Random Saturday question: voluminous

It’s Saturday, and I’m unmotivated, but I feel like I should do one small, concrete thing. So welcome to the first installment of the random Saturday question!

Today, I ask you: of which manga series have you read the most volumes or the largest number of pages?

My answer is after the jump.

73 Responses to Random Saturday question: voluminous

  1. shannon says:

    By looking at my shelf, I’ll say the 23 volumes of Fruits Basket, although Skip Beat will probably beat it when new volumes are released. 21 volumes are Kare Kano, Skip Beat and Nana…

  2. Joy says:

    Same answer as yours! And before One Piece, it was Naruto. I have such a weakness for long Jump series.

  3. Faith says:

    18 volumes of Monster. I’ll be topping that with the 24 volumes of 20th Century Boys.

    • davidpwelsh says:

      So that puts Urasawa at the top of your most-read manga-ka list, at the very least. Did you read Pluto?

      • Faith says:

        Yeah, so I guess of Urasawa I’ve read 37 volumes? 9 for Pluto, 18 for Monster, 10 so far of 20th Century Boys. And I have 1 volume of Billy Bat in Japanese that I got in New York this past weekend. XD I am an Urasawa nerd, methinks. I drew Kenji in one of the panels of my upcoming GN. Hopefully I don’t get sued.

  4. Oh, ugh. Why why *why* was I logged in with that old fannish identity? Delete that response if you can. To repeat:

    I think Fruits Basket & Fullmetal Alchemist currently tie for me at 23 volumes each. Though when I finally get the last few volumes of Basara, that will change. I haven’t read any of the really massive series with 30+ volumes.

    • I think you’ve read into the upper 20s of Bleach, haven’t you?

      • Oh, good point. I’d forgotten Bleach! Heh. Yes, that’s true, I’ve read 29 volumes of Bleach.

        I’m sort of sad that that’s my answer. 😀

      • I wonder if re-reads count. I’ve re-read certain long series multiple times, like Hikaru no Go (now at 21 vols), NANA (at 21 vols), Please Save My Earth (21 vols) and Banana Fish (19 vols). If I’ve read a 21-vol series through 3 or 4 times, does that count as 63 or 84 volumes? Hee.

  5. James Moar says:

    One Piece as well. Since the recent catch-up schedule, I think it holds the record for most volumes of any manga available in English.

  6. Eric Rupe says:

    Vagabond with all eight VizBig editions released so far. After that, it’s Eden: It’s an Endless World and Gantz at 12 volumes each.

  7. It’s InuYasha for me. I’ve read 45 volumes of it so far.

    I think One Piece is second. I’ve read 30 volumes of that.

  8. Connie says:

    One Piece for me as well, then Dragonball. There are several with with 30+ volumes I’ve read, too. Ranma 1/2, Case Closed, Oh My Goddess, Bleach, Berserk, and Eyeshield 21. And From Eroica With Love, though comprehension is questionable.

  9. Kris says:

    Looking at my shelves, I’ve got 23 volumes of Fruits Basket, so that’s the longest series I’ve read (fully). Skip Beat! is up to 21, 22 is out this December, and it’s up to 25 in Japan. And since I’m technically all caught up with the current new chapters…Skip Beat! wins for me.
    Trigun and Love Hina follow up with their 16 and 14 volumes.

  10. Eric Henwood-Greer says:

    Should I get over my shonen snobism and give One Piece a chance? I tried to watch some of the anime dub on tv one afternoon and it just seemed kinda manic–but I was pretty hungover…

    I suppose Please Save My Earth wins for me at 21 volumes, though Nana is at the same volume number, and has some larger tankoubons. Banana Fish would be after that, at 19.

    • James Moar says:

      Well, it is a pretty manic series — but it makes that style work for it, it’s always inventive and it’s cleverer than it looks. And it can twist the emotional knife when it wants to.

    • davidpwelsh says:

      If you do decide to give One Piece a try, just know that it takes a while (like… nine volumes) to go from very good to genius. The omnibuses are cheap, though. And I tend to consider it post-shounen, though I’d be hard-pressed to explain why. It’s just really, really good in ways that feel demographically immune.

      • Faith says:

        I’m going to have to give Once Piece another try… I got to vol 5 and was like “ehhhh,” and then gave up.

      • Eric Henwood-Greer says:

        I respect your taste so much (don’t get a big ego or anything 😛 ) that I picked up the first two BIG editions*. I admit I disregarded it partly because it’s on tv here in Canada *all the time*–which usually means it’s an anime show I won’t like. And I’m a shonen snob. 😛

        *this doesn’t mean I’ll be reading it anytime soon–I have all of Moon Child and ES, and some French titles in line before.

      • davidpwelsh says:

        Okay, don’t punch me, but things really fall into place in the third omnibus. The eighth volume is, I think, the turning point.

      • Eric Henwood-Greer says:

        As my All My Children post proves, I can wait… So far it seems amazingly diverting (maybe I read too much shoujo?) but not much else. (3/4 thru vol 1–sorry Moon Child and ES, both manga I love but I have to re-read past vols before I get back up to date with)

    • ABCBTom says:

      I was a shonen snob, too. I would refuse to read shonen series. Then I read One Piece. Heartily recommended.

      • DeBT says:

        Like David says, it can take a long time before you can get used to One Piece’s sense of pacing. I was always aggravated by the early stories which oftentimes tended to put off the fights with the bad guys, and how Luffy would always get stuck by something or other. Not to mention the annoying flashbacks which would happen in the midst of a climax. (The most noteable one being Chopper’s flashback interrupting Luffy’s punch to King Wapol)

        Also, unlike most Shonen series, it wasn’t an easy series to read by picture alone. You NEEDED to read the word balloons to understand the story.

        It wasn’t until after the Skypia arc (chapter 300) that I could relax and enjoy the chapters after that side story. Not to mention that Foxy was a welcome reprieve from Eneru and reminded me of the fun Luffy had fighting Buggy the Clown.

        Another fault with the series – it can take multiple volumes before a subplot tickling the back of your head is finally resolved. There were times I wanted the Alabasta arc to just END so they could continue their adventures doing something else. Ironically, it wasn’t until the 2-year stint of the Water 7/Ennis Lobby arc that almost mirrored the Alabasta arc that I began to appreciate Oda’s maniac storytelling. If you ever manage to make it that far, you’ll be able to see why it’s so popular.

        This is one of those series where I’d recommend you read the scanlations of, to get past the annoying early chapters and hurry up to the good stuff. Around that time, you’ll probably want to slow down and take your time. A LOT happens around when it starts getting even more awesome, and you’d want to be able to take it all in.

        Interestingly enough, although I didn’t like the scanlated Skypia arc, I enjoyed the authentic translated Viz version better. Maybe it was seeing the images on paper instead of a screen, maybe it was the consistant naming, or it could’ve been a different translation.

        Either way, here’s to braving new territory!

      • Eric Henwood-Greer says:

        I’m glad I’m not alone. It’s funny, you read online about so many shoujo snobs,and the shonen snobery seems harder to find.

        (Though part of it is just the daunting task of investing in such a long series… More and more the short shoujo classic works appeal. When Rose of Versailles at 9 volumes, plus some side stories, seemed *long*. I met up with a friend who I did Lit with, and she was saying how before she had to study novels, she relished long ones–and now she’d rarely even touch one over 300 pages cuz it just seemed like too much. That’s how I’m starting to feel like with manga).

  11. DerikB says:

    Lone Wolf and Cub (28 volumes) withmy current obsession Vagabond close behind (15 volumes with three more VizBIg’s arriving in the mail today!). Then Phoenix (12).

  12. Aaron says:

    all 23 volumes of Fruits basket three times

  13. In terms of numbers of volumes, I do believe Vagabond is the winner at 32. For actual page count, though, thanks to each volume being approx 300 pages (versus Vagabond‘s 200 pages) the winner is all 28 volumes of Lone Wolf and Cub.

  14. John Jakala says:

    Ranma 1/2, all 36 volumes in the series.

    After that it’s a tie between Bleach & Vagabond, with both at 32 volumes and counting. (The first series that came to mind was Oh My Goddess, but when I went to look at the list of published volumes I realized I gave up on the series before it hit the 30’s.)

    • davidpwelsh says:

      It’s so interesting when one decides to give up on a series after a fairly long investment in it. I realized that I’d stuck with Case Closed (or Detective Conan) for a long time and then stopped after a couple of dozen volumes. And the weird thing is that I dropped it because I heard how many volumes (ongoing) were still to come and thought, “You know, I just can’t see myself enjoying that much of this, so I’ll quit while I’m ahead.” It must have been how the cast and crew of The Mary Tyler Moore Show felt.

      • I can’t see myself buying and housing all 60+ volumes of Case Closed, which is why I’m happy my local library carries it. It’ll be there if I feel like dabbling.

      • Eric Henwood-Greer says:

        This is my prob–and probably why I invest less and less in long manga series. I haven’t given up on All My Children in 10+ years of crapiness, I’ve gone to countless Depeche Mode concerts supporting bad albums….

      • davidpwelsh says:

        Oh, Eric. I stuck through a lot with All My Children, but that last McTavish run did me in for good. You truly have stamina.

      • Eric Henwood-Greer says:

        I am simply in awe that a fellow manga fan knows even who McTavish is. (I will spare you my thesis on why she’s not as bad as many think, though…). Broderick, Nixon’s co writer for most of the 80s and for the best gay era of the 90s is back as assistant headwriter. But, network politics have soaps doomed I think.

        *coff* Anyway 🙂

      • davidpwelsh says:

        By sparing me your McTavish defense, you spare yourself my scathing rebuttal. I’ve participated in fora where you cannot mention the conception of Colby Chandler without expecting bloodshed.

      • Eric Henwood-Greer says:

        Well Jake was a wet noodle back then anyway 😛 (I hated that casting) and I admit I was in Europe and this was pre youtube–so I missed big chunks. I was one of the few who liked Palmer’s Nazi artwork though.

        I think McTavish is a SMART writer who follows orders. I’ve watched her crap at One Life to Live (god I have no life to live) and she’s a yes man (ma’am?). She can be brilliant when inspired (Janet in a well was what made me an AMC fan from a snotty “Why are you watching this crap” 11 year old), but will happily kill her best ideas for anyone in charge.

        Which actually sounds like some manga writers I know….

      • Eric Henwood-Greer says:

        Ha. She also did increible *scene* work–when her name would be script writer you knew she had invested into it–Bianca had a few during that ordeal, the death of Leora, David and Anna’s child was another.

        When I mentioned I loved AMC as a teen and my teachers were aghast at that–andyou said you watched I thought you were kidding. LOL

        Anyway, yeah…

      • davidpwelsh says:

        You think I jest? I can practically quote that scene where drunk Liza told Marian how lonely she was.

      • Eric Henwood-Greer says:

        Not remotely as epic as Erica’s woman of the year speech–which an ex of mine can quote verbatim. (Love and miss Liza and Marian though)

    • Eric Henwood-Greer says:

      And of course I mean Natalie in a well…

      (and I will say Kevin Shefield’s coming out, which was a story she instigated, helped me come out–so I’m terribly biased)

      • davidpwelsh says:

        Her first stint had some good stuff going for it, I will concede. Her second offered miserable torture like Camille, Mateo in a coma (and still talking, damn it), and other atrocities. But I will concede that it also resulted in Gillian (who I liked), Bianca’s eating disorder story, and a few other nuggets of gold.

        But for the most part, I think she’s an abysmal, knee-jerk writer who’ll sacrifice character in a minute for ratings-driven sensation, and I think she’s exactly the kind of writer who’s pretty much killed soap operas.

      • Eric Henwood-Greer says:

        She follows orders. She’s a hack–I totally agree. And you didn’t mention Hayley’s tatoo…

        *never thought his worlds of shoujo manga love and soap opera fascination would mix*

        Her first stint was largely Agnes Nixon–I admit. That became apparent when I watched the last few years of Loving and Agnes was EP. Yet, I dunno. I think she gets the show more than some who have come since (and before). I think she DOES write for character–even when it’s insulting lesbian rape type stories.

      • davidpwelsh says:

        I will concede that her horrible, plot-hacky ideas can sometimes result in beautiful scenes. Lesbian Bianca being raped by her sister’s spurned fiance? HORRIBLE IDEA. Bianca telling her best friend about the trauma? BEAUTIFUL SCENE. Beautifully written, magnificently acted, exactly in the show’s traditional sweet spot. But still… plot-hackery.

        I should write a post about my five favorite All My Children stories so we can just go on for weeks.

  15. Naruto, up to . . . 30-something? Maybe even in the 40s? Outside of that, I’ve started so many new series it takes a while for them to build up. Bleach and Oh My Goddess come to mind as second-placers, but I don’t think I’ve read past volume 10 of either.

  16. lys says:

    I think I read all of Boys Over Flowers (except Jewelry Box) so that’s 36? Series I own the most of are only in the low-20s, though (Fruits Basket, Kare Kano, PSME—and Kaze Hikaru currently at 18). The author whose work I have the most of is Banri Hidaka, with 33 volumes (plus a couple more on order) 😀

    Sometimes I wish shounen manga didn’t tend to be quite so long. Going into a series knowing it’s got 20+ (or 30, 40, 50+) volumes is intimidating!

    • I find shounen super quick and easy to read, though, so it doesn’t seem so long when you’re in the midst of it.

      • lys says:

        Good point. And I know my library’s got a pretty good selection… (I just never manage to find the volume 1s or 2s when I’m there, and by the time I get to my computer I’m not thinking about requesting books anymore).

  17. JRB says:

    Series with more than 10-12 volumes are kind of intimidating, so I think the longest that I’ve read is the 15 volumes of From Eroica With Love that CMX put out before their untimely death. Tramps Like Us comes in second at 14 volumes (all tracked down from used-book sellers, since it was out of print before I got there). Junjo Romantica is pulling into third place with 12 volumes so far, although I’m not sure why I’m still buying it, since I never liked it very much to begin with…

  18. Rij says:

    I guess One Piece or Detective Conan would be the longest I’ve read. One Piece is at volume 53 here and Detective Conan is at volume 62. But I haven’t actually read all of Conan, some of it I’ve just glanced at, so I don’t know how much of that would count. One Piece I’ve read all of, so I guess that wins. I own neither of them.

    The longest series I own is Full Metal Alchemist, 25 volumes are out here now. Two more to go.

    The longest series I own in English is Ouran. Though I’m slowly collecting a few longer ones so it will be overtaken soon.

  19. thirstygirl says:

    Boys Over Flowers, followed by Bleach. However Boys Over Flowers has finished whereas Bleach has dozens of volumes yet to be translated so the standing will swap over soon.
    Fruits Basket, Nana, Vagabond, and Skip Beat are the next cluster. I think about trying One Piece but I already have so many long running series that I’m buying.

  20. shelly says:

    It’s got to be Naruto. Or Inuyasha. But I’ve read through Naruto twice. Then maybe Basara? But I can’t afford long series like those anymore.

  21. SafetyGirl0 says:

    Boys Over Flowers, at 36 volumes, plus Jewelry Box.
    Then comes Kaze Hikaru, which I’m buying in both Japanese and English. The Japanese edition is up to 28 volumes and still has a looong way to go, guessing by who’s still alive. But I can’t really say that I’ve READ up to 28 yet, as my Japanese skills are low.
    Red River came in at 28 volumes, as did Rurouni Kenshin (I have the Viz regular release as well as the Japanese kanzenban editions).
    Then there’s a lot in the lower 20’s. Fullmetal Alchemist ends at what, 25?

    • Rij says:

      FMA will be 27 volumes. I think the last volume hasn’t yet been released in Japan. The last chapter was published in July.

  22. juu says:

    Well, the longest series I’ve ever read is Dragon Ball(42 vol).
    Generally I prefer shorter series, not only because the shelf space is limited. For this reason I try hard not to start One Piece, but it is tough.
    Other long series I read include Ranma(38 vol, have skipped a few) and beloved Beck(34 vol).

  23. Caddy C says:

    Hmmm, probably Naruto at 40+ volumes. Runner-up is Rurouni Kenshin, which I loyally followed until the end of its 28 volume run.

    I’ve got to give a nod to my all-time favorite though – in sheer number of series within the same series, the award goes to Saiyuki. 9 volumes of the original, 10 volumes of Reload and 4 volumes of Gaiden.

  24. DeBT says:

    If we’re going by the Manga volumes we own, I’d have to echo Lone Wolf & Cub, Please Save my Earth, Swan, From Eroica with Love and Phoenix. An interesting factoid – LW&C has as many pages as DragonBall. My sister’s collected all 21 Vols. of Nana and Eyeshield 21 up to Vol. 27, the rematch with the White Knights.

    If we’re talking about scanlated Mangas, I’d have to include Glass Mask, Dragon Quest, and the reigning champion, Hajime no Ippo (at 900+[!] chapters). If you thought Detective Conan was daunting, it’s no wonder no company’s brave enough to start the daunting task that’s Hajime no Ippo. (Save for France, which is absolutely fearless in such things)

    • kireipan says:

      Ippo and Glass Mask for me also! I buy Ippo in Chinese and it takes up a heck of a lot shelf space ^^;

  25. Naruto, where I’m in the low- to mid-forties, I think. I haven’t read any in months though. The next longest series that I’ve read was Samurai Deeper Kyo, clocking in at 38 volumes in total. I must say, SDK – for all of its issues – isn’t quite as frustrating a series as Naruto. SDK started and quickly displayed a given set of problems (sexism being the largest), and ended with that exact same set of problems, plus a little of the crazy powers-creep that almost all the shounen fighting series seem to get. Naruto, on the other hand, started off with a given set of problems (didn’t like the main character), and grew entire new ones (all of the strong female characters I once admired dropped like flies as Kishimoto realized he had an unmanageably large cast). At least with Kyo you knew what to expect.

  26. judi(togainunochi) says:

    Bleach at 32(I think), Naruto 35, Prince of Tennis 27, GetBackers 25. Nodame 16, Hunter x Hunter 17, D-Gray Man 15. I have all of Monster, but have not finished. I’ve started the Viz Big edition of Vagabond at 4. I have many(too many) that are up in 10-12 vols. Really, I have too much. >.<

  27. Jade Harris says:

    Ah, that would definitely be Monster.

    Fullmetal Alchemist is primed to overtake it, but I’ve lost a lot of my steam for that series over the past year or so and I don’t know why. I think some of the gender mysticism it started getting into just reminded me too much of some of the things that irk me about trad Wicca.

  28. Jade Harris says:

    Duh…all this talk about shonen series totally made me forget about Nana.

    Nana is number one for me, Monster and FMA second and third, respectively.

  29. […] Welsh really knows how to get a conversation started. This time, he asks his readers which manga they have read the most volumes of, and he gets plenty of […]

  30. Erica says:

    Other than One Piece, which has simply beenrunning the longest of all the series I’ve read, the biggest contender is Hana no Asuka-gumi, which ran 27 original volumes, 6 “gaiden” volumes, 2 novels and 8 new series for a grand total of 43 volumes.

    If we count all the Yuri Hime issues, we’re also well into the 30s, if not the 40s



    Hungry for Yuri? Have some Okazu!

  31. […] a consistent basis. (If you’re interested in more long-running manga series, check out this discussion thread at The Manga Curmudgeon.) Similar Posts: Coming Up: Manga Due August 2010 § What’s Up […]

  32. Myk says:

    Dragonball – until I´ve actually read all of the One Piece volumes sitting on my shelf.

    Followed by Monster, 20th CB, Hikaru No Go and Lone Wolf and Cub.

    On a different note, since you´re enjoying One Piece so much, have you tried Fairy Tail. That should be available in english, right!?

    • davidpwelsh says:

      I’ve read about four volumes of FT and enjoyed them. I should check back in when I need to pass the time between One Piece volumes, especially since I remember someone noting that FT does well with the Bechdel Test.

      • ZeroSD says:

        It gets stronger 2-3 arcs in too.

        And on the test, before long it has a 50/50 female/male main character ratio, so it aces it.

      • Myk says:

        Fairy Tail was a nice surprise. It moved from “let´s give it a try” status to “gimme the next volume already” within the first four volumes.

  33. Anna says:

    For me, probably Basara and Boys Over Flowers. Although it is pretty easy to read a ton of volumes at once with the Vagabond VizBig volumes.

  34. Heather says:

    I have alot of manga of various lengths, but it’s my Rumiko Takahashi collection that puts all mangaka to shame. I have double dipped many times to be able to see some of her series before the English releases, plus stuff that is incomplete. *cough* Urusei Yatsura. Easily I have over 100 Takahashi manga volumes between Ranma 1/2, Inu Yasha and UY, plus with Rin-ne’s set up I think that series will go on for quite awhile too.

  35. Althalus says:

    Top 10 of long manga I’ve read (and own):

    Dragon Ball (42,c)
    3×3 Eyes / Sazan Aizu (40,c)
    Ranma 1/2 (37,c)
    Boys over Flowers / Hana Yori Dango (37,c)
    Oh My Goddess! (35)
    City Hunter (35,c) in 32 kanzenban
    Hajime no Ippo (34)
    Urusei Yatsura (34,c) in 18 bunkoban
    Eyeshield 21 (32)
    Angel Heart (31)

  36. ZeroSD says:

    Lesse, like most of the rest of the list, it has to be One Piece.

    Longest shoujos I’ve read are Fruits Basket and Angel Sanctuary.

  37. Myk says:

    Oh, and I forgot Captain Tsubasa – 30+ volumes.

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