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Showing off the Shelves: Naoki Urasawa’s Monster

Back in 2004, a friend introduced me to Chobits, a manga series that had an interesting enough premise–lifelike humanoid computers, following one kid and his, which turned out to be a very special one, while he interacted with others around him and learned a big secret. I’d tried the first volume of that series, and then wound up getting the other seven or so volumes within the next few days as a major distraction with family stuff going on that week.

Not long after, I tried Fruits Basket, and I think I followed that up to the fifth volume…I’d have to Google it to see how many volumes that series ultimately had. And despite interest, I never really got into getting any of the Dragon Ball Z volumes, only ever got the first volume of Yu-Ki-Oh, and an assortment of Love Hina when I found a bunch for 25-50 cents apiece…most of the series to that point, but not comprehensive.

And even before all that, I’d found the first several volumes of Lone Wolf and Cub at a Borders Outlet for half-off, and I think actually managed to read the first 3-4 volumes that summer (2002 or 2003).

naoki_urasawas_monster_01_18

Then, back in 2006, not long after a friend had told me about this great series he’d just read (either in Japanese or “scanlation,” Viz had announced they were going to be releasing Naoki Urasawa‘s Monster in its Signature Series format, and I jumped in with the first volume…and “kept up” with it for several years, to around the 11th or 12th volume.

In the years since, I’ve managed to track down the final few volumes, to complete the series, without having to “switch” over to the newer “Perfect” editions (larger physical volumes, each collecting the contents of two of these).

And so Monster–as of a couple months ago–is one of only a handful of series (Manga or otherwise) that I actually have the COMPLETE series.

Along with the Manga, I’d also found a boxed set of the first few episodes of the Anime, though I never got around to watching more than a few episodes before getting distracted with other stuff.

Of course, as with most things…this is one that my not flying through or finishing (yet) is in no way a statement on the quality. The Anime seemed quite good, very faithful to the Manga.

And reading these–like most such volumes that I’ve actually read–drew me in and would make for relatively fast reading for the number of pages, and helped cement my preference in general for larger volumes over single issues, outside of a handful of series.

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