Although I had originally planned on tackling Red Garden for my next backlog sample, recently I’d requested recommendations for a comedy anime to try out and someone had suggested The Wallflower. Since it happened to be on my shelf as well, and I was still in the mood for a comedy, I decided to try it out. I was apprehensive as I was not particularly fond of the manga–and my apprehension turned out to be well-founded.
I haven’t been on much of a media consumption kick recently. Actually, that’s not true–I’ve found myself hooked on watching M*A*S*H and Parks and Recreation on Netflix more than my usual viewing of anime and reading of books/manga. However, I did read through a fun by fluffy novel as well as finally checked out a few of the comics I picked up from the 2014 Free Comic Book Day on Comixology.
When I think about the North American/English manga market, one of the easiest ways to organize it in my mind is to think about it by the publishers/licensors that have brought a Japanese series to the Western audience. Various publishers have certain “feels” to them, an essence that in some way also pervades how I perceive their products. I think this is a worthwhile line of thought to follow, so I’m going to be writing a series of posts highlighting the various manga English licensors and my perceptions of them.
First up: Vertical Comics
After working my way through the first episodes of a lot of shows, I’ve let quite a few episodes pile up for each of the series I was planning on continuing. This is slightly by design, slightly by accident. I do like watching several episodes in one sitting for shows that require at least a little thought/contemplation–but I also thought I might watch some episodes as they aired. Tennis keeps getting in the way of this, I think. That, and I’m planning my first ever cosplay. I need fewer hobbies.
After blitzing through some volume 1s at the start of the year, I took a bit of a step back from manga and focused on the new anime season for a bit. Now I’m back to doing a bit of reading–although my mind isn’t processing things quite as well as I might like, so I’m sticking (in general) with relatively laid-back series (and non-manga) rather than those that I want to immerse myself in. It’s a bit cruel since I’m really yearning to read the latest volume of A Bride’s Story.
After doing reasonably well with tackling my backlog of anime DVDs/BDs (and streaming shows) in 2013, in 2014 I backslid. A lot. I may have only finished 1 backlog series the entire year, which is really poor progress. While the “Weekly Backlog” posts were not particularly sustainable because I didn’t have enough to say about any given episode of a show, they did at least keep me on track.
In 2015, I’m going to try a new approach: backlog sampling. Basically, I’ll watch the first disc (or 4 episodes for streaming or series with jam-packed discs) and decide if I like it and want to continue it then, like it but not in the mood (so will put it back on the shelf for a time when it fits my mood), not sure about it but due to reviews will put it back on the shelf (so will try another 4 episodes later and if that doesn’t work, give up), or if nothing suggests it will get better then I’ll drop it and remove from the collection.
I’ve recently been in a comedy mood, so I figured Love*Com would be a great option to try out my sampling procedure. It’s a show I blind-bought, but it’s received good reviews and has been well-received by other shoujo rom-com fans, after all.
It wasn’t necessarily intentional, but it seems I left most of the best stuff for last. Well, a few of the shows I checked out this week certainly don’t qualify as part of the best, but the majority had some charms and most were certainly more enjoyable than some of the shows I checked out earlier. In fact, I’m keeping all 7 from this week on my watch list. Although how I’ll manage to watch that many episodes of anime in any given week is a problem I’ll have to figure out later.
I’m currently working through my manga backlog as quickly as possible. While there are some series that I think deserve an in-depth review of volumes, many just don’t have that much that can be said about them. So I think I’ll start doing a bit of a roundup of what I’ve read in a week with just a brief paragraph/review. Up this week: lots of volume 1s from the Viz sale at Right Stuf in December, and some continuing series from Kodansha Comics and Vertical.
I’m taking a bit of an odd approach this season in deciding when to watch a show for the first time. Since I have habit of curling up in Crunchyroll and never leaving, I’ve decided to alternate between it and Funimation (if there are shows streaming on another platform, I’m sure I’ll try them out at some point, but nothing’s pushed me to do so yet). It’s a good way for me to actually make some use of my EVS–something I often I forget that I have.
I’m currently training for a half-marathon this spring, and Saturdays are when I do my long runs. After said runs, I have very little left in me, so I figured I may as well do something anime-related while I lounge about recovering, and so I’m going to take at least a peek at a few series this season. Of course, what I should be doing is finishing all of the series I’ve already started, but it’s so much more fun (okay, easier) to start things than to finish them, don’t you think?