Category Archives: Confessions of a Mangaholic

Making the Tough Calls

It was really hard getting through Previews this month. In the catalog, May is Manga Month, so along with all the regular series, there were new ones coming out that had to be evaluated. Top that with a weakening economy, and you get some really tough decisions to be made with this month’s order.  More after the cut.

Continue reading Making the Tough Calls

More Bargain Hunting

Here’s an FYI if you’ve been interested in some of Tokyopop’s older manga, but haven’t wanted to pay full price. This is via in their forums. is having a sale on Tokyopop manga. 75% off the titles they have available. That’s only $2.49 a piece! Kids titles can be even cheaper at $1.49! It’s mostly older titles, so don’t expect to find titles that have just come out. And there won’t always be a full run of a series, especially if it was popular. But, if there is an older series you want to look into, it’s definitely worth a look The shipping’s by media mail so it won’t be outrageous and skew the price. Feed your manga hunger without breaking our pocketbook!

Bargain Hunting at the Local Comic Shop

We went out shopping today. My oldest’s birthday is coming up this week, and we were getting the last gifts we needed. One of our stops though, wasn’t for presents, but for supplies. Both my girls like to collect Pokemon cards (actually my oldest is totally hooked on Pokemon right now) and the box we bought for their cards has filled up. So, we went to our local comic shop (LCS) to get another box.

Our LCS is small. Every wall is stacked with books, comics, games and toys. There isn’t an inch of wall that isn’t displaying something. The middle holds shelfs for back issues and trades. And then there’s the table, directly opposite the register that is for clearance items. Every couple of months, or until the table is cleared, the shop would put out stuff that hadn’t sold and was taking up space needed for new inventory. Sometimes it’s comics, or toys or trading cards, or manga. This week happened to have manga. Three rows length wide across the table stacked about 8 volumes high and a sign over it saying $2.50 each. So, guess where I was for the next 10 minutes.

The only problem with this kind of clear out, is that you won’t always get a clear run of titles. It tends to skip around. For example, they had volumes of Tramps Like Us, a title that the way Kate at PCS keeps going on about makes me consider getting. But they only had volumes 4, 5, 8, and 10. Not exactly a good start to a series I’d like to read the first before diving in. And while that’s only $10 for the 4, it’s too spread out for me to want to hunt down the rest when I don’t have the cash to do so. Manga always suffers in my house when the economy takes a downturn.

But, I always look anyway, searching for that gem in the rough, like a good bargin hunter. And almost right off the bat, I did find a good one. Phoenix Volume 3 by Osuma Tezuka was in the second row. I snapped that up! $2.50 for a book that’s regularly $15.95 is too good to pass up! I’ve been wanting to read this series, and each volume is self contained. Woo Hoo! I scanned through the rest of the stack, hoping for another gem (another Phoenix really), but nothing so grand showed up. I did decided to get the Volume 2 of CLAMP School Paranormal Investigators. This is another series I’ve wanted to check out, and at only 3 volumes, getting the second wasn’t a big deal.

So, I walked out of the bookstore with $25.00 worth of manga for only $5.00. I love finding deals like this! Part of me wants to go back and get some of those volumes and just hold them somewhere until I can get the rest of the series, but I will be strong! I hope…

Decisions, Decisions…..

Oh! Pay me! (If you get that….)

It that time of the month again. Yes, that’s right. It’s time to do my Previews order. It wasn’t so bad this time. Only eleven titles on my first count, and two weren’t too hard to drop. I had considered getting the title Kannazuki no Miko. It’s only two volumes longs, but it’s an “only if I’ve got nothing else to get”, and I’ve got more to get . The other was Good Witch of the West. That was a little harder to give up. The story was finally getting good. We’re out of the courts and into the wilds, facing the “dragons” (dinosaurs), and finally searching for the meaning behind the Star Queen. But the other titles that are scheduled to come out are more interesting to me.

That takes me down to 9 titles, and a total of $60.72, right at the top of my limit. There are some new titles coming out in April that I’d like to read. Two are from Viz; Fairy Cube by Kaori Yuki. I’ve become a big fan of her work. And Record of a Fallen Vampire. I don’t know much about this series, but before it was licensed, I had gotten the first volume in scanalation. It obviously sounded interesting to me. Some publisher should hire me to scout titles. I’m obviously doing pretty good at it since most of the books I pick to check out get licensed soon after.

There is one title I’m going to see if my youngest might be interested in. Tokyopop has another Disney based title. This one is Fairies, about Tinkerbell and her fairy friends. My youngest actually likes being a girl, and she might be interested it. I wonder, why is it the Japanese are faster to take advantage of licenses like this than we are? Is it more expensive to get a domestic license? This is second Disney manga (not cine-manga) that Tokyopop has released. The first was with the Disney Kilala Princesses. Think there’s any chance of getting Deltora Quest brought over here?

So, now I’ve given the background of my order, here’s my problem. CMX is soliciting a new series. It’s by the same manga-ka as The Palette of 12 Secret Colors, Nari Kusakawa, and is called Two Flowers for the Dragon. It’s a teen shoujo title with a girl that can turn into a dragon, who is faced with two suitors that she must choose between. Two reasons make me want to check out this series: it’s by Nari Kusakawa, and it’s got a dragon in it. That’s about all I need. But, I’m already at my limit. So, I’m going to leave it up to all you readers. Do I go off my “diet” and get Two Flowers for the Dragon, or do I be a good girl? Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Resisting Temptation

Growing up, my family never had a lot of spending money, and we never got allowances like kids do today! But, when you’re in that kind of situation, you learn a fun, new pastime; Window Shopping. That’s where you go to stores or malls and look at all things you would buy if you had the money.

With the proliferation of the internet, it has become Screen Shopping, I guess. And it’s so much easier now, with the store only being a click away. You can “wander” for hours looking at all the things you want to buy. For me, that’s manga, of course. and have become my favorite Screen Shopping sites. I’ll drop in on Ebay every once in a while as well, just to see if there are any long runs I might be interested in. I’m not going to buy, just to look. But these sites have a secret weapon to use again us Screen Shoppers; Wish lists. With just a click or two of the mouse, and there’s a long list of wishes just waiting to be granted. For Christmas and birthdays, they’re useful. But for the rest of the year, they’re there, taunting you. Trying to seduce you with super low prices and 4-3 deals.

A few weeks ago, I was able to resist that temptation. My youngest daughter’s birthday is coming up, and we decided to get some books from Amazon, with the 4-3 deal. But to get the free shipping (another weapon they use to get you), we had to order a couple of more books to reach the prerequisite $25. So what’s the first thing I do? Go to my wishlist to see what manga I can get! Oh, it was so tempting too. I have a bunch that are 4-3 as well. And I missed a few volumes too. (With all the series’s I was buying, that’s hardly surprising).  I could get the free shipping AND complete some series! But, I also missed a few volumes from series’ my husband and oldest daughter were reading, so I wanted to get those too.

When I finally went to place the order, I start adding books. First, the gifts for my youngest. Then, my husband’s, and finally my oldest. Just with those, we have the free shipping and one free book. With two more, it could be another free book… That temptation fluttered in front of me like a Hell Butterfly… But then, I thought of the piles of books I still had to read, personal and for review. And adding to that pile just didn’t sit right with me. I had said was going to cut down my manga, and I had to keep to it! So with great determination, I completed the order WITHOUT my books!

They are still sitting there, those books in my wish lists. sends me emails where there have been updates and changes. And just like a good Screen Shopper, I look through them and then delete the email. It’s nice to know that they are there for when I finally get through my backlog. Or maybe I’ll be able to trade for some of them and be able to just delete them. But I know that list will never go away. Just like all the displays in shop windows.

Taking the Next Step

Now that I’ve admitted that I have a problem, it’s time to take the next step. Cut down the number of titles I buy. To do this, I first made a list of my manga in order of priority. What titles I would get no matter what. What titles I would get when the first list didn’t have any coming out, the titles I could take or leave and then the titles that I could drop. Do everything in moderation, even reduction, right?

Once I had my list, I then had to come up with a criteria by which to apply it. I decided I would get between $50-$60 worth of books. If felt this was the best way to go, since releases tend to fluctuate from month to month. I also wasn’t going to count the manga other people in the house bought (ie, the 2 titles my oldest daughter reads, and the 3 my husband gets).

So, now I have my list and my limit. I then turned to the Previews catalog, the harbinger of happiness and dread. I actually started this with last month’s order, but it wasn’t so hard. There were only 12 titles total, one that was my daughter’s (doesn’t count), and the two I had to cut were on my “drop” list anyway. This month was a completely different story.

To start, if I were to order every I wanted to read or was following, I would be ordering 20 volumes. Adding them all up, after the 30% discount I would get, it still came up to $139.09. That was just way overboard. Even for me. So, it was time to start cutting. First, I had to take 3 off the table, as they were husband/daughter books. So that cut it down to 17 I had to widdle down. Next I checked my “Drop” list. There were three in all, Grenadier, Moon Phase, and Mobile Suit Gundam: Ecole du Ciel from Tokyopop and Nancy Drew from Papercutz. Two of the books on my list were new titles. Fairy Tail from Kiichi and the Magic Books from CMXDel Rey and Kiichi and the Magic Books from CMX. I knew I want to check out Fairy Tail way back in the Summer when it was announced. But Del Rey threw a double whammy at me by releasing volume 1 & 2 this issue! Kiichi was a surprise. I love mysteries, and there are just way too few that have come out here. So I had to make room for these as well as reduce my overall order. But since Fairy Tail was a new series, and I didn’t know if I would like it, I decided to just get volume 1. That takes me down 5 volumes. 17-5=12. Time to move to the next tier.

Here, things got harder. I really had to think about what titles I really wanted to keep following. So I started picking the “Must Read” titles. Genju no Seiza is a definite keeper, as is Pick of the Litter, La Corda d’Oro, O-Parts Hunter and Spiral. This puts me up to 7, and still under my allotted price. Here though is where I ran into another problem. I read a lot of Viz titles. But I also do reviews and get review copies of Viz books. I have been getting a lot of duplicates as I order them, and then they arrive in the mail a month before they come out. So I eliminated Muhyo & Roji’s BSI, Dragon Drive, and a new title Nightmare Inspector based on the fact that I would be getting them as review copies. I know this sounds like cheating, but I was getting the books whether I bought them or not. Take advantage of every opportunity. 12-3=9.

One title I originally had in the “Must Read” list I moved. In the comments of the previous message, I said I was going to keep getting Inuyasha. I do enjoy reading the title, but it does have some problems, namely, it’s still flipped and there are no extras to speak of. Viz charges $8.99 for less than I get in a $7.99 title. Why am I paying more for less? I thought about this and decided, if I can drop Case Closed (I love Detective Conan) because Viz changed the main character names, then I shouldn’t support their Inuyasha releases either. This is a series that needs a Big edition unflipped. Those I’ll buy. So, this left me with room for one more. It ended up being a Del Rey title, Princess Resurrection. 9-1=8.

So, my total ended up being 8 titles for $58.92. 17 titles widdled down to 8. So what have we learned for the Second Step?

  • Reduce in Moderation
  • Take advantage of every opportunity
  • Almost nothing is set in stone

Will I go into withdrawals? Keep reading to find out.

Addicted to Manga

Hi. My name is Lori, and I’m addicted to manga. It started innocently. It was 2002. My husband and I were in a comic book store, and I was looking for some new series to pick up. There, I discovered Dragon Knights, a series Tokyopop was publishing in comic form. It was fun and I love dragons anyway. It lasted 6 issues before Tokyopop abandoned the comic form and went to publishing in graphic novel form, unflipped. I of course, followed the change in format since I wanted to follow the story. And thus was my addiction born.

Why do I think I’m addicted to manga? Let me explain. I was looking at the numbers for My Manga Collection 1Tokyopop’s releases for a small blog I keep there, and on a whim decided to look at how much manga I purchased over the year. My husband is always complaining I had too much manga, and I just brushed it off. Until I looked at the numbers myself.

For the year 2007, I ordered 156 volumes of manga through Previews. I purchased another 47 from, and other sources. So that’s 203 volumes I purchased throughout the year. 25 of those volumes were the first volumes of new series, or 1/8 of my total purchases. I have a total of 58 series’ ongoing or My Manga Collection 2incomplete.

My total manga count is at about 636 volumes. 224 volumes are from completed series’. 45 are from series’ either I dropped or were dropped by the publisher (thanks ADV). The rest, 367 volumes are from ongoing titles. And I keep finding more to add. Not just the new titles that are coming out, but older ones that I missed as well.

Spill over shelvesJust looking at them stacked on the shelves, it doesn’t seem to be that many. But the numbers don’t lie. Not this time. After looking at all this, I came to the conclusion. I’m addicted to manga. I don’t even what to think about the amount of money this all comes to, though I am very conscientious about how much I pay for books. I’m always on the look out for good deals. Apparently I found a lot this year.

So, now that I’ve identified the problem, what am I going to do about it? Obviously I have to cut down on what I buy. But that isn’t easy. I’m already picky about what I get as it is. But, there are some places I can cut. I tried to prioritize my series to the 10 I just *had* to keep reading, and I couldn’t even do that! I had to do them in tiers, justifying that they don’t all come out every month, or even every other month. I’m really a sad case. I’ve been able to pick out a few that I can cull, but it’s only going to get harder from here.

Let this be a lesson to you; manga is bad for obsessive/compulsive-packrat-collecting bibliophiles.