My Collection: My Story

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Total Manga Count: ~490

A while ago one of my readers asked if I would do a post all about my collection. At the time I had a lot on my plate and was in the middle of doing many reviews, however, recently I’ve been on a break. I’ve been wanting to really get into anime, but when you’re trying to juggle life sometimes that just doesn’t happen. So, to make up for my absents, and to do something fun, I thought I’d finally make a post on my collection and how I started. Enjoy.

As you can see from the first picture I have a lot of manga. I want to preface that I didn’t start out gathering everything in sight, in fact it took me many years just to get into the groove of buying manga, and that’s how every fan should look at building their own collection. It’s all about having fun, and enjoying your stories. You don’t need to hurry to catch up. Fans will talk about their favorites for years, so enjoy at your own pace. For me, I actually started buying volumes of Naruto and Digimon here and there for years before I started to get into finishing series and trying new ones.

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I still remember my first purchase. I was a kid, and I was absolutely obsessed with Digimon. I’d watch it every morning before my bus to school, and other than playing with my friends it was the one thing I most looked forward to. It was also the time when I was really getting into Harry Potter. The first movie had definitely come out by then, and I believe the second one as well. As it happens, I was riding the Harry Potter hype express and just had to get the fifth book when it was released. My mom took me to the midnight release of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I was so excited out of my mind, and so was everyone else at Barnes and Noble. The place was packed, everyone a Harry Potter fan, and the line stretched to outside. It was a cool night, and even though I was excited about everything happening around me, I was also excited about the fact that I could stay up that late just to get a book. I was in heaven. Before midnight I was waiting in line and being so young as you can imagine I was bored. So I went into the store to look around while we waited and somehow I came across the manga section. My eye instantly saw Digimon and I was like “I have to have that.” My mom was nice enough to buy it for me, and thus I read the whole first volume while waiting for Harry Potter. Eventually I got my copy of Order of the Phoenix, and today that is still one of my favorite memories as a kid.

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After that night I went back to get the rest of the Digimon 01 manga. I wanted the 02 and Tamers manga, but they went quick and are now super expensive. Sadly I’ve even lost my first volume of Digimon over the years. However, Digimon was only the catalyst to my entry point into manga. It wasn’t until maybe 2007 when my gateway into manga apeared. I was watching Miguzi on Cartoon Network, my go to place for after school cartoons, and just recently they started introducing anime. Shows like One Piece and Naruto were heavily promoted, and I ate them up quickly. I had no idea that they weren’t American cartoons. All I knew was it was different, fun, and endlessly entertaining. One of my trips to Barnes and Noble, after watching many episodes of Naruto, had me once again in the manga section (this time a little bigger) and once again my eyes were attracted to one title. Naruto. I had no idea Naruto was also a comic, so like Digimon years before I was like “I need to have this.” I bought it up, and slowly started buying each volume until volume eight.

Even after getting into the Naruto manga I still was only getting one volume every so often. Never did I think about following a series. I just wanted something to read. Quite Frankly I was perfectly happy to watch my cartoons (anime) than read it as a comic. Again, it wouldn’t be until a few years later when One Piece was canceled by 4kids that I started to realize those cartoons I loved were actually anime, and my favorite cartoons growing up (Pokemon, Digimon, One Piece, Naruto)  were all anime. I started investigating this new form of entertainment, was blown away at how many episodes Naruto and One Piece actually had, was blown away by how edited 4kids did to their shows, and was surprised that all of these wonderful anime started as manga. Around this time I was also occasionally watching Toonami. One of my favorite shows that I never watched week to week was Dragon Ball Z. Soon enough I was visiting another bookstore, Boarders, and saw their manga section. Like that special Harry Potter night, I was in heaven. Their manga section had three columns! Three! That was a lot back then, and I was shocked at how much manga there actually were. Like Naruto and Digimon before that, I started to collect Dragon Ball Z. It was a show I loved, but I would always miss episodes. Most of the time I felt lost, but still was wrapped up into the fights and made me hyped for each episode. Naturally, I thought the manga was the best way to fill in the holes I had about the anime. Sure enough it did. However, that was the only manga I wanted to read, and it took me three years just to finish collecting all twenty six volume of Z, let alone the sixteen volumes from the “original” series.

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After years of dipping my toes into the vast manga pool, it was Bleach, Naruto, DBZ, and Hunter x Hunter that made me want to collect many series. Each one I started with the anime, which I loved, and now wanted to experience them through their original medium.My collection went from five volumes, to thirty, to fifty. When I finally completed the twenty six volumes of DBZ I felt so complete, as if my body was in utter bliss in what I accomplished, and I must admit I felt drugged. I needed my next series, my next big project. Before I new it I was off to the races, buying up everything in sight using my allowance and odd jobs around the house to scruff up that extra cash. I started buying up more first volumes than actually following series. I needed help, and I new that whenever I walked into a bookstore I’d buy at least one volume of manga. It was addicting. Unfortunately I still have that problem. I can resist it more, but sometimes it’s just hard not buying up a new series. In today’s market where there are actually sections dedicated to manga, walls even, I feel like a dog trying to chase a mailman, bury a bone, and taking a wiz on a fire hydrant all at the same time. There’s just too much out there to love, and I needed to focus on my series that I already own and complete them. I’m doing better at trying to complete my series, but as you can see I’m starting to run out of room now. Sad life of a collector, of anything, is that your hobby takes up room. Because of that I’m buying manga sparingly now. Tokyo Ghoul whenever the volumes come out, and a package of awesomeness once in a while.

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Well that’s it for me. That’s how I got into manga, how I started collecting. I hope you all enjoyed reading my story as I had reliving it. I’ve been through many shelves, and many series over the years. I’ve devoted my free time to these wonderful stories. Hopefully this was interesting to some of you, and if you want you can tell me in the comment how you got started with your collection too. If you want any more information just ask, and if you need help finding places to buy manga I did a post on that too which you can find Here.

I can’t say when I’ll be back with a new post, but I hope all of you are enjoying your manga!

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