Everyone likes handy web resources for keeping tabs on their reading / viewing habits. For me, having consumed way more anime and manga than most would consider healthy, I’ve reached a point where I’m constantly asking ‘What’s next?’
In aide of that, beyond the usual resources such as Crunchyroll and Anime News Network, I’ve come to collate a certain set of bookmarked web links that I regularly return to to keep tabs on new releases and recommendations.
This is my No. 1 go-to point, generally out of convenience for what new UK releases are coming up in the next few months, and to sate my curiosity about what’s probably pre-ordering/selling best. Unlike the Japanese anime Blu-Ray/DVD market, we don’t get weekly sales tallies, so I’ve found looking at this page is generally one of the best metrics for seeing what’s ‘doing well’ in the UK market.
Ditto – the above reasons. As almost all UK releases are ports of US releases, looking at this US page generally gives a good idea of what the UK will be getting a few months further down the line. That said, with players like Discotek – there’s still a vast swathe of stuff we simply *don’t* get.
Looking at the French anime market throws up some really gems and curios. We’re only just across the channel from them, and they use the same DVD region code, but due to their unique market and historic relationship with anime, get some stuff I’d absolutely *love* to see come over here. Chiefly, classic shows like Captain Future, Grendizer, Saint Seiya etc.
Ditto the above reasons, but for manga. I always use this for new manga inspiration, and to see what’s selling well – even more so since the New York Times discontinued their weekly Top 10 manga bestseller charts. The Top 10 on Amazon is usually locked out with shonen stuff, but you’ll often get some interesting insights into the kind of stuff that *does* break through the shonen lock-in – usually ‘graphic novel’ style releases like the lovely editions of Jojos and BLAME currently being put out.
This isn’t exclusive to anime – but hey, if you’re interested in Japanese cinema too, then you’re in luck. I use this to keep tabs of all the Japanese films I’ve ever seen – adding them to my ever expanding watchlist. This list auto-updates based on IMDB’s popularity metrics, so it’ll give a good idea of what Japanese films are ‘popular’ right now.
I use this list to check in on ‘new’ manga series – ie. those that started publication in 2015 onward. This is a great way to see what new series (and hence, low in volume count and still easy to jump on board with) are good to start reading, or to get an idea of what series might be likely to get licensed for official English translations soon (precisely because they’re already popular)
I’ve recently been using Goodreads more and more as my main point of call for all reading-related material. I like how it instantly surfaces out all New Releases, volumes that are popular ‘right now’ with a ‘most read this week’ feature, as well as new releases from authors you’ve read before. Super handy!
I’ve found that increasingly MAL’s rating system is becoming more and more unreliable, with arguably *bad* series like Akashic Record scoring over 7.8 – and the upper echelons of the rating system becoming littered with multiple sequels like Gintama. ANN presents an alternate more catered to Western tastes – and I’ve generally found, more accurate in its average user ratings. This page can easily be toggled to display shows from certain time periods (eg. just from the 90s) as well as just TV shows / just films.