Why I’m Not Such An Active Manga Reader


This is how I usually read manga:
1. Check it’s status-read if it’s completed, wait if it’s still ongoing.
2. If it’s still ongoing, wait for god-knows-how-many-years.
3. Bored and check some manga statuses, only to realize a manga you previously wanted to read had been completed ages ago.
4. Finish the manga.
5. Repeat.

Because you know, reading ongoing manga is 2hard4me.


I don’t know why but my attention span with manga is just lesser compared to say anime or visual novel, I suspect one underlying reason is that the latter two have higher production values, which made them easier to leave long-lasting impressions on me. But more so because media like those two already promised you that you will have an ending. Anime these days usually don’t even air past 26 episodes, even then, you will already have information on when most airing anime will end on MAL so even for anime, it’s easy to watch knowing it will end at some point. Honestly, even shounen anime nowadays had been in constant hiatus (notice how many “seasons” Gintama has already?), and that’s actually a good thing for both the production staff and the viewers-the former can wait for more source materials, while the latter doesn’t feel burned out.

Ongoing manga on the other hand is kinda tricky. You have no way of knowing when the story will end, I know there is a reason why manga is called “source material”, but still; if you were to read a thousand ongoing manga, it’s quite possible you will be faced with a thousand cliffhangers as a result-I really dislike not being able to read a story to it’s end. There were a few times I read incredibly story-driven ongoing manga, but after it’s finally completed in years, I always find myself having to re-read everything anyway.



Going back to a manga after years of not reading it is like experiencing an amnesia-there’s just that huge gap in your memory no matter how much you try to recall scenes which were supposed to build-up to what you’re reading now. Another thing about reading stories is that I’m especially particular about emotional engagement and character investment, but what is there to invest when you had literally forgotten most of the plot and even character names by then? Liar Game was the exact same case for me-I found myself having to slog through 100+ chapters again, and each chapter was more than 40 pages (which is easily twice as long compared to standard shounen manga).

I’m not trying to say re-reading is bad though, just like rewatching anime, it’s good in the sense that you might be able to catch some nuances you couldn’t the first time, but I would rather do that -after- knowing the manga would end at some point, rather than being played like a damn fiddle again.


I want to follow a story-driven manga coherently, I want to follow a character’s journey coherently, I want to follow a couple’s relationship development coherently; not when I have a big chunk of forgotten memory of how they got to their current point. Ultimately, that’s exactly why I’m not an active manga reader, because completed manga are just few and far in between.

On that note, feel free to recommend me some completed manga, because I could really use more…

This entry was posted by Kai.

36 thoughts on “Why I’m Not Such An Active Manga Reader

    • Cancellations is interesting. Looking at the databases, cancelled manga will be marked as “completed”, but you will probably have to read the manga to it’s end to know that the manga’s legit cancelled, unless other than database, you also searched about this from elsewhere, which isn’t something I normally do (I only just check the initial statuses). I may (or may not) write another post on this, lol.

      • The database I use for manga will label manga that is cancelled/hiatus as such…so I usually don’t have to worry about false complete status (that would just be too cruel). Oh yes you should definitely write a post about cancelled series. I am especially sore about this manga called Double Arts, which was cancelled from Jump due to low readership. To be honest, I feel that manga was a misplaced and should have been in a different magazine to begin with…Any how, I really enjoyed your post!

  1. yeah, i can understand that approach to manga…it’s hard getting trolled by series that may never end (Iris Zero why you do this to me??)

    with the pace that i read manga, though, id probably run out of completed series really quickly if i restricted myself to those…plus, reading manga weekly actually plays a bit to my short attention span

    • I just checked it briefly and I see it’s a monthly manga, lol. Looks like it’s gonna take awhile :p

      Yeah, there’s just not much completed series around, and even if there are, I would always see if there’s an anime for it too, and if there is, I would prioritize the anime over it.

  2. I think part of the issue is that companies are focusing on getting all the current serialized hits and ignoring older, completed series. It wasn’t so bad when companies concentrated on finished ones and could release a new volume every other month. Now, series often catch up to the Japanese volumes, and you have to wait months and months for the next volume.

    • Ah, don’t know too much about the localization aspect so that’s good to know. Slightly irrelevant, I feel like even in anime adaptions, they had been choosing, current famous but ongoing works more, rather than past, completed works. I guess that’s just the culture now.

  3. This probably the reason why I don’t pick up manga is that aside from the ongoing nature, it takes a bit more effort than watching an anime. To me, I just prefer video games and possibly visual novels over manga since they are interactive and have a definite ending although it takes awhile to finish.

    • Yeah, having a definite ending definitely puts visual novel in a better position than manga, which is known for sudden cancellations (which result in abrupt endings) or just pretty much don’t know when it will end.

      Btw, if you’re wondering where the hell had my Patreon post gone to, I just deleted and took down everything. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t work: https://twitter.com/frog_kun/status/696479384983605249

      Thought I should tell you too since you got some comments in there, lol.

      • Yeah, I heard about that. It seems that there is a lot of restrictions when it comes to Brunei.

        Also, aside from print copies, which are inconvenient to carry around, reading them on the computer is probably not a good reading pleasure, although tablets are solving that issue, sort of.

  4. For me it’s the fact that I can’t stand reading manga on the computer and have to have the hard copy. When you add that to the fact that i’m a poor student…yeah…

  5. Then I take that you never read One Piece? What about Naruto since it’s completed two years ago (I think). These are two super long series that I’ve been following myself. Dropped Bleach manga when it started to make no sense…

    I agree that manga has less production values in that it doesn’t really have impact in terms of our senses. Anime has music/movements/voices to stimulate. Having said that, I don’t read a lot of manga these days and if I do, I’ll usually subscribe the feed of a manga to make sure the new chapters appear on my RSS feed so that I won’t forget. This applies to shoujo manga because they only have new chapter once a month!

    Another thing I agree is the endless cliffhangers we’re facing if we’re reading an on-going manga. I experienced seeing manga titles that I really liked dropped half way. It’s a shame that I’ll never know the ending because it’s not like I can find the original source!

    Still, I read manga almost entirely because I liked the anime and they are the original source. When it doesn’t seem like there’s a new season of anime, manga is my only option left is I want to continue the story.

    • I never read One Piece but I watched it, also never read Naruto but watched it. Actually, I had been wondering if I should just read Naruto. I had seen like thousand of spoilers at this point so I figure I should just read everything to see how the story build up to the spoilers. At the same time, I prefer to see action in anime form whenever possible, lol. I’m just going to respond like that picture up there… Bleach is still ongoing?

      Oh, RSS feed, admittedly I never tried that but I think I’m liking my current approach to reading manga anyway :p

      Yeah, in my mind, even if the initial story is good, if all these stories will just be stuck in endless cliffhangers, I would rather not just experience them in the first place. Indeed, after all manga -is- the original source :p

      I generally prefer to experience totally different stories if I were to read manga, so I’m among the few exceptions in the manga-reading community in that I’m not as hardcore with most popular manga titles which most of them already had anime adaptions to begin with. Unfortunately, I will always prioritize anime first and foremost.

  6. Personally I never check on status. If I find something interesting I would keep reading until the last chapter available.

    I don’t have a problem with on-going manga, but I only reread hard copy.

    Also, I know One Piece is not complete yet, but it’s really long and worth it.

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  8. If only I have had this same sentiment a bit sooner… I wouldn’t have to suffer greatly.

    You see, I feel like it’s finally caught up on me. The last time I tried keeping up with some of the ongoing manga I’d been reading was around August last year. And now whenever I look back to my bookmarks, I only feel frustrated. I don’t even bother updating my manga list backlog from “reading” to “on-hold”. If I would do so, it would seem less likely that I’d pick up those titles again anytime, since “on-hold” manga for me is like the purgatory before they’d be thrown to hell that is “dropped”.

    The only things I’m looking forward to now are some yuri-themed webcomics. There’s only a few of them, so I don’t feel much burden. Plus, I’m super invested in the characters and their growth.

    Anyhow, nowadays I think I’ll stick with reading only completed manga, like I did with Aoi Hana and Sasameki Koto a while ago and now I’ve picked up Nihei Tsutomu’s Sidonia no Kishi. The “ongoing” tag kind of scares me now, given my current circumstances.

    • I guess you can say… I’m an intelligent guy *puts on sunglasses*

      Yeah, the funny thing about reading ongoing manga is that I feel like most people would forget about it or put it on-hold for like months (maybe even years), even though it’s supposed to be ongoing. Not knowing when or if the story is even going to end really dampens one’s motivation to continue reading it :\ Same with a few of my anime entries, though nowadays, I would rather only just update my list after I completed everything. “On-hold” or “dropped” anime are something I probably will never mention.

      Right, I can see from your twitter TL :p I’m still waiting for Citrus to complete, if it will -ever- complete.

      Oh yeah, didn’t you recommend them to me before? I see both of them have anime adaptions so wonder if I should just go for the adaptions instead.

      • I’m surprised that you haven’t seen them. I recommend both anime, I consider them well made. If you’re curious what happens beyond the ending in the anime, then you can go read the manga. For Aoi Hana, though, maybe you’ll have to read it from the start since the anime took liberty in the order and details of the events, which wasn’t a terrible decision in my opinion.

  9. You’re my spirit animal in this /high fives
    Before I didn’t care if something was ongoing until I got burnt out by CLAMP and their X series which is on hiatus for 15 years now. After that, I said fuck that shit. I watch the anime if there is one while I wait for the manga to finish, but that’s it.
    I also felt that pain of having to reread. There’s been mangas I’ve reread at least three or four times now, with 200+ chapters that I’ve just figured I’m not touching until they end. Sometimes I’m weak and do reread, but it’s exhausting to do that a lot.
    In a way, games give me a sense of closure (unless they’re episodic ) so it’s why I prefer them. One thing I like about manga is it takes way less time reading it than watching a 26 episode anime.
    Whenever I get recommended ongoing series I always tell them I’ll add them to my pile and I’ll read it once it’s completed.
    X and Clover, and Gohou drug, were all put on hiatus and then promptly disappeared. Though Gohou did start again, I’m so jaded by all the cancelled and hiatus and unfinished, I search on Wikipedia before I start a manga to be see if it got any of those ^^’

    Then there’s also the fruit that keeps on giving, aka, series like One Piece and Berserk that never finish and I end up reading close to 300 chapters for shit because in a year I’m not remembering who’s who and what happened and what’s the drama. I’ll also don’t have any of the buildup.

    I ended up rambling just to say that I agree with you and I felt your pain ORZ

    • Hiatus often occurs due to mangaka’s health issues too so it’s understandable sometimes :\ So I try not to be too bitter about it, which also led me to avoid reading ongoing manga as much as I can ironically, since that’s where most of my bitterness came from, lol. Yeah, games give you closure and even if it’s part of an ongoing series, they make sure to end a part at a conclusive peak before the next, so you have a good stopping point.

      Now that you mention it, I just checked mine and quite some manga I stopped years ago are completed. Now I have to consider if I want to re-read everything or just continue where I left off, lol.

      Yeah, I honestly don’t even remember where I left off with Berserk. Something something dark fantasy something something magic something something Guts don’t need magic he just need his big ass sword.

      • I get the most bitter when I discover a mangaja is sick but still started a new series. Be it writing or drawing. /coughs at Yun Kouga forever not finishing Loveless but starting that other manga about the lesbian assassin’s
        I’m still bitter about on-hiatus manga like X and prematurely finished like Psyren. /shakes fists
        Games are good…until episodic content or games that finish in the second game or finish/explain in the fandisk. /grumbles
        I’m actually embarrassed I’ve reread Skip Beat and 7 Seeds from 100+ chapters each because they’re still ongoing. I think I thought I’d just be like “when they finish I’ll continue” but I know I’ll reread from the start. It’ll take years, and I’ll just forget everything. Makes it all pretty useless :/
        Though with Gantz as soon as it finished I continued from where I was, I wasn’t going to reread it when it took 120 chapters to actually get decent =_=
        Berserk….I think I was after the Golden Arc or I think I was because that was really impactfull. It’s been some 3 years since I last read it and I still remember it. I don’t feel enthused to read it until it finishes, that and the other myriad ongoing. Unless they’re small enough I don’t rereading.
        We all know not all genres keep on giving fruit like One Piece/co. BL, Josei and Seinen tend to be on the shorter end than shoujo and shounen, so I don’t mind reading ongoing and rereading when I know they’re like 2 volumes/17 chapters, it’s series of like 50+ chapters that I refuse to even touch until they’re done (⌒_⌒;)

        Wow, sorry, I think I just wrote a mammoth comment :’)

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