I’m very up-to-date kind of fan when it comes to my favorite series. I know it’s not a requirement or necessary to be one but patience isn’t exactly my bestest virtue! So I try my damn hardest to keep up with the releases; be it via magazine or volume releases! (but if you’re a patient manga reader then more power to you! Me, however, is a slave to my desires *flops on the floor*). I’m currently following so many series & it’s kinda ridiculous already! (Shoujo dominates my reading list…teen romance is my weakness!) Most of them are on-going—meaning the series are not yet finished. Fortunately I read multiple series in one magazine. Let’s take Hana to Yume for example. I’m reading several series from this magazine. So when issue is out, I get to read the series I actually am following. It’s about knowing what magazine it is part of and when it’s out in the market. I think that’s key!
I usually take note of genre, then magazine. Why genre? From what I observe shonen & shoujo (seinen or josei) have different publication schedules. Some shonen series are released weekly, therefore you can research when the issue date is. You also can know by how number of pages the chapter is; if it’s less than 20, there’s a high chance that it’s a weekly series. Normal 30-40 pages can be a monthly series. Some shoujo magazines are bi-monthly (two issues/chapters per month), monthly (one chapter/month) or every other month (example: LALA DX). Josei are either monthly or every other month (<-much to my displeasure). The most painful of all is the quarterly one… but then there is series like Hunter x Hunter that is constantly on hiatus…
I also sort them by magazine. Like I said above, I mostly followed few series under one magazine, which is good because once the magazine is out I get to read few series as opposed to just reading one. There’s a likely chance to like the series under one mag (eg: Shonen Jump). I also use app like Pocket MAL to track down my progress. It’s very easy to use and the interface is really nice. It’s why among the apps available on google playstore this is the one I chose. I can also sync it with twitter so I can also update it through it, too. But sometimes technology fails me so I also take note of my progress (also, some series aren’t in MAL’s database unfortunately). But if following it through magazine isn’t virtually possible then I’ll just wait for the volume (which is actually better since I can read so many chapters at once!)
I also check the publisher’s website. Most of the time magazines have their own website that you can check their titles. If something interests me, I take note of it. Sometimes they’re very generous that few chapters can be read for free (trial reading). Take Tokyo Ghoul:re as an example; the newest chapter is uploaded a week after it was released locally. Now that’s generous! Of course, you just need to know Japanese in order to read it. This form of frustration actually motivates me to improve my JP reading…yes, I’m concentrating on reading first. I’ll probably pick up the grammar along the way…probably. Probably not!
If shipping print copies isn’t to your liking (oh the heavy fees—being a fan is hard when you’re not filthy rich!) you can opt to buy digital manga/magazine. I already talked about on how you can purchase legal digital magazine/tankoubon before. That said I’m not an innocent, squeaky clean otaku out there because I do read fan translations (most reason is my understanding of Japanese is pretty much suck). But I love the industry so much that buying myself a copy is worth the investment. And you too should support this form of entertainment as much as you can. But that topic is slated for some other day.
So how about you? Are you also notorious manga reader like me? How many series are you currently following? How do you keep up with the releases? Do share your tips with me!