How Do You Read Manga?
Via Mark Fossen, how do you read manga?
I try to start at volume 1, keeping an eye on new series as they launch. If I like it, I’ll get caught up to whatever they’re at, reading several books in the series at a time. Then I’ll follow them as they release new volumes. When a new book of a favorite series comes out, I may reread the last one or two in preparation for it.
If I don’t care for it, I try to trade it, another good way to try series I’ve heard good things about. There are so many great series out there that there are always plenty more to try.
I tend to start with number one when it comes out, and if I like it, keep on going until it finishes. Once in a while I give up in the middle, when I get tired of it or don’t like the direction it’s heading (I gave up on Rebirth, for instance, and I’m pretty close to giving up on Kyo: Samurai Deeper). Contrariwise, if I haven’t been following a series since its beginning, I seldom go back and pick it up (though, based on your recommendation I may do that with Sensual Phrase). I like to think I’m pretty good at spotting the kind of thing that appeals to me, and I have enough disposable income that I don’t ration myself too tightly when it comes to manga. The most common reason for me to give up on a manga after only one book is that it’s just too twee even for me (e.g. Tokyo Mew Mew or Wedding Peach), but I keep coming back to them in case one is the next Kodacha: Sana’s Stage or Magic Knight Rayearth.
I think I’m in sympathy with your approach — and I’m wandering away from the question, but I wanted to comment because I recognized almost all the titles you mention. A year ago, that wouldn’t have been the case. Amazing how quickly one can pick up on a whole new field.
On the other hand, it wasn’t that long ago when I could (and did) buy them all, and an even shorter time since I could at least try them all.
And now that I’ve actually read Mark Fossen’s thing, I realize that I didn’t completely answer the question. I read each volume as it comes out, generally in a single sitting. I almost never re-read the previous volume to refresh my memory, except for certain series that I like so much that I re-read the entire series up to that point every couple of volumes (e.g. Fruits Basket, Wallflower). The best series I’ll continue to re-read start to finish periodically, even after they’ve completed (e.g. Azumanga Daioh, Magic Knight Rayearth, Maison Ikkoku, Angelic Layer). To date, I’ve never begun reading a series with a volume in the middle.
Given my personality, I don’t think I’d be able to start in the middle either.
I wish I had more time to reread complete series — I’d like to read Paradise Kiss and Planetes, to name only two, again.