Monday, March 2, 2015

March of Manga: An Intro

I seem to do this a little differently every year since I began NI but, as I laid out yesterday, this is going to be even more different than usual. Last year I decided not to spend November talking about the scanlated manga I was currently following like I usually did, partially because I instead wanted to focus on what was available legally digitally and, to be perfectly honest, partially because my reading hadn't changed very much from the previous year. Compared to what's currently available in print in the US, digital is still lagging behind a bit and, even with Crunchyroll getting involved in manga, there's still far fewer ways to sample manga than there is anime (short of getting it from a library or being a "manga cow" in a bookstore). But it is getting better every year, within the past year Yen Press said they were moving away from their previous model (which was somehow connected to Square Enix and Windows only, I never heard anyone talk about it) and the publishers are putting out books on multiple different platforms which is of course great.

Since I joined Organization of Anti-Social Geniuses I've been reading a lot of digital manga and I've become even more familiar with Viz Media (Viz Manga) and Crunchyroll's platforms than I was which has been interesting. When I read online I prefer Viz's reader, I like how I can read an entire volume at once without having to constantly reload pages and being able to put in a bookmark is great (although I wish I could do more than one) and it seems to sync my place between my phone's app and the website. Crunchyroll's reader does the same thing but I really prefer their phone app to Viz's. With Viz I've had some trouble with slow load times and a slightly less intuitive interfacing, Crunchyroll's is quick to respond and loading a new chapter is simpler than it is online. I believe I've mentioned it here but my computer has really slowed down in the past few months so these days I actually keep my phone next to my computer and if I'm trying to load something important and it's taking forever I'll just pull up a manga and keep reading that in the meantime which has been rather nice. I used to do this in the dial-up days (abet with a book instead of cell phone manga) and it's really helping keep me up to date, although hopefully once I get a new machine I'll have less wasted time so I can simply read it on a web browser anyway.

All of that said, all of my manga reviews this month will be from Crunchyroll. I came up with this plan back in November, well before Justin contacted me about reviewing for OASG, and I wanted to focus on what I was currently following and those were all Crunchryoll titles since with a bit of remembering and guest passes I can read all of their titles for free, it's gotten even easier now that manga is being included in their all access anime membership making it cheaper as well. So with that being said, if anyone has been following a title that I haven't reviewed yet, post in the comments and I'll at least give it a shot!

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