So I generally don’t do magazines that are manga anthologies, I tried the Shojo Beat magazine for the first year it was released, but it just didn’t take with me. There were too few stories I was anxiously reading out of their total lineup, it didn’t seem worth the money to pay for a manga magazine so I let my subscription run out. Heck I even sold the magazines from the first 12 months for about $20 on eBay, so I made some of my money back. I decided it was best just to buy the manga of the series I wanted because it would be cheaper (in the end) and manga takes up less space and is more durable then the magazines. Plus I’m someone who wants to have EVERYTHING, so if I’m going to be involved in a manga anthology I need to have every volume from the beginning, I SIMPLY cannot just hop in at any point in time and feel satisfied! So I had assumed I’d never try a manga anthology again…until Yen+Plus
Somehow I noticed the company YenPress…I think I first heard their name when I found out someone at LONG LAST was bringing over the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya light novels! You can bet I praised Yen Press’s name to the heavens above, even though I didn’t know anything about them but that. I’m also very fond of the anime Soul Eater and much to my surprise this Yen Press company had the licensing rights to the Soul Eater manga? They fully caught my attention with that and I started poking around their web site. The world of manga in the US had been dominated by Viz and Tokyopop for so long it surprised me that another company I had never heard of was getting so many noticeable titles.
I noticed that they had a magazine that would be hitting stores the following week…I debated whether or not to pick it up. During work I decided to run down to the book store at lunch and grab a copy. I mean if I hated it I wouldn’t be wasting that much money right? One volume is only $8.99 and contains 11 manga chapters from various stories.
All the stories don’t focus on a single genre (shonen, shoujo…etc), it gave me the variety a well rounded manga fan loves. It also pointed me towards some series that I probably wouldn’t have otherwise touched. For me the main draw of this magazine was the fact that they had Bamboo Blade and Soul Eater (it already had at least 2 titles I was sure I’d enjoy) so I decided that alone was enough for me to risk that I may dislike the rest. After all, if I only liked half the magazine that’s still 5-6 stories which was more then what Shoujo Beat had that I liked. Oddly enough the two stories that initially drew me to the magazine aren’t my favorites, when I first get this magazine I flip to Higurashi When They Cry and then Jack Frost. Although both those titles would be considered the most disturbing in the magazine…does that mean I’m twisted? Maybe I am…oh well I’ll just blame society and the public school system if anyone asks.
My only complaint is that I subscribed right after I read the first volume and their subscription delivery system hasn’t been enabled yet. It made me panicked because if I forgot about it one month I’d have a gap in all my stories! Hopefully I’ll get volume 4 in the mail. Subscriptions are $49.95/year (12 issues). So that is about $4 per magazine if you subscribe, which I think is a very reasonable price. Although it’s REALLY hard to see how cheap this magazine is when you have to fork over that $50 up front. Not to mention when you have to re-subscribe, I always get angry when I have to re-subscribe I don’t know why, I’m so ungrateful and cheap 😛 The whole world just needs to give me anime magazines and manga for free!
Right Side – SquareEnix Manga Titles
Higurashi ~ When They Cry
Nabari No Ou
Left Side – Manwha/US Authors
One Fine Day
Pretty much I’m casually enjoying all these stories, most aren’t plots I’d go out and buy manga of but that I enjoy reading for the reasonable price that Yen Press sells this magazine at. Its expanded my manga horizons a bit by touching upon a lot of things I wouldn’t normally read. I also like that because I’m only casually interested in each tale I’m not screaming in agony at the end of each chapter about not knowing what will happen next. I know that sounds like a bad thing but I think it’s a good thing for me.
I’m surprised at myself that I like this magazine as much as I do, it’s a breath of fresh air. Whether or not others will like it I have no idea.