Last year, I posted Favorite Manga Purchases from 2011 on a whim and I might as well do the same this year. I read a lot of manga and buy many unknown titles. Some I love, some I hate, some I can’t be bothered to care about again. That’s the risk. So it’s time to look at the manga purchases which were most satisfying.
2012 was marked by the loss of bk1/cheaper shipping for me. Three different orders took ~1 month+ to reach me (I’m not sure if the third even made it yet). So selectivity is more important than ever. I’m still reading some of the more recent purchases, so here’s my favorites of what I’ve completed thus far.
LE THÉÂTRE DE A
Le Théâtre de A is a gorgeous piece of work, in both content and presentation. Hardback, all color, and of course all Nakamura Asumiko goodness. It’s a beautiful collector item. My favorite stories are the ones with vampire hunter priest, his apprentice, and the vampire. Piano and Perfect World are also lovely.. it’s hard picking a favorite. I just wish Amazon hadn’t bent the hell out of my book during shipping. Her tankoubon release of Sora to Hara was another highlight this year.
Ore Monogatari!! 1-2
A refreshing romance story and main character. Takeo is a sweetie and the supporting cast are good characters as well. I never did a full entry on it like I intended.. oh well. This manga ranked #1 on Kono Manga ga Sugoi! for 2012, so I’m not the only one that fell in love with Takeo.
Oyajina! ~Ryuu to Shinomiya no Baai~
This one is a given. Oyajina! is one of the main reasons I started the blog, so obviously I was dying for the sequel. I wasn’t disappointed because I like Shinomiya’s character. She has fun being a hot old guy. Oyajina is a lovely BL manga that is really a bunch of girls trying to jump each other. I’m so confused and entertained at the same time. I can never have enough Hiiragi Nozomu.
I’m pretty picky when it comes to reading comedy manga raw, but this is just what I like. I recently covered it in detail.
& 2 was my favorite purchase in 2011. At this point, Kaoru and Yagai’s relationship is progressing, both emotionally and physically. Shiro is being pushed away (and pushing himself away), woo. It’s only getting better. & 5 is out in early January and I can’t fucking wait.
Silver Diamond finale (25-27)
The ending of Silver Diamond brings up conflicted feelings, but ultimately I loved the journey even if it had to end. I still think it was a battle between Chigusa/Rakan and Kinrei/Prince over who loved the other the most.
Koi to Gunkan 2-3
I covered Koi to Gunkan when it first came out and the story has only gotten better. Nishi Keiko romance stories are among my favorite and there’s a beautiful one playing out in the background. I loved all the Nishi Keiko manga released this year, including the Ane no Kekkon continuation and Nakajima Nakajima.
Himegoto Asobi 1
Nice BL manga. I like how the mens’ relationship starts as experimentation and the two tried to remain aloof when dealing with each other. However, that starts to erode and there’s such wariness of the genuine feelings that develop. I liked the personalities. Oh and it’s hot.
Orenchi no Furo Jijo 1-2
It’s no brilliant masterpiece, but I like this series. Shoujo manga doesn’t often get monster boys outside of the typical cat boys, so I appreciate it for what it is: a funny manga with cute characters. Maybe the shininess will wear off soon. Let’s hope I write something about it before then.
My favorite purchase of 2012 would have to be all the Oyajism titles, both print and digital. While I don’t love every single title, it represents a great contribution to the oyaji niche which has expanded considerably in 2012. There’s a nice variety of authors and types of stories, including romance, slice of life, and comedy. They even added a BL title. If they added a fantasy title, I’d be ecstatic.
I did a few other things differently this year when it came to my purchasing habits. I adopted a number of currently serialized shoujo series that I will continue to follow (that aren’t fantasy titles for once), including Heroine Shikakku, Taiyou no Ie, Yajirobee, Hirunaka no Ryuusei, Liar x Liar, Pin to Kona, Ore Monogatari!!, and Nijiiro Days.
I ventured into digital manga purchasing. I (re)purchased Oku-san’s Daily Fantasies from SuBLime and bought all the Oyajism releases. I caved into completing the latter purchase just last week, so I’m still making my way through it.
I also revived my purchasing of translated manga as it can be quite cost effective these days for titles you don’t have to read promptly, but would like to try. I bought a couple dozen volumes. The SuBLime purchases had surprisingly nice quality.
Overall, it’s been a pretty good year for manga. Here’s to the next.