Reading Gogo Monster (literally)

May 11, 2010 at 2:57 pm 10 comments

I have Gogo Monster signed out from the library right now. I’m dropping it off on my way home tonight but thought I’d write a bit about it since I’ve had such a *weird* time trying to read it!

First, this thing was due yesterday. I’ve had it for three weeks and hadn’t had the urge to read it (it showed up on the new book list and I threw it on hold since it’s not normally the kind of book I’d buy) and now it’s overdue. So I started out feeling like I had an obligation to read it before returning it which isn’t the best way to approach a book. :)

My reading experience went something like this:

-Threw it in a bag to read at lunch since I was supposed to return it to the library on the way home.
-Pulled it out on the ride to work.
-It’s a hardcover, but the only place the title is shown on the book is on the spine. Weird. I ignored the dull grey side with text and flipped to the colourful part of the book and started reading.
-Thought, “Who are these kids on the bikes and how many of them are there?” and “Why does that little girl think there’s a man in the tap?” and “Who the hell is Yuki? Is he the boy or the rabbit? Is he both? I’m so confused right now.” Flipped back towards the front and saw the words “The End” on a page I had missed and wondered if this is going to be one of those weird arty type books that’s going to be all over the place and is going to make me feel guilty for not liking it since it got such good reviews online. (This happens to me all the time.)
-Realized that I was READING THE BOOK FROM THE WRONG END!! Yes, like this was my first manga ever and I had no idea what I was doing. And I only clued in because I finally noticed the page numbers.

In my defense, I had only been awake for about 1/2 an hour at that point and I really did think that the front would be the visually attractive part of the book cover.

So I chucked it back in my bag because I was disgruntled at that point. I also ignored Gogo Monster at lunch in favour of a trip to the comic store to buy some new manga. I decided to keep it an extra day since I still had guilt (enough to ignore a $.30 overdue fine anyway), but wasn’t exactly feeling warm and fuzzy about it at all.

-Pulled it out at lunch to start reading. It looked long, and I was going to take a short lunch so I figured I’d get about half way through and finish on the streetcar ride to the library.
-Started at the right end of the manga this time.
-Read the oddly coloured pages at the front of the book.
-The story seemed really random right away, but still made more sense than starting at the end did.
-That fell apart about 4 pages in. Was feeling confused again.
-Flipped forward to see if these pages were duplicated in the “regular” part of the book, like they do for coloured pages at the beginning of other manga I had read. If so, would they make more sense somehow?
-DAMNIT!!! Looking at the page numbers, I realized I was reading it backwards AGAIN!

Yes! You have to open the cover, flip to the beginning of the odd coloured pages and read left to right. Then you have to turn the pages past where you just started reading, past the title pages and the story finally starts. But since I was wondering why I had just finished page 7 and the next number shown was 9 I turned back again, because at this point I had lost all faith in this freaking volume being logical. See, in my mind logic would have page 8 be the title page for the chapter… but it’s not. Page 8 is actually the front cover of the book. Arg arg.

Basically, the right to left pagination goes like this:
Cover as page 8, then 7-6-5-4-3-2-1, then 2 black pages, the title page, table of contents, another title page, a map spread, chapter title page, then 9-10-11-etc etc etc.

At this point I didn’t even care what the plot was, I was just annoyed that I had to expend that much energy trying to figure out how the book was laid out!


So the story itself? I ended up really liking it. It’s one of those tales that leaves you wondering if everything is actually happening as shown or if the main characters are just detached from reality. I did like that the adults let one of the students wear a box over his head at school without giving him much grief about it. :) I ended up taking not only my full hour lunch break so I could keep reading, but also snuck in an extra 10 minutes to finish it off. I could see me buying this sometime, and definitely recommending it to friends who are looking for a manga that’s a little out of the ordinary.

But only with a warning to check page numbers before starting.

UPDATE: Partial mystery solved!  bahamut has pointed out that there is actually a dust jacket for this volume which was removed by the library.  I’m so used to NOT having dust jackets on manga (even DMP stopped them) that I didn’t even consider it.  Must try to be more awake when reading in the future….


Entry filed under: manga.

Resolutions are made to be broken Kobato 1 and 2 (and random Canadian sakura pics)

10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. badzphoto  |  May 11, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    that reminds me I need to check this out. Same problem: so many books, so little time.

    Question regarding page number: is it intentional or printing errors? I can’t tell from reading your post :)

    “So I started out feeling like I had an obligation to read it before returning it … :)”
    heh, I’ve done the same with some of the library books.

  • 2. pajcat  |  May 11, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    As far as I can tell it’s intentional, I just think it’s a really odd way of doing things! Especially putting page 8 on the front cover. Really??

    When I finished reading it I was happy I didn’t let such a bad beginning turn me off, but it was close!

    The tricky things about library books is you don’t always know if you’re going to be able to renew them or not… :)

    • 3. badzphoto  |  May 11, 2010 at 4:42 pm

      “As far as I can tell it’s intentional, I just think it’s a really odd way of doing things! ”
      That’s interesting. I’ve reserved a book from my library now :) I’ve been borrowing a lot of manga from the library (I wasn’t aware of interlib loan before). So far, I’ve read Basara, Red River, Firefighter Daigo (based on your rec :) not the whole series but some vols here and there. The nature of the series is such that one can pick up a volume after missing a few and doesn’t feeling missing much. At least that’s the way I feel. I do think I pick up the last 3 just to know the ending :)), Tokyo Boys and Girls (which I like much more than Hot Gimmick or Honey Hunt!) There are some others but my essay is getting too long, heh …

      “The tricky things about library books is you don’t always know if you’re going to be able to renew them or not… :)”
      I know. So I usually try to renew it the day before – it’s usually possible at my local one. If I can’t renew, either I have to read fast or return without reading and borrow again!

  • 4. pajcat  |  May 11, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    Yeah, I’ve decided that even if I end up with a $1 fine it’s still cheaper than buying stuff. I’ve been getting a ton of stuff from the library lately. Right now I have 6 vols of Fairy Tale to pick up and the last 4 of Monster. Sounds like you’re getting a bunch!

    I was excited when they got some emanga on Overdrive that I could download and put on my ereader… then the transfer to my reader didn’t work! Booo! I could still read it on my computer, I guess, but I hate having to do that. I can’t be bothered writing a huge technical help request though. I’m so lazy…

    • 5. badzphoto  |  May 11, 2010 at 10:30 pm

      after I’m done with the shojo I’ve wanted to read, I’ll start One Piece and Fairy Tale :)

      “ereader… then the transfer to my reader didn’t work!”
      That’s disappointing :( I remember reading some blogs regarding manga on ereader (maybe Mangaxanadu?) – can’t remember since I don’t have an ereader.

      • 6. pajcat  |  May 12, 2010 at 7:55 am

        One Piece is awesome and completely blew my budget for a couple of weeks. I was going to be sensible and buy one volume every week or so (since there are so many out right now and I was at volume 17) but then my comic store had a sale… heh heh. I really enjoy it when I read it, but since I did a huge catch up/reading stint I decided to take a break so the wacky pirate hijinx didn’t get tired.

  • 7. Not the end of the world as we know it « MangaBlog  |  May 12, 2010 at 7:29 am

    […] it can’t all be about manga, Cathy is having a really, really hard time reading GoGo Monster, because the layout is so […]

  • 8. bahamut  |  May 12, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    Hmm, I’m pretty sure you read the first 8 pages wrong. The first page wasn’t page 8, it was page -8 (negative 8), so it was counting down. The first page is -8, and you read from there right to left like any other manga. Everything from the black pages to the table of contents are the actual pages 1-8. As for the cover, there’s a slipcase that you probably didn’t get since it was from the library. That’s the actual cover and it looks like this:

    • 9. pajcat  |  May 12, 2010 at 2:14 pm

      That makes sense about the slipcover… I didn’t even think of that. :) We certainly remove the dustjackets off of the books at the medical library I work at.

      I initially tried reading pages 8-1. It didn’t make sense to me until I started by page number (1-8, then 9-on). I just thought it was a really odd layout for a book.

  • 10. Michaelknity  |  August 29, 2017 at 5:31 pm

    wh0cd124791 LIPITOR


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