22 February 2012

Taipei International Book Expo – Manga Exhibition

       Okay, I know I said next post would be the review of D Gray Man, but I just had to mention TIBE (Taipei International Book Expo), because it was so awesome.  I promise to be good and keep on track after this article.  Sumimasen, mina-san.  m(._.)m
My expression at TIBE . . .scary, I know
       Quick background: once a year Taipei has an international book expo that usually has three exhibits: international books, children’s books, and ::trumpets blare:: manga!!  (^o^)  Last year was my first time to go because I was invited by a student who worked there, and at the time I didn’t know about the manga exhibition.  When I got there and saw the building and all the manga posters . . . @_@  Well, let’s just say I was pretty happy. (total understatement of the year: me = (o))
        My poor husband, who I had dragged along with me, waited patiently while I toured every major Taiwan manga publishing company’s stall and collectibles shop.  At the start of the exhibition, mangakas from Japan had been there to sign autographs and answer questions, but I figured it was okay to miss them.  As much as I am dying to ask a ton of questions to my favorite mangakas, I would be horribly shy.  Mostly because I (thanks to my bright red hair) usually look like an eternal cosplay of Ronald McDonald’s little sister (oh, my Taiwanese friends can be so cruel).  And being the only foreigner there, I was definitely feeling shy. 
        This year same story, except I decided not to drag my husband along. (Last year’s after-manga exhibit conversation went something like, “Honey, you are XX-years old.  I say this because I love you: You need help.”  Needless to say those words did not go over well with me . . . (°□° ┻━┻)  Besides, on my own I can shop and buy my favorite collectibles without the guilt!!  So I entered in to the manga fan’s heaven and shopped.
        Now TIBE – Manga Exhibit is good for two main reasons 1) it is the best place to buy COMPLETE manga series, or to pick up a volume missing from a collection.  2) It is also the best place to get cheap manga/anime collectibles (way cheaper than in the States).  Since I was up-to-date on all my series (you don’t want to know how many that is) I went straight for all the collectible stalls and browsed around.
Precious artbookses . . .
Unfortunately, D Gray Man’s popularity is waning so it was hard to find good items, and when I asked the staff they warned me I wouldn’t find much.  While I was walking around in my dejected state, I hopped into Tong Li’s (a major manga publisher in Taiwan) stall and there!  Sitting so innocently on a shelf was the D Gray Man Art Book!!  I’d priced it on Ebay – the cheapest – 50USD . . . but at the exhibit it was about 15USD.  Well, I snatched it up just as the exhibition was closing, and ran back to the subway chuckling to myself with glee.  (Later my husband asked why I hadn’t gotten a few copies so we could sell them on ebay . . . +_+  . . . but I’m not that clever . . . sigh . . .)
Still I would qualify this TIBE as a success!!  If you are in Taiwan during the next Book Expo and you love manga, visiting TIBE is a must!  ::still hugging artbook::  You won’t be sorry!
And if anyone reads this insane post, what anime/manga items do you collect?  Are you crazy about artbooks like me?  Or something even cooler?  (I’m not really that cool . . . sigh . . . )

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