Welcome to the first post in my Japanese Series!
I decided in January that I would create this series because of how much I love Japan and really want to go. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to learn Japanese, as well as that I read manga daily and I also watch some Canadian YouTuber’s who are living and studying in Japan, whilst documenting all sorts of things to do in Japan if you live there, or are just visiting.
Either way there will be 4 of these posts in this series, one every Wednesday during February and I for one am super excited about this series! I had been thinking about it throughout December, but only decided on getting on with ideas for the series in mid January.
So without further ado, shall I get on with the first post of this series? I think I shall!
As you can see from the above image, I own quite a lot of manga books so far, eight in total, seven from one manga series and one from another.
This huge manga book contains ALL four of the original manga books of the very popular series, Azumanga Daioh. I actually found out about this manga existing through the anime, which I began watching in 2011 whilst I was still at university. I fell in love with it and found myself watching it a lot during my last months of university.
Eventually when I’d watched the anime I was after a manga version to read and I searched everywhere for nearly 2 years for it, eventually finding it on Forbidden Planet to buy! However when I ordered it, after 2 weeks of waiting they informed me that infact they didn’t have this in stock and that I would receive a full refund. A mixture of annoyed and upset I looked elsewhere and I finally found this on Amazon to purchase. At nearly £14 it wasn’t cheap, but I tell you this is a massive book and if you hit someone over the head with this very hard, you could probably knock them out!
As of yet I haven’t actually finished reading this manga and I have less than half of it left to read. I think after I’ve finished some of my manga at the moment, I’ll finish reading this book.
To let you know the basic plot of Azumanga Daioh it’s about a group of Japanese girls who are in the same class as each other at high-school and you get to see all sorts of things they get to both in and out of school during their three years there.
The manga has some comical and quirky moments in that had me laughing out loud when I used to read this manga last year and due to it I often got some weird looks. Each character in the manga has her own personality and it’s quite comical to see what each character comes out with when it comes to a situation.
The manga itself is like most manga books, in a standard black and white where you read the book from right to left… So backwards! As well as black and white pages, there are some coloured pages inside this copy of Azumanga Daioh which I really like! I haven’t yet got to these pages, reading wise but I thought I would take a picture of them to share with you anyway!
Out of all the characters in Azumanga Daioh, Sakaki is by far my favourite. She’s extremely shy but is loved and admired by most of the girls in the school due to being tall, having long hair and big boobs. She doesn’t really like the attention that these things about her give towards her and she just likes being quiet. She also loves anything cute and longs for her own pet cat. She’s an adorable character and that’s why I love her so much.
Although I do not own any physical copies of Elfen Lied, it is infact the first manga I read, as well as the first one I finished. I fell in love with anime and manga thanks to Elfen Lied and although I can’t show you the manga itself, I will show you images from the internet, as I can’t NOT talk about this manga!
To clear up why I don’t own any physical copies of the manga… They’re very hard to find and the only copies I have ever been able to find on eBay have been Japanese and cost over £10 EACH! They’re not cheap and they’re certainly not easy to find but if and when I visit Japan, I’m going to see if I can find all of the Elfen Lied manga books to bring home with me!
So I was naughty and I read Elfen Lied on a manga reader website, which was very helpful seeing as I couldn’t get my hands on any physical copies.
Like all the manga books I’ve read or that I’m currently reading, I have always found about the manga versions through an anime and likewise, this happened with Elfen Lied. It’s rather odd how I discovered the anime, but that will be spoken of in another post in this series.
I loved the anime so much that when I found out it was based off of a manga and that the manga revealed more about the story than the anime every did, I KNEW I had to read it and whilst I was out of work after university, I spent most of my time reading the manga online.
If you have watched the anime, definitely read the manga as it’s amazing!
With Elfen Lied it is a very gorey manga and anime and not for the faint of heart, but this being said the storyline for this is amazing and as a writer is has inspired me with a lot of my own work, especially the first novel I wrote for NaNoWriMo.
Elfen Lied is about a new race of human, Diclonius. They look like humans and even talk like humans but they’re born with invisible arms called vectors and a pair of short horns sticking out of their heads. In the show all the Diclonius are girls and are all born with pink hair. Lucy is the main character of Elfen Lied and after escaping a prison she was being kept in she forms a childlike personality, Nyu. She is found on a beach by Kohta and Yuka and it’s from that moment that things start to go wrong and you find out more about the Diclonius race, as well as about Lucy’s past.
The manga and the anime are both amazing and if you don’t mind some graphic scenes involving a lot of blood and murder then I recommend you to go and read or watch either of them!
Cool fact about Lucy/Nyu, I dressed up as them both back in Halloween 2010, which was a lot of fun! Everyone at the university night I attended thought I was Lady Gaga, which pissed me off something crazy. I hope to attend a cosplay in the near future as Lucy/Nyu.
Now the final manga I will be talking about is Nana, which is also the manga I am currently reading.
Once again I discovered this manga through the anime, but this being said I heard about them both from Michelle Phan on YouTube when she filmed and posted a make up tutorial video on Nana Osaki. I’m going to link it on here for you to watch, as it’s a pretty awesome tutorial!
I love Nana and although I love Elfen Lied as it was the first manga I got into, read and finished, I’m growing to love Nana that little bit more. Nana is a drama and very much love themed.
The story is about two Nana’s who meet each other on a train to Tokyo. Nana Osaki is a punk rocker, moving to Tokyo to continue to her punk rock music career and Nana Komatsu wears her heart on her sleeve and is moving to Tokyo to be more independent and be closer to her boyfriend and her best friend.
Although the two Nana’s are completely different, they are in ways similar and after losing each other after their train journey, they meet up once more whilst trying to find a flat to move into, which in turn was the same flat.
The manga is 22 volumes long and I’m currently on volume 6. I love the way the cover of each volume for Nana tells a story of the two girls, are you’ll see from the image above. So far from volume 3-7 you can see how both the Nana’s go out of their flat to go to the beach, to a cafe, on a train, and then you can see them using a train guide maybe in a train station. I just like the theme and mini story it tells, as I think it looks really nice.
The artwork for Nana is beautiful and some of the most lovely manga drawings I’ve ever seen, so when it comes to reading Nana, although I know most of what happens due to watching the anime, it’s a joy to see the gorgeous pictures. I wish I could draw like this!
So out of all the manga I’ve read, I’ve only read/currently reading these three manga books/series. I know that isn’t a lot to write home about, but in manga quite often there will be a lot of volumes to get through and as I’m on a spending ban, I’m being good and only buying 3 Nana books a month to read.
Forbidden Planet have an amazing deal of 3 for 2 on their manga so I always go in there for my Nana books now, so it only costs me £13.98 for 3 volumes! DEAL! I said to myself that whilst I’m on my spending ban, I can’t NOT read Nana, so I ensure to treat myself once a month, which I didn’t do during January, so I’m pretty sure I’ll be buying 3 more volumes during this month.
Do you like manga? If so which series have you read so far or which ones would you like to read or currently reading?
If you aren’t a fan of manga? How come? Hey! You might not have even heard of manga before until this post! Does it interest you at all since reading this?
Please leave any answers to the following questions or if you have any questions of your own, leave them all down in the comments down below!
I hope you enjoy this series! Next week I’ll be talking about anime!
In true Japanese style…
Jikai made, subete no sewa o suru! >>> Until next time, take care all!