Collecting: Pleasure VS Sense

I like collecting stuff a lot. Having hobbies and collecting things is a huge part of who I am. Every time I get a new video game, book or blu-ray, I love to display it on my shelf. I even subscribe to collectors on YouTube just to think “One day…”. I’m all for pleasure through collecting. Who hasn’t bought a new game or comic on a really bad day to perk themselves up? But ever since I got back into manga I had to ask myself:

“Does it make sense to buy certain things just for the pleasure in owning it?”

 9 times out of 10, a good manga will get picked up for an anime series. Now don’t get me wrong, I love reading a good story through manga. Imagining things like voices, movement and heck even color are powerful ways for me to become immersed. But let’s be honest, I’m human; animated scenes with color, music and voices are too attractive for me to turn away from.

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See I’m the type of guy who owns Majora’s Mask on N64, Wii and 3DS (and was even considering getting it on Wii U Virtual Console). I’m a young guy with no real expenses yet, it’s the time where I can do stuff like that. But I don’t like regretting purchases. It freaking sucks sending hard earned money down the tube for something I didn’t fully need or want.

I just finished reading JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 1 and despite being considered the worst JoJo part, I liked it. But then I considered just how many volumes of the manga I would need to buy to catch up. Then I thought about the massively popular and still somewhat new anime. Why would I pay a couple hundred bucks for something I can instead watch for 6 dollars a month on Crunchyroll, or free anywhere else? The most common answers would be, to read the original format (the anime supposedly stays very loyal), just to have the books, and support the manga industry.

Yeah I get the pleasure of seeing it on my shelf once I’m doing reading it, but what else? Where’s the sense?

This post is really just a venting tool for me in order to stop buying so much stuff; I’m not trying to make you question your purchases wholeheartedly. I firmly believe in putting love and money into the things you like. But for myself I have to draw lines, so I decided no more manga with anime adaptations (unless they’re like really, really bad animes).

Sometimes we need to put restrictions on ourselves for not only sensible reasons but financial reasons too. I couldn’t buy all of Dragon Ball Z on DVD because of how long that show is and how expensive one set it. But Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo and FLCL, much shorter shows that can be packed in one disc: worth it.

These voluntary and involuntary restrictions are not a bad thing though:

collection

A small but personalized collection can be just
as valuable as a massive one.

I’ve recently thought of a way to make collecting even more fun; goals. I follow YouTubers who try to have every video game from certain developers. Mini goals like that can inspire originality in a collection and thus make it overall more special to own.

Personally I can’t wait to display my manga collection because most people will say “Why not just watch the anime?!” and then I can just explain that there are some amazing stories not suited for animation.

Or take the Wii U for example, it never fully took off as a console, and because of that in a few years down the line having a well versed Wii U collection with games like Tokyo Mirage Sessions or Bayonetta 2 will be seen as special or maybe even rare.

We as collectors never quite know what the external value of our collection may be five years down the line and that’s part of the excitement. But for me, really, the joy in collecting is making a library that reflects all my interests and loves.

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So guys, have you ever had to restrict your collecting habits for monetary or sensible reasons? Do you have a certain theme to your collections? I’d love to know! Thanks for reading.

Would Any of My Readers be Interested in… (2/18/17 Update)

Some samples of my writings and short stories?

What’s up guys. As you know, PlayingWithThoughts has become a place on the internet where I can talk about the things I love in a way I love doing it- writing!

But you see, my love for writing exceeds my love for writing about video games. Ever since I’ve been a kid I’ve had story ideas I thought were “cool”, but I usually quit them for a lot of reasons. Maybe I could finally finish an idea if some people who aren’t close family and friends read them? Maybe it could be like a “Short Story Sunday” type thing?

If you’re not interested and want more video game and anime stuff, don’t be afraid to let me know. Thanks for any and all input!

Pluto Review [Manga]

-by Dylan D

After a decade long absence from the manga world I decided to jump back in, and the first series I’ve completed is Naoki Urasawa’s Pluto. Quick note, Pluto is a re-imagining of a famous Astro Boy arc. I know nothing about Astro Boy so I may miss out on some key elements. Sorry!

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Story:

Pluto takes place in a futuristic world where humans and robots coexist. Robots are still a fairly new form of life and the world is adapting by giving them rights through the Robot Laws and whatnot. The older model robots look like something from The Jetsons meanwhile the newer models are indistinguishable from humans. The story of Pluto is simple, there is a serial killer out there targeting one robot and one human at a time, and it’s up to Europol Detetive Geischt and his peers to solve the case.

My only gripes with the storytelling is the constant jumping around from character to character. It gave me more details on each characters motives but it also cost me my concentration on certain events. As far as I can tell, the perspective changes are a staple of Urasawa’s work.

Obviously being a manga series, the main appeal of Pluto is it’s story, so I won’t go into any details for the sake of spoilers. Instead, I’ll talk about why I liked Pluto personally.

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Themes:

I really like philosophy and one topic that always crams itself into my mind is; “What is a person?” See, I know what a human is, but a person; that can be different, right? Pluto takes full advantage of the very concept in it’s first volume and throughout the rest of it’s series. You see the kid in the picture above? That’s Atom, the most advanced robot in the world. If you weren’t told, you wouldn’t be able to tell he’s a robot. He is programmed to think and feel. Is he a person? What about those older model robots that look clunky and inhuman? They are both robots and therefore equal.

I could go on forever…

Not only are there themes of personhood, the concepts of racism and antiwar ideals are prevalent through Pluto’s short 8-volume run. If you’re not interested in any of that deep stuff, there is still a good murder mystery here.

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Art:

On a more simple and cosmetic level, Urasawa’s art is fantastic. The big cities or the landscapes you see above are amazing and almost feel criminal to be jammed into just on a single frame of a manga series. It never dropped in quality and looking back on it, it gave Pluto a very human feel, funny since most of the protagonists are robots.

Unfortunately I can’t say much more about Pluto without spoiling it. The art is stellar and the story, while sometimes convoluted for my simple mind, has many powerful messages. I would certainly recommend giving it a read, it’s one of the standout manga with no anime adaption.

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I know it’s kind of short but this is my first manga review and wasn’t too sure how to go about it. Let me know what you guys thought and any recommendations for further manga reviews down the line!

My Top 5 Most Random Amazon Purchases

-by Dylan D

It’s 1:41am and I just purchased all of Part 1 of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (God I hope it’s good), and it sparked up a funny thought. How many times have we (I) been on the web and just said “I’m buying this.”? For me, far too many times. Most of my paychecks fade because of spontaneous purchases. So while I wait to see if I just wasted a good chunk of change, it’s time to look over my most random Amazon purchases. I won’t be ranking them by how worth it the item ended up being, just by how spontaneous the purchase was for me.

Side note: This could actually be really fun and hilarious if anyone else did this. So please, if you’re out of blog ideas, take this one!

 

5. Chrono Cross and Final Fantasy IX

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I like collecting for my PS1 and I decided “why not pick up some awesome JRPG classics?” After hearing from one of my favorite YouTubers that Chrono Cross was severely underappreciated, and from multiple people that Final Fantasy IX puts of serious competition as the best of the series, I bought both! Both fairly cheap and hey, two more games to the collection.

Was it worth it: Nah. Not even close. Chrono Cross was cool with it’s scenery but I lost all interest in like the first dungeon. Everything about it felt so weird and somehow unimportant. Final Fantasy IX, not for me either. Shame. I’ll try them again someday. Maybe I don’t like JRPGS as much as I think I do…

4. Volumes 2-8 of Pluto

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Pluto is a murder-mystery manga series written by one of the most beloved Mangakas of all time, Naoki Urasawa. Volume 1 was a fantastic read that had me intrigued and pondering upon deep questions like “what makes a person?” So like the dumbo kid I am I bought the rest of the series in one big order, not so cheap.

Was it worth it? Kind of, actually. Volume 1 was my favorite but Pluto had many good moments of interesting story. The moments leading up to the ending (not the actual ending) were good too. I didn’t enjoy it as much as other people, but seeing how it’s highly acclaimed, I think I might return to it one day to see if I like it better. A good and slightly complicated manga. (Please be better JoJo!)

3. Wacom Drawing Tablet

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“I’m gonna be the next Egoraptor” God. If only I could stop myself. I SWORE I would draw everyday and get good at flash animation. I wanted to make cool cartoons and liven up peoples day on YouTube. But damn, animating is hard. I give major props to anyone who does it. Here’s to giving up!

Was it worth it? Ha ha. No

2. Ready Player One

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I like video games. I stay inside too much. I wanted to read a book where somebody like me wins. It was like 2am (shopping hour I guess!) and I knew I wanted it. I had only just gotten a job and didn’t have much money- but I did it.

Was it worth it? Yeah! Ready Player One is a really fun book that references a ton of video games, TV shows, movies, anime and all pop culture. It’s a geeks dream. I won’t lie, it started getting tedious to read around the end because after like 150 pages of video game related stories and strategies, it felt repetitive, but the ending was perfect for the tale it told! Great book. Can’t wait for the movie.

1. Lighting Equipment

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In another attempt of being YouTube famous I decided to buy some much needed lighting equipment, like the “almost-pro” stuff. I was scared because I had just stopped working (still not…) and it was a big purchase.

Was it worth it? The first night I got it; I invited some friends over for a photoshoot and I had a blast. It was easy to set up and I felt like a damn professional, plus it was fun. It also helps with my videos. So yes. It was very worth it.

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So there you have it! I’m very bad at money management but sometimes I get rewarded with something cool (PLEASE JOJO BE COOL). Thanks for reading, and like I said above, I would love to see others use this idea!