Wed, Jan. 3rd, 2007, 05:26 pm || 2006 manga write up

add to memories

I've read so much manga this year that I'm separating it out from my 2006 books post. I'm still a little stunned by the fact that I read 217 volumes of manga this year, and that's after not logging some random scanlations due to user oversight.

Like the books list, this is a list of manga that I read this year, not manga published this year. My favorites are rather capricious and down at seven instead of ten. I'm not sure if it's because I'm feeling a little grumpy today, or if some of the series that I would have put on here ended up losing some of my interest as I started reading volumes as they came out, instead of in one big chunk (Bleach, Tramps Like Us). Other series ended up not being in the favorites group because I haven't read far enough in them to figure out if I do like them long term (Paradise Kiss, Oyayubihime Infinity, Her Majesty's Dog, Eternal Sabbath, Monster). The only reason Nana isn't on here at all is because all I did was reread vol. 1 this year; I mean to one day catch up on the 16 volumes out in Japanese (really!).

I'm not actually going to write up detailed summaries or plot synopses; I've blogged all these series before and will link the titles to the relevant entries and/or tags. Also, I'm way too lazy to link up the entire list of 217 volumes, but rest assured, they are all meticulously memories-ed and tagged because I am obsessive compulsive and should probably find a better hobby that doesn't involve alphabetization. Extreme librarianism! It's almost like a sport! ;)

Listed below are my seven favorite series from this year, in alphabetal order.

  1. Mizushiro Setona, 1999nen 7 no Tsuki Shanghai: I know I've written this one up several times now, but I like it a lot, and not just because I wrote fic for it. Despite the angst and the angst and the more angst, I love this for its understated moments. Mizushiro takes the time to set scenes, which is wonderful because the renditions of Shanghai seem to be very accurate. The story takes place in back alleys and crowded streets, and I love seeing the clothes drying by the windows, the tables full of people eating street food, the sunlight reflecting off buildings. Her characters are quiet amidst the angst, which is why I think it works.


  2. Mori Kaoru, Emma (tag): Much like 1999nen, I love Emma for its quiet moments and for Mori's eye for detail. Apart from that, the two series are very different creatures. Mori's characters are restrained not because they fear for their lives, but because they are courteous and gracious and unwilling to intrude. Despite the potentially angsty premise, Emma seems to assure us that the world will quietly turn and that all will be well. I like how peaceful this is and how much small moments and gestures matter.


  3. Nishi Keiko, Four Shojo Stories: It is completely unfair of me to list this solely under Nishi's name, but I didn't enjoy Hagio Moto's or Sato Shio's stories much at all, so this is really just a rec for Nishi's two stories. I'm sure I'm repeating myself by saying how delicately drawn Nishi's stories are, how tentatively they handle relationships between people, since the same applies to 1999nen and Emma. Nishi's art distinguishes itself not through its realism, like the first two series, but by its lack of, by its impressionistic panels and the way it mirrors the psychological state of the protagonists, as do her storylines.


  4. Takaya Natsuki, Fruits Basket (tag): Oh Fruits Basket! It starts out as a fairly standard, though well-executed, shoujo series; the heroine Tohru is kind-hearted to a fault, there are plenty of bishounen, and wacky hijinks ensue while everyone benefits from Tohru's kindness. But then, slowly, the series grows darker, even as it maintains its large heart. I love this because it's about being kind in a world that is hurtful, because it's about characters who gradually learn to reach out past their childhood's caged bars, because it's about joy and grief and pain and maturity and how they all intertwine. This is an exceptional series.


  5. Yuki Kaori, Godchild (tag): And this is where I stop talking about beautifully quiet and restrained series. I like that Godchild ends up being the divider, since it's the exact opposite of quiet and restrained. Yuki Kaori specializes in angst and Gothic imagery galore; the more improbable, the more macabre, the more intense, the better. Every time I read a new volume, I break out grinning, amazed by the latest thing she's put in. This is a series of poisonous desires and loving hatred; of black lace and blood-red roses; of beautiful abandoned orphans, pining away into willowy waifs; of insane asylums creaking with rusted doors fencing in long-forgotten patients. And who needs historical accuracy if you can have something this good?


  6. Masashi Kishimoto, Naruto (Naruto): My one shounen series! I like shounen, but it often doesn't capture me as much as shoujo. Naruto starts out very slowly; it hits a good arc in vol. 5, gets really good in vol. 10, and finally gets to the great parts around vol. 32. But it's worth the wait: Kishimoto makes you care for a giant cast of characters, and he excels at repeating images and motifs so that each repetition layers on meaning and emotion. Naruto is about abandoned children finding friends and family, about determination and willpower, about learning that sometimes, all you need to do to change the world is to buy a lonely boy a bowl of ramen.


  7. Minekura Kazuya, Saiyuki Gaiden and Saiyuki Reload (tag): I get to cheat if it's my own list, right?

    I put Saiyuki on my favorite books of the year list last year, and it's back again for all the same reasons! As the continuation of the series, Saiyuki Reload shows signs of being every bit as good as the first nine volumes. I'm being a little mean, because my favorite parts of the series so far are volumes 6 and 7, which haven't come out in English yet. There's a sequence in volume 7 that makes everything worth the wait. Also, Minekura is finally looking at the youkai-human relationship in the world, and the ikkou continue to break hearts.

    And then, at the very beginning of this year, I read Saiyuki Gaiden vol. 2 and a few chapters after it, and I fell completely in love. It's a prequel to the series, and while it can stand on its own, I don't know why you'd want it to, what with the weight it brings to the Saiyuki canon. The ikkou's previous incarnations are heart-breaking as they lead their static lives; only Goku breaks the cycle. And you can see doom written on every page. I love the pinky promise and the flowering sakura, the vulnerability of Konzen, Kenren and Tenpou, the innocence of Goku. I cannot wait until this is finished, even though I know it will break my heart every step of the way.


Total read: 217 (25 rereads)


Complete list of manga read in 2006
1. Tsukuba Sakura, Land of the Blindfolded vol. 1, Jan 1
2. Takaya Natsuki, Fruits Basket vol. 1, Jan 2
3. Takaya Natsuki, Fruits Basket vol. 2, Jan 3
4. Takaya Natsuki, Fruits Basket vol. 3, Jan 6
5. Takaya Natsuki, Fruits Basket vol. 4, Jan 7
6. Hakase Mizuki, The Demon Ororon vol. 1, Jan 8
7. Hakase Mizuki, The Demon Ororon vol. 2, Jan 8
8. Hakase Mizuki, The Demon Ororon vol. 3, Jan 8
9. Hakase Mizuki, The Demon Ororon vol. 4, Jan 8
10. Takaya Natsuki, Fruits Basket vol. 5, Jan 11
11. Higuri You, Cantarella vol. 1, Jan 15
12. CLAMP, xxxHolic vol. 6, Jan 17
13. Takaya Natsuki, Fruits Basket vol. 6, Jan 19
14. Takaya Natsuki, Fruits Basket vol. 7, Jan 19
15. Yazawa Ai, Paradise Kiss vol. 1, Jan 31
16. Yazawa Ai, Nana vol. 1, Feb 3 (reread)
17. Takaya Natsuki, Fruits Basket vol. 8, Feb 8
18. Takaya Natsuki, Fruits Basket vol. 9, Feb 9
19. Takaya Natsuki, Fruits Basket vol. 10, Feb 10
20. Minekura Kazuya, Saiyuki Gaiden vol. 2, Feb 16
21. Hotta Yumi and Obata Takeshi, Hikaru no Go vol. 1, Mar 15
22. Hotta Yumi and Obata Takeshi, Hikaru no Go vol. 2, Mar 15
23. Hotta Yumi and Obata Takeshi, Hikaru no Go vol. 3, Mar 16
24. Hotta Yumi and Obata Takeshi, Hikaru no Go vol. 4, Mar 16
25. Hotta Yumi and Obata Takeshi, Hikaru no Go vol. 5, Mar 17
26. Hotta Yumi and Obata Takeshi, Hikaru no Go vol. 6, Mar 18
27. Hotta Yumi and Obata Takeshi, Hikaru no Go vol. 7, Mar 18
28. Hotta Yumi and Obata Takeshi, Hikaru no Go vol. 8, Mar 19
29. Hotta Yumi and Obata Takeshi, Hikaru no Go vol. 9, Mar 20
30. Hotta Yumi and Obata Takeshi, Hikaru no Go vol. 10, Mar 20
31. Minekura Kazuya, Saiyuki Reload vol. 3, Mar 29
32. Takaya Natsuki, Fruits Basket vol. 11, Apr 1
33. Takaya Natsuki, Fruits Basket vol. 12, Apr 2
34. Watase Yuu, Absolute Boyfriend vol. 1, Apr 2
35. CLAMP, Clover vol. 1, Apr 7 (reread)
36. Takaya Natsuki, Fruits Basket vol. 13, Apr 8
37. Yuki Kaori, Godchild vol. 1, Apr 8
38. CLAMP, Clover vol. 2, Apr 9
39. CLAMP, Clover vol. 3, Apr 9
40. CLAMP, Clover vol. 4, Apr 9
41. Minekura Kazuya, Saiyuki vol. 5, Apr 9 (reread)
42. Watase Yuu, Fushigi Yugi: Genbu Kaiden vol. 1, Apr 9 (reread)
43. Watase Yuu, Fushigi Yugi: Genbu Kaiden vol. 2, Apr 9 (reread)
44. Watase Yuu, Fushigi Yugi: Genbu Kaiden vol. 3, Apr 9
45. Yuki Kaori, Angel Sanctuary vol. 11, Apr 12 (reread)
46. Yuki Kaori, Angel Sanctuary vol. 12, Apr 12
47. Yuki Kaori, Angel Sanctuary vol. 13, Apr 13
48. Yuki Kaori, Angel Sanctuary vol. 14, Apr 15
49. Yuki Kaori, Angel Sanctuary vol. 15, Apr 15
50. Yuki Kaori, Angel Sanctuary vol. 16, Apr 16
51. Yazawa Ai, Paradise Kiss vol. 2, Apr 25
52. Takaya Natsuki, Fruits Basket vol. 14, Apr 28
53. Takaya Natsuki, Fruits Basket vol. 15, Apr 28
54. Takaya Natsuki, Fruits Basket vol. 16, Apr 30
55. Takaya Natsuki, Fruits Basket vol. 17, May 1
56. Takaya Natsuki, Fruits Basket vol. 18, May 1
57. Takaya Natsuki, Fruits Basket vol. 19, May 3
58. Minekura Kazuya, Saiyuki Reload vol. 4, May 7
59. Minekura Kazuya, Saiyuki Reload vol. 5, May 8
60. Takaya Natsuki, Fruits Basket vol. 20, May 9
61. Takaya Natsuki, Fruits Basket vol. 21, May 10
62. Minekura Kazuya, Saiyuki Reload vol. 6, May 11
63. Ohba Tsugumi and Obata Takeshi, Death Note vol. 1, May 15
64. Kishimoto Masashi, Naruto vol. 1, May 20
65. Ohba Tsugumi and Obata Takeshi, Death Note vol. 2, May 20
66. Kishimoto Masashi, Naruto vol. 2, May 21
67. Watase Yuu, Alice 19th vol. 3, May 23
68. Watase Yuu, Alice 19th vol. 4, May 23
69. Kishimoto Masashi, Naruto vol. 3, May 24
70. Kubo Tite, Bleach vol. 1, May 25
71. Kubo Tite, Bleach vol. 2, May 26
72. Kubo Tite, Bleach vol. 3, May 31
73. Amakawa Shimizu, Cross vol. 1, Jun 1
74. Ohba Tsugumi and Obata Takeshi, Death Note vol. 3, Jun 1
75. Minekura Kazuya, Saiyuki Reload vol. 4, Jun 7 (reread)
76. Ohba Tsugumi and Obata Takeshi, Death Note vol. 4, Jun 8
77. Watase Yuu, Alice 19th vol. 5, Jun 11
78. Watase Yuu, Alice 19th vol. 6, Jun 11
79. Kubo Tite, Bleach vol. 4, Jun 13
80. Kubo Tite, Bleach vol. 5, Jun 13
81. Kishimoto Masashi, Naruto vol. 4, Jun 18
82. Kishimoto Masashi, Naruto vol. 5, Jun 19
83. Kishimoto Masashi, Naruto vol. 6, Jun 22
84. Kishimoto Masashi, Naruto vol. 7, Jun 23
85. Kishimoto Masashi, Naruto vol. 8, Jun 23
86. Ohba Tsugumi and Obata Takeshi, Death Note vol. 5, Jun 23
87. Kubo Tite, Bleach vol. 6, Jun 24
88. Kubo Tite, Bleach vol. 7, Jun 24
89. Aida Yu, Gunslinger Girl vol. 1, Jun 25
90. Aida Yu, Gunslinger Girl vol. 2, Jun 25
91. Ohba Tsugumi and Obata Takeshi, Death Note vol. 6, Jun 25
92. Watase Yuu, Fushigi Yugi: Genbu Kaiden vol. 4, Jun 25
93. Kishimoto Masashi, Naruto vol. 9, Jul 1
94. Kishimoto Masashi, Naruto vol. 10, Jul 1
95. Takeuchi Mick, Her Majesty's Dog vol. 1, Jul 1
96. Watase Yuu, Alice 19th vol. 6, Jul 1
97. Kubo Tite, Bleach vol. 8, Jul 2
98. Kubo Tite, Bleach vol. 9, Jul 3
99. Kubo Tite, Bleach vol. 10, Jul 3
100. Kubo Tite, Bleach vol. 11, Jul 3
101. Kubo Tite, Bleach vol. 12, Jul 3
102. Kubo Tite, Bleach vol. 13, Jul 3
103. Narushima Yuri, Planet Ladder vol. 1, Jul 3
104. Narushima Yuri, Planet Ladder vol. 2, Jul 3
105. CLAMP, Legal Drug vol. 1, Jul 4
106. CLAMP, Legal Drug vol. 2, Jul 4
107. CLAMP, Legal Drug vol. 3, Jul 4
108. Soryo Fuyumi, Eternal Sabbath vol. 1, Jul 4
109. Takeuchi Mick, Her Majesty's Dog vol. 2, Jul 4
110. Takeuchi Mick, Her Majesty's Dog vol. 3, Jul 4
111. Kishimoto Masashi, Naruto vol. 11, Jul 6
112. Kishimoto Masashi, Naruto vol. 12, Jul 6
113. CLAMP, xxxHolic vol. 7, Jul 7
114. Hatori Bisco, Ouran High School Host Club vol. 1, Jul 7
115. Kishimoto Masashi, Naruto vol. 13, Jul 7
116. Kishimoto Masashi, Naruto vol. 14, Jul 9
117. Kishimoto Masashi, Naruto vol. 15, Jul 10
118. Kishimoto Masashi, Naruto vol. 16, Jul 11
119. Kishimoto Masashi, Naruto vol. 17, Jul 13
120. Kishimoto Masashi, Naruto vol. 18, Jul 13
121. Kishimoto Masashi, Naruto vol. 19, Jul 14
122. Narushima Yuri, Planet Ladder vol. 3, Jul 18
123. Narushima Yuri, Planet Ladder vol. 4, Jul 20
124. Narushima Yuri, Planet Ladder vol. 5, Jul 21
125. Kishimoto Masashi, Naruto vol. 20, Jul 24
126. Kubo Tite, Bleach vol. 14, Jul 29
127. Yazawa Ai, Paradise Kiss vol. 3, Jul 29
128. Kishimoto Masashi, Naruto vol. 21, Jul 30
129. Kishimoto Masashi, Naruto vol. 22, Jul 30
130. Kishimoto Masashi, Naruto vol. 23, Jul 30
131. Nishi Keiko, Love Song vol. , Aug 1
132. Nishi Keiko, Hagio Moto, and Sato Shio, Four Shojo Stories: It's Not Just Girls' Stuff Anymore vol. , Aug 2
133. Hagio Moto, A, A' vol. , Aug 4
134. Minekura Kazuya, Saiyuki Reload vol. 7, Aug 6
135. Narushima Yuri, Planet Ladder vol. 6, Aug 26
136. Narushima Yuri, Planet Ladder vol. 7, Aug 27
137. Kishimoto Masashi, Naruto vol. 24, Aug 30
138. Kishimoto Masashi, Naruto vol. 25, Aug 31
139. Kishimoto Masashi, Naruto vol. 26, Aug 31
140. Kishimoto Masashi, Naruto vol. 27, Aug 31
141. Minekura Kazuya, Busgamer vol. , Sep 5
142. Soryo Fuyumi, Eternal Sabbath vol. 2, Sep 5
143. Ohba Tsugumi and Obata Takeshi, Death Note vol. 7, Sep 10
144. Tsukuba Sakura, Land of the Blindfolded vol. 1, Sep 16 (reread)
145. Tsukuba Sakura, Land of the Blindfolded vol. 2, Sep 16
146. Kishimoto Masashi, Naruto vol. 28, Sep 18
147. Kishimoto Masashi, Naruto vol. 29, Sep 19
148. Kubo Tite, Bleach vol. 15, Sep 29
149. Takeuchi Mick, Her Majesty's Dog vol. 4, Oct 1
150. Ogawa Yayoi, Tramps Like Us vol. 1, Oct 2
151. Ogawa Yayoi, Tramps Like Us vol. 2, Oct 2
152. Kubo Tite, Bleach vol. 16, Oct 6
153. Yuki Kaori, Godchild vol. 2, Oct 6
154. Kubo Tite, Bleach vol. 17, Oct 12
155. Kubo Tite, Bleach vol. 18, Oct 12
156. Kubo Tite, Bleach vol. 19, Oct 14
157. Kubo Tite, Bleach vol. 20, Oct 14
158. Watase Yuu, Absolute Boyfriend vol. 2, Oct 18
159. Mori Kaoru, Emma vol. 1, Oct 20
160. Hashiguchi Takashi, Yakitate!! Japan vol. 1, Oct 21
161. Ogawa Yayoi, Tramps Like Us vol. 3, Oct 23
162. Urasawa Naoki, Monster vol. 1, Oct 24
163. Kubo Tite, Bleach vol. 21, Oct 27
164. Kubo Tite, Bleach vol. 22, Oct 27
165. Kubo Tite, Bleach vol. 23, Oct 28
166. Kubo Tite, Bleach vol. 24, Oct 28
167. Yuki Kaori, Angel Sanctuary vol. 1, Oct 29 (reread)
168. Yuki Kaori, Angel Sanctuary vol. 2, Oct 29 (reread)
169. Yuki Kaori, Angel Sanctuary vol. 3, Oct 30 (reread)
170. Yuki Kaori, Angel Sanctuary vol. 4, Oct 31 (reread)
171. Yuki Kaori, Angel Sanctuary vol. 5, Oct 31 (reread)
172. Yuki Kaori, Angel Sanctuary vol. 6, Nov 2 (reread)
173. Yuki Kaori, The Cain Saga vol. 1, Nov 2
174. Yuki Kaori, Angel Sanctuary vol. 7, Nov 3 (reread)
175. Mizushiro Setona, 1999nen 7 no Tsuki Shanghai vol. 1, Nov 6
176. Mizushiro Setona, 1999nen 7 no Tsuki Shanghai vol. 2, Nov 6
177. Mizushiro Setona, 1999nen 7 no Tsuki Shanghai vol. 3, Nov 6
178. Mizushiro Setona, 1999nen 7 no Tsuki Shanghai vol. 4, Nov 6
179. Ogawa Yayoi, Tramps Like Us vol. 4, Nov 6
180. Ogawa Yayoi, Tramps Like Us vol. 5, Nov 7
181. Ogawa Yayoi, Tramps Like Us vol. 6, Nov 7
182. Ogawa Yayoi, Tramps Like Us vol. 7, Nov 8
183. Ogawa Yayoi, Tramps Like Us vol. 8, Nov 8
184. Minekura Kazuya, Saiyuki Reload vol. 5, Nov 10 (reread)
185. Yuki Kaori, Godchild vol. 3, Nov 10
186. Yuki Kaori, Angel Sanctuary vol. 8, Nov 17 (reread)
187. Yuki Kaori, Angel Sanctuary vol. 9, Nov 20 (reread)
188. Yuki Kaori, Angel Sanctuary vol. 10, Nov 20 (reread)
189. Yuki Kaori, Angel Sanctuary vol. 11, Nov 22 (reread)
190. Yuki Kaori, Angel Sanctuary vol. 12, Nov 22 (reread)
191. Yuki Kaori, Angel Sanctuary vol. 13, Nov 24 (reread)
192. Yuki Kaori, Angel Sanctuary vol. 14, Nov 25 (reread)
193. Yuki Kaori, Angel Sanctuary vol. 15, Nov 25 (reread)
194. Hatori Bisco, Ouran High School Host Club vol. 2, Nov 26
195. Hatori Bisco, Ouran High School Host Club vol. 3, Nov 26
196. Yuki Kaori, Angel Sanctuary vol. 16, Nov 26 (reread)
197. Yuki Kaori, Angel Sanctuary vol. 17, Nov 29
198. Yuki Kaori, Angel Sanctuary vol. 18, Nov 29
199. Yuki Kaori, Angel Sanctuary vol. 19, Nov 29
200. Yuki Kaori, Angel Sanctuary vol. 20, Nov 29
201. Tsukuba Sakura, Land of the Blindfolded vol. 3, Dec 8
202. Tsukuba Sakura, Penguin Revolution vol. 1, Dec 9
203. Ogawa Yayoi, Tramps Like Us vol. 9, Dec 12
204. Ogawa Yayoi, Tramps Like Us vol. 10, Dec 12
205. Urasawa Naoki, Monster vol. 2, Dec 28
206. Urasawa Naoki, Monster vol. 3, Dec 28
207. Urasawa Naoki, Monster vol. 4, Dec 28
208. Yuki Kaori, The Cain Saga vol. 2, Dec 28
209. Fujieda Toru, Oyayubihime Infinity vol. 1, Dec 29
210. Fujieda Toru, Oyayubihime Infinity vol. 2, Dec 29
211. CLAMP, xxxHolic vol. 8, Dec 30
212. Fujieda Toru, Oyayubihime Infinity vol. 3, Dec 30
213. Mori Kaoru, Emma vol. 2, Dec 30
214. Higuri You, Cantarella vol. 2, Dec 31
215. Tsukuba Sakura, Land of the Blindfolded vol. 4, Dec 31
216. Tsukuba Sakura, Land of the Blindfolded vol. 5, Dec 31
217. Tsukuba Sakura, Land of the Blindfolded vol. 6, Dec 31