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Evolving tastes

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8:19 pm, May 7 2023
Posts: 576


I’ve been thinking about this topic for a bit, and I got curious.
I started reading manga/manwha/manhua back in 2004, and some of the series I started with or used to read (caught my attention back then) are things that now, 19 years later I won’t go near.

For example, for a while I didn’t mind gore, but now I have no interest in it. Also, I used to read 2 of the big shonen series (Naruto and Bleach), but since both of them have ended, I have not really gotten into any other “big” shonen, even though I’ve heard good things about some of the recent big new ones. Same thing with shojo, I’ve never been too keen on romance, but I feel I used to read more shojo back then. I was also a huge CLAMP fan, but as of late, I could not care less.
My focus now has shifted to mostly yaoi, but even that, I’ve become pickier with.
I was ok with the jealousy trope, but now, it annoys me to no end. Same thing with the overly cutesy characters or the pushy ones.
I like stories with more balanced characters now.


So, fellow readers, how or have your tastes in reading material changed/evolved over the years?

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3:53 am, May 8 2023
Posts: 22


Outgrowing shounen and shoujo, which are both ment to be for younger audiences, sounds normal. Same goes for getting sick of tropes after being in this hobby for a long time.
I’ve only been reading manga for about 7(?) years now, so there haven’t been any big changes for me. I guess the biggest changes in taste I’ve gone through was, for one, after watching Tokyo Ghoul back when it was airing (I’ve been a huge fan of human-to-monster stories and vampires ever since lol) and also after realizing at some point that I absolutely can’t stand magical girls anymore.

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Post #802197 - Reply to (#802194) by MelonnBreadd
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9:09 am, May 8 2023
Posts: 236


Ditto. I started with manga as an old adult (needed a hobby after retirement). I read through large numbers of shounen stories until I realized that I was just too old for them. After that, it was slim pickings.

Nowadays it takes lots and lots of searching to find the good stuff, but ever once in a while I hit a really, really great one. Most memorable for me was "Yokohama Shopping Trip"

https://www.mangaupdates.com/series/u5gszng/yokohama-kaidashi-kikou

Number 2 in my experience was "Erased". There have been many others, but I'm having trouble remembering their titles.

Oops, I forgot "Girls' Last Tour". It was so good that after that that I quit manga and anime. I was also recently pulled back into anime by "The Aqualope on White Sand" (on Crunchyroll).

Post #802198 - Reply to (#802194) by MelonnBreadd
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11:40 am, May 8 2023
Posts: 175


I totally agree with you. I've been into manga for a bit longer, but the feeling is the same. Once you stick the a certain demography you end up getting fed up of the same tropes. And big series that you haven't read sometimes become a miss since you've read the series they've inspired. It's similar with other more specific settings, once you've found the easily accesible ones and the most recent ones it becomes harder to find better stuff.

I also fell into the trend of vampires and darker magical girls. Great vampires list, I just read Bokura no Sentaku in a sitting.

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4:42 pm, May 8 2023
Posts: 187


I'll never get tired of slice of life stuff; I find supernatural and fantasy storylines have a much reduced payoff for me, now.
What could be more difficult than finding happiness on the planet of 'real life'??
'saving the kingdom' is easy compared to that. Oh just use your powers that came to you at no personal cost
depictions of real life situations and milestones have a timeless resonation
poverty, illness, intergenerational trauma
doing everything right and you still might be get knocked down again and again

I guess I like to tell myself I'm learning while I'm reading;
as true recreational reading is rarely a luxury I can afford in my current position on the timeline with responsibilities et al.
truly I can think of no one better suited to benefit from mindful meditation to let go of all the forces pulling at me
I have a sudden craving for a self-care montage; which MC is brave enough to pause the plotlines and just go jogging for a bunch of panels

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6:00 am, May 27 2023
Posts: 14


Yea

Post #802457
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7:46 am, May 27 2023
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Not sure how much my tastes have changed over the years, beyond having read better versions of certain stories, making it difficult to still enjoy particular series,

I've been reading manga / watching anime for a long time now, and I generally still really like the stuff that I was into in the early days. Stuff that I didn't care for back then (such as most battle shounen) I'm still not into, though I no longer bang my head against a wall "trying" to like it just because it's popular.

There would probably be a greater difference of what I liked then / now if I started watching/reading before high school.

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3:31 pm, May 27 2023
Posts: 35


My longtime favourite series - Bleach, Kekkaishi, Fruits Basket, Detective Conan, Fullmetal Alchemist - have never lost their appeal. My taste for more casual reading has somewhat changed though; where I used to not mind ecchi, now it irritates me, and I've become more able to read tragedy which would previously have had me crying for days. Equally, I developed a taste for sports manga, and seinen.

I've never much liked slice of life. Some (like Otoyomegatari and Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou, probably more I haven't found yet) are interesting or funny but others like WataMote (which I liked until about c. 200) end up becoming dull and present a chore to read. That said, I haven't really read enough of those types to judge... I prefer at least a little plot and action, though perhaps that'll change someday?

Last edited by Erratic-Hopper at 11:40 pm, May 27 2023

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Post #802469
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8:26 pm, May 27 2023
Posts: 389


Well, for me its kinda quite a big switch.

Once upon a time, I like to read manga or any other form of entertainment that have pictures, full color or not (manga, comic, caricartoon, manhwa, manhua, collection of illustration picture/photobook, hent- oops. 🤭 )
But then, one day (a few years ago), I stumble upon a certain webnovel.
https://www.mangaupdates.com/topic/f6q36q5/romanian-web-novel?post=677293

At first I kinda interested because of the long title of the novel, and the cover picture are somewhat interesting too. After reading the synopsis, I try to read it although at that time I was kinda reluctant because there are no other picture/draw in it. But after reading a few chapter, I was hooked so much because when reading them, I could still kinda look at the "pictures" inside my head, and I even got kinda a free to choose what kind of look for the characters (disregarding the cover picture of the webnovel)
https://www.mangaupdates.com/topic/uerzawv/a-well-written-webnovel?post=778841

So, yeah, nowadays I read novel more than manga. Is it still considered as "Evolving taste"?
https://www.mangaupdates.com/topic/cwre8mx/what-happened-to-the-scanlation-scene?post=688918

Oh, but recently, I also still read manhwa/manhua too, although usually they are the adaptation from the novel version. I kinda want to know how much my imagination of the characters and their scene is different from the "official" one. 😁

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9:34 pm, May 27 2023
Posts: 478


I wouldn't say evolving. It just kinda cycles. I still come back to dumb shounen action series every so often. It's just kind of a pure experience even if I don't get as invested as I used to.

I've been reading this stuff for decades. I'm less interested in the edgy stuff, but i think that's just me not being a teenager?

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10:14 pm, May 27 2023
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I wasn´t crazy about Jump as a teen in the early 00s. I had access to adult entertainment since childhood so the demographic that should have spoken to me most at the perfect age was already a 2nd runner to midnight anime and I immediately gravitated to Eva (a daytime show, I know), Blade of the Immortal or the "heavier" teen manga as Kenshin when I choose in what to invest. It´s the hard work/training, friendship and youth spirit Jump formula that I find vapid, not the demographic itself. I can just hear the editor speaking through the author. Do this to maximize money. Now that. Etc. About as exciting as the announcement of the 50th MCU film destined to grind out a broken-by-repetition formula. The limits put on the authors are quite something too. Hugs are problematic for example as they could imply a sexual relationship. JoJo´s Araki gave that away in an interview. Truly great manga have been published in Jump but they are the home of the 4 to 6/10 first and foremost to me. This drift away happened around age 18 when I gave up on following the biggest of sellers for the sake of it. My first big lesson with ongoing manga.
AoT was rejected by Jump soon thereafter and inarguably became the manga that defined the 2010s. A lesson has to be in here somewhere.

Carrot on a stick grinder boxes like Bleach, Detective Conan or almost anything by Rumiko Takahashi that pretend to have an ongoing plot also broke me in the 00s and weekly Shounen with volume counts above 30 ring alarm bells. Purely episodic works as Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei or Osomatsu-san are a different case. Especially as they knew when to call it quits or take breaks. Tons of great young adult manga existed and exist. All demographics have merit. Shounen is the road to the mass market. Shoujo is the character study of young adults. Seinen gives the freedom to do whatever. And Josei barely exists.

What made my eyes glaze over starting in the late 00s was pointless sexualization and the trope-y way queer characters are treated in Asian fiction a bit thereafter. Slan from Berserk is always naked but is one of the all-time great horror designs. Her sexual assault of the protagonist comes off as horrific and her nudity is shown in a neutral way. The manga makes her look like a dark angel and not a European porn star to put it into words. She stands next to her fellow riders of the apocalypse without standing out. Romance (TAKAMI Mako) is a somewhat nonfictional story that almost solely focuses on sex. The protagonist is a self-destructive misogynist and borderline pedophile. Half the sequel is written from the POV of a child prostitute on top of that. I wouldn´t say that it reached its full potential but the manga could have flopped so easily.
Both examples prove how far matters can be pushed. On the opposite side sit the likes of Kazuo Koike, Oh! Great, Hiro Mashima or Go Nagai to pick known names out of a hat. Stop beating around the bush and make porn instead is what I overall have to say there. Gantz sits perfectly in the middle here. Half of the sex and nudity had a point, the other half was the author wanking over his own manga. A flip-flop between a mature character drama and a 2chan sex fantasy. A re-read proved to me that the author is psychologically incapable of giving women a voice regardless of that. I don´t think that I fully noticed in my 20s that ALL women degraded into subservient trophies to their assigned men. A fantasy so shallow that it´s not even worth dreaming about and Oku´s 2 manga that star women are unreadable. For the record. I disliked the manga´s blackface murder spree even at age 16. An immersion-breaking cry for attention in the best of lights.

About the gays. Write about fully realized gay characters and their relationships. Do that and I will show up. No kind of, sort of, maybe after the ending Class S type nonsense. The definition of a sleeping pill. No fetishized Seme x Uke bullshit that drifts further from any form of reality as gay rights move on even in Japan. Current kid's cartoons have more believable queer characters than most BL/GL manga that will be published this year. Manga keeps being stuck in the tropes of the 70s to 80s and mostly refuses to move on yet US and EU comics began to move past their quality standards in the 2nd half of the 80s. Gender Queer: a Memoir isn´t worthy of the circus Republicans caused around it but such a work would firstly never come from a mainstream Japanese publisher and secondly wouldn´t top sales charts. To Strip the Flesh exists of course and comes close to proving me wrong but was published on the web for free and not in any of Jump´s magazines. A digital experiment on the side that is just 2 chapters long and ultimately part of an obscure anthology. A footnote of history but the kind of queer manga I want to see more of. Blue Period. has a queer secondary lead for a period and then moves on when the protagonist´s surroundings change. Having a gay character as part of the cast who isn´t defined by that ain´t the norm with manga. An X-men book can and most likely will feature a gay character but that character´s gender or sexual identity might be the 5th thing I would name in a listicle about let´s say Wolverine´s son. Daken being a rapist stands out more for example. That is much more unlikely in an ensemble story from Japan. Gurren Lagann came to mind. Skip to Loafer is what I want though. Mitsumi´s aunt is defined by her fashion sense, an aspect of her job, before gender identity gets brought up at logical point volumes in.

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1:36 pm, Jul 22 2023
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I haven't had such a global change in my tastes

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11:12 am, Aug 31 2023
Posts: 146


I don't think my tastes have changed all that much besides liking slice of life more than I used to, and I've been into anime for... well, since Bleach first aired with an English dub, so... jeez, has it really been 22 years? That's nuts.

Alright, so I'm not saying nearly nothing has changed, but I generally like action, I like shonen style plots that have a mature edge but still retain the hope aspect, and I still appreciate the wild imagination of striking series like Soul Eater, Bleach, Durarara, BLAME!, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Eureka Seven, Pumpkin Scissors, Witch Hunter, xxxHolic, Busou Renkin, Outlaw Star, Trigun, .//Sign, X'amD: Lost Memories, Air Gear, Full Metal Alchemist, Psyren, Blood+, Kaze no Stigma, D. Gray Man, etc.

Basically, I'm cool with nearly every genre as long as there's some fantasy and some action, a main character I can get behind, a plot that doesn't force the main character to settle for less/worse, and as long as the drama isn't too unrealistic or immature for no reason.

Shows/manga I was not interested in were shows like that one about the 12 zodiac knights, Card Captor Sakura, The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi, Highschool DxD, Jojo's Bizarre Adventures, Attack on Titan, etc.

Those lists may seem similar in a way, but that's how my brain filters what I like versus what I don't. There is a difference, even if it's hard for me to describe.

Tokyo Mew Mew is a series I want to finish, as I watched a bunch as a kid (and had my first crush... on a cat girl... wow, that explains so much now), but when I recently went back, I couldn't get past the first episode... I felt like I was being put on a list just for watching it. How the hell did something I liked so much back then manage to make me feel like I was a creep for watching it today? Well, middle-schoolers being hit on by people much older was the cause... seriously, it's messed up, as in some translations they're as young as 8.

And I suspect my original tastes, along with the degradation of quality within the anime/manga industry, is why I haven't had my tastes changed as much as others here. Like, modern manga/anime is becoming like pop music did in the 90s through today, there's this same-y element through them that prevents most from really being something special.

The biggest thing is a move away from animation to graphic novels. That said, I have bought some of my favorite anime such as Outlaw Star, Eureka Seven, and Bleach: Memories of Nobody. Other changes are, as I said, more slice of life than there used to be. I'm also less likely to read/watch something music or sports based.

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