His N Her Manga Collection and Q&A

As regular readers will know, me and Dane are both massive fans of manga and our love of it is only growing more as we start and end another manga series.

I was writing and aiming for this post to be up on my blog around World Book Day but sadly due to life and how busy it can be, I never got around to finishing and publishing it on my blog.

BUT no time like the present and I’ve accumulated more manga since World Book Day which is amazing of course! I of course have included Dane into my manga collection as with both of our books combined we have a great collection so far. I also did some questions for both me and Dane to answer in relation to manga. So it’s kind of like a his and her manga post today! I hope you enjoy it.

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Manga We Own

Dane:

Attack on Titan – Vol. 1-20

Attack on Titan: Before the Fall – Vol. 1-5

Attack on Titan: No Regrets – Vol. 1 and 2

Berserk – Vol. 1-6

Death Note – Vol. 1-6

One Punch Man – Vol. 1-10

Natalee:

Azumanga Daioh

Nana – Vol. 1-21

Nichijou – Vol. 1 and 2

Paradise Kiss – Vol. 1-3

A Silent Voice – Vol. 1-7

Sword Art Online: Progressive – Vol. 1-4

Wolf Children

Your Lie in April – Vol. 1-11

Manga We Want:

Attack on Titan: Before the Fall – Vol. 6

Attack on Titan: Lost Girls – Vol. 1 and 2

Berserk – Vol. 7-38

Masamune-kun’s Revenge – Vol. 1-3

Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid – Vol. 1 and 2

Nichijou – Vol. 3-6

One Punch Man – Vol. 11

Sherlock: A Study in Pink

Sword Art Online: Progressive – Vol. 5

Dane Questions & Answers:

  • What was the first manga you read?

Admittedly I have gotten into manga much later than I could or should have. My first manga was (is) actually Attack on Titan. After watching countless anime I watched the first season of Attack on Titan and couldn’t wait for the next season so I began reading the manga.

  • What is your favourite manga to date and why?

Easily Berserk. I have seen and heard about it in the past but always thought it was a manga that was “edgy” for the sake of being edgy. Granted the first arc of the manga does show Guts to be an edgelord (someone, especially posting on the internet who uses shocking annalistic speech and opinions that they themselves may or may not believe to gain attention and come across as a more dangerous and unique person) but he is kept likeable and grows over the course of the manga.

The world of Berserk is a dark one, the manga is very explicit in this and does not shy away from some truly WTF moments. It is not for everyone. It begins with Guts getting freaky with a crazy demon only to kill it mid coitus which is a great way to show what is in store for you. This is one of its greatest assets the fact it is not afraid of going balls to the wall with its story, there are some truly great characters and events that will make you smile and sometimes you will be cutting onions outside in the rain whilst miraculously keeping the book and everywhere but your face dry.

One of the other assets that make this manga worth people’s time is the superior artwork that goes into it. Kentaro Miura is a master when it comes to bringing his panels to life, the character design and the detail (particular the full spreads) are just sublime and you have to see them to believe. Every artist has their moments where some things don’t look quite right but Miura can be excused when he does things like this:

Seriously, anyone should give this article (http://www.exprofundis.com/the-art-of-berserk/) a read because it helps break down the inspiration behind some of the art and showcase some of the best images.

The manga was not my first experience of Berserk. I had tried to watch the anime on a few occasions but never got into it. I have always found it difficult to watch most 90s anime because it doesn’t always gel with me. After giving the 90s season another go I surprised myself when I had a thirst for more, so, like I did with Attack on Titan I began reading the manga. I also heard about the three films which cover the golden age arc, which is the same arc as the 90s series. To me the CGI in those films works really well and I enjoyed those adaptations the most and really makes you wish they carried on making more. The problem is neither really follow the manga chronologically, the 90s anime has a few minutes of the black swordsman arc to go into the golden age arc and obviously the films skip the whole first chapter. So what you are left with is no true adaptation of a brilliant manga.

This then leads me on to why you should stick with the manga for the time being: The 2016 Berserk anime series. Since the first season has finished airing it has been greenlit for a second season. It was amazing to hear that we would finally get to see the full story of Guts in animated form. Only to be disappointed with a horribly directed and crudely animated shit show. The story was mostly there, even some moments which fans expected to be censored or cut (If you dare Google rape horse). I won’t go into too much of a critique but it had some good moments but was overshadowed by some really bad moments. It showed promise and I hope that the studio receive more time and money to give Berserk what it deserves.

  • Any online websites or phone apps you suggest for reading manga on?

If you really can’t get the physical books to read I would recommend the manga rock app. It’s free, has decent scans and is what I used to read Berserk and some works by Junji Ito.

  • What is a manga you regret reading and why?

I don’t really regret reading any not in that regards. I have looked at some and thought “nah I can’t be arsed with that” but never have I spent the time to read one and thought why did I bother.

To answer the question in a different manner I would say I regret reading some of the short stories Junji Ito has created. They leave you with a sense of uneasiness I haven’t felt from a book before. He is the master of the full spread shock and horror. The stories are some of the most unique I have experienced too, the creativity astounds me and leave you eerily excited to know the outcome but you are always left with a gaping hole because horror stories hardly ever end well.

  • What is a manga you can read over and over again and why?

All the manga I am currently or have read is still in production so the stories are incomplete. I have Death Note but that is on my to-do list. So the only manga I can legitimately say is Berserk as I am currently on my second run after finally purchasing the physical copies.

  • What is a manga you would suggest people read when first getting into it?

Attack on Titan was a very easy manga for me to get into, it has a decent story and is mature enough to keep me entertained. It is also one that lacks the typical tropes I have found with Japanese media; the fan service, unnecessary cute characters, sweat drop and so on. I don’t mind those things generally but sometimes I feel they remove you from the immersion in a story and western viewers may not appreciate too much of it.

  • Is there a manga you think is overrated?

I cannot allow myself to say a manga is overrated because I have not experienced enough to judge. Although I will bash something in my own time I would feel unfair to claim something I have little exposure to. Especially as I can understand liking something that the general public would see as weird or too nerdy just because it’s different.

  • Is there a manga you think is underrated?

Anyone who has read Berserk I hope will understand why people like it, even if they don’t themselves. I don’t think there are any that I have seen which don’t have a cult following or a new anime adaptation due out.

  • Would you read any of the manga Natalee owns? If so which one(s)?

I would definitely give Your Lie in April and Nichijou a read as I have already taken a quick look and they have peaked my interest. Nana and Paradise Kiss aren’t really my thing, both are most likely brilliant in their own right (the anime for Paradise Kiss kept me interested enough) but it’s just not my thing.

  • What’s a manga you love but hate the anime of?

Berserk, as mentioned above. Hate is a strong word for it though.

  • What is the next manga you wish to buy and read?

I am currently purchasing as many Berserk manga as possible but it doesn’t really count as one I am due to read as I already have caught up to the latest chapter.

I haven’t really thought that far ahead to be honest so I genuinely don’t know.

Natalee Questions & Answers:

  • What was the first manga you read?

The first manga I read was Elfen Lied. I had wanted to read manga for years but I never knew which one TO read. After watching the anime over a handful of times I knew it was time to find the manga to read. Physical copies are hard to come by in Japanese and I don’t think they’re available in English so I resorted to reading it online.

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  • What is your favourite manga to date and why?

This is a hard one because I love all the manga I have completely finished so far. I honestly can’t answer this question with one manga to be honest. I would like to say A Silent Voice as the story is so realistic and one that has really pulled on my heartstrings. It left me thinking too which I loved. This being said I also loved Elfen Lied and Nana, although Nana isn’t officially finished yet.

  • Any online websites or phone apps you suggest for reading manga on?

I have used a phone app in the past but I can’t remember what it was called. I hated it. It wasn’t the app itself but just the way I felt about it. I can’t remember the website I used when I read Elfen Lied. I just Google’d it to be honest when I wanted to read it.

  • What is a manga you regret reading and why?

I don’t think there’s a manga I regret reading to be honest with you. I usually check out the anime before reading the manga so I’ll always know if I’ll like the storyline or not. I don’t regret reading it because I haven’t bought it, but I do want to get Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid but the artwork doesn’t look as nice as the anime does… I could see myself regretting buying that one for example.

  • What is a manga you can read over and over again and why?

Definitely Elfen Lied as I love the story. I especially love how different it was to the anime.

  • What is a manga you would suggest people read when first getting into it?

Something light and quirky is always a good choice. Azumanga Daioh is one of the first I read and it’s an easy one to read and very funny! I suppose any anime you have watched and fallen in love with you should read the manga because the chances are you’ll love that more!

  • Is there a manga you think is overrated?

From what I’ve seen it’s definitely got to be One Piece. I haven’t read it and I don’t even know what it’s about but fuck it takes up most of the manga books in shops such as Nostalgia Comics in Birmingham and Forbidden Planet’s all over the country. I’m sure it’s amazing and all but there’s just so many volumes! Same goes to Naruto as well.

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  • Is there a manga you think is underrated?

I want to say anything by Ai Yazawa but this being said I don’t think she’s underrated. Paradise Kiss is a classic alongside Nana, which isn’t even finished yet and very much sought after these days by Ai Yazawa fans alike. I’m saying it’s underrated because of how long the hiatus of Nana has been now. People have probably given up now on ever knowing what happens in the end. I however have a little bit of faith left in me. I hope we find out sooner rather than later what happens.

  • Would you read any of the manga Dane owns? If so which one(s)?

I don’t know to be honest… I’d love to read Attack on Titan and One Punch Man but I would worry they’d involve too much action for my liking. Surprisingly I love this in Sword Art Online: Progressive but I don’t think I would like it in Attack on Titan and One Punch Man. This being said I love the anime of both of these, especially the action behind them!

  • What’s a manga you love but hate the anime of?

I recently started watching the anime of Paradise Kiss to coincide with me reading the manga and so far I’m preferring the manga a hell of a lot more! I just find that there are huge chunks missing from the anime which sucks! The same can definitely be said for Elfen Lied too, which leaves the ending in the anime in a really poor manner. There is so much more to the story than the anime lets on which is extremely frustrating. I definitely recommend reading the manga if you love the show. It’s shit loads better!

  • What is the next manga you wish to buy and read?

I don’t want to buy it because I wouldn’t be able to read it BUT I really want to print off all the Elfen Lied manga and pop them into a folder so I can physically read them. I would want to do the same for other manga that isn’t available in English.

Besides that I want to try and have a look at Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid before reading to see if I’ll like it and Masamune-kun’s Revenge as I recently started watching the anime which I’m really enjoying. I can see the manga being just as good to be honest.

So that is our lonnnng manga post! Do you like reading manga, or have you just started reading manga? Make sure to let us know which series you’re reading or have read! We’d love to hear from you all.

Until next time take care all and I hope you had a lovely weekend.

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Currently #9

I know it hasn’t been that long since my last currently list but I thought it would be nice to write another considering how much stuff I have been currently doing! I’m pretty damn excited to write about a lot of them… I would have waited for my day off tomorrow to write this but the ideas and thoughts of it just came to me, so I have to get it typed and published tonight! I’m sure it’ll make some good bedtime reading for some, as well as some equally as good morning reading for others. 😛

Watching – Lately me and Dane have been watching a lot of anime if not just anime. Why? Well because we can and we want to! Before Christmas Dane bought a membership to Funimation which enables anime lovers to watch loads of anime with English dub instead of English sub. We don’t mind either way how we watch anime but sometimes if we’re multi-tasking we much prefer dubbed. We also have a membership to Crunchyroll which we use to watch subbed anime. ANYWAY! So lately we’ve been watching Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid and Masamune-Kun’s Revenge on Funimation and Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid has fast become one of my favourite anime shows! I want to read the manga for it next, the same goes with Masamune-Kun’s Revenge too. They’re both completely different to one another which is what I like. Dane got me into both of them which is really cool.

Masamune-Kun’s Revenge is a slice of life style anime where you get to see Masamune try to get a girl to fall in love with him only to break her heart. Why does he want to do this? To gain revenge for years of being bullied by her! It’s very funny and one you should check out if you like comedy romance style anime.

Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid is completely different and not slice of life or realistic at all and I think you can gather that from the title alone! As it states Kobayashi has a dragon maid. She befriends Tohru after a drunken night out and tells her she can come and stay with her and become her maid. From there we see them live their lives together with Tohru mostly in her human form and occasionally in her dragon form. We also see Tohru’s dragon friends becoming human too and joining her and Kobayashi’s friends. My favourite dragon so far is Kanna, the youngest of the dragons and therefore the cutest! 😀

Reading – I have been reading so much manga lately that I feel like I can’t keep on top of the addiction it has fast become! Since the start of the year I have either finished or started four series of different manga. WOW! I’ve not read this much since 2009 when I discovered the Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella. I remember binge reading them late into the night. I have read and finished both Your Lie in April and Paradise Kiss, which I loved and will hopefully be reviewing in the future! Your Lie in April was an amazing manga to read and everyday during my break at work I found myself getting through a book a day and soon enough the series had finished and I had no more to read. It ended sadly but not as sad as I imagined to be honest, but I put this down to already knowing what was going to happen. Paradise Kiss was bought for me by Dane for my birthday this year and I bought the third and final volume myself. This is a manga by the same person as Nana and I didn’t know what to expect when reading it. I loved it and it was realistic and romantic at the same time but without too much romance. I did really love reading it and it was different to what I normally read. I especially love how Ai Yazawa breaks the fourth wall with her manga, it’s not something I’ve seen anyone else do… Yet. I started reading Nichijou, which I love but I’m in no hurry to continue with just yet.

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Image take from weheartit.com

I’m currently reading A Silent Voice which alongside Elfen Lied, Nana and Your Lie in April has fast become one of my favourites… If not my number one favourite right now. The story is so realistic and amazing. It talks about bullying and how it can affect everyone so well and is definitely the sort of thing I love to write myself. It has inspired me even more to create my own manga series in the future. Me and Dane went to watch the anime movie of A Silent Voice yesterday and it was amazing. I’ll be reviewing it VERY soon.

Listening – In February me and Dane booked for us to go and see cKy in May! AHHH I’M SO EXCITED! I’ve been a fan of the band since I was fifteen and have always wanted to see them live, but just never got the chance… Until now! I’ve been listening to most of their albums since then as I just forgot how much I love listening to their stuff. My favourite album of theirs definitely has to be Infiltrate Destroy Rebuild. I don’t know why, just all of the tracks make me so happy and I can sing them loudly, one after the other. I love all of their other albums of course, but this one just stands out the most. My favourite song from it is Plastic Plan, which I’ve put the music video for above. Let me warn you, it’s really fucking old. 😛

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Image taken from weheartit.com

Eating – There’s not really much I’ve been eating lately that’s any different to lately. If anything me and Dane haven’t been following out diet like we were at the start of the year. We have cut out a lot of junk mind and still have, but at the same time we’ve been binging on things. We recently discovered that at one of our local Asian supermarkets you can buy birthday cake Oreo’s, as well as matcha flavoured Oreo’s and they weren’t as expensive as you’d think either. Just over £1 a packet! I wish we had bought more but meh got to be good. 😛

Wearing – To be honest I haven’t really been wearing anything too special lately… If anything I’ve worn a dress I bought in the Christmas sales in 2016 for a day out with Dane and an evening out with my dad and brother. I also recently bought a dress for a family wedding I’m attending this weekend. That will be exciting to go to! I would show pictures but I’m not too keen on showing them on my blog. Not because they’re horrible or anything, but they’re just not the sort of pictures I feel will work on a post. I’m waffling. 😛

Wanting – I really want a holiday to be honest. Even if it isn’t abroad, just for me and Dane to get away for a week max and have a relaxing time would be lovely. We did look to go to a spa weekend for his birthday in April but sadly due to everywhere being pretty much booked for Easter we aren’t really able to do that. We’re going to try and see if we can do something in June instead for our anniversary, but we shall see!

So that was my currently list number nine! Wow before we know it it’ll be my tenth one which is kind of weird to be honest. They’ve all flown by so quickly. To be honest this whole year is already flying by quickly. 😛

What’s on your currently lists right now? Make sure to let me know in the comments!

Until next time take care all and I hope you had a lovely weekend.

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What I Got For My 27th Birthday

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I can’t believe I hadn’t yet thought about doing this post… Until now! Whilst chilling on the sofa and enjoying a well deserved Sunday lazy day I thought, “Hey! I never wrote a post about what I got for my birthday!” and I surprised myself. I mean I wrote a wish list so why not add a post about what I actually got?

Well better late than never… It has been over a week though since I turned 27… Oh dear. Maybe with age I am forgetting? 😛

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These presents above are a mixture of gifts I received from Dane and his parents.

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My favourite gift from his parents was this beautiful fox figure for the garden. I’ve been after something like this for quite some time now but hadn’t yet found anything I wanted and if I did it was shockingly priced (those are treats for in the summer when we do up the garden!) so I was really happy to get this. The detailing is gorgeous and it’s now sat outside by the back door. I hope we get some foxes in our garden when the weather improves… I love them so much!

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Dane’s parents bought me some lovely gifts but I was especially happy to see four volumes of Your Lie in April manga inside of one of the gifts (which was actually on my wish list!). Apparently I was meant to receive the Azumanga Daioh manga instead but I already owned this manga so Dane is going to send that book back to Amazon. Oops. 😛 With the manga was an iPad holder from IKEA and a can of red spray paint. I had said how Dane’s moms was really nice but how I would want one in red. So that’s why I had a red can of spray paint. I’m going to definitely be spraying it when we have a nice day!

Then we have the gifts that Dane bought for me! Above as you can see there are four volumes of Your Lie in April BUT there is also the box on the far right which is the Blu-ray for the anime series of Your Lie in April. I’m so happy to have it as the art for the box is beautiful and it’s limited edition which makes me even happier!

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As well as getting Your Lie in April manga I also got the first two volumes of Paradise Kiss manga! AHH! I love Nana which is written and illustrated by Ai Yazawa who is also the person behind Paradise Kiss. I’ve watched a little bit of the manga and I really enjoyed it, so I know I’m going to love the manga just as much. Sadly like Nana they’re not easy to find and when you DO find them they aren’t exactly cheap… We shall see what the future holds in terms of picking the rest of the manga up as there are five volumes in total so I only have three more to pick up.

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My final present from Dane (that I got on the day anyway…) and my main one is this gorgeous Frozen Elsa Nendoroid! I had shown Dane her ages ago as she was on sale on a website we buy Japanese items from and bless him he went and ordered her. I had a feeling I was going to get a Nendoroid for my birthday but I didn’t think it would be Elsa! I’m not one of these obsessed Frozen fans but as soon as she was announced years ago I KNEW I had to have her. She’s gorgeous and so beautiful to look at and I know I’ll need to get Anna soon to go with her. I swear I need to do a collection post about mine and Dane’s Nendoroid’s soon as we have twenty now and counting. 😛

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For my birthday in the evening we went out for a meal for both mine and my moms birthday as hers is the day after mine! We went to Frankie & Benny’s and had a lovely meal, drinks and had a right laugh! It’s a shame we didn’t get to do much else. The next day however me and Dane went to Peak Wildlife Park which was amazing! However we left pretty late so didn’t get to spend all day at the park like we wanted to. We intend to go back in the spring.

But on with more gifts! My mom didn’t buy me anything and instead gave me some money whilst my dad and brother both bought me some charms for my Thomas Sabo bracelet, which I got for Christmas from my mom (which you can read about here).

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They both bought me some lovely charms and ones I had set my eyes on on Christmas Day when I was seeing what charms I could get in the future! My brother bought me both the robin and the lucky cat (which I recently found out is called a maneki-neko!) and they’re both so eye catching and different. The maneki-neko has definitely had loads of compliments and questions as to what it is.

Then on a daughter and dad day at the start of the week my dad bought me the fox charm which I’d hoped he would be able to get me. He also offered to buy me another charm too but sadly I didn’t see anything I was after in particular so we left it for another time.

I’m really loving how my Thomas Sabo bracelet is turning out! I’ll be writing up a wish list post for future charms in the next week or two.

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This was one of my belated birthday presents from Dane, which he was intending on keeping a secret but wasn’t 100% sure if I wanted it still. I’ve been waiting for this game to come out for almost ten years and finally in late 2016 it came out! However whilst I was going to pre-order it and have it straight away Dane put me off due to some reviews he had heard about which were bashing the game and putting it down. This being said there were more positive reviews than negative and he bought it for me when it went down in price. Sadly due to so many people buying it we had to wait a couple of weeks for it to come out. It has been totally worth it though! We’ve been playing it together since we got it last week and I love it.

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This is one of the final presents I got… I say got but I wasn’t gifted it. My aunt gave me some money for my birthday so I decided to treat myself to a new water bottle with the money. This is from The Disney Store and as you can see it’s a Baymax water bottle. It’s so amazing and I love it so much! I mostly use it for work as I like to keep hydrated during my shifts. It’s screw cap and fits a good amount of water in. I try to drink at least two of these a shift (I work 8 hours a day btw…) which I think is a pretty good goal! You can also pop lemons into this too but as of late I haven’t bothered with drinking lemon water. It’s something I’ll start doing again very soon.

So those were my presents I got (or bought with money…) for my birthday this year! I loved all my presents and I can’t say that I have a favourite… Although I do love how my Thomas Sabo bracelet is turning out! I loved everything though to be honest. I loved getting more manga to read, a fox figure for my garden, money and geeky things!

I just want to thank not just my family and friends for helping me have a lovely birthday this year, but mostly Dane for always being there for me. I’m so excited to start 2017 in our home and I’m even more excited for all the adventures we’re going to have this year.

How are all my readers doing? I miss your faces! Leave me some love down below or over at my Twitter (@maybeecoffee)/

Until next time take care all and I hope you’ve had an awesome weekend!

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