Taking a leaf out of Tony's book I reached for Doraemon #1. Sure enough, we have a copy. In fact, as far as I can tell, there is not a home in Japan that won't have a copy of these books chronicling the adventures of the earless robotic cat from the 22nd century! They bloody love 'im.
Still, I ploughed on, for most part dumbfounded by the casual language until on page 36...
Someone's, what? Boss? Landlord? Has come by and Nobita-kun has been sent for biscuits. He offers up some animal crackers he finds in his room.
You don't need to be able to read Japanese to tell that Nobita's mum isn't so happy (I reckons she's saying "What's this? What are these biscuits?"). The best bit is that the gentleman, polite as the situation demands, is using the kind of textbook Japanese I've come to know and, well, if not love exactly, at least get a functional understanding of. He's saying "It's okay, I love these biscuits."
36 pages in and at last my starchy, stiff collared Japanese gets a break.
What's also interesting is that alone here 大好き (love - lit. "big like") gets a kanji rendering, while "I" and "what" are in kana. I would presume this because big 大, is learnt early on (it's a man with his arms outstretched, see?) as are 女 and 子, woman and child, that form 好, the root of "like". So the word for love is learnt ahead of self or what just because it is easier to learn (the other kanji being 私 and 何).
What is rather less clear is why the other kanji I have recently learn, 世界, world, and 世紀, century are presented in kanji when they are clearly more advanced (rank about 200 on the list I've been using).
It's this seemingly arbitrary arrangement that has caused me to struggle with the learning in GTO and ラブヒナ as my patchy kanji mean long tracts are impenetrable - I might have the vocab, but I can't read the kanji, or it takes me ages to associate a string of kana with the right words. Still, either way, manga kicks JBP ass!