There’s been a trend with all sorts of content creators along the lines of, ‘if you lost all of *insert collection type here* what would you re-buy?’ being recommended to me lately. It’s an interesting idea at face value that in the sea of everything you’ve amassed what would you make a point to re-collect. Realistically, this content is just an excuse to pick, choose, and justify favorites. Which, hey I am an avid proponent of considering I blog about my favorite things a lot!
I found it somewhat… ironic that this has happened since I’ve fallen into the realm of manga collections on Instagram: I’ve always wondered how those collectors would deal if this happened to them. Like would they even notice if certain volumes or series disappeared from their shelves? What would they rebuy first? Of course, I sincerely hope this never occurs to any collector of anything.
BUT! I thought this would be fun considering my current collections are split between two countries and two languages. So talking about what would make the cut, and in which language seemed like a fun brain exercise for me, and might be entertaining for my readers. Without further ado here’s my take on if my total collection suddenly went ‘poof’; what would I re-buy?
First things first, I’d probably cry a little. I’m usually not one to assign value in a object, things can be replaced, people can not and all that. But the majority of my English language manga are tied in certain memories, presents from those no longer in my life, bought at bookstores that no longer exist, etc. Of course those memories will remain, but it would still super suck to have them gone from my life.
The first up on my list would be to re-buy the entiredy of Whistle! by Higuchi Daisuke. This series did a lot more for me, considering how often I reference it. Considering the special place in my heart the title has, even perhaps more then others, it’d be something I’d have to get my hands on ASAP. I know it’s out-of-print (OOP) as well, but it was never popular so to speak, so I’m not sure how hard it’d be to get. However, if it existed on Amazon once, surely it will return there again.
Next would be Black Jack by Osama Tezuka. Very much in the similar vein as Whistle!. It was a toss up between which I would buy first, but Black Jack has just a bit more popularity that it would probably be easier for me to track down the volumes through a secondhand seller. Of course the volumes are bigger, and with popularity comes mark-ups so… it’d probably take me awhile longer to track down in full but if I’ve done it once, I’d do it again.
This one might be a left field pick but next would be Alice 19th. This series was the very first manga I ever read in English, and in full. This was a series that I considered so precious that I made my poor uncle buy a secondhand set on eBay for me. Those were the good ol’ days before I was allowed to roam freely in Borders and Barnes and Noble. Nothing can replace those volumes for me, but I’d still want to have them in my collection for sure. I have no idea how common the series is these days, but maybe for old times sake I’d pick it up off eBay again.
Fruits Basket would be my next pick. The editions I have are ye-old Tokyopop first printing, so they definitely encompass an era of manga. I actually would keep this series fairly low on my re-buy. One of my closest friends owns the series in full, so if I wanted to re-read the series when I’m stateside I’d probably just spend the day at her house and do it. There’s a certain charm to the first printing via Tokyopop, but if I’m not mistaken there was some issues with localization/translation that have been amended when Yen Press picked up the series. Again, I’m not particularly a fan of collector’s editions, or 3-in-1’s but this would be pretty easy to pick up, so not the highest priority.
This would be followed up by none other than X/1999. In my current collection, I have the ‘westernized’ version of the series so it reads left to right. That’s always a weird jarring emotion since I’m use to standard manga, but does make it more collectable. I don’t think I’d try and hunt down this particular version, as it’s old, some of the localization is off, and the resell price is high not because it’s X/1999, but because it’s CLAMP is ridiculous. If I’m not mistaken, at some point it was re-printed as a 3 in 1 edition and those, while awkward to hold, are significantly easier to find at a decent price. However, due to my mixed feelings about CLAMP as a whole this would probably be the lowest priority to rebuy.
And that concludes what I would re-buy in my English collection. It was pretty small to begin with actually, so at least this would only take a year or two verses dozens of years to re-configurate to some degree. There’s a lot of manga I would love to add English volumes of, but those would be new buys, not re-buys so I’m not going to list them here. Instead, we’ll move into the world of what I would re-buy in Japanese!
This should as come as a surprise to no one, but I would immediately re-buy everything by Higuchi Daisuke. The laundry list being Dokushi, Dokushi – Blunt, Whistle! W, Go Ahead, etc. These titles don’t exist in English, so the only way for me to enjoy them is in Japanese: a no brainer if you will. It’d probably take a bit more time, as a few of these are a bit tricky to find for the right price, but I would 100% impulse buy them all again no questions asked.
Next up would be HiGH&LOW, again another title that’s only be published in Japanese. One day I should really go over my love affair for the franchise, but this isn’t that post. I’m not one to really collect DVD’s, so the manga version of events is a good enough compromise for me. It’s also among the more concise titles, being only three volumes long. The re-buy process might be a little tricky since some volumes are more easily available then others, and it’s out of print but I have faith on being able to get it back on my shelves.
You can probably sense a theme, but Blue Phobia would be next on my re-buy list. Another Japanese only title, and still fairly under the radar. The cover art and story to this day, still stokes the flames of my memories. It’s such a cool idea that seemingly enough people didn’t realize how amazing it was at the time. I have no idea how hard this would be for me to find, as I happened upon it at a very small bookstore, but I’m such with a little Mercari magic I’d be able to find it again.
The next is is a series that I wouldn’t have trouble finding secondhand in Japanese, but I might have actually consider if I really did lose my collection as a whole, re-buying in English instead. This title being Flying Witch. I actually bought the series published up to now, volumes 1 through 9, secondhand during one of my carefully curated mini-trips during these rough times. There’s a certain magic in seeing something animated, then in print, and finally going to that place in real life. It’s absolutely irreplaceable as an experience, so I feel part of this magic is in the Japanese manga. However, depending on my living situation, re-buying it in English might be a better option in order to spread that magic to others. I’d lean to Japanese editions, but I’d compromise on a good deal in English.
The last of all things, is a yaoi; Jackass! by Scarlet Beriko to be exact. It’s one of the few series I read online on a shady site, and made a point because the site was so shady, to get a physical copy. I found a pretty solid secondhand version on Mandarake and was already planning on putting an order in so, adding it to cart wasn’t a big deal. Given this is a single volume story, and it’s been licensed in English officially, I’m not too attached to either version. Depending on where I’m located, and the price for either version at the time, I could go either way on.
So that’s my almost brief list of manga titles I would rebuy if suddenly all my manga disappeared. I hope that you guys found this entertaining. I’d love to read your instant re-buys as well if this hypothetically happened, so drop a comment down below~ Otherwise I’ll see you next post!