This one goes in the ranks of those long happy manga swims that colour the world in shades of satisfaction while I'm doing them and that I look back on fondly in after years. Basara, Tokoroten, Karin, RainyWillow, HnG: sunny afternoons in Second Cup and evenings on the sofa, finishing a volume and pulling the next one out. (OK, Tokoroten was more 'OMG I need volume 10 where will I get volume 10 ohh K-chan send me volume 10 sooooon' but there were also some episodes of full-feeding there.)
I'd never have thought I'd have the experience with a Shounen Jump series, and I rather fancy I wouldn't have if I'd been reading in Japanese. But in French, though I can see my impressions have been skewed a touch by the language, it was all sunshine and good times and yeah what *will* happen between Hikaru and Akira when they're older anyway? They'll continue to play go and rival each other and know each other's minds better than anyone else can, and never meet except across a go board (and if you want linguistic stunnedness, I just this minute realized that goban is not a French word at all. 'Les pierres et le goban'- I mean doesn't it sound like a French word to *you*? ^^;;)
And that's why I couldn't write HnG yaoi, or even fic of any kind: cause you'd need another twenty volumes of manga showing Hikaru and Akira playing go to express that kind of long-term and unphysically intimate relationship. I'm also enchanted by Akira's relationship with his father, the absolute no there there-ness of it to the western eye, which I shall appropriate wholesale for certain of my dragon princes. Entertaining *and* useful, the best kind of manga.
So thank you very much incandescens for a happy August and a stunning good read.
Now to wonder why other long series don't leave the same pleasant aftertaste- often leave instead a sense of dreary labour. For sheer bulk I've probably read more Patarillo than any other manga, but that doesn't count- it's not a *series*, it's 64 or however many unrelated tanks: and blessedly the only example I know personally of a series that needs to be shot and put out of its own and everyone else's misery. YYH, which consumed the summer of 1998, obviously was too much fight of the week and lacked the balancing input of a female writer. AS which occupied May '05 was all random nose-following. Tales of the Capital was glossy and without substance, and at ten-is-it? volumes barely in there as a long series. We won't mention Onmyouji for that and other reasons. (Okano Reiko, oy vey.) Even 100 Ghosts (fall of '04) was, well, Ima Ichiko in bunkoubon. Stabbity stab stab stab my eyes my brain stab. If I ever find vols 2-7 in wide-han I'll be a much happier woman, because it repays rereading but I don't want to reread in bunko. Especially as those are all the 'Ritsu has to pass his entrance exams and is eaten by gloomy Thingies' stories, and the sense of cramped oppression is heightened immeasurably by the tiny pages and tiny script.)
Honourable mention would be Konron no Tama, most of which occupied a week in Dec '03, that I can't quite get back into for the later volumes. Yakumo Tatsu, Feb 04, has its moments, certainly, but I read it after an operation and convalescence does things to the long-term memory. I remember almost nothing of it aside from the eerie atmosphere of the first two volumes; and I think I'm still missing the ending. FMA was respectable but somehow failed to grab me. And the new Papuwa, which I love rereading whenever I do it, is y'know Papuwa, and first loves are different. (A week and thirteen years ago, yes.)