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Imagine this scenario. Someone comes up to you and asks about your manga tastes many years ago compared to today. How would you respond? You probably would tell them your history. Would you then tell them and yourself “Man, what the hell did I read back then?” Now let’s say they asked you what manga will you be reading in 10 years and you respond “I think I’ll still read the same type/genre of manga I’ll be reading.”
What if I told you that this is terrible thinking for the most part?
A recent study conducted by Science Magazine heavily suggests that people underestimate their future selves when it comes to personal tastes and personality changes. It’s easier to brag about your past than it is with regards to your future. Some experts believe that people find it hard to work with change. They know it’s coming, but refuse to believe it. This predicament is called the “end of history illusion”.
Let’s use myself as an example. This was one of my tastes in 2003:
I happened to love badass shonen heroes during that time, so GTO was perfect for me.
Now, here’s one manga series I’m into in 2013.
Whoa, now what the hell happened? Who would’ve figured that I would actually be following a “boys’ love” title?
We all can admit that it is hard to predict the future. Uncertainty scares everyone. Perhaps we need to learn how to accept changes as they come. When it comes to manga, I was a little intimidated to read anything besides the shonen genre in my younger years. However, as I grew from my life experiences, my manga tastes expanded. I love seinen and josei more than shonen. Fujoshi fandom has also become a fixture in my life as well thanks to the Internet to the point that I am willing to follow BL manga.
These days you can say “I wish I got into this genre/these titles earlier!” and feel a sense of accomplishment. But if you’re serious about reading manga as you get older, keep evolving and read more different titles to experience changes that could be good for you. To put it bluntly, evolve or die. I do worry about what will happen with the U.S. manga industry once the Naruto/BLEACH crowds get older. Though with the Internet being a constant fixture in aiding folks with their personal tastes, one’s manga tastes could be diversified further.
So, go out there and always try to read a manga title that’s beyond your general scope of interests. Change always comes bearing gifts.