First Impressions of the Summer 2019 Anime Season

A collage of anime airing this season (Arifureta, Dumbbell , Cop Craft, Fire Force)

Introduction

We’re now two weeks into the Summer 2019 anime season, and I have seen enough to say it has one of the best lineups of the last few years. We have a few long anticipated manga adaptations as well as some original series from a large variety of genres, and I’m watching nine currently airing shows.

Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest

The elephant in the room that I should address first is Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest. This is an isekai light novel adaptation and is probably the biggest disappointment of the season. The source material has a cult following, so I was rather excited to see how the anime would play out, but I’m afraid the first episode was a bizarre, poorly directed, confusing mess.

Arifureta‘s anime adaptation begins in the other world, unlike the manga and light novel, and the show utterly fails to explain how the protagonist ended up in his situation. The show constantly uses flashbacks in poor attempts to explain what’s happening, and the CGI animation actually made me laugh out loud.

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Pleasant Surpises: Britain’s Most Remote Comic Shop?

The Cave comic shop in Thurso, Caithness, Scotland

The British Isles is a vast geographic area, containing several countries and crown dependencies. There are plenty of towns and cities, but I don’t think there is any region more remote than the Scottish Highlands, which I had the pleasure of visiting in April.

My trip began in Inverness; the only city in the Highland council area. While there I made sure to have a look at the anime and manga for sale in mainstream shops like Waterstones, HMV and CeX. I have made it a habit to look out for bargains in every town and city I visit, after all it would be a shame to miss the chance to snap up a product on my wish list.

If the city I’m in has a Forbidden Planet store, that’s all the better. What kind of otaku can pass up a 3-for-2 offer on manga volumes? But still, these are all brands with abundant locations across the UK. I often prefer to browse small local comic shops and get to know the owners a bit.

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Tips For Aspiring Manga Collectors in the UK

An impressive manga collection; unfortunately not my own!

Thanks to publishers like Viz, Yen Press and Kodansha, most popular manga and light novels of the last few years have received official English releases that can be found in most major book stores in the UK, USA, Canada, Australia and a plethora of other countries.

Despite this surge in availability, manga collecting remains an expensive hobby. Individual volumes can cost anywhere between £7 and £20, which adds up fast, especially if you’re collecting a popular series with dozens of volumes, such as Naruto or Bleach.

This can put some otaku off starting a physical manga collection, but I would like to offer some advice on how to fill your book shelves with your favourite series without burning too big of a hole in your wallet.

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