Hello Japan! March: Reading Manga
March 16, 2011 21 Comments
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.
I 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!