I few years ago, I got into podcasts. I like to listen to things while I work, and the radio and music got boring, so I started searching through podcasts. One of the great things about podcasts, is that you can find something on just about any topic, since anyone with a computer, a microphone and some software can record one. The first topics I searched for: anime and manga.
The anime was easy to find. Anime podcasts are a dime a dozen, and I tried out a lot before I settled on a select few. Podcasts for manga, well, that was a lot harder to find. Some of the anime podcasts I got also do manga, but I really wanted to find something that was only manga. Those are fewer and very far between. But, I have found a few.
Mangacast – This was the first podcast I found that was strictly for manga. Started by Ed Chavez, there were a variety of shows back when I started listening, covering different topics. Now, it’s mostly just reviews of 2-3 manga per podcast, lasting about 30 minutes per show, but that’s really just fine with me. One show I miss alot was the MangablogCast, that had news from Brigid of the Mangblog, that was read and commented on by Jack Tse. Jack has a great voice, and I loved listening to his commentary. Another great feature at Mangacast is the recordings Ed does of manga panels from different conventions. There aren’t as many podcasts as there used to be, with all the other work the guys are doing there, but it’s great when a new cast does come out. What I would really love though, would be an archive to be able to go back and find older shows. This is a great podcast to listen to for thoughtful reviews and commentary.
Sesho’s Anime & Manga Reviews – I found this podcast on the Mangacast blog. Sesho does both anime and manga reviews. His reviews average about 10-15 minutes per episode, and only cover one volume per show. He also gives grades in his reviews, A-F. He is short and concise with his reviews, telling just what he likes and dislikes about a volume, and what I like most, is that he’s fair. He will read a manga that is not targeted to his demographic and still give it a good review instead of mocking it.
Manga Pulse – I didn’t find Manga Pulse, it came to me. I listen to Anime Pulse for reviews of new anime, and this comes through the same feed. I was glad at first. Another podcast that’s just about manga! Unfortunately, my joy turned to sorrow, as I listened to the shows. The guys doing it, Weltall and Tim the Enchanter spend, on average, 20 minutes complaining and ranting about things that have nothing to do with manga, and then the remaining 50 minutes complaining and ranting about the manga they are reviewing. They don’t give reviews. They try in vain to be funny as they mock the manga that they read, sometimes bought, sometimes sent to them by publishers. But, not once in any of the shows I’ve listened to have they said one good thing about the manga they read, even if they still recommend it as a “Buy it now” rating. These guys are shining examples of how NOT to do a review, or podcast. They wouldn’t have a real audience if they were running on their own feed instead of Anime Pulse’s. Do yourself a favor and avoid this show at all costs.
Manga Recon – This is another podcast from Erin from the Ninja Consultants, of her text reviews for Buzzscope/Popcultureshock.com. There are only 8 podcasts up at the moment, 7 from last year, and a new one just posted a few weeks ago, but I still want to mention it, as Erin is doing something I wish would happen more; audio versions of text reviews. I’ve have a long list of RSS entries of manga reviews that I never have the time to read, but would have plenty of time to listen to. I’ve got 1 1/2 hours to and from work, as well as 8 hours there to kill. And there are plenty of reviews floating around to listen too. I’m just saying…
Anime World Order – Anime World Order is a mainly anime podcast, but they cover (almost) all aspects of Otakudom, with includes manga, so many of their shows include reviews of manga, licensed and unlicensed, as well as commentary about it. It’s through this podcast that I learned of Eagle: The Making of an Asian American President, and Pluto. Daryl, Gerald and Clarissa have very diverse interests and views that make listening to them really enjoyable, and I don’t mind when their shows reach the 2 hour mark. They are another bunch that don’t pull any punches without resorting to ridicule, and they really get my respect for that. They don’t give scores, but will warn you away if they really feel it necessary. They also do a lot of old school anime (80s-90s), which is what attracted me to them in the first place.
Well, these are the best of my best manga podcasts. If you know of any others or recommendations, I’d really love to hear them. As I’ve said before, I’ve got plenty of time to kill.