Originally, I wanted to mark the end of the year with lists of my favorite fantasy manga, favorite romance manga, etc. that I read in 2011. However, I realized I’d never finish that if I was going to include any reasons or descriptions of the choices. So instead, I want to take a look at my favorite purchases in 2011.
I go through a lot of manga in a year. Some of it I love, some of it… not so much. Such is the risk of exploring the great unknown in search of treasures. As many of us can appreciate, manga can be expensive–particularly after this past year or so, the yen has strengthened against other currencies (especially if you use the dollar like me *sob*). This causes us to be more selective about our purchases. So it’s always satisfying when you buy a book that was just awesome and definitely worth your money! Thinking of this, I revisited my 2011 manga purchases and tried to pick the top ten I was most satisfied with (but a few got lumped together by author because I’m such a stalker like that). So in no particular order…
I was so excited to see Merry Checker get a tank release at the beginning of 2011 that my excitement still hasn’t worn off! I love the characters and hope there’s more big, cuddly, yet mischievous guys in our BL futures.
est em has a frightening grasp on how to make the perfect moe manga. This was adorable in so many ways.
Docchi mo Docchi
Hiiragi Nozomu! Such a fun title from her this year! Ebihara was also very good. A while back, she tweeted that the second Oyajina! book should be released towards the early portion of 2012. I can’t wait!
Eroica Yori Ai wo Komete 1-38
I tried reading this years ago, but never managed to get past that awful–no, dreadful–first volume. Little did I know that the glorious Major was awaiting me in volume 2. Once I found him, boy did I love this series. Enough to buy all 38 volumes. Now that is a commitment. Trafalgar was a completely unexpected masterpiece as well.
Nishi Keiko manga
I really started to explore the body of her work this year, so it’s hard picking just one. It’s a toss-up between Koi to Gunkan 1 and Otoko no Isshou 1-3. So much oyaji goodness. 2012 will be a big year for her stuff as well, as I plan on working through her back catalog and picking up her older BL-ish manga soon.
Chikutaku Bonbon 2
The second volume better established the story (and didn’t lose any pages to unrelated oneshots) and gave us such a cute, sweet thing. Katsuta Bun is a lovely artist and I really enjoy her period pieces. Unfortunately, it looks like this manga and Trafalgar could have a contest to earn the title of least popular manga on my blog in terms of searches/views, lol. The third and final volume just came out. Wait for me, Sango~
Super Lovers 3-4
Since I publicly declare my love of Abe Miyuki about once a week, this shouldn’t be a terrible surprise. Ren is now older in the past two volumes and I love his curiosity and straight-forward/no nonsense approach to things that “complicates” things for Haru. :3 Also, the Hakkenden reprints are worth picking up. I can’t wait until I get to buy the next volumes of both stories. Those will be a top purchases in 2012!
Zankoku na Kami ga Shihai Suru 1-17
It’s been a big year for collecting Hagio Moto manga and I’m quite pleased with the turnout, both in the quality of writing and the physical quality of the books themselves! I haven’t had a chance to finish reading Poe no Ichizoku 1-2 Perfect Editions yet, but I’m happy I bought them. Marginal would be up here if the last volume wasn’t so.. odd. So we’ll say Marginal 1-4!
Yuuutsu na Asa / Hana wa Saku ka
I got my copies of both of these series this year for the sole purpose of archiving their greatness amongst my other books! So gorgeous. And soon to be joined by Hana wa Saku ka Volume 3. Urg, more to test my patience.
While the others might not be in any particular order, I can pinpoint my personal top purchase of 2011:
I gushed plenty about the manga on its blog entry, but volume 2 is where the story really took off. I get a little flush just thinking about it. I enjoy staring at every panel Yagai-sensei shows up in. Volume 3 is out next month (although Shiro might be a big focus?! Gaaah!)
Overall, it was a great year for finding gems. Even narrowing the list down to ten choices was difficult. I should be getting my last shipment of the year in a few days, so who knows, maybe it’s a bit premature! Such is the nature of the great hunt–fresh prey is always around the corner. While there were some disappointing purchases, I can’t even think of a terrible stinker and total waste of money that I’d want to give to my dog to nest upon (Well, maybe Goulart Knights 1…). It was a good year for manga (and a bad one for my bank account~).