Manga Before Flowers — Manga Collection Hell

by  in Comic News Comment
Manga Before Flowers — Manga Collection Hell

Today my boyfriend gets back from his walk and smiles when he sees a few (small-ish) stacks of manga on the guest bed. “You’re organizing?” (“Organizing” is code for “selling manga on ebay”). I nod.

This makes me look good until he sees the two LARGE stacks of to-be-read manga in the bedroom.

“But you are going to sell off more of it…” He trails off, it isn’t quite a question.

I whimper a little as if in pain.

Probably not.

“But when we move…” He starts.

My whimpering gets a little louder.

He put his hands up in surrender and backs away.

Smart man.

This spring we inherited three large book cases from folks who moved out of town.

As of now, two of those book cases house my manga collection. When I organized my manga alphabetically this spring there was room for almost all the manga I planned to keep on those two large bookcases. That is no longer the case.

See current state of manga shelves:

This is book case number 1.

The top shelf contains “special purchases” or unusual manga finds. If you look carefully you can see some original Japanese manga, flipped versions of Maison Ikkoku, as well as recent omnibus releases like Apollo’s Song, Tekkon Kinkreet and Fruits Basket: Ultimate Edition, vol 1. Not to mention Manga: The Complete Guide, and a large stack of manga on the end that needs to be shelved. And oh yes, some random Cardcaptor Sakura I’ve scored from the local used bookstores. Shelves 2-5 are taken up by manga alphabetized A-L (it begins with After School Nightmare and end with Legal Drug). If you look carefully you will notice significant gaps here — the first seven volumes of Eden, the first seven volumes of Cantarella are all missing. Some of these gaps are because my local library rocks and that is how I first read many manga series (Eden). Other gaps are because I got tired of a series, sold it thinking I was done with it and then it rebounded back into cracky-goodness. Dammit (Cantarella).

And I also get into debates with myself….do I need to own Genshiken? I liked it and all but the library owns it. So. No. I do not need Genshiken. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Moving on, you might have noticed that the bottom shelf includes my U.S. comic trades. Looking closely one will see Y: the Last Man, Ex Machina, Runaways (anyone sensing a theme?) as well as Scott Pilgrim and some random Batman / Superhero trades. It is a pretty anemic collection to be honest….Peresepolis and Fun Home should be there at least (and by god, will be there by the end of the year. I promise). Also there are Teen Titan trades but nothing by Morrison. That is just wrong.

This is book case #2.

Notice the stacks / packages on top. This is manga I haven’t had time to read: the large stack is Seimaden (CMX), all 10 volumes and the shorter stack is some Yen Press manga that I need to review. At some point. The package is x/1999 but missing volumes 11 and 14 (I think). Below that, the first four shelves pick up where we left off on the alphabet — we start with Loveholic and end with volume 1 of “Your and My Secret” (both the Tokyopop and the ADV versions). Manga stacked here has been probably been read but not always (*wince* I see “Queen’s Knight” there and I haven’t even touched that yet. Or, four volumes “Young Magician” I haven’t yet touched which is even shelved correctly. Crap!). The last shelf is for manga magazines — ones of the left are Japanese phone-books and on the right are my English-language mags — mostly Shojo Beat and OtakuUSA (you might also catch the special issues Wired & the Comics Journal did on manga there as well).

Meanwhile, I’ve already found a bunch of volumes that I haven’t read yet, in spite of the fact they are on the shelves (whoopsie!).

Moving onto my current reading piles….

This is Pile to Read Number 1.

Notice that in this pile contains only one volume from a single series or only one-shotes (like Fake-Fur). These are series I’m currently “caught up with.” Which now means I can read the lastest volume of these series with a clear conscience.

Which is not the case for …..

To be read pile #2. Good god!

Yup, multiple volumes of Pet Shop of Horrors: Tokyo, Skip-Beat, Gin Tama, Gakuen Alice, From Eroica with Love, NANA and even *gasp* Fruits Basket. Now there is a sheer level of awesomeness here that deserves serious attention and this reflects the fact that these are probably the most “dense” manga series I currently buy. Each volume of these series takes a little “extra” effort to get through it….NANA and Fruits Basket because they are emotionally draining, From Eroica with Love & GinTama because they are wordy as hell, Skip Beat because…well. I need energy to appreciate its total and complete shojo-brilliance. I always have my (random) reasons but they aren’t really useful when following them leaves a serious stack of manga as my current reading pile.

Now we come to a whole new level of collector’s shame. I also have manga “hidden” away so I don’t have to see it everyday and mourn the fact I 1) haven’t read it, and 2) don’t really have room for it.

I think of these manga collectively as “Ebay is evil” since that is where I got them.

Yes, that is all of Banana Fish. Which I have yet to read.


7 volumes of Cipher and three volumes of Never Give Up (which came free with my Cipher auction).

Then there’s the fact I also just attended a convention. What do good little fanboys and fangirls do at a convention? They buy shit of course! So there is the little matter of a box of books I shipped myself from LA (some actually bought in the dealer’s room at AnimeExpo, others scored from the Japanese bookstore, Kinokuniya, located in downtown LA in Tokyotown).

I remember the “good old days” when I could actually re-read my manga volumes and savor them. Ah, those were the days….sort of.

In the end this post is an excuse to post pictures of my manga, since I love looking at pictures of other people’s shelves and figured I couldn’t go wrong sharing mine here.