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Manga Before Flowers — My One Year Anniversary

If I’ve followed the calender correctly, today should be the one year anniversary of my joining the blog with the Manga Before Flowers column.  Thanks to MarkAndrew to bringing me on board and Brian for being so welcoming and supportive.  I’ve had wonderful experiences here, as I’ve tried to learn how to review manga for a diverse audience but also share my thoughts on manga fandom in the U.S.

I still love manga as much as I did a year ago and I think I’ve definitely broadened my horizons — I’ve come to really enjoy seinen titles like Berserk, Real, and Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service and have found much joy in wacky-shonen titles.  Reborn and Gintama probably being my favorites, but re-release of Slam Dunk has also convinced me shonen can rock in so many different ways.   I also learned how to appreciate *and* love Tezuka’s work.  (I think I appreciated the man’s craft but this was definitely the year I stopped worrying about the legend and learned to love reading Tezuka as entertainment).  I’m definitely not just a hardcore shojo-lover anymore.

I’ve also stayed true to my own very beloved corner of manga fandom — I’ve tried to mention Fumi Yoshinaga (my particular manga goddess),  Kyoko from Skip Beat (my favorite manga heroine of all time), or After School Nightmare (one of the best shojo titles currently available in English) at least once a week.  I may not have succeeded but god knows I certainly tried….

At times, I vented my frustration with companies who aren’t doing so well with communicating with their fanbase or even publishing manga, perhaps a little unfairly.  I’ve also tried to spot light under-appreciated companies that often put out amazing titles that can be neglected on-line or even in the bookstore (CMX, CMX, CMX!)

I’ve meet or electronically conversed with awesome manga bloggers, who write and produce wonderful reviews and commentary on-line (Deb Aoki, Melinda Beasi, and Michelle Smith) and continued to enjoy and try to emulate the work of others from afar (Brigid Alverson, Matt Brady, Kate Dacey, Johanna Draper Carlson, David Welsh).

I didn’t get to contribute as many reviews or columns as I wanted to but found this forum a great place to share my love of manga.  Thanks to everyone who read, commented, gave suggestions or just helped me mind my p’s and q’s.  I look forward to another year of discussing great comics that just happened to be published “backwards”!


It is shocking to me that it’s been a year already.

Thanks for the column, Danielle.

thanks, Brian!!

Happy Manga-day to you!
Happy Manga-day to you!
Happy Manga-day to dear old Danielle,
Happy Manga-day to yoooooou!
And many more returns!


hee, how sweet Tom!

Thanks for the song!

Congratulations, and keep up the great work!

Happy Anniversary Danielle! You are the most awesome! :D


thanks, Melinda, David and Cteve! for stopping by — your kind words are much appreciated!!

Woohoo! I enjoy your column a lot and look forward to reading more. Don’t forget you promised me one of BL recs! :)

One of us… One of us…

[…] last note, it’s Danielle Leigh’s one-year anniversary over at Comics Should Be Good! Go wish her well! Tags: manga, manga […]

Michelle — oh crap! That’s right….dear god, where does time go…..on the other hand, Valentine’s Day seems like the perfect excuse to talk about malove ;-)

Bill — hee. Yeah. I guess so!

ur. that should be “manlove”

Or, alternately, Sweet Glorious Manlove. :)

Damn. Yes. Yes, you have me beat there.

Happy anniversary Danielle!

We probably don’t say this often enough, but I really appreciate what you bring to the place. While the rest of us go back and forth on what the Omega Sanction actually is and other superhero nerd stuff like that, I find it comforting that at least one of us on the payroll has her finger on the pulse of what today’s genuine ‘mainstream’ really is doing, and I always am educated in some way by what you have to say.

(I rarely comment because I would probably just be saying, “Wow, interesting, I did not know that book was out there, I wonder if my students know about this.” But I almost always think it.)

thanks so much for the kind words, Greg! Heh. Omega Sanction. I always want to comment on everyone else’s posts as well, but rarely feel I know enough about American comics (or their history) to do so intelligently. I don’t know how educational my posts are but I’m glad at least they are interesting to folks who might not necessarily keep up with manga on a regular basis.

As I work on this topic more and more for my dissertation I find the younger people are more likely it is that “manga” is just a popular (or “mainstream” culture) to them. For my generation, it is really is a niche-readership thing but titles like Naruto, Bleach, Vampire Knight and Fruits Basket have really managed to get a whole generation of kids into comics. This is exciting for all of us because it brings us hope that this generation will sustain a market of many different kinds of comics (indie, superhero, manga, and so on).

At least I really hope so!

Congrats on your anniversary!

thanks, Ed! I realize I meant to mention you as well as one of my favorite manga reviewers — forgive me for the omission!


No problem. I still look to Johanna myself. Here’s to another year of great manga!

[…] to Danielle Leigh on the first anniversary of her Manga Before Flowers column at Comic Book […]

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