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.
Ever since I dedicated myself to increasing my book reading to be more or less what it used to be during my high school and college days, I would set small, attainable reading goals I think I can reasonably accomplish by the end of the year. Since then my reading goals have grown more ambitious. Last year I finished reading 19 books, and this year I’m looking to finish 20-25 books. What may have helped me is reading two, maybe three, books during some months. Is that how I approach all the books I read? It depends on what it is.
Two weeks ago, the weekend of November 15-17, was Anime NYC at the Jacob Javits Center. Being a longtime anime fan, the convention was something I was interested in attending but decided against going after purchasing a Saturday pass for PAX East next year. With the holiday season here and Christmas shopping for friends and family to consider, I had to budget my money wisely. When a last minute opportunity to attend Anime NYC on a Saturday came up, I naturally accepted the offer. Here are my impressions from the convention.
Being a blogger often means that your voice is primarily heard through the written word. As a reader you have to imagine what the writer may sound like in real life. At least I personally do. When an opportunity presents itself to have a blogger you follow be a guest on someone’s podcast, I’m always eager to listen to it to finally hear the real voice of the person whose writing I enjoy and admire greatly. If you have been following my blog for a while now and have always wondered what the lady behind simpleek sounds like, this is your chance!
The start of October immediately calls to mind a number of fall related events and things—Halloween, pumpkin spice, Oktober Fest, fall foliage, and much more. But in New York City, especially for the comic book enthusiasts, it also means Comic Con is back in town at the Javits Center. I continue my annual tradition of attending New York Comic Con on a single Saturday pass. Here’s a recap of what I saw, did, and bought at the largest attraction in the Big Apple.
The end of junior high and into the start of high school began my love for anime and manga. It was around the time the Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball Z anime have crossed over into North America and found an audience of young kids discovering, perhaps for the very first time, an entirely different style of animation that came from Japan. Anime and even manga were still pretty new to Americans at the time. The amount of series that arrived over here were few and far between, but the ones that did were the kind that felt as if you had discovered buried treasure. They were just that good. As more anime and manga titles started getting imported for young American kids to find, the more I gradually added to my own personal collection.
I’ve been an avid manga collector ever since they became accessible at bookstores and comic shops. I devoured every shojo manga I could find and always looked for anything that had a good story and memorable characters that stuck with me. But the older I got, the more my collecting tendencies dwindled. The reason mostly stemmed from not having enough money to buy all the books to complete the set. Now that money has sort of become less of an issue, where does a manga collector go from here?
The recent release of the anime Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card, the sequel to the beloved Cardcaptor Sakura series, has been a delight to watch from episode to episode. Clear Card has so far managed to effortlessly build upon what’s already established about the world and its characters, while giving fans a whole new story about gathering a new set of cards without it feeling contrived. The strength of the sequel lies mostly with its charming characters, both new and old, and continuing their development from where we last left them. One of the best ongoing character developments since Clear Card’s debut is Syaoran Li.
April is my favorite month for a number of reasons. It’s a time when the weather begins to get nicer. Flowers are starting to bloom all around the city. Outdoor events become more frequent. And April happens to be my birthday month! That last one will obviously make me particularly bias towards April being my number one, but there’s a lot of good things happening this month.
Every once in a while you’ll stumble upon an anime series completely by accident. Sometimes you won’t have much of a premise to go on other than some short clips from episodes you saw on your social media feed. It’s not often that I’ll choose to spend time watching an anime I know nothing about. But with a combination of select scenes being promoted on social media to having an overall weakness for anything cute and adorable, I spent one weekend afternoon watching How To Keep A Mummy and it’s the surprise gem of the year so far.
The year 2000 concluded the story of ten-year-old Sakura Kinomoto’s journey to capture the magical and mysterious Clow Cards and seal them back in the book she opened in her basement with the guardian of the cards Cerberus (Kero) guiding her along the way. CLAMP’s delightful Cardcaptor Sakura manga, from which the anime is based on, has enchanted fans all over since its release in 1996. Now almost 18 years later, CLAMP reopens the Clow Book once more in their new manga series Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card with a brand new anime to naturally go with it.