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Here’s something I want to ask everyone - What if you never expected that your tastes would gradually change over time?
11 years ago, I was at a church gathering one night and the group that held it asked everyone to pick two things you couldn’t live without. After that, other people would have to guess which one was the most important out of the two. I decided to name my Sony PlayStation 2 and PC as my choices. When it came for the group to guess the true winner, they all guessed correctly. Deep down, the PlayStation 2 was my sweetheart. Video games were a big part of my life at the time.
Fast forward to now where manga has become number 1 on my interest list. You can argue that it’s pseudo-reverse as the PC is superior to the consoles. The internet, in combination with the Kinokuniya near me, opened my eyes to a mixture of worlds to read about. While I still play video games, a lot of them don’t interest me. Hell, I never thought that I would quit reading American superhero comics for manga when I was in my early ’20s.
There are studies that show that we won’t stay the same. This happens because people are horrible in predicting their own futures. They have a tendency to assume that their interests in things will last forever. How many of you have felt that way?
Yet I haven’t grown out of manga and also anime for that matter. That love kept growing over time. Despite all the internet drama surrounding the industries, I didn’t quit following the two mediums. However, I don’t follow as much anime as many fans do. I mostly stick to manga-to-anime adaptations, as they count as manga series for me to write about. There are a few exceptions, but anime ranks 2nd below manga.
Anime is diverse, but manga goes into subjects anime or even live-action series wouldn’t dare touch. There are some unique stories that you have to see to believe. They may not translate well onto other media. Now there are a few of those wacky tales that do get adapted, but that’s because of the boundaries lifted when drawing versus putting animation on a screen for a casual audience. Remember, storytelling’s roots not only lie through oral communication, but on scriptures as well.
Manga’s diversity continues to fascinate me, despite how much information you need to take in versus watching an anime episode. Manga fandom isn’t as huge as anime fandom, but both compliment each other very well. It’s just unfortunate when I don’t see anime fans read manga sometimes. But that can all change in an instant just like everything else, right? I mean, manga publishers are hitting anime conventions more often. All it takes is one unexpected piece of manga art to hit their emotions and change their view. For publishers, an anime adaptation does wonders.
In my case, I was a shonen-loving maniac that is now appreciative of seinen and josei material. It was unexpected as I never thought about getting outside my inner circle, so to speak. I can’t see why folks can’t change their manga tastes as they get older and read more of it. The more diverse things are, the more enticing they can be. Diversity should be a key cog in keeping interests and the passion for them alive for a long period of time.
To end this story, here’s a quote from Final Fantasy X-2’s Yuna during the game’s ending.
"So much has happened! And I’m sure it’s only the beginning. Through the smiles, tears…through the anger, and the laughter that follows. I know that I will keep changing. This is my story. It will be a good one."
Guess I never expected video game nostalgia over manga nostalgia to surface in my head, huh? Maybe video games will be my number 1 hobby again in my future. Though honestly, my own fortune-telling sucks and you know what, it’s alright.
Change doesn’t have to be scary if you look at the good parts of it, right?
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For those that love horror, you would know that the genre tends to play off psychological fears in physical form to shock its fans. One of manga’s hottest horror titles, Tokyo Ghoul, does this as well, but it took a short look at the emotional horror of possibly losing the love of those closest to you. It reminds anyone of the complex nature of developing and nurturing social bonds.
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"Being the best decoy ever is as cool as being the ace."
Leave it to sports anime/manga series for taking psychological emphasis on their characters and the situations around them. Haikyu!! reminded me of the impact of someone who can take whatever comes at him/her, so that another person can shine without worry. It provides a look at the “decoy effect” and how distractions of the good kind help.
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When you talk about ways to relieve stress, one of these solutions can be visual media. The process of watching a TV show or playing a video game helps to ease the grind you feel after school and/or work. However, a study came out saying that experiencing media doesn’t always get rid of stress. In fact, it can make it a lot worse. You can probably add anime and manga to that mix of media that hurts instead of helps.
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When you look at a long-running title and its popularity, you might wonder if there were any snag points along the way. After all, it takes time to achieve the success you want. For series like Hideaki Sorachi’s Gintama, you may not have that much time. Off-the-wall series like Gintama don’t always hit it off with fans. Anything unusual and different in a mainstream manga magazine like Shonen Jump gets readers angry, no?
But as Sorachi once mentioned, he thanks one chapter/episode that set the tone for a decade-long run and and provided momentum to continue alongside other long-running and popular Shonen Jump series. It was a simple story in Volume 2 of the manga about an old man and his final wish to see Gintama’s resident landlady and Deva of Kabukicho, Otose, once more. This story provides psychological context about how abnormality is still normality, but with a dirtier shell made from unfortunate circumstances.
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