I was recently visiting Shades of Grey Manga (check blogroll), where I saw a recent post by Yerocha, the author of the blog, which he had picked up from Organisation Anti-Social Geniuses (another great blog) about how he got into manga. I know that currently there are a few of these posts being put out by fellow anibloggers such as the "My Top 10/20 Anime" and more recently "My Ideal Anime Cast" both of which I would also like to and will write eventually but the story of me getting into manga is shorter, though it may seem boring.

Bear with me on this one.

Much like Yerocha, my story starts off with some first anime experiences. Having grown up outside of North America and Europe (just about) I wasn't able to watch Cartoon Network for the anime - I had access it but the time difference wasn't particularly accommodating - so I never got to watch Dragon Ball Z or Yu Yu Hakusho, two anime that have made their way onto quite a few peoples watch lists.

Even by being deprived of these two, I was lucky enough to encounter dubbed versions (not English if I may add) of Sailor Moon and Slam Dunk on TV. Granted I don't remember anything from these series and it wasn't until I found Cardcaptor Sakura on TV that I remembered anything anime/manga related from my childhood. Cut to my last few years of boarding school in England, and a friend of mine introduces me to Naruto, the series that I consider to be my "gateway drug" into anime and later on manga.

Naruto was a series I ended up marathoning quite severely and after about 6 months I had devoured my way through over 300 episodes of the series and was stuck waiting on a week by week basis for the next episodes. I don't remember how long my patience held up for, maybe weeks or a few months, but at one point during the winter holidays of my penultimate year of school I decided that I couldn't wait any longer and ended up finding the manga online.

That's pretty much the gist of how I got into manga and to this day it stands as the most uninspired and boring story. As you can guess after having caught up with the Naruto manga, I found myself out of things to read/watch and that's when I got recommended to get into Bleach (the story goes the same) and eventually One Piece. So up until the last year of my school life, I had only read shonen manga that were adapted into long running anime, but around the same time I noticed that Mangastream, whose website was one of the first ones I ever used to read manga online, were scanlating other series which got me interested.

Eventually I'd find myself reading a slew of manga, regardless of whether they had been animated or not via 2 central influences:

  1. The scanlation groups
  2. The publications which they ran in

When I finally got into reading more and more manga, I found it easier to discover and most of the time read weekly the manga being scanlated by groups which were handling my favourite series; Red Hawk is a good example, and not too long ago it was on their site that I discovered Gin no Saji and after various visits gave into reading Kami Nomi zo Shiru Sekai. Eventually, I'd just start reading whatever ran in Shonen Jump.

I know I'm lacking some variety from the demographic point of view so starting from last year I got into a few seinen/shojo/josei manga like Kimi ni Todoke, Jormungand and most recently 3gatsu no Lion, and I intend to expend my reading list even further in variety.

And that's my history with manga as of 21/05/2012