Hello Japan! March: Reading Manga

Hello Japan!Hello Japan! is a monthly mini-challenge focusing on Japanese literature and culture. It is organized by Tanabata of In Spring it is the Dawn.  Each month there will be a new task which relates to some aspect of life in Japan. This month’s task is to celebrate manga by reading Manga, watching an anime movie, etc.

About two years ago, I read my first and only manga. It was Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo and I wasn’t really impressed. I could see that this might be a great series for males of the age of 15+ but for me, no.

So, I wasn’t really all that interested in doing the Hello Japan! task for this month. I didn’t know where to start, but Chinoiseries sent me (and others) a list of good manga. Unfortunately, my library didn’t have them, or they were borrowed by others, and not on the shelves.

Detective Conan by Gosho AoyamaI thus decided to make my own choice. And that was Detective Conan by Gosho Aoyama (part 2). This is the story about a young detective, who, probably in the first part, is reduced in size and now looks like a first year primary schoolboy. He has lost none of his detective skills. He is adopted by a failing detective and his daughter, and solves most cases for this detective, while the detective thinks he himself is so clever for solving the cases.

It was fun to read, much better (for me) than the Akira book, but I did find it rather childish. My sons (12, 13) would probably enjoy it more (if they showed some interest!). It was fun to read the book backwards – from back to front and the right pictures before the left pictures on a page.

The story was not very well thought-out, and the characters were caricatures shouting What??? whenever something important happened in the story, so the reader would realise it was important. The (black and white) pictures were sometimes confusing when they showed scenes from earlier in the story that someone was talking about, but it wasn’t always very clear that this was a flashback.

Anyway, it was a fun experience, but I have no intention of continuing to read the Detective Conan mangas. As for other mangas, it seemed to be a little hard to get so if I run into something that looks good, I may pick it up, otherwise, this was it!



About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at bookhelpline.com. In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

21 Responses to Hello Japan! March: Reading Manga

  1. Cindy says:

    Manga is not my cup of tea at all, but I am keen to buy a Japanese cook book soon.

  2. Chinoiseries says:

    I’m glad you decided to join in anyway, it’s always nice to try something new 🙂 I haven’t read Detective Conan myself, and I guess I wont (since it appears to be geared towards teenage boys).

    • Leeswammes says:

      Chinoiseries, I did enjoy the experience, reading backwards, and discovering something new. The book itself was maybe not the best one for me.

  3. Uniflame says:

    Interesting to see what you thought of manga 🙂 I love reading manga myself. It seems that you did pick up a genre that wasn’t really aimed at adult women though 🙂 Hopefully my manga will arrive soon so I can participate in this challenge too 🙂

  4. Nadine Nys says:

    I’ve never read a manga, and I am sure I never will; it is not my cup of tea at all.

  5. Novroz says:

    I love Conan but it was too long and I got tired of it (the only long volume manga I never get tired of is only Onepiece, it has reached volume 60 now).

    It is really interesting to read your point of view on Manga,I guess it is a bit difficult to start on Manga at our age…fortunately I have started it at the age of 12 🙂 therefore I am as glued to manga as I am to novel

    • Leeswammes says:

      Novroz, I do think that makes a difference. Although we used to read comic strips when I was young. Somehow I started doing that and now there is this huuuge gap… 🙂

      • dhitzunako says:

        There are many manga that are written for adults too. But not many of them are my taste. Monster is good. The graphic is more realistic and the story is intriguing. If you happen to see it, try to read it. 🙂

      • Leeswammes says:

        Thanks for the suggestion, dhitzunako!

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  7. Sakura says:

    Too bad this wasn’t your cup of tea, but ‘Conan’ is mainly for younger readers.

    Did you know they also do historical manga? For example, one of my favourites is the manga version of ‘A Tale of Genji’ called ‘Asaki Yumemishi’ by Waki Yamato. I don’t think it’s readily available in Europe, but I do know they published an English translation of it. And it’s illustrated beautifully.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Thanks, Sakura. I saw Novroz’ post about historical manga. That’s is quite different indeed. Thanks for the suggestion, I will have a look for it.

  8. I thought I had been immersed in the Japanese culture as a director of the Japan America Society. You’ve surprised me and opened a new world for me. Manga. Hmn.

    This is a very interesting site. I’m happily posting the link on my site right now.

  9. tanabata says:

    I really love that you’ve been trying new things to join in the Hello Japan! mini-challenge. Even if you don’t love everything, it’s awesome that you’re willing to try and experience something new. This is what I hoped when starting the challenge.

    I do know what you mean about manga. A lot of them can seem very childish and it can be hard to find ones that interest you. I just got a couple ones aimed at adults so am looking forward to giving them a try.

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