Sunday, October 17, 2010

Thoughts after sharing my collection

So for the last two posts, you've gotten to see all the anime stuff I have, which I'm realizing is actually not too bad of a size, considering that though I've been into anime for 12 years, I haven't been a gung-ho anime collector. For instance, I don't own a lot of anime on DVD because I watch a lot of it online or have watched it on TV, on Kids WB (Pokémon, back in the day), Cartoon Network (Pokémon more recently, including some of the movies; Tenchi Muyo back in the day; my first episode of Sailor Moon; The Prince of Tennis until it stopped airing), and the International Channel (the "Tenchi in Tokyo" season of Tenchi Muyo in uncut English, except for one episode I missed).

The rest of the stuff is pretty much just things I've picked up here and there, mostly at Comic-Con. I've never been one of those überfans who haunts eBay auctions (actually, I've never gotten something off eBay, unless getting textbooks off counts, since that site's run by eBay) and the like to find some rare item. I don't know why. I guess money was part of it; it wasn't until college that I got a steady job. I also lost some interest in it once my best friend Amy - who has gotten me into a number of series, though I still can't understand her interest in Serial Experiments Lain - moved away and we stopped seeing each other on a frequent basis. I know that I lost interest in Pokémon at some point because I never bought any of the games between Gold and Silver and Diamond and Pearl (except the first Pokémon Ranger game, which came out before Diamond and Pearl), and I didn't start collecting the TCG again until fairly recently. It was actually through listening to the podcast at The Pallet Tribune (a Pokémon news/fansite) and hearing the podcast's hosts Jowy and KC talk about Diamond and Pearl that I decided to give the games another chance. Now I'm into them again, though I'm by no means a hardcore Pokégamer (one clue: I don't EV train, and pretty much every hardcore Pokégamer does that).

To be honest, I've been collecting more manga than anime. I was into manga when I first got into anime, but I only really read the Pokémon manga, except for a copy of Smile (Tokyopop's old manga anthology mag before Shoujo Beat) I got for free from Comic-Con (with chapters of Sailor Moon Stars, Juline, Peach Girl, and Clover in it) and a single Sailor Moon comic book (#26) with Mugen 6 (chapter 6 of the "Infinity" or S arc) in it. That was all I had for manga for a while. Amy sold me her Pokémon manga too along with other anime stuff, so for a while I actually owned censored and uncensored versions of the first two Pokémon manga comics (the uncensored version mostly had some big bosom shots, since Toshihiro Ono, the author/artist of this particular Pokémon manga series, seems to like to draw his women well-endowed; I think those were an early print run though, because in later print runs of the same books - like the ones Amy sold me - these things were altered to tone them down).

I "rediscovered" manga (if that's the right word) when I was at the bookstore one day in 2003 and came across a series called CLAMP School Detectives. I looked at them and was interested. I can't remember if I bought those one-by-one or together. At any rate, they were some sort of limited-edition ones because they came with fold-out posters (as did my copies of Dukylon CLAMP School Defenders; I have one of those on my wall next to my door; on the opposite side of my door is a similar poster that came with my copy of the novel xxxHolic: AnotherHolic). After that, I started reading manga quite constantly, mostly CLAMP because it was one of their series that got me back into manga. I pretty much just got my manga from bookstores; I "haunted" the Barnes and Noble by my work for weeks trying to collect all the volumes of Chobits. Now I have almost all my CLAMP series completed; I have not been able to track down volumes 5 and 6 of the first Card Captor Sakura series (Card Captor Sakura: Master of the Clow being Tokyopop's name for what is volumes 7-12 in the original release) at any bookstore yet. As for Tsubasa and xxxHolic, since those series were still going in in Japan when Del Rey Manga got the US license for them, I've been having to wait on Del Rey to catch up with where the series are in Japan. (Tsubasa is completed now in Japan, and xxxHolic is  ahead of us but not completed yet as far as I know, though I think CLAMP will end it soon since xxxHolic is a sister series with Tsubasa and Tsubasa is ended now). I might go the omnibus route for Card Captor Sakura since Dark Horse Manga is going to release omnibus volumes of the series it has gotten the rights to, which I think is all the series that were/are released here except for Tsubasa and xxxHolic, the rights of which Del Rey owns as aforesaid. It would clear up storage space for sure. I wish they'd do that for Tsubasa since it's 28 volumes long. I only own up through volume 21, and even that takes up a whole dang box on my closet shelf. Plus xxxHolic is approaching 20 volumes (it's at 17 now) and may even get there as CLAMP has reported that finishing xxxHolic is taking longer than anticipated, delaying the silmultaneous release of their new series, Mangettes, in the US with Dark Horse and in Japan with Shueisha.

Ok my bad, I guess xxxHolic's at 18 volumes in Japan, as of two days ago. (Thanks to the LJ community Clamp-Now for this). The 19th volume is due out next year to coincide with the release of the new OAD (Original Animated DVD) for the xxxHolic anime. Dang! It could hit 20.

For my non-CLAMP mangas, those are mostly complete too because most of them are short series (the longest completed one being Tokyo Mew Mew, which is 7 volumes). For Pichi Pichi Pitch Mermaid Melody and Full Moon wo Sagashite (dubbed Full Moon in the US), I haven't been able to find the volumes I need to complete them at the bookstore; I need three volumes each to complete both those series (which are both 7 volumes long as well). The Pokémon manga is an issue since the older stuff's all probably out of print now. I did find a site the other day with a lot of the Pokémon manga on it as well as a lot of the old books like the "Let's Find Pokémon" books, but I haven't checked it out too much. I also used to have volumes for Angelic Layer (a CLAMP manga) and The Good Witch of the West (a non-CLAMP manga) but as I was having a lot of trouble finding volumes for those I gave them away. I've seen the anime versions of both so I'm not missing out on the story by giving them away.

I also have what I called "Western-produced manga," which means manga-style stories produced in the West rather than Japan or another Asian country. The W.I.T.C.H. graphic novels are my main collection here at the moment; unfortunately they've only released 8 graphic novels of it here in the U.S., which goes only to the beginning of the Nerissa Arc, which the original Italian version passed by long ago. Fortunately, the manga is still available in English since it was published either in the chapter books or in Disney Adventures magazine (I can't remember) and I found a couple sites where I can read it online, so I should be ok there. I'll probably keep the original volumes for scanning (I used a picture from one of them for my plexiglass etching for Printmaking class a couple years ago) and occasional re-reading.

I also own a couple Christian manga series. Christian publishing hasn't ventured too much into manga yet, but they're waking up. Serenity was promoted as "the first Christian manga" since it was the first Christian series specifically drawn in manga-format, though Christian comics certainly existed before then. Now there's The Manga Bible for goodness' sake. It's still not at the level of the secular market, but it could get there if sales are good. Anyway, the two series I own are PowerMark and Tomo. PowerMark is actually drawn in a slightly more traditional-comic format, but since they've released 2 graphic novels collecting the individual comic books into single volumes, and since the story is manga-esque, I guess it counts. I bought the first of these two volumes some time ago and then bought the remaining single comics when Loaves and Fishes - the only place I knew who sold them - was going out of business. It was when I did this that I realized they were releasing another graphic novel volume with those single comics in it. So I'll probably get that and give away the single ones. Tomo, on the other hand, is more specifically manga. They started selling it at Loaves and Fishes when I was there, and I bought the first two volumes before the place went out of business, but I haven't gotten the others yet. I also used to own comics of Archangels: The Saga (a spiritual warfare story where angels and demons were the main characters) but I didn't get into the series much. I also read Serenity at Loaves and Fishes (on my downtime) but never got around to buying it.

Other than this, I own two volumes of the Manga Shakespeare series - basically manga renditions of various Shakespeare plays; I own Romeo & Juliet and Hamlet - and two omnibuses (omnibi?) of a series called Amazing Agent Luna. Amazing Agent Luna is released by Seven Seas Entertainment, a fairly small publisher in the wide array of manga publishers out there. I discovered their booth at Comic-Con last year and at the same time came across a series they were selling that was on sale - Amazing Agent Luna, a story about a girl created in a lab and trained to be the world's ultimate secret agent. She's never seen the real world until she is assigned to keep tabs on developments at Nobel High, where she poses as the daughter of Control, the agent who trains her and keeps an eye on her (her "handler" I guess), and Dr. Andy, the psychologist tasked with maintaining Luna's emotional and mental well-being. According to what I heard from the actual authors this year at Comic-Con (since I got to meet them and have them sign both my volumes!!) is that they'll publish one more volume (volume 6) of the Luna series and then do a spin-off called Amazing Agent Jennifer that explores Control's past as an agent. I'm looking forward to that! (I guess they initially intended for volume 6 of Luna to be in the second omnibus, but it wasn't ready in time, so the second omnibus only has volumes 4 and 5).



Having cataloged my collection, I have been thinking about what else I would like to get, if anything.

First off, I want to complete the manga series I've started collecting that need completing. This will be hard for Pokémon and basically impossible for the W.I.T.C.H. series unless I can find English books published elsewhere, such as Canada or the UK, since the original comics are in Italian and I can't read Italian. I guess I should consider that one complete since it doesn't look like the graphic novels will be published in the U.S. anymore. (Ok, just changed my "manga I own" list to reflect this).

Full Moon, Card Captor Sakura, and Mermaid Melody I can probably find online somewhere, or wait till January when I go to Animé Los Angeles (I made my hotel reservation the other day, so that's set finally, and yesterday I put in for the days off because I had waited to do that till I had my hotel room reserved, so now all I have to worry about is getting there and my cosplay costume. Yay!). has info on where to buy Tomo. With PowerMark I'm not sure; I'm having trouble finding the second graphic novel online. For Pokémon, I will check that site I mentioned earlier. Tsubasa and xxxHolic I will check the bookstore for.

Aside from that, I need to decide, as Mousie from Miss Dream said in her tips for collecting, what I want to collect. Based on what I already have, I'd say I like books and DVD's, though I'm open to little knickknacks and toys as well. I know there are a couple PGSM books I want that I read about on Sailor Dream. I'd like to complete the five-book set of the senshi guides (the series Meet Sailor Moon: Crystal is from). I want to buy the book Warriors of Legend that the people from Genvid did (I borrowed it from the library and read it and now I want it). I want to collect more of CLAMP no Kiseki as well as the actual CLAMP artbooks (North Side, South Side, and the series-specific ones that I saw mentioned on Wikipedia, unless the art from those are in North Side and South Side too). Other than all that, I want to say soundtracks, but I really don't have much storage space for more CD's (I own way too many CD's already). There is at least three Sailor Moon CD's I want to get - SuperS in Paris, Best Song Collection PrettyCast, and Uranus - Neptune - Chibimoon PLUS, since I like the songs on those CD's - but I don't have to get them as I can get all the tracks off those from Sailor-Music.

So, books and DVD's I guess, with the occasional doll or knickknack.

*sigh* I am both tired and bored; rainy weather makes me that way. I do need to do some school reading, so I should probably do that. I'm going to get some sort of snack and settle down to that. Bye!
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