Manga Collecting Revisited: Taking Stock Of The Titles Yearning To Be Completed

Reading and collecting manga used to be a hobby I fell into at the beginning of high school. The hunt for new titles with memorable stories and gorgeous art to drool over were the main reasons I grew my collection over a period of several years. It was an expensive hobby to maintain, using what little allowance I had to buy one volume at a time until I had a complete set, and a solid conclusion to a story I loved. Being much older now, and having a little more money to spare for minor indulgences, the desire to finish the few series I started ages ago still remains.

A few years ago I wrote about my personal conflict over whether or not I should find a way to collect the rest of the volumes to series that remain incomplete. There are some that are higher up on my priority list, should I decide to spend the extra money to buy the rest—Boys Over Flowers, Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, Ouran High School Host Club, and Vampire Knight—though my interest in one of these titles (i.e. Vampire Knight) may have waned after hearing less than favorable things about the story’s development and how it ended. After making a more concerted effort to increase the amount of time spent on reading throughout the week, I find myself looking over the stacks of manga I have in my possession.

I’ve mentioned on more than one occasion that my anime and manga habits have declined over the years, and not often by choice. Getting older means priorities will shift and the glut of shows and books available to us now make it increasingly difficult to find room for the things that used to be your entire world once upon a time. But having a great fondness and attachment to manga, even if I’m not collecting newer titles anymore, the exception being Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card, I find myself unable to let go of the idea of putting my top incomplete series to rest. This is why tracking down what I’m still missing is a personal project I’d like to take on, if I can find a way to do it.

Already owning the physical copies of these series, I naturally want to collect the rest of the manga in this format. However, casually looking into what’s available to me to make this happen is a daunting task when a lot of these volumes are mostly out of print. Then there’s the digital option. I’ve finally come around to owning some of my books digitally as a way of saving space, and discovering that e-books are mostly cheaper than their physical counterparts. The only question I have is would I be okay with having the remaining half of these series live in digital form? I’m old school and I still would take a physical book over an e-book anytime.

As I continue to figure out how I plan to complete my top series I want to experience firsthand, I think the best approach in potentially tackling this task is to see how many volumes of each series are left for me to collect, and then target that series first for my completion project.

There’s much to consider, and if these manga series are the last of what I’ll personally collect during my lifetime, in my search for completion and just seeing how all of them ends, I’d be satisfied knowing these titles were “it” for me before I retire from manga collecting.

Are you a manga lover? Did you feel a dogged determination to complete a series? What series was it and how did you feel after getting the full collection?

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