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.
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…