When times get tough, and bank accounts become lean, that’s when you have to start slashing the non-essentials from the budget.  As much as I hate to say it, manga is one of those non-essentials.  With not much hope for recovery in the next six months, or if the state will be solvent (I live in California), that’s meant I’ve had to cut down on the manga I pre-order.  In happier, healthier times, my average order is 7-10 volumes, depending on who has what (ie Viz doesn’t flood me) or if there are title for others in the family (Husband and kids).  With pre-order discounts, that averages around $70 a month in manga.

For example, in April, I ordered 9 volumes, mostly for me, though 2 I think my husband might like:

  • Code Geass: Nightmare of Nunally vol 2 – Bandai Entertainment
  • Broken Blade vol 1 – CMX
  • Petshop of Horrors: Tokyo vol 4 – Tokyopop
  • Shaman King vol 23 – Viz
  • Nana vol 17 – Viz
  • Fullmetal Alchemist vol 19 – Viz
  • Pluto vol 4 – Viz
  • Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi vol 2-3 – Yen Press

Total cost: ~$67.00, nine volumes

In May, my number of volumes remained the same, but the price was down slightly, and three of the volumes were for other family members:

  • Bride of the Water God vol 4 – Dark Horse Manga
  • Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion vol 5 – Bandai Entertainment
  • King of Cards vol 8 – CMX
  • Fairy Tail vol 7 – Del Rey Manga
  • Gimmick vol 8 – Viz (Husband)
  • Legend of Zelda vol 6 – Viz (Kids)
  • Pokemon vol 2 – Viz (Kids)
  • Muhyo & Roshi’s BSI vol 12 – Viz
  • Spiral: Bonds of Reasoning vol 8 – Yen Press

Total cost: ~$64.00 for the same number of volumes.  The kids titles are slightly cheaper, so the cost was down a few dollars.

For this month’s order, June, I decided I wouldn’t order more than $50 worth of manga, keeping the total comics order around $80, my budget for the month.  This put me at about 6 volumes total, but it was a bit of struggle to decide which ones it should be.  My first Choice ran:

  • Ghost Hunt vol 10 – Del Rey Manga
  • Yokai Doctor vol 2 – Del Rey Manga
  • Shaman King vol 24 – Viz
  • Nana vol 18 – Viz
  • Pluto vol 5 – Viz
  • Fushigi Yugi vol 3 VIZBIG – Viz

This totaled ~$50, but there was still 1 more volume I wanted to buy.  Rasetsu vol 2 was solicited this month as well.  So the question became, what do I drop to add Rasetsu in?  It wasn’t going to be Ghost Hunt!  I’ve been waiting close to 2 years for this next volume!  Pluto has become a must buy, so it’s not going anywhere.  My pre-order price for the Fushigi Yugi VIZBIG is $13, so I’m not giving up a $6 discount on that!  So that left Nana, Shaman King and Yokai DoctorNana and Shaman King are titles I’ve skipped volumes of before to keep my previous limit, but Yokai Doctor is a new title that I didn’t know if I’d like.  I got volume 1 just because I love Yokai, but I hadn’t received my copy yet.  I didn’t know if I’d like it enough to continue getting it, but that’s the problem with pre-ordering.   Sometimes you just have to take a chance.  Fortunately, some other bloggers have reviewed Yokai Doctor, and their reviews have helped me make my decision.

Here’s my June pre-order:

  • Ghost Hunt vol 10 – Del Rey Manga
  • Shaman King vol – Viz
  • Nana vol – Viz
  • Rasetsu vol 2 – Viz
  • Pluto vol – Viz
  • Fushigi Yugi vol 3 VIZBIG – Viz

Total cost: ~$49.  Not much of a savings.  Only about $1.50, but they are all titles I know I want, which makes the spending not seem so arbitrary.

In better times I would have ordered Yokai Doctor vol 2 anyway, and started a new series, Mobile Suit Gundam 00 vol 1.  But right now, I’m just going to concentrate on maintaining ongoing titles, and as others finish, I’ll look at picking up new ones.  Of course, with review copies coming in, I could get slammed with another must buy series, but as much as I love manga, right now I hope those stay at a minimum.  Just like a diet, I hate being good, am constantly tempted, but have to stay strong.

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2 Comments for this entry

  • Suzu says:

    Man, I just realized that I buy too many Manga.

  • The problem is, you’re not being good, you’re placing self-imposed limits on yourself and acting like you’re somehow being abused. The fact is, we spend about $80 a month on comics and related stuff, about $65 of that is your manga. You get far, far, far more than anyone else in the house and that’s not nearly the extend of your manga acquisitions. Barely a day goes by that some manga company doesn’t send you a package of freebie review manga, that something you traded for doesn’t show up, etc. Your $65 a month manga habit is barely the tip of the iceberg as to what comes into the house. We went through the shelves a couple of months ago and you gathered a big pile of manga you wanted to get rid of, except that you’re not really getting rid of it, you’re just trading it for something else. That’s not cutting down, that’s just swapping one book for another.

    Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not mad or anything, you can get anything you want, there are no limits except what you impose on yourself, no one has ever told you that you can’t buy whatever you want to buy, but the whole “poor me” thing is really completely overblown and unnecessary. You’re not limited in what you can get, you’re limited by what you choose to get, nothing more, nothing less.

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