stripped bare

Manga reflections

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8 years back, when I first started receiving paychecks, I was introduced to the fascinating world of Japanese Manga.

Weirdly enough, the guy at the comic shop chose to show me, a manga virgin, the full coloured edition of Crying Freeman (Story by Kazuo Koike, Art by Ryoichi Ikegani). Those who have read it know about its graphic content and its cult following. Anyway, he wanted to sell it to me cheap because, the first book of the series was missing. So fine, I bought it, read it, was obsessed with it, bought the vcd of the movie, then chucked it to the back of my bookshelf to keep it off the eyes of my mum. All I can do is to lament about the missing first book, because according to many shop owners, this manga isn’t in production anymore.

Magically, on my last trip to Tokyo in November, on the last day, I was in 7-11 buying sweets, when a tiny book shelf caught my eye. What I saw made me scream silently : Crying Freeman Book 1. I bought it with the very last of my yen, crying invisible tears. We’re finally united after 8 years. Though the manga is in Japanese, I made do with the skeletal amounts of the language I know, for after all, I’m already totally aware of what happens in the first book. I’d just like to see the entire collection in full that’s all. Though the Japanese version and the Taiwanese edition that I have have vast differences, what matters the most is that I have the bloody story in the entirety.

At the same time 8 years ago, I also bought Kimagure Orange Road (Matsumoto Izumi). Everytime I had a new paycheck I would buy a volume of it. And damn does it have many! At that time a book costs $11, and that became a deterrent when I quit my job to go back to school. I stopped after book 10. I have 8 more to go, but apparently it’s no longer in production. What’s this thing with me and old-skool manga?

Then, many animes later such as Azumanga Daioh (Kiyohiko Azuma) and Love Hina (Ken Akamatsu), I found Initial D by Shuuichi Shigeno early last year. Rich and cute guys with fast cars, what’s a girl not to like? And, happy happy, Jay Chou’s gonna be the lead in the movie. Now I’m on Book 30 (yeah that’s where all my money goes to) and anxiously waiting for the next.

Maybe after my exams I can continue on my quest for more manga, and maybe try to complete Orange Road.


Written by smudgi3

June 3, 2005, Friday at 16:20

Posted in Home, Insight

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