OO: What was your first exposure to manga? What made you a true fan? And what ultimately made you a critic?
MB: It’s actually kind of hilarious that I ended up getting into manga, because just weeks before I became a fan, I’d made this big proclamation in my blog at the time about why I could never get into comics or animation. Then a friend finally convinced me to try a shonen manga called Hikaru no Go. I went crazy for it, and that was that. There was a sort of pure optimism regarding the nature of humanity permeating the entire story which really appealed to me at the time. It’s a quality I now associate with a specific genre of manga, but in the moment, I found it very refreshing. After that, I was hooked.
If you want some tips on good manga to start out with, or just want to learn about what it's like to be a book reviewer, be sure to give this interview a quick read.