With the holidays finally over and our excess cookie weight staring up at us from the bathroom scale, we’ve reached that very special time when we look back at the year behind us and think about all the things we’ve failed to accomplish. New Year’s resolutions may be a time-honored tradition, but they’re also a time-honored source of depression and guilt, so I like to keep mine as realistic as possible. Fortunately, if there’s one thing I can count on doing every year, it’s reading a whole lot of manga, so it’s not too ridiculous to hope that I might finally get around to some important series I’ve continuously let slide.
As a relative n00b to the manga scene, I started out with a huge amount of catching up to do. And though I’ve accomplished quite a bit of reading over the past three-and-a-quarter years, there are still quite a number of previously-released series I’ve embarrassingly held out on, whether for lack of time, money, or organizational skills.
Since most of these series are must-reads for anyone hoping to be respected as a manga critic, I’d like to make a resolution to read at least three of them this year. So let’s make a list, shall we?
3 series I resolve to finally read in 2011:
1. Buddha | Osamu Tezuka | Vertical, Inc. – Though I’ve come a long way with Tezuka over the past year or so, when my best friend mentioned that her pre-teen daughter was reading (and loving) Buddha, a series I’ve never even started, I felt quite keenly that I’d hit a very special low. Though I tend to leave much of the serious criticism to those more knowledgeable than I, there’s no excuse for not reading a classic like this.
Fortunately, Vertical’s paperback editions are fairly easy on the pocketbook, and I got some Borders gift cards for Christmas. I may be slow, but there’s hope for me yet!
2. Fushigi Yûgi | Yuu Watase | Viz Media – What kind of self-proclaimed shoujo fan hasn’t read Fushigi Yûgi? This kind, apparently. Though I’m a fan of this series’ prequel, Genbu Kaiden, I’ve never actually picked up the original, despite any number of chances to do so. Sure, I’ve been told not to expect a lot from the story’s female lead, and I’ve read enough about it to know that I’m unlikely to enjoy it quite as much as Watase’s more recent work, it’s still fairly unbelievable that I’ve never read a shoujo series as popular and iconic as this one.
Lucky for me, the very awesome Michelle Smith gifted me with the first two VIZBIG editions as a Christmas present this year, so I’ve no longer got any excuse to put it off. Fushigi Yûgi, this will be the year!
3. One Piece | Eiichiro Oda | Viz Media – Though I have indeed read the first three volumes of this series (again, thanks to the urging of Michelle Smith), popular opinion suggests that I’ve never gotten far enough in for it to truly grab me, and with brilliant folks such as David Welsh and Erica Friedman singing its praises, further reading is not merely warranted, but downright required. Sadly, the series’ recent appearance at the Manga Moveable Feast turned out to be badly timed for me (and my sluggish library system), and I let yet another opportunity slide.
At 60 volumes and counting, it’s a daunting task for sure. Thank goodness for omnibus editions?
So, readers, what are your manga resolutions, if any, for 2011?