I stumbled upon manga about eight years ago when I watched an anime that did not tell the whole story. That was “His and Hers Circumstances” and I searched out “Kare Kano” to find out how the story ended.
I’ve always been an avid reader and preferred books to movies, so I wasn’t surprised to find out how much better the manga was compared to the anime. However, I was amazed at the whole new world of reading that opened up when I “discovered” manga. I’ve never considered them equivalent to American comics, and the variety of storytelling as well as the beautiful artistry has starved my wallet of cash for the last few years.
The fun part was retraining my brain to read from right to left. It didn’t take me long, and several bookshelves later, I’d say I’m an addict. The interesting factor is that I’m not part of the typical teen target audience in America for these books. I’m actually over thirty and a mom of two. But that’s the beauty of Japanese manga; they’re written for a much wider audience than American graphic literature.
So how did this blog come to fruition? It all started with an email.
After looking into the local manga section of my library, it became obvious that the reading choices were sorely lacking. There was a decent amount of shounen manga, but only a few shoujo series. One of the librarians asked me if I could give her some recommendations since I was a teacher. I sat down and typed out one email with a few series I recommended be added to the catalog. When I got a response asking my opinion on a few other series, I sat down and started typing out a list of what I had read and what I thought of it for a teen audience.
After typing it all out, I realized I had a lot of knowledge to share, and there were probably parents out there that would like to know this information too. That’s when Heart of Manga 1.0 was born in May of 2009. I was quickly welcomed into the manga blogosphere, and found my niche for reviewing shoujo and josei titles.
As well as a reader and writer I am also an artist, so this blog is also an opportunity for me to play around with graphic design. I like to come up with art for the articles that feature the characters and fonts of a series. I also have a lot of fun designing my own logo and images for this blog as well.
In 2011 the site got an update to version 2.0. After obtaining its own web domain, and transferring from blogger to wordpress, Heart of Manga got an updated theme and slicker look. But as time went on, the theme became outdated and the code quit working correctly. It was time for another make-over.
What you currently see is Heart of Manga 3.0. brand spanking new in 2014. A new navigation system to bring readers to desired content was the inspiration for this change. As well as needing the posts to start fitting on mobile platforms. It was a difficult transition with a lot of coding on my part. I’ve learned to do a lot of that over the years. But I love to change designs, so who knows when this baby will get another face lift?
I wanted a title that would encompass more than one meaning. My first thought was that the shoujo genre would be considered the “heart” genre of manga since it has many stories appealing to one’s romantic side. From another perspective, a review gets down to the “heart” or vital elements of a story; and an honest review would be from the “heart” of the critic. Thus the title “Heart of Manga” was born.