A couple of weeks ago, the Japan Foundation (Manila) announced that its library has recently acquired a collection of Japanese manga in English. They’ve had a sizeable selection of raw manga for ages but this is the first time (to my knowledge) that translated volumes will make an appearance on their shelves.
I haven’t had the chance to pop in for a look so I can’t say anything about the collection’s size and contents, but this may turn out to be a much-needed boon for manga enthusiasts in the Manila area. (EDIT: I paid them a visit; check the update below for details.) Given the state the global economy’s in these days, it could be hard for some to part with the cash needed for a fresh manga volume whenever new releases hit the bookshops. For those who can still afford to splurge but are unwilling to risk resources on a series that may turn out to be a dud, the library’s free-access collection creates a welcome opportunity to review prospective reads before investing.
The Japan Foundation (Manila) Library is located on the ground floor of the Pacific Star Building, Buendia corner Makati Avenue, Makati City. (It’s near the back entrance of the building, just behind the reception desk.) Members can borrow books – I’m not sure if this privilege extends to the manga collection, though – while non-members can read them on-site but can’t check them out. More details are available here.
UPDATE (16 April 2009): I visited the library earlier today and gave their English manga collection a once-over. Not very large, but respectable – over a dozen series including some big names like Naruto, Death Note, Case Closed, One Piece, Honey and Clover, Nodame Cantabile, Monster, etc. All of them bear “Room Use Only” tags so they can’t be borrowed for home reading, but that’s fine because the main reading area can seat a small crowd and there’s even a couch on a large tatami mat (shoes off!) to one side. I’ve already identified a few interesting titles and I plan to visit the place at least once a week to dip into those series.
One other thing: the library is hosting a course/seminar so their opening hours have been temporarily modified. Between 13 April and 13 May, the public can use the facilities from 1PM to 6PM on Mondays/Wednesdays/Fridays and from 10AM to 6PM (regular hours) on Tuesdays/Thursdays.
Filed under: Manga