As anime and manga are pretty uncommon things in the UK, it’s interesting to look at the state of libraries and what they have and if they have manga at all.
I can’t speak for when I was young and visiting libraries for just one time but I used the school library and a library very nearby as well as a small temporary one that was around where my local library was being rebuilt. In all of these they had manga, just not a whole lot of it and in a weird combination.
My school library had one small shelf with a strange variety of manga. One of my favourites is a series called “Journey to mount Shen” or something like that and it’s actually pretty uncommon. I find that the library’s always have really weird manga choices; Tekken Chinmi is rated very low by popularity (with less than a thousand readers) so it’s a bit of weird choice of manga to have available.
They also had popular ones such as Naruto and Dragon Ball Z which we’re brilliant but they were mixed with Bo-bo-bo and the Darren Shan manga. There wasn’t a lot but the main problem was that they had called the section of graphic novels which is completely wrong. I wasn’t too bothered but it’s a bit inaccurate. This meant that there were many other comics nearby that I ended up reading but not liking as much.
The library that I grew up with and the temporary library had an extremely small collection with pretty much the same manga. They had Yu-gi-oh which I got pretty much addicted too along with small one off volumes like Btoom and Tegami Bachi. At the time there was lots of manga that I’d never heard of but didn’t care about.
When I came back to the library (that got rebuilt hence the temporary library) they suddenly gained so much more manga! For the first time instead of a few single shelfs I had three rows of shelfs and they had lots of things but of course no volume ones – which everyone takes out – so I didn’t end up reading them a lot.
It wasn’t until fairly recently that I came back after seeing all of this anime to see lots of manga that I recognised. They had all of Haruhi, Oran high school host club, full metal alchemist, Naruto, black cat and is this zombie? After doing this I took out all of the Haruhi series and read it all in a few days just because they let you.
What’s great is that if you enjoy reading manga volumes and not paying you can! The only problem is that you can’t keep them out for very long.
What’s good about manga in libraries is that at least they have manga no matter how minor it’s represented. Since anime and manga is becoming more popular in western culture I only see it increasing. It’s great to be an anime fan and seeing your favourite manga in a library.
Do your experiences for manga in libraries also relate to mine or do you find it different? Is this the case in different countries? I’d love to know.
Also if you’ve not read Berserk yet then you really should so that you can read my other posts about the Berserk manga