As you may know, I’ve been trying to branch out in terms of reading. Reading more translated works, listening to more audiobooks, and choosing from a wide variety of genres are all ways I’ve changed up my reading life in the past year. Giving manga an honest try is just another way of trying something different, and it’s one I’ve been loving.
I’ve never really gotten into manga or anime, and I have no idea why. I’m fairly certain I would absolutely love a lot of the stories out there. I guess I’ve always been somewhat intimidated by them… Exploring a new genre of format of media always feels somewhat terrifying, as it can feel like being dropped into an entirely new universe in which everyone knows more than you do. However, I can’t let that stop me from diving into this whole new world. Can anyone use that phrase without thinking of the song? Apparently, I can’t.
Since I hadn’t read much (or any) manga before, I wasn’t quite sure what my reading preferences in the format would be. Since it’s one I definitely want to read in physical format rather than digitally, I needed to purchase some first volumes to try. The best option, to me, was buying these secondhand. Used books are far cheaper than new ones, and it allowed me to buy quite a lot of volumes at a price I could justify. If I didn’t end up liking it, I wouldn’t have spent much on it.
You’ll also recognize most, if not all, of these manga. I decided to start with some of the most famous ones, as they probably are loved for a reason. Here’s what I’ve bought in the past 6 months or so!
One of the first series I bought volumes of is Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa. Last year, I purchased the first volume from Better World Books to give the manga a try. I read it earlier this year, and ended up loving it. It’s one of my favorites so far – which I guess might not say that much since I’m only just getting started in manga. I immediately bought volumes 2-7 used as well, which I’m currently reading.
I already know I will continue to buy this series, but will probably go for the beautiful 3-in-1 editions in the future, and buy them new. I’m certain I’ll enjoy them, so I don’t mind spending it bit more on the volumes. One day, I’ll replace the secondhand ones I have right now with the matching 3-in-1 editions too, but that’s for future Jolien to deal with.
I haven’t watched the anime, but want to save that for when I have read more of the manga.
When I purchased the first Fullmetal Alchemist volume last year, I did the same with the first Black Butler one. I also managed to read it in 2018 itself, and quite enjoyed it. I didn’t fall in love with it like I did with FMA, but it is a series I wanted to continue soon. So I bought volumes 2 and 3 used this year too. I’m sad that they arrived very damaged, especially since I’d been quite lucky with that so far. I think I will buy new copies at some point, but I don’t think they have special editions/3-in-1 editions for this manga…
Either way, I’m enjoying the story and will definitely continue. I’ll also end up watching the anime at some point in the future.
I HEAR THE SUNSPOT
I discovered this app called MangaRock through a YouTuber, and decided to try it out. It’s an app where you can read manga translated by fans, as obviously a lot of manga never get translated to English. I Hear the Sunspot seemed really interesting to me, and it was the first one I read on the app. After finishing the first volume, I knew it would become one of my all-time favorites. I was obsessed with out. Some Google searches later I discovered that the first three volumes were officially translated and published. I immediately bought them all, new, and devoured them. I can’t wait for new issues to be released!
I read the fan-translated volume Limit 2 as that one hasn’t been released yet, but will definitely purchase it later too. If you have any information on whether new issues will be released soon, let me know! I can’t find anything on it, and I’m devastated.
DEATH NOTE – BLACK EDITIONS
I also purchased volumes 1, 2, and 4 of the Death Note Black Editions used. Did I forget I hadn’t added the third one to my basket before checking out? Yes. Oops. A few years ago, I tried to read Death Note volume 1 and didn’t really love it. I’m glad I gave it another try with the black editions. I read the first black edition in April, and discovered that the first half felt quite awkward, and the second half was great. I think the translation of the first volume might just be a tad weird? Either way, I really enjoyed it. I’m planning on reading Black Edition II in May, and buying the third one soon.
Out of all the manga I’ve mentioned in this haul, Blue Exorcist is the only one I haven’t tried yet. I bought the first 2 volumes in my most recent Better World Books order along with the Black Butler, Death Note, and Fullmetal Alchemist ones. I’ll definitely update you all in a wrap up once I’ve read them. I really hope I’ll end up liking this one too.
So far, so good on all the manga I’ve purchased recently. I’ve bought some other first volumes in random series, but didn’t want to include those in this haul yet. I bought them in 2018 and haven’t picked them up yet, but you might see them in future wrap ups. Have you read a lot of manga? Have you tried any of the ones I mentioned? Or do you have any recommendations for me based on these? I’d love to hear your suggestions, so I can buy even more in the future.