Manga Before Flowers -- True Anime & Manga Confessions

Time to come clean -- 21 shocking, true confessions after the cut!

1. I have watched all 178 episodes of Prince of Tennis before Viz ever licensed the anime. Ryoma is my favorite character, followed very closely by Atobe.

2. I dislike Peach Girl (the manga -- I never saw the anime). If I'm going for overly melodramatic shojo I'll stick with MARS.

3. I don't really get Negima -- or as my local shop owner calls it, "Harry Potter with breasts."

4. I think Hayate x Blade is the most enjoyable comic I read in 2008, but Tezuka's Black Jack is probably the best comic I read this year. Takehiko Inoue's REAL is probably my second pick for best comic of the year.

5. I thought Red Colored Elegy was over-hyped but still worth picking up.

6. I've never seen a Studio Ghibli film (remember: I'm a manga person, not anime person but still. There's probably something seriously wrong with me).

7. Even if I sold off my Hot Gimmick manga in order to stay true to certain feminist principles, I still know that it was probably the best comic book soap opera I've ever read. Stupid feminist principles. (And yes, in spite of that experience I still have high hopes for Aihara's Honey Hunt, currently running in Shojo Beat. Clearly, I don't learn very quickly).

8. I despise Fushigi Yugi. Even more than Watase's Absolute Boyfriend, which was just plain bad, while I found Fushigi Yugi outright offensive.

9. I like Hachi more than Nana from NANA. Related: I do not find Nana and Ren's romance the least bit romantic.

10. Shojo Beat magazine remains the highlight of my comicbook reading month.

11. I couldn't finish the third issue of Yen+. Sadly, it looks as though this magazine just didn't work for me.

12. The Code Geass anime is my true guilty pleasure of the past year.

13. Kyoko from Skip Beat! remains my favorite manga heroine of all time. Related: Sho is probably the most enjoyable character in the manga in spite of the fact we all know only Ren deserves Kyoko.

14. I'm starting to have trouble telling various (bishonen) characters from REBORN! apart now that I've reached volume 7. I don't know why -- probably because I'm a lazy reader.

15. I just started watching the One Piece anime thanks to Funimation's half-season set releases. I think I kinda like it...

16. I thought the second season of Blood+ was much better than the first. In spite of the fact they turn a normal, rebellious teenage character into an grown up saint (i.e. Kai), the second season was a much more exciting viewing experience.

17. I think Claymore may be the only shonen series I read that doesn't have bishonen (or pretty men?) in it (even Gin Tama has Hijikata. Or well. Gin if you have really strange tastes). Of course, 99% of the cast of Claymore is women. So there you go.

18. I think I like yaoi so much because they are almost always about (romantic) relationships first, everything else second. I enjoy that because often shojo mixes romance into so many other things (epic fantasy, sci-fi, the trials of school life) sometimes I just like to read a story about how two people fall in love (or lust as the case may be....). Also gender relations in many of the shojo love stories I read are so imbalanced that I have a hard time enjoying them as pure escapism.

19. Like the most boring fangirl ever, it is Kyo over Yuki (Fruits Basket) and Zero over Kaname (Vampire Knight) for me. I'm pretty lame that way.

20. I've only read the first two volumes of Lone Wolf & Cub and the first collection of Akira. This needs to be rectified immediately.

21. I think Honey & Clover is a good comic but it rarely moves me much -- I find myself most engaged when I'm reading about Takemoto's family story, since I've also lost a parent, although not at a young age like the character. I also identify strongly with Yamada's hopelessly one-side love, having experienced two years of that myself. But I find it odd I need to have actually experienced those exact things to feel connected to the story, when such a thing isn't true for a lot of manga I enjoy quite a bit.

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