Read. Research. Read. Research. Such has been the pattern of my literary adventures the past few weeks. During this process, I am fairly selective about what I choose to spend my time reading or watching. After all, I am making my way down a rabbit hole of themes and ideas. The media I consume during this time is usually in the vein of whatever the theme of the current series is.
What doesn’t change however, is my ability to accumulate books and movies — piles at a time. Part of this “problem” (if you can call it such) is that the airship is near a discount bookstore that I frequent on a weekly basis. The other half is that when I walk through shelves of books and movies, something primal clicks on in my brain. I see something that I like, something shiny, so I get it.
This has caused the stack of books labeled “On My Desk” to grow vastly. I even have piles separated by genre and type now! Fantasy, Sci-Fi (although this pile is slowly splitting into sub-piles), Manga, Movies, etc. The truly amazing part of this feat is that under most circumstances, I will not buy a book or movie that is not the beginning of a series. Meaning if I see “Part II” or “Volume II” or “The Sequel to” and I don’t already have the collection going, I don’t touch it.
Yet I still find a way to spend money every trip I take.
To take a break from the pattern stated at the beginning of the post, I wanted to share one of these piles with you.
The first volume of Gunnm, or Battle Angel Alita, was the first manga I have read cover-to-cover. I guess you could say that it sent me into a rabbit hole of its own because it caused me to pick up and explore more manga. There is currently a full review of the series in the works, as I am currently reading the entire series; so Gunnm isn’t technically in a “On My Desk” pile.
There is however, a steadily growing pile of manga that I will start making my way through once I finish Gunnm. So let’s check them out.
In this pile are mainstream manga that most have heard of, and that have been made into really popular anime and whatnot; but there are also the hidden gems — the “shiny” ones that I have found hidden in discount shelves and in the midst of other titles that I would probably never read. These are the ones that I want to talk about today.
First up is Peacemaker Kurogane. I know nothing about this book except for two things: swords and samurai. I like cool swords. I like stories about samurai. That was enough for me. Further research revealed that Kurogane is a follow up to a previous Peacemaker story arch. It has also been turned into an anime, which I guess is a pretty common thing to happen to a lot of manga (remember, I do not come from a manga background, so I know little about the art). I have been able to secure two of five volumes of the story, so depending on how I like the story, I might try to pick up the rest.
Next is s-CRY-ed. This anime-turned-manga was literally placed into my hands. The first pages are of an old man who is yelling about “freedom” to a bunch of kidnapped school kids, while riding in a child-carrier on a large amazonian-like woman. Why the hell not? The anime that this manga is based off of is fairly popular, and carries a good amount of respect in the anime community.
If you haven’t heard of Kurozakuro, join the club. I picked this one up on a whim, and without much thought. Reading the back cover and a quick flip through sparked my curiosity enough to buy the manga. Kurozakuro was an apparently short lived manga series that revolves around a boy who swallows an “ogre core” and becomes tempted with bloodlust that he struggles to overcome. The creator, author, and mangaka is Yoshinori Natsume, who created Togari, and has done some work on Batman manga.
The last manga on the pile is STONe. I read the first chapter of this manga in the store. It is undoubtedly and blatantly an homage to sci-fi greats of the past. The authors even say so themselves in the very beginning, basically claiming “Yeah. We Know. It was on purpose,” for any connection that the reader might draw between the manga and a book or movie that they know and love. Do to this, some might call it derivative, but I would disagree. The first chapter leaves me to feel that there is enough originality to it to not have a problem with any blatant connection to another work of literature or film.
So there it is. The current pile. Today is Wednesday, otherwise known in my mind as “Bookstore Day.” We’ll see how much it grows after tonight!
Until next time …
- The Bookkeeper.