I'm afraid that's all I'm thinking about right now, fandom-wise. Even Taker is not really ringing my bells, which depresses me. But manga? Coolness.
I constantly re-read, or in this case, more like re-watch, Gunsmith Cats; we're collecting Hellsing in the tankoubon volumes (WOW! BACKASSWARDS IN THE TRUE JAPANESE STYLE) and Bastard!! (yes, TWO bangs on that dude!!) The DH is reading Berserk and renting all the DVDs, and I'm sorta looking at the Trigun tankoubons and toddling downstairs when he brings another volume home.
I am perhaps too old-school to truly appreciate the right-to-left unflipped English manga translations. Yeah, I know--it's cheaper, and the sales don't truly justify the work to really redo the issues, and after all, the flipped Gunsmith Cats had everyone in Chicago driving on the left and the steering wheels were on the wrong side of the cars, which in a car-oriented book was pretty disorienting. I find myself walking into the bathroom to hold the pages up to the mirror. OK, OK--publish them unflipped. I'll get used to it.
I also think of anime as something with fan subtitles or reeeally bad dubs by that dork who synthesized his American TV anime series out of cut-and-pasted Japanese ones. I am that old. A toast in pure spring water, anyone? I used to go to the science fiction con at the Red Lion in San Jose when it was still the science fiction con and not Animecon. I MISSED Kenichi Sonoda on his first trip to the USA, where he apparently got to fire his first gun ever, at the range in Santa Clara that you can see from 101. Damn. That would have been something.
Yes, I do shonen almost exclusively. Shoujo makes me roll my eyes for the most part. Except I do like that one with the girl who falls into the Chinese legend book and becomes a high priestess--wait a minute, that could describe a hell of a lot of them. Fine, persuade me otherwise.
I'm much more into non-manga comics than manga itself. Even that has leveled off to buying TPB's. I decided I don't really like keeping floppy books around. I really do keep meaning to ebay off all but a few things that will never be collected I have a lot of Warren Ellis stuff and Vertigo titles in General that I bought the TPBs because they are more accessible, but I still have the bagged and boarded floppies laying around.
I do like Gunsmith Cats, but I never really got into it too much. There was (possibly might still be sometime in the next decade) going to be a "kick the clip" joke in Pffft! eventually.
Since I moved away from Seattle I don't really have anyone forcing me to sit down and watch head melty anime anymore. So I really couldn't tell you what is out there right now. I'm so drastically behind the curve (Oh, god I'M OLD!!!!) on this stuff right now. We have been watching a few of the anime shows on Cartoon Network (Wolf's Rain, Inyuasha, Yuyu Hakusho (though I'm tempted to take that one off DVR) )
I am secretly using you all for research. Well... most of you.
Yes, we're pretty tired of single issues and are moving to TPBs for ease of reading. DH has dozens of full-size comics boxes wrapped in plastic out in the garage; he hasn't looked at that stuff in a decade, and at this rate he never will again. That's his giant '70s-'80s-'90s collection of Marvel, DC, some indys and other odd stuff. At one point it was probably worth thousands, though I'd bet it isn't now!
The manga is all in the house, however, since we're actually reading it. And of course the X-Men are never going to be consigned to storage. We dragged out the late '80s-early '90s Teen Titans for our kids, so I looked at all those again and sighed with nostalgia for those four-color, pre-computer days. Even the cruddiest American book has Photoshop effects out the wazoo now.
One great thing about manga is that it's black and white--no meretricious over-production, just a guy with a pen and some zip-tone. On something fantastic like Blade of the Immortal, you don't want anything to get in the way of the art.
I haven't read any manga comics, I know someone who owns several, and I'm planning on taking a look at them..I prefer watching Anime myself. Right now, my favorite series is Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040, Heard of it?
I used to watch the original Bubblegum Crisis OAVs--which of course had the character designs by Kenichi Sonoda, and liked them pretty well. Bubblegum Crash I gave up on after one video. AFAIK the newest version may be better--I did read an article on it a while back. It's certainly a long-lived franchise!
I have less patience with animation than with printed material, for some reason. I can't sit still for most anime. Maybe it's the squeaky little voices. I like vampire anime for the weirdly entertaining Japanese take on Western religion, I like crime-show anime and some science fiction, especially the Miyazaki-style steampunk with 19th-century-type airships. Giant robots, high school students and superdeformed antics mostly leave me cold. One of the few exceptions to my high school anime phobia is Great Teacher Onizuka.
I don't read all that *many* genres--I go deep rather than wide. For crime drama, Gunsmith Cats and Cowboy Bebop. For vampires, Hellsing totally rocks my world. STRONG stomach required, however. For science fiction, Appleseed and Digital Target Grey (I SAID I was old). Exaxxion is all right, and of course it's got Sonoda's art, but eh--it's a little too close to giant robo for me. And another oldie, Bastard!!, which is magical (anti)heroic fantasy. It helps to appreciate that one if you're a '70s metal fan and have played Dungeons & Dragons.
For sweeter, more family-oriented things that still have some edge, Rumiko Takahashi is the queen, though she also does some nastier stuff like Mermaid's Scar and Inu-Yasha--that woman is prolific. Ranma 1/2, Maison Ikkoku, et cetera. Can't stand Urusei Yatsura, but that's REALLY old.
Agreed, no problem in sending something like that a few months late. If anything, they'll be more likely to know where your gift is when the kid gets to the right size. Everyone has moved at one point or another and can relate.