There comes a time in every person’s life where they need to make the highly personal decision of whether to read manga or not. For me, due to my early introduction to anime, and the scarcity of manga, I ultimately only just finished my first manga series.
But I implore you, my innocent, sweet, darlings. Before you venture into this pit of sweet, sweet iniquity to bathe in the waters of cartoon animated bishounen, let me try to prepare you as best I can. Tread lightly, little sparrow. It could be that there is no turning back! Here is a quick list of things to concern yourself with when entering the world of manga or even, in many cases, anime.
1. You will probably feel like the biggest perv ever.
Whether you’re into guys or girls, the perv factor is something that everyone has to either embrace or shove down into the depths of their scarred psyche and ignore.
Keep shoving. Shove a little more. Not working? Yeah, didn’t work for me either. Poor Sousuke.
Both anime and manga can be pretty high on the smut scale in regards to their attempts to make you all hot and bothered. So, you have to take a deep look in the mirror. Pinch your cheeks, make some funny faces and then gaze searchingly into your own eyes. Right down into your confused, sexually-frustrated soul (You know you probably are, right?) and decide. Can you handle this?! YOU ARE NOT PREPARED!
2. Comfort Zones. You probably won’t have them any more.
I just want to warn you now. Things can get somewhat uncomfortable. There are tropes, expectations. Things that you won’t generally get in other media. Things that are popular and likely to occur in some of the anime and manga you’ll find.
There’s a thing about twins…
And, frankly, siblings sometimes too.
And adults with very short people that look very, very young. Who might actually be children…
There are no explanations…
3. You will often find yourself rooting for the bad guy.
So many anti-heros. SO MANY. And they will all break your heart. Because they will do so many evil things and you’ll come to love them or be invested in their stories anyway.
Because anti-heroes have been a big thing for the last few years. And, actually, they’re often done really well in ways that will tug at you and make you feel conflicted in all the best ways.
4. Story arcs. They will consume it all
I think there was a time where Naruto spent three episodes walking up a flight of stairs. One time in Dragon Ball Z, Goku spent multiple episodes powering up his spirit bomb.
The story arcs will deviate from the normal plot in ways that are both engaging and extremely annoying. In the middle of the main story, the characters will then take off and do something random, or focus on some random character, leaving you screaming, “OH GOD! NO! GO BACK! WHAT HAP- wait, actually that’s kind of interesting. Continue. WHAT?! IT’S OVER?!”
5. Things often get random. More likely they just get weird.
No judgement from me. This isn’t some crack about how Japan is weird. That’s stupid. I just did a video about dinoporn for the spaghetti monster’s sake. But mangas and anime, if you’re not used to them, have very daring and dramatic storylines that can be a little overwhelming to the novice.
Damn it, I love this anime but these car scenes made me distinctly uncomfortable.
Sometimes there’s complicated imagery or over the top scenes that symbolize some complicated concept. It’s all very dramatic and intense. Which brings me to…
6. Everything is Dramatic and Intense
I will just leave this image. Then I will burn with an intense fire that only those with true soul can feel!!!!!!!!!
YOU SPILLED MY DRINK! BASTARD! THIS, THIS I WILL NEVER FORGIVE!
7. There is a manga/anime for everyone.
Do you like fighting and intense battles? There’s one for that. Like end of the world survival stories? Covered. Romance? Gotcha. Comedy? A bunch. Cyberpunk? Don’t even get me started. Steampunk? Done. Thrillers, horror, psychological mind games? Puh-lease. Historical, futuristic space, alternate universe? Yeah, we got you covered. Hot Catholic priests who turn into half vampires to hunt his own kind?
Yeah… there’s that too.
Just about anything you could think of, manga and anime have it. It’s like the rule 34 of the literary world.
So, my young grasshoppers. If you feel ready to set out for this world, to run into it with open arms and way too much time on your hands, then please come to us. Come so that we can lead you gently into the waving breeze of fanservice and affectionately animated bodies that are sometimes human but often not…It’s a big world. So have fun out there!