Sporadic Sequential
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Spring Cleaning: Keep or Drop?

Realizing my ambivalent feelings about Alive, I wondered if there were any other manga series I follow that I was becoming less enamored of, so I decided to run down my current reading list and assess my feelings toward each title:

Series Notes Verdict
Alive After a strong start, the series seems to be spinning its wheels somewhat, relying too much on a stale "introduce new super-powered characters for our hero to fight" formula. Plus, four volumes in, and I'm not feeling very invested in Taisuke, the series' main character. He comes across as a stock, cipher-like lead with nothing that really distinguishes him from any other bland shonen guy. On probation: One more chance to prove itself
Bleach On the other hand, I never tire of Bleach's formulaic fights, thanks mainly to Tite Kubo's energetic artwork. Keep the epic battles (and epic cast) coming!! Keep
Flower of Life The only problem with this delightful series is that there's only one more volume left and we won't see it until at least 2009! Keep
Gon I like the series but there's definitely a sense of "if you've read one Gon adventure, you've read them all." Still, Masashi Tanaka's insanely detailed artwork could be enough of a draw even if the stories aren't always fresh. This may move from an essential read to an optional one. Possible "bored buy" or Move to Library List
Kekkaishi This series continues to pick up steam, with events increasing in intensity with each volume. I'm looking forward to Yoshimori's showdown with Kaguro next volume, so this series maintains its "definite buy" status. In fact, not only will I be buying new volumes, but I'm also thinking about going back and buying the earlier volumes I'd originally read through the library.
Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service This series has been a delight so far, from its exquisitely designed covers to its extensive and entertaining endnotes. My only concern is that the series will end prematurely if it can't find enough readers. Keep
Parasyte I've enjoyed the first two volumes so far, but the series doesn't stick out in my mind as a "must-buy." I'll give it a couple more books to see if it makes more of an impression on me. Monitor
Sgt. Frog Even though the last volume had perhaps the fewest memorable moments of any Sgt. Frog manga so far, I still don't think I'm suffering from the Keroro Gunso fatigue afflicting so many former fans of the series. My fondness for the characters and the creator's work will keep me buying this, even if it has become rather familiar/predictable at this point. Keep
Yotsuba&! This series should be called Yotsuba&#@%! due to all the delays that plague it! What the #@$% ever happened to volume six?!? Wasn't it originally due back in February?!? Sigh. Despite the frustrating delays, this remains one of my all-time favorite series, so I'll continue to buy it, whenever it happens to come out. Keep

So overall it looks like I'm still enjoying most of what I'm reading. I was surprised to find that I don't really seem to be following that many manga series. While it's possible I'm forgetting something, I think it's true that my reading list has been shrinking lately. Part of it is that several series I had been following, such as Dragon Head and Emma, recently ended; but I also think I'm going through a period where I'm reluctant to try out new titles due to limitations of time and money. Still, I know there are upcoming series I'm looking forward to (such as Real, Slam Dunk, and the VIZBIG version of Vagabond — notice a pattern?), so I'm sure the reading list will continue to expand and contract over time.

So how about you? Are there any series that you're considering dropping? Are there any series I'm not following that I should be?

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