TOP TEN TUESDAYS | NOPE.

I know, my previous post is also a TTT but I’ve been busy, okay?

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is the Top Ten things that will make me instantly NOT want to read a book.

In a way, it’s okay. Last week’s topic is the opposite of this one. I had to dig deeper for this. I see myself as an equal opportunity reader. As with food, I’m willing to try anything at least once. In doing so, I think I’ve arrived at my preferred and/or comfort genres.

A little disclaimer, as with every “negative” post, it’s cool to have an opinion. By saying that I’m not a fan of these things, I don’t mean that you have bad taste if you like them. It’s great that you like them. I just… don’t. So let’s get to them, shall we?

(This is a list of things that make me not want to even pick up a book. Bad writing and other components may make me DNF a book but in order for me to know that, I would have already picked up the book and started reading it.)

  1. If the book is written in verse. Poetry. I am not a fan of poetry. I’m sure it’s beautiful, profound, deep, etc. But it doesn’t do anything for me. I hated it when we were asked to write poetry back in school. I just rhymed every line and called it a day. I ain’t that deep. 😉
  2. Christian fiction. NOPE. I’m okay with religious text, historical texts talking about religion – I devour stuff like The Da Vinci Code. But I cannot stand Christian books. They tend to get preachy and please, spare me.
  3. Speaking of preachy, John Green books. I’m not saying they’re religious in anyway but I found that the text rather tells me what to feel. I hated The Fault in Our Stars. Please don’t tell me what to feel and how to react to this situation. Then I heard that his other books are like that as well. So I’m sticking with his online content, I think.
  4. Ugly covers. We are told not to judge a book by its cover but sadly, we all do that. And unfortunately, a lot of self-published work have atrocious covers that turns me off from them. I’m sure there are diamonds in the rough but the covers, man. Mainstream books aren’t exempt from this, you know. Covers ARE important. After all, they’re the lure that attracts you to even look at the book.
  5. If the dog dies. I can’t. I just can’t. God forbid if Makkachin dies. I hate watching those pet adoption ads on TV because I’ll be a sobbing mess by the end of that ad. Kill everyone else in the book except the dog, please.
  6. Fae. Sookie Stackhouse said it best – “WTF”? And I also stopped watching True Blood when it was announced that Sookie was part-fae. I blame this anti-fae-ness on True Blood. I did read ACOMAF and I kept shaking my head at all the fae – all their pomp and snobbishness.
  7. Chicklit. It’s annoying. Here you have an educated white girl, living in the heart of the city, about to start a glamorous job that pays well, has a closet -full of shoes and clothes, a dog, and friends who brunch. And what does she do? Complain. Bitch. Woe is me.
  8. A Goodreads rating that is below 3.5 stars. Life is short. These people read it so I don’t have to. I know we all have different tastes, opinions but there must be a reason why a certain number of people rated a book low.
  9. A short story collection by multiple authors. I love immersing myself in an author’s writing. One short story is not enough for me to do that. I’ve tried that and it was so jarring to read different writing styles in one go. I’m not saying I don’t like short stories – I just like it when it’s one author’s collection.
  10. YA Contemporary in general. Let’s face it, it’s not my genre. I got lucky when I read Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour. But even the synopses at the back of YA contemporary books turn me off completely. I like my escapes to come in the form of fantasy and sci-fi… things that can’t really happen. I have enough drama IRL to bother with it in a book.

How was that? Harsh? Eh… 😉

TOP TEN TUESDAYS | Cate-bait

I met Gary Sinise and Daniel Henney yesterday. I’m still not over it. 😄

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is the Top Ten things that will make me instantly want to read a book.

At first, I had no idea what to put on here. I didn’t think I had “criteria” or “reasons” why I want to read a book. I checked out a few entries and they said “pretty covers”, “sale prices/free”, “interesting blurbs or first sentences”, etc. While I do like all those as well, I see them more as reasons to BUY a book. I never really relied on blurbs and summaries; that’s what GoodReads is for — I do so much “research” before committing to a book. (I do that with every purchase that I make LOL.) And while I prefer pretty covers, it doesn’t influence my want to read a certain book over another. But all those reasons are totally valid. Just… not for me.

Then I sat down and looked through my GoodReads “read” shelf. I noticed I do have a preference. I went through a phase where I bought books in bulk because of all the sales but most of them still sit unread… somewhere in my room (who has enough shelf space anyway). And a lot of my “read” books are purchased pretty recently. So here are my 10 things that will bait me to reading books sooner than others.

  1. Japanese fiction with anime and/or live action adaptation. I have a lot of Japanese fiction. I would love to be able to read all of them but I tend to put priority on those ones with anime adaptations. All of the manga that I read so far have anime versions – and I may have watched the anime before reading the manga or light novel. That’s usually how I hear of manga or light novel anyway. It’s interesting for me to see the drawings come to life on the screen and voiced by my favorite voice over actors.
  2. Anything recommended/mentioned on the Sword & Scale podcast. True Crime is one of my favorite genres but sadly, I don’t read nearly enough of it. I’ve taken some recommendations from this incredible true crime podcast and have enjoyed some of them. I’m tempted to have a “Sword & Scale book club/shelf” because of all the interesting titles mentioned in several episodes.
  3. Finished duologies and trilogies. I’m almost done with my marathon of The Grisha Trilogy. I’m not a follower of new releases. I actually prefer reading older series. The best way to read duologies is to read it back-to-back. It feels like one whole story. And I think I may have to do the same with the other trilogies that I own but have not started yet. I quite enjoyed it this way.
  4. RUSSIA! I blame the great and fictional Viktor Nikiforov of Yuri!!! ON ICE for this renewed interest in anything Russian. I went through a binge-watch of Russian-themed espionage films back in the day. Now, I’m looking to books as well. Thus, The Grisha Trilogy marathon.
  5. Mixed media content. I breezed through Illuminae and Gemina. I read Train Man in one day. These kinds of books fly by fast and they’re a good thing to mix up one’s reading experience. Rather than block words on a page, these have pictures and new ways to enjoy a story.
  6. Sci-fi/mystery adventure thrillers. Along the lines of James Rollins and Dan Brown. The latter’s Robert Langdon series is an auto-buy for me. James Rollins’ adventures are just so good. Formulaic as they might come, they’re still so enjoyable – especially on audio! Actually, I will read anything from either of these authors.
  7. World War II / Holocaust. Except Anne Frank’s diary. In high school, I read every Holocaust-related book that I could get my hands on. Fictionalized or historical, lemme at it.  Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman sat so very high on  my wishlist last year. I prioritized Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin over so many other things because it was set in a world where the Axis Powers won. That whole era is so fascinating for me.
  8. A very hyped book on SALE. I’m talking about free to $1.99 at the most. I felt this especially with Vassa In the Night by Sarah Porter. (And again, Russia.) I got my copy for less than 99cents because it was green tag day at Goodwill and this had a green tag on it. I remember this was so hyped back when it was released. And when I got home, I wanted to start it so badly. But Shadow and Bone called out to me. (Russian, again.)
  9. Anything by VE Schwab, Marie Lu, and Pierce Brown. Welcome to my list of auto-buy authors. I will ready anything they put out. Even poetry. And I don’t care for poetry. I have dropped everything to read Morning Star when it came out. I purposefully didn’t start another book before I got my hands on A Conjuring of Light. I will make time to read these authors’ works.
  10. Fantasy, in general. I will more likely to read fantasy than contemporary.

But being the mood reader that I am, I will read whatever the hell I want whenever the hell I want it. 😄

TOP TEN TUESDAYS | Fandom

Ah, fandom. Where do I even begin?

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is a Fandom Freebie.

Well, well, well. If you follow me on Goodreads, I call myself  “The Professional Fangirl”. Not that I get paid for it with money… with amazing memories, maybe. I may have a slightly addictive personality wherein I want to know everything about something that I like. Then I buy merch. No making money there, that’s for sure. 😉

(I provided a lot of links in place of photos. I have a feeling this post will be quite long.)

I remember when Tumblr was still new, I was pretty active on it. Then it grew. More fandoms started to join in. I then fell off the Tumblr wagon. Scrolling back and forth became too tedious and I found too many things to like and reblog. I pretty much set myself up for failure because I was a meticulous tagger and that became a chore fast. I also was managing a Castle tumblr and oooh boy, my interest for that show fizzled faster than a candle wick. Looking back now, Tumblr is perfect for inspiration (I never got the hang of Pinterest) and pretty stuff but I’m too multi-fandom to keep up with it.

Speaking of that, here are 10 fandoms that I subscribe to and follow. These are not my ONLY fandoms but these are the ones where I’m fairly active. Really, scroll through my Instagram feed and you can probably guess what they are. I tend to go merch crazy. Not all the time but I have moments. I never do posters, rather I collect fan art from Artist Alleys at conventions. The way I display my “affiliation” to certain fandoms (lately) is through charms/keychains. In the past, I was never the one for keychains but when my brother started collecting some for his JRPGs, I was hooked.

When I saw that this was this week’s topic, I felt overwhelmed. How do I present this? I can’t have pictures of everything. You guys will think I’m crazy. I already think I’m weird and nerdy. I’m proud of that. While my lipstick collection is quite big, my fandom merch is easily double that, if not more. Unfortunately, I don’t have much in terms of bookish fandom merch. Outside of pre-order swag and signed books, finding book fanart at conventions is not easy.

So I think that went on for far too long. Let’s get into the fandoms.

LORD OF THE RINGS. I guess you can consider this a bookish fandom. While I do love the books, I fangirl a tad bit harder for the movie-verse. I will and have dropped everything – school, work, social responsibilities – to attend LOTR-related events. I’ve been to red carpet premieres, Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremonies, post-LOTR project events, and the One Last Party held by TheOneRing,Net. I have the movies in every disc form, two sets of the trilogy, several covers of The Hobbit, including the 50th anniversary limited edition, two Keys of Thorin, pillows, fleece blankets, shirts, Funkos, bobble heads, Legos… you name it. I will never truly leave Middle-Earth. You can’t make me. Hannon le.

HARRY POTTER. Another bookish fandom. And this time, I’m more into the books rather than the films. But that didn’t stop me from meeting Daniel Radcliffe! Also, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at the Universal Studios Hollywood is one of my favorite places in the world. I can just go there, park myself somewhere and people watch. I don’t even have to ride the rides to enjoy. It’s just the feel of that place… it’s wonderful. I’m so happy that the friends I made through LOTR are pretty much the same ones that I hang out with at WWHP. We would dress up, one big group of students and other patrons would compliment us, the employees would give us free front of the line passes (this happened 3x in one day!), and even take photos of us. This fandom can be overwhelming but it’s always so much fun.

THE FIGHTING GAME COMMUNITY (FGC)I don’t know if this is a fandom per se but it definitely a community. I follow mostly the Street Fighter scene. It led me to amazing matches, great reading materials, and my favorite food truck ever, Okamoto Kitchen. You would think, “Oh it’s just a bunch of guys and girls at an arcade beating each other up with game pads and controllers”. Well, don’t knock it until you’ve experienced it. Either by being a stream monster or standing right behind the players in person, the thrill is unmatched. Continue reading

TOP TEN TUESDAYS | Authors

My entry for last week’s TTT already featured author event photos. I should’ve checked this week’s topic. Pfft.

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is the Top Ten Authors I’m Dying To Meet / Ten Authors I Can’t Believe I’ve Met.

I’m lucky to live in an area that has a very good independent bookstore community. Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena has made a lot of author events so very accessible to me. Not to mention a lot of popular conventions are held conveniently near where I live. I wish I could go to more but well, life… work… life. But still, looking at my “authors I’ve met” list looks pretty good.

My list of “authors I want to meet” is substantially shorter. I don’t really think, “Oooh, I want to meet this author”. No, I check schedules and then decide whether to go or not. I’ve missed opportunities to meet Jane LynchCameron Diaz, and Lyndsay Faye. But then again, I once scheduled my day around an author meet. 😉

Here is the list of AUTHORS I WANT TO MEET:

  • PIERCE BROWN. I hope and pray that he does an event at my local Vroman’s Bookstore. I remember he did one with their sister bookstore, Book Soup, but that was too far away from me. I do have Morning Star signed and I would love to have the previous two books signed as well. Not to mention my ARCs.
  • ERNEST CLINE. I would love to hear him talk about Ready Player One. And have my copies of that book and Armada signed as well. Yup, my main goal is to have my stuff signed.
  • NEIL GAIMAN. One day, maybe. And I do have that illustrated version of American Gods.
  • JK ROWLING. I wonder which book I’ll bring to have signed.
  • EVAN WRIGHT. I already have a copy of Generation Kill signed by him. But I bought that. I want him to sign the “special copy” that I have signed by the cast and one of the actual Marines from the book.

And here’s a list of AUTHORS I’VE MET (off the top of my head): Continue reading

TOP TEN TUESDAYS | Spring Forward!

I really could use that one hour. For sleep, for reading, for watching two more anime episodes… guh. But at least I get home with the sun still up and high in the sky.

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is the Top Ten Books on my Spring TBR.

I always say that I’m not much for TBRs but lately, I’ve been making lists of books that I definitely do want to get to this month, this season, this year. And actually writing them down so I won’t forget. That counts for a TBR, right? It makes me so excited; but not too excited. The reason why I never formally followed a TBR because I don’t want to feel boxed in like I’m obligated to read these titles just because in my head, writing them down means I’m committed. I ain’t that deep. LOL. But I’ve accumulated quite a few books that I really wanted lately. February was a huge month for me in terms of meeting authors and acquiring signed books. This list is basically by February book haul.

Spring starts on March 20 but it’s already upwards of 80s and 90s here in Southern California. I won’t have many upcoming releases on this list. Other than that, I own all of these titles. Man, what a difference. I wouldn’t be able to say that same time last year.

This list is in no particular order. I will definitely read these books but I can’t guarantee I’ll read all of them by the end of spring, June 20. We’ll see.

(I met the authors of these first four books in two days.)

  • Caraval by Stephanie Garber. I’m sure you’ve heard of this book already. It’s the most hyped book of the winter season. It is compared to The Night Circus. I loved that book. I’ve been hearing praise for Caraval left and right… except from people that I trust. Yikes. I saw how excited the author and the fans were for this book at the signing. The girls there were so passionate about it. But then I hear disappointments and DNF’ing from vloggers and bloggers that I trust. So… I don’t know. I still want to read it but I’ve heard some scary things.
  • Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones. I met her during her book launch the day before I met Stephanie Garber. I also have a special art print. It’s a loose retelling of Labyrinth and the way her fellow authors describe the writing, I really want to experience it myself. I love anything with music and I can’t wait to see how she put that into words.
  • A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi. I met her at the same event with S. Jae-Jones. I read The Star-Touched Queen last month and enjoyed it. (Today is the last day to pre-order this book and receive a perk.) I love her energy! I also love how she incorporated the Indian culture in her book. It was gorgeous. I already pre-ordered this and hopefully, I can get to it as soon as I receive it. (Release date: 3/23/2017)
  •  The Young Elites by Marie Lu. Rounding out the three authors. Yes, it was a very fun night. I absolutely love Marie Lu’s writing. I then managed to acquire signed copies of this trilogy. I loved Legend and I heard nothing but good things about this one. She has a new series coming out this year. I hope to read that too. Ah, I just love her.

[I realized that I have trouble starting (another) series without finishing the one I started before that. I did finish two series lately: Shades of Magic by VE Schwab and Orange by Ichigo TakanoSo I guess I can start some new ones now!]

  • As Red as Blood by Salla Simukka. I received this from Blogging for Books. I have 90 days to read it so I guess it’ll definitely fall into my Spring reads. It’s a thriller and that’s all I need to know. I’ve glanced at some reviews and they are pretty positive so I would like to go into this blindly.
  • A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro. I might read this next, after I finish Battle Royale. There’s a story behind this — I already bought a copy from Target. About a month after, I saw a signed first edition paperback copy at that same Target. I bought it and planned to return my unsigned one with the newer receipt. But then I just decided to pass it along to someone else who might like it also. I saw the book trailer at Target, yep the same one, and I got intrigued. The second book just came out so we’ll see how this goes.
  • Dust & Decay by Jonathan Maberry. I have all the books in this series. I told myself I will go through all of them last year but I only managed to read the first one. I enjoyed it so much and I’m definitely ready for more. I’m not really a “seasonal” reader so I’ll still read this in the middle of a park lush with trees and green grass. 😄
  • The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski. Seriously, I’ve been wanting to start this trilogy for years. Ever since it came out. Now I have all three so there’s not reason not to marathon this, right? I honestly don’t know much about this trilogy apart from it’s about a pianist. Or there’s something about a pianist. That’s all. You got me.
  • Another Episode S/0 by Yukito Ayatsuji. This is a companion to Another. It is about Misaki Mei and her experiences with a ghost. Really, any continuation to Another, I will inhale it.
  • Loop by Koji Suzuki. This is the 3rd book in the Ring series. I loved Ring and Spiral. I actually wanted to read this in February but things got in the way. I want to hopefully get to this book this month. I wanted to read one Japanese novel per month this year and I already missed February.

That’s my list. I must stay, I’m genuinely excited to read all of these books. Hopefully, I get to them. Follow me on Goodreads to find out!

TOP TEN TUESDAYS | Not What I Thought

I feel like I made a list like this before. But I’m too lazy to check the rest of my posts so we’re still doing this!

TopTenTues

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is the Top Ten Books I Loved Less/More than I Thought I Would.

While it didn’t take me long to end up with this list, it was kind of difficult to come up with it. I’m a mood reader and quite picky at that. I don’t usually veer away from genres that I know I like. And I do extensive research even before putting a book as “to-read”. If I don’t like the sound of the blurb, I probably won’t pick it up.

But for those that made the cut, my expectations aren’t always spot on. For some, I liked it more that I thought I would and that’s awesome. Yet for those that I expected to like but ended up not liking, well… the disappointment is real. So why not we start with those.

BOOKS THAT I LIKED LESS THAN I THOUGHT I WOULD (this GIF pretty much describes my feelings about these books):

Trivia: Rei is my favorite character from “Free!”; then Makoto.

  • Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes. I’m still not over this. This is the book that disappointed me the most. In all my life. I feel like I should be inserting that Tyra Banks gif here instead. I mean, to begin with, my expectation wasn’t that high. But that hook, man. Half-boy, half-deer carcass found in the woods? Criminal Minds should be wheels up in 30. Then it became this magical realism BS that is just so ridiculous. No. Unhauled faster than I hauled it.
  • I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga. Same reason as above, really. The premise was A+ but it ended up being a C. At least to me. I was excited that it was a series but I’m not continuing on with it.
  • To All the Boys I Loved Before by Jenny Han. See, I went in to this prepared for cheese and bubbles and  a lot of eye-rolling. I already knew that I wasn’t going to sing its praises. But when I read this… geez. I originally rated this a 3 but the more I thought about it, I actually hate this book. Then this standalone is now a trilogy. Wow.
  • Snow Like Ashes by Sara RaaschThis wasn’t particularly bad. I just had high hopes for this book and everything in it. And it disappointed me at every turn. The writing wasn’t good, the world building is the most convoluted thing ever, the magic system had potential but none of the characters were good enough to embody it. The best thing about it is the love triangle. There you go.
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. Wow. It’s Twilight time all over again. Prior to picking up this book, I’ve never held a SJM book in my hands. I finally gave in to the pressure but I had low expectations, regardless of the glowing reviews this book has on Goodreads and everywhere. Dang, this is totally guilty pleasure read. And even with that mindset, this was laughably disappointing. Bordering on bad. Fae is not my thing. But you know what, I kind of want to continue with this series.

BOOKS THAT I LIKED MORE THAN I THOUGHT I WOULD (yes, Viktor — I love them too):

  • Legend trilogy by Marie Lu. I read the entire trilogy and two graphic novels last year. It was already an old trilogy filled with the dystopian tropes that avid YA dystopian readers are used to. But I wasn’t one of them and I loved this trilogy so damn much. I was able to have Champion personalized and signed by the author not too long ago.
  • Eon duology by Alison Goodman. I knew next to nothing about this book when I bought it. But my brother read it and he said it was okay. No, it was more than okay. I loved it. Enough to marathon the whole thing. Lost sleep even.
  • Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson. No one is more surprised than myself. Contemporary is not my thing but I enjoyed this one so darn much. It was cute and it came in the perfect time in my life. It wasn’t super cheesy and I loved the playlists.
  • The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. Talk about going in blind. I bought this book because I needed something to read on a long-ish wait. And it was $1.99 at Goodwill. But I loved this book. LOVED IT.
  • Lexicon by Max Barry. It’s more like I’m surprised at the strong urge to re-read this book. I’ve been meaning to re-read this for about a year now. I knew nothing about this book when I picked it up but the story stuck with me. I can’t remember particulars but I remember how creative this story is and it’s so smart. I hope I can get to this book again this year.

Notice the anime gifs in my posts? Yep. It’s taking over my life again. I should do an anime version of this topic. 😉

TOP TEN TUESDAYS | I LOVE MANGA

If you’re Filipino, yes I love mangoes too. But I’m talking about the sequential art kind.

TopTenTues

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is all about the visuals: Top Ten Favorite Graphic Novels/Comics or Ten Comics on My TBR or Top Ten Favorite Picture Books.

As much as I love the Marvel Universe, I prefer Japanese manga over comics and graphic novels. Sure, I enjoy Saga and Monstress but I realize that I don’t enjoy it as much as I do manga. With manga, I can marathon 4-5 in one sitting. When I read graphic novel, I can only read a volume at a time before I lose interest. And it’s trippy when I read manga before a graphic novel; my brain is so used to the right-to-left reading of panels that I get slightly confused. 😄

Reading manga and graphic novels can help you with your GoodReads goal. They’re usually less than 200 pages and they have pictures. PICTURES! I enjoyed the Miss Peregrine books in graphic novel form, probably more than I did the book. Same with Prodigy by Marie Lu. I’m looking to get my hands on Champion as soon as it comes out. I rediscovered my love for manga late last year when I started watching more and more anime. Blame it on our Crunchyroll, Hulu Plus, and Funimation subscriptions. Most of these anime are adapted from manga… and some become manga after the series. Reading the source material after you watch a movie or show sounds a bit strange but with anime, I find that I love it.

So here are five manga recommendations that I’ve read and loved followed by five that are on my TBR. And I’ve watched the anime for all of them.

On my READ pile:

  1. One-Punch Man by ONE. I’ve talked about this manga and anime before. Our hero’s name is Saitama and his superpower is what the title suggests. He is so powerful that he defeats foes with a single punch. Where’s the fun in that? Well, everything is fun in this manga. All the characters from the heroes to the villains are all amazing. I mean, the anime had me laughing within the first three minutes. When I got to that part in the manga, I laughed yet another five minutes solid. I really do love everyone in this manga. It’s not just funny but the journey Saitama goes through as an unknown hero yet he’s the strongest out of everyone is so human. And really, have you seen the artwork? So awesome.
  2. Orange by Ichigo Takano.  I saw both collected chapters on Book Outlet and was tempted to buy them. I might still do that if they’re still available. The anime cut straight to my feelz and having only read the first volume so far, I know the manga will do the same. I can’t really explain what this is about without giving it away but this slice-of-life manga deals with time travel, magical realism, and romance. A group of friends meet up years after their high school graduation to celebrate the life of a friend that they lost. But what if they can save him? I know the main story is completed so this is a perfect one to marathon.
  3. Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun by Izumi Tsubaki. I found this out by chance. It was under my recommended titles in Hulu. Then as luck would have it, I saw the manga at Kinokuniya that very same week. The manga is as fun as the anime; still laugh out loud funny and Hori-senpai is still the coolest. It’s about a young high school boy who is actually a mangaka, a manga artist. He enlists the help of his fellow high schoolers with his art as well as inspiration for storylines. I’m telling you, it’s hilarious.
  4. Rurouni Kenshin by Nobuhiro Watsuki. This is one of my favorites both in manga form and anime. And yes, live action too. This is the story of a wandering samurai trying to make up for what he did in the past. He wields a reverse-edge sword so that he can no longer take a life. It’s beautiful, poetic, action-packed, funny, endearing, and it’s all the feelz. Read the manga. Watch the anime. Watched the live action. Experience this story.
  5. Barakamon by Satsuki Yoshino. I recently read Volume 1 at the Little Tokyo Public Library and I was immediately brought back to the warm and fuzzy feelings that I had when I watched the anime. This is about a young calligraphy artist who was forced to take a break and reflect on his life at a very rural town. Being a city boy, he had reservations but with the warmth of the locals, he slowly adjusted to the relaxed and simple life. The selling point of this story is the local population of the town. Naru and the others welcomed Handa so warmly that it warmed my heart. The manga is still ongoing so hopefully, I can be with these characters for a long time.

On my TBR pile:

  1. Your Lie In April by Naoshi Arakawa. This is one of my all-time favorite anime. Sure, it’s one of the newer ones but oooh boy, I rewatched episode 18 so many times. Not to mention the addictive opening songs. I do have a copy of the manga and I am interested to see if it will give me the same feelz. I might read them and have the piano pieces ready to play in the background. I know it’s going to break my heart all over again.
  2. Black Butler by Yana Toboso. Yes, my lord. Watch it in Japanese, you’ll thank me later. I’ve always wanted to read this manga ever since seeing a complete-ish collection at the Little Tokyo Public Library. Now that I watched the whole series, I’m obsessed. It’s about a young Earl Ciel Phantomhive and Sebastian Michaelis, “one hell of a butler”. Ah, I’m just obsessed.
  3. K-On! by Kakifly. This is no question my favorite music anime. I saw the later chapters/volumes at Kinokuniya and I am so tempted to pick them up. It’s about their college lives, after their high school light music club. It also includes what Azu-nyan did after her senpai’s graduation. I get so invested in these characters that I want to know what happens to them after the show ends. Thank goodness we have manga for that.
  4. Usagi Drop by Yumi Unita. I’ve been told that the manga ending will make me want to rewatch the anime just so I’ll forget about the manga ending. Being me, I already spoiled myself for that and yes, I did rewatch the anime ending. Whut? I mean. Anyway, I would still love to read the manga.
  5. Antique Bakery by Fumi Yoshinaga. This. I would give anything to have physical copies of this manga. The Korean live action and the anime versions are HILARIOUS. And they don’t hold back. This is about an adult man who was abducted as a child. As an adult, he runs a cake shop. His employees are the heart and soul of the show and oh man, the yaoi rocks!

There you have it. Let me know if you’ve read any of these and based on these titles, give me your recommendations. If you’re into anime, I would love to chat. I have an Anime Planet account to keep track of my shows. Feel free to check it out.