way through the first few volumes of xxxHolic (and you know where I am now with that), but I think the situation is a bit worse with Tactics. I would love to hear from any fans, here. I know at least a couple of my friends really love this series. Am I just really missing the boat here? Or do I just need to hang on a little longer? I really want to like this. The art is pretty and cheerful, and the premise is right up my alley. What am I missing?
Zig-Zag, volume 2: I continue to have problems telling the male characters apart, frame-to-frame, and am still annoyed with the constant stream of tiny asides, but this volume did hook me firmly into the story, so I’m hanging in there. It’s really hard to resist a story about a boy who loves flowers, and the characters here are so sweet and lovable. The relationships I loved in the first volume continue to be awesome, and the ones I felt were lacking have definitely been fleshed out more at this point. This story doesn’t fill me with profound love by any means, but I can’t help liking it. It’s a sweet, simple confection that would make anyone smile.