August 18, 2003

Manga Economics

Opened a manga rental account with the bookstore in the Pacific East mall. Fifty bucks up-front in the account, minus fifty cents per volume, checked out for two weeks. Picked up the first 19 volumes of Inu Yasha to start. The Cartoon Network ran the first 36 anime episodes covering volume 17 of the manga, and they're finally going to run new episodes starting next week, hopefully through episode 52 which is what they own contractually. Looks like the Japanese manga is up to volume 30. Did notice volume 20-27 returned on the shelf at the bookstore when we went for dim-sum today, so it looks like they're keeping reasonably up-to-date. Not that they can possibly keep up with everything, even if they filled up the store with the stuff.

So it takes me about 20 minutes to read each volume (about 175 pages). So three books per hour = $1.50. A $6, 300-page novel takes about five hours for me to read leisurely. So comics are just a little more expensive, but then there's the pretty pictures. Even if I've forgotten the meanings of a number of Chinese characters (and lost the pronounciation to more), I actually found it easier to skim through the Chinese. The denser information content of the ideograms provides more contextual information for me to fill in the blanks, I think. Not that comic books are going to strain anyone's vocabulary in any language.

Immediately noticed one difference between the manga and the anime. They can show nipples on paper. Surprisingly perky nipples, too, considering the main character is a 15-year old Japanese middle-school girl. No way any of that was getting through the Japanese and the American censors on cels (one of the last new series that's still being cel-animated, btw). Hooray for hot-springs, anyway.

Posted by mikewang on 09:57 PM