i’m a weeb who reads manga now

So this year, I got into comics. I haven’t really found my stride with comics yet — I find the pacing to be a little obtuse and I don’t enjoy the e-reader experience (neither do I want to haul myself back and forth from the library for books that take less than 2 hours to read).

I tried Batman, Spider-Man, and something a bit more modern — Runaways. I like Runaways the best and I’ll probably stick to this series. But honestly, I just haven’t had that great of a time with the other comics and I feel like I’m still searching for where they fit into my life.

I also got back into publicly liking Japanese stuff this year with Persona 5. The story being so good made me want to try anime again. I’ve had really negative experiences with anime so far and I find it generally unappealing, but I was willing to give it a shot again.

I sat down for a few episodes of My Hero Academia and just found the fact that I have to read subtitles a bit exhausting.

Then I remembered…. Manga exists. All anime is based on manga series… Manga is black and white. What if I could read manga on my Kindle?

I looked this up on YouTube and it turns out the Kindle is pretty awesome for this. The Paperwhite is a tad bit small, but it zooms in quite nicely and handles the black and white really nicely. Arguably better than the cheap yellowing novel paper that manga is printed on in the US.

I downloaded My Hero Academia, Spy X Family, and a few others to start with. I was pretty excited about Spy X Family — the premise is that a spy makes a fake family, but unbeknownst to him, his fake daughter is a telepath and his fake wife is an assassin. Hilarity ensues.

Hilarity has ensued!

It’s really, really good. The scan I have is sharp. It handles the black and white really well. The length of the volumes in manga seems to have a better pacing and feels a lot more natural.

I read through the first 5 volumes (about 200 pages) of Spy X Family and found the art, writing, pacing, and display on Kindle to be really pleasant. I’m really enjoying myself reading it.

I love the idea of continuing to have a vast majority of my reading on a Kindle and being able to choose between journalism, comics, and books depending on my mood all from the same portable and eye-friendly device.

I’m going to keep reading manga for sure and I plan to stop reading western comics after I finish Runaways.

So, apparently I’m a reading weeb — from playing visual novels to manga. But, I don’t watch anything Japanese. This is such a weird outcome to trying something new in 2020. I’m glad I did, though. It’s interesting the way that one idea leads you to the next — and only the combination of my favorite game of 2020 and forcing myself to read comics has led me to this new actual hobby of mine which is manga.

The only problem I have with manga is that I can’t read the weekly Shonen Jump (the latest manga in a magazine format) on the Kindle. It’s only available on the phone app or on the web. I don’t want to read comics on my phone anymore. So, I basically just have to buy anthologies of manga instead of keeping up with the latest and greatest.

It’s definitely a compromise and not what I originally wanted out of comics — which is an experience of following things along week by week or month by month. However, I’ll compromise. It’s okay to just read collected volumes instead.