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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Humble Manga Bundle: Manga 2 Anime Edition

Preview of Attack on Titan

Every so often, Humble Bundle releases collections of manga that can be purchased at a price you choose. This month they have released the ‘Manga 2 Anime’ bundle, which mostly features manga series that have been made into anime already.

The full bundle costs $20 USD and is in support of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Comic Book Legal Defense fund, which is an American non-profit organisation taking a stand against censorship and protecting the freedom to read comics across the world.

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Manga Box Sets to look out for in 2019

Being an otaku can be rather expensive, and collecting individual manga volumes definitely strains the wallet – completing one series can often cost in excess of £200! That is where box sets come in, which can save you loads of money.

There are a few manga box sets releasing this year that all shounen fans should be on the lookout for. The first of these is the Dragon Ball box set, coming out on the 27th June. This contains all sixteen volumes of the original Dragon Ball manga and can be pre-ordered on Amazon UK for less than £90 right now.

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